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Thread: Karate & Iaido

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtlanticDrive View Post
    Dear forum members,

    I was searching information about schools that practise karate and iaido together, or karate and kenjutsu. Separated or integrated in it's learning system.
    I am not sure what you mean by school. Speaking Dutch myself, I know that school is also used to refer to what we call dojo (the place where we train) in contrast to school as a system (ryu).
    Nevertheless the relationship between karate and iaido or kenjutsu fascinates me.

    First there is the historical context that I mentioned before and which is different in Okinawa and Japan. In Okinawa, these days little reference to the sword can be observed (with the exception of Motobu Udun Ti, and with the shift in soke, this art moved also to mainland Japan). In Japan a number of very influential teachers were also trained in kendo or iaido. It was not uncommon to see demonstrations of sai or tonfa against sword by people like Sakagami or Hayashi). They might have incorporated some influences of sword tactics directly in their art but not much.

    Second there is the individual search by Western karateka who through karate, hence exposure, get interested in other Japanese arts. I must admit that I belong to that category and I discovered traditional Japanese schools some 30 years ago when still very active in Karate and decided some years later to study them when I was in Japan (initially to train Shito-ryu with Mabuni sensei).
    Several karateka moved on and started to become more and more interested in the Japanese sword. Also in the US, for instance Shimabukuro sensei (whom I met because of a mutual interest in Ono Ha Itto Ryu) and Demuro Sensei (although when he visited Belgium he told me he had a background in kendo and his teacher was Sakagami).
    One of my first sword teachers (I trained Toyama-ryu in that time), Kurishima Sensei, was besides a great Iaido teacher also menkyo kaiden in Hontai Yoshin Ryu and had a history in itosu-ryu (he was ranked 5th dan).

    My good friend Wout Verschueren was also a karateka but he got completely fascinated by Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu.

    One of the great things about training with weapons is a better understanding of ma-ai. Both the weapons in Hontai Yoshin Ryu as the kumidachi of Ono ha Itto Ryu are continually challenging my perception of distance and are training them in a different way than karate did (and no need to say that in order to be successful in karate kumite these concepts are also extremely important).

    At least for me the transition to these koryu is a rich experience. I don’t argue that a thorough study of ryukyu kobudo is not an interesting complement to Karate (my good friend and old time karate buddy Alain Berckmans found interesting challenges through his teacher Nakamoto). My journey didn’t bring me there since I was taken away by my passion for Japanese koryu before I physically discovered Okinawa (that I visited only once).

    What about iai-do, I still do it but my passion is with kumidachi.
    Last edited by Guy Buyens; 26th August 2013 at 09:57.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S View Post
    The Wado-ryu suggestion makes sense (Wado-ryu jujutsu)
    Wado-ryu might indeed be considered a hybrid style of jujutsu and karate (I hope this doesn’t offend the people from that school because I have a great respect for several wado-ryu karatekas).

    Otsuka before studying Shotokan did Shindo Yoshin-ryu and Yoshin-ryu (nothing in common with Hontai Yoshin ryu except the reference to a willow as symbol of pliability).
    Whether Otsuka himself relied much on kenjutsu, I don’t know. Nevertheless Shindo Yoshin ryu is a classical sogo bujutsu (comprehensive martial art) influenced by Jikishinkage ryu and Hokushin Itto ryu (kenjutsu.schools)

    Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin ryu is under the direction of Tobin Threadgill, who is much more qualified than me to comment on this.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

  3. #18
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    Guy is correct. I have never studied Wado ryu, but I do have contact with some practitioners who are a part of TSYR. It is my understanding based on that interaction that Wado represents Okinawan forms as performed by person with a jujutsu trained body so to speak. Another way of putting it would be karate with a jujutsu engine.

