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Naginata is a Japanese martial art form for men, women, and children. The Naginata originated over 1,000 years ago. It was a powerful weapon against horsemen and foot soldiers alike. The Naginata's length and weight made it an efficient weapon against the sword, and its circular execution made it one of the most graceful and fluid of classical Japanese combat systems. Naginata today is an art form that teaches etiquette, respect, patience, self-confidence, and self-control. The practice of Naginata nurtures stamina, beauty and grace of movement, and the building of character through discipline and concentration. Moreover, it prepares individuals to deal with the rigors of life, and in establishing a moral code based on chivalry and honor. (Text from Southern California Naginata Federation Home page http://members.aol.com/naginata/ and picture from All Japan Naginata Federation
http://www.konishi.co.jp/naginata/)