Likes Likes:  0
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 85

Thread: Weapons free-exchanges in Japanese koryu?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,391
    Likes (received)
    83

    Default

    Nanban

    Just curious, in reading over the above, are you answering a queston I directly asked Olde?

    Cause that how it looks.

    I asked HIM a question, and YOU gave me a point by point response.

    All except the actual name of a couple of classicial rapier schools.

    Which you and I both know don't exsist.

    Instead of just "manning up" admitting that they don't you spin the response into a question as to weither or not Koryu kata have changed.

    Again, not really thinking this thu are you?

    Even if they have--which I admit is possible--they STILL HAVE NOT UTTERLY DISAPEARED as have their western counterparts.

    Any way you cut it, we have much more, much better, and more accurate infomation on the Japanese koryu arts than we have on western ones.

    Can you even think of a Medeviael (sp) broadsword school? A real one I mean

    Course you can't but then again I didn't start this debate either.

    Again, I REALLY AM sorry that I have offended you.

    I will make whatever public apology you feel needed.

    Chris Thomas

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    256
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default fee spar

    Hi, Liam here. I chime in every so often.

    Speaking of sparing with 'friendly' weapons, I saw Zatoishi on the weekend. In this movie they spar with boken and deliver full hits to eachother, in fact I've seen this often in Samurai films.

    Does anyone know if people realy did this? It dosen't look safe. In any case this kind of sparing would address some of the problems caused by free sparing with friendly weapons and pading.

    Sorry to interupt.
    Liam Cognet

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    768
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    There seems to be this perpetual misunderstanding of what kata are and how practicing kata is done in an increasing difficult and free way.
    The basic moves of a kata, say a two-man pattern, are pretty much set. He cuts, I counter, he counters, I counter and win or something like that.
    And it's practiced like that for a long, long time.
    And then it gets harder: the timing changes, the targets change, the 'victim' aggresively tries to control the centerline, cuts are no longer stopped just before contact, but are carried through with full intent, and sometimes the kata changes in the middle...
    And sometimes you end up like this:
    http://renfield.net/blogged/2004/08/ouch.html
    A fairly minor bonk on the head, actually. That was when I was shidachi -- I was supposed to win -- but uchidachi came in faster than I could counter, I backed off more than is usual but still couldn't clear, and he connected nicely with my temple.

    So when I hear "free play" or "sparring" or "that stuff they do with wooden swords in The Last Samurai" the answer is yes: kata.
    Do not let the fact that it is a series of set moves fool you into thinking there is no freedom to play.
    It has been stated before, but I believe the concept of "kata" as it exists in koryu does not really make any sense to anyone not actively involved in a koryu. Sorry if that sounds like a cop-out on my part in attempting to explain, but all the words in the world still wouldn't give you a working definition. You have train it and live it to understand, so please take my word for it; there is plenty of free-play in koryu, and it works just fine for training, thanks.


    Regards,

    r e n

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    126
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    cxt,

    Originally posted by cxt
    Nanban

    Seriously sorry that your taking it this way.

    Was not intentional--just trying to give you some idea about my feelings as to having yet ANOTHER "kata vs free sparring" tail chase of a debate.


    I did not cause that debate.

    I posted a question regarding the earliest known time that free-play was used in Japanese weapon arts. I posted my feelings on the necessity of free-play. That doesn't mean that there was going to be a "kata vs free sparring" debate--but YOU chose to pursue that route.

    Esp since you really did not see fit to respond to a couple of the guys whom also took the time to answer your posts.


    Oh, excuse me--I didn't know that there was a friggin' time limit on when I could reply to people. I have admittedly dealt mainly with you, but that is only because you have been the most aggressive poster on this thread. I have replied to others here as well, and I'm not done with my responses yet.

    But your angery response should give you some insight as to how I see you at this point---a guy trying to prove what HE DOES IS GOOD AND WHAT WE DO IS BAD.


    Acutally, Chris, my "angry response" was a direct result of your immature posts.

    Nor am I the only person on this thread to feel that it was YOU who caused this thread to deviate:

    Originally posted by charlesl
    I found the thread to be kind of interesting.

