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Thread: Shindo Yoshin ryu / Shinto Yoshin ryu jujutsu

  1. #1
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    Toby,
    I am wondering if your perspective could help with all of this koryu stuff. I have been wondering about the changes made in the Shindo Yoshin Ryu mentioned by yourself and in the AJ interview. Can you give us some more specific examples of the changes that have brought a family art into line with modern concerns while keeping true to the underlying principals of the art? I think the recent history of the SYR is a great example of what may have been an ongoing process throughout the history of MA in Japan and the koryu specifically (perhaps only in times of change, warfare or under the influence of a particularly talented head).
    Thanks in advance.
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

  2. #2
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    Walker,

    Thanks for the question. Please excuse me for not answering it quickly but I am quite busy right now. My response will take some careful thought. I will run it by David Maynard as well and then post it here for you.

    Thanks,

    Toby Threadgill

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    Cool

    Thanks Toby. I look forward to your usual thorough and insightful comments.
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

  4. #4
    Mike Beall Guest

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    Hello,

    I recently came across a karate & jujutsu school down here in Florida that claims to be teaching traditional Shindo Yoshin ryu jujutsu. The problem is that it doesn't really look like what I imagined traditional jujutsu to be.

    The people down here seem really nice and sincere but I was wondering if anyone here knew what I should be looking for to recognize traditional jujustu? Is there anything that would distinguish Shindo Yoshin ryu from say just judo with karate punches added?

    The instructor down here is a 7th dan so I assumed he was proficient but it really just looks like karate & judo to me. I was expecting something with more "Japanese-ness".

    I have also heard that there is no "real" jujutsu in the America. That everything here called jujutsu is just modern Gracie-like or modified judo matwork.

    Am I expecting too much?

    I was hoping to find something more traditionally rooted.



    [Edited by Mike Beall on 09-06-2000 at 01:41 PM]

  5. #5
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    Hello Mr. Beall,

    I don't know about this school or it's affiliation/authenticity, but someone who probably would is Toby Threadgill.

    If you go to the Aikijujutsu forum, and look at the links provided at the top of it's index page you'll see a link to a style of Shindo Yoshin ryu.

    If your interested in the style, I'd recommend watching at least one class and ask lots of questions to both the instructor and one of his students as well.

    Regards,

    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Mike,

    Are you in Sarasota, by chance? I may be able to answer all of your questions, but it might be better to do it off-line. There is a "shindo yoshin" 7th dan here that claims to teach "traditional" shindo yoshin. I have studied traditional shindo yoshin, and I have studied a little with this other gentleman and some of his yudansha. What they do is very good, but it is not traditional shindo yoshin, unless the traditions have changed.

    BTW, shindo yoshin has little to no matwork. The combative idea in this style is to stay off of the ground at all costs. Traditionally, it is very heavy with atemi-waza and fantastic taisabaki.

    Jeff Cook
    Wabujitsu

    [Edited by Jeff Cook on 09-06-2000 at 03:22 PM]

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    Mike,
    This style was covered in the past, possibly pre-crash but I can't remember exactly when that is. If it is not listed in the archives I might have a hard copy of the detailed response/research given to this topic at home. I am on the road right now so I am not sure if I still have it or not. If you are interested please e-mail me a fax number and I will fax it to you if I have the posts in my files. pslionz@aol.com

    mark

  8. #8
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    Mr Beall,

    The school you visited is probably part of the IJJKA/Shintoyoshin ryu. They are a ryuha evidently created as an offshoot of Wado ryu Karate. This would to some degree explain why the traditional element you are searching for seems absent from their training. I have been in friendly correspondence with the head of this organization, a Mr Douglas Grose. He seems indeed a fine gentleman. He has confirmed to me that the current curriculum taught in the IJJKA as Shintoyoshin ryu has changed markedly from the one he learned. He feels that this is not necessarily a bad thing. I agree with him as long as the association is up front about the fact that the present curricculum is not now an accurate reflection of it's root art. It should probably be referred to as the Grose ha Shintoyoshin ryu to avoid any confusion with the more traditional arts of the same name still surviving.

