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Thread: Daito-ryu - Gendai or Koryu?

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    Is Daito Ryu aikijujutsu as it is practiced today a gendai or koryu art?

    First define gendai and koryu, then apply that definition to how the art is presented/practiced today.

    Jeff Cook
    Wabujitsu

  2. #2
    Sheridan Guest

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    Definition of Gendai as it applies to Daito-ryu, Sokaku- Sensei created Daito-ryu.
    Definition of Koryu as it applies to Daito-ryu, Sokaku-Sensei merely rebuilt Daito-ryu, it's really close to eight hundred years old.
    This is the biggest schism within AikiJJ folk today. Gendai or Koryu is totally dependant on which version of history you believe. Every person has their own theory and usually will express them vehemently.

    PS.: I'm totally after crash as an e-budo member, but I'm pretty sure this was one of the causes of the aiki-wars that took place BC. Good luck with the can of worms Mr. Cook!

  3. #3
    Ray Coleman Guest

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    Gentlemen,

    Gendai is means present-era (ie: post 1868-Meiji) and koryu means old-school (ie: pre 1868-Meiji). Daito Ryu was foundedn by Sokaku Takeda so it would have to be a gendai art, but definetly still a combat system.

    If Daito Ryu is 800 years old (?) that would make it older than Tenshin Katori Shinto Ryu, Japan's historically proven oldest extant martial ryu. This would mean that Daito Ryu would have been founded around 200-AD, before the martial culture of the Bushi had risen. Imperial troopers and other fighting men would have been using the Ken (tsurigi) type sword from China (as the tachi shape hadn't been developed as yet), wearing continental type lamellar armour and carrying continental socket type lances and pole-arms. The Heian-era hadn't even started yet.

    The earliest that I've heard that Daito Ryu was established is the 1000's, founded by Minamoto Yoshimitsu. This is usually always touted by Aikido practitioners who try to prove how far back Aikido can be traced.

    Sincerely,

    R. Coleman

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    Hm. I guess you could say that the English language goes back around 1,000 years. But I daresay that if you were to hear native speakers of English from, say, 900 CE, you would not be able to understand 98% of the words, nevermind the syntax. Speakers of Old German might have better luck. Hey, go read your Shakespeare and see how Elizabethan English sounds to you. Even Victorian-era English is full of stuff that has since vanished from the vernacular and even formal language.

    So, Daito-ryu might have had roots going back 1,000 years, but each generation adds, deletes, accidentally omits or corrupts the art...or refines it. Some things get imported into it from elsewhere. In fact, one of my favorite conjectures is that some of the deepest principles may even have come from China long ago, because it just ain't likely that some of the things could have been plumbed to their depths in just a few generations.

    We stand on the shoulders of generations and generations of learners and innovators.

    Cady

    [Edited by Cady Goldfield on 10-12-2000 at 07:02 PM]
    Cady Goldfield

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    Ho-i!

    Isn't Chikubujima-ryu dated to something like 1100?

    CK

  6. #6
    kusanku Guest

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    I've always found it interesting that Daito- Ryu looks so much like some forms of Chinese Chin Na.

    But then ,so do European grappling and locking techniques done in armor, as found at http://www.thehaca.com in the manuals section, and those are 1,000 years old and eight hundred years old, and so forth.

    I suppose when you are an armored fighter in close quarters combat, certain things do become necessary at times, and later become formalized and are taught.

    In modern European fencing, it is very forbidden to grab the opponent's blade, or was in duelling at least.

    But on olde battlefields that is just what people did to survive.A grab, a twist, a lock, and a finishing blow, the coup de grace, and the fight, it was , over.

    So in Daito ryu, does one not think that the Japanese would have borrowed techniques from the Chinese, whom culturally, were the source for most far Eastern cultures anyway?

    Yes, the Chinese, as did the Europeans , did a lot of in depth research and book compilation on their different techniques,and many of both of these could easily have wound up in Japan.

    Take a look at those Medieval fechtbuchen(fight books) and witness hundreds of emty of bare handed techniques against unarmed and armed opponent's, some armored as well.

    See the German Monk's sword training manual that also contains tai sabaki, daito ryu type locks, and atemi against sword wielding opponent's in armor against barefoot monks in robes.

