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Thread: Anyone ever heard of Kuroda Han Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu?

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    Default Anyone ever heard of Kuroda Han Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu?

    Hi,

    I have been wanting to learn Koryu Swordsmanship and have seen this website http://www.yagyushinkage-ryu.com/.
    I have read about Yagyu shinkage ryu but have never seen it prefaced with Kuroda Han, also the one video I could find of a demonstration seemed rather different from demonstrations I have seen of yagyu shinkage ryu. Is kuroda han an offshoot? I have been unable to find much information regarding it (only an old thread on here and one on swordforum.com, neither of which ended with any sort of consensus as to the lineage and legitimacy of the school) So any information regarding this school would be much appreciated. Also I was interested in the long distance study course which comprises of dvds and skype sessions, What are peoples thoughts on the effectiveness of this as a swordsmanship teaching method?



    ,Thomas Lamb

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    It is my recollection that there was a consensus among YSR folks that there was a lineal connection with Shinkage-ryu kenjutsu. However, what they are training could be considered another ryu entirely. To strain a simile, you have a family called Smith who have been farmers for 15 generations. The 16th generation Smith makes towels in a textile factory. He is a Smith, but he's not doing what the other Smiths did.

    As for your question about long-distance study, it is a ridiculous idea. Everything that a koryu is, long-distance study by DVD and Skype is not. Is it conceivable that you could learn to wield a sword with some skill? Sure. Is it conceivable that you could engrain mistakes that you will never eradicate from your practice? Very likely.

    Most importantly, transmission in a koryu is a person to person, direct relationship with a teacher. As part of a dojo. As part of a culture that comprises both the dojo and the larger culture of Japanese martial traditions.

    If there is no koryu in your area, I believe there are one choice. Train in something worthwhile that is available locally, be it judo, kendo Korean Ssirreum, or Swiss schwingen. And when you can, move to a place that you can study. Or move now.

    NOTE: there are a lot of scam artists, and other types of frauds claiming to teach koryu bujutsu. I'd recommend reading the Skoss' three part series on koryu bujutsu, Donn Draeger's trilogy (a little dated, but still excellent) or my own work (Old School). These books should give you enough information on what koryu truly is so that you are not misled.

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    Thomas, before you do anything else, look up Ellis Amdur. Then read again everything that he has written above.

    It is a bit like meeting a woman in a cafe and asking her about this thing called acting, and Meryl Streep stops what she's doing to carefully listen to your question and give you a balanced and informed answer.
    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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    Wow!! Ellis as Meryl Streep. Now there's an interesting metaphor...
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    I had thought of Albert Einstein... or Prof Stephen Hawking... then I asked my kids to come up with someone - anyone - who was famous in their field and whose advice would be valued... my kids came up with Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lawrence.

    I think Ellis got off lightly.
    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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    Thomas, you are based in England according to your profile. I can assure you there are quite a few authentic koryu schools in Europe. Some of them are swords-based some of them are jujutsu-based (but not entirely weapons-free). So you have plenty of choice (at least koryu-wise) in your "wider" area aka Europe. There is really NO need for any long-distance study blablabla....
    Start exploring what you would like and take into consideration that travelling will be usually part of it.
    It's actually not that hard.

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    So there is a Kuroda-han Yagyu Shinkage ryu group - which looks to be different - that has created a facebook page and they have some videos up:

    https://www.facebook.com/shyuyukan/?fref=nf

    Their lineage is still kind of problematic, and they claim a bizarre number of other schools besides YSR. But what is interesting is that the kata themselves don't look that bad - meaning they clearly put a lot of work into them - and they don't look entirely inauthentic.

    Its possible that they follow an actual lineage.

    Its possible that they found someone who had trained with the Yagyukai or the Shumpukan and spent time with that person training in the ryu. Again, to my eyes, they put a fair amount of work into this. Then perhaps they put purposeful embellishments on the kata, lowering the stances and making slight changes to the targets and timing.

