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Steve kelsey
8th May 2010, 21:50
Hi E-Budo Community,

I have just started teaching regular jukendo classes here in the UK and as this is pretty uncommon system I thought it might be of interest to some of you.

I have a web site with some more details: www.jukendo.co.uk

Thanks,

Steve

Kendoguy9
8th May 2010, 23:53
That is a rare one! Good luck to you and your dojo.

Hissho
11th May 2010, 18:57
Steve

Is tankendo also taught as a stand-alone art, or is it part and parcel of jukendo practice?

Do you do paired tanken vs. tanken practice? Any video?

Good Luck with your dojo - your broad experience must make for a lot of interesting connections in your practice.

Kendoguy9
11th May 2010, 19:32
Dear Mr. Kelsey,

Your posted reminded me of a recent translation of the 1909 Kenjutsu Kyohan. The second part of it deals with jukenjutsu. The translation can be found here: http://kenshi247.net/blog/2010/04/19/kenjutsu-kyohan-part-2-jukenjutsu/
I was wondering how different is mordern juken training to the Meiji era training? This is an art we rarely see in the west, and I find it very interesting.

Best regards,

Steve kelsey
11th May 2010, 21:17
Thanks for the follow up posts Christopher and Kit.

Here are some answers and follow up thoughts.

To your questions Kit:

Tankendo is a separate method, from my experience it is often, although not exclusively taught alongside jukendo. Once my students have a good grounding in jukendo, and if willing, I will introduce them to this.

The usual way of practicing is tanken versus tanken. Other combinations of practice are tanken versus juken; this is particularly interesting and all things being equal the tanken usually wins. There is also the combination of juken versus shinai (as in against a kendoka) which is definitely worth seeing and trying.

Sorry Kit I donít have any videos to post.

Christopher your article link was interesting, thanks.

To your question: My feeling is that present day jukendo would be similar to the Meiji era practice but probably now a little more organised regarding syllabus and technique, a little less rugged and probably feels closer to a sport.

Presently the Japanese Self Defence Force train in both jukendo and jukenkakuto (which is a much more realistic combative method of using the fixed bayonet) and I bet that the original jukenjutsu would be closer to this than modern jukendo. However, I havenít researched this and have only had a few conversations with senior jukendo teachers about this topic. Basically there is quite a lot of room for some good research and translation of jukendo and its history into English.

Regards,

Steve

Hissho
11th May 2010, 22:28
Thanks, Steve.

I found some video of all those things on Youtube. Very cool! I like the "grabbin' and stabbin'" stuff - and interesting to see what is patterned in koryu kata come out in a free-fight format.

Hissho
12th May 2010, 15:28
More thoughts/questions:

Is there a "tankenkakuto" as there is jukenkakuto?

It appears they are not allowed to defend with the left hand in the grab and stab in the shiai - is this so?

Steve kelsey
13th May 2010, 08:15
Hi Kit,

I really donít know if the Japanese Self Defence Force do tankenkakuto (if such a thing exists) or any form of applied tankendo. They certainly practice tankendo but I have a feeling that they will not practice dismounted bayonet in the same way as jukenkakuto. This is because although jukendo uses an antiquated rifle length far removed from the length of a modern assault rifle, I would suggest that the basic dynamics of thrusting with the weapon remains the same for both. However, tankendo, due to its length is really short sword practice and less applicable to modern bayonets which are more like knives than swords.

On your second point; in tankendo the left hand (free hand) is supposed to be kept out of the way pressed against the left hip. As you rightly say, it can be used to grab and suppress the opponentís weapon elbow/arm; these are pretty neat moves and can be seen in some schools of Japanese koryu (and most probably old European fencing). However, generally the hand is kept out of way possibly for both martial (stop it getting cut) and stylistic reasons.

Best regards,

Steve

ichibyoshi
14th May 2010, 06:10
Good luck with your new dojo Steve, I've been an avid reader of your articles in Kendo World magazine. Since practising sojutsu I have a greater appreciation of the dynamics of a purely thrusting art.

However, like Kit, I am very curious about tankendo. From the look of that Youtube video from Helsinki there appear to be as many cutting waza in tankendo as thrusting ones. Is there any difference in mindset between using the tanken as a demounted bayonet and using it as a kodachi? How does it play in practice?

b

Steve kelsey
14th May 2010, 08:13
Thanks for the good wishes Ben.

In tankendo there are three basic techniques; two thrusts and one strike. There is a thrusts to the mid section (the do region), a thrust to the throat (node) and lastly a strike or cut to the head (men). The last technique is actually a strike down rather than a proper cut, with the wrist become extended rendering the bayonet more like a baton than a bladed weapon. This is probably because in reality you may not be able to rely on a real working bayonet, being used in the field to open cans, dig holes etc keeping any kind of sharpness that would facilitate slicing techniques, and so being able to bludgeon the opponent around the head or drive the pointed end into the body would be the only kind of realistic techniques available. There is an additional strike/cut to the opponents wrist (kote) but I believe (and could be wrong here) this is not a scoring technique and would usually be followed with a grab or other follow up technique.

Hope that brings some more light and thoughts.

Regards,

Steve

Orpheus
14th May 2010, 13:37
If I may ask, what are the kinds of tactics the tanken uses to close with the juken, as you said they usually win.

Steve Baroody

Steve kelsey
14th May 2010, 17:19
Hi Steve,

I think the tactics for short weapon against long are pretty universal and would consist of getting inside the range of the longer weapon. If you talk to some of the koryu exponents who train with short weapons (although sword versus spear face the same problem) they will have a lot of stuff on this problem with a multitude of techniques of entry etc.

Typically in tankendo the tanken exponent would try to suppress the juken (this is the hard bit) of the other person and enter quickly to stab or strike. Of interest is that the person with the taken is allowed to grab the juken (between the hands of the opponent and not the end) or grab his arm. Once this is achieved then it is game over for the jukendo person.

Regards,

Steve

Orpheus
14th May 2010, 20:44
If the tanken is grabbing the juken's left arm with his left, what does he do first to get around the bayonet? Forgive me if that's a stupid question, but I see some form of luring juken to thrust, and passing it to the left before grabbing. The other question I have is could you describe the basic jukendo footwork? Ellis Amdur said in a blog (if memory serves) that the footwork is different from sojutsu, and I'm interested in the differences.

Steve kelsey
15th May 2010, 14:21
Hi Steve

Not a stupid question but difficult to explain intricate techniques in a forum without the use of diagrams or actual physical demonstration.

Hereís the best I can do:

To enter the tanken will need to suppress the juken end; this will mean making contact and either parrying to the side, down or what is harder, pushing the end of the juken up, and then slipping quickly past and in. The taken exponent can initiate this move or react to a thrust from the juken exponent. And yes in reality there would be a some cat and mouse, faint and counter faint by each exponent. There are a few more variations of technique but not really much more to it than that.

I canít compare jukendo footwork to sojutsu as have no experience in the later. I would guess that the different weights of weapon, different targets and emphasis would mean that there is variation but I donít know what.

Sorry canít be more of a help.

Regards,

Steve

Kendoguy9
15th May 2010, 16:13
Mr. Kelsey,

Thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions. It is very exciting to chat with a jukendoka. You mentioned that the tankendoka can grasp the rifle between the hands or the jukendoka's arm. Are there formal techniques taught to the jukendoka to deal with this situation? The length of the juken is to great to do much damage to someone inside that close. Are there yawara-like techniques he may use? I'm thinking some sort of taiatari? It seems like a last ditch effort, and it might even help the tankendoka to stab him but better than just giving up I guess. In one video I saw of tanken vs. tanken it looked like they were grabbing the bogu as they came in for the thrusts. This looks like very brutal training. I think training like this could help anyone's unarmed budo.

It seems like jukendo/tankendo offers a lot to the student. Too bad it is so rare. Your students are lucky.

Best regards,

Steve kelsey
15th May 2010, 18:39
Hi Christopher,

Please feel free to call me Steve; I am not one for too much formality.

I am enjoying the questions and hope my answers shed some light on jukendo.

In jukendo there is a taiatari technique, which when done in shiai geiko (free practice) can be pretty rough. If the tankodoka grabs your mokoju stopping him stabbing you is going to be pretty difficult. You would, as you rightly suggest, try for some type of taiatari technique. Personally I would also try to put a leg sweep in too for good measure, and would probably get disqualified to boot.

Both tankendo and jukendo can be a little rough and definitely has some edgesto the practice which I think would offer some insight to quite a lot of other systems and methods of training. Now I have my oldest son practicing which will be interesting to see how it develops him.

Best regards,

Steve

Orpheus
18th May 2010, 13:34
Hi Steve,

Would you be willing to describe the basics of jukendo footwork?

Steve Baroody

Kendoguy9
18th May 2010, 16:07
Hi Steve,

Good luck training your son. My Shinkage-ryu teacher has been training his sons since they were six years old. They are both in University now (one is about to graduate). They study Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, Jikishinkage-ryu and Shinto Muso-ryu and are very skilled. They have both been studying a little Daito-ryu with me for the past few years. I've found that they pick up on the unarmed stuff much faster than other people who study with me. They understand the maai very well too, even the close body-to-body stuff. I'm sure jukendo will teach your son to be a very good martial artist.

It looks like the bogu for jukendo is a little different from standard kendo bogu. The tare is laid out diffferent and there is a shoulder guard and extra padding under the do. Do you use the same bogu for tankendo or do you use more standard kendo style bogu?

Best regards,

Steve kelsey
20th May 2010, 02:09
Hi Steve,

Footwork is pretty basic in jukendo. Basically the feet are at right angles to each other, with the front foot facing forward. The thrust is generally lead by a leap forward with your left foot and the right following up close behind, as you land you drive your front hip forward (weight over front foot) and thrust. As you withdraw the thrust you pull you hip back. There are a few variations, including thrusting when moving backwards and to the side, but basically the key to jukendo technique is this forward leap, hip drive and thrust.

Hope that sheds some light.

