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hakuda
20th January 2003, 01:21
I've noticed that there are more American instructors of koryu claiming some signifigant rank within that ryu. From outward appearances they teach arts that appear old and claim lineage of 1 or 2 instructors of Asian decent. How would we as general Americans know the difference between what we are told is koryu and true koryu? I have done a little digging on my own behalf and discovered that it appears in the form of quality and not quantity. I'm amazed at the schools claiming enrollment of 50 or more students. How many are full time students they don't say and may well include drifters as well. It seems the true koryu instructors try to guide their students and not try to get their students to emulate their every move and action. Unfortunatly, it appears that the latter is more common.

Just looking for some thoughts or experiences that anyone has had. I have been very fortunate to have an instructor to teach as well as guide me down the martial path, knowing just when to let me walk on my own and not try to control my every step. Also, do you believe an American or European instructor is able to relate the intricacies of a koryu art the way a Japanese or other Asian instructor may?

Charles Mahan
20th January 2003, 19:08
Originally posted by hakuda
I've noticed that there are more American instructors of koryu claiming some signifigant rank within that ryu. From outward appearances they teach arts that appear old and claim lineage of 1 or 2 instructors of Asian decent. How would we as general Americans know the difference between what we are told is koryu and true koryu?


Do the research. Get online and check out your instructors claims. Outright quacks can usually be spotted pretty quickly. A real instructor is going to be able to give you their training history the first time you ask. They will not usually be offended. Real instructors know there are quacks and know why the questions are being asked. Once you have the answers go online and see what everyone thinks.



Just looking for some thoughts or experiences that anyone has had. I have been very fortunate to have an instructor to teach as well as guide me down the martial path, knowing just when to let me walk on my own and not try to control my every step. Also, do you believe an American or European instructor is able to relate the intricacies of a koryu art the way a Japanese or other Asian instructor may? [/B]

Yes. Assuming they were taught the intricacies from someone who knew them. There are a handful of MJER Seitokai instructors in the US who were trained in Japan. I have been fortunate enough to train under one of them for the last 5 years. I have also been fortunate enough to train under some visiting Japanese instructrs so I have at least some basis for comparison. It isn't a matter of ethnicity. It is a matter of experience. There happen to be more quality Japanese instructors than there are American instructors, but that is because of geography not ethnicity. I think the American MJER instructors are just as qualified to pass on the intricacies of the ryu as their Japanese counterparts so long as they continue their studies and contact with their sempai and sensei in Japan.

hakuda
21st January 2003, 17:08
Thanks for the reply. I did check out my instructor and found total credibility. Just thought I would bring up a thought of Asian instructors vs. non-Asian. I also believe that a quality instructor would not be offended by someone checking up on his credentials.