Probably a stupid question, but....

Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by komuso, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. komuso

    komuso Valued Member

    Hi all,

    I have just done the epic flight from Australia to Europe, part of the joy of which was watching a load of movies. What looked like a fairly schlocky Japanese movie called "Ballad" kind of caught my eye. It is set in feudal Japan, and has a few fight/ battle scenes which looked quite different to the standard choregraphed fare.

    Particularly interesting was a fight between two lines of spearmen, where the tactic wasn't the sort of 'push of pikes' thrusting that I was expecting, but they basically belted each other on the top of the head and shoulders until the line started to break up, and then lowered to a horizontal guard and strated thrusting.

    Was I watching Koryu or just some odd movie-fu?


  2. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter


    If you could find the Japanese title, that would help a little.
  3. komuso

    komuso Valued Member


    I am way too e-challenged to actually type the characters, but I have the link for the movie's Japanese website for you. from the sounds of things it was pretty big over there late last year,

    I tried hunting for the name of the choreographer but failed...


  4. Josh Reyer

    Josh Reyer New Member

    Haven't seen the movie, don't know the choreographer, and suspect that even if it was meant to be done realistically there was still a bit of movie-fu in there, but your description matches up with what I've read of Japanese battlefield spearwork.

    Per Yagyu Toshinaga, 20th soke of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, in his book "Shoden Shinkage-ryu", against other spearmen, the spearman would strike from above on the head and shoulders. Because of their armor, warriors were top heavy. To keep from being knocked down, their "intent" would rise up, as would their center of gravity, in order to protect from upper attacks. The spearman would then thrust, spearing the foe and/or knocking him down.

    For reference, [ame=""]here's[/ame] a clip of Hozoin-ryu Sojutsu. Notice how pretty much all the kata involve a strike from above, defending a strike from above, or vying for control of the space above the two practitioners. Often, one of them approaches maai with a kind of spear jodan -- the spear pointed high in order to strike from above.
  5. komuso

    komuso Valued Member

    Thanks Josh,

    that would definately explain what I saw, the fight choreography for the film was a lot 'rougher' looking than usual, which was what triggered my initial interest. Thanks for the clip and explanation,


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