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Thread: Tennen Rishin Ryu Instruction?

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    Default Tennen Rishin Ryu Instruction?

    Hello all this is my first post on e-budo.

    I would really apppreciate more info on Tennen Rishin Ryu. Where can one recieve instruction in Japan? Are any of the dojos near Kyoto or Osaka? Do they accept gaijin without a letter of recomendation? How long must your stay in Japan be to be considered for acceptance into the ryu?

    Also more information on the curriculum, training schedule, intsructers would be most appreciated. I've been to the ryus website but it was not very helpful so no refferals to that please. Id would like to hear about past Tennen Rishen students training expiriences to get a feel for what the training would be like. Online info about the ryu is rather limited, at least for English speakers like myself though I am currently studying Japanese, and information is mostly about kondo isami and the shinsengumi. So basically any info on modern tennen rishen would be most appreciated.

    Thanks to all who respond
    Andrew Murphy

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    I doubt you're going to get much of what you're after here Andrew.

    Simply because of the very specific questions that you've asked, with very little reasoning provided.

    Why TRR?

    If you're planning a move to Kyoto or Osaka, there are koryu based around those cities. So why so adamant it must be TRR?

    If you're absolutely determined to join/study TRR - shouldn't you have a very strong reason for your determination? And shouldn't that reason be based at least in part on a rough understanding of what you're determined to chase?

    I guess what I'm asking is - if you don't know that much about TRR - why are you determined to specifically chase THAT koryu?

    There have been numerous young anime geeks over the years that have expressed an interest in TRR, by way of exposure to the name of the ryu through anime. These types don't typically have much of an understanding of the nature of the koryu, and are not regarded seriously. Not at all saying this is you - just explaining why you're unlikely to receive complete, comprehensive answers to the questions you've asked.

    Many of the questions you have asked would likely be regarded as private information - "more information on the curriculum, training schedule, intsructers would be most appreciated"

    Discussing the curriculum, training schedule and particularly the instructors in anything other than a cursory fashion in a public domain like this would usually be considered a definite faux pas.

    The information the ryu wants to disseminate in public is available on it's official website - anything more will be regarded as private.

    So check out the website.


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    Whatever you do, please do not be fooled by this charlatan who claimed Menkyo Kaiden of Tennen Rishin Ryu at the age of 25 but did not know any Japanese or even the names of the instructors in Japan. He still claims he teaches Tennen Rishin Ryu

    http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthre...nen+Rishin+Ryu
    Gusta Paulo Novak

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    @Finny

    Didn't know reasoning needed to be provided as I'm new to the site.

    As to why I am interested in Tennen Rishin there are a few reasons. I am an undergraduate history major and my focus is East Asia more specifically Japan. I find the Edo period Japan under the Tokagawa Bakufu to be one of the most fascinating timeperiods in history so one of the things that appealls to me aboutt TRR is that it was created in this period. Depsite coming from the peaceful Edo period the style proved effective through its use by members of the Shinsengumi. I also have an historical interest in the Shinsengumi and its commander Kondo Isami and vice commander Hijikata Toshizo. The rise of the its members from the son's of wealthy peasents to the most feared smaurai in Japan is a remarkable thing and their history a bloody but fascinating one. When my Japanese becomes good enough to read books fluently I am looking forward to reading Shinsengumi Tenmatsuki by Nagakura Shinpachi in addition to his diaries that were published as well as Shimida Kai's memoirs. The fact that Okita Soji the most gifted swordsmen in the Shinsengumi, arguably the best swordsmen of late Edo, studied Tennen Rishen and Kondo Isami was its fourth soke also makes the art appealing.

    As for why I wish to study swordsmanship its pretty simple. Since I was young I've been interested in swordsmanship but oppurtunities to study it in my area is limited to western fencing which always seemed too much like a sport for my liking. Gendai budo such as kendo, which is also not available to me, also seemed to sporting to me as well. What interests me in Koryu is the that they are a piece of the past being kept alive by people are passionate about something despite it being antiquarian. As someone who has an appreciation for history and an interest in feudal Japan as well as swordsmanship I would love to have an oppurtunity to learn a discipline like kenjutsu and help preserve and transmit a precious piece of the past.

    As far as commitment goes I know that to become proficent in a koryu art takes around five to ten years of dedicated study. My interest in Japan has lead me to want to study abroad in Japan and possibly someday work and live there. I am hoping to study abroad in Japan in the next couple of years in the Kyoto or Osaka areas and was posting here in the hopes that if I do study abroad that I might have some guidance in how to properly approach an instructor of TRR and introduce myself and express my interest. I would not be in Japan long enough to commit to koryu traing but I believe an introduction would be helpful if I were to return and live and japan and pursue the art at that time.