    As far as swordsmanship goes I don't think I am going out on a limb in saying that the sword is usually the most difficult aspect for Wado practitioners who have joined our school. There is no real sword tradition that is transmitted within Wado ryu.
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Cheshire View Post
    In Master Minoru Mochizuki's Yoseikan there is a Kata (Ken Tai Itchi) that shows the progression from Ken to Ken, Ken to Tai and Tai to Tai. In both Master Minoru and his son Master Hiroo Mochizuki's Yoseikan programs sword, as well as other weapons, play a major role and included are disarming techniques.
    The Yoseikan of Minoru Mochiuki is another story.
    Minoru Mochiuki was a high ranked judo and aikido expert who also trained in Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu. Later he would also train in karate. So in his case it was the other way around: he got interested in karate after being trained in “mainland Japan” budo. He created Yoseikan (in 1931) as a comprehensive method but I am not sure if there are still people around who continue this style the way it was created.
    Yoseikan Budo (created in 1975) is the art of Hiroo Mochizuki, the son of Minoru Mochiuki. Like his father he trained in different arts (kendo, aikido, judo). His training in karate was substantial, first shotokan, later Wado-ryu. He would go to France and introduce Wado-ryu there.

    I only met him once during a training session in France but despite my young age, I was very impressed. At one time he was technical advisor for the French aikido federation, judo federation and karate federation.
    Although Hiroo Mochizuki inherited the art of his father (in 2000), his Yoseikan is marked by his personal influence, hence karate experience.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Buyens View Post
    The Yoseikan of Minoru Mochiuki is another story.
    Minoru Mochiuki was a high ranked judo and aikido expert who also trained in Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu. Later he would also train in karate. So in his case it was the other way around: he got interested in karate after being trained in “mainland Japan” budo. He created Yoseikan (in 1931) as a comprehensive method but I am not sure if there are still people around who continue this style the way it was created.
    You're right that there aren't vary many people that continue to train as Master Minoru created his style. I can tell you that the United States Yoseikan Budo Association (USYBA) does include elements of Master Hiroo's Yoseikan Budo however has it's core rooted in the teachings of Master Minoru. Although I can't speak for him - it is my understanding that Patrick Auge in California and Canada continues to teach as he learned from Master Minoru as a Uchi Deshi at the Yoseikan Hombu.
    Robert Cheshire
    Yoseikan Teacher
    www.yoseikanbudo.us
    www.fagri-igraf.org/

  6. #21
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    Wow great to read all these posts! And Guy Buyens i ment with school the method or tradition and not dojo in particular just like the replies make clear. We have like free sparring, jiyu kumitachi in our iai. Now i tried karate sparring in our school and must admit maai feels very different. Must get used to the fact i miss my sword and therefore my timing and tactics need to be adapted.

  7. #22
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    Anent the Shinkage-ryu mentioned in connection with Robin Reilly, a Shotokan practitioner here in New Jersey: I believe he mentioned that he studied Shinkage-ryu jujutsu, not kenjutsu. There is no record of him ever being a member of any Shinkage-ryu kenjutsu dojo that I know about. It is possible, but I rather doubt it, given what he has written. I used his first book in my MS thesis for what he had to say about kata.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meik Skoss View Post
    Anent the Shinkage-ryu mentioned in connection with Robin Reilly, a Shotokan practitioner here in New Jersey: I believe he mentioned that he studied Shinkage-ryu jujutsu, not kenjutsu. There is no record of him ever being a member of any Shinkage-ryu kenjutsu dojo that I know about. It is possible, but I rather doubt it, given what he has written. I used his first book in my MS thesis for what he had to say about kata.
    Sorry, I should have made it clear that the Shinkage-ryu (神陰流) in question was a jujutsu (or jujutsu-based) style. What is relevant about Robin Reilly's Shinkage-ryu to this thread is that in his book on the subject, he talks about how to use a sword. I was not implying an iai or kenjutsu background, just pointing the original poster to a system that might be relevent to his question.

    As for iai as being part of the methodology, that might be down to styles or orgainisations where the head instructors have ranks in iaido as well as karate - ex-JKA instructor Abe, and Shindo-ryu head Ushiro are two that spring to mind.
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

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