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Thread: Adapting Koryu

  1. #106
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    RE: Firearms

    I might think of that as more an admonition to "learn firearms" versus specifically learning the Tanegashima. Wasn't one of the former Araki-ryu headmasters a shihan in several firearms ryu?

    RE: "creating your own."

    Might that not be different ryu to ryu? I can see a school or teacher saying "you MUST do it this way," but that might be limiting the number and type of people that could successfully do a ryu (Ellis would be hard pressed to find students, for example, if people had to do it the way he does it at 6'6"...) but certainly ryu as old as Takeuchi-ryu seemed to have made allowances for rather different perspectives and performance of kata based on student personality and physical type, reflected in Wayne Muromoto's piece on Shu Ha Ri in his excellent blog. I know of another headmaster that admonished his students specifically to NOT all do it the same way, and to make the ryu "your own."


    Also, it seems from my limited experience, the older (Sengoku) schools, rather than having many disparate kata seem to have a few "key" methods that pop up over and over again across their practice, so that, as Ellis describes, practicing one is really practicing all of them.

    Perhaps a very large selection of kata is more a reflection of those different body types and personality types leaving their personal stamp on a ryu? Actually widening the ability of future generations of students to get something from a school, to specialize in certain areas over others (which is a natural human thing), versus a matter of having to master and maintain "all of them?" If you have hundreds of kata and techniques and have to continually practice them all, might you not end up a "jack of all kata, master of none?"

    Also in a ryu with a varied curriculum of weapons one could have to deal with some very real psychological and attentional issues appending to patterning various skill sets across different weapon types that might conflict. Today we have seen that problem simply with changing holsters, or changing the style of a pistol (adding a safety, or having a different spot on the gun for the mag release), so it can literally be a life and death issue under critical stress.

    I believe that classical bushi understood this, and why early ryu seem so consistent across weapon types and fighting methods. It also makes sense for a school to maybe not use a weapon to its apparent optimum advantage based on another school's analysis: its not that they "don't know how to use the weapon," its that they are using the weapon in their way to keep it consistent. Might not be the optimal use of the weapon based on another ryu's logic, but it is based on that particular ryu's principles.

    My shooting instructor is working within one parameter I asked set for my practice: I don't change my drawstroke. I chose this because I have trained it a certain way to maximize its effectiveness for very close situations (which I am more likely to face), and I want to keep one platform versus several different ones based on the distance of the adversary should I need to engage with a firearm. He said "that makes sense. It will slow you down slightly from the purely speed perspective, which is more important for competitive shooting and for shooting situations further away, but I understand the rationale and we'll just have to work with it." It is not hampering me all that much (my actual pure shooting skill is turning out to be more of an obstacle in that sense!!), but the tradeoff makes it consistent with a totally integrated tactical platform.

    Which is what I believe the early ryu were trying to achieve.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    RE: "creating your own."

    Might that not be different ryu to ryu? I can see a school or teacher saying "you MUST do it this way," but that might be limiting the number and type of people that could successfully do a ryu (Ellis would be hard pressed to find students, for example, if people had to do it the way he does it at 6'6"...) but certainly ryu as old as Takeuchi-ryu seemed to have made allowances for rather different perspectives and performance of kata based on student personality and physical type, reflected in Wayne Muromoto's piece on Shu Ha Ri in his excellent blog. I know of another headmaster that admonished his students specifically to NOT all do it the same way, and to make the ryu "your own."
    If you guys will allow me to go into "sensei" mode for a moment, and make pronouncements rather than suggest methods of looking at stuff... It's shorter to declaim...

    "Making the ryu your own" is not a matter of selecting a style or using various favourite techniques. From photography, which is another of my arts, there is a desire and temptation on the part of those who are beginners to "develop a style" as quick as possible and what they get is a gimmick. Choosing this or that is not the way you make a ryu your own. You follow your teacher like a photocopier, you try to do everything he does, exactly as he does it, for years and years and years. He demonstrates and you do.