    Chris, it seems to me that you kind of pushed the thread towards a discussion of Western martial arts, and chose to make it an argument about the training methodologies (which might not be a word, looks wierd to me now) used in classical Western swordsmanship. I didn't notice David making any such comparisons with regards to JSA, but then maybe I missed it. I also didn't notice some of the other stuff that you accuse David of, but then maybe I read it differently. But that's the impression I got from following the thread.



    -Charles
    Just thought I'd post that, since your own views on what has taken place on this thread seem so skewed...

    If your trying to "gain insight" about judo--why ask about weapons?

    And why not spcifically ASK ABOUT JUDO IN YOUR POST?-funny I prett much read you asking questions about koryu weapons.

    In fact the very thread you started has no mention of judo.


    LOL--once again, you seem downright incapable of recalling what I actually posted! Allow me to refresh your truly flawed memory:

    Originally posted by Nanban Bushi

    My original "purpose" in coming here was to inquire about some bogus claims regarding Kodokan judo's history (and you can do a search for that, if you don't believe me).


    Note that I simply said "coming here"--I was referring to the E-Budo SITE, not this forum.

    Here's the link to the thread I posted:

    http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/show...threadid=27139

    I then went on to explain:

    After checking out the site (which I personally think is very cool), I decided to ask the question above, regarding free-play in JSA.


    FWIW, though, there is a "mention" of judo on the first page of this thread (the randori bit, remember?).

    Question still stands though--why on earth did you bring your whole "I'm bigger than you" debate to a web-site devoted to Japanese arts, specficlly Koryu?


    That's a question I cannot answer, as I did no such thing.

    I did state my feelings on the necessity of free-play, but nothing more. Am I not allowed to have an opinion on that?

    Addtitional--already answered you--I'll argue with an echo.


    Yeah, you told me that already.

    More to the point, do you understand the differnce between "substantive" and "non-subtantive-????

    See, my saying you have to "stay on the strip" as an example of non-reality in matching---your response of "You can step one foot off!"

    Although accurate its just not substantive-- does NOT alter the basically "non-real" nature of the current match structure.

    ie its a non-point.


    I think it's funny how you cannot seem to let this particular issue go, and yet I'm still waiting for an answer from you in regards to how kata is supposedly better for preparing a fighter for your armor-less sparring experiment.

    Anyway, considering your track record on this thread in the accuracy department, I'd say that even my correction of your claim regarding fencing's rules is pertinent on some level, since it's just one more example (albeit a minor one) of how wrong you've been thus far.


    Might I also suggest thay very few folks on this forum require YOUR help in understanding western forms of combat--many of us also study western fenceing.


    You've already harped quite enough on that subject, in regards to your own training. So, do you train in the French or Italian school?

    Its also worth pointing out that I did NOT try to prove that fenceing was "worthless" just makeing it clear that the current method of "free play" was NOT all "moonlight and roses" when it comes to reality training.


    Sure dude--whatever you say.

    Any reasonably accurate history of the sword will teel you that "free play" WITH OTHER training methods was done.


    I've never contested that.

    How big a part did was "free play" we really don't know form an empicial standpoint.


    It's pretty clear that it was always considered essential.

    If you took it as a personal assult on your art--put yourself in the place of pretty much EVERYONE here that practices a kata bases art--what do YOU think your message is seen as when you start questioning an essential part of our art?


    I didn't go out of my way to tear down Koryu arts, as you did with Western fencing--on the contrary, I even posted (on page 2) about major problems with the sparring formats of both modern Western fencing and FMA.

    And from my perspective you did so with much more desingeniousness (sp) than I did.


    LOL again--you have indulged in obnoxiousness, and you have acted like a pompous !!! throughout most of this thread--but I'm the bad guy?

    Again seriously sorry that have offended you.

    You have my sincere apologies.


    Ah, and now we all see the REAL source of "disingenuousness" here!


