Likes Likes:  0
Page 6 of 13 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... LastLast
Results 76 to 90 of 194

Thread: Adapting Koryu

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Hi Kim,

    Many thanks - I urge everyone to take a good look at the link.
    (I printed it myself so I can read it in the train, later on).

    Sharing information is, I guess, not a very koryu-ish thing to do.
    And that is too bad, since it is a very interesting subject.
    It would also be interesting to know how koryu shihan think about all
    sorts of things concerning their ryu in the New World.

    But a lot of them won't do that, only a few do - ' knowledge shared is power lost ' .
    Guess the ones who do share must be really sure of themselves.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Guelph Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    312
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johan smits View Post
    Hi Kim,

    Many thanks - I urge everyone to take a good look at the link.
    (I printed it myself so I can read it in the train, later on).

    Sharing information is, I guess, not a very koryu-ish thing to do.
    And that is too bad, since it is a very interesting subject.
    It would also be interesting to know how koryu shihan think about all
    sorts of things concerning their ryu in the New World.

    But a lot of them won't do that, only a few do - ' knowledge shared is power lost ' .
    Guess the ones who do share must be really sure of themselves.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits
    I don't find the koryu shihan to be reticent about information at all, it's the students that tend to want exclusivity and mystery.

    The real formula is knowledge unshared is knowledge lost. There is more than one shihan who has more students outside Japan than in, it's not uncommon at all so they are willing to share. Pick an art, pick a sensei and invite him to a seminar with 50 students. You would have a pretty good chance of getting him/her to come.

    What is more relevant to your concerns is that there are very few koryu students around. I've practiced koryu of one sort or another since 1987 and while the numbers have grown, I'd guess no more than a few hundred practice seriously in North America. Of those who have been practicing for many years, most are not missionaries and don't really see the point of answering a bunch of questions online constantly. Advertising and evangelizing doesn't work with the koryu, they remain small and unpopular simply because they aren't sports. Truthfully, there are more ninja around than koryu students, and kids can get their fill of weapons there and in the karate classes. Both ninja and karate are a lot more fun for kids than koryu. Kendo and Judo are as popular as they are for a reason.

    So, understanding and seeing this over decades, what is the payback for putting a lot of information out there? Not much at all in terms of students in class or money in the bank. For my part, there's a manual of Niten Ichiryu in German out there, a translation of one I wrote in English. Standard contract for me when it was published, if it ever clears the costs of production I'll get a little royalty. So far I haven't even received a copy, or a coin, nor did I expect to.

    300 is a pretty good run for a koryu-related book, the interest is just not out there.

    Kim.

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    684
    Likes (received)
    111

    Default

    Thought I'd write something about a progression of adaptation. Handed down in the Araki-ryu is an old student notebook of an "adjacent line" - literally, there were two lines in the same village, with overlapping, but also different kata. This dates from early Meiji. One section of the notebook is <ryofundo> - this is a short, double weighted chain, known mostly in the West as <manrikigusari>, thanks to its being known through Masaki-ryu. In this section, there are three recorded kata (what makes this notebooks worthwhile, is that the student meticulously wrote out the kata sequences). This weapon was abandoned some time in the last 150 years.
    The three remaining kata are evidently ryofundo against sword. This is near-insanity (not to say that one wouldn't use whatever one had, if that was all one had, but that's like a .22 handgun against an AK-47 at 50 yards). The ryofundo was a concealed weapon, anyway. You kept it tucked in your obi, and it could be quickly drawn and used in a brawl, to subdue a disorderly person (ouch), or when one's sword was not available (for bushi, anyway).
    The Ise-zaki line of Araki-ryu tried to revive these three kata - filmed in the Budokan archival videos - and their version is painfully bad. Nuff said.
    In my line, I began working on these about 20 years ago. The first thing I did was consider the context it was used, availing myself from information that I personally received from the short-chain's best researcher (the sadly recently deceased Laszlo Abel). I shifted the kata to ryofundo vs. kodachi or tanto.
    However, the problem was that with one hand weaponry, both blade and chain, one is able to make fluid, sudden changes. Three kata do not even come close to elaborating all the interesting parameters of the weapon. However, I'm viscerally opposed to simply adding more and more kata - because this will not create a live fighter - rather, just a kata collector, who spends far too much mental energy, trying to remember each sequence. The solution, if one goes in that direction, is to make the kata more and more mannered and stilted.
    So I went the other way. I had a chain made with small sand-bag weights, and the chain sleeved with nylon "rip-stop." It still hurts - a lot. But the nylon "sheath" keeps the chain from cutting flesh, and the sandbags won't kill you. Uketachi wears a lacrosse glove (which we first incorporated in Japan, being far superior to kendo kote, because you can also grab. The "kata" are now "frames," a general basis for sparring, and we merge all three of them in one. We maintain safety by demanding a targeting of the kote. Both, but particularly the ryofundo man, move in and out, with taisabaki suitable - we slip, sidestep, and dodge, and the goal is to hit the kote multiple times without being stabbed and todome is a THUD to the upper back (the kidneys do not feel good).
    So we have a live practice.
    And this has an application to modern times as well. Of course, in America, it's easier and more legit to have a carry permit for a gun than a chain. Were my work so dangerous that I <expected> to have violent confrontations, I would be armed with a side-arm. End of story. That's not my situation. Nonetheless, when having to go in a dodgy neighborhood, particularly at night, I've taken off my belt and hung it over my shoulder, under my jacket, in colder weather, or just out, when it's warm. I've gotten pretty good at iai-nuki with my belt - and I've gotten pretty good - and am getting ever better - at using the buckle as a weapon, making multiple hits in rapid sequence to vulnerable targets.
    Given that I'm starting to approach that crest in age (60) before the inevitable downward slide (for another 60 years , I'm starting to research the cane, using the same body dynamics we use in kenjutsu. (and that is quite apart from the tanto/yoroi-doshi, for which we've truly amplified and elaborated our studies, still within the parameters of torite-kogusoku).
    Some weapons, such as naginata and spear, even bo, are almost purely for the past - although if I'm attacked near a construction site and there are pipes lying around, I'm going to be in a pretty good situation, unless, of course, there are firearms, in which I'll be in a pretty good horizontal position. But if a weapon has an obvious analogue to those in my modern world, I will and do use them in such modern parameters.
    Were one to observe our practice - particularly with the ryofundo, one would observe what looks like sparring - but not "free-sparring" - it's structured through the kata, which enables us to concentrate on one or another technical parameter - BUT, if something else comes up - getting tied up in a clinch, for example, then components from other kata, etc., will take center stage.

