Traditionally, the Japanese sword (katana) has a central place in Japanese martial arts, history and culture.  Historically, and through its development, jujutsu was closely related to the sword.  Traditional martial arts schools were composite systems in that they dealt with all forms of combat and weapons.  Specialisation was something that only began in the Tokugawa Period (mid 17th century).  Weapons and empty handed methods were closely related.

A sword is quite irrelevant in a modern self defence context.  Well, it is hoped that it is quite irrelevant!  However, it still has importance beyond historical and novelty interest.  Practice with the sword is very useful helping to improve certain fundamental aspects of position and movement.  As a way of focusing upon some aspects of position and movement, it is an important training and teaching tool, transcending just being an interesting exercise showing a certain connection between methods of sword work and unarmed combat.

Just as there are elements in common, there are equally points of distinction.  For instance, achieving a good cut with a sword is not an easy matter.  It requires diligent practice.  However, this skill has little connection with the skills of unarmed combat.  As a result, the use of long sword and short sword in TJR focuses upon skills and methods of use of the sword that relate most directly to the skills and methods of jujutsu.  This is important as there can be many aspects of sword work which have little bearing upon unarmed combat and whilst they might be interesting, for jujutsu, they remain irrelevant.