    I'll note here that I am not fixated on studying TRR to the exclusion of all other sword koryu. Its just that out of all the koryu I've read about it interests me most and since this website has koryu members I thought I could get some more info aboout it and see if it was worth pursuing. Since Tennen Rishen is based in Japan I can find no extensive info on it in English which is why I joined this site to get some more info from people whose passion is koryu. The TRR website is in Japanese and the translator I used to read the site did not work out well and failed to go into good english. Also I have read that there are multiple lines of TRR and I am unsure if this is just the site of one didreputable one while other more reputable ones are out there without websites. Yet again I hope some e-budo members could give me some info about this.

    As for inquiring about their curriculum, training schedule, and instructors I was looking for base info not the secrets or inside info. Just what arts do they currently study kenjutsu iaijutsu bojutsu etc. , where they meet or interested parties can contact them, what instructors are repuatable. Also getting info on the ryu's current attitude to foriegners would be appreciated because if they don't accept foriegners then there would be no point in my pursuing this ryu any further.

    Thanks
    Andrew Murphy

  5. #5
    Finny Guest

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    No reasoning need be provided, of course - as I said, I was just trying to explain why (with regard to TRR in particular) you may struggle to find someone 'on the inside' willing to explain further. There would obviously be an expectation that you would develop your language ability to some extent, which would enable you to find a lot of what you're after in and of itself.

    I recently watched a youtube clip of the TRR folks at Meiji Jingu Embu - there was a foreigner in their group, so my guess is they're not so conservative as to exclude foreigners. Just a vague guess from someone with no knowledge to speak of, mind you.

    From what you've written by way of explanation of your motives you come across as a sincere, intelligent guy who knows what he wants - good luck to you. Maybe someone here will be able to help.

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    It seems like to me there are at least two different lines of Tennen Rishin-ryu. The group at the Meiji embu seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZf5T...eature=related is a bit different than the group I have seen mostly on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkphO...eature=related They use different bokuto, different kiai, different reiho and they move very different from each other. It is always interesting to see different lines of the same ryu and how they have changed from each other (Daito-ryu is a great example!).
    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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    Just a couple of things I would recommend.
    A. Check out www.koryu.com
    Has alot of good articles on what you are in store for if you want to train in a koryu.
    2nd work on getting the college degree first. Almost all jobs in Japan especially the English teaching ones require a BS/BA degree.
    Wait to see where you are placed before deciding on the ryuha. It maybe miles away from where you will be.
    3rd build up your Japanese language skills as much as you can. Many of the teachers prefer someone that can at least speak a little Japanese.
    4th you have to decide that you are willing and able to stay the long haul to train in the style. Mastery doesn`t come in 10-15 yrs, its a life time achievement!!!!!
    Your milage may vary, good luck!!!!
    Jeff Collier

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    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    I'll note that I am taking japanese courses in college to learn the language. By the time I graduate I should be at an advanced level for a non native speaker who has not been to or lived in Japan.
    Andrew Murphy

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    Mr. Murphy,

    Tennen Rishin-ryu is primarily in the Kanto area, not Kansai.

    Please pay heed to the other posters in this thread regarding advice about living in Japan. A degree from an accredited University is essential to landing a job in Japan and obtaining sponsorship for working visa status.

    Also, classroom Japanese is a different realm from informal Japanese that you will sometimes hear. Get used to it if you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMurphy View Post
    Depsite coming from the peaceful Edo period the style proved effective through its use by members of the Shinsengumi.
    People can get a little nervous when the school of Shinsengumi members or other popular historical characters are at the start of a thread. Having said that, Tennen Rishin-ryu is of course a respectful koryu and a member of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai. Hirai Taisuke is the 10th soke and the honbu dojo is in Tokyo.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMurphy View Post
    Since Tennen Rishen is based in Japan I can find no extensive info on it in English which is why I joined this site to get some more info from people whose passion is koryu. The TRR website is in Japanese and the translator I used to read the site did not work out well and failed to go into good english.
    There is an Italian group: http://www.tennenrishinryu.it/ but if you want to contact them, better look at http://it-it.facebook.com/group.php?gid=139397189434008
    When you plan to go to the dojo in Japan it might be good to have contacted some people who have trained with the soke of the school and who are known in the honbu dojo. When I first went to Japan, I could rely on previous meetings in Europe with our soke and in Japan I was lucky to have Stephen Fabian (now a good friend of course) who already lived in Japan and who gave me good advice during my early period in and around the honbu dojo.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMurphy View Post
    As for inquiring about their curriculum, training schedule, and instructors I was looking for base info not the secrets or inside info.
    I know that apart from the obvious kenjutsu (they are listed as a kenjutsu school in the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai), they have jujutsu and bojutsu in their curriculum. I have watched some demonstrations and have seen mostly kenjutsu and some jujutsu (I only saw kata where one opponent tried to grasp the sword from the other, mainly suwari-wasa), but I never had the chance to see their bojutsu (a pity because with my Hontai Yoshin-ryu background, I would be interested to see it one time during an enbu). I did see iai style kata and tameshigiri.
    Besides the current soke, I only heard of his brother Hirai Masato (I believe he is a mekyo kaiden who also teaches at the honbu dojo) but I don’t know any details about other groups and their relationship with the honbu dojo.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Delaney View Post
    Also, classroom Japanese is a different realm from informal Japanese that you will sometimes hear. Get used to it if you can.
    Totally agree with Steve. As an advice and if you are really interested in a particular koryu: First pick the location and then try to get work and lodging that will not compromise your training. Ideally stay away from the gaijins (only look them up from time to time) but integrate with the local community (I did a family stay).
    Another thing that you might consider is in parallel with your Japanese lessons, go already to a kendo (or iai) school and get customized as good as possible with either a shinai, a bokken or an iaito before to start in a kenjutsu school in Japan. This will optimize your learning there.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    HI Guy -
    I don't know if I would necessarily agree with this statement:
    go already to a kendo (or iai) school and get customized as good as possible with either a shinai, a bokken or an iaito before to start in a kenjutsu school in Japan.
    Many kendo and iai schools regard koryu with disinterest, even contempt as old fashioned. Others get possessive of their new student, and can put considerable pressure on one, that you are not yet "ready" to start another art. There are body mechanical differences in both kendo and iaido that can be at considerable variance to that in a koryu kenjutsu school. The irony is that the better one might get at the iaido or kendo, the more difficult it might be to learn the kenjutsu.

