Continuity of Principles

Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by GaryWado, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    On a Wado ryu forum that I participate in, there was a discussion thread about how it would be most appropriate to move in true combat, if one was to remain faithful to the principles of movement/engagement that are embodied in our solo/paired kata.

    In other words, how we "should" move in kumite, as opposed to the how most kumite is performed in Shiai today (IE WKF stylie) - which is (in the most part) in conflict to the above mentioned Wado principles.

    Sorry for the rambling intro, but this topic did take on a Koryu flavour when a senior exponent of Shindo Yoshin Ryu (I believe he has posted here too), chimed in to explain that in comprehensive systems (sogo bujutsu I believe), it is key to keep these core principles constant through-out your training be that with tanto, sword or hand to hand.

    Getting to the point, I also train with a small Koyru group who practice Daito-ryu and Ono Ha Itto Ryu kenjustu and as far as I can see, there is consistency between the sword school and the hand to hand stuff, but I am just a beginner so don't know really.

    Is it a happy addition to the Daito family and so therefore does it work in the same way as the sword work found in sogo bujutsu schools? - Or am I completely missing the point???

    [Edit] interestingly, the above vid include techniques that are very similar to those found in Wado's Idori and Tanto dori. - Thats what caught my eye really.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  2. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter


    It's a hard question to answer since every koryu is quite individual. Some schools have their own "home-grown" kenjutsu and jujutsu syllabi, (Takeuchi-ryu, Araki-ryu, Sosuishi-ryu, etc.) while others subsume disciplines into their tradition (e.g. Kukishin-ryu teaches mainly weaponry, but adopted Takagi-ryu into their system as a heiden bujutsu (併伝武術 )

    Either the principles are there in the kata from the beginning and applied to the other "home-grown" disciplines and then extrapolated on. For instance, in Takeuchi-ryu's kenjutsu curriculum, when both the aite & tori close in and the weapon is not in effective range, the weapon is thrown away and a jujutsu technique is employed to subdue the aite.

    With other systems that have heiden bujutsu like Hontai Yoshin-ryu (it has Minaki-den Kukishin-ryu in it's syllabus) they have bojutsu kata that segue into jujutsu techniques when the weapon is not applicable due to lack of range.

    For Daito-ryu, it's kind of a seperate anomaly, since it's relatively new. Some people don't consider it a koryu, since it was founded during the Meiji-period (The history of Takeda-ryu Oshiki uchi is pretty unverifiable, due to lack of historical documentation. Also the techniques used in Daito-ryu don't have that Sengoku or Edo jidai feel to them.) Takeda Sokaku had experience in Ono-ha Itto-ryu & Jikishinkage-ryu kenjutsu. It was probably from these arts that he got his inspiration. Also, since he was small of stature and had sumo training, he could make the techniques work.

    Observe this clip from 2:00 onwards, it has a striking resemblence to the techniques you have linked, showing Kondo Katsuyuki demonstrating shiho-nage as a sword technique. It's possible to surmise that Takeda Sokaku saw similarities in the movements between the jujutsu he had learned and Ono-ha Itto-ryu kenjutsu and refined the movements further.

  3. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Most of the taijutsu techniques used in daito Ryu and the other aik arts are based on sword principles.

    It is most difficult to raise the sword to yodan (above the head) without leaving a suki (opening) This can be seen clearly in the video. In fact it is most difficult to attack an advanced practisioner who is in a sword kamae (empty handed) without leaving an opening that he shall attack using sword timing (rather explosive entry)

    It is also said that we should not "fight" an opponent..we should fence him (even while empty handed)
    One of the major points made in the video is that the throw is completed with a cutting motion rather than using force to throw and throughout kuzushi (weak points of balance) are being attacked.

    below I am throwing an attacker with irrimi nage using the sword to illustrate these principles.So to answer your question YES the sword and empty hand principles are used at all times.

