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Óscar Recio
30th June 2002, 15:10
Hello everybody,
Iīm a new member of the forum and i expect that iīm writting this thread within the correct category; probably can be written on the "Sword Arts" section.
Can anybody explain a little, or a lot, about Katsujin and Satsujin-ken concepts and the conecction with samurai moral and ethics, any relation with modern application of such arts. Forgive me if my question seems foolish...just curious.
Respectfully,
Óscar Recio

Joseph Svinth
30th June 2002, 23:50
Guy Power has a short definition at his website; the specific URL is http://lisajade.com/~guypower/kenshinkan/tameshigiri_notes.html .

BEGIN QUOTE

Katsujin-ken. The "Life-giving Sword." In Japanese swordsmanship there are two philosophies of using the sword. Katsujin-ken is literally the "Life-giving Sword" and embodies all that is righteous: protecting the weak, destroying evil, and cultivating one's own spirit. Conversely, Satsujin-ken is the "Murdering Sword" which takes the lives of the weak, propagates evil, and eventually destroys one's humanity (Dann 1978, Nakamura 1973, Warner and Draeger 1982).

Some purists insist that Satsujin Ken be read as its alternative pronunciation of "satsu-nin toh."

END QUOTE

Yamantaka
1st July 2002, 11:24
Also it should be noted that KATSUJINKEN does not mean the absence of killing but "to kill only in the last instance, to erradicate evil and protect the weak".
Best

Óscar Recio
1st July 2002, 14:07
Thanks for your replies,
I just know a little about such concepts before my posting but iīm interested too if you think that those concepts are "old fashioned" or is just a personal view or option to include or assume them in your study and training. In my Ju Jutsu group started talking about this subject īcos two new students were so "shocked" about talking to donīt perform your techniques unless will be ABSOLUTELY necessary. If you can "evade" a confrontation do it...thereīs no honor in a useless fight. You arenīt a coward just īcos you donīt want to fight...of course if you must do it,do it with all your comittment and decission...adressed to achieve your goal...whatever it will be.
Remembering the words of Takamura Sensei as Threadgill Sensei told me:"(...)a pacifist is not a person who runs out of a fight, he can kill in a blink of an eye but, on the last moment, decides to donīt do it". My question is about the responsability of Martial knowledge, the use of such knowledge or how are you adressing your training. When iīm talking to my students i always talk about it. If you know how to kick, punch, throw or break an arm or leg it doesnīt means that you must do it at 100% of power or speed, it depends on the situation, the people involved...sometimes you only need a little of you knowledge to "finish".
Please, donīt think iīm trying to avoid violence...it is so linked with real life and serious training,just only to know your opinion on regulation and aplication of those concepts within the Martial arts.
Respectfully,
Óscar Recio.

Joseph Svinth
2nd July 2002, 07:19
An easy-to-remember summary of the laws of war, as presented by Marine Corps lawyers during Desert Storm.

1. If you see something that needs to be killed, kill it.
2. If you see something that doesn't need to be killed, don't kill it.
3. If you see someone trying to kill something that doesn't need to be killed, try and stop them.

Yamantaka
2nd July 2002, 10:41
And here we have some thoughts for samurai (or warriors everywhere as our friend Joe states...) :

"A MORAL CODE :
INTEGRITY - It is to take decisions without doubts;
COURAGE - It is to act with justice;
GENTLENESS - It is to respect others;
SINCERITY - it is to act without hiding one's true feelings;
NON-ATTACHMENT - it is to act without aiming for profit;
HONOUR - it is to keep one's words;
FEALTY - it is to keep one's ideals to the very end;
MODESTY - it is to talk about oneself without pride;
RESPECT - without respect, no trust can exist. Without trust, no teaching can be given or taken;
SELF CONTROL - it is to keep a hold over one's emotions;
FRIENDSHIP - it is the purest of human sentiments." Translated from the italian, author unknown)

And

"THE GOAL OF TRAINING IN MARTIAL ARTS :

It is to overcome 6 kinds of diseases -
- The desire for victory;
- The desire to rely on technical cunning;
- The desire to show-off;
- The desire to psychologically overwhelm the opponent;
- The desire to remain passive in order to wait for an opening; and
- The desire to become free of those diseases. (Yagyu Munenori-Samurai)"

Best

Jeff Hamacher
3rd July 2002, 02:25
by coincidence, i'm in the middle of reading Heiho Kadensho, so i thought i'd add a comment or two to the mix.

according to the transcription i have, the chapter titles are read Setsunintou and Katsuninken. the explanation from Guy's website is a little off the mark: the ideographs for tou (also read katana) and ken (also read tsurugi) are entirely different. tou and ken are not alternative readings of the same ideograph. however, this is only what i gather from this copy of Munenori's "book", and other schools of swordsmanship or other treatises on japanese martial arts may use different terminology. and as Guy knows too well, i've been wrong before ... :D

the other parts of the explanation seem to line up with what i'm reading. the principle of katsuninken is not simply to kill, but to wipe out evil. the wielder of the sword must act with a moral imperative or they ignore the Way of Heaven (Tendou, as Munenori puts it). to borrow Munenori's words (in my hamfisted translation):

"because of one person's evil (ways), ten thousand may well suffer. however, to strike down one person's evil is to spare the lives of ten thousand. indeed, the sword ("katana") that takes life must surely become the sword ("tsurugi") that spares life."