    Historically it is difficult to figure out what curriculum Mr Grose was exposed to. He told me by letter that he learned two kata, Tora-sho and Tora-dai. These kata he learned from a student of Hidenori Ohtsuka named Uke Takeski. Since these kata are not listed on the original SYR mokuroku I must assume these kata were probably assembled by Hidenori Ohtsuka around the time of his founding Wado ryu. There are no records to indicate that Ohtsuka ever issued any certificates in Shindo Yoshin ryu to anyone before he founded Wado ryu. It is stated by the IJJKA that Mr Takeski intended to revive the Shindo Yoshin ryu that Ohtsuka learned instead of continuing with the development of Wado ryu. If accurate, Mr Taleski was evidently unaware that the mainline SYR tradition (Matsuoka ha) and our ryuha the (Ohbata/Takamura ha) were still in existence in Japan, so the art was not in need of "reviving". Mr Takeski was probably also unaware that what he learned under the guise of Shintoyoshin ryu had already been modified by Ohtsuka. ( There is nothing wrong with this as Ohtsuka chose to differentiate these changes by founding a new style and was legitamently in possession of a SYR Menkyo Kaiden.) This does present a problem for Mr Takeski however. This question must be pondered. What authority did Mr Takeski have to start his own ryuha of SYR? No records can be located to indicate what rank or licence Mr Takeski received from Hidenori Ohtsuka but it is virtually certain that he did not receive a license in Shindo Yoshin ryu. Perhaps he was a student of Shindo Yoshin ryu with Ohtsuka under Tatsusaburo Nakayama but this is complete spculation and seems contradicted by other information. The very name Takeski causes difficult problems in any research of this individual because "Takeski" is not a proper Japanese family name. It must be some english form of a Japanese name that is phonetically incorrect. This leaves us with very little accurate information to use in our research concerning what Mr Takeski learned or was taught and exactly by whom.

    Please do not misunderstand my position here. I am in no way criticizing or condemning the IJJKA or Mr Douglas Grose. Everything I have heard about this organization and it's instruction is way above par. It teaches a comprehensive Gendai Budo tradition with inflences from many different sources... Karate, Judo, Aikido... In it's historical past it was linked in some obscure fashion with a traditional Nihon Jujutsu ryu founded in the 1800's by Katsunosuke Matsuoka called Shindo Yoshin ryu. Mr Troy Price in Columbia S.C. and Mr Doug Grose of Proria, Illinois, have been very kind and forthright in correspondence with me concerning the IJJKA and it's current curriculum. Simply put, everyone I have spoken to about these guys say their system is good, their teaching is good and they are all around good guys. In this day and age of McDojo's on every corner, it doesn't get much better than that.

    If you are bound and determined to find a traditional Nihon Jujutsu school I must admit that they are very few and far between in the US but they do exist. Given the constraints of your location the IJJKA might not be a bad choice although it may at first glance not appear what you are looking for. And no, not all jujutsu in the US is "Gracie Style" matwork. People like Karl Friday and Steven Fabian come to mind pretty quickly as well respected traditional Jujutsu instructors teaching here in the US. There are also several Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu instructors here in the U.S. Karl Garrison and Stef Finley both operate under my authority here and would be excellent choices if you were close to them.

    For more information on our ryu and what constitutes traditional Nihon Jujutsu please visit our website at http://www.shinyokai.com. You might also check out the website for Koryu Books at http://www.koryu.com. I believe there is a excellent article posted there on Hontai Yoshin ryu by Stephen Fabian.

    Don't hesitate to contact me further if I can be of any service.




  9. #9
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    Hello,

    Slightly off topic...

    I just noticed the name "Hironori Ohtsuka" (Toby-san, I think you may have flubbed the spelling of Ohtsuka's name) of Wado ryu karate in Toby's excellent post above.

    As a coincidence, It would seem that Ohtsuka Sensei visited Horikawa Kodo Sensei (Daito ryu Kodokai), and they apparently hit it off quite well.

    Ohtsuka Sensei was mentioned as having started in Jujutsu originally, and apparently he and Horikawa Sensei agreed on the uselessness of writing technical books to transmit Budo.

