Naginata is a martial art suitable for practice by men and women of all ages. The art uses the naginata (a pole weapon similar to a european halbard) for both full contact practice in armour and in choreographed kata forms, as the basis of teaching.
The naginata itself is a pole weapon that was traditionally used in Japan by members of the samurai class. A modern practice naginata consists of a wood shaft with a curved bamboo blade on the end.
If you are interested in starting Naginata in Britain, there are now three clubs meeting regularly in England. Ideally, we suggest you join one of these (see link to Clubs above). We do hold seminars in England (York, quarterly on a Sunday) in London where you could start with an intensive whole day or even weekend session (London or Europe mainland).
Below is a video of the women’s and men’s finals from the 2007 Naginata World Championships, to give you an idea of what top class Naginata shiai (competition) looks like. This is followed by a video demonstrating the first five kata (called engi) forms – as you will see, there is quite a contrast between practice in and out of armour! Finally, we include a video of the advanced kata forms using a wooden naginata, known as Zen Nihon kata as taught to senior students of this modern Naginata discipline.