[Yagyu Munenori (footnotes by Watanabe Ichirou): Heihou Kadensho. Iwanami Shoten, 1985. p. 20.]

in response to your comment about avoiding violence, Oscar, i hardly think that you need to apologize. "victory without fighting" is one of the highest ideals to which students of martial arts can aspire. violence may be part of life, but there's no need for us to add to the present level of violence. military engagements are quite another matter, but i think that everyday life can proceed quite nicely without physical conflict. fighting techniques are really only a last resort.

Óscar Recio
3rd July 2002, 11:14
Sorry,
I havenīt explained my point ov view correctly or properly on my last post...sorry Jeff. I agree with you with "victory without fighting" principle and physical confrontations as a last option. In my post i only suggested that itīs difficult to avoid the violence existing in real life and that wont be forgotten in serious training...thatīs all..Iīm not trying to justify violence or add an agressive view of Martial Arts in my post; watching TV itīs enough to add violence to your day. As i said in my post:
"donīt perform your techniques unless will be ABSOLUTELY necessary. If you can "evade" a confrontation do it...thereīs no honor in a useless fight. You arenīt a coward just īcos you donīt want to fight..."
When i teach in the Dojo the first technique i explain to my students is:"run 100 meters in 8.2 seconds" the second one is "money canīt pay your scars so i know that will be disgusting to loose the money that youīve earned in a hard day of work but money is just money" and at the third principle "if you canīt avoid a fight, īcos youīve ran away, gave the money...fight with all your efforts īcos the other person only wants to hurt you". Fight only when itīs absolutely necessary. I donīt want "thugs" in my Ju Jutsu group so i donīt teach how to be "Jean Claude van Damme" but to deal with real situations.
Sorry if somebody missunderstood my words. Keep trying to improve my English, i always know what i want to say but not how to translate it properly...keep on trying.
Thanks Jeff and everybody.
Respectfully,
Óscar Recio
:smilejapa

ghp
3rd July 2002, 16:35
Hello Jeff!


the explanation from Guy's website is a little off the mark: the ideographs for tou (also read katana) and ken(also read tsurugi) are entirely different. tou and ken are not alternative readings of the same ideograph.

Well, that was very kind to say I was "a little off mark." :D You are absolutely correct, I was dead wrong. The kanji for ken/tsurugi is different than the kanji for toh/katana.

A slip o' the calligraphy brush, wot? :p I can only guess that I had a severe case of the "dumb-as" (i.e., "dumb as dirt") when I wrote that.

Thanks for the correction.

Oh, and Yamantaka is correct when he says,

KATSUJINKEN does not mean the absence of killing but "to kill only in the last instance, to erradicate evil and protect the weak".

Regards,
Guy

Jeff Hamacher
4th July 2002, 00:40
Oscar,

i should be the one apologizing for not reading everything in your post clearly. your english skills aren't the problem!:)

i agree wholeheartedly with your teaching and training philosophy. it reminds me of the famous dictum that Richard Price, another E-Budo member, has used in his signature: "if you desire peace, prepare for war" (sorry, don't recall the latin exactly). it might be difficult for some people to understand, but just because we train in "fighting techniques" doesn't mean we're all hell-bent on wreaking wanton violence.

Guy,

glad you dropped in! the blurb from your website which Joe posted here is quite enlightening; i really ought to take the time to read some of the sources you cite. take care and read you later.

Óscar Recio
4th July 2002, 08:40
Jeff,
You donīt need to apologize...really. Thanks for all.
The latin translation, as i remember, is:
"Si vis pacem para bellum":idea:
I thinks itīs just like this.
Best Regards,
Óscar Recio
:p

captlid
8th September 2002, 00:07
"THE GOAL OF TRAINING IN MARTIAL ARTS :

It is to overcome 6 kinds of diseases -
- The desire for victory;
- The desire to rely on technical cunning;
- The desire to show-off;
- The desire to psychologically overwhelm the opponent;
- The desire to remain passive in order to wait for an opening; and
- The desire to become free of those diseases. (Yagyu Munenori-Samurai)"

I agree with all the above except for the bolded one. Whats wrong with phsycologically overwhelming an opponent. isnt having the mental edge in a fight just as important as physical skills?

thanx

lidia chachanashvili

Joseph Svinth
8th September 2002, 12:09
I think the reference is to taking this desire to dominate to extremes.

An example. Think of all those James Bond movies. Rather than simply shooting Bond and getting it over with, the villains invariably give long explanations and then introduce some fancy way of executing him. Meanwhile, Bond uses the time to escape.

kusanku
16th September 2002, 08:38
Or like Dr. Evil and Austin Powers.'I will now use an elaborate and excessively time-consuming method of execution and leave, so that you and whatever female agent you are currently paired with have ample time to ascape death, because this is the way we evil supervillains do things, to paraphrase the script.Right:D

falang gwai
21st November 2003, 21:40
Originally posted by Joseph Svinth
I think the reference is to taking this desire to dominate to extremes.

Taking this form of ego-gratification to extremes one inevitably becomes a bully, ne?

Anyone ever meet a bully-slash-zen-master?

No? Then it's probably a wrong turn to be avoided in training.

allan
23rd November 2003, 20:01
Mr Recio,

You may want to read Ellis Amdur's book DUELLING WITH O-SENSEI if you have the opportunity. He goes into the most interesting investigation of this paradox that I have yet to read.

www.ellisamdur.com
Here you will find the information for ordering his book if you don't already have it.

Regards,

Óscar Recio
28th November 2003, 13:16
Thank you guys, really...but....
If you just look to the date of my original post...is from 2002!!!!!!!!!!last year!!!!!!!!!
Thank you anyway...
Óscar