Koryu: Techniques only

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

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  1. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    Yes, I see that now, thanks.

    "Technical aspects" = pure techniques. Locks, strikes, kamae, etc. What's contained in the kata, I suppose, though I say that because of context clues in other posts. I've no personal experience with Koryu.

    By way of example- when I was preparing to move to GA from VA ages ago, I was looking for places to train martial arts, one of which promoted "traditional" Japanese martial arts. After exchanging e-mails with the instructor, he claimed he wouldn't teach me because I wanted to train with him concurrently with a more progressive system, and said something to the effect that I wasn't "dedicating [myself] to learning" his material.

    I'm wondering how common that attitue is. I'm a martial mongrel, and while I respect and enjoy all the martial arts I've trained over the years, I train to better my understanding of martial arts, not to preserve someone else's tradition. Now I'm not the sort of guy who goes into a Goju-Ryu karate class talking about how great my Wing Chun experience was, or goes into a BJJ class talking about how Catch Wrestling does things- I go there to learn what's being taught, and unless I need technical clarification, I keep my mouth shut. But, would the Koryu community frown on someone who, like me, would only want to attend classes in order to focus on how the techniques could be used for a practical purpose?
  2. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Depends on the ryu. They each have a unique culture and attitudes towards cross-training. Most koryu practitioners I know personally study more than one, actually. Most are secretive, and all are concerned primarily with their own survival. I can say your focus won't be a priority for any of them, though some might allow it. Some are culturally quite adaptive, and for example, allow members with tatoos, which was unheard of a while back.

    Best regards,

  3. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    My post points out a reason why his argument was flawed, not necessarily the only reason. Koryu can be as effective or ineffective as any other martial art. That would depend on how the particular practitioner applied what they know in whatever situation they found themselves in. Koryu is only about preservation is an argument I hear a lot and don't agree with. Clearly that is one important aspect, but why preserve something that wasn't effective? That's a trick question because they weren't trying to preserve something that was ineffective or just for the heck of it. To argue otherwise is to ignore a bit about the Japanese character and a lot about Japanese history and culture. The same thing can be seen in other traditional arts.
  4. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    No, nothing at all. It's called youtube.
  5. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Your opinion is very Western and kind of irrelevant to the reality of how koryu are practiced and propagated.
  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    Except that was not the point of why Sketco was wrong. His stance was that combative effectiveness (in the here and now) was the only real value of a martial art, not that what is taught isn't effective. You basically agreed with his premise (which was wrong) by saying that Koryu are effective, combatively, even though no-one had said anything to the contrary.

    But to address the issues with your post here, you feel that the argument that Koryu are primarily concerned with preservation of their Ryu is one you don't agree with? Well, that just shows that you don't have much of a clue here either. As far as "why preserve something that isn't effective", as you're buying into Sketco's take on what "effectiveness" is, there are plenty of reasons. The main one being that there are other reasons for the aspects that aren't "combatively effective" to be there, such as the Hojo sets for Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage Ryu, which is there for spiritual development, as well as teaching breathing and balance concepts integral to the Ryu... however the sets are certainly not there for combat effectiveness. There's the Muko and Marui methods of Tatsumi Ryu, the fundamental methods of their Batto approach, which teach the basic precepts of Tatsumi Ryu, but aren't necessarily combatively the best.

    So while nothing is preserved "for the heck of it", you're really missing the point of why they are preserved, what is preserved, and the mentality of that preservation.

    There are again a number of issues in the rest of this post, most of all that you're seeming to discuss Bujinkan as if it's Koryu... in addition to you missing what Kobudo (Genbukan, by the way, not Bujinkan unless I'm mistaken... that does change a lot in this area) was saying. For example, his reference of Hayes was as a hypothetical case-study, not a statement of fact (regarding Hayes' training and current approach). Then with the comments of what Shoden Menkyo means (again, in Ryu taught and authorised in the Genbukan, RP, not the Bujinkan), as Kobudo is absolutely right, under the authority of Tanemura Sensei, who awarded him the Shoden Menkyo, he is able to teach up to that level... and the Genbukan isn't the only place that happens. There are a range of Koryu that allow you to teach at that point, or open a training hall... and before that, you can get permission to run a study group. Some require a Chuden Menkyo (or equivalent), and some only let you teach when you're a Menkyo Kaiden (or equivalent) holder... and then again, some don't even really allow it then, leaving only one or two designated persons with the authority to teach.

    Seriously, you might want to understand that your take on things is far from the only one, and far from always the correct one. You might want to look outside your own area if you're going to try telling people who are in different organisations what they are or aren't authorised to do. Some may consider that rather arrogant. And seriously, how do you have any idea of the reality of how Koryu are practiced and propagated? You seem to be off in your ideas every single time.... especially as Kobudo is a lot closer than you are.
  7. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    You think that's what's contained in the kata? Nope. That's how what's contained in the kata is expressed and transmitted....

