Mugai Ryu is a Japanese martial arts style, classified as koryu, traditional Japanese martial arts.
Founded 23rd June 1680 by Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi (辻月丹資茂) and formalized as Mugai Shinden Kenpō (無外真伝剣法), Mugai Ryu consisted for the time beging exclusively of Kenjutsu techniques, using the Katana and Wakizashi. Later on Iai Kata and techniques concerning dueling situations (shiaiguchi 試合口) were added.
The two most prominent characteristics of the style are the focus on cutting Iai, meaning the drawing movement from the Saya (scabbard) is meant to cut (for example a tatami omote, a rice straw mat, simulating a real opponent), as well as the clear simplicity in the techniques finding its roots in Mugai Ryu’s connection to Zen.
The name Mugai Ryu is found in a Zen poem, Tsuji Gettan received from his teacher:
“Ippo jitsu mugai
Kenkon toku ittei
Suimo hono mitsu
Dochaku soku kosei”
“There is nothing but his one truth
it’s all-encompassing and everlasting
a feather carried by the winds upholds this truth.
To experience harmony in the face of confusion