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Thread: Hôten-ryû???

  1. #1
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    Default Hôten-ryû???

    My name is Frédéric and I'm from France. I practice the modern arts of Iaidô and Kendô. I would love to practice Koryû but due to time constraints that's not possible and there is nothing available in the wider area anyway.

    The other day I came across this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dten-ry%C5%AB

    What's the deal here? I quickly checked Hall's "Encyclopedia" but it is not listed there. I am sure Prof. Hall could not list all schools but then again... especially given it's supposed connection to Yagyu Shinkage-ryû.

    I do understand that there have been young Sôke in many different schools (usually in there mid-twenties, like Momoi Junzo for example). But here the current one became Sôke with 19 years before entering military in WW2. Was the school so small that there where no other candidates? Pretty cool is, that this Sôke seems to be around 95 years old now and still teaching!
    Is it a bit shady that all documents are only from the 1940s on and written by the current Sôke? I do not know much, but given the fact that the Japanese always have been fond of writing down A LOT, there is not much here.
    Anyway, to me it has a bit of a "Bujinkan" feeling.
    The references given for that Wiki entry are just three japanese magazines.

    Is there just the dôjô of the Sôke in Kyoto or do they have more official dôjô in Japan?
    Frédéric Serra

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    I just looked it up on YouTube. There are a few films there - I believe the non-Japanese in one film is Russ Ebert.

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    Dear Mr. Amdur
    Thank you very much! I didn't know you are a member here. I really enjoyed your "Old School" book and looking forward to the new edition.

    Who is Russ Ebert?

    I have to check out the videos myself but my question was more directed to the authenticity of the school.
    So has this Mr. Ebert trained with said Sôke?
    Frédéric Serra

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    Russ Ebert wrote that wikipedia article. He's been doing koryu in the Nagoya area for a couple of decades. There are a lot of lesser-known ryuha in that region of Japan that were totally obscure until recently. There seems to be a movement to open those schools up recently, and let the public see them. Notably, the Shumpukan put on an embu last Feburary in Tokyo that was stunning just in terms of the weapons they demoed and the clothes and armor they brought with them.

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    Ah I see. A couple of decades koryu training! He must be a real master then. Unfortunately I have never heard of him. So he does teach Hôten-ryû then, right?
    Frédéric Serra

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    I don't know. I'm usually in the Tokyo area when I visit Japan and haven't even been down to that neck of the woods.

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    I have seen now the Hôten-ryû video where apparently this Mr. Ebert participates. I am a bit baffled now.
    Mr. Judge states that Mr. Ebert is practicing Koryu since a couple of decades, but the performance in the video is not really revealing this enormous amount of study. Maybe he just had a bad day.
    Frédéric Serra

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frédéric View Post
    I have seen now the Hôten-ryû video where apparently this Mr. Ebert participates. I am a bit baffled now.
    Mr. Judge states that Mr. Ebert is practicing Koryu since a couple of decades, but the performance in the video is not really revealing this enormous amount of study. Maybe he just had a bad day.
    Sorry, Mr Serra, but I can't really provide any illumination for you here. Perhaps if you go count the pleats of your hakama a few times you will gain some inspiration.

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    Mr. Serra,
    Welcome to e-budo!

    How can you expect us to accept your critique of Mr. Ebert's performance if you're not even going to provide a link to the video of which you are speaking? Second question that I have for you is what is your own experience with embu and koryu that you feel qualified to critique Mr. Ebert's performance? Just wondering.

    You could try sending Mr. Ebert a private message and perhaps he would answer some of your questions directly, as he is registered here at e-budo under the user name mekugi. I'm not sure how often he actually checks in here, but a PM will send him an email notification if he has his account set up that way.

    Cheers,
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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    Mr Serra, Mr Ebert has a documented history of training and is well-known to many members here and on other boards. You are a comparative stranger. pgsmith has given a very carefully worded response which I hope you will recognise and understand. There are others who would be less kind.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgsmith View Post
    Mr. Serra,
    Welcome to e-budo!

    How can you expect us to accept your critique of Mr. Ebert's performance if you're not even going to provide a link to the video of which you are speaking? Second question that I have for you is what is your own experience with embu and koryu that you feel qualified to critique Mr. Ebert's performance? Just wondering.