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Ellis - maybe it was the wind overhere but I swear I could almost hear you sigh .
    Anyway many thanks for a very insightful piece I really apreciate you took the trouble to write it.

    About old age - looking ahead I recently started training again in Uchida-ryu tanjojutsu. I am not even sure if that is koryu but it is fun. And I must say that although in the kata the strikes do not seem to be very forceful, when executed on a heavybag the strikes (along the same lines as in the kata) are surprisingly forceful.

    Kim,

    thanks for the link. Your piece is really interesting. I think I am going to do something along the same lines for some specific jujutsu ryu I am interested in.
    You are right when you say there are only a few koryu students around but there are a lot of students of modern arts around. Koryu could benefit from the interest coming from that group of people.
    Payback for the trouble of putting information on the net? Money and students?
    I guess not.
    From my own history, I started jujutsu at fourteen years of age (fifty now) and eventually became a licensed teacher. Traveled around in Europe a bit to learn. Since I started my own dojo we have had koryu people coming by.
    Sometimes shihan and sometimes not shihan. I paid for most of that myself. Lodging, travelexpenses whatever.
    Did it result in an increase in students? No. Increase in income? No.
    A higher rank? No. But what it did do was improve my understanding of my own art. And I met and came to know some really great people.

    And that is really cool.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Guelph Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    312
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johan smits View Post
    Did it result in an increase in students? No. Increase in income? No.
    A higher rank? No. But what it did do was improve my understanding of my own art. And I met and came to know some really great people.
    Sounds like you're koryu student material Johan.

    Kim.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,178
    Likes (received)
    346

    Default

    I think we've readily established is that it is strongly based on the attitude/interest of the particular teacher and of the particular student; probably also the teacher to the particular student, perhaps different from what would be taught yet another student with different ideas, interest, and aptitudes.

    Which means to some extent this is probably a circular conversation: one sees things differently than another, because one may actually see different things in the same movements or kata or what have you.

    Ellis - thing is you don't need a permit to carry a chain! Though walking around with one of those leather wallets with the long chains attached might not present the most professional image...

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    684
    Likes (received)
    111

    Default

    Kit - so here's the question:

    1. I go to the proper place and get a carry permit, which is readily granted, because my fine standing in the community - and the lack of access to my psych eval - and I'm attacked by a knife wielding thug, with no means of escape, and I shoot him and survive (and save all 19 Duggar kids in the bargain!)
    2. I don't have a gun, but I have my ryofundo, with chunks of iron at each end and I'm attacked and I defend myself with my ryofundo (admittedly not as high percentage - or even close - to the gun I hypothetically bought, got permitted and trained actively in its use). I break a number of teh guy's bones, including a blow to the temple which does very bad things to his neurological functioning.

