Also known as "atarashii naginata" (あたらしいなぎなた) is a modern martial art involving the use of a Japanese halberd. The early users of naginata were foot attendants to the samurai and warrior monks. The primary use was to cut horses legs during battles. In about 1400 A.D., the fighting style changed to using a long straight spear in massed formations. The naginata was not suited for this style of warfare. It then was left home for the women to guard the house and castle with. All samurai class women were trained to use the naginata and a small dagger. The weapon has been associated with women ever since.
After WWII, some naginata masters gathered together to develop a sportified, post-modern version of naginata practice that was originally designed for Junior High School level girls physical education classes. This practiced evolved further into a recreational physical activity, suitable for individuals of all ages. This was how (atarashii) naginata was born.
Today, naginata is practiced worldwide by people of all ages and genders, and continuing to grow in both numbers and in diversity. The standard curriculum comprises of non-contact pre-arranged forms (kata) and full-contact sparring.