    The thing is, he does not try to correct you in the ways that you differ from him due to your size, or your muscle mass (hell if you can blow through an opponent due to your size differential and he's just a little guy... why not) or your prior, obviously efficient, way of movement. He gets out of the way of your unique body limitations and advantages while keeping you to the spirit and intent of the ryu.

    That is making the ryu your own, only your sensei and your students can pronounce your style, you cannot. Back to photography, a genuine style is only apparent after you've been shooting for a decade or two. What you do no matter what gimmick you're playing with is your style.

    Also, it seems from my limited experience, the older (Sengoku) schools, rather than having many disparate kata seem to have a few "key" methods that pop up over and over again across their practice, so that, as Ellis describes, practicing one is really practicing all of them.
    I work with three koryu, the last (jodo) reluctantly because three is too many. Each of them does have a unique way of looking at the world, each can be taken down to a very few motions, as can aikido, my other major art. One of the Aikido students I've been teaching (after a decade and a half absence) told me that Aikido had hundreds of techniques. I laughed and said "maybe 15 if you stretched it". So yes, you've nailed it.


    Perhaps a very large selection of kata is more a reflection of those different body types and personality types leaving their personal stamp on a ryu? Actually widening the ability of future generations of students to get something from a school, to specialize in certain areas over others (which is a natural human thing), versus a matter of having to master and maintain "all of them?" If you have hundreds of kata and techniques and have to continually practice them all, might you not end up a "jack of all kata, master of none?"
    I don't think it's as deliberate or as conscious as all that. Yes I think you've got it right that more and more kata show up as the generations go by, and yes I think that different body types will promote a new kata or two but unless there's some ego problems involved, most students will not deliberately add to their sensei's teachings. Not the core instruction. The thing is, most students will hang on to their sensei's every teaching. Hence a "demonstration of how to do something if you're this big or this fast" will result in a new kata after you're dead. Kata are memories of what your teacher showed you.

    A new headmaster may very well "trim the fat" in a school. As Ellis pointed out, why keep a lot of throwing techniques or punching techniques around in a school that deals with weapons. You want to learn how to punch someone, go study an art that specializes in it. Be efficient. You may keep a few small things around to show how to "do it our way" as in....


    Also in a ryu with a varied curriculum of weapons one could have to deal with some very real psychological and attentional issues appending to patterning various skill sets across different weapon types that might conflict. Today we have seen that problem simply with changing holsters, or changing the style of a pistol (adding a safety, or having a different spot on the gun for the mag release), so it can literally be a life and death issue under critical stress.

    I believe that classical bushi understood this, and why early ryu seem so consistent across weapon types and fighting methods. It also makes sense for a school to maybe not use a weapon to its apparent optimum advantage based on another school's analysis: its not that they "don't know how to use the weapon," its that they are using the weapon in their way to keep it consistent. Might not be the optimal use of the weapon based on another ryu's logic, but it is based on that particular ryu's principles.

    My shooting instructor is working within one parameter I asked set for my practice: I don't change my drawstroke. I chose this because I have trained it a certain way to maximize its effectiveness for very close situations (which I am more likely to face), and I want to keep one platform versus several different ones based on the distance of the adversary should I need to engage with a firearm. He said "that makes sense. It will slow you down slightly from the purely speed perspective, which is more important for competitive shooting and for shooting situations further away, but I understand the rationale and we'll just have to work with it." It is not hampering me all that much (my actual pure shooting skill is turning out to be more of an obstacle in that sense!!), but the tradeoff makes it consistent with a totally integrated tactical platform.

    Which is what I believe the early ryu were trying to achieve.
    This.

    Kim.

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    Hi,

    If you would elaborate - what are the technical/tactical reasons you find yourself moving away from aikido methods (and in this case we have the unique perspective of actually the same techniques, just the modern aikido version of classical techniques) and turning toward the older stuff?
    There is nothing wrong with Aikido. It is by far one of the deepest modern arts out there, IMO. Honestly, the main reason I'm shifting to more classical methods is because that is what I am studying now.

