Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei Iaido

Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by Smitfire, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I'm glad I started this thread.
    I was tempted not to as I thought I might be asking a stupid question.
    As an outsider it seemed to me that "creating" Seitei in the 20th century went against what people see as a strength of Koryu arts (namely that it was faithfully transmitted over the generations).
    I've got a much better idea of where it sits now cheers.
  2. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    There have been a few gendai JSA made over the years, but I think the success of ZenKenRen iai has been it's koryu roots. The fact that some of the senior ZNKR guys are also heavily involved in their respective koryu has been a factor as well.

    Yeah, the 'technique must be correct', but there is a massive emphasis on the application too.

    Oh, and there are no stupid questions, just stupid Yorkshiremen. :D
  3. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I can agree with that. I'm from London orginally. :) :)
  4. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Valued Member

    Yeah, I think that's pretty fair.

    I've known Seitei teachers who maintain this, but also quite a few who don't... and really are almost doing "dancing with swords". I've also come across some who were taught by the "dances with swords" teachers, and are trying to come up with combative reasoning for some waza, without understanding them... and coming up with some rather weird things... so I think it's inherent in the teachers themselves, if it's there. And the closer the teacher is to Koryu, the more likely the Seitei is to have a real combative mindset and approach.

    Yep, agreed completely.

    Oh, there is something that I'm only just holding myself back from saying here... ha! Once more, agreed, Scott!
  5. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    ZNKR seitei iai was developed for kendoka to get reaquainted with using a real sword in lieu of a yotsuwari-shinai or a bokuto. It helped teach them how to cut properly using centrifugal force, gripping the hilt of the weapon and all of the proper cultural mannerisms that are aquainted with using a Japanese sword.

    It was formulated by koryu teachers to ensure that authentic technique was taught and practiced, but as I wrote above, was only really intended for kendoka with minimal exposure to classical Japanese sword arts.

    A number of people say that the ZNKR seitei iai set is a good primer for learning iai. That nowadays is how it operates. Prior to the formulation of the seitei iai set, people just did the shoden/omote techniques from their respective ryuha.

    Shoden (初伝) means first transmission/teaching - The fundamentals. In a ryuha, these are the most important teachings of the tradition. The bread and butter techniques so to speak. Prior to the ZNKR seitei iai, this is what was drilled again and again and again, ad infinitum. The shoden/omote of a ryuha teaches the mindset, mannerisms, movements and basic techniques of a tradition.

    Having the ZNKR Seitei taught in koryu iai as a shoden to the shoden is akin to having the ZNKR kendo no kata taught as a primer to something like Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu kenjutsu - Totally different in mannerisms, style and attitude and unnecessary to the development of the student learning the koryu in question.

    I learned the old way; I went to the dojo and learned the shoden/omote of the koryu I asked to become a member of. ZNKR Seitei or ZNIR Toho never really came up.
  6. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Actually I agree to a certain degree - but I believe that this is now out of date.

    Seitei iai has, over the past few years, evolved to match koryu mindset. I cannot speak for some iai ryuha that are practiced under the ZNKR umbrella such as Tamiya-ryu, Shinkage-ryu, Suio-ryu etc, but IMHO, how ZenKenRen seitei iai is taught at BKA and EKF events suit the Muso ryuha practice perfectly.

    I would be as bold to say that seitei iai is becoming tainted by koryu, and I'm fine with that. It is an evolving art, and it suits this evolution perfectly.

    If it was the other way round (seitei tainting koryu), this would be unacceptable - although I am sure it has happened in the past. Fortunately, the strong connections we have with our Japanese teachers who are avid koryu exponents are helping to avoid this too.
  7. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    That's one of the problems Scott, Seitei has tainted koryu. Only when you have done koryu iai without the seitei and have then seen koryu iai practitioners who have done seitei prior to them starting koryu do you really see the difference. There are a lot of dojo in Japan that show this.

    There are lines of Hoki-ryu that now have a seitei type noto. If they don't do the kata in a certain designated way as directed by their ZNKR branch head who has nothing to do with the ryuha at all, they don't pass their dan grade shinsa.

    Some ryuha don't prescribe to the big "fishing cast" furikaburi that is prevalent in the ZNKR Seitei, but the ryuha that are members of the ZNKR have "adapted" to it. So it has kind of poisoned the well.

    This goes for foreigners and Japanese. It's seeing the forest for the trees; They don't know about the changes because the next generation have been taught the changes without knowing the original source material.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  8. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    That may be true in some circumstances, I don't think it is as bad as you think.

    I have compared my MJER with others who do not practice seiteigata and have a completely separate bloodline - and other than minor waza differences, there is little to choose between the two.
  9. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    Well you make an effort to seperate the seitei from the koryu from your experience.

    That's the big difference I believe;

    A lot of people in iai don't know what to seperate or how to seperate such things.
  10. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Cheers dude.

    The good news is - seitei, given the right mentality, will have its' problems ironed out over time.
  11. Kogusoku

    Kogusoku 髭また伸びた! Supporter

    That's what was said about Frankenstein's monster....

    In essence seitei is a Frankenstein's monster in its own right; Kata from various ryuha all bolted together without the ryuha's specific mannerisms, kiai etc.

    Soete-tsuki & shiho-giri in the seitei are from Hoki-ryu. Hoki-ryu does kakegoe-kiai in their iai.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012

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