Likes Likes:  0
Page 13 of 13 FirstFirst ... 3 9 10 11 12 13
Results 181 to 194 of 194

Thread: Adapting Koryu

  1. #181
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Karlsruhe, BW, Germany
    Posts
    73
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    As I recall, one young man at the KSR dojo was rather arrogantly maintaining his own sword style in my class, and I invited him to attack me any way he liked, and I laid the edge of my bokken on him three or four times, neutralizing everything he did and not hurting him in the least. (Were that me, I would have quit what I was doing - no disrespect to KSR - and joined the guy who beat me. Or at least, stumbled back to my own teacher and said, "I've been beaten this way and that. What am I lacking?" Honestly, I don't think he did, because he didn't show up the next day, and if he got it, he would have come back for more, if only to gather more intelligence for his own ryu).
    Ellis
    Just out of interest ( okay...i'm curious... ) what do you mean with KSR?
    Kashima Shinryu...Katori Shintoryu...?
    And if it's Kashima Shinryu...are you talking about a member of the Kashima Shinryu, headed by Seki Humitake...or the followers of Inaba Minoru?

    As i said...just out of interest...

    Regards
    Ruediger Meier

  2. #182
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    685
    Likes (received)
    111

    Default

    Sorry - such problems arise with abbreviations. TSKSR. Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu. I am not, hereby, asserting that, thereby, I "beat" TSKSR. Rather, it illustrates a lot of points in a small image.
    1. The sectarian nature of many koryu that do not practice "live," and at least at lower levels, do not prepare students for things they don't expect.
    2. The "frog in a well" phenomenon which is very common in koryu <A frog living in a well asserted, "I can see the whole universe and it's a small blue disc!">
    3. Just poking Johan a little about old memories. (BTW, Johan - I was not referring to the "yellow belt" who piped up, "shihan, shihan, that is incorrect, in Katori Shinto-ryu, we do this, this, this, this and this, and blah, blah, blah. . . "

    Ellis Amdur

  3. #183
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    Sorry - such problems arise with abbreviations. TSKSR. Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu. I am not, hereby, asserting that, thereby, I "beat" TSKSR. Rather, it illustrates a lot of points in a small image.
    1. The sectarian nature of many koryu that do not practice "live," and at least at lower levels, do not prepare students for things they don't expect.
    2. The "frog in a well" phenomenon which is very common in koryu <A frog living in a well asserted, "I can see the whole universe and it's a small blue disc!">
    3. Just poking Johan a little about old memories. (BTW, Johan - I was not referring to the "yellow belt" who piped up, "shihan, shihan, that is incorrect, in Katori Shinto-ryu, we do this, this, this, this and this, and blah, blah, blah. . . "

    Ellis Amdur

    I know Ellis, that one was a pup.

    I must say it seems to me that a lot of people I meet who are practicing koryu are prone to a certain amount of arrogance.
    Arrogance based on experience and skill I find, although I do not think it is good, tolerable. Arrogance based on nothing more than belonging to a group is just silly.
    Is there not an Araki-ryu admonition on ' arrogance ' ? TKSR has one (or heaps) on being humble I am told. I am still working my way through Fred's posts trying to formulate some decent questions.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  4. #184
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Karlsruhe, BW, Germany
    Posts
    73
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    Sorry - such problems arise with abbreviations.
    [..]
    Ellis Amdur
    No problem...
    as written, i was just curious.

    Thank you for the clarification

    Regards
    Ruediger Meier

  5. #185
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    52
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    Sorry - such problems arise with abbreviations. TSKSR. Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu. I am not, hereby, asserting that, thereby, I "beat" TSKSR. Rather, it illustrates a lot of points in a small image.
    1. The sectarian nature of many koryu that do not practice "live," and at least at lower levels, do not prepare students for things they don't expect.
    Ellis Amdur
    Precisely why schools decreed that students were not to duel till they achieved menkyo kaiden or some other formal permission. Insomuch as this student was trying to assert some contrary opinion relative to yours, he was effective challenging you and thus the interaction you had, however convivial due to the nature of the seminar, was a duel. He most certainly would have taken a victory on his side as confirmation of his technique over yours.

    My teacher always stressed to me that, "In martial training, your successes belong to the lineage, but your failures are your own."

  6. #186
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arnold11 View Post
    Insomuch as this student was trying to assert some contrary opinion relative to yours, he was effective challenging you and thus the interaction you had, however convivial due to the nature of the seminar, was a duel.

    I guess that is one way of looking at it.
    *shaking his head while mumbling ' curious lot those koryu guys' *

    Happy landings,

    Johan smits

  7. #187
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    31
    Likes (received)
    2

    Default

    Sirs, could you please tell us some of your sources so we can document ourselves on this controversial subject?

  8. #188
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by durandal View Post
    Sirs, could you please tell us some of your sources so we can document ourselves on this controversial subject?
    " A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules. "

    The first published code duello, or "code of duelling", appeared in Renaissance Italy.

