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Thread: Koryu transmission

  1. #31
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    I've been reading some of the posts by autumn Leaves and probably did not make myself clear when I posted this

    "Things only get refined if they go to war and refine their techniques. If its a made up school without proper teaching (ie made up), They would die the first time they went to war."
    Let me refine what i meant.

    Of course training is important before we go to war, it would be ludicrous not to do so, but what we must understand is that in the Sensgoku Jidai (and other periods) our trainers would themselves have gone to war, so know some of the vital lessons to pass on. So the questions arise then

    Can we take the lessons from someone who has had experience in war to make us better warriors.

    Of course we can

    Does this mean then that just being trained by someone who went to war is enough?

    No

    Let me clarify these two points. Armed forces around the world train their troops based on previous battlefield experience. Soldiers are trained through lessons learnt during the wars their country fought in. In the case of the UK, The gulf war, the falklands, WW2, Korea etc.

    Officers at Sandhurst are even taken back to lessons from the Napoleonic period and before, and even back to the romans when it comes to strategy and tactics.

    One would not think of sending private Bloggs to learn from a person who had no combat experince to draw on. the whole thing would be non sensickle. Although it does happen in todays martial arts. how many people are actually claiming to be teaching self protection, but never been in a self protection situation themselves. But I digress.

    So to bring me to my second question "Is this enough"

    As I said "No" for two reasons

    Firstly we do not know how we will react under pressure and so need that stress to forge ourselves. The British army and others spend millions of pounds on exercises that try as much as possible to create a real battlefield with smoke, explosions, tank, aircraft, gas, live round areas, blank firing guns etc etc.

    Of course we could train our troops in the local village hall, get them to stab a few sandbags and fire a gun on a range and then send them to war. which is incidentaly what we did during the first world war and we lost millions.

    It took a little while before these untrained men learn to create as small a target as possible by turning sideways and getting low, and for the officers to realise that the best plan was a rolling barrage.

    But as I say the officers were straight out of private school, and the soldiers were straight to the battlefield with little training.

    And this brings me to my second reason. there are only some lessons that can be learnt on the battlefield, and history is full of them.

    For example during WW2 it was found that rookie soldiers all ready to give it to the enemy would run forward all guns blazing, not realising how dangerous a MG 34 actually was. Whereas the veterans had learnt to take advantage of all available cover and so deal with the enemy so much more effectively.

    In fact Eisenhower actually chose troops for D Day that were rookies, having never been in combat because he knew that veteran soldiers would know it was suicide and not got up the beach at Omaha.

    Even in the air even airmen trained by seasoned WW1 pilots had to relearn tactics. In fact it took a long while before airmen realised how to use wingmen, and a long while before ground crews learnt how to coordinate sqaudrons in the air, which was the turning point in the Battle of Britain.

    So yes, training is important, and its important to make it as real as possible, but actually going to war was important too, to refine yourself and learn how to actually make the techniques work.

    and before someone points out that my examples above are learning based on new technologies, well new technologies were happening on the Japanese battlefield too.

    Garth

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Arthur View Post
    So yes, training is important, and its important to make it as real as possible, but actually going to war was important too, to refine yourself and learn how to actually make the techniques work.

    and before someone points out that my examples above are learning based on new technologies, well new technologies were happening on the Japanese battlefield too.

    Garth
    Although this might bring the following question (and I do not mean to be impertinent) of how would we refine ourselves today?

    Surely not all of us could afford the experimentation of an actual battefield.

    Are we then, as practitioners of a Ryuha without battle experience, stunted in growth within the context of our training?

    Also, new technologies may have been happening on the Japanese battlefront in those days, but are new technologies happening within the Japanese ryu structure today as well?

    (And this is all somewhat of a tengant from the original question of Mr. Chen anyway, which I believed was answered within the first few posts)
    -Amir Barak

    "You get what you pay for, But I had no intention of living this way" - Adam Duritz

  3. #33
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    Inazuma posted
    Although this might bring the following question (and I do not mean to be impertinent) of how would we refine ourselves today?

