This style was created by integrating the principles of the Anything Goes System into the Kuno School.
This exotic deadly dance of the sword incorporates fluid motion and graceful yet brutal attacks which involves evasion and attacking an opponent either in the front or back using the element of surprise to overwhelm them and then crushing them with the sword, all the while employing a brutal fast-paced method that makes great use of skillful speed. The style is characterized by composed, yet highly aggressive blade-work, mixed with precision strikes and well-timed parries and blocks, with a counter-attacking flair that enabled the kendoka to engage multiple opponents at once. The raw skill of the Kuno School enables the practitioner to engage stronger opposition and ultimately prevail against the enemy.
The Kuno School focuses a lot in the manipulation of the blade through wielding it in a variety of ways, interchanging its position in mid-attack and at the end of them as well. It is quite well known, for being able to slash at opponents vigorously, putting them on a heavy-ended defensive. Then, when the practitioner deems the time right they would alter their attack patterns to one more suited to deal with how the opponent was avoiding damage. Actually, this is another important aspect of the style: reading enough of the opponent’s movements to deduce a manner in which to strike at them more effectively.
Most swordsmen concentrate on the strength of their blade, the power of their techniques, and the hope that their opponent is less “developed” in their own style. That is not the case in this art, and is what sets it apart from most. This style concentrates on power within form, cunning, and agility. And by this, the kendoka of Anything goes Kenjutsu have been able to survive encounter after encounter, by reading and devising methods of attack and defense through clarity and patience. No matter how strong the opponent is they are able to learn their moves and change their own to adapt to the situation.
However, while the Kuno schools offensive skills are nothing short of incredible, it is defense that the art truly specializes in when using the blade. The intricate pattern of its blocks and parries prove to be fast enough to interfere with multiple strikes, while its slight dodges and shifts of stance, coupled with masterful footwork, enabled the kendoka to simply evade the rest and then counter accordingly.
The stages of the Kuno School of Anything goes Kenjutsu are described by three categories:
Sword Dexterity— The Kuno School demonstrates advanced and masterful usage of dual-bladed swordsmanship that has quickly been identified as one of its trademark abilities using two swords, called Chisakatana (小さ刀, lit. Small sword, one shorter than the second.) Kuno realized that the addition of a second blade to support the first was an ancient practice that had long been practiced by many individuals throughout history until more advanced weaponry was developed. Even when close-range weaponry such as a sword fell into disuse Humans used two guns in much the same way as they did two swords. There were many different styles used by as many different stylists, making a predominant form of dual-bladed swordsmanship difficult to identify, though he did focus on Niten Ichi-ryu the style created by his ancestor Miyamoto Musashi. But the most common trend saw in most forms was the addition of a second blade in order to compliment the practitioner’s primary weapon, either as a means of blocking so as to open an enemy up to an attack from the primary weapon, or for dealing with multiple adversaries. He acknowledged the weakness’ of the style, noting that "... practitioners tended to rely too much on their blades, and paid too little attention to their surroundings" and that "speed was all well and good, but what happened when you simply didn't have the strength needed to use the blade effectively with one hand?" however he addressed these underlining weaknesses through practice and repetition to build ones strength and understanding, which ultimately aids their performance.
Wielding one sword effectively is hard enough, but two at a time takes a special set of skills. Unlike wielding one sword, where one arm is dominant, each arm must be equally trained for a kendoka to effectively utilize the Kuno School. This skill describes how agilely a kendoka can use both swords simultaneously, and is as much a mental discipline as it is a physical one. The kendoka is able to switch hands between the two swords without affecting the strength of their swings. This trait also allows them to attack from most angles with the full force of their physical strength and skill at their disposal without being encumbered negatively. The Kuno School uses both blades almost exclusively no matter the battle or the opposition encountered.
Unarmed Ability—Let's face it, a swordsman without a sword is a dead swordsman. However, when Kuno set out to perfect his art, she of course sought to eliminate as much basic weaknesses as possible. While one won't see him getting into a plain fistfight, he is trained well enough to be able to defend himself if disarmed, for long enough to recover his weapons, barring extreme circumstance. Over the years, this discipline has been refined to such a degree that, even when armed, he can be seen performing elegant kicks and other blunt attacks.
Movement— Footwork is truly a critical foundation of nearly every style of combat, particularly ones involving swords. However, the Kuno School of Anything goes Kenjutsu gives it a particular emphasis, since techniques of the style demand that users be not only quick and agile, but graceful in doing so. While one's skill in their footwork directly impacts his/her speed and agility, it also indirectly affects accuracy and power of sword strikes.The users of this style are fluid, graceful sword fighters, who are capable of smoothly moving forward to attack an opponent. They are also very capable of moving to the left, the right, the back, and even forward if the situation calls for it, for dodging attacks with ease due to their training in the anything goes system. Quick reflexes, powerful attacks, and a balanced position make the user a deadly sword fighter.
Kuno has been compared to a dancer on more than one occasion as a joke among his friends and family, but the analogy is in itself an accurate one. Having been trained long and hard in the dance that is swordsmanship, Kuno has learned how to properly utilize fancy footwork and delicate maneuvers to make his style more effective and lessen the chance he may be harmed in an exchange of steel. Kuno rarely (if ever) puts a foot wrong in battle and can effortlessly alter his footing to appeal to a wide range of different forms and techniques. Even the slightest movement allows him to strike with amazing precision and tremendous strength. He has mastered and choreographed countless sequences of sword usage over the years so that the very nature of battle is based mostly on reflex and instinct. Whether he be standing mostly stationary or employing an off-the-ground method, the steps Kuno employ are flawless and always lead into another beneficial action that is ultimately not so beneficial for his opposition.
Training Methods: Training is usually done with a sword or a rod of similar fashion. High amounts of target practice, Anything Goes training, contortion practice, meditation, and agility practice are done, to bring about the full potential of the kendoka. The various techniques, stances, and forms were learned through his own imagination.
Style of the Undrawn Long Sword (抜かぬ太刀の型 Nukanu Tachi no Kata): A form of swordsmanship utilized in the Kuno School of Anything Goes Kenjutsu revolving around the use of a sheathed blade. While technically not exposing the weapon's cutting edge/s, by utilizing nenpo users of such art are shown able to slice foes as if they were wielding a drawn sword. The stances assumed in the performance of this swordplay are vaguely reminiscent of those typical to Iaido, with the swordsmen wielding the sheath of their sword with one hand, and resting the other on the sword's hilt.
The Blade of Resentment (怨刀 Ontō): A fearsome technique whose strength is said to be able to potentially cause a cataclysm. Nenpo is typically used with a bokken but The Blade of Resentment uses it with an actual sword magnifying the weapons strength to such an extent that a single slash is powerful enough to annihilate an entire section building. Since the Kuno School of Anything Goes Kenjutsu is typically a two sword style this technique is usually used with the Style of the Undrawn Long Sword.