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Masakado
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: "Traditional" Japanese martial arts Reply with quote
Every spring there's a cherry blossom festival near where I live. They often have interesting things like traditional Japanese dances and music demonstration, as well as the requisite booths where you can get your name written in Japanese.

Before going I heard from a coworker that they were going to have a traditional Japanese martial arts demonstration. I've heard rumors of a good iaido practitioner near where I lived, and was hoping it would be him; I saw an iai demonstration in Japan back in '96 and was very impressed.

So, was it an Iaido demonstration? No.

Was it a kendo demonstration? No.

Was it even a judo demonstration? No.

It was...a "Bujinkan ninjutsu" demonstration.

Arrgh... I can't take it
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rikoseishin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
First off, I would like to thank you for not posting this in the MA section, since we have devoted it purely koryu bujutsu.

Second, I must warn you that there are practitioners of said style here who I sure have taken offense to what you said, Mind you I am in the view that is is not a true martial art or at least legitimate koryu. This I can say because they are lacking verifiable proof to this accord. However, you have made an offensive remark lessing more the people who did it that the style itself. I ask only that you be more considerate of these things in the future.

And also what area are you in, I probably know if there are experienced iaidoka there, or round abouts.
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Masakado
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
rikoseishin wrote:
Second, I must warn you that there are practitioners of said style here who I sure have taken offense to what you said, Mind you I am in the view that is is not a true martial art or at least legitimate koryu. This I can say because they are lacking verifiable proof to this accord. However, you have made an offensive remark lessing more the people who did it that the style itself. I ask only that you be more considerate of these things in the future.


Oh, sorry, I didn't mean it that way. Reading back that comment I guess I really could have phrased that better. Embarassed I didn't mean to belittle the style or its practitioners or anything; when it comes to martial arts themselves I'm very much of a neophyte and don't know what's effective and what's not. I didn't even realize that anyone thought of it as an illegitimate style. I mainly meant from what I had heard there was going to be a demonstration of an old martial art with an explanation of its history, but instead it was something relatively recent instead.

Sorry if anyone took offense, it wasn't intended!
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Baian
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The Koryu(s) which is included in the Bujinkan are legitimate. The problem would be the way most of the people practice it and how its taught. But that's another matter entirely.
But if it would be well done, like a real koryu should be, then you would have seen something good and old. Unfortunately, I know about only 6 people training in those Koryu who know what they do. Anyway...
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rikoseishin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is what I meant by not being legitimate. If a ryu is not being taught the way it is meant to, ie as the head would dictate since he is the living embodiment of the ryu and ideas and beliefs of the past heads, then it is not that ryu, only a shadow of that which it once was.
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heretic888
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
rikoseishin wrote:
This is what I meant by not being legitimate. If a ryu is not being taught the way it is meant to, ie as the head would dictate since he is the living embodiment of the ryu and ideas and beliefs of the past heads, then it is not that ryu, only a shadow of that which it once was.


The soke of the nine ryuha --- Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Togakure Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Gikan Ryu --- which make up the Bujinkan is Masaaki Hatsumi.

To claim that the Bujinkan is not being taught the way "the head would indicate" is nonsensical, since Hatsumi is the head of these schools. And, as such, he can in fact teach the schools however he deems appropriate (which is solely his choice as soke).
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Bushikan
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:00 am    Post subject: Ninpo Reply with quote
heretic888 wrote:
rikoseishin wrote:
This is what I meant by not being legitimate. If a ryu is not being taught the way it is meant to, ie as the head would dictate since he is the living embodiment of the ryu and ideas and beliefs of the past heads, then it is not that ryu, only a shadow of that which it once was.


The soke of the nine ryuha --- Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Togakure Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Gikan Ryu --- which make up the Bujinkan is Masaaki Hatsumi.

To claim that the Bujinkan is not being taught the way "the head would indicate" is nonsensical, since Hatsumi is the head of these schools. And, as such, he can in fact teach the schools however he deems appropriate (which is solely his choice as soke).


Ninpo is a difficult subject to label inparticularly Bujinkan Ninpo (Taijutsu, Budo, Bujutsu.... what ever they are calling it these days). The main transmition of the art is kuden. And having trained in it I have seen many who how shidoshi licenses are not worth thier grades and do not stay true to the curriculim they teach. Only a few individuals who have spent an extensive time in Japan are taught the true teaching and awarded densho for the arts under the Bujinkan umbrella.
I have several friends who have recieved densho for Gyokyo Ryu and Koto Ryu and keep the main training in the heart, thus thier style is most effective. As opposed to others who just make things up outside the kata that goes outside the traditional means (forieners are notorious for this). I have known shodans and nidans who do not even know the basics of Gyoko Ryu and thier teacher is a 14th dan. Its really sad, not saying everyones instruction is this way but finding a knowledgeable teacher is challenging in itself.
I have only met a few who I can say are truely teaching the true curriculim on the East Coast. As for if Bujinkan or Genbukan is koryu the I would have to say yes and no. Yes, becasue they are old arts, and no, because 9 ryu-ha are too much for a single person to comprehend. People are taught only a fraction of the actual curriculim and much remains hidden from students who dont travel to Japan regularly (this applied to instructors as well as studentds). Also politics plays a major role in learning the actual ryu-ha and earning densho. I would not be confident teaching anyone Bujinkan Ninpo simply because I would not fully understand the art I am teaching in its entirety and there is a big danger of mixing up one ryu-ha's techniques with another (which I have seen done numerous times by instructors).
A art which was secret is exposed for all to learn the basics of and for those who are adventururous (meaning who go to Nara for extensive periods of time) the possibility of being exposed to the core of the ryu-ha curriculim. It would be safer for someone to learn Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu (not Sugino ha)or Taisha Ryu if they wanted to learn ninjutsu. The curriculim is set and if you deticate yourself to the art you can learn purely unlike the maze that is training in Bujinkan Ninpo (unsure of what your learning is not deception itself). On koryu.com this topic has also been discussed: http://koryu.com/library/ninjutsu.html
Its a sticky topic and not easy to fully answer.

good luck on the Bujinkan thing, becareful the beauracuracy may burn you

regards
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Baian
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Jeff, best post I've read in a while on that subject.
Good to see someone who has been to the right places. Any chance you know Kacem Zoughari?
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Bushikan
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:26 am    Post subject: Kacem Zoughari Reply with quote
I have heard only good things about Kacem Zoughari. I have friends who are normally envited to enjoy his company after the seminars. He is truly a dangerous person, not the type of person who you want as a enemy. A very good instructor who teaches the art purely as he can, and is more qualified to do so than the majority of shidoshi. Kacem is how an instructor should be, showing how unqualified the normal shidoshi is. And while he shares the same stance on the beauracuracy that is Bujinkan that I and my compatriots do. The problem is not rooted in the shidoshi themselves but the orginization which governs them (and by that I mean governed poorly). The bite of a snake can be venomous, the result of which may endanger mere existance, and the only thing one can do is amputate. Note this as a meataphore of things to come (which must and should come).

regards
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Baian
Ashigaru Kumigashira
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oh yes, things will change pretty soon. For the best I hope.

Kacem is a really interesting person and could teach a lot to both martial artists and historians alike. In that I mean that he knows what he's talking, unlike many martial artists. He's finishing his thesis this month for his Japanese studies. The guy is a freaking history manual of bujutsu.
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Hiro Katsumoto
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Um I have a few friends of mine who take Shorin-Ryu Karate and that originates from Okinawa Japan so that would be a traditional Japanese martial art.
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Bushikan
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:37 am    Post subject: Karate Reply with quote
Karate is also hard to pin down, as koryu or even as a Japanese martial art. Okinawa was not originally not apart of Japan. It became annexed by the Japanese during the Meji era (1870s-1880s if im not wrong). After WW2 Okinawa was occupied by America, and therefor became a teritory of the US. Using our money, driving regulations, and laws. In the early 1970s Okinawa was given to Japan. In one day all the people of Okinawa were forced to change thier currency, language, and laws in order to adjust to Japanese standards. Originally Okinawa had its own native language, and customs which are distinctly different from the Japanese. In some of the older Ryukyu arts the native language is still used to instruct students, but the language is slowly becoming like latin or gaelic, they are begining to die out. And while Karate-do was adapted for the Japanese it is very hard to say that karate is a pure result of Japanese influence (other than training in against weapons and tactics that the Satsuma clan used). Even though one can see Ryukyu Kobudo at Kobudo Taikais in Japan. They are given the name "Ryukyu" and are therefor understood to be of different orgin.

hope this helps
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