    Surely not all of us could afford the experimentation of an actual battefield.

    Are we then, as practitioners of a Ryuha without battle experience, stunted in growth within the context of our training?

    Also, new technologies may have been happening on the Japanese battlefront in those days, but are new technologies happening within the Japanese ryu structure today as well?
    This is a very good point and I will try my best to answer it.

    Technically the arts that we study today are called martial arts, and in this sense I am refering to classical Japanese Arts which were once as practiced as what would happen on the battlefield. In essence the martial arts Ryu Ha system was a means to prepare one for actual war.

    Of course today this is no longer so. We could not claim that practicing Araki Ryu, Takagi ryu, Shinto Ryu or any other Ryu and claim that it is preparing us for the war in the Gulf.

    Now having said this I'm sure some people will find some positives with practicing the Japanese Ryu system in preperation for a war today, but i'm sure you know what i mean.

    So for the sake of this post i will seperate the terms into Martial Art (The art of war today) and Warrior Art (The classical martial arts systems).

    Now as i say at one point the warrior systems were a martial art i.e. preperaring one for what one would encounter on te battlefield. But this is no longer so.

    Its like martial arts have moved on, and the martial arts systems are answering the questions of today i.e. "How do you take out a tank", protect yourself from a gas attack", "Assault the enemy with an infantry weapon", etc etc.

    Whereas the warrior systems (The ryu ha) are answering the questions from hundreds of years ago. i.e. How do I defeat a man armed with a sword, what if my enemy grabs my lapel. etc

    So although originally both martial arts and warrior arts were the same thing, both answering the same questions, at some point in time they divereged. This probably happened with the advent of the gun, or a change in politics etc.

    But whatever they split into two different strands. One modern in its approach to the battlefield and one an anachronism to another age.

    Now I know some people are going to get upset by the last statement, believing that the Japanese ryu Ha systems are teaching them methods of warfare that are relevant today. well if we are talking about the 21st century battlefield, quite simply beyond what some might consider mental preperation they are not. You want to learn modern martial arts as practiced on todays battlefields, Go join the army.

    So what place does the classical martial arts play in todays world?

    Well of course it has a valuable one in the fact that like any other forms of reenactment it keeps a tradition alive, much in the same way that we have the Sealed Knot (English Civil War), Ermine Street Guard (Romans in Britain) or the Tommy Atkins (WW11 British).

    In fact when one thinks about it, claiming that a Japanese ryu Ha is preparing one for a battlefield today is as ludicrous as saying that dressing up as a Roman, or Roundhead is doing the same.

    However what we must reaise it two things. firstly that the battlefield for the warrior has changed. the battlefield is now the concrete jungle of the inner cities (The same for modern warfare too) and the enemy is the robber, rapist, mugger. In fact one could say that this change took place in say the 17th century in Japan when wars effectively pretty much came to an end and methods were designed to suit the street, rather than the battlefield.

    In this the classical martial arts does have a place. The techniques taught teach many examples of dealing with an armed or unarmed opponent. Of course one might have to consider that the attacker today might attack differently that a samurai of the 15th century i.e. jab punches and smaller swords called knives. But the principles, tactics and techniques are as relevant as they have ever been, although as i say one might ned to adapt them slightly to todays style of attacks. but thats Ok because even classical martial arts adapted to their time. well at least up to the 17th century.

    So one does not need battlefield experience today to teach classical martial arts, although one would in the past. Today of course its as ludicrous as someone being in a Roman reenactment group expected to be taught by someone who had fought in the punic wars.

    However if, and i say if you are going to claim that you are teaching martial arts for self protection it does help if you have some combat experience. And because today the warrior arts are concned with self protection on the streets we are talking about having an instructor that has had a little combat experience dealing with violent people. although of course actually having some battlefield experinec might also help.

    Garth

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