    There was no mention that they had trained together or exchanged techniques (aside from a blurb that said that Ohtsuka had demonstrated a few of his techniques).

    However, I suspect there is a reason why Ohtsuka Sensei decided to visit Horikawa Sensei's dojo!

    The name just sparked my memory...

    Regards,




    [Edited by Nathan Scott on 09-07-2000 at 04:41 PM]
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  10. #10
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    Nathan,

    I have heard the story about Horikawa and Ohtsuka meeting as well. Evidently both were impressed with one another. Wouldn't you like to have been a fly on the wall during that meeting.

    BTW, In my collection of Wado ryu literature, Ohtsuka's given name is spelled 3 different ways. Hidenori, Hironori and Hiranori. His family name is also alternately spelled Ohtsuka or Otsuka.

    Now let me see. How do I spell my name?


  11. #11
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    Default what a set up line!

    Toby wrote: Now let me see. How do I spell my name?

    Toby, Since I rate you high on my list of people, the list of good people, I'm gonna let this one slide.

    BTW, I also give you two weeks possession free.


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    Hey Toby-san,

    Thanks for the info. I know next to nothing about Wado ryu and Ohtsuka Sensei. Just happened to read this bit recently and it struck a bell.

    I did check the spelling of Ohtsuka's name at the Wado ryu main web page, but it didn't mention anything about alternate spellings.

    I like this whole changing your name 2 or 3 times over your life. Keeps everyone guessing.

    I'm thinking about changing my name to "Neisan Sucoto". I think this could be a real win-win.

    Thank god we have katakana and furigana!

    Regards,

    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  13. #13
    Mike Beall Guest

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    Mr Threadgill,

    Thanks for the in depth explaination. It really cleared up some things for me. I am a fifteen year student of Goju ryu and am now interested in traditional Japanese jujutsu. It's nice to hear that there are a few traditional dojo's out there after all. I was afraid that there were none to be found east of Hawaii.

    The website (recommended by Mr Scott) for your school is one of the nicest and most informative I have seen on jujutsu. I really enjoyed the interview with your teacher, Sensei Takamura. He makes some valid points that I've never considered before. The FAQ section is great as well. It answered most of the questions I would have posed to you here on e-budo. I will be traveling to Dallas this next month on business. Would it be possible to visit your dojo and observe a class?

    BTW, are you the same guy mentioned in a recent article in Aikido Journal article about warrior ethics by Mr James Williams? In the photo's you look like the same guy. This guy was apparently attacked in his home and almost murdered by the intruders who followed his wife home one night. The article says that he fought them off even though they were armed with knives and guns? Boy! If this is you I want to know more about this story! How accurate is the description of events in the article?

    Mike Beall

  14. #14
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    Mr Beall,

    You asked:

    "I will be traveling to Dallas this next month on business. Would it be possible to visit your dojo and observe a class? "

    Yes, I do allow visitors as long as I know you are coming. Please drop me an e-mail to let me know the specific day you would like to come by.

    And:

    "BTW, are you the same guy mentioned in a recent article in Aikido Journal article about warrior ethics by Mr James Williams? "

    Ooooohhhh well! Yes, I am the same guy but lets not get carried away with that story please. That was a long time ago and I was possessed by... yeah, thats it.... Neil Yamamoto! He did it!

    Seriously, 99% percent of my survival that night was due to luck! I was just a Brown Belt in Wado ryu back then. I did what I had to do at the moment. If things had happened just slightly different I wouldn't be writing an E-mail right now, I'd be pushing up daisies! I really don't like discussing this much because people either think you are full of @#@# and it's all BS or they they try to make you out to be some sort of hero. It really happened & I'm, no hero. I was scared out of my wits. No machismo, no miraclulous techniques, no Hollywood script. Just a threat and a response... thats it.

    Like I said, I'm very lucky to be alive.

    Toby Threadgill

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    Red face

    "If things had happened just slightly different I wouldn't be writing an E-mail right now, I'd be pushing up daisies! "

    Toby,
    Would this pushing of daisies have involved KI or AIKI? Would this technique be done with circular motion or linear? I would suppose controlled breathing would have been out of the question.......Sorry for poor sense of humor.

    mark

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