A note on styles of batto-do and the various organizations in which these styles are taught

As in all martial arts, there are different schools and each teaches its own techniques as one generation of sensei passes on their teachings to the next. The techniques taught in the Shishinkai dojo are those of the Japan Batto-do Federation (Nihon Battodo Renmei, 日本抜刀道連盟). The Shishinkai has been established as an official branch of this federation. The style taught in the Japan Batto-do Federation is Eishin-ryu (英信流), although Shinden-ryu (神伝流) is also practiced by some members. One way to distinguish between the two styles is the way practitioners sheathe their katanas without looking down at them, using a technique called noto (納刀): In the Eishin-ryu style, this is done by laying the unsharpened back of the blade vertically across the back of the left hand, sliding it outwards and ‘catching’ it with the left index finger before guiding it into the scabbard or saya (鞘). In the Shinden-ryu style, the katana is held horizontally, blade facing outward, and the flat of the blade is grasped lightly between the left forefinger and thumb, which help guide the blade into the saya before turning it vertically as the katana is sheathed.

These two styles are distinct from Toyama-ryu (戸山流), which is taught at the Byakkokan dojo in New York City. The Byakkokan dojo belongs to an organization established in connection with the All-Japan Batto-do Federation (全日本抜刀道連盟). Some batto-do practitioners become students of more than one distinct style, although most focus on just one, since the cutting techniques of Eishin-ryu and Toyama-ryu are quite different, so being able to switch back and forth requires an extraordinary level of dedication and study.