    Peace,

    David
    David Black Mastro


    "The Japanese are the most warlike people in this part of the world. They have artillery and many arquebuses and lances. They use defensive armor for the body, made of iron, which they have owing to the subtlety of the Portuguese, who have displayed that trait to the injury of their own souls." --Gonzalo Ronquillo de Penalosa, commenting on well-equipped wako in the Philippines, 1582.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    126
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    cxt,

    Originally posted by cxt
    Nanban

    Just curious, in reading over the above, are you answering a queston I directly asked Olde?

    Cause that how it looks.

    I asked HIM a question, and YOU gave me a point by point response.


    Just throwing in my 2 cents--is that a crime?

    Man, you seem so big on... drama.

    All except the actual name of a couple of classicial rapier schools.

    Which you and I both know don't exsist.


    There are no "classical rapier schools" that currently exist, but there were certainly quite a few at one time.

    There was the North Italian "Bolognese school" of Marozzo, which made use of the cut-and-thrust spada suitable for both military and civilian application (and eventually, the rapier proper was developed). The Southern Italians also had a distinct school, based in the "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies" (ie., Sicily & Naples). There was the "Spanish school" of Carranza, which taught the destreza method. The "German school" was represented by fencing guilds like the Marxbruder and the Luxbruder, and combined the use of native weapons like the bidenhander and the dussack, with the spada of the Italians (which the Germans referred to as a rappier or rappir). The English London Masters of Defence mirrored the Germans, in that they ultimately also adopted the rapier, but nevertheless retained their indigenous weapons too (basket-hilts, quarterstaves, bills, etc).

    And FWIW, the Southern Italian (Neopolitan) school still exists, though they of course teach the three modern weapons.

    Instead of just "manning up" admitting that they don't you spin the response into a question as to weither or not Koryu kata have changed.


    We all know that they no longer exist, Chris. It's not a matter of "manning up", since it's common knowledge.

    Again, not really thinking this thu are you?


    I think I'm doing just fine, actually.

    However, the chronic bluster you have indulged in does nothing to further your cause.

    Even if they have--which I admit is possible--they STILL HAVE NOT UTTERLY DISAPEARED as have their western counterparts.

    Any way you cut it, we have much more, much better, and more accurate infomation on the Japanese koryu arts than we have on western ones.


    I agree.

    On some level, the Japanese schools have been preserved.

    As to how close the current incarnations of those schools are to the way things were done 400 years ago, however, is open to a great amount of debate.

    Certainly, you made it sound as if what is being done in the Koryu schools today is the same as what was being taught to the bushi at the time of the Imjin War.

    You claimed:

    Originally posted by cxt

    That is the main strength of the Japanese methods--the techniques and specifc training methods WERE preserverd.


    I'd say that the techniques, and some of the "specific training methods" were preserved.

    Certainly, you cannot deny that things are totally different now, in terms of the circumstances surrounding JSA. There's no need for functional sword arts these days.

    And that should be clear, even to you.



    There's no rival clans to fight.

    There's no Mongol Horde to drive off (via the weather or otherwise).

    There's no Ming Dynasty China or Joseon Dynasty Korea to attack.

    There's no turtleships to attempt to board and/or sink.

    There's no Okinawan peasants to keep in line.

    Get my drift?




    Can you even think of a Medeviael (sp) broadsword school? A real one I mean

    Course you can't but then again I didn't start this debate either.


    There were a couple of Medieval schools, actually.

    The Germans had a distinct school, which scholars usually refer to today as the "Liechtenauer school". The Italians were well represented too, by folks like the formidable teacher from Friuli, Fiore de Liberi.

    Again, I REALLY AM sorry that I have offended you.


    Yeah, you're just dripping with sincerity at this point...

    I will make whatever public apology you feel needed.


    Just stop misquoting me.

    And answer the kata question.



    Peace,

    David
    Last edited by Nanban Bushi; 3rd August 2004 at 13:11.
    David Black Mastro


    "The Japanese are the most warlike people in this part of the world. They have artillery and many arquebuses and lances. They use defensive armor for the body, made of iron, which they have owing to the subtlety of the Portuguese, who have displayed that trait to the injury of their own souls." --Gonzalo Ronquillo de Penalosa, commenting on well-equipped wako in the Philippines, 1582.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Outside of Phila.
    Posts
    1,494
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Well, that was interesting for a while...why don't you guys take it to private email.