    Pre-war Aikido (Yoshinkan derived) did provide me with an excellent foundation for practical application, but as I said, there is simply a greater range of principles, methods, tactics, and other teachings that are either missed or missing within Aikido.

    Classical arts tend to focus more on zanshin and combative mindset more than modern arts like Aikido. I made it a point to incorporate this in my own Aikido, but such a focus is almost extinct in Aikido. But I think that is what helped me apply Aikido in real situations.

    If I had to criticize Aikido, I guess I'd say that while repetition of simplified kata will get you in the ballpark quickly, there is a ceiling that is reached relatively quickly in which the techniques cap off. In other words, I don't think anyone will obtain the skill level Ueshiba Sensei had from just repeating the simplified forms. Personally, I began to incorporate the study of techniques from "Budo" and "Budo Renshu" years ago to my students. These are good examples of techniques/kata that were not yet simplified, and as such I viewed them as an advanced study.

    In the kata method of training I spend an equal amount of time on all the kata. I've found this to be VERY helpful in the "real world." When I go hands on I am able to better adapt to the situation because I have a much larger "vocabulary" to pull from and a much better solid foundation (as much as I practiced I feel my over all judo foundation was actually very weak in retrospect).
    I've also experienced this. I used to dislike the Tenchinage technique of Aikido in my earlier days of training. I later came to appreciate it as one of the most important techniques in the art later on, and was glad I didn't stop practicing it.

    All kinds of things come out in real-life situations that you wouldn't expect. I guess that is why such things remain in the arts. For example, I just went through a four-day rifle course with my Department, part of which consisted of assuming a "military squat" shooting platform. Everyone hates this position, and believes it is inferior to the various kneeling techniques that could be easily substituted (sorry, I'm probably losing a lot of people with this analogy...). But our instructors told us the reason they've kept it in the curriculum is because, to everyone's surprise, one of our guys ended up getting shot at during a firefight as he was bounding from cover to cover. He apparently stopped in his tracks, dropped straight down into the military squat, and took the opponent out with his rifle. So now we're stuck with it! I've got a feeling the military developed this technique based on some kind of human instinct to drop straight down into as small a target as possible while remaining on your feet and engaging the target.

    If it's in the curriculum, it's probably important.

    I found keep twisting until the slack is gone is the best answer for that. Also they tend to only be hyper flexible in one direction. The other direction the tend to be tight. If kotegaeshi just keeps turning try a sankyo and I bet you'll get their attention.
    Roger that Chris. Yeah, after we got to the booking cage and freed up his hands, I indulged myself with a bit of R&D prior to transferring him to his new home. I found his shoulders to have a "dead" feeling in them, which meant that Nikajo would not go through them, nor would Yonkajo. However, Sankajo, Shihonage, and Kotegaeshi all produced positive results, I assume, due to outward or inward spiraling locks. I have to tell ya though - I am a big proponent of Yonkajo, but he didn't have much of a reaction to it. Very unusual...

    I guess that's why we have more than one technique, huh?
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Nathan

    Thanks, its what I thought.

    Though PLEASE tell me that your "R&D" was done consensually with a willing participant rather than simply trying things out with a suspect about to be booked.....

    Kim-

    You follow your teacher like a photocopier, you try to do everything he does, exactly as he does it, for years and years and years. He demonstrates and you do.
    Technically - this cut, this (relative) stance, etc. yes.

    But what if he is 80 years old? Can he no longer teach the ryu though he can't do it "properly?" Though he moves differently now than he used to? Are you required to do it like an 80 year old does it if you are 35?

    Do what you are told is a better indicator than do what you see, no?

    He gets out of the way of your unique body limitations and advantages while keeping you to the spirit and intent of the ryu

    .....That is making the ryu your own, only your sensei ....(snip) can pronounce your style, you cannot. Back to photography, a genuine style is only apparent after you've been shooting for a decade or two.
    Or from the beginning, if your sensei pronounces it "okay, no?
    Last edited by Hissho; 26th February 2012 at 04:58.