    As an aside to this admittedly humorless answer of mine I must say we Dutch are a loose lot. So it is quite possible the young man in question tried to sneak in some TSKSR. Hence my having some words with his teacher (who by the way was training in Japan at that moment - otherwise he would have loved to participate in the seminar ).
    As far as I know my friend he would not have laid the side of his bokken on the man to show him, oh no....

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  9. #189
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Back to normal mode:


    Just as one can see koryu practitioners as ‘ vessels ‘ for koryu maybe koryu can be seen as vessels for mikkyo. Other vessels would be any other activity for which mikkyo forms the base (performing rituals, any activity in society).
    The above would especially seem to be so in a society in which koryu perform functions whatever these functions are.

    In a society in which mikkyo does not play a role, let’s say outside of the Japanese culture it seems to me it will not be easy (or even possible) for koryu to perform as a vessel for mikkyo.

    If I have read Fred’s posts correctly it will not be possible to simply replace mikkyo with another (religion, worldview, whatever) since koryu-tactics and –techniques are in a sense formed by mikkyo.
    What remains practical in koryu are the tactics, called applied psychology by Ellis and several other methods Kit and Fred write about.

    This means in essence that koryu are not going to adapt at all.

    Sure, use a modern knife instead of a tanto, modern firearms instead of harquebuses, Kevlar vests instead of Japanese museumpieces. But these are all adaptions (changes) on the outside.

    Another question is would koryu not lose their potency when after a prolonged time away from their mikkyo roots? Or will the essence of the ryu remain ‘ dorment ‘ until a right vessel comes along?
    This would mean the body of knowledge should be seen as a separate entity from us? If so doing what exactly? And with what purpose?


    The only true adaptation of koryu I know of would be Kodokan Judo (the original version not the sports-variety). That could truly be called koryu-lite. It is based on (actually more but let’s say) two koryu and it is adapted for the better good of the masses (if there has remained anything esoteric in it is being researched by people way beyond my level).

    That koryu are not democratic institutions is something I can live with on the other hand a feudal set-up where the other students must serve the family. Or maybe the teachers? That is food for thought.

    Here’s a gokui from the repertoire of my own ryu. Stab a guy in the arse from a shadowy arcade. It won’t kill him but he will not be abel to move freely and you will. So you can get away.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  10. #190
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    52
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johan smits View Post
    Back to normal mode:


    Just as one can see koryu practitioners as ‘ vessels ‘ for koryu maybe koryu can be seen as vessels for mikkyo. Other vessels would be any other activity for which mikkyo forms the base (performing rituals, any activity in society).
    The above would especially seem to be so in a society in which koryu perform functions whatever these functions are.

    In a society in which mikkyo does not play a role, let’s say outside of the Japanese culture it seems to me it will not be easy (or even possible) for koryu to perform as a vessel for mikkyo.

    If I have read Fred’s posts correctly it will not be possible to simply replace mikkyo with another (religion, worldview, whatever) since koryu-tactics and –techniques are in a sense formed by mikkyo.
    What remains practical in koryu are the tactics, called applied psychology by Ellis and several other methods Kit and Fred write about.

    This means in essence that koryu are not going to adapt at all.
    In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I have been taught and practiced mikkyo both from a "martial" perspective (applying mikkyo as part of lineages I have been involved in) and a religious perspective (I am a practicing Buddhst.)

    While I certainly agree that it is an oversimplification to say that mikkyo's existence within koryu is that of mere psychological tricks, I have yet to find many instances of martial arts that I feel were FOUNDED on mikkyo-specific principles. Rather, they are founded on combative principles and then mikkyo is added/grows into the ryu because mikkyo was what was around in those times.
    Had these arts developed at another time with other spiritual/magical systems abound, those may have been adopted. One of the important elements of utilizing mikkyo in martial training is that you must relate to it. It must have meaning as to effect an internal psychological change. To that effect, you could, and perhaps SHOULD, adjust the mikkyo elements in a lineage to better reflect the culture of those doing it. Many of the mikkyo elements use Buddhist iconography and symbolism. A feudal Japanese warrior would be familiar with these and be able to relate to them- most westerners cannot.

    I am not convinced that the mikkyo in martial arts could not, in SOME cases, be replaced with another religio-symbolic system and have the same effectiveness. However, this could really only be done successfully by someone who has fully mastered the lineage, has experience in mikkyo- both from a buddhist and martial perspective- AND understands the culture into which they are converting it. Eg- You need to understand exactly what is meant by invoking Bishamonten and then figure out a way to convey that same effect utilizing western iconography and experience. Personally, I think it is just easier to require students with interest in mikkyo to learn about buddhism and the original sense of the mikkyo. I mean, if you look at a statue of Bishamonten, is it that hard to figure out what is going on? ;p

  11. #191
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    685
    Likes (received)
    111

    Default

    Arnold - Thank you! It's hard enough, sometimes, to find a rationale to train in archaic weaponry, from a culture not one's own - but the idea of adding onto it, and alien, culture bound religion, alien to most Japanese, bowlerized, ideologized, poorly translated - is daunting (and also, not very interesting). To give an example of the difficulties, there is a section at the end of THBR, which clearly has <some> relationship to esoteric, possibly mikkyo material. I asked the assistance of a mikkyo educated priest - he took the section to Japan - and was told by a scholar in his temple that "there might be five people alive who can understand what this might be saying."

