Naginata, a long pole with a curved sharp sword blade at one end, is one of Japan’s ancient weapons and it was being used by the warriors priests during the Nara period, about 750 AD.
The use of the Naginata was an extremely effective weapon, but since 1500, the appearance of muskets and mass battles forced the Naginata to become a weapon for special occasions, that was being used by warrior priests and women .
Because of the influence of westernization after the Restoration of Meiji, the perception of the values of martial arts, including the Naginata, changed significantly. From this moment, the focus of education was given to strengthening the will and the forging of the mind and body. During the Showa period, the Naginata was part of the public school system.
Once prohibition of martial arts was lifted after the Second World War, a new modern martial art sport was developed, named, «Atarashii Naginata» with features from the long history and traditions of the Naginata.
In 1990 the International Federation Naginata was founded. Today, the 10 following countries are members, USA, France, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Brazil, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Australia and Japan. The training in Naginata also develops honesty, integrity and a sense of what is right.