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Naginatajutsu (長刀術 or 薙刀術) or Naginatajutsu is the Japanese martial art of wielding the naginata (なぎなた). This is a weapon resembling the medieval European glaive. Most naginatajutsu practiced today is in a modernized form, a gendai budō, in which competitions also are held.
Multiple theories concerning the weapon's exact origins are in debate. It has been suggested that it developed along the same lines as Okinawan kobudō weapons as a modified farming tool. Another theory states that it is the result of the Japanese modifying a Chinese Guan Dao that bears a similar appearance.

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Perhaps the simplest explanation is the natural development of polearms. Polearms are intended as mass weapons, to be used not just by individual warriors, but by formations of soldiers together on field battles and not for dueling. When fighting in close order, two-handed cut-and-thrust weapons, such as halberds and glaives, are much more efficient than mere spears or swords because of their versatility compared to spears and longer reach compared to swords. Fighting in massed formation does not require similar individual weapon-handling skills as required by a skilled swordsman.
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