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Thread: Fukasa-Ryu

  1. #1
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    Default Fukasa-Ryu

    Another book thead. I was in Barnes & Noble over the weekend doing what I do every time I enter a book store: scouring the martial arts section for new books. This time, there was a book I'd never seen on the shelf at either Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Waldenbooks. Mastering the Samurai Sword, by Cary Nemeroff, Tuttle publishing.

    The author's credentials list him as a tenth dan in several martial arts including iai-jutsu and ken-jutsu, and as the Soke Shodai of the Fukasa-Ryu martial arts system. The forward was written by Rod Sacharnoski, Dai-Soke, Tenth dan president, Juko-Kai International.

    I haven't read the book yet, though it is a fairly hefty, large print tome with color photos and glossy pages (all of them!). It even includes a DVD. While I don't see the DVD as a means of learning his style, I figure it at least will give me an idea of the man's technique. No, I haven't watched it yet (I figure I'll read the book first), so I have no comment on it.

    So the point of this thread: is anyone familiar with him, the ryu, or the book? Is this going to be one of those rare gems, just a decent read with a cool vid, or is did I spend thirty one dollars on a paper weight?

    Thanks,

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

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    Paper weight, I'm afraid.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

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    Hello Daniel et al,

    What Josh said. Calling it a paper weight is being kind... Koryu Books just released a new version of Deity and the Sword about Katori Shinto-ryu. If you are interested in learning about real kenjutsu (not some silly made up junk) it is a much better investment. http://www.koryu.com/bookstore/katori-shinto-ryu.html

    Best regards,
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I have purchased some royal stinkers in the past, so if this turns out to be one of them, I'll just chalk it up as an entry in Daniel's Bad Book Club. Worst comes to worst, it will get used as trade value at the Book Alcove.

    I didn't look too closely at the cover, but upon closer examination, his grip on the sword is pretty wrong. Looks like his thumb and index finger are flush to the tsuba. The fact that he's leaning into the strike is pretty bad too. Since I don't practice Iaito or Kenjutsu, I thought that perhaps this may simply be some technique I was unfamiliar with, but that is looking less likely.

    I'd never heard of this guy, but since I spent the money, I'll read the book. I'll post my thoughts on it when I'm done.

    Given that it is only 207 pages, including a glossary, and all of the pages seem to have a wealth of full color photos, this should be a pretty quick read.

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

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    Do a search function for "Sacharnowski" & "juko kai". You'll find a lot of info.

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    The giveaway is usually the lineage of instruction....Any book written should start with thanks to the authors teacher...


    Oh....and the fact that no karate school has a 'proper' basis in swords.... it is empty hand after all...
    Tim Hamilton

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Sullivan View Post
    Mastering the Samurai Sword, by Cary Nemeroff, Tuttle publishing.

    The author's credentials list him as a tenth dan in several martial arts including iai-jutsu and ken-jutsu, and as the Soke Shodai of the Fukasa-Ryu martial arts system. The forward was written by Rod Sacharnoski, Dai-Soke, Tenth dan president, Juko-Kai International.
    Basically a big red warning sign that the guy is probably a fake.
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

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    While I agree that this is a warning, I don't think that it guarantees a fake. Few systems that I am familiar with have any new material after about fourth or fifth dan. Yes, I realize that some do, but many do not.

    Essentially, a tenth dan has had as much new material in any given art as a fourth or fifth dan of the same art. Most dan ranks over fourth or fifth are related to time in grade and/or performing some service for the art. In some cases, people are bestowed with dan rank for outstanding service to the art, such as financing a GM. This was the case with Elvis Presley, who was presented with an honorary eighth dan (by Kang Rhee, if I remember correctly).

    Most of the time, when people start their own system, art, or organization, they often give themselves some grandios rank and title so that their system has the same legitimacy as the one that they broke from and as other systems. It also strokes the ego too.

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

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    You've read the book, now see the film!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzgdWRcqZvQ

    I'm not much of a swordy person so I can't really critique the swordwork in fairness, and its a shame we didnt get to see the aikijuuujuts (sic) which would have been more home ground for me.