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    Kit - what an important point!
    But what if he is 80 years old? Can he no longer teach the ryu though he can't do it "properly?" Though he moves differently now than he used to? Are you required to do it like an 80 year old does it if you are 35?
    Do what you are told is a better indicator than do what you see, no?
    Let me give a couple of examples:
    1. Saito Morihiro sensei of aikido certainly taught in a traditional, alpha dog manner. He had a bad lower back, and when he executed a lot of techniques, he'd shoot out one hip and twist his back. He was massively powerful, and could get away with a body out of alignment. That distorted posture is almost the "movement signature" of Iwama aikido. Nearly everyone imitated his stuck out hip and butt. Which leads to a question as to why he didn't stop them. Was he oblivious? Did he not care? Or was that a not untypical Japanese method of separating the wheat from the chaff. Those fool enough to imitate weren't worth the real goods. If this last was true, that, alone defines what he was doing as not a martial art, in the classical - I mean of any nationality - sense. Could you imagine a marine drill sergeant allowing the bulk of his recruits, soon to go into battle, to do something wrong because, if they were worth something, they'd "steal" the technique. I often think that much of what is construed to be "traditional Japanese pedagogy was, in fact, a mark of decadence - of martial arts as either recreation or self-cultivation, as opposed to a military training where one wanted each and every member of the group at optimum effectiveness as soon as possible.
    2. Shinto Muso-ryu. Shimizu sensei taught well into his eighties - and he became a stiff legged man, with very short shuffling steps. Furthermore, he was teaching police, en masse, and began to change techniques to suit that method of teaching. This was followed by a lot of the jo folks - and when Shimizu died and people sought out Otofuji sensei in Kyushu, who was doing things the more virile Kyushu manner, or Nishioka sensei, who learned from Shimizu at a much younger age, it was quite a surprise, if not shock to many.

    The Japanese pedagogy - following Confucian ideals - can, in many systems, allow the old man to stay at the top, teaching, when he should have been guided off to pasture a long time previous. The only old guys who can bring it off are a) those who struggle to keep in peak shape b) have the humility to be the equivalent of a good boxing coach or classical dance instructor - they know the ideal, they tailor it to the body and psyche of the young practitioner.

    Ellis Amdur

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    Quote Originally Posted by johan smits View Post
    I agree with Christopher. The film is wonderful and indeed Sugino looked a lot like them. I always thought the difference between Otake en Sugino was found in the fact that Sugino learned Katori Shinto ryu under the koryu section of Kano's Kodokan. And he would be influenced by Kano and maybe that accounted for the difference ( less agressive style ).

    But it appears to be another thing altogether.

    Koryu are pretty cool.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits
    Hi Johan,

    totally forgot this thread
    Just a note: Sugino-sensei also went to the Hombu-Dojo in Chiba for Keiko.

    Best regards,
    Michael Reinhardt

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    In for an early night and see what happens

    Ellis,

    First if I have given you the idea that there is something wrong with koryu then I have not made myself clear. What I find most interesting is the cutting edge of an art like koryu taught in a whole different enviroment. I have that with culture. I prefer Meiji photographs of guys with bowlerhats and tight jackets wearing swords and hakama above older pictures of samurai - for instance.

    So I am not so much talking about improvement but about adaption in another environment. For me one of the questions, as a teacher and from my own perspective is, how can we get more people interested in koryu? And what can the koryu do about it and are they willing to do so?

    Doing something for the public good? - I try to be a little friend of everyone and although I know that we are all equal I also now that some are more equal than others.

    About music - I am not much into Chopin to be truthfull - I like others. One thing I like immensely is a speedmetal band 'Nightwish' they used to have the best of both worlds when they had 'Tarja Turunen' a classical vocalist. Her voice coupled with the band was really something different.

    Myote techniques were crap - okay so that is an example of an adaption which was not that good. I guess there is no description of the techniques?


    Kim,
    'Koryu is just not that interesting to most people.'
    Howcome?


    Christopher

    'The ryu shapes the student much more than the student shapes the ryu. '
    I guess this is true in the beginning but after one has mastered the ryu does one not add to it?

