Naginata (wielding techniques) is a modern martial art, using a wooden or bamboo sword which looks like the old Japanese weapon called "naginata" (originally, a pole with a wood shaft and a curved blade on its end).
With a harquebus introduced in Japan, naginata wielding techniques became rarely used on the battlefield, but from the last days of the Meiji period to the Taisho period, they were partially revived as a martial art for women, and this was called "onna naginata" (women's naginata). And they have kept their lives as such until today.
(However, it was mostly the schools of "otoko naginata" (men's naginata) that participated in the process of establishing the naginata wielding techniques.)
The protective equipment are "men" (a face mask) and "do" (a breastplate), which are both the same as those in "kendo" (a traditional Japanese swordplay), and "kote" (padded gloves to protect the wrists and forearms) and "sune-ate" (leg guards), which are peculiar to naginata wielding techniques. The shape of "hakama" (a long, pleated, culottes-like Japanese garment) is quite different from that of kendo.
Naginata wielding techniques are generally imagined to be women's martial art, but they are also used by men.
All Japan Naginata Federation (AJNF)
AJNF integrated many schools' various naginata wielding techniques into the sole standards. AJNF grants graduated ranks to its members according to their ability. AJNF joined Japan Amateur Sports Association and Japanese Olympic Committee.
AJNF member schools
"Tendo-ryu naginata-jutsu" (Tendo school of naginata wielding techniques)
"Jikishinkage-ryu naginata-jutsu" (Jikishinkage school of naginata wielding techniques)
"Toda-ha Buko-ryu naginata-jutsu" (Toda group's Buko school of naginata wielding techniques)
"Yoshin-ryu naginata-jutsu" (Yoshin school of naginata wielding techniques)
There exist two types of competition, the naginata match and the naginata performance.
Regulations of the match
Regulations of the judge
"Happo-buri" (the techniques swinging naginata in eight directions)
"Uchi-kaeshi" (the defense techniques with naginata)