Naginata - Aikido Knowledge Base - Aikido Glossary
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Naginata (なぎなた, 薙刀) is a pole weapon that was traditionally used in Japan by members of the samurai class. It has become associated with women and in modern Japan it is studied by women more than men. A naginata consists of a wood shaft with a curved blade on the end; it is similar to the Chinese Guan Dao or European glaive or Russian sovnya. Usually it also had a sword-like guard (tsuba) between the blade and shaft.
The martial art of wielding the naginata is called naginatajutsu. Most Naginata practice today is in a modernised form, a gendai budō called atarashii Naginata ("new Naginata"), in which competitions also are held. Use of the naginata is also taught within the Bujinkan and in some koryū schools. Naginata practitioners may wear a form of the protective armour known as bōgu similar to that worn by kendō practitioners. Wearing the bogu means using a naginata that is a mix of light oak wood shaft, with a bamboo blade habu for atarashii Naginata.
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