    I asked my Araki-ryu teacher about the mikkyo and he said, in essence, "We are fighting men. We used this to become better fighters. For you to learn this would require that you become fluent in archaic Japanese, sanskrit, Buddhism and actually believe in it. Mikkyo for our ryu is just ways of manipulating the mind to achieve certain states. You understand what we are trying to accomplish - it's in all the kata. Go home and learn psychology - its the same stuff, in your world view."

    Now, I can imagine a mikkyo devotee or believer objecting to what might be regarded as a trivialization . . . but as I remember, all is "empty," or contingent reality - and that would include mikkyo as well. So, if someone asserts that invaluable secret essential teachings might be lost, maybe. But the thousands of hours I spend training in the ryu, with the added aims of the mindset, will bring me far closer to essential teachings. <The one caveat is what Kit pointed out earlier - a true religious faith armors the mind against fear of death and of PTSD> - (for better or worse - I believe that the Aztec priests who cut the hearts out of their prisoners very likely didn't experience PTSD.).

    Sort of putting things in mikkyo terms - the kata themselves are a rite. Why should I spend time contemplating an image of the moon-disc when I can embody - or at least appraoch - <suigetsu gokui> within THBR kata?

    Ellis Amdur

  12. #192
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    52
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur View Post
    Sort of putting things in mikkyo terms - the kata themselves are a rite. Why should I spend time contemplating an image of the moon-disc when I can embody - or at least appraoch - <suigetsu gokui> within THBR kata?

    Ellis Amdur
    I agree completely. I do think in some cases the very alien nature of mikkyo can give it some psychological punch for westerners, but then you are basically just running on some dumbo's-feather principle. You are better off practicing the kata.

    I personally believe that students of japanese martial arts have a responsibility to understand Japanese culture so that they can be aware of the context of things. However, after that point, it is a little silly to ask them to pretend to be men of 17th century Japan.

    Example: I trained with a gentleman who was a devout christian. When he first stated he told the teacher that he was uncomfortable bowing before the Kamiza due to his religious beliefs.

    The teacher responded that while in the west bowing is a sign of submission or worship, in Japan it is a sign of respect. By bowing before the kamiza he was in no way implying that he was honoring that which he bowed to above his god, but simply showing respect. "Think of it like a military salute."

    That was all the explination the man needed. He bowed to the kamiza and showed proper respect and deference and never had any issue.

    In one particular kata the practicioner is told to emulate Fudo Myo. The teacher explained who Fudo was, showed the man a statue of Fudo in the dojo and gave enough background in Buddhism to clearly show the intent of utizliing Fudo as a symbol in the kata. Then he said, "Honestly, as a Christian, it may be hard for you to think of yourself as Fudo Myo, or relate to him. For you, it would probably be more appropriate to think of yourself as Jesus when he threw the money-lenders out of the temple in righteous indignation." All that was asked of the man is that, should he ever become a teacher, he transmit the kata with Fudo Myo, rather than Jesus, lest several generations of "adjustment" lose the essence.

    When I do that kata, I become Fudo Myo. When he does that kata, he becomes angry Jesus. While the propriety of this conversion can be debated by those who feel ryu should not be adapted, I sincerely believe that little is lost in this translation. When I see him do that kata it looks correct and has the correct feel. Moreover when you look into his eyes when he does the kata, you can see he is channeling the correct mental attitude.

    HOWEVER, that translation was dependent on a teacher who A) Understood the lineage, B) Understood Buddhism, and C) Understood Christianity.
    If any of these three elements were missing, any attempt at "interpretation" would, at best, succeed by some luck.

  13. #193
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    511
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    Well I guess all good things come in three's.

    Arnold thanks very much for your explanations. You have given answers on several questions I had. You actually saved me quite some time formulating these.

    And Ellis you state that it is hard enough to find a rationale to train in archaic arts from a culture not your own. I guess I am still trying to find a rationale to strat training in a koryu. With the idea that if I have got enough information about these matters I will be able to make a wise decision.
    Otherwise it will be plain, dull and direct jujutsu for me until the end of my life. Which, come to think of it, may not be so bad either.

    I hope one day soon we will be able to contemplate the moon through the bottom of an empty coorenwynglass. That would be good.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

  14. #194
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Hiroshima, Japan.
    Posts
    2,550
    Likes (received)
    150

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arnold11 View Post
    Precisely why schools decreed that students were not to duel till they achieved menkyo kaiden or some other formal permission. Insomuch as this student was trying to assert some contrary opinion relative to yours, he was effective challenging you and thus the interaction you had, however convivial due to the nature of the seminar, was a duel. He most certainly would have taken a victory on his side as confirmation of his technique over yours.

    My teacher always stressed to me that, "In martial training, your successes belong to the lineage, but your failures are your own."
    Apologies for intruding on this very interesting thread. Mr Davies, you occasionally sign your posts with your full name, but not always. Could you please add your name to your signature.

    Best wishes,

    P Goldsbury
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

Page 13 of 13 FirstFirst ... 3 9 10 11 12 13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •