Koryu: Techniques only

Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by Graham, Jul 8, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    Legitimacy in passing on grade, calling it a certain ryu name, etc.. definitely!

    That doesn't necessarily mean what's being taught isn't legitimate.

    Take Stephen Hayes for example, if he was taught kata by Hatsumi to a good level but not Menkyo Kaiden, and then passes on those kata they are still legitimate kata, only the grades, etc are questionable.

    I for example hold 3 Shoden Menkyo licenses, I'm authorised to teach the kata within these ryu up to that level, if I decided to leave my org does that my teaching less authentic?? I would only see a problem if I started handing out grades, or claiming to be teaching the whole ryu, etc...

    - Just noticed the some licenses bit of your post afhuss so my point about my shoden menkyo is moot, but still a valid point for people in the Buj for instance where they may have learned koryu kata but not received licenses.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  2. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Hayes? Buj?

    Sorry guys the plaque for the alternates is in the Ninjutsu room.......


    Sorry couldn't help it.
  3. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    First to spring to mind that everyone would have heard of!!!

    OK to learn from Indi's - unless your name plaque has been shot off the wall with Hatsumi's shiriken, urinated on by Japanese Shihan, then burned while all recite the Ninja Seishin Poem!!!!

  4. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    Well, this is a fun one.

    Firstly, Sketco, I really want to just go through everything you've posted and follow each sentence you wrote with "Irrelevant for Koryu", as, well, everything you've written is irrelevant for Koryu.

    Here's the thing. You're thinking only in terms of modern martial arts. That's not what we're dealing with here. Modern martial arts are about the individual's performance, how good a person can get, what skills the practitioner can develop, and so on. Koryu are the opposite of that. The individual, the practitioner, doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what skills they get, how good they are, or anything, it matters how good they are for the Ryu. The Ryu matters, the practitioner doesn't.

    And if you think that Koryu aren't martial art schools as they don't think in the same terms as modern systems, you are way, way out. I'd say they're far more "martial arts" than modern systems, many of which are sporting systems by and large. If we take the oft-used (but not entirely accurate) definition of it meaning "military arts", the idea of following what is dictated for the good of the overall organisation/únit/platoon etc fits far better than trying to out-do everyone else for a sense of personal achievement and goals.

    In other words, you are way out of your depth here, and completely off base.

    The kata aren't the art. They are the beginnings of getting into the art, and the actual, real lessons that the Ryu is aiming to impart. Having contact with someone who understands the Ryu is far more important than someone who just has an understanding of the mechanical techniques of the system in question. And, when dealing with Koryu, yes, a connection to the hombu (of whichever line or Ryu you're a part of) is essential. The more direct, the better, although there can be some space (depending on the circumstances surrounding that distance). The only time I can think of that not being a real necessity is when there is no hombu, so to speak, in which case a strong relationship with your seniors is necessary (such as Muso Shinden Ryu, Shinto Muso Ryu etc).

    When you talk about people who have moved from "org to org", or "gone indi", that really isn't relevant when we're talking about Koryu. We're really not talking about X-Kan stuff here at all, that's completely different. If someone is no longer connected to the hombu of whichever Ryu they're claiming to be a part of, they are making a false claim. If you claim to be teaching, say, Kashima Shinryu, but have dropped your connection to the hombu, you are no longer representing the Ryu, and therefore (even though your techniques might be identical), you are not training in Kashima Shinryu. Even if you have Menkyo Kaiden, although in those circumstances you might be able to do things under your own authority, as a new line (with a different name).

    That's not the difference, though. The difference is in the mentality of the different approaches, as described above.

    Bujinkan material really isn't anything to do with this, gotta say. That just ain't Koryu (in the way it's presented and transmitted today, at least).

    Yeah, you need a guide who already knows the ground, but you're really making too much of kata here, to be honest. That's kinda what Graham was railing against in his OP, as that's what leads to this phenomena of "kata collecting".

    "Learning" Koryu? Hmm, not a phrase I'd use, honestly. "Training in a Koryu, studying a Koryu", yeah... You can learn the methods of a Koryu, but that's about as close as I can think of, and I'd agree that that's the most basic approach that could be taken, and isn't really the same as studying the Ryu itself.

    Hi Graham, lets see if we can bring it back to your OP, yeah?

    As Scott said, I'd say that if there's no connection, it's not really training in the Koryu in question, and is just training in the methods (kata). That said, the kata are the entry point (along with reiho) for the Koryu, so it's not like they can be eschewed completely. As far as it being the next best thing, well, that depends on the perspective of the person themselves... I'd say it's not actually training in a Koryu at all, so it's not of much importance whether it's the next best thing, the third best thing, or the worst thing in the world (for the Koryu), as it's an event outside of the Ryu itself. But those who think that that is training in the Ryu? Sadly mistaken....
  5. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    No they are schools which include martial arts.