    Personally, I would recommend joining a judo school. It won't conflict with the koryu kenjutsu, it'll teach all around grappling skills, and will be a get way to get acculturated to Japanese dojo culture at the same time.
    Best
    Ellis Amdur

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    Hi Ellis,

    Points well taken.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    Many kendo and iai schools regard koryu with disinterest, even contempt as old fashioned. Others get possessive of their new student, and can put considerable pressure on one, that you are not yet "ready" to start another art. There are body mechanical differences in both kendo and iaido that can be at considerable variance to that in a koryu kenjutsu school. The irony is that the better one might get at the iaido or kendo, the more difficult it might be to learn the kenjutsu.
    I guess I am lucky to have an excellent kendo school not too far away, where we can train if we want, and where we are not regarded as old fashioned. In our case the “not ready" argument doesn’t apply since we clearly seek to complement our own training (and we started to do this only the last couple of years).
    Moreover, although the correct use of the sword is extremely important in our school as well, I am certainly not a pure kenjutsu expert. I can see the point of the body mechanical differences but I thought that this would not play a major role in a one year preparation that I had in mind. I can see your point that in the long run to be too much conditioned in iai or kendo might slow down the progress in kenjutsu rather than accelerate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    Personally, I would recommend joining a judo school. It won't conflict with the koryu kenjutsu, it'll teach all around grappling skills, and will be a get way to get acculturated to Japanese dojo culture at the same time.
    A good basis in a gendai budo should be useful to get acculturated to Japanese dojo culture and it clearly helps one’s way into a koryu. Unfortunately, from the cultural angle, I am not always optimistic when it comes to judo (at least from what I see in some of the dojos), so again it will be important to seek for the right place.

    For grappling skills, judo is of course an excellent start and for our school for instance it would be very useful (I am happy with my karate background but a little more judo training when I was young would have made my life easier later). How useful it would be for other schools, I don't know but it certainly will not be a totally wasted effort.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ookami7 View Post
    work on getting the college degree first. Almost all jobs in Japan especially the English teaching ones require a BS/BA degree.
    Wait to see where you are placed before deciding on the ryuha. It maybe miles away from where you will be.
    I claimed the opposite (first the dojo choice, then find a place to stay) but I realize I have to be careful when giving advice based on my own experience from 20 years ago. I still go every year to Japan but I don’t have a clue anymore on how difficult it is to get to Japan for a long period (and even 20 years ago, I was lucky to have a cultural visa, allowing me to stay for one year to study budo).
    We can argue on the process of first finding a place to go and then deciding on the school or the opposite but when you are really interested in a particular school, then there is no other option than to to try and find a place not too far from the honbu dojo (in my case this was 1 hour by train and subway).
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    Guy, Just basing this on my personal experience. Did high school and college exchange in Kyushu area. Kumamoto and Nagasaki respectively. Didn`t do too much budo during that period too much messing around and having fun as a college kid in Japan. Finished my degree then I applied and got hired by the company I am currently with. Put first choice as Kyushu, surprize I got sent to Kanagawa ken and been there ever since. So again the company that you go through will dictate your placement. Especially if your being hired from outside Japan. If your inside country and looking for employment and have the cash saved up then your way may work. Also when I went on my 9 month college exchange I had something like $6,000-8,000 saved up and pretty much went through during my exchange. I would recommend that the intial poster have at least roughly the same amount saved up before going over. This was pure spending money, The fees for the college tuition I had paid for through scholarship help. Been working in Japan for 5yrs, almost on my 6th yr now.
    Jeff Collier

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