    Well, if the aim of your teaching is to keep what you're passing on pure and uncorrupted by other approaches, you might understand why such an attitude can be taken.

    It's not about keeping your mouth shut, though. It's about habits from one art creeping into the one he'd be trying to instill in you, altering and corrupting the art he's teaching. Again, Koryu aren't about you, the practitioner, it's about the Ryu itself.

    I honestly don't know anyone who trains in Koryu that would think much of that approach, really. It's those outside of them that think of the "techniques"... that's really not what the Ryu is about. It'd be like turning up at ballroom dancing classes in order to learn how to dance, so you can enter a breakdancing competition. In other words, you could try it, but it'd be pointless.
  8. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Ah, the old Chris is back.

    Okay, so a real case example would be Sugino Sensei, not SKH and not the Wizard of Oz.
  9. Counter Assault

    Counter Assault Valued Member

    Hey if the history of the koryu is so important why do i think it was part of judo and have to find out on the internet?

    lol not that important i dont think than being taught the kata!
  10. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    Actually, I never left. There just wasn't anything that I saw that was worth posting on.

    By posting as you did, you accepted the premise of his argument, when the problem was that his argument's premise was flawed from the outset. That was the issue. And again, no-one stated that the martial techniques of Koryu weren't effective... not even Sketco. So you were really arguing a false argument against no-one. Do try to keep up.

    The primary concern in training in a Koryu is preservation of the Ryu. End of story. The particular Ryu then has it's own set of values and concerns, but that's not what's being discussed. Again, you're simply off base. Any ideas of effectiveness are only in context of the Ryu and it's teachings, and the preservation of such. For instance, if you're learning a particular form of swordsmanship, making your waza as effective as you can within the kata itself is highly valued in many Ryu-ha, but the idea of just being able to simply "beat" someone isn't. Try again.

    You know, every now and then I wonder about your ability to read things correctly, as you miss nuances within phrasings fairly regularly (case in point being Kobudo's usage of Hayes), such as here. By saying you are "buying into it", I'm saying that you are accepting the premise he offered. Which you did.

    Attempt to impress? Impress who? I offered specific examples that support my arguments, RP, as opposed to offering vague statements that seem to imply a level of knowledge that frankly isn't present.

    But you know what? Perhaps you should go back and read the thread this time. Sketco's entire idea was that anything that wasn't immediately applicable to combatively effective actions and generating success in a fight isn't needed. Not that what was taught in that way wasn't effective, he was saying that the history aspects, the traditions and so on weren't needed for Koryu. You then decided to "school" him by basically agreeing with his views and showing him that the methods of combat were effective... which he hadn't argued against. Now you're saying it doesn't matter what else is in a Ryu, there are combatively effective methods taught as well... really, you've missed the entire discussion here.

    Wow, are you missing it all. You're arguing something that wasn't being argued against (but, for the record, contextually you're wrong), with nothing ever shown for any support as to where you could have come up with any of these ideas from. So any questions.... sure! How about what Ryu you have experience in, how much experience do you have in them, and what makes you feel we should take what you say as informed? You know, the questions you keep dodging.

    Er... yes, you were. You were discussing from the premise of Hayes and his training in Japan, what level he got to, and so on. The point is that that is really not relevant in a discussion on Koryu here, so most of your post to Kobudo is really pointless.

    Which really isn't anything to do with a discussion of Koryu here... and you missed the way Kobudo used Hayes.

    Go ahead and start it. Not really much relevance here.

    So no actual answer to my argument showing your misunderstandings there, just this pithy comment as a way to have the last word? Shocking.

    No, that's really nothing like what you did. What you did was more like a person on a pushbike telling someone in a car they should be wearing a helmet... you were talking from an outside perspective without any real acknowledgement of the context. The speeding analogy is completely false. And your point was wrong.


    Yeah, missed you too. I notice you still haven't learnt to quote properly.

    Hmm, what do you know of Sugino Sensei then? I know what I know, but this has me curious...

    Koryu is part of the history of Judo, not the other way around. And specific Koryu at that. I'd say you got things rather backward from the get-go.

  11. Counter Assault

    Counter Assault Valued Member

    No, you misunderstand.

    Look at the top of the page it says

    "Occasionally people have told me that they are studying such and such a koryu. Often they have no contact with the hombu etc and what they mean is that they are learning the kata, but not the culture of the ryu."

    Now i dont know what a hombu is but i think the main point is that if your learning the kata but not the history your not understanding the ryu, the techniques (waza, bunkai and riai) and the mindset.

    So my point is that if the history the mindset and the ryu is so important,
    instead of just learing the actual kata why isnt it being taught surely thats a failure in communication when as i understood it in my first post i said

    "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."