    You could try sending Mr. Ebert a private message and perhaps he would answer some of your questions directly, as he is registered here at e-budo under the user name mekugi. I'm not sure how often he actually checks in here, but a PM will send him an email notification if he has his account set up that way.

    Cheers,
    I suspect this is the video he meant.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap-2DXJIo5U
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

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    There are many koryu that are not part of the large koryu associations and likely never will be. Most of the koryu we see in the west are the larger ryu from the larger cities because westerns are more likely to live there and have the chance to train. As indicated above some of the smaller cities and towns have a huge array of koryu that were always ryu within that han or prefecture and will likely never leave (Maniwa Nen-ryu or Kogen Itto-ryu are two good examples that are well documented). During war time succession is usually less than ideal. I think the Sosuishitsu-ryu had a situation where one of the younger soke went off to war and got killed. The previous soke who was rather old at the time had to come out of retirement to teach a replacement. If I remember correctly (Cliff or another Yagyu guy please correct me) Yagyu Nobuharu sensei was never supposed to be the soke of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu but his older brother died in the war so the ryu fell to him instead. I think he is the first Yagyu head to have had a job besides teaching kenjutsu.

    As for the embu on youtube; I learned a long time ago not to judge what you see in embu. If you were expecting to see backflips, crazy shouting and acrobatics I would suggest watching anime and not kory embu because you will be sorely disappointed.
    Christopher Covington

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    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.

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    Watching Koryu Embu is like watching someone do the Tea Ceremony. It is painfully slow, stilted and appears to be unlike anything you would need to use in "Real Life". It isn't like they do it in the movies and it isn't like the randori/shiai/sparring practice that you might experience in the dojo. It is a "display", and in a very stylised form. It is, I think, very much an acquired taste; it only makes sense when you know what to look for.
    Russ has been filming and uploading many demos and displays over the last few years from all sorts of ryuha as they perform at the festivals in Japan. Use the links from the uploaders name (Mekugi), to find his collections. There you will see many examples of ryuha and perhaps begin to get a taste for this style of display. In my humble opinion, the older the ryuha, the more stylised the performance, but this does not have much to say about the effectiveness of the technique or the practitioners skills. For that, you'd need to train with them.
    You might find the Shorinji Kempo demonstrations more to your liking, as they are a little more dynamic and appeal to the modern audience. Russ has filmed one group from Nagoya several times over the years as they perform at the annual festival there. It is just one small club in one medium sized city, not the best of the best, but a great club nevertheless. Their version of Embu is more like a movie fight scene, choreographed to be performed at a more realistic speed. Not saying it is better than the other Embu, but perhaps the difference in presentation might be easier on the eye for an outsider.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    I had to take care of some important family business therefore my silence here.
    First let me state that I am well aware not to expect backflips and acrobatics from koryû enbu. It's not my intention to attack this Mr. Ebert. Basically I was just inquiring about that specific Hôten-ryû (see my initial post).

    Anyway, finally I have found a link to Mr. Ebert's dôjô: http://ebadojo.weebly.com/about.html
    If I count correctly he teaches six classical schools.

    Even someone suggested that Mr. Ebert has a documented history of training the only thing I found was ""Instructor certification provided upon request".
    I am more than happy to approach Mr. Ebert even though I understand he probably doesn't want to show his six instructor certifications to a total stranger.

    @Mr. Judge: Your silly reply about counting the pleats of my hakama was unnecessary. I believe I was fairly polite in all what I have written. But I do understand if you want to defend your friend. That is honourable. Just adjust your wording maybe.
    Frédéric Serra

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    Mr Serra,

    I didn't find your judgment of Russ based on the youtube video to be polite. I felt as though you started this thread based on a doubt as to the authenticity of Hoten ryu, so to judge Russ himself rather than the art you saw in that youtube video seemed arrogant to me and I grew very frustrated. My flippant response, however, inappropriately attacked the gendai arts that you practice, and I regret that very much because I actually do respect them, and you were quite honest and proud about your background as you have every right to be.

    Please accept my apologies.

    - Cliff

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