    Check out aiki ken bokken basics or martial arts of aikido threads for further information.

    best wishes for your training regards koyo

    Attached Files:

  4. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Perhaps a lttle can see the do giri through the ribs and the shomen direct cut to the mat. regards koyo

    Attached Files:

  5. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Very nice Koyo, thanks for that.

    Kogusoku - would you say that there is a risk of inconsistency of movement/principles in systems that "subsume" as you put it, other arts / systems within theirs. Isn't it key to learn one way to move and keep that consistent across all applications - so it becomes instinctive/automatic no matter what you are doing?

    This is my (as yet un-realised) ambition for my Wado training at least.


  6. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter


    If the ryuha are a few hundred years old, and the heiden bujutsu has been subsumed for a similar amount of time, it will have a similar flavour, if not, the subsequent generations of shihan would have engineered teachings which help to bridge the gap. This would ensure that the arts that they teach are near symbiotic.

    Remember that Wado-ryu is a mixture of Shinto Yoshin-ryu jujutsu and Okinawan karate. Otsuka Hironori found a way to make a synthesis between the two very different arts.

    Shindo Yoshin-ryu in turn, is also a synthesis of several older koryu, such as Yoshin Ko-ryu jujutsu, Tenjin Shinyo-ryu jujutsu, Jikishinkage-ryu kenjutsu and Katoda Shinkage-ryu kenjutsu.

    Prior to the Muromachi-jidai, there were a number of schools out there that didn't survive, but lived on in different forms with amalgamated teachings from other ryu. Shinkage-ryu kenjutsu (Yagyu Shinkage-ryu) was an amalgamation of Kage-ryu kenjutsu and Katori Shinto-ryu. Kage-ryu is long been extinct. The teachings of older ryuha sometimes become crystalized into new ryuha.

    This is why when you see koryu jujutsu, sometimes, you'll see different reiho, ukemi & ways of applying atemi, but overall, the basic principles of unbalancing & throwing the human body and locking joints remain similar throughout each ryuha.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  7. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Hi Steve,

    Many thanks for that explanation that makes a lot of sense to me.

    If I have understood correctly, heiden bujutsu refers to an "auxiliary" art that a school would incorporate into their core system?

    For me, it's interesting to muse over whether Ohtsuka Hironori saw Okinawan Shuri-te karate as something to simply blend with his "core system" of Shindo Yoshin Ryu (from a purely functional point of view), or whether he recognised more its potential as a "vehicle" to propagate his "budo" vision.

    Either way you are right as today certain aspects of Okinawan karate are symbiotic to Wado there is no escaping that.

    Many thanks.

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  8. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Koyo, silly question maybe, but have you ever studied Daito-ryu?

    Reason why I ask is that I am the only Karate-ka in the little group I train with - most are Aikido-ka from a veriety of schools.

  9. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I have studied most forms of aikido in my (long) time. Some daito Ryu however since I started in the late fifties early sixties the aikido riai (complete including strikes and cross training) was very similar to Daito Ryu.

    As to your question about principles..the principles of body alignment , timing and distancing are universal in martial arts (in my opinion) and since there are no "stances" since you must flow between them without is the universal principles that make the art/s effective.

    A number of the early shihan were trained in Daito Ryu by O Sensei so there was a great influence when training in ara waza (self defence /severe techniques)

    regards koyo
  10. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter


    It really depends on the ryuha. With ryuha like Shinto Muso-ryu jo, where they have five heiden bujutsu (Shinto-ryu kenjutsu, Ikkaku-ryu juttejutsu, Isshin-ryu kusarigamajutsu, Uchida-ryu tanjojutsu & Ittatsu-ryu hojojutsu), all subsumed into the ryuha, the techniques have been given the "feel" of Shinto Muso-ryu, rather than an individual feel.

    Other ryuha, like Owari Kan-ryu sojutsu, have a good number of other ryuha taught at their dojo. The HQ for Kan-ryu sojutsu teaches Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, Hikita Kage-ryu and a few other disciplines. Like I mentioned in my previous posts, Kukishin-ryu and Takagi-ryu have a close historical relationship, but their traditions and history are taught seperately.

