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Thread: Fukasa-Ryu

  1. #16
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    Default And now the book review

    Well, I read the book all the way through over the weekend. The book did not have a heavy amount of content, as most of the pages contain several large color photograps. Take away the pictures and this is a 100 page or less book. Needless to say, just to go from cover to cover, it is a quick read.

    He had an historical section about the origin and developement of the 'Samurai sword.' Not an historian, but nothing seemed radically good or bad. A budo historian could evaluate it more authoritatively than I can. It was fairly short; just a few pages. This book has a good sized font, incidenally.

    The author is up front that Fukasa Ryu is not an historic ryu, but one that he has created, and he makes no claims of lineage. This is both good and bad; good in that he's being honest. Bad in that he says that his book deals with Fukasa Ryu, a modern Iaito art, and "Kenjutsu, one of the oldest extant kobujutsu." He may have stated and I merely missed it, but I don't recall him stating what ryu of Kenjutsu that the material was drawn from.

    His section on dojo etiquette and wearing of the keikogi and hakama was about a quarter of the book. Nothing seemed out of place except that he had the students come in with the keikogi on with shorts, carrying their hakama. The students did some warmups and then put the hakama on. Is this normal practice in an iaito dojo? I've never heard of anyone doing this, but maybe its normal in iai? He also wears the obi partially outside of the hakama. I've seen this done at some of the Korean kumdo schools, and never having been to an iai school, I considered this a cosmitic issue and nothing more. I recall a demo by the Capital Area Budokai, and they wore an obi inside of the hakama, so you could only see it on the sides where the hakama is open. Nemeroff wears it inside through the back, with it coming outside on the sides and tied in the front. Seems like more of a stylistic thing.

    He had almost another quarter of the book taken up with sword preparation and description of the sword and its parts, all of which was familiar to me and seemed in place.

    The rest was kenjutsu techniques and iaito kata. I did not painstakingly analyze the iaito; I am not an iaito practitioner, so I have no basis to determine the authenticity of what he is doing, either the authenticity of the kata he lists or his execution of said kata. It was at this point that I put in the DVD.

    His sword work looked okay, but not what I'd expect from a multi art tenth dan master and Soke of the style, particularly one that doesn't look much older than myself (42 in March), and thus not limited physically, but he didn't look horrible either.

    I did find the ukemi to be cool, more in that he does it (we don't touch on rolls and falls in kendo) and he rolls pretty well. Aside from doing it with a sword, its the same set of rolls and falls that I do in hapkido.

    The only real red flag that I saw in the book (overtitling of the author aside) is that it is marketed somewhat as a self study program. To his credit, he doesn't offer rank with the completion of the book and DVD, and he doesn't get into cutting actual targets, but rather does everything with (presumably) a forms blade that is unedged. I'm not keen on self study of martial arts for beginners. Beginners need a guiding hand much more so than an advanced practitioner in order to keep from developing bad habits.

    That is what I found in the book.

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

  2. #17
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    That would be "iaido" (the martial art), not "iaito" (the sword used in iaido).

    To be frank, if you don't know anything about the topic, how can you possibly review the book in a meaningful manner? The guy could write almost anything down and you'd say "well, I don't know much about the topic, but he looks snazzy".

    Trust all who have already posted - if this guy is associated with Sacharnoski, he is 99% likely to be full of crap.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    That would be "iaido" (the martial art), not "iaito" (the sword used in iaido).

    To be frank, if you don't know anything about the topic, how can you possibly review the book in a meaningful manner? The guy could write almost anything down and you'd say "well, I don't know much about the topic, but he looks snazzy".
    Agreed.

    I figured that since I posted the topic about it that it was only fair to post what I saw in the book, commenting either in the affirmative or the negative on things that I am familiar with (lack of a listed lineage, parts of a sword, basic cuts, rolls and falls, dojo etiquette), and in that, I wasn't overly impressed with the content, either the printed or the video.

    I certainly would not call my post a recommendation.