    This is what Kit writes about:

    'Perhaps a very large selection of kata is more a reflection of those different body types and personality types leaving their personal stamp on a ryu? Actually widening the ability of future generations of students to get something from a school, to specialize in certain areas over others (which is a natural human thing), versus a matter of having to master and maintain "all of them?" If you have hundreds of kata and techniques and have to continually practice them all, might you not end up a "jack of all kata, master of none? '

    Could this not be a koryu existing a couple of hundred years, all teachers adding something and in doing so have an excess of kata? Only adding and never restructuring?

    Did Kunii sensei of the Kashima-shin ryu not restructure the jujutsu component of that art? To make it more easy to learn?

    Michael - you forgot about this thread?
    Thanks I did not know that.

    Happy landings.

    Johan Smits



    ps Christopher
    One of my DT/Arrest techniques instructors focused on two locks: kotegaeshi and ikkyo.
    I do the same - different group of people to train but these are the coretechniques for them.

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    Johan, can you read German? If yes, try to get a copy of the "Budo Kyohan" by Sugino-sensei. It has been translated. Great work showing Shinto ryu during WW2 - the Kata, Kamae, etc. look like the stuff which is done today, too
    Definitely the price worth!
    Cheers!
    Michael Reinhardt

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    Hi Michael,

    Yes I read German, not as easy as say for instance English but well enough.
    I have seen the book but since on Amazon.de there is no way to search inside it I hesitated since I could not see the contents.

    If you say it is well worth the price I just found a birhtdaypresent for myself. So many thanks for the tip I will definately get a copy.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Technically - this cut, this (relative) stance, etc. yes.

    But what if he is 80 years old? Can he no longer teach the ryu though he can't do it "properly?" Though he moves differently now than he used to? Are you required to do it like an 80 year old does it if you are 35?

    Do what you are told is a better indicator than do what you see, no?

    Or from the beginning, if your sensei pronounces it "okay, no?
    Do what you are told rather than what you see... if what you're told is correct, sure of course. (I've heard some strange mis-translations that are cleared up instantly by looking at what sensei is doing) If you can see something deeper, why not do that.

    I've seen lots of "old man iaido" around, but my sensei who are over or pushing 80 quite simply say "don't do it like I do it" if they can't do a certain movement. Others can still take me apart so I've got no problem doing what they do and/or what they say.

    On "style" one may very well develop a unique way of doing something that stays with you for the rest of your career, with sensei approval, but beginners have a wide range of movement by definition and sometimes they're going to be perfect, sometimes not. My feeling is that you won't know what movement you actually settle into for years. Another thing to keep in mind is that instruction in the arts is largely negative. You get told no often, but yes rarely (could just be my crap technique of course) so a beginner should beware of silence as being approval. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's just "too early to fix that one, he still has to figure out which foot goes in front".

    But on the whole we need to trust our sensei not to give us "hitches" as Ellis has outlined.

    I often think that much of what is construed to be "traditional Japanese pedagogy was, in fact, a mark of decadence - of martial arts as either recreation or self-cultivation, as opposed to a military training where one wanted each and every member of the group at optimum effectiveness as soon as possible.
    Frankly I struggle with the idea of budo as realistic military training either now or in the past, (iaido on the battlefield and all that) so I don't worry too much about using this stuff "in the street" but I've always had sensei who insist it be "real", ie effective. The USA seems to be settling on predator drones to take out individuals they want dead and that means kids playing video games are going to be more important to the modern military than kids trained in koryu.

    Having said that, yes we are talking about updating to modern relevance and in fact there are really only so many ways to efficiently drop an opponent on his head so real could mean effective in a modern situation. But your point about optimum effectiveness as soon as possible will negate much of our "years-long-training" fondness of koryu. Basic training and specialized training on the order of months rather than decades.