    Ren, that was a great post, thanks!

    Ron

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,391
    Likes (received)
    83

    Default

    Naban

    Ok, actually said I was sorry, several times.

    Actually said I would make whatever public apology you deem needed.

    Seems that was not good enough for you.

    That being the case why don't you untwist your little pink panties and deal with the situation as is.

    You came here to pontificate as to the superority of "free play" over kata.

    You ignored several folks that took the time answer your questions. Namely your misperception as to kata.

    I took the time to respond, even you said I did so "calmly" at first.

    I answered your questioning of kata practice with questions relating to CURRENT mathods of practice in western arts--you, who came here with questions, was unable answer questions and observations when they were applied to YOUR pet art.

    See, thats just wrong.

    You can dish it out but you just can't take it?

    For the umptheenth time what may or may not have been done historically in sword is pretty much irrelvent to our little debate.

    A-We have NO PROOF in the emperical sense, of your claims.

    B-What was done "back in the day" has no bearing on CURRENT practice--except to show how current practice has degenerated.

    Which for certain does not help your argument.

    As far as I am concerned you started this, you ignored folks that took the time to answer your questions, your responses to me--as far as I am concerned--were nothing more than your attempts to steer this into a "kata vs free practice" debate.

    One I am tired of.

    In addition you have quite a bit more venom than I.

    Again, seems to me you were all set to question what WE do, yet you get all bent out of shape when confronted with the shortcomings of the current western models.

    Kinda looks to me like the "emporer (sp) has no cloths."

    And that is certianly not my fault.


    Chris Thomas

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,391
    Likes (received)
    83

    Default

    Ron

    Thats good advice.

    And I am going to follow it.

    He leaves me alone, I'll leave him alone.

    I tried to to do the whole apology thing.

    Said I was sorry multiple times.

    I had my say, he had his, willing to drop this.

    Chris Thomas

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,391
    Likes (received)
    83

    Default

    Charles

    You have a point.

    However, still take exception to the nature of the questions.

    As far as I am concerned he did exactly what I mentioned. Both in tone, the questions themselves etc.

    Certainly not trying to speak for eveyone here--just explaining how I took it.

    His entire line of questioning and argumentive points are solidly grounded in western models of swordplay.

    All I did was point out the flaws in his baseline of reasoning.

    ie. the current nature of "free play" as it now exsists.

    ie. kinda along the lines of "people in glass houses should not be throwing stones."

    In additon I made several attempts to say I was sorry for offending him.

    An offer he did not extend to me.

    But if I did mis-understand--happy to offer yet another "I'm sorry"

    Chris Thomas

  10. #40
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Melissa, TX
    Posts
    3,162
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Let's get back on topic!
    George Kohler

    Genbukan Kusakage dojo
    Dojo-cho

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    6
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Wow. What a mess.

    Guys, I am sorry if I did not have my name at the bottom of my post. I thought it would automatically have been included at the end, since I gave my real name when I registered. Hopefully I have corrected that.

    Now, some issues:

    cxt,

    You are missing the point of kata training.
    I don't believe so. I think that you are missing the point of free-sparring.

    As for kata, I think that the way it is done in kenjutsu is useful, but I still personally believe that some sort of free-sparring against an unpredictable, fully resisting opponent is necessary in order to become fully and realistically proficient. This is why I speculate (as I am sure Nanban may) that free-sparring of some sort was employed in the Japanese sword arts prior to the Edo period.

    I do find it odd though, that you became utterly defensive and downright inflammatory just because someone stated their opinion and simply asked if there was evidence of free-sparring in JMA prior to the 18th and 19th centuries.

    More to the point--please name for me a couple of schools of classicial rapier.
    I can name plenty from the 16th and 17th centuries. But they have died out.

    I mean a real school--one that has carried on an unbroken line of training from its heyday until today.
    So are you saying that those schools weren't "real" because they haven't carried on into the modern day?