    In the US, will the courts be kinder to the properly permitted citizen following 2nd Amendment rights, or the martial arts whack-job who is walking around with a chain with chunks of iron on the end of it?

    Ellis

  8. #83
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,178
    Likes (received)
    346

    Default

    Depends on the situation, the Court and the Judge.... a Judge or Prosecutor or Jury that sees permitted carriers as "gun toting whack jobs" really may not make the distinction....

    Not an attorney so this is not legal advice, just my experience within the system:

    RCW (Revised Code of Washington) Dangerous Weapon Laws:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41

    Interestingly, the language describing "nun-chu-ka sticks" (whatever those are....) seems to now only be included in the Possession on School Grounds RCW....

    Dangerous Weapon on Schools grounds:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.280

    The description provided appear to include the ryufundo as a dedicated weapon.

    A chain, in and of itself, is not illegal, and would not be furtively carried if it was extending from a wallet and attached to a belt.

    Or if, say, it was your bike chain with padlock(s) and you can legitimately say you ride your bike a lot and carry the chain all the time...

    The matter would be deciding whether to take the risk, so to speak, of carrying an illegal weapon with which to lawfully defend yourself. The issue would present depending on what the prosecutor could make stick, and whether they would even try to charge a man of your standing in the Washington State psych and LE communities if you defended yourself reasonably.

    What you do to him is really not at issue if you are reasonably using force. This is where I think Johan's points get glossed: granted he is speaking in terms of Europe, but in the U.S. lethal force is justified when you think someone is trying to kill you. You can stab people and slash their throats, break their necks, etc. all that devastating koryu stuff that supposedly are not allowed in self defense or police use of force are totally legitimate, if not indeed recommended when an assailant is engaging in behavior which could reasonably be determined to present a threat of serious bodily injury or death. Happens all the time.

    As you described a lethal threat, you could intentionally kill or maim him perfectly legally so long as that threat remained one during the course of your actions. How you do so simply does not matter, and you are not required to use "lesser means" first.

    When the threat stops, you need to stop trying to maim/kill him.

    The handgun may be the more sensible choice for the primary reason that you can hit harder and more often with far less effort - say the attack was a blitz style ambush from a guy that you were assessing, suddenly he's across the critical distance at you and you find yourself on your back, with him over you knife in hand, and you go into something from Hoben no Dan - maybe controlling the knife hand with one of yours: but now in a very difficult position to deploy efficiently or make use of the ryufundo or even a folding knife or fixed blade: either way getting to one of those and using it is an UGLY proposition and provides a lot of openings for reversals and for him to get a telling blow in the process. Being engaged in a mutual-carving and bashing-fest with an insane and/or drugged up adversary would not be a good time, talking reality and not martial fantasy, that is.

    The same technique, but controlling the knife and his body with your off hand and body positioning may open a window to draw the handgun and = keeping it away from his reach, hit him repeatedly by only pressing the trigger until he backs off or collapses or drops the knife and gives up.

    A little more detail than needed but trying to keep it relevant to the topic. Frankly most encounters you may face won't have the stand-offish-ness that a kata of ryufundo vs. kodachi at distance depict. Rather think of the Hito Schichi or Hoben dynamics and choose the more practical weapon accordingly.

    Were I you, and able to carry weapons and still do that job (I am assuming they won't let you), I'd be carrying a concealed handgun and a folder or perhaps a small (sub 3 inch) fixed blade that was accessible with either hand while in situations similar to those sets of kata. Strap 'em on and run through the kata in your normal work clothes and where/how you normally carry the tools in those clothes.
    Last edited by Hissho; 24th February 2012 at 05:43.

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    684
    Likes (received)
    111

    Default

    Thanks Kit - yes, I agree. Realistically, we are talking about hoben and other hitoshichi parameters. And there are certainly practical tools that are also weapons (Honest, I was just trying to get a closer look with my five cell flashlight when suddenly . . . ).

    Truthfully - I only rarely am in risky situations these days at work - and I work for myself. I have a level three vest on when meeting individuals of concern and am <otherwise prepared.> legally

    What I was inchoately wondering about is answered by the phrase "dedicated weapon." I can't see walking around with a ryofundo for that reason - but a practical legitimate analogue - your chain and bike lock for an example - makes sense.

    And, quite simply, were I doing the more dangerous kind of work I used to do on a regular basis - and not employed by an agency that forbade same - then as you say " a concealed handgun and a folder or perhaps a small (sub 3 inch) fixed blade that was accessible with either hand while in situations similar to those sets of kata. Strap 'em on and run through the kata in your normal work clothes and where/how you normally carry the tools in those clothes." That's perfect - and to me, that's perfect Araki-ryu. (prefer the idea of the fixed blade myself).