    The Japanese pedagogy - following Confucian ideals - can, in many systems, allow the old man to stay at the top, teaching, when he should have been guided off to pasture a long time previous. The only old guys who can bring it off are a) those who struggle to keep in peak shape b) have the humility to be the equivalent of a good boxing coach or classical dance instructor - they know the ideal, they tailor it to the body and psyche of the young practitioner.
    We've been lucky in that our old men are brutally honest with themselves about their bad shoulders, knees and backs. They use younger instructors to demonstrate when necessary and restrict themselves to fine tuning and showing flashes of their own power as they can. The flashes convince me they're worth listening to.

    Thinking about it, I've had very few teachers over the years who could be put into "pasture-ready" category so I don't much think about poor instruction but I agree, the way we accept martial art instruction will allow poor instructors to reach the top and stay there. If we don't challenge, they don't need to prove it.

    Some will get up in arms about this but I think the situation is more likely in the arts with a single guy at the top than in wider organizations and associations. What I mean by that is in the kendo federation or iaido federation or similar, these top guys can all keep an eye on each other as equals and may offer such advice as "take someone who can still show it on your next trip". If there's nobody to tell the old guy he's losing it, it's more likely he can still believe he's 18 and strong.

    Johan Kim,
    'Koryu is just not that interesting to most people.'
    Howcome?
    I think you're over-thinking it Johan, you are interested, we are interested, but are we interested in restoring old cars or flint-knapping or making our own snowshoes? There's popular culture and there's the geeks and nerds who like various obscure stuff. We're those.

    I say kendo and judo are popular but that's only relative to koryu. They're both still tiny compared to storefront karate and MMA training.

    Koryu is kata based, you can't jump around, yell and smack each other on the head so kids are going to like kendo better than koryu ken. Judo is competitive, kids love to compete, it's an olympic sport so there's money pumping in to support training. The training is good at the elite levels, very up to date. Koryu jujutsu and even Aikido aren't as much fun, you have to take the pain of being thrown and locked. In judo you can spend long periods of time just dishing it out if you're a competitor and you're good at it, Yay, you don't have to get cranked half the time, Boo.

    Now when I say storefront karate is popular I mean there's lots of kids in classes but let's be honest, the successful clubs are ones that make it fun, that make it a bit of a babysitting service after school, which I totally support. One school in our group which is in a bedroom city offers pickup service from school, gives the kids a snack, makes them do their homework and then gives them a karate class before their parents pick them up. If parents are late they get charged babysitting fees. Lots of students, but for iaido and jodo and for the upper levels of their karate style, not a lot of people. The fun classes support the serious study of the few at the top.

    Same for hockey, baseball, any activity that isn't fully supported by governments. Lots of kids at the bottom provide money for the few adults who go on to be very serious about it.

    Koryu, by their nature, are more adult oriented (and adults job and family stuff to distract us) and more "elite" in this aspect than the more popularized arts. It's not really a mystery that they're not more popular, they aren't really suited to "popular" and the best we can do is be accepting of those who do find their way to our doors without putting up extra barriers (elitist as vs elite I suppose).

    Kim.

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    I think here we are delving even further into the difficulties of translation, pedagogy, and adaptation highlighted by our different perspectives....

    Kim I get what you are saying, but that is simply a matter of instruction. That is not necessarily specific to koryu though there the subject of Japanese pedagogy comes into it. Otherwise I think we are talking about the same things in terms of individual abilities/style. I just don't think that means being a photocopier in all systems. Just the opposite in some.


    Budo as realistic.....frankly this is the frame of reference problem I talked about before.

    Iaido on the "battlefield" is misplaced - the whole idea misses the point, except perhaps in extremis iai in which you drop a polearm or get unhorsed and have to transition, even then it would likely be to a shorter blade.

    Iai is meant for a different set of circumstances and environment than the battlefield, which still might result in combat for the bushi, in the same way that the modern special operations soldier doesn't walk around his home town with his M-4 slung, but likely carries the same or similar handgun as he carries on the battlefield in the event he needs it.