    By the way, I believe the idea of a completely "unbroken lineage" is fairly unrealistic if one observes how arts evolve (or devolve) over time (this includes Eastern arts as well). Peacetime is the worst thing that can happen to combat martial art. When there is no longer a dire, widespread need to use the art in a realistic setting, the art (no matter how well "preserved") tends to change. One can look at how various Asian arts have changed drastically over just the last 100 years and they can get the idea.

    If one looks at western sword arts, they can see that they have died out over the last few centuries due to a lack of need. The focus has changed over to sport, and what little (if any) we may have left has degenerated into modern sports fencing, which can still develop skills that can carry over some usefulness if one wanted to train with a realistic weapon. But, nonetheless, as it is done according to the rules, sport fencing is incomplete for fully realistic training due to the rules, lightness of the weapons, targets, etc.

    I suspect the same change for the Japanese sword arts. I believe that the focus has changed over the past few centuries. Some movements have been preserved in kata, but much has probably been lost. The arts shifted their focus into kata movements, and the need (or desire for) full bouting was abandoned. This being said, I still believe that the kata, as done in kenjutsu is useful, but is incomplete for training someone to become fully proficient in real combat. That is just my opinion.

    I have spoken to a high-ranking kenjustu instructor that told me that much of what is being done in the kata of some schools today is theatrical. That was his opinion, but it was interesting to hear.

    There is no-one alive that can say with certainty exactly how to to use a rapier.
    How to use it exactly as it was used hundreds of years ago? No, there isn't. With the rapier, there are some basic movements (cuts and thrusts from basic angles) that are elementary, but as an entire art or school, I would agree with you. We will never know exactly what those arts looked like in the 16th or 17th centuries.

    But, I believe that a similar arguement can be said for the katana. Many of the movements of the Japanese sword arts have been better preserved (many are also elementary), but do you really feel that the kenjutsu done today is exactly the same as what was done in the 16th or 17th century? Do you feel it is practiced in the same manner? Do you feel that the curriculum of attacks and techniques is exact and complete? Do you feel confident that you or your instructor has the same level of proficiency as a samurai from the Momoyama period?

    I would hope that your answer is "no". Just as we cannot know "exactly" and "completely" how training and fighting with the rapier was done hundreds of years ago, we also cannot know with complete certainty the full techniques and training methods used with the katana, even though the arts were better preserved.

    There were different schools of kenjutsu, just as there were different schools of rapier. The difference is though, that were was far more variety in the types of rapier than there were in the katana.

    Oh, we can guess, we can speculate, we can re-construct. But we don't really KNOW-not in the emperical sense.
    Just as you don't know if your kata is exactly the same as was done 400 years ago.

    That is the main strength of the Japanese methods--the techniques and specifc training methods WERE preserverd.
    Some techniques and methods were presverved, but exactly how much and to what degree is also uncertain. Just as you cannot know if some of your kata was changed or created in 1890, 1930, or 1965. I do still suspect that many of the training methods were lost or abandoned, like free-sparring for instance.

    Thats better than guesswork.
    Not really. Unquestioningly assuming unbroken lineage can be worse than educated research and guesswork in my opinion.

    Again, just in case you missed it, there is FAR MORE to the western method than "free play."
    Nope, I didn't miss it. I am quite aware of the different methods employed. Just in case you missed it, I mentioned in my earlier post that free-sparing and drilling of some sort were both necessary in oder to become fully proficient.


    Its only PART of the training.
    I understand your caution against one assuming that free-play, historially, was the main focus. We weren't there. But, there is a lot of evidence for it in the west, as Nanban pointed out.

    We have a variety of weighted practice weapons from the Renaissance era, some steel, some leather. Many of them had blunted edges and round tips.

    We see a variety of steel head cages that were used in the Medieval and renaissance era, for mock sword, and cudgel fights. We also see many woodcuts and other artwork depicting what apears to be bouting with these types of weapons. Some even show a combatant bleeding from the head after being hit with a wooden dusack, which was a curved, wooden practice sword.

    We have the tournament.

    We have the knowledge that bouting was necessary in order to come of rank in many European fencing guilds.