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

  4. #19
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    'self study' sums it up.... how on earth can you possibly learn any of the nuances without face to face contact??? I am of the opinion that ALL books on MA should start with the words "This book is merely a guide(whatever) and is no substitute for a good instructor"
    Tim Hamilton

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

  5. #20
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    Well the word Fukai refers to depth both in mentality and in practical terms.

    They really need to study Japanese a bit before they choose names for schools as this word does have sexual connotations.

    Immediately arouses suspicion to those of us that live in Japan.

    Could be really "fukai".
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  6. #21
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    Wasn't his teacher the leader of the "Sex Way House?"
    Respectfully,
    Johnathan Pierson

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiersonJ View Post
    Wasn't his teacher the leader of the "Sex Way House?"
    According to a post in the Martial Talk forum, yes. I believe it was because they used the incorrect kanji for "sei" (though I think the kanji they used technically means "gender", but sex way house is much funnier than gender way house).
    Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (Study Group)
    Ishiyama Ryu

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Baxter View Post
    According to a post in the Martial Talk forum, yes. I believe it was because they used the incorrect kanji for "sei" (though I think the kanji they used technically means "gender", but sex way house is much funnier than gender way house).
    Oh no, it quite fully means "sex". The gender meaning is just auxiliary.
    Josh Reyer

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

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Reyer View Post
    Oh no, it quite fully means "sex". The gender meaning is just auxiliary.
    Thanks for the clarification. I don't think I'll ever cease being amused by this. classic.
    Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (Study Group)
    Ishiyama Ryu

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    Default

    Tim Hamilton

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

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyaku View Post
    Well the word Fukai refers to depth both in mentality and in practical terms.

    They really need to study Japanese a bit before they choose names for schools as this word does have sexual connotations.

    Immediately arouses suspicion to those of us that live in Japan.

    Could be really "fukai".
    That's pretty.... hillarious. One of the main reasons that unless one is quite fluent, they may wish to stick with their native language and terminology that is an established part of the art.

    Or get a really good Japanese speaker to run things by.

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

  12. #27
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    But then if they used a western name it wouldn't seem credible.....


    oh.
    Jim Boone

    Flick Lives!

  13. #28
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    Why not just name-of-westerner ha name-of-parent-ryu kenjutsu? If a practitioner teaches his or her variation of an existing art in which they're qualified to teach, that would be the most honest. Translate their name into Japanese if they must have it completely Japanese sounding.

    If they've altered it enough to warrant a complete break from their parent art, then their-name-ryu kenjutsu, and make it clear that its their own thing.

    Daniel
    Daniel Sullivan

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Sullivan View Post
    Why not just name-of-westerner ha name-of-parent-ryu kenjutsu? If a practitioner teaches his or her variation of an existing art in which they're qualified to teach, that would be the most honest. Translate their name into Japanese if they must have it completely Japanese sounding.

    If they've altered it enough to warrant a complete break from their parent art, then their-name-ryu kenjutsu, and make it clear that its their own thing.

    Daniel
    Nail and head there I think.
    Jim Boone

    Flick Lives!

  15. #30
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    Sorry to resurrect a long dead thread, but I just learned that this Fukasa-ryu stuff has been taught at my local YW-MHA for the last few years and is pretty popular. I've attached the catalogue listing for the program below. "Fully Asian accredited"!?! Gotta love it!

    The Art of the Samurai Sword
    Adults: 14 Sundays, 2:30-4:00pm
    This ancient martial art has modern practical fitness goals in mind. Training includes a mental and physical (cardio and strength) workout. In class, students wear traditional uniforms and use metal and wooden swords, learning the complete art of the Samurai. Beginners and returning students welcome. Instructor: Gregory Zenon, Kyoshi Black Belt in Samurai Sword (Iai-Jutsu and Ken-Jutsu). Kyoshi Level Sensei, Fukasa-Ryu Bujutsu Ryu, fully Asian accredited.

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