    And maybe that's wrong, but which would be more wrong - someone could on the one hand, train in a ryuha for many years, and become one of the best people in that school. Then the teacher dies, and the student who becomes the new headmaster does not get along well with this other student. So he goes his own way, and is declared hamon. But continues to teach, and attract students.

    On the other hand, sometimes lineage passes without a decent transmission of skill or content. So what if someone becomes the inheritor of a line of transmission, a branch of Shinkage ryu for an example, and reaches out to other schools to study as a means of furthering his and his student's understanding of their own tradition?

    To compound all of this, in Japan it seems a lot of schools are really getting pretty open. Takada-ha Hozoin ryu have "experience" seminars a couple times a year - they are reaching out and trying to attract new students by putting a spear in their hands and showing them some basic kata. Taisha ryu is happy to accept foreign-based students who want to set up study groups, providing they are willing to come to Kyushu for intensive training a couple a times a year and establish a proper relationship. And schools are demonstrating more and more of their material in public too.

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    The Kuroda Han Yagyu Shinkage Ryu name is used by a few groups. These people shown in the link used to come and do embu for my ryu in Yanagawa. I remember Kamachi Sensei well.

    Cliff, what you mention about a ryu being passed on without decent transmission is frequent. It's always a toss up between good fundamentals and concentrating on the many waza some ryu. Keep doing different things all the time and not fundamentals and the level will drop. As they say in both Iaido and Kendo. Iai/Kendo starts with Ipponme/men and finishes with Ipponme/men. Seems to me that ryu level comes in waves

    My Sohke often said he thought a lot of the future of koryu was in the West as Japanese seemed to show little interest it was to that end that he taught me so much calling me his 'madoguchi'.

    Look at the population of Japan that practice then those in other countries. I would turn up for renshu sometimes there were just three of us including him. Then we would do a Western seminar and there were 60 plus including a lot of regulars.

    What will always hold us back is the need to learn Japanese especially for those that have written text and philosophy connected with ones ryu. But what we should understand is the Japanese 'Intanashionaru' concept is different to ours in that you need to be in Japan and be 'one of the boys'. Other countries are just that.
    Last edited by hyaku; 23rd May 2016 at 17:15.
    Hyakutake Colin

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    My only real beef with the website is that he seems to have everything for sale. The DVDs for me are a red flag.

    I remember the original website from the OP was also quite critical of other Sword Dojos in Australia. It looks like he has removed that.
    Mat Rous

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    I think all you need to know about it is here...

    https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/t...word-australia

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkAaron View Post
    I think all you need to know about it is here...

    https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/t...word-australia
    As an FYI, the MAIA is a body that handles insurance in Australia. I looked into using them but you have to get all of your first-aid training through them as well which was a red flag to me. They are not the arbiters of who is legitimate in MA in Australia, just insurance brokers. I chose to use a different insurer.

    There is no requirement from the Australian government to use them - the only requirement (Which is state based) is to have full Public and Private Indemnity insurance and if you teach children, police checks for your background.



    Mr Metcalfe seems to have disappeared off of all the sword fora.
    Mat Rous

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    Actually Matt they TRIED to get 'recognition' from the Vic gov't as the 'controlling body' for all martial arts in Vic. The head of the MAIA is a con man and the whole company is dodgy. I went to a few of their meetings when they were trying to 'take control'....and I would steer WELL clear of them.
    Best wishes

    Howard Quick

    Shinkendo Australia - Shibucho
    Senjutsu Ryu Jujitsu
    Kokusai Toyama Ryu Renmei

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    AkAaron

    Thank you for the link.

    It made fascinating reading.
    Chris Thomas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Quick View Post
    Actually Matt they TRIED to get 'recognition' from the Vic gov't as the 'controlling body' for all martial arts in Vic. The head of the MAIA is a con man and the whole company is dodgy. I went to a few of their meetings when they were trying to 'take control'....and I would steer WELL clear of them.
    Indeed - I know of a few people who use them to justify their lineage which is bizarre.

    Like I said, I found another insurer with very good rates who are NOT MAIA!
    Mat Rous

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