Ittō-ryū is a school of swordsmanship that was founded by Itō Ittōsai Kagehisa in the 16th century. During his lifetime Itō Ittōsai was a prolific swordsman who is said to have been undefeated. Itō Ittōsai’s successor, Ono Jiroemon Tadaaki, gained renown by serving as the fencing instructor to the second and third Tokugawa Shōgun alongside Yagyū Munenori of Yagyū Shinkage-Ryū. The art was renamed to Ono-ha Ittō-Ryū under the third headmaster Ono Tadatsune.
Ono-ha Ittō-Ryū is a well preserved comprehensive school of swordsmanship and strategy consisting of 170 techniques that are taught as kumitachi (paired) kata that cover the use of the ōdachi (long sword), kodachi (short sword), habikitō (blunted steel), and battō (combative drawing). Ono-ha Ittō-Ryū also characteristically uses special padded gauntlets called onigote to safely recieve cuts in practice.
The Hokutō Dōjō operates as a keikojō with the permission of Yabuki Yūji Dōshu, 18th Sōke of Ono-ha Ittō-Ryu, and under the direction of Nathan Scott Sensei, United States Branch Leader. The Hokutō Dōjō is one of three dojo in the US offering instruction in Ono-ha Ittō-Ryū.