View Full Version : Where can I learn more about Jigen ryu and Yagyu ryu kenjutsu?
12-03-2000, 10:15 AM
I have heard of the Jigen school's power in their attacks, and I just have heard things here and there about Yagyu ryu. If anyone knows of a good book resource or a web site, please let me know. Thank you!
12-04-2000, 02:31 PM
A. Timberlake wrote: "I have heard of the Jigen school's power in their attacks, and I just have heard things here and there about Yagyu ryu. If anyone knows of a good book resource or a web site, please let me know. Thank you!"
Technically speaking, there's no such thing as Yagyu-ryu at this point in time -- it's been extinct since the late Edo period. If you're referring to (Yagyu) Shinkage-ryu, there are lots of people doing that, mainly in Japan (natch), as well as in the U.S., but there are no really good books or videotapes available. After all, what can one learn from a tape or a book if one isn't already receiving instruction in a particular art from a qualified teacher?
I think the best English-language books on stuff related to the (Yagyu) Shinkage-ryu are: 1) *The Unfettered Mind*, by Takuan Soho (tr. by William Scott Wilson), a good rendering of "Fudochi shimmyoroku," "Taiaki" and one other text (that escapes me at the moment), and 2) *The Sword and the Mind*, by Yagyu Munenori (tr. by Hiroaki Sato), which is basically a treatment of the *Heiho kadensho* by Yagyu Munenori, and the *Shinrikyo*, by Yagyu Sekishusai. Again, I can't recall if there's a third text in that book.
*The Unfettered Mind* is probably the best English language translation of *Fudochi shimmyoroku* that I've seen, though it's questionable as to how much one can really understand it unless they are actually training in a classical martial art. *The Sword and the Mind* isn't bad for its technical explanation, as far as it goes, but Sato is not himself an exponent of the ryu and therefore misses several important points, stuff only Shinkage-ryu people can understand from the context of their own training (in my unhumble opinion). Still, if you want to look at it from the outside, it's not that bad. Hey, it was hard enough to follow Yagyu S. when he was talking about it, using the materials from the family collection, so how is anybody else gonna "get" it? Naaaahhhh...
Jigen-ryu material hasn't, so far as I know, been translated into English. What I've seen 'n read of their densho in some of the more comprehensive reference books indicates that it's just as abstruse in some of its theory as, say, Shinkage-ryu or Itto-ryu. Not easy stuff.
One really has to be a student of that system for there to be any real understanding. Each koryu is so different that it's hard to pin it down unless you belong to that school.
12-04-2000, 03:40 PM
There are videos available on both Yagyu Shingen Ryu and Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, although I do not know much about their content. The latter is a two-video series that includes taijutsu.
Anyone who is interested in these videos can find out more about them (as well as order copies) through Peter Boylan at Mogendo Budogu, at http://www.budogu.com
Perhaps Meik is familiar with the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu video and its producers and can advise as to whether it's worthwhile viewing for a general overview of the ryu.
12-04-2000, 08:12 PM
In a recent post, C. Goldfield wrote: "There are videos available on both Yagyu Shingen-ryu and Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, although I do not know much about their content. The latter is a two-video series that includes taijutsu. Anyone who is interested in these videos can find out more about them (as well as order copies) through Peter Boylan, Mugendo Budogu, at http://www.budogu.com. Perhaps Meik is familiar with the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu video and its producers and can advise as to whether it's worthwhile viewing for a general overview of the ryu."
That is Yagyu Shing[a]n-ryu, not Shing[e]n. The video with taijutsu would be, perforce, Yagyu Shingan-ryu (which has a lot of different kinds of close combat-cum-grappling in its curriculum, NOT Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, which has never had any form of taijutsu as part of its curriculum, but has always been a school of swordsmanship and martial strategy.
I presume that the YSgnR video is of Shimazu Kenji. He's an individual who teaches the Yorifuji-ha variety, though he's also studied with Hoshi Kunio, headmaster of a more senior line of the school. Another variant that exists is Goto-ha, which Ueshiba Morihei of aikido notoriety did under Nakai Toru.
The YSR videos are probably from Watanabe Tadashige, of the Marubashikai. If so, they'll contain some interesting ways of doing the waza, but I must say that the quality of their technique is sorely lacking. People who have seen books by Watanabe, published by Sugawara/Minato Research, will know what I mean: poor posture, poor mechanics, a *very* abysmal use of both distancing and timing. Complete and utter crap.
Again, if one hasn't studied/isn't doing the particular ryu in question, no book or videotape can/will serve any useful purpose. If you have, fine, these can be useful references. If you haven't, one's just fooling oneself, *especially* if one attempts to "copy" the techniques therein. That's just stupid, disrespectful, completely lame, wannabe bulls--t.
12-04-2000, 08:57 PM
I meant to say "former," not "latter." And, of course, the "Shingen" was an unfortunate error of spelling. Sorry for the miscommunication, all.
Thanks for the info, Meik.
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