Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24

Thread: Q&A: Muso Jikiden Eishin ryu

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,654
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default Q&A: Muso Jikiden Eishin ryu

    This thread is to engage in a dialogue about MJER. Hyaku agreed to participate, but I think if anyone else has knowledge (like Chidokan?) it would be great to add their participation in the Q&A. So... have at it!

    First question: to what degree is the philosophy of MJER standardized or developed, or is it something that is individualized? How would you describe it or characterize it?
    We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular. Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Darlington, UK
    Posts
    1,019
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Not quite sure what you mean about philosophy, but basically the way I try to practise is by doing as little as possible for maximum effect. Does that mean I'm a minimalist???
    The techniques are all directed at winning a confrontation, so you could also say it is directed at surviving an encounter intact, no matter the situation...
    Problem is the above statements would cover every style of iai Ive ever seen...so I guess we are all standardised

    Question 2....has anyone learnt the unarmed combat MJER techniques yet? I'm still bashing away at the four partner sets....
    Tim Hamilton

    Why are you reading this instead of being out training? No excuses accepted...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    JAPAN
    Posts
    1,616
    Likes (received)
    108

    Default

    Mmm Philosophy. Tetsugaku in Japanese.

    Well my own reasons for uprooting life and home had partly a philosophical motive. So since I arrived in Japan I have always sought out what drives people over here.

    I would say that a lot of what I have found or for that matter "not found" is quite individual and would encompass Budo as a whole.

    My first encounter with a high standing teacher of MJER was for him to teach me that so many people in Japan are extreme, "What's in it for me" type.

    To further what Tim Hamilton (Chidokan) says. Sekiguchi Komei Sensei will tell you that the purpose of seiza is to communicate. It's when we get up from seiza that we have a confrontation and have to deal with it.

    As a standard we all try to find a teacher with high ideals and try to uphold those ideals. Iwata Sensei has and still is giving some wonderful enlightening interviews on what his teachers taught him. So of course we would wish to emulate them.

    As I said in another thread somewhere sadly if you want to find a bit of Budo seishin you will generally have to put it in there yourself.

    I think a lot of us perhaps hope to find something special from our respected Japanese budo teachers? Another Menkyo Kaiden told me. "Please don't expect to much of us. We are only human beings"
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    257
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Tim,

    I train in Eishin Ryu Iaido and Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu. I haven't learned any 4 person sets. I think this may be because our kenjutsu effectivly replaces the practice of bunkai. Also I haven't trained in any MJER unarmed technique but I am also in Goju Ryu Karate. Anypop I'll ask my sensei more about this on the weekend.

    Ta
    Liam Cognet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Seattle, WA. USA
    Posts
    297
    Likes (received)
    2

    Default

    If nobody minds me chiming in...

    I believe each lineage of MJER has it's own philosophies, for that matter I think each teacher interjects their own philosophies into the style on top of what may already be there. However, I think probably a somewhat standard philosophy that is found in most if not all the branches is a total commitment to moving ahead. Even when pushed back the emphasis is on moving ahead. This is very much in line with the way the Tosa fought...they didn't retreat, and I think that idea of always moving ahead is displayed in the waza themselves. All of the waz, with I believe the exception of nukiuschi type techniques, all move forward. In the branch I study, Yamanouchi-Ha MJER this philosophy is carried even so far as to dictate the way in which we pull the lead leg back at the end of tatehiza techniques.

    I think Tim touched on another deeply rooted philosophy of the stlye with the idea of surviving no matter the situation. My first teacher always said "MJER is not about winning...if you focus on winning you might not survive...instead focus on not losing." It sounds like a given...but I think MJER takes it to a different level than the obvious.

    Anyways, jsut my thoughts on the matter. As to question #2... I have done some informal grapling with some of my instructors, but nothing yet as to formal grappling techniques. My feeling is that these are for the most part almost gone from most branches of the style.

    Question for you Tim. Which four partner sets do you practice? I have noticed the sets seem to vary form breanch to branch.

    Regards,
    Last edited by Scott Irey; 19th May 2004 at 07:00.
    Scott Irey
    Just another one of those "few peanuts short of a snickers bar" MJER guys.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,654
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Hang on, help me out here. A lot is made in the literature and rhetoric surrounding iaido in general of the philosophical approach of the art, that it is an art that teaches swordsmanship (how practical is the root of some e-budo arguments) but that it is also a vehicle for character development, the "do" as opposed to "jutsu" that Draeger made so much of. So is this philosophy a concrete thing, or not?

    Doesn't the name itself, iaido, mean "in harmony with the spirit" or something? I thought that the art was developed specifically to graft philosophical ideals onto swordsmanship practice, and assumed that each branch or line had a contextual idea of that philosophy.

    I hope there's no such thing as a dumb question, cuz that's mine! Is the "philosophy" of iai so ambiguous, broad, or undstandardized as to be completely individual?
    We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular. Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Baton Rouge, La.
    Posts
    356
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Formally speaking, the spirit or philosophy of iaido is whatever the headmaster deems it to be. Honestly, though, I think it's up to each individual swordsman to get out of it what they get it out of it.

    There are some concrete ideas in iaido like Irey-sensei talked about: the idea of "never retreat" is made manifest in the waza we do. As far as always thinking about spiritual or philiosphical ideas while practicing iaido, well, are you? I mean, that's really where all of this comes from--swordsmen asking themselves, is there more to this that just cutting people down?

    IMO, the Draeger jutsu vs. do arguement is one of the weakest for this reason. I don't want to get back into the old argument that's been rehashed over and over, but frankly, all of that stuff is overplayed in Japan. There are some folks who think other's systems are weak, but I think a lot of that is due to a "this is what I do, screw everything else" attitude. That in itself is a philosphy made real through iaido.

    Charles Mahan has said this before--for those practicing the branch of MJER under Ikeda soke, the dan-i say "Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai Hyoho, so it's technically not iaido that we're doing, although everyone calls it that I think for convenience sake.

    I'm pretty sure iaido is "being/sitting" "harmony" and "way", so it's something like "the way of existing harmoniously." At the end of the day, sitting there in training, figuring out who you are, why you're doing this and what it means in the larger universe is what it's all about.
    --Neil Melancon--

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Denton, Tx
    Posts
    1,237
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    There is certainly a philosphy that is part of MJER, but it is for the most part technical in nature, rather than spiritual. I think Scott nailed it right on the head. There is a base level of technical philosphy that is inherent in all branches, but there are variations from one branch to the next on some detail type stuff.

    I don't know how deep any of us are going to be willing to answer questions that touch on the basic kihon and technical aspects of our respective systems. Frankly it's just none of your business. I'm sure we'd be happy to answer more general questions though.

    Now about that character development aspect... Sure it's there. But it isn't taught. There are no philosphy lectures, or spiritual ruminations, etc. It is absorbed by emulating one's seniors. Your sensei is a good man, you try to be like him. Etc. There's really nothing more too it.

    As for a literal translation, I believe "ai" is the same kanji used in the verb for "to meet" so I believe it would be more like a harmonious meeting, or perhaps confrontation. That said, I doubt there's any real point in analyzing the etymology of the term.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    JAPAN
    Posts
    1,616
    Likes (received)
    108

    Default

    What I first mentioned seems to sound a little oversimplified by some. One thing that has been missed on this philosophy of emulating your teacher is the fact that in my case he is "Japanese".

    This culture is not just in MJER. Many strive to uphold certain ideals because its the "Japanese" thing to do. For me I take it for granted living here.

    Here its not just communicating from seiza. We live in seiza. we live on the floor.

    So I should myself ask a question.

    Do those who have Western teachers of Iaido feel that it is sufficient enough to convey that message across? If so exactly what is that message

    Just curious
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Darlington, UK
    Posts
    1,019
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Scott,
    I am trying to learn the following one on one sets: the 7 Tachi uchi no kurai by Oe Masamichi, 10 Tachi uchi no kurai, Tsumi ai no kurai (all as done by Takeshima sensei in Kochi), and the 10 TUNK as done outside of Kochi by the ZNIR/ZNKR groups as they are subtly different.
    You will find you also go forward in Nukiuchi/Makko and the three Itamagoi, especially the last Itamagoi, where my teacher covers about three feet... Ask someone to hold a bokken against your stomach as you do the technique, you should feel pressure as your knees spread and you drop your body to cut.
    I also wouldnt mind putting a bet on that our 'styles' of MJER are nearly identical....have to get together sometime to compare notes!

    I also get 'hints' in the form of kanji to 'suggest' my next step on the way, usually in the form of buddhist sayings and the traditional Mushin type of thing. Hopefully I'll eventually become a good human being...
    Tim Hamilton

    Why are you reading this instead of being out training? No excuses accepted...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas--for now
    Posts
    133
    Likes (received)
    0

    Question What's in a name?

    Originally posted by Charlie Kondek
    Hang on, help me out here. A lot is made in the literature and rhetoric surrounding iaido in general of the philosophical approach of the art, that it is an art that teaches swordsmanship (how practical is the root of some e-budo arguments) but that it is also a vehicle for character development, the "do" as opposed to "jutsu" that Draeger made so much of. So is this philosophy a concrete thing, or not?

    Doesn't the name itself, iaido, mean "in harmony with the spirit" or something? I thought that the art was developed specifically to graft philosophical ideals onto swordsmanship practice, and assumed that each branch or line had a contextual idea of that philosophy.

    I hope there's no such thing as a dumb question, cuz that's mine! Is the "philosophy" of iai so ambiguous, broad, or undstandardized as to be completely individual?
    Above, when you say "literature and rhetoric," you are absolutely right--and you can take most of it with a grain of salt.