    The whole predator drone thing is WAY overstated, I hope you know that and were just being tongue-in-cheek. Some men still go into actual battle with others. Hand to hand combat absolutely does occur, and units are engaging high value targets at close quarters, even in attempts to take them into custody. As well as hostage rescue which cannot be handled with a missle strike. I recently spent some time with a unit specifically seeking close quarters combat and arrest measures because this is increasingly the kind of thing they are being tasked with, had some harrowing experiences with, and did not feel they had been prepared for by their current training.

    A Predator drone doesn't do these guys jobs for them, nor do "kids who play video games," and that kind of broad brush is simply a misunderstanding of what is actually happening out there.


    Otherwise, I think the "popularity" discussion is a separate one, as mentioned above.

    This last is intentionally provocative, intended that is for more discussion rather than as a B.S. electronic tiger way of slamming Kim or anybody else: I am wondering if the whole "geeks and nerds into obscure stuff" is more revealing commentary about resistance or dismissal to the idea of some koryu being relevant in the modern day than anything else. It would be a shock indeed, perhaps, to have an influx of special ops type guys, blooded in actual battles, extremely fit and very aggressive into the koryu. Even one or two in a particular dojo might seriously upset the current order of things...

    ...but then again isn't that what Draeger did??
    Last edited by Hissho; 26th February 2012 at 17:19.

  12. #117
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    Kim,

    I do have a tendency to over-think so your statement might be just.
    But nerds and geeks? I thought we were cool

    Hope this thread will bring some more interesting insights in koryu though.

    Happy landings,

    Johan smits

  13. #118
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    "It would be a shock indeed, perhaps, to have an influx of special ops type guys, blooded in actual battles, extremely fit and very aggressive into the koryu. Even one or two in a particular dojo might seriously upset the current order of things...

    ...but then again isn't that what Draeger did??"

    Heck even some serious minded police officers, security officers, bouncers, etc. could really upset things at some dojo. I've seen different arts or dojo attract different sorts of people. I've known a few koryu dojo that have a student base of mostly laywers, doctors and such. The more rough and tumble sort of students really tend to shake things up and upset some people. The folks that like to talk about peace and love and harmony tend to get pretty mad when this happens lol.

    A few weeks ago I got my first female student. Interestingly enough it is my own girlfriend. She's been watching us train for a good two+ years now and never had any interest in it. She started a new job working with special needs teenagers at a high school. One of the students has a habit of taking the footrests off the wheelchair and using them as clubs. Even after some basic clinical hands-on classes my girlfriend realized how woefully under prepared she is for any sort of conflict. She has never been in a situation where another human being has wanted to cause her harm. I think it was a bit of a shock to her at first. Kit's example of the two police officers in the same situation sort of happened to her this past week. She has a radio she calls to get extra hands-on staff to come. The student was trying to elope. She was trying to keep the student from getting outside and rolling down a rather steep hill into traffic. She was a bit panicked on the radio but crisis was averted. She was officer one. Hopefully with more practice in the dojo and more practice in the school she can change from officer one to officer two. At least she understands the difference and is taking some steps to change.
    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.

  14. #119
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    I am curious in all of this what you all would line out as the most salient points of koryu adaptable to modern application.

    Batto / iai would seem, as Kit has said, to have a measure of application to defensive draws for pistol.

    Sword-taking might have a place in dealing with close quarters against a long-arm, should it come to that.

    Jujutsu / aikido / judo all have pretty straight forward application in arrest and control techniques, as well as some good nuggets for weapon retention.

    The physical techniques, though, are probably the most easily 'exported', as it were.

    Kit returns over and over to the 'mindset', as Nathan also talks about.

    I wonder what you would consider to be the koryu pedagogy for teaching zanshin, for teaching combative focus and awareness. I wonder that the salutation for kenjutsu techniques and the intense observation of the opponent, the soft focus, the mirroring of their movements would not be an example of how koryu would instruct a student in the kind of combative awareness and the specific kind of focus that more modern training methods are lacking.

    Other such examples of how to adapt the 'soft' skills?

  15. #120
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    RE: what modern training is lacking insofar as what Kit / Nathan / Christopher Covington has said on the subject, as I know zero about what modern military / LE training is like.

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