    I did like the pronunciation though.
    Jim Boone

    Flick Lives!

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    I typed too soon...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQtWo-11Mo

    There's quite a few if you search for them, I've seen enough though.
    Jim Boone

    Flick Lives!

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    I've seen the book and it made me laugh. After seeing the video all I can say is that guy looks like a tool. I like how he is doing his demo in some sort of anime/manga nerd store. I'm sure that silly flashy stuff makes the Ruroni Kenshin cos-play guys wet their pants with excitement.

    Daniel, between Craig's kendo book and Fukasa-ryu kenjutsu I have to say you've made some poor investments in books.

    Check out some books on this list. You'll spend your money much better that way: http://www.koryu.com/books/bookreviews.html#Reviews

    If you are interested in Japanese swordsmanship "The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts" by Issai Chozanshi (translated by William Scott Wilson) is a great book. It doesn't discuss technique (I don't think you can really learn technique from books anyway) but many other very important aspects of fencing. Unless of course you have an unlimited income stream then go to town.

    Best regards,
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    I've looked at the book a couple of times at the bookstore and always gotten a chuckle out of it. If it's ever cheap enough I might pick up a copy for laughs.

    For my money the best book on kenjutsu available is the Katori Shinto Ryu book that Dianne Skoss publishes. It has incredible sections on the history and philosophy of Shinto Ryu, so if you want to know anything about the roots of kenjutsu it is a wonderful resource. I also recommend the three-volume Koryu Bujutsu series (which is also published by Dianne Skoss). The book contains some great interviews with koryu headmasters and senior exponents. I've never read one of those interviews without taking something new away.
    David Sims

    "Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum." - Terry Pratchet

    My opinion is, in all likelihood, worth exactly what you are paying for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 View Post
    I've seen the book and it made me laugh. After seeing the video all I can say is that guy looks like a tool. I like how he is doing his demo in some sort of anime/manga nerd store. I'm sure that silly flashy stuff makes the Ruroni Kenshin cos-play guys wet their pants with excitement.
    Um, it's a Kinokuniya, one of, if not the, largest book chains in Japan.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

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    Hey Josh,

    Wasn't really paying attention to the store name. It didn't really register with me until you said something. I did see lots of action figures in the background though and assumed anime nerds. I guess he did the demo in the manga section?
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 View Post
    I've seen the book and it made me laugh. After seeing the video all I can say is that guy looks like a tool. I like how he is doing his demo in some sort of anime/manga nerd store. I'm sure that silly flashy stuff makes the Ruroni Kenshin cos-play guys wet their pants with excitement.

    Daniel, between Craig's kendo book and Fukasa-ryu kenjutsu I have to say you've made some poor investments in books.

    Check out some books on this list. You'll spend your money much better that way: http://www.koryu.com/books/bookreviews.html#Reviews

    If you are interested in Japanese swordsmanship "The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts" by Issai Chozanshi (translated by William Scott Wilson) is a great book. It doesn't discuss technique (I don't think you can really learn technique from books anyway) but many other very important aspects of fencing. Unless of course you have an unlimited income stream then go to town.

    Best regards,
    I found the Craig book to be quite good, actually, though it was substantially less expensive than Nemeroff's recent work. Of course Craig didn't include a video with his either.:P I'm not sure why you feel that it is a poor book, but I did not find it so.

    If you're basing your opinion on Craig's other works, I cannot comment, as I've only thoroughly read the one and skimmed through its companion when it was loaned to me. I have read both here and in other places that 'Heart of Kendo' was probably Craigs best work and from people who've read it, I've heard primarilly praise.

    I agree that you really cannot learn technique from a book. I always find "beginner's guides" to be fairly worthless to beginners, mainly because beginners don't have the point of refference to make any actual use of the information.

    I do find that techniques and comparisons of them can be discussed in books, but again, more in the vein of discussion or explanation of how a technique developed. Training tips abound in books as well, but again, these generally require that the reader already have the training to take advantage of them.

    I appreciate the book link and will try to track that one down.

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

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