    But now you says its a compleatly seperate lineage.

    But now you who are learning ninjitsu in australia know more about it than i do who is actually learning it.

    So how do you know that they are both important to learn together?
  12. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    Okay, let's look at this again, then.

    Yes, I've read the OP a couple of times.

    The Hombu is the main/head dojo, the central location of the Ryu. Learning the history is part of learning and being part of the larger community, which is what the Ryu actually is.

    Huh? In terms of Koryu, where isn't it being taught? The OP was talking about people who think they are training in a Koryu, but are only learning/training in physical techniques. Are you saying that you think Judo is Koryu now?

    Yeah, I read your copy-and-paste, and frankly it didn't seem largely relevant to anything here. I'm still not sure what relevance you think it has.

    The clip you posted was Hontai Yoshin Ryu. It has absolutely no connection to Judo, Tenjin Shin'yo Ryu, Akayama Yoshin Ryu, and related arts. And I said that straight away, you may note.

    Please. I train in more than just Ninjutsu (with a "u", by the way), including having some experience with Hontai Yoshin Ryu, as well as another line of that Ryu (Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu) being in our system as well. And, honestly, from going through your posts, I've known a lot more about this area than you for a large number of years now....

    Besides, you haven't said which art you're learning... is it Hontai Yoshin Ryu, or Tenjin Shin'yo Ryu? You've been asking about both. And how long have you been learning it (if it's Hontai Yoshin Ryu, I'm going to predate you by quite a few years).

    I really don't know what you're trying to ask here. Perhaps if you put some context? Important to learn what together? The history with the techniques?
  13. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    This ^

    Then this:


    Let's just put things in perspective.

  14. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Sorry for the delay.

    There can be more in the kata than just the techniques, if we are counting such things as simply being the physical ways of manipulating someone.

    However take what I say with a pinch of salt, it's going to be just my thoughts and ideas which no doubt will change and have a good chance of being off the mark.

    Cross training in different koryu is a tricky thing because, as I see it, they aim to change the way you move, think and apply their teachings and having multiple systems can cause a crash of ideas or application during the learning process.

    There's probably also various cultural and historical aspects to take into consideration with this. If you are in a way giving someone access to a cultural asset that has been preserved you need to make sure they will treat it correctly and not damage it.

    Although saying that as I understand it in Japan you get many kenjutsu exponents training in kendo to or jujutsu practioners doing judo.

    The idea though, i think, is that's their personal study and doesn't cross over into their koryu training although both may be beneficial to the other.

    Depends on the ryu-ha, some are more open than others some have different expectations. I think that probably as long as you go and study as you are supposed to and abide by the rules then how you integrate it into your personal style might not matter.

    As has been said though their preservation is paramount.

    I work my koryu training into my personal training, playing with how atemi or strategy might fit into a self defence situation, working on atemi from a fence for example but that's for me and not in the Dojo.

    Problem here is you can't just say Koryu is X. Yes it has certain characteristics and now has certain goals but you will find variation depending on the ryu-ha.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  15. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Perhaps because you are clueless?

    You seem to be confused.

    I don't think the discussion has centred on history.

    It's been an aspect but is only a part. Certain historical incidents have impacted on how the principles of some ryu-ha have chosen to transmit their material or what has been seen as being important.

    There are certain elements within the history of one of the schools I study that help impart certain information which relates to waza or approach, mindset etc

    Simply turning up and going through the motions of kata means you miss so much of the ryu-ha.
  16. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Yes, you are back. The inability to read, the arrogance in your tone, and the lack of self-reflection, but anyway.

    As always, it's been....
  17. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    I think it worth reiterating or clarifying.

    I feel what we are discussing isn't centred around saying "things don't change" because is some ways they do. Anyone who's spent even the smallest time training in these arts will probably be able to think of instances.

    What we are saying is that the ryu-ha is protected by maintaining the integrity of its history, traditions and combative principles but the doesn't mean it isn't possible to bring them in to one's practice today. However it's not like I'm going train iai to be used in self defence in the same way it once was meant but it might mean I can apply some of the lessons found within the skill set in other ways, obviously there are areas better suited such as jujutsu.

    In someways this is keeping the ryu-ha alive too but it doesn't mean we change our practice in the dojo or what we learn, it requires knowledge enough so that you don't stray from the ryu-ha and its teachings. Else it ceases to be that ryu-ha, IMO.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  18. Counter Assault

    Counter Assault Valued Member

    How do you learn about those then?
  19. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Learn about what?
  20. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    First step is to avoid asking inane questions on internet fora, and instead use that time that you've been wasting to train in a legitimate koryu art. After sufficient training, all will become clear. Until that time, you are doomed to remain clueless.
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