Hi Christopher,

Regarding my son, despite having about 10 years of judo and a couple of years of Su Don Chenís hsing i and ba gua under his belt, I am hoping that jukendo will develop his appreciation of maai. Already he seems to be getting some increased feeling of this but it will be interesting to see if it becomes part of his martial art DNA.

There are a few differences in bogu for jukendo compared to kendo, as you rightly say the tare is a little different and usually connected to the do, but it is the kata which is the most interesting. This over padded sleeve acts as both protection and the target for most of the techniques. What it also achieves is reducing left arm mobility considerably. In tankendo you donít wear the kata and also you wear a right handed kote compared to the left in jukendo. The final difference is that you can wear a light padded undershirt (sorry name escapes me for moment) under the do in tankendo, which gives some additional protection around the edge of the do including the neck. The upshot of the difference in jukendo and tankendo bogu is that you feel far more unrestricted when doing tankendo, a definite benefit when fighting a jukendoka.

Regards,

Steve

Orpheus
21st May 2010, 15:35
Thanks for the information. In Tomiki aikido, we are told that the jo techniques we practice are derived from use of the juken. To me this makes jukendo kind of fascinating, and I'm also looking into tankendo for similar reasons.

Steve kelsey
23rd May 2010, 19:56
Hi Steve,

Seems there have been a few threads in the past mentioning the influence of jukendo on aikido. From the little aiki jo that I have done, I canít say that I see anything related to jukendo.

Certainly Ueshiba et al had juken experience and this may well have influenced him and others, but from a technical level I donít see anything obvious showing a relationship. However, my other arts have probably influenced my jukendo, even if there is no obvious technical assimilation, so who knows!

Best regards,

Steve

Orpheus
24th May 2010, 15:17
Hi Steve,

It is far less that we include much thrusting with the jo, and more that the disarm techniques, and counter-disarms are taught as having come from jukendo. Only the most basic thrust is taught. The basic set of these in Tomiki aikido are found in the Koryu Dai San Kata. You can view the counter-disarms here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs7qiYsi9xo&feature=related

Apparently, the two-hand grab at the muzzle end is attempting to strip the bayonet off entirely for use on it's owner.

Steve kelsey
25th May 2010, 18:51
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the post and link. I am not convinced that anybody would be able to grab and then strip the bayonet of the rifle. I think that oneís ability to do this, in the heat of the moment, with a potential unknown bayonet locking/fixing method, against a struggling opponent would be less than slim. However, having somebody simply grab oneís bayonet is perhaps more likely and something that could ruin oneís day. If they did happen to grab just the end, then a projection based on superior leverage as per the video may work. Personally I would not recommend grabbing just the end and instead try to grab nearer the hands of better still between the two hands of the bayonet holder, this would effectively equalise any leverage advantage and stop the likelihood of getting a mouth full of rifle butt.

Steve one thing that your post does remind me of is the possibility of the bayonet getting stuck in the body of the opponent due to muscle contraction, suction force or perhaps the most likely, getting jammed between the ribs across the chest. Never actually having done this I am fairly ignorant of this event, but I do understand a little of the theory of how to get the bayonet out. In jukendo this is done through a hard and powerful pull back of the juken utilising oneís body weight as the hips are pulled back. In jukenkatuto I have been told that judicious use of oneís foot against the opponentís body to increase pull can also be used. Not pretty and certainly less art than some systems, but perhaps this illustrates the utilitarian nature of bayonet use, even when adapted as a quasi sport such as jukendo.

Best regards,

Steve

Orpheus
25th May 2010, 19:45
Hi Steve,

Grabbing the end of the rifle isn't taught as the correct technique, just that it's the likely response against a thrust. As you outlined, the correct response is much closer, such as between the hands in front (as you described with the tanken). Here's a clip of the rest of the kata.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuo1RLbZA74&feature=related

The disarming starts at 3:24. These techniques generally strike the throat or eyes, or, they attack the lead arm from underneath. In either case, the objective is to drop the wielder, leaving you with the weapon.

Steve kelsey
25th May 2010, 21:47
Thanks for the clarification Steve.

Grabbing the weapon and then whacking the guy around head is the kind of thing that would appeal to most jukendoka and probably the best kind of kuzushi for setting up some kind of takedown.

The real danger for the jukendoka is always going to be letting someone get inside the guard. What with both your hands kind of stuck to holding the weapon options become a bit limited and its probably a good time to get the hell out of there if it happens.

Regards,


Steve

edg176
27th May 2010, 06:25
Hi Steve,
Great to hear about your new dojo in the UK! I'd love to check it out, but unfortunately I am a couple of oceans away =)

Is there any kind of fundamental movement training that is suggested for jukendo? Any kind of two person drills, pushing/pulling each other?

Best,
Tim

Steve kelsey
30th May 2010, 19:11
Hi Tim,

Thanks for the post. I donít know what I can suggest regarding training if you donít have an experienced partner to work with.

Also jukendo doesnít lend itself well to solo practice, which wouldnít develop much more than some pretty basic elements and more importantly would be pretty boring.

Regards,

Steve

edg176
14th June 2010, 08:43
Hi Steve,
Thanks. I practice something that has a spear aspect, so I was just curious about the kinds of things that you might do in jukendo as conditioning for spear work.

Tim