    I do shake my head at some of the situations I used to walk in - unarmed - back in the day!!

    Ellis

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Taylor View Post
    Sounds like you're koryu student material Johan.

    Kim.
    Kim, I will take that as a compliment.

    Actually quite some time ago I came into contact with a teacher of koryu whom I hold in high regard. I had the opportunity to become his student. At that time however I had some health issues which were keeping me from training seriously (also in my own art). In essence this was the main reason for me to not pursue training under that teacher.
    Since it is someone from whom I could learn a lot this was not an easy decision.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    "What you do to him is really not at issue if you are reasonably using force. This is where I think Johan's points get glossed: granted he is speaking in terms of Europe, but in the U.S. lethal force is justified when you think someone is trying to kill you. "

    Kit,
    I do not have a legal background but (we are talking Holland since all countries in Europe have their own laws and legal systems) overhere I do think you always have to opt for the least serious manner to defend yourself.
    When escape is not possible and you carry a knife (nobody overhere carries a gun) and a stick - the stick would be considered the least dangerous weapon probably.
    Depending on the length of the blade you will be in trouble or not. Lock-blades, stilleto's not permitted. Pocketknifes are (pocketknife with possibility to lock the blade will give you a problem).

    Only if your life is in immediate danger and you are so scared it affects you mentally (sorry I am lacking the correct words in English) you can apply to what we call 'Noodweer exces'. Even then it is not allowed to kill a person deliberately.

    Many many years ago there was a very large group of what we these days call hooligans running amok. They were charging a group of policeofficers (including some on horse) of maybe twenty to thirty officers at that specific location. Policeofficers in uniform, no gear maybe some detectives with them.
    Policehorses got slashed by razorblades on whips and some officers drew their gun (can't recall if they fired - maybe a warning shot).

    The riots that day were nothing compared to the political riot that developed about the question if the officer(s) in question were justified to draw their gun and use it. That is Holland for you.

    About stories:

    "I do shake my head at some of the situations I used to walk in - unarmed - back in the day!! "

    Ellis -

    These will not make good bedtime stories for my children (but they are getting to big for that anyway). Any chance you might be triggered to share a few?
    Then I will get out the Coorenwyn.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    684
    Likes (received)
    111

    Default

    Next time I'm in Holland, Johan - and over Coorenwyn only.

    E

  13. #88
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Atsugi, Kanagawa, Jp and Boise
    Posts
    72
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Just from reading the few examples in Ellis`s books/ articles I can only wonder 7yrs in and I haven`t even had anything as close as what Ellis has written about his time in Japan
    I second the motion that Johan would be perfect Koryu material

    P.S. Ellis bought a 2nd round of all your books for my Aikido dojo over here!
    Jeff Collier

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Yeah, rub it in Jeff

    Ellis, let me know when you are Hollandways and I will make sure I have an ample supply of stone crocs filled to the brim and a notebook.

    By the way good people there is a question maturing slowly in my head. I will be back shortly.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    The Old Dominion
    Posts
    1,590
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Not an attorney so this is not legal advice, just my experience within the system....

    When the threat stops, you need to stop trying to maim/kill him.
    I am an attorney (mostly criminal defense), but this is still not legal advice.

    Having said that, from a defense attorney's perspective my main concern with something like the ryufundo would be that, based on the weapon itself and on the descriptions Ellis has given of its use, it seems like a weapon you would use for a series of attacks. If I'm trying to use self-defense to justify my client's actions, what I would rather not see is repeated blows. Each time you hit the bad guy it raises a question of why the last hit wasn't sufficient. The first blow broke his hand? Well, why the heck did you need that second blow to the shoulder and the third blow to the temple and that nasty shot to the ribs after that? Wasn't there a point at which you could have disengaged? And after that point, isn't it really a matter of you attacking him rather than him attacking you?

    Now, that's not an insurmountable problem. In the Rodney King case, if I remember correctly, the defense did a masterful job of showing how each and every blow delivered by the officers was in response to something that they could have seen as a continued threat. Still, all things being equal, I think I'd rather have to defend one hit that did a lot of damage rather than a bunch of hits that did a lot of damage (assuming that I could make the case that there was ample justification to be doing damage in the first place). Of course, if you're around to argue with a defense attorney after the fact then at least you survived, which I'll take over the alternative no matter how many blows it takes.

    I think that Kit is also absolutely correct to identify the question of whether or not the state would even bother to bring charges. If Taxpaying Citizen with Spotless Record beats the everlivin' crap out of Repeat Offender That Police Really Wish Would Die Already, he could face a whole range of charges: insufficient assault, assault without a sufficiently deadly weapon, misdemeanor damage to occupied clothing, etc.
    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.

Page 6 of 13 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 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
  •