    Indeed, learning from Funakoshi and then Mabuni & Motobu, he learned quite a lot of Okinawan karate. That being said, Okinawan karate when done properly (Opposite to the sporting way kumite is done these days) is rather similar to jujutsu, the training methods and culture are rather different though.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  11. bzarnett

    bzarnett Valued Member

    In Shindo Yoshin ryu (as you mentioned), the principles of the art are pervasive throughout the system -- both in its empty-hand as well as weapon work. This makes sense since Shindo Yoshin ryu is classified as a comprehensive art (sogo bujutsu).

    Other Sogo Bujutsu would follow similar approaches in having a unified approach to principles and concepts across their empty hand and weapon arts. Kashima Shinryu would be another example where the principles and concepts are found across both empty hand and weapon systems.

    To reflect, "modern" or "non-Japanese" arts such as American Kenpo Karate and Kali also have common principles across weapons and empty hand. This should make logical sense -- a good principle should extend across the art although in some circumstances, additional specifics might be introduced.

    Switching topics, from what I have seen of Wado ryu (in person, from discussions and through some videos of Ōtsuka), both have a strong SYR influence although they are different. I can do, "hey, that looks like...." with them.

    When I perform my TSYR kata in randori, the same principles and concepts in the kata, I apply to the resistance-based training. The kata, in essence are models for learning the movements, methods and logic of the art.

    With Daito-ryu (which my exposure is limited), the Daito-ryu principles have "invaded" their practice of Ono-ha Itto ryu (from what I can tell). Furthermore, all arts have some very common principles as well - so this just might be a happy co-incidence. In some circumstances, a principle found in many systems is known by a variety of terms or a similar term (label) means different things. For example, "nuki uchi" in Kashima Shinryu is a form of "attack by drawing" that is found in Niten ryu as well (keeping it simple). The interesting thing would be to compare Ono-ha Itto ryu of the mainline to how its taught in Daito ryu and compare characteristics and logic to see how much influence Daito ryu empty-hand had on the sword practice.

  12. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Many thanks Bryan, that sort of confirms my feelings about Daito and Ono-ha-itto ryu, although my exposure to Daito has been very limited to say the least.

    Actually it was your boss' post that got me thinking about the whole issue of compatibility of principles within the different art forms. He implied that in the world of Koryu and sogo bujutsu, opinions are somewhat divided as to whether - or probably more appropriately how, heiden jutsu are included.

    I certainly can not see the logic in practicing several different artforms that do not have at their core, a shared set of principles - otherwise there is a conflict within.


    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  13. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    I'd certainly like to know what nukiuchi you mention above - as the techiniques I know of that name certainly have no similarity with Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu seiho.
  14. bzarnett

    bzarnett Valued Member

    Hi Scott,

    I was considering it terms of "attack by drawing" the principle rather than a specific technique. It was an example of how a common principle can be found across systems.
  15. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Still don't get what you mean by that phrase. It could mean a number of things...
  16. bzarnett

    bzarnett Valued Member

    Hey Scott, I was playing with definitions for a while; here is one that I think will make sense.

    Attack by drawing is when
    you create an "opening" in your structure
    in order to entice your opponent's attack
    in order to enhance your own attack.

    For example, you might perform a strike with the intention to have your opponent tap your blade away in order to create an opening in his structure for your intended attack


    Frame a specific part of your body, to draw a specific attack that allows you to change position and cut through the opening that was created.


  17. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Aha now we are getting somewhere. :) Nuki-uchi (抜打), depending upon the technique in question, can be an avoiding technique (nuki-waza) or a pre-emptive strike. In seiteigata, nuki-uchi (which is based on a Mugai-ryu waza) is an avoidance and follow-up cut, but in MJER it is an opening strike. Using the phrase 'attack by drawing' in conjunction with the phrase 'nuki-uchi' suggested you were talking about an initial strike using sensen no sen.

    However, is your definition not just simply a nuki-waza using go no sen?

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