The BNA started with one individual who wanted to bring Naginata to Britain, after first being introduced to it in Japan. Slowly around 2003/4, a group of like-minded friends started to meet and practise Naginata informally. As more people showed interest the London club was born and the BNA was formalised.
Since then we have seen a growing demand for Naginata in Britain. Many people have made enquiries who already have some knowledge of Naginata but for the most part Britain remains largely a nation of beginners. Luckily, BNA members have been able to benefit from attending regular seminars in Europe with European and Japanese teachers (Sensei) and several students have now achieved dan-level.
In 2008 the BNA was accepted as a candidate member of the European Naginata Federation and in November 2009, we were granted full membership. In 2010 we have been granted provisional membership of world naginata’s governing body, the International Naginata Federation, with permanent membership due in 2011. This means that our members will be able to take part in the next European Naginata Championships (Germany, November 2010) and World Naginata Championships (Japan, July 2011).
First demostration of Naginata in Britain?
We recently came across this wonderful report of a martial arts demonstration by http://www.thebudokwai.com in 1919. Clearly seen in the bottom right corner is a naginata kata demonstration and an ‘issu jiai’ contest between a naginataka and kendoka.