    We have the literature, in manuals, from people such as 16th century weapons master George Silver, who himself stresses the importance of realistic bouting with grappling, pommel strikes and knees to the groin. Silver also has many recommendations for the types of opponent that one must spar with, in order to be ranked in a guild. Surely, in order to become proficient at sparring, one must...well...spar.

    We also see the importance and popularity of bouting as late as the 17th century, when people like james Figg, used to set up a stage in the counryside and have fight with various opponents in boxing, quarterstaff and singlestick.

    I combine all of the above evidence with my personal observation about the importance of free-sparring in realistic training, and I come to the conclusion that it WAS done, historically and it was quite common. I suspect the same for the Japanese arts, since Japan was a very proficient, warlike country. So, I, too, am interested in fidning out the answer to Nanban's question: is there any evidence of free-sparing in Japanese weapon arts prior to the 18th and 19th centuries? It would be interesting to find out.
    Carl Massaro

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    6
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    cxt,

    Gotta ask guys what is the purpose of your coming here?
    I would like to know if there is an answer to Nanban's question.

    And yet here you come to have a "whose art is better" debate.
    No, actually, you are turning it into that. I have simply stated - in disagreement with some of your claims - as to why I feel free-sparring is important, and also in order to show why I suspect sparring was employed in the Japanese weapon arts prior to the 19th century. The problem is, (and I don't know why) that you can't seem to take the idea of someone disagreeing with you or holding a different viewpoint. You have become unessecarily defensive during this thread.

    Do you have anyone here logging on to the many western arts forums and give you crap about how western arts have degenerated into useless sport?
    Sure. Sometimes, and I debate with them. But that is NOT what has been done here.

    Yet here you are wanting to show us all the error of our ways--ie what "I" do is better THAN WHAT YOU DO.
    Never said that. You don't even know what I do.

    And yes thats exactly how your coming across.
    I am sorry if that is the case. I certainly is not my intention. But I think you are coming accross as overly defensive.

    Me, I 'll argue with an echo just for the practice. And I'll shred you, I know as much about western arts, the strength and weakness, as you do.
    Now there is an example of an inflammitory, and unecessary remark. You're also assuming quite a bit here. Why would you automatically assume that you know more about Western arts than I do, when you don't even know me? I wouldn't make such a quick assumption about your knowledge based on one post.

    Sounds kinda weak to me.
    As do some of your rebuttals.

    Most folks secure in what they do simply don't need to engage in such childish behavior.
    Please, re-read some of your remarks and think about "childish behavior". I have no disrespect for the Japanese arts, I just suspect that they have changed over time, hence I would like to know the answer to Nanban's question.

    Hopefuly this can get back onto topic in a civilized manner.
    Carl Massaro

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    6
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    charlesl

    As for "Ye Olde", best ignored. C'mon, the guy creates a new username and makes one post, doesn't provide a name, etc. Not worth responding to.
    I am sorry I didn't provide my name in my first post. That was an error, as I pointed out before. But, I don't see why not having my real name at the bottom of my post would invalidate what I have to say. I don't feel I have made any offensive statements. I have corrected my signature, and I am sorry for any problems it may have caused.
    Carl Massaro

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    768
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Originally posted by Ye Olde Lunatic
    As for kata, I think that the way it is done in kenjutsu is useful, but I still personally believe that some sort of free-sparring against an unpredictable, fully resisting opponent is necessary in order to become fully and realistically proficient. This is why I speculate (as I am sure Nanban may) that free-sparring of some sort was employed in the Japanese sword arts prior to the Edo period.
    I think my first post got lost in the...clutter...so I shall attempt to answer this point and clarify.
    "Kata", at its highest levels, is NOT a set of predetermined moves. Uchidachi is actively trying to win, Shidachi is actively trying to win. The moves (attacks and defenses and counters) are done in such a way so that, given the proper attack, the only reasonably defense/counter is the one as determined by the kata. Remember, the kata is teaching you how move within the theories of a given sword style. Some styles do A in response to X, some do B. So style 1's kata goes X->A, whereas style 2's kata goes X->B.
    However if, for example, shidachi is supposed to deflect a cut to the head, leaving his left side open to attack, but he ends up stepping in too close, then uchidachi can just crack him on the head (see my photo above.)
    So the opponents moves are not predictable nor is the opponent not fully resisting, thus at high levels, even with bokken, hundreds of years ago and even to this day, people get hurt. Alot.