    From many, many centuries ago.

    Witness the Knight's thousand year old martial arts, with techniques absolutely guaranteed the most ancient verifiable combat waza you ever saw, and try a few.

    How old is Daito Ryu or even Aikijiujitsu? I don't now. But Chin Na goes backcenturies n China, and the same techniques are also found as far back as twelve hundred years ago in germany.Documented.

    Want real koryu, check some of that out.



  7. #7
    MarkF Guest

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    Hi, Popie,
    First of all, your post didn't come near being off-topic so I doubt it would have been deleted. I've seen posts, such as in the aiki threads go so far off, as to begin a discussion of professional wrestling (puroresu), and how MA played a hand in that.

    Also, this is not the first time the question has been asked, but I can assure all of those who are PC (post crash) that this was merely a ripple in the aiki war, one of the best discussions I've had the pleasure (Cady won't say so, but she was the moderator and the opening salvo was hers: "Daito ryu: Esoteric or Pragamtic?" was the opening topic then.), etc.

    Funny you should bring up "koryu golf," Popie, as here in New Mexico there is a tournment every year in areas where there are no fairways, no rough, no (artificial) hazards, or greens; no grass at all. It is rocks, weeds, cattle skulls and the accompaning results of wild life, and hard as hard dirt can be. There are holes, and these are the real thing, as well. About the only thing modern about it, are the people and their tools.

    This argument of koryu or gendai is rather new, as even the words themselves would both have to be called gendai. As far as I can tell, this change in reference from new to classic MA is probably no older than five or six years, with the attending argument being somewhat older, but not much. In the early sixties, jujutsu was discussed as the original schools of all Japanese martial arts, and while there certainly were some older than others, was accepted, and almost never argued. Sokey dokeys were rare, although they existed, but this received no more than the casual acceptance of certain schools being older than others. The politics of it, older than the language of discussion, really didn't take off until the late seventies or early eighties. Granted, Bruce Lee caused a lot of this, but not purposely, but because he popularized something unknowingly. Perhaps it came with a zeal to train instead of talking about it, or perhaps, in there own, sleazy ways, the soaky-dokeys, were responsible because it made some obtain proof of their claims, I don't know for sure.

    Anyway, it is a silly argument, only because there are now cutoff dates (1868), something which did exist, but wasn't a matter of discussion. Diane Skoss puts the year exactly there, as a date became necessary. I doubt it was so clear then, but limits being what they are, this was necessary.

    Anything before 1868 was koryu, and anything later was gendai. Also, the rule was that those which did not engage in sport or contest helped to define it, but even Ms. Skoss had to modify this when the case of kyujutsu/kyudo was brought up, then it was arts in which sport or winning/losing was not the aim, and fit the date well, were koryu. Sad when you must date something which doesn't really need it, but in these discussions, or when asking for bona fides of instructors, it seems to be necessary.

    But I also think people have learned something by this so I don't think it is a waste of time per se. This one thing has pushed some into researching the subjects to a degree which may not have been done, or at least known, as well as it is today. I've had students bring questions to me which I've had to bring home and research a bit, but it has enhanced my knowledge to a degree, so it was not a wasted effort.

    But the real discussion now should be centered on how it effects one in his/her training, or how much research is necessary. It seems we are stuck with many variations on a theme and I wish I could be an immortal fly on the wall another century from now. Will those newer arts move into the classical school area?

    Something to think about, anyway. Some of us day dream too little, and kids probably should have time scheduled, as they do with play, the other arts, these arts, ad infinitum. One or two hours of day dreaming should be required of kids as anything else required, but not understood by them yet.

    Mark


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    [Post deleted by user]
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 10th June 2014 at 23:16.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Thumbs up

    Mr. Scott, that was probably the best explanation of this that I have ever come across. You make me wish that I had started coming to this forum sooner.
    SPC Jason C. Diederich, MOARNG
    FEMAS, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Kali-Silat
    www.geocities.com/shaolinninjamarine

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    Originally posted by Nathan Scott


    The reason people are concerned with koryu or gendai in general is because it has been submitted that any art that was founded after the days of warring and military govenment could not have been battle-tested, and therefore there is no way for the current exponents to test and confirm their techniques of war (with traditional weapons).

    The haitorei imposed and finalized in 1868 during the Meiji restoration called for the dissolve of the Samurai class. All people were pronounced equal in status, top knots were cut off and wearing swords in public was banned. It could be said that Koryu ceased being significantly developed after this time for these reasons.

    Mr. Amdur mentioned something about 400 years of peace (during the Tokugawa jidai, I guess). Many historians believe that most koryu that are extant today were founded during this time anyway. The less wars, the less survivors to teach of their experiences. Also, likely less of an emphasis on martial study as a result.

    On the other hand, modern martial arts that specialize in self defense and arresting techniques are a different story, as they are used by professionals and are tested still in the line of duty. Whether this issue affects your art or not depends on what is being taught; classical weapons and tactics, or post-Meiji weapons and tactics.

    So those that study a koryu that can not trace *at least* back previous to the 1868 (which is actually generous. I forget the date of the last war/incursion in which armor and traditional weapons were still imployed. Little help?) are often concerned that the principles and tactics that are in their style of classical-type warfare is in fact untested. It does not matter that the methods may have been adopted from older traditions that are koryu.

    Those that can say with confidence that their art is a documentable koryu tend to have a bit of comfort and pride in believing that the principles being taught have been tested and are not simply theory - even though this may or may not in fact be the case.

    Also, the methods of transmitting the arts in koryu are also quite different from modern arts; in fact in some ways opposed.

    There are modern (post-1868) ryu-ha that have been founded. Researchers probably like to differentiate between koryu and gedai ryu-ha. That is probably why you hear the term koryu so much these days.



    Hey, Mr. Scott--

    Would you mind if I posted this onto my website? Properly annotated, of course.

    [Edited by yamatodamashii on 10-16-2000 at 04:00 AM]
    SPC Jason C. Diederich, MOARNG
    FEMAS, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Kali-Silat
    www.geocities.com/shaolinninjamarine

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    [Post deleted by user]
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 10th June 2014 at 23:17.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    It's up now, if you want to check it out.

    Thanks!

    msnhomepages.talkcity.com/rightway/yamato_damashii

    [Edited by yamatodamashii on 10-16-2000 at 04:00 PM]
    SPC Jason C. Diederich, MOARNG
    FEMAS, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Kali-Silat
    www.geocities.com/shaolinninjamarine

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    Default Aizu records

    I think that it is sad that so many records of the aizu clan were burned/destroyed- I am sure that many valuable documents relating to their bugei were included. Looking at the vast curriculum of daito ryu, it becomes clear that the art predates Takeda sensei. No other sogo budo was founder in one generation and it was apparent that Takeda had the widest base of knowledge that could be possible. Just look at the various groups (takumakai,maineline,kodokai,etc). Those teaches come from Takeda and his knowledge seems to have been unlimited in the truest sense of the word.
    Erin O'Neill

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    Smile Daito Ryu (Koryu or Not?)

    Hello. I am not trying to create a flame war or anything like that. Really! I am curious about how various people feel about this subject. I know there are various people out there that practice various types of Daito Ryu. I know there are various people out there that dispute various claims of this teacher or that teacher. I know this may have been discussed before, but I don't live on the internet. What I am curious about is whether various people on this site feel it is or isn't a koryu. I have talked with people who train in Japan, or have trained in the past, and they have mixed opinions, but they all feel it is very good. Like in Serge Mol's book, he stated that they have been unable to prove some things, but it is hard to distinquish them from other Koryu. From what I see, a lot of the techniques are very close. I read Daito Ryu Aikijutsu by Stanley Pranin. It was good. I also read various sites. It sure has a wide variety of weapons most people don't practice as well. When I see a list like Yari,Naginata,Bo,Hanbo,Various Swords,Jutte, I have to wonder. What are your thoughts on whether it is Koryu or not. I am really interested in points of vire from people who have trained or train in Japan. Yeh, I am interested in anyones opinion, as long as it is done with good and kind motives. Thanks.
    Tracy Crocker

    [THREADS MERGED. NS]
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 14th April 2004 at 05:51.
    Tracy Crocker

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    Oh brother.

    Not again. Please, not again.

    Seriously, I think there are some looong threads on this issue somewhere in history that you should be able to drag up, if you look deep enough.

    Regards,
    Arman Partamian

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