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Thread: Karate & Iaido

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    Default Karate & Iaido

    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. There is much information available of aikido schools or teachers that have skills in sword traditions other then in aikido, but not so much information available of karate in conjunction with iaido or kenjutsu.

    I am curious if there are other practisioners on this forum who practise both, karate and iaido.

    jeroen

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    Quote Originally Posted by AtlanticDrive View Post
    ...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 curious if there are other practisioners on this forum who practise both, karate and iaido.
    I am no longer active, but at one time I was practicing Karate-do Hayashi-ha Shito Ryu and Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido. My karate sensei also practiced Iaido, and the iai classes were held at the karate dojo, but the two were always taught as separate arts.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    I thought some branches of Wado-ryu included sword? I think concepts of swordsmanship are embedded in many karate systems especially Shotokan since Azato's Jigen-ryu impacted Funakoshi's style and Kendo ideology was embraced by the early JKA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    I thought some branches of Wado-ryu included sword? I think concepts of swordsmanship are embedded in many karate systems especially Shotokan since Azato's Jigen-ryu impacted Funakoshi's style and Kendo ideology was embraced by the early JKA.
    I'm not sure how much the sword influenced the development of Shotokan.
    Sure, both Matsumura and Azato were practitioners of Jigen-ryu (and I've even seen an article in Hiden which actaully suggests that some Shuri-te techniques may have been developed to counter sword attacks), and Funakoshi's first senior student Shimoda was a Maniwa Nen-ryu practitioner (and possibly a major influence for Shotokan's deeper stances), but actually finding sword techiques? Definitely not within modern JKA.

    The Wado-ryu suggestion makes sense (Wado-ryu jujutsu)

    Other places to look for a karate/sword combination might be Shindo Jinen Ryu (Konishi trained with the sword), Yoseikan (again, Mochizuki learned iai and karate in addition to judo, jujutsu and aikido), Shinkage-ryu as described by Robin L Rielly.

    Just beware of all the katana-swinging kurotty masters out there!
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

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    I agree that you won't find sword techniques in Shotokan. But I think there is a kinship.

    Here's a look at Jigen-ryu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnLNExI_uK4 and if you can get past the screaming and the funny little grandma stepping what I see is total commitment to attack, attack, attack. To me, this idea and mindset directly relate to ikken hisatsu and the Shotokan ideal. We read about this a lot in the Shotokan literature, e.g. the scene in Moving Zen where the author's sempai tell him to only attack during his dan test - no retreating. I also wonder if some of the older body conditioning aspects of Shotokan that are no longer practiced much, such as Nishiyama's advice to "swing a heavy stick" in his book Karate: Art of Empty Hand Fighting, might be a hold over from some kenjutsu influence. The Jigen ryu is especially noted for the heavy bokuto it uses. Finally, the very idea of shiai karate as it developed in the 20th c. I think in some ways borrows from kendo.

    This, of course, is all speculation, but the one time I was present to see a koryu practitioner demonstrate some Jigen ryu waza I was struck by how much commitment to attack he had and how similar the expression of overwhelming force was to high level Shotokan (although maybe it's just that all masters overwhelm me).

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    IMO, the emphasis on attack is more early Meiji than kendo. Read up on the Imperial Japanese boxer Tsuneo "Piston" Horiguchi, and you'll see what I mean.

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    I practice both karate iaido and kenjutsu under one instructor.

    Www.rembuden.com

    We are a long way from you tho.
    Liam Cognet

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    I just read your article on Piston Horiguchi - interesting stuff! So, in that line of thought Shotokan might have developed its aggressive paradigm from the influence of Japanese military/sport culture rather than any ancestral link to Jigen ryu? That seems very plausible. I wonder why some arts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (like Shotokan and boxing) would embrace that idea while others (like judo) maintained more of a balanced approach between attack and defense?

    I have no significant experience with Shito-ryu, but it seems like a study of that style might clarify some things. I.e., Shito ryu was developed at roughly the same time as Shotokan (just a few years later in mainland Japan), but its lineage teachers and early practitioners don't seem to have been as invested in the sword as the Shotokan guys (no Azato and fewer Japanese kendoka). If Shito ryu shows the same bias toward attack as Shotokan and Horiguchi's boxing it would seem that the sport hypothesis might be sound; if not, if Shito ryu is more balanced toward attack and defense, it might suggest that the legacy of the sword has something to do with Shotokan's methodology.

    This is an interesting discussion - thanks!

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    Also consider the age of the practitioners. JKA was being taught in university clubs whereas judo and kendo were taught in junior high schools. Also, karate was picked up by the Army during the war as a training method for Special Attack groups (i.e., commandos).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S View Post
    Yoseikan (again, Mochizuki learned iai and karate in addition to judo, jujutsu and aikido)
    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.
    Robert Cheshire
    Yoseikan Teacher
    www.yoseikanbudo.us
    www.fagri-igraf.org/

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    Fumio Demura is shito-ryu karate and some form of iaido (MSR?). I'm not sure the styles are melded though.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    I think we have to be careful not to mix historical influences in Okinawa with those in mainland Japan.

