The Enbukan is a Japanese martial arts organization based on the Machida family koryu styles.

The organization is run by Kenshinsai Machida, and contains many different historical schools (ryuha). Kenshinsai Machida is the head of many of these schools, and holds menkyo kaiden in those of which he is not. Many of the schools are hereditary and were passed to Machida by his father. His son Takeshi Machida functions as the senior teacher of the Enbukan.

The Enbukan is dedicated to teaching and training in the traditional koryu method. The emphasis of Enbukan training is to accurately pass on the application oriented mindset of traditional budo.


Enbukan training is not widely available outside of Japan. There are a relatively small number of Enbukan Dojo in the USA. Many of these dojo are run by "jikideshi" (direct disciples) of Kenshinsai Machida.

Unlike many martial arts organizations which are comprised of multiple "ryuha", the Enbukan schools do not teach every "ryuha" of the school. Students in Enbukan schools are separately licensed to teach individual schools in the Enbukan.

Kenjutsu (剣術) and Battojutsu (抜刀術)

In the USA, almost all Enbukan schools teach the "kenjutsu" (sword schools) of the Enbukan. The Enbukan sword schools are not kendo, and are not intended for competition. Neither are they iaido training, as that term is commonly used today. These sword schools, characterized by an emphasis on application and on drawing, cutting, and returning the sword to its "saya" (sheath), are called "battojutsu".

The sword training in the Enbukan emphasizes the application and correct understanding of the historical principles of the school first, with the esoteric or spiritual side of the training to be reached only thereafter. This mindset is typical of "koryu" martial arts schools that survive to this day in Japan [Legacies of the Sword, Friday and Humitake] .

Some of the schools of Battojutsu which are taught in the Enbukan:
* Enshin Itto Ryu
* Fudo Ikken Ryu
* Jigen Ryu
* Mugai Ryu

Karate (空手) and Aikijujutsu (合気柔術)

The Enbukan schools also contain both karate (striking) and jujutsu (grappling) schools. At this time there are very few schools outside of Japan where these systems are taught.

* Enshin Ryu Karate Do
* Takeda Ha Aiki no Jutsu


The Enbukan "Hombu Dojo" in Japan issues and recognizes ranks which are similar to, but not identical to the "dan" system common in modern Japanese martial arts organizations.

Koryu Ranking

The ranks used in the Enbukan go by the following names.

*Shoden Oku
*Chuden Oku
*Menkyo (ura and omote)
*Menkyo Kaiden


When a student has completed a particular grade, the grade is sometimes designated as "Joi" (eg. "Kirigami Joi") which is a special certificate indicating that the student has an outstanding ability with the material in the level. A grade containing the designator "Joi" does not designate a higher grade than one which does not, it is analogous to graduating "with honors" from a western instituation. Certificates of this kind come only directly from the head teacher of the Enbukan, and are separate from the ranking system described above.

Kyu and Dan Ranking

It is commonplace in the Enbukan, particularly in foreign "dojo" to refer to these ranks (and those which follow) as "dan" ranks, with "Kiri Gami" being 1st-Dan, and so-on. This usage is done to add clarity in non-Japanese speaking countries, and is explicitly condoned by the Hombu Dojo in Japan.

Below the Dan grades, individual Dojo are authorized to issue "kyū" grades in whatever manner appropriate for their schools. It is commonplace that there are ten such grades, as is often the case with other Japanese martial arts schools using the "kyū/dan" system, but this is by no means universal. Some Enbukan dojo use only five kyu ranks, some have none at all. The kyu ranks are administered locally by the individual schools and are not standardized by the Hombu Dojo.

Because the Enbukan organization does not expect any particular student to study every school, the rank held by any individual teacher or student will reflect that school in which they are the most proficient. It is common place to describe these ranks as ranks "in" a particular school, but this is not technically correct. The rank is an Enbukan rank, issued by the Hombu Dojo, not a rank in the one particular "ryuha".

Teaching License

The rank required for teaching in the Enbukan schools is Chuden. This rank is often equated with Go-Dan (5th) in schools outside of Japan. Students of lower ranks have been given permission in the past to teach on an individual basis, but such authorization comes only directly from the Hombu Dojo in Japan. It should be noted that because individual students study only some of the schools in the Enbukan system, and because ranks are given relative to the entire Enbukan system, those teachers holding Chudan or above are only authorized to teach some of the systems in the school. Typically the actual menjo (certificate) indicating the teacher's rank will also specify those schools which he or she is entitled to teach (these documents are however, always entirely in Japanese).


The Enbukan schools come from a variety of different sources. Those taught today came to the current master teacher (Kenshinsai Machida) from his father Genshinsai Machida. Some of the Battojutsu schools, in particular the Enshin Itto Ryu and Fudo Ikken Ryu, trace their lineage back to the much older Kashima Shinto Ryu and thus ultimately to the Itto Ryu.

Enbukan and Bujinkan

It is common that many Enbukan schools also teach or offer Bujinkan training. There is no actual relationship between these two schools. The reason for the correlation is that the Hombu Dojo for both schools are in the same city of Noda, Japan, and so some students choose to study both arts.


External links

* [http://www.enbukan.com/ Enbukan USA] Official English language Enbukan website.

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