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Thread: Kenjutsu Correlations

  1. #21
    kroh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kenjutsu Correlations

    Quote Originally Posted by Taisetsu View Post
    Mr. Flatt,

    My posting was not meant as a correction but rather as a clarification. I am familiar with Mr. Juchniks Kosho Ryu method of assimilation very well.

    Re: your question of JSA and Japanese Empty Hand arts...

    That's a very broad question. Japanese empty hand martial arts cover a very broad spectrum. Let me just say that the sword was never meant to be employed as a"Self Defense" weapon. Many modern Japanese empty hand systems were developed as such. So any "similarlity" after that point is moot. If the intention of the technique is diferent, the technique is different.

    Regarding the specific arts you asked about...

    I know the history of Jujutsu and Aikido. Jujutsu definitely has it's roots in japanese military warfare. Jujutsu was developed as an adjunct art for a warrior who would be 'inept' enough to be found in a battlefield conflict withoput his weapon. Jujutsu was primarily developed to KILL ones opponent before he KILLS you. The similarity, if you're looking for one, is that one of the combatants might have a sword. and it's not the jujutsu practitioner.

    Aikidos connection to sword is a bit more dubious. There has been plenty written about Morihei Ueshibas connection or lack thereof to any traditional sword work beyond a very basic level. You can easily find this information with a little research. As a practitioner of both Koryu and Gendai arts, I can tell you that there is very little similarity in the approach Aikido takes to it's weapons and that of Koryu arts. That is of course unless the practitioner has studied a koryu art and gone against the mainstream of the Aikido world and teaches it in a koryu fashion.

    Kosho Ryu...who knows...I'm certainly not going to be able to come up with a definitive history of it when nobody else can either. That is not a slam on Kosho, it's just a statement of fact. Take a look around the kenpo world and my reference to Kosho history stands. From what I've seen of it, Kosho Ryu looks like whatever the guy studied before he became a Kosho Ryu guy. Mr. Juchniks kempo to me looks like a Philipino/Tai Chi/Tae Kwon Do art, others look like a Cerio Kenpo, others look like Villari, still others like Mike Brown, look a little like the limited amout of Aikido he used to study. It's a smorgasboard of whatever comes to it, and whatever is added to it in order to make it look "similar," by applying KOSHO CONCEPTS to it. Nothing wrong with that unless someone tries to pass it off as something that it's not. So I don't really see how I can draw a correspondence to an art form that is not rooted in Japanese Sword work as far as anyone can prove.

    RE: the videos...

    The first one just looked "Odd" (not bad just "Odd") to me. Not quite being taught or demonstrated like any JSA I had ever been witness to. After researching this group a bit you will understand why.

    The second one by Kuroda is a fine example of Japanese swordsmanship. But not for the reasons being offered by the commentator. So I wouldn't draw any conclusions as to the correspondence of techniques to other arts unless you have actually studied with and understand what Mr Kuroda is actually doing. Not what he appears to be doing.

    Re: Studying the similaries....

    OK, this is where I have a REAL PROBLEM with others thoughts on the subject. Allow me to give an example...

    You walk into a store that advertizes that it sells motorcycles. But there is nothing like you want on display. You tell the salesman that you want to buy a specific kind of motorcycle in a specific color and he tells you that you shouldn't look at the differences between bikes, you should see the similarities. So he then takes you over to his product and asks you to sit on this one. You have to get on his product just like the one you requested. He reminds you of the similarity. Then he tells you that you can put another passenger on the back of his bike just like the one you requested but it won't be very confortable, just like the one you requested. He shows you that his product is the same color silver as the one you requested, another similarity. When you start to notice a difference in the two products, he brings you back to the fact that it's the similarities that you're looking for, not the differences. So you buy the product. And no one feels sorry for you when you arrive at home riding Trigger or the Lone Rangers Horse, Silver.

    You see, martial arts styles aren't based on similarities, they never have been. They are defined by their differences, PERIOD. And in my opinion, anyone who would have you believe otherwise is trying to sell you a product that looks like a Duck, walks like a Duck but somehow never Quaaks or tastes like a Duck. Perhaps it's just a picture of a Duck...or someones idea of a picture of a Duck.

    To be honest, I think that all of the arts are tremendous and have great value. My only objection is when they are being peddled off as something that they are not.
    Excellent points and fantastic post...
    Thank you sir,
    Regards,
    Walt

  2. #22
    E. Johnstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kenjutsu Correlations

    It's the similarities that makes the study of sword arts relevant otherwise you are wasting time studying an outmoded art with an archaic weapon with no application to life outside of a club.
    Hello Mr. Flatt:

    You could not be more incorrect with respect to your statement above; but then, one would actually have to have relevant experience in authentic classical arts such as Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu, etc. to be in a position to have a relevant opinion as to their worth or value.

    But then, given your "opinion" why would you want to bother "wasting time" with such "outmoded" arts? I am quite sure that you have plenty of other things in which to look for similarities (an idea, by the way that I understand well, i.e. natural law & universal principles, but as Sensei previosuly stated, it is the differences between arts and the principles specific to them that define them as...well, specific arts. As an example, Wado-ryu Karate-do was obviously heavily influenced by Gichin Funakoshi, fromm whom Shotokan Karate-do sprang. And yet, these two historically-related styles of Karate-do are radically different. In fact, despite the obvious surficial similarity, many Wado folks would tell you that they could not be more different).

    With respect to your previous question concerning correlations between unarmed arts (or frequently lightly armed, as in the case of much koryu jujutsu), the relationships are well established in terms of history and principle.

    As an example, Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu has well established historical connections to the Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Jikishinkage-ryu through the person of Sokaku Takeda. In fact, while Takeda Sensei was well known as a highly proficient swordsman, there is as yet no definitve evidence (beyond the kuden within the various Daito-ryu traditions) of his actual study of any specific jujutsu ryu-ha. Where then did he draw from to develop his obviously remarkable unarmed skill (hypothetical question)? In fact part of the kuden of Daito-ryu tells of an encounter between Takeda Sensei and an unknown Okinawan Karate man. While msuing over how to overcome the Karate man's speed and power, so the story goes, Takeda hit upon the concept of applying the principles of kenjutsu in an unarmed format. It is said that he successfully overcame the Karate man.

    Another example is that of the aforementioned Wado-ryu. While its surficial Karate aspect (Kihon and Kata) is largely based on the early teachings of Funakoshi, with additional input from both Kenwa Mabuni and Choki Motobu, its operating system is drawn from the koryu bujutsu of Japan, specifically the Shindo Yoshin-ryu Jujutsu (which included a significant kenjutsu aspect Matsuoka Sensei had experience in, I believe, Jikishinkage-ryu as well as other schools of kenjutsu; check into the history of Shindo Yoshin-ryu) that Otsuka Sensei had studied in depth before beginning Karate. One may see kenjutsu priciples at work in the methodologies of the Wado-ryu and the primary priciples that drive the art. In fact, even basic techniques, such as nagashiuke and nagashizuki, have direct correlations to toho (such as ukenagashi).

    The previously mentioned Shindo Yoshin-ryu, from which Wado-ryu is largely derived, is itself another excellent example of direct sword to empty hand relationships. I know, for instance, that Mr. Tobin Threadgill, Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu Menkyo Kaiden, frequently teaches seminars on precisely this subject.

    Even Shorin-ryu Karate-do, an Okinawan art, is said to have a historical connection to kenjutsu, specifically the Jigen-ryu of Satsuma. Sokon Matsumura is said to have held Menyo Kaiden in this art, having studied while in Satsuma. If I recall correctly, this is acknowledged by the Jigen-ryu (based in Kagoshima) today. It would seem very likely that Matsumura Sensei would have incorporated aspects of Jigen-ryu into his Shuri-te.

    There are numerous other examples. There are also many examples within the JSA that I study, but I am not at liberty to discuss these.

    In any case, I hope that this post has been of some value.
    Respects,

    Erik A. Johnstone
    Shindokan Budo
    Jikishin-Kai International

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    Default Re: Kenjutsu Correlations

    Quote Originally Posted by kroh View Post
    This is an excellent documentary about the Shinkage School of swordsmanship. The documentary was well done and sans politicking. One of the things that I was noticing is the correlations between the movements of the Kenshi and the movements you see of Kosho Ryu Kenshi. These seem to also hold a direct link to the way an aikidoka moves. Take a peek as it is only five minutes long.



    Regards,
    Walt
    Thank you for sharing that.
    O'Sensei studied in the Shinkage Ryu!
    Not sure if you knew that.
    He was very accomplished in that tradition, so the correlation between Kosho, Aikido and Shinkage should come as no surprise.
    Good observation!!

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    John
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Kenjutsu Correlations

    Hello!

    O'Sensei studied in the Shinkage Ryu!
    Not sure if you knew that.
    He was very accomplished in that tradition, so the correlation between Kosho, Aikido and Shinkage should come as no surprise.
    The connection to Aikido and Shinkage-ryu (or Yagyu Shinkage-ryu) is well known (here is an excellent blog from Aikido Journal http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1895).

    But beyond the experience of some of current Kosho teachers (the ones that I am thinking of are talented guys, by the way), what evidence beyond the currently available Kosho-ryu history (such as it is) is there to how is Kosho connected historically to Shinkage-ryu (or to Aikido for that matter? And I mean beyond the "appointment" of Mitose by the Aikikai to be "Remonstrandt" for Aikido in the U.S. There is no evidence that he actually studied Aikido with anyone).

    As a caveat, I will say that there is great deal of value in Kosho-ryu to be sure, and many of its senior teachers are very skillful practitioners. But direct historical links to kenjutsu is as of yet unfounded.
    Respects,

    Erik A. Johnstone
    Shindokan Budo
    Jikishin-Kai International

  5. #25
    Kosho Gakkusei is offline
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    Default Re: Kenjutsu Correlations

    Quote Originally Posted by E. Johnstone View Post
    Hello Mr. Flatt:

    You could not be more incorrect with respect to your statement above; but then, one would actually have to have relevant experience in authentic classical arts such as Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu, etc. to be in a position to have a relevant opinion as to their worth or value.

    But then, given your "opinion" why would you want to bother "wasting time" with such "outmoded" arts? I am quite sure that you have plenty of other things in which to look for similarities (an idea, by the way that I understand well, i.e. natural law & universal principles, but as Sensei previosuly stated, it is the differences between arts and the principles specific to them that define them as...well, specific arts.
    Mr. Johnstone,
    Thank you for your opinion. But I feel that you have taken my statement out of its context. The post your taking this from was stating that looking for similarities is not about replacement but inclusion. What I mean by that is: Simlar does not = the same thing. The point is that there are natural laws and universal principles that form the arts. There is common ground in all arts. My point is that thru study in specific arts one can develop universally as well. For example; study of Shodo can aid your development in Kenjutsu and study of Kenjutsu can aid your development in Kempo, Aikido, and Jujutsu. By the same token, learning what something is not helps you to understand its limitations. By looking for similarities you will also understand what makes the art unique.

    One day I hope to take up a formal study of JSA. I know that there will be a lot I can learn from it. I will study it because it's not the same thing as Kempo - if it was I would not need to study it. Because of similarities and universal principles and laws I know that deeper study will cause my Kempo to improve, partly because I have seen the impact an ancillary study has had.

    RE: James Mitose and Aikido
    James Mitose never studied Aikido. According to his book, he was given the honarary appointment because he and O'Sensei had similar perspectives on the purpose of the arts.

    Thank you,
    _Don Flatt

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