    Indeed, the Satsuma Samurai who had occupied Okinawa from 1609 practised Jigen Ryu (kenjutsu style) which can be traced to Marume's Taisha Shin Kage Ryu. Although inhabitants of Okinawa were not allowed to use swords, influences of Jigen-ryu might be observed throughout the development of Karate. Especially on those inhabitants from Shuri who practised Shuri-te but who were exposed to life around the castle, located in Shuri.

    Probably one of the few Okinawa inhabitants, master in Tode, to have been allowed to become skilled in Jigen-ryu kenjutsu in those days, was Matsumura (1797-1899), a scholar and skilled calligrapher whose literary knowledge enabled him to become an official in the Ryukyu government. Matsumura’s link with the great palace of Shuri is well known and it is said that he served as bodyguard to three Okinawan kings (Shoko, Shoiku and Shotai). This appointment allowed him to make several trips to both China (where he studied Chinese chuan fa) and Satsuma in Japan. Anko Itosu (1831-1951) who is often mentioned as the father of modern karate was the Shuri-te master who studied under Sokon Matsumura.

    Much less known to the general public is Motobu Udun Ti , the martial art from the Motobu family (an aristocratic family in the Ryukyu Kingdom). The progenitor was Motobu Oji Chohei (also known as Sho Koshin, 1655-1687), sixth son of Sho Shitsu (1629-1668), the tenth monarch of the Second Sho Dynasty (1469-1879). The secrets of the art were received only by the heirs of the Motobu family. The first exception was Uehara Seikichi, student of Motobu Choyu. However in 2003 Uehara sensei, at the age of 99, transferred the title of soke again to a member of the Motobu family, , now the 14th generation headmaster and son of the legendary Okinawa Karate Master Motobu Choki (Motobu Kempo). The art of the Motobu family was once referred to as ushu-ganashi-mē no bugei, or "his majesty's martial art” but would later be known as Motobu udon Ti. The "Udun" portion of the name Udun Ti means "having the status of royal family. Therefore Motobu Udun means "the royal family Motobu." The "Ti" portion of the name means "hand" and by extension "bujutsu", or "martial arts." This is the same as in the word "karate," which, since the early Showa period, has been written in japanese using charaters that mean "empty" and "hand", was originally written with a different character for "kara" meaning "Chinese", to express the fact that karate was a bujutsu originating in China. In addition to the “hard” techniques of strikes and kicks,

    Motobu udun Ti has a system of joint locks and throws. It also makes use of weaponslike bo (staff), jo, uēku (modified oar), and paired tanbo (short bo), nuchiku (nunchaku), tonfa, sai, and kama (sickle). In addition, Motobu udun Ti uses bladed weapons that lower-ranking members of the military class did not possess, such as the sword, spear, and naginata. In fact, after Ryukyu fell to the Satsuma forces in the invasion of 1609, only certain families like the Motobu were allowed to possess bladed weapons.

    Although Karate originated from Okinawa (based on Chinese arts, influenced by local techniques), most influential teachers of the island would migrate to mainland Japan where Karate continued to develop Into its existing form. Funakoshi (shotokan) was indeed the first to introduce karate in Japan. Later, others like. Kenwa Mabuni (shito ryu) , Chojun Miyagi (goju ryu) and Motobu Choki (motobu ryu) would follow.

    In mainland Japan, it is not hard to imagine that students could be interested in both kendo (or iaido) and karate.

    In fact this is what happened to me as well, originally a karateka who went to Japan to train with Mabuni sensei, I got interested in a traditional Japanese koryu and hence Japanese swordmanship.

    Although many important teachers moved to mainland Japan, the development of Karate in Okinawa also continued. Nevertheless karateka who go to Okinawa to study karate will more likely be exposed to Okinawa Kobujutsu, the ancient (it appeared in history approximately 700 years ago) martial art of the Ryukyu Islands that consists of Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Nunchaku, Kama, Tekko, Tinbe and Surujin.
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    Anko Itosu (1831-1951) who is often mentioned as the father of modern karate was the Shuri-te master who studied under Sokon Matsumura.

    He lived to be 120? Wow! That must have been quite a life.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    Anko Itosu (1831-1951) who is often mentioned as the father of modern karate was the Shuri-te master who studied under Sokon Matsumura.

    He lived to be 120? Wow! That must have been quite a life.
    Obviously a typo, 1951 should be 1915
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Buyens View Post
    Obviously a typo, 1951 should be 1915
    I wasn't being facetious, just fact-checking as that was not necessarily obvious. Since 122 is the oldest human age recorded thus far, and Japan has been known for long lifespan, it could have happened.
    Cady Goldfield

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