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Benjamin Peters
22nd October 2002, 06:45
Koryu Jujutsu has no doubt changed over the time it has existed.

What is your opinion on changing Jujutsu now to fit more relevant scenarios?

Do you train the traditional way, then train in applications (ie more relevant scenarios)? If so, why not just train the practical way?

Cady Goldfield
22nd October 2002, 17:11
What would be your idea of "modern applications"? Using broken bottles and hunting knives instead of tessen and tanto? ;)

Would the scenario change from being seated on tatami in the daimyo's court, to being seated in a subway car in NYC?

Would the attire of the opponents be thick leather motorcycle jackets and engineer boots instead of linked metal and leather armor?

Beyond those factors, would human anatomy be any different "now" than it was "then"?

Meynard Ancheta
22nd October 2002, 19:32
No human anatomy wouldn't be any different. So what's the point of wearing silly costumes?

elder999
22nd October 2002, 19:59
As a more serious reply, Cady, no human anatomy hasn't changed significantly, but the human condition and societal conditions have. Japan, even modern Japan, is a somewhat homogenous society. Ours is not. There are a wider variety of physical types and a wider variety of street crimes. Women must train-unarmed!- against physical assault from a larger, stronger person, something that was not typically done in feudal Japan, as just one example.
While there are any number of modern situations that ancient strategy can be applied to, these require some thought and discernment as well,i.e."How would you defend yourself seated on a subway train?Is the train in motion?At rest?Could you use that pole for anything?What should your first action be?"
Modern attire can be just as restrictive, and sometimes as protective as ancient armor, and one must train for this as well. That seiken to the solar plexus that so many karate instructors(and a few jujutsu schools) are fond of will not have much effect against lots of men when they are wearing their winter jackets, and a seionage becomes really difficult in spiked heels.
In anwer to the original question:I think we should train in both ways. We train in the modern way because the age in which we live requires that we reapply these ancient teachings to new surroundings.
We train in the ancient way because it imparts valuable principles that have relevance for modern use, even if the scenario does not, and because they are where the "art" of "martial arts" comes in. Who cares if we are never going to be kneeling on tatami in our daimyo's castle? It's pretty!

Cady Goldfield
22nd October 2002, 23:24
In anwer to the original question:I think we should train in both ways. We train in the modern way because the age in which we live requires that we reapply these ancient teachings to new surroundings.
We train in the ancient way because it imparts valuable principles that have relevance for modern use, even if the scenario does not, and because they are where the "art" of "martial arts" comes in. Who cares if we are never going to be kneeling on tatami in our daimyo's castle? It's pretty!

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Aaron. The above sums up my own thoughts. It means naturalizing the principles we learn by using our ingenuity to apply them to present circumstances. To me, the "modern way" means not getting bound up in using ritualized attacks in ritualized positions.

Also (and perhaps primary in importance), learning the principles of the arts is at the heart of it all. The danger is in getting trapped in knowing only techniques, rather than principles. Once principles are learned, they can be adapted to myriad applications and expressions. Principles are timeless and fluid.

At the same time, many of us who practice koryu or classical arts enjoy the traditions we have "inherited" with the ryu. As Aaron says, "it looks pretty." Personally, I don't care for hakama; maybe because as a female, I've seen skirts and coulottes as hindrances to movement when compared to trousers. But I do like knowing where the arts came from, why certain things were done in certain situations, what the old applications were for, etc. And, there is a beauty and elegance to some of the old ways that our modern culture seems to lack. Whatever. I just enjoy the "ancientness" of it all. :)