The naginata is a long polearm with a curved blade similar to that of a katana attached at one end. In feudal Japan it was used by samurai retainers (and often their wives) as well as by warrior monks (yamabushi). Today in Japan, naginata-jutsu is commonly practised by women and girls, who may also take part in naginata fencing competitions.
In kata form we practice moves to defend against a mounted enemy as well as those on foot. The weapon is used to block, strike, stab and slice, it’s great length keeping attackers at a distance, and both the blade and butt used for attacking.
The naginata is an unwieldy and heavy weapon, requiring good control, balance and spacial awareness. As such, the kata is taught to students from weapons level 3 and above (third dan black belt).