    That's called learning and adapting. It is what any intelligent organism does.

    Preserving the school is not enough. Something worthwhile must be preserved. If the system being preserved is flawed it must be modified or it should be allowed to die out.

    The bow and arrow is useful in hunting and could in future be useful as a martial art again. Usefulness is not the issue primarily. What are martial teachings is.

    History is irrelevant to the martial arts where it provides a path to victory or a context for weapons, techniques, and tactics.

    Irrelevant. That system etiquette is outdated and now unnecessary for martial arts. You adapt to the culture which you currently live within.

    What is related to combative victories is martial or martially related. That which is not [currently] related is not. Therefore my original conclusion stands. They are schools which include martial arts but not martial arts schools.

    If there is a martial arts class within a highschool it does not make it a martial arts school. It makes it a school with martial arts in it. Same thing here except that much of the educational content of the koryu is outdated.
  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    Kid. Useful isn't just useful according to your values. You're completely off target.

    Here's a suggestion. Don't try to tell us what Koryu are, ask questions, as you're horrendously ill-informed. Deal?
  7. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    Martial arts is about combative victory. If it is not related to increasing the odds of victory it is non-martial. It may be useful but not useful in a martial context.
    For example cooking is a useful skill to both individuals and military organizations. While it may be useful it is not a martial skill and not something which needs teaching within a school of combative arts.

    This isn't to do with informedness. This is, at this point in the discussion to do with whether ko-ryu fit the functional definition of martial arts schools. They do not. Rather they fit the definition of a school which include martial arts. If you can offer sufficient logical argument to the contrary I will entertain your ideas engage you in a rational, logical discussion. If not kindly leave.


    EDIT: Also I find it highly comical that you have chosen to imbue me with a quality of youth simply because I disagree with you. Thank you for adding some amusement to my day at least.
  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    You really don't have a clue about Koryu, these are your values, and they are out of place here. I believe that's been mentioned once or twice, yeah?

    You are not informed. Everything you've said has shown that you don't know or understand anything about Koryu. As a result, you're coming at this from a flawed perspective, and everything you've said is, once again, irrelevant.

    Get some experience or understanding of Koryu, then you might be able to discuss them. Until then, telling us what they are, or aren't, is frankly arrogant to say the least.

    No, that's based on your posts, the detail of you being a student, and so on. So how old would you be, then?
  9. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    Chris - agree completely, was posting in relation to OP asking about kata, and trying to get across the idea to Sketco in understandbale way, kata seemed the easiest thing to talk about as most people know what they are.
  10. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member


    Your view of what Martial Arts are about is flawed as you are only considering the things that you believe are important to be important to martial arts.

    The aim of every martial art, or martial arts practitioner is not all about combative victory, or to be more precise the definition of what combative victory is and the importance will change from art to art.

    Even outside of Koryu, people practice Tai Chi, this is a wonderful martial art, but people practice for different reasons. Many eastern martial arts are more concerned with personal and spiritual growth than fighting, this doesn't make them less martial, just shows that they have a different idea of what a true warrior is.

    In Aikido, the aim is to defend yourself while also not injuring the other person, this is different to boxing where the aim is to damage your opponent to the point you knock them unconscious - is it less martial?

    If you ever want to have the slightest comprehension of what Koryu is about, you need to lose the idea that what YOU think is important, IS what is important, rather than just being what is important to YOU.

    If you joined the army, they will teach you how to shoot, make sure you're fit enough to get by, teach tactics, but they will also talk about mindset, you will have to do drills to ensure your mind can deal with what your body is expected to do.

    This is the same in Koryu, if you are training koryu you are training to be that schools idea of a warrior, because their idea of a warrior is different to yours doesn't make it less martial.

    For instance, look at the virtues of Bushido, the 'way of the warrior' , honesty, integrity, benevolence, etc.... by your logic, these aren't martial, yet they are considered the core attributes of a warrior.
  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Sketco, I believe you're off base here. And I say that as someone whose training background and priorities are fairly well aligned with yours.

    It doesn't fall to either you or I to tell other people what their practice is about. If winning fights were the only objective consideration worth anything, I'll wager that we could point at all sorts of things in our own training backgrounds that are inconsistent with that.

    To me, any definition of "martial art" that doesn't address the idea of organized transmission of information is inadequate. "Fighting," "combatives," etc. don't necessarily imply the transmission of anything more than combat prowess. But "martial art" has some broader implications. (And they are only implications. Clearly this is semantics.)

    What I've come to understand about koryu and the people who practice it is that preservation is the training priority. And there's nothing invalid about that. Think of all the things that would have vanished from our awareness if nobody out there was making it their mission to preserve them.

    Your distinction between a martial arts school and a school that includes martial arts is also semantic. And not especially useful in doing anything other than supporting your particular bias. I'd encourage you to try and put that aside.

