Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Techniques
Nito seiho - two sword set
The names of the kata always refer to the kamae shidachi starts in. (The people in the pictures are practicing, not demonstrating perfect technique!)
Chudan is with both feet in shizentai. From gedan (the right hand is held slightly higher so both tips are on the same height, tip aims before the foot, not the center), the swords are raised in a circular motion until both tips are on one line aiming at uchidachi�s throat, on shoulder height. Both take 3 steps forward. Uchidachi strikes to the daito, but this is moved outwards and then back on line, and shidachi presses forward placing his feet together. There are two ways of moving, tsugi ashi or ayumi ashi, feet together or natural walking pattern. Haruna sensei was showing us the natural walking pattern this year so left foot passes the right.
Uchidachi moves back and raises the sword again to hasso, and strikes down again. In this kata, uchidachi performs strike, hasso, strike, pull the wrists out of the way, hasso, strike. Back on all but the final strike where you step forward to attack.
Second strike down is to the swords again, Shidachi evades as before and quickly raises both swords (ha pointing in direction of movement) crosses them over his head (shoto is on top). Daito goes up first, shoto in front and crosses the upside down T just before the strike. Shoto moves fast, daito slow.
Shidachi steps forward with the right and strikes down with both swords to uchidachi�s wrists (feet together) and threatens his belly. Uchidachi moves back to hasso, then strikes again (stepping forward). The shoto is used to block this strike, the daito is used to cut upwards to uchidachi�s wrist, or armpit if you're too close. Right foot forward, koshimi (deep stance). The daito points upward, the hand is not higher than the tip.
Jodan is with the daito in hasso position and shoto in chudan position (as in 1).
Uchidachi strikes to the shoto, (on the 3rd step) this is evaded and his sword is blocked below by crossing the swords, feet together. Uchidachi steps back with the right foot, shidachi threatens (like in the first nito kata, from gedan, threaten the hara) uchidachi strikes again stepping back with the left, shidachi steps forward and blocks high by crossing the swords up, then pushes the sword to his right, steps forward with the right and cuts with both swords as uchidachi moves back to hasso, daito to the head, shoto threatening kote, deep stance, right foot forward. During the blocks the feet are together.
The first strike is blocked as in the end of chudan (with the right foot forward), then shidachi moves to feet together and chudan to threaten as uchidachi pulls back.
Uchidachi moves back to hasso and attacks again, stepping forward. Shidachi followed a bit in chudan, steps to the left with the left foot, moving both swords to his left side when uchidachi attacks again. The shoto strikes down uchidachi�s sword while the daito cuts horizontally to uchidachi�s right upper arm. The hips should move with the daito strike. (right foot steps forward during this cut.) This is like nuki tsuke, use the same hip power.
4 waki gamae hidari
Right foot forward, the shoto is held forward as in chudan, the daito is held horizontally and on the left hip, pointing back. The arms are �crossed�.
Shidachi steps forward, keeping waki gamae (Right (front foot) left, right, left crosses over right) and when uchidachi strikes on the 3rd step, shidachi blocks with the shoto and strikes the underside of the wrist with the daito. Repeat as uchidachi moves back a bit and strikes again. The 2nd attack is then pushed down to the left while the daito cuts kesa upwards, moving the feet together, then down and stepping forward with the right as uchidachi moves back to hasso. Just two attacks from uchidachi's side, three things from shidachi's side, block, block, sweep and strike.
5 migi waki gamae
Shidachi has the left foot forward, shoto as in chudan, daito held on the right hip with tip aimed for uchidachi�s throat, remains on the spot in this kamae.
Uchidachi comes over to strike down the shoto, which is moved aside and then controls uchi's sword, the right foot is placed next to the left, the daito threatening uchidachi, immediately followed by raising both swords and cutting with both swords to the wrists (as in chudan).
This can be really weak unless shidachi is fully committed to thrusting through the throat and then cutting the wrists. You have to make uchidachi pull the wrists back, collapsing the hips and then he is forced into hasso. So uchidachi moves back to hasso at the moment of the double cut. Shidachi now stands in shizentai gedan.
Uchidachi attacks again, stepping forward with the right, shidachi moves back with the left foot, strikes away the sword with a circular downward block using the shoto (up over and out again), steps forward and strikes men with the daito. (Uchidachi doesn't move back now).
To switching from itto to kodachi, and vice versa is done pretty much like you do it in kendo no kata, move a bit to the side while facing your partner, set it down with the handle facing the partner, edge away from both of you, and pick up the other one. Do this on one knee rather than sticking your butt in the air.
To switch uchidachi-shidachi roles you could simply meet in the centre, transfer your swords to the right hand, hand off to the left of your partner and back up again. Make sure you hand them over tip down, edge toward yourself, then the partner spins it around so it's in "in the saya" position on receiving it.