In our taijutsu training we explore a variety of historical tools used by the samurai and ninja of Japan. Spears, swords, sticks, chains…
…and the iron war fan: the tessen.
Carried by the samurai and tucked into the belt, the tessen took a few different forms- some being part metal with the ability to open like a real fan, while others were molded as a bar or iron- essentially a metal truncheon.
In terms of waza, the tessen was used with traditional jujutsu techniques as a force magnifier and a hidden weapon of sorts- literally adding the heft, weight, and power of the metal behind it.
A very historical and interesting tool.
But why study it today?
Does the tessen have a place in modern training beyond preserving traditional techniques and strategy?
One of the ways the tessen can be used, is as a tool to judge the flow of one’s taijutsu. Taking the tool in hand, one should be moving and using it to compliment the movement of taijutsu vs. now trying to do *tessenjutsu* just because one is holding something in the hand.
Nothing should change just because one is holding a training tool- the rules and flow of correct taijutsu should add to it.