    If this particular take on martial arts isn't palatable to you, that's fine. You obviously have a right to your opinion. But by the same token, so does everyone else. And it makes very little sense to tell koryu practitioners how to define their practice.

  12. Da Lurker

    Da Lurker Valued Member

    you're joking, right? :rolleyes:

    YOU'RE JOKING, RIGHT?! :bang:

    back in the decades of the space race, SERVING aviators(USAF, USN and USMC) were taught etiquette and protocol to impress the interviewing panel of NASA, in order to make a bid to reach space first ahead of the commies.

    today, green berets are taught on how to set up a village defense, a well and/or sewerage system and basic health education for the villagers IN the villager's OWN LANGUAGE.

    now tell me if USA SF are not 'martial'. yup, winning is the ONLY yardstick that matters.

    tell that to sun tzu. and what do you know about field cooking in hostile territories? what can you say about who cooks and/or eats first, what do you do if surprised, the positions while you eat?


    and you're correct: KORYU ARE OUTDATED.


    like musicians don't alter beethoven or bach's pieces and say "this is the new bach" or "this is the new and effective music", they keep them AS THEY ARE.
    old? yep. outdated? surely. CLASSICAL? certainly!


    on the other hand: so what if it's old? if it's workable(physics and physiokinesthetically-wise) and the opponent DOESN'T EXPECT IT, it'll pack a wallop. just ask machida and couture. :cool:
  13. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    Da Lurker all those things you've given examples of are more complex methods on the road to victory. Field cooking, direct relation. Helping a village, gaining favour of a population.

    Also your comparison with classical music is way off.

    Whether I am off base or not I shall leave the issue here Oweyn because I have better things to do than continue this argument.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  14. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Honestly, Sketco, I'm a bit put off by this. You went back and edited your original answer, which I thought was better. This one smacks a bit of "I'm taking my ball and going home." I mean, presumably you had better things to do before as well. It's just debating on the internet, after all.

    I know I sound like I'm having a go. I'm just not used to this posting style from you.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  15. Counter Assault

    Counter Assault Valued Member

    "The kata aren't the art. They are the beginnings of getting into the art, and the actual, real lessons that the Ryu is aiming to impart. Having contact with someone who understands the Ryu is far more important than someone who just has an understanding of the mechanical techniques of the system in question."

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! I see.
  16. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Sorry if somebody already wrote this, only read up to the end of page 1. Sketco, your argument doesn't hold any water unfortunately. Even if we agree that victory is one of the most important things, how do you quantify it? Looking at arts like boxing or wrestling(or any other), anytime you contest the art in competition or otherwise, only 3 things can happen. You can win, lose, or draw. So going by your definition of victory, even boxing is only 30%-50% effective because in every boxing match, somebody loses. If you want to look at how boxer's fare in other sporting endeavors, I saw a titled Mexican boxer lose to a Japanese kick boxer in 26 seconds due to three leg kicks that ended the match before a single punch was thrown. Same with inside the Octagon, boxers with no other training don't stand a chance.

    Okay, so these comparisons might not be fair, but when was life ever? If you pit a boxer against a samurai, boxer get's chopped to death or pierced before he gets close enough to hit the armored guy with an arsenal of weapons. So how can boxing or wrestling only be about victory and koryu less effective? Now, I do agree with you that effective technique is important when discussing martial arts, but it seems your understanding of what that entails is a bit overly simplistic.

    Boxing is practical in a boxing match, and punching can be practical on the street if you have conditioned your hands and tactics so you don't break them on somebody's head when you hit them without gloves. However, it isn't the most practical art when considering weapons or any other number of factors.

  17. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    You're all wrong. Koryu is about WINNING.

    Every time I train in my chosen arts, I improve - in my study, the techniques, my physical self and my attitude and demeanour. I am winning every time I train. When I see my students develop likewise, the winning for me continues.
  18. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Oww I don't know Scott.

    Always seems to be more whining and less winning going on :D

    This thread needs Charlie Sheen.
  19. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    Hmm, are you suggesting that Sketco is wrong as he thinks Koryu aren't as effective? Cause, really, I gotta say that that is really not the point of why he is wrong. I mean, he is, but that's not why.
  20. Counter Assault

    Counter Assault Valued Member

    Koryu: Hontai Yōshin-ryū

    Founded: Early Edo c.1660

    Location: The Budokwai

    One of Various koryū Jujutsu schools that created Judo, Tenjin Shinyo-ryu is the amalgamation of two separate systems of jujutsu: the Yōshin-ryū and Shin no Shinto-ryu.

    Judo is the current Kitō-ryū official successor.


    The Kata

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjuU3xCRouU&feature=player_embedded"]Hontai Yoshin Nage no kata - YouTube[/ame]
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page