Japan has had many great swordsmen in its rich past, but there have been a few that stand out above the rest.
Most of these men have been heard of even in the Western countries outside of Japan.
Their names are Tsukahara Bokuden, Yagyu Muneyoshi, Miyamoto Musashi, Ito Ittosai.
Each of these men have left their mark in our world with their skill, legend, and teachings.
Tsukahara Bokuden was probably the best swordsman of all time if you look at how many men he killed in combat.
He fought in between 20 and 30 duels and was in over 30 battles.
As a man in his teens he had begun to wander the country looking to test and improve his skills.
In his lifetime he is credited with killing over 200 enemies this was a record that was never matched by any swordsman after his time.
Tsukahara died of natural causes at the age of 81.
His sword style was that of Kashima and Shinto.
It is supposed that he had started the Kashima school which bears a strong similarity to the Shinto style, and uses the premace of hitotsu-tachi which means "one cut" or "one stroke".
What the one cut or one stoke idea means is that you wait until the absolutely very last second of your opponents attack and then counter and attack.
If done properly your enemy will miss you by less then an inch making this a fairly difficult application to learn.
But if you understand your sword then you have a better chance of succeeding with it.
Your sword is divided into 3 parts.
The end 1/3rd of your blade is where you have the most power and the best cutting ability, the middle 1/3rd has a lower power strike, and the last 1/3rd is the weakest part for striking.
Knowing this it is possible to be struck by the lowest 1/3rd of the blade without being cut and allowing you to counter and strike your opponent with the first 1/3rd or the strongest part of your blade thus killing your enemy.
To learn this technique takes proper training and much practice to master.