    Unfortunately, in this day and age, most people who do kata are, as Niina-gosoke tells it, "just dancing".
    But there are a few schools, mostly in Japan, that still do what has been done for centuries. We "know" this because of the traditional transmission from teacher to student, the extant documentation, and the fact that, even as recently as last century, people were killing each with swords, and this stuff works.
    Then again not all koryu are battlefield arts, some are koryu that came about well after the warring periods, and are focused on personal dueling rather than armored battlefield tactics. Some have adapted to the times (Uchida-sensei's adaptation of jo techniques into tanjo walking stick in the 1800's for example), and yes, many many koryu do evolve, very slowly, over centuries. So what we do now is NOT what they did 200 years ago...but what they did 200 years ago is not what they did 400 years ago. The key is, is the ryu evolving the same way, or was it fairly static for centuries and then, all of a sudden in modern times, it all went to hell?

    Regards,

    r e n

  15. #45
    Finny Guest

    Default

    David (I hope you dont mind me calling you David), I think it's a bit rich for you to start this thread, and then get all indignant when people become tired of you refusing to accept other people's opinions.

    You say you began this stread in an effort to hear the opinions of others more knowlegable about the koryu, with regards to the existance of free-sparring before the turn of the twentieth century.

    You say to Chris "I didn't start that debate" re. the kata vs. free-sparring issue.

    I'd argue you did.

    You began a thread titled and structured almost word for word identically to this one six months ago on swordforum.com.

    Find that thread here: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...=free+sparring

    You ask for the opinions of people more knowlegable than you on the existance and prevalence of free-sparring in koryu arts in the edo and pre-edo period, then refuse to even consider the opinions they provide.

    Someone said kata was the predominant and primary means of instruction in the sword in premodern Japan.

    To which you reply: "With all due respect, I fail to see how either you, or Mr. Lowry, or anyone else can make such a declaration. Unless there is some ancient scroll or other document that says, "Hey, people of the future, we ancient bushi never used any form of free-sparring!", I don't see how you can even know that that is the case."

    and

    "So we have authentic scrolls from the 13th-16th centuries, that specifically state that no kind of free-play was used in certain schools?"

    Someone else comments: "I can't recall the specific quote by Mr. Lowry you are quoting, but in spirit he is basically correct. Kata was and is simply "the" main training method for pretty much all classical ryuha."

    To which you kindly reply: "That doesn't make much sense, IMO."

    again, someone tries to let you know what the accepted version of history is:

    "While there was undoubtedly some freeform sparring type activity going on among some people during the 1300-1600 period you metioned, the historical record makes it pretty obvious that kata was seen as the primary means ."

    Which you again reject:

    "On the contrary--the historical record, at least in terms of the actual martial exploits of the Medieval and Renaissance Japanese, suggests that free-sparring was an integral part of their training."

    Insisting that because they were successful in military campaigns, they MUST have used some form of free-sparring to a large (primary) extent.

    Someone else offers the opinion that the surge in popularity of free-sparring occured towards the END of the edo period, so you say:

    "And you are ignoring the fact (like most other folks on this thread) that free-sparring is essential to developing that proper sense of timing and distance..."

    and

    "So you're saying that a two-man kata--working with a cooperative "opponent" on a specific pattern of movements--will prepare one for dealing with a resisting adversary who is actually going to try to kill you?".

    Someone else posted a reply which summed up in the first sentence the point I'm trying to make here:

    "David,

    I don't mean to be disrespectful, but it sounds like you asked a question you had already answered in your head and now you refuse to listen to the responses you received. "

    So yes, you did start the debate, by insisting that it's simply impossible that the Japanese trained primarily in kata, rather than emphasising free-sparring. If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

    Cheers,
    Brendan
    Last edited by Finny; 4th August 2004 at 12:13.

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 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
  •