    People write for many reasons--to spread their personal ideas, to further a political agenda, TO MAKE MONEY, and occasionally to disseminate factual information. It doesn't pay to believe too much of what you read about the martial arts, since you have no way of knowing what percent of which reason factored into the motivation for the piece published. It DOES pay to spend as much time as possible listening and talking--but most especially listening--to well-respected senior practitioners in their respective styles.

    When I listen to senior Japanese practitioners talk about their arts, I hear them use "Iaido," "Iai" and "Iaijutsu" interchangeably in referring to their arts--and I am referring to instructors of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu and Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei Iaido. Get used to the idea that the Japanese definitions are in shades of grey--whether an art is more philosophical or martial cannot be tied to a name Westerners have glued to the art.

    Remember, for most of us, Japanese is NOT our first language, nor is it our cultural heritage--yet here we are trying to grasp the nuances...


    The philosophy of MJER? Simple--expend the least amount of energy to survive...
    In Sangha,
    Dr. Diane Mirro

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Kagoshima
    Posts
    124
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Just a quick question...

    During class I am often reminded to cover the koiguchi when completing nukitsuke (amongst many many other mistakes ). I wondered what the significance of this action is, and whether it is common to complete nukitsuke in this manner?

    Is this purely a cosmetic action (good posture) or are there combative reasons for this? The only thing I could think of is that covering the koiguchi would prevent blood from entering the saya during the cut to the opponents neck/chest.

    I must remember to ask sensei for the next class...
    Alex Bradshaw

    bradshaw.jp

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Denton, Tx
    Posts
    1,237
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    I am not that familiar with that particular aspect. I know that in general I am taught to keep my forefinger and thumb in contact with the blade during nukitsuke and noto. The reasoning is based on controling the blade while it is still inside the saya. It also provides a bit of feedback as to where exactly your kissaki is in relation to the koiguchi. It could be that what you are being taught is a way to encourage this kind of use of the forefinger and thumb.

    It sounds like a safety risk to keep your fingers so close to the ha, but in reality it is more of a safety risk not to. You gain a great deal of control and awareness of just exactly where that nasty razor really is.

    Try asking your sensei what the purpose is.

    Tim,
    Admittedly I haven't seen your variety of MJER, but I have seen a good sampling of flavors, and I think it's safe to say that when Scott breaks out the wierd stuff, it's truly wierd Of course he does things the ZNIR way as well, and that could be very close to what you do, at least relatively close anyway.

    Hyaku-sensei,
    I understand what you are saying, but I would like to point out that virtually all of the ZNIR affiliated instructors in this country have spent a great deal of time in Japan. In Ray-sensei's case, it was about a decade in Japan and another 13 years or so of close association with the Chiba dojo after returning to this country, so we are not completely out of the cultural loop.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Posts
    299
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default koiguchi

    sigh. always why.

    three things to consider, not all-inclusive and they may or may not apply to your or any version of MJER:
    1. covering the koiguchi prevents the blade from 'clonking' on the mouth of the saya, helps prevent scratches or cuts.
    2. forces you to bring your hand into contact with the blade (no, not the edge) - best way to get a positive 'feel' for where it is, how it is oriented, insure it does not 'rock' or clatter during noto and possibly cut the inside of the saya
    3. probably most important - you probably should be covering the koiguchi during the draw, batto. This gives positive control of the saya for sayabiki, let's you 'push' it back, rather than just pull. Much more efficient. During noto, you should be prepared to do the same thing, zanshin, ready to draw quickly, saya control, sayabiki, etc.

    This is NOT something to clean blood off the blade. You don't noto a blade with blood on it.

    To get back to the philosophy question, much of this may be 'ura' vs 'omote', something for internal discussion with committed members of a ryu, rather than public website proliferation. Just a thought. Scott made an excellent point about teachers injecting their own philosophies. When you have menkyo kaiden, permission for full transmission, things can change/develop in different areas. How many lines of MJER are there again?

    Dave
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Darlington, UK
    Posts
    1,019
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Notice that Japanese people cover their mouths when they laugh? Its the same thing....
    How many lines??? A good question! IN THEORY there shouldnt be that many, but there no doubt is, given that there are now two full generations since Oe sensei died, working off the fact that my teacher's teacher was Mori Shigeki sensei, (amongst others) who was Oe's student. Even among his three main teachers there were differences in emphasis on certain points.... Bearing in mind the japanese propensity for change and 'modernising' things you are guaranteed differences in style between third generation teachers unless they practise together on a regular basis. I watched a video the other day of the current soke and can see differences in approach between Iwata sensei and him. Quite interesting..... and comparing them to Mori Shigeki,Yamamoto Takuji, and a few other senseis I have on tape they are different again....
    Tim Hamilton

    Why are you reading this instead of being out training? No excuses accepted...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •