Brandon, FL (Akijujutsu)
Has anyone heard of a place called 'Fish Hawk Academy of Martial Arts'? Its supposed to teach Daito-ryu Akijujutsu, Shintoyoshin-ki combat jujitsu, Goju-Shorei Karate, Kodokan-Goshin Jutsu and Toyamaryu Batto Do. The lineage goes back to the Takeda Family as per the lineage tree posted on the wall that has lineage from Japan up to current instructor. The place is set up like a traditional japanese dojo right out of 'The Last Samurai' complete with Samurai Armor. The owner and head instructor is a retired US Army Special Forces LT Colonel. Im going to watch a class tonight and Ill report back.
Going to need a few more details if you'd like us to take a look at this.
Start with a link to the website, the name of the individual who claims to be retired SF.
The goshin jitsu is a single kata from the judo syllabus, translated as "special techniques". It's the "modern" one with the gun disarms. The Kodokan is the global hub for judo, a school, research center and residence for fighters. So are they claiming to teach judo? I've never heard of a school associating the Kodokan's name with training that is not specifically judo (or is only a very minor subset of judo technique). Maybe ask the teacher what he's ranked in judo and, on the off chance that he's not, why he uses the Kodokan's name?
Originally Posted by Section-8
Mind getting a shot of the lineage tree too? That could be interesting.
From a japanese language perspective:
Goju-Shorei Karate: This term is redundant. Shorei-ryu (昭霊流 - the style of inspiration) is naha-te or okinawan karate. It has two main styles (goju-ryu and uechi-ryu). If you are studying goju-ryu, you are studying a form of shorei-ryu.
Kodokan-Goshin Jutsu: (講道館護身術) This is the judo self-defence kata. If you study judo, you will study these at some point.
Toyama-ryu: (戸山流) = this is a gendai-budo or modern budo. It is not traditional (koryu) swordsmanship.
Other points to consider:
Based on this website
The main photo shows poor sword handling - holding too tight, arms over extended, shoulders hunched forward.
There are junior instructors with a dazzling rank of rokkyu (6th kyu) - depending on the style, this is the first rank you will get (ie before even grading) In other styles that have 10 kyu, these junior instructiors will only have had a few months training.
There is a section on "the importance of hakama" - the hakama does not signify an advanced level of understanding of martial arts - they are just pants. The seven virtues are a myth. In sword arts (that are also taught here) a hakama is worn from the beginning, so I do not understand these comments.
Several typos here (kotogaeshi instead of kotegaeshi, tenshi nage instead of tenchi nage). Although perhaps honest typos, there are rudimentary techniques and should not be spelt incorrectly. There is reference in learning sai as part of an aiki curriculum? It is also refered to as aikijujutsu DO - another redundant term showing lack of understanding.
My impression: A bunch of things cobbled together, trying to show legitimacy by use of japanese terms to appeal to traditionalists.
Checked out the class tonight. Tonight's schedule was Goju-Shorei Karate. They practiced striking. I'm going back tomorrow to watch them train in Combat Jujitsu (Ground fighting) and Kodokan (Judo throwns and stand up grappling). Saturday Im gonna watch the class where they teach actual traditional Daito-Ryu Akijujutsu and Monday Im gonna watch the Sword class. As for tonights class, well it looked liked your basic karate with basic movements and one steps with a few throws and rolls. Had a long talk with the Owner/Instructor and I did some checking through a few Army buddies in SOuth Florida. Hes legit, retired LT Colonel Special Forces. He spent years in Japan and continued to travel back to train in traditional Daito-Ryu of the Takeda lineage. He also holds belts in Goju-Shorei (Basically Gou Ryu but his Shidoshi added Shorei to show the influence), and Kodokan Judo as well as Sword Training although I think its a modernized version not old classical Kendo. His school is an attempt to show the beauty of the traditions of Japan but at the same time bring modern combat effetive tools to the art he teaches. The only thing I am not happy with is the only sparring they do is one steps and similar to Akido where 3 people attack and you have to counter and throw or disable them. I prefer some sparring gear and trading blows. I am interested to watch a few more classes. Ill let you know what happens.
They look like junk, just from the Hakama part. It significies an advanced understanding of the martial arts? How? The sudden realization that those pants are better for fighting in than regular gi pants?*
Any school with a section on that and is serious about it (I get that serious tone from their intimidating sword holding posture pictures on the staff page) is at least sniffing some sort of kool-aid/glue. You don't want people who practice self-deception** teaching you martial arts.
Edit: So it is strip mall no-contact karate ? What is their pricing like? Def. check out their Judo, that is probably where you will see what they're really worth. You might not randori, but the rest of the class certainly should. If they do not randori, (spar), then that is a red flag.
*I doubt that's the case in reality, that seems an awful lot of gi for easy grabbing, but I guess there's a lot of extra slack so it evens out? Gotta find me an aikidoka to x-pass on.
**Counter Ninja's? Nemesis Ninja?
What ranks wear the hakama differs from one organization to another in aikido. I believe that all students traditionally wear them in Daito-ryu regardless of rank. In any case, I've never heard anything about the hakama signifying anything; it's just part of the uniform. That makes me think this guy has an overdeveloped sense of movie Japanese-ness.
Also (although someone who knows Japanese better than I do will have to back me up), I suspect the name "Mushin no Shin Aikijujutsu Do" is bad Japanese.
^ This. Bascially, they translate as "the mind of no-mind". Mushin on its own (no mind) does the job as it implies this. Best alternative would be fudoshin (不動心 - immoveable mind). Although this sounds like a contradiction, the fact that your mind is immoveable is because it is hindering with preconceived ideas.
Originally Posted by OwlMatt
This is this issue with a lot of TMA - just because some has studied in Japan doesn't mean that they understood what they were doing at the time.
(The difference with me is that I spoke Japanese at JLPT1 level before I went to Japan - again, doesn't give me any more credibility either, other than a bit more experience and understanding)
I'm not calling bullshit on this group, only pointing out the inconsistencies as I see them. Looks like they would be good for a person with an interest in Japanese culture and TMAs.
None of the arts listed (other the the goshinjutsu of kodokan) engage in regular sparring in an alive manner. There's nothing wrong with that, but based on your posts, it sounds like you're after this.
Tell us - what do YOU want in your training? (I ask because you seem to be equating the fact that one of the instrucutors is ex-military with instant credibility for everything. My father is ex-military, but still needs help with his tax return).
I find the use of this term odd. Kodokan isn't a style, it's a school. You don't call it MIT calculations, you call it math.
Originally Posted by Section-8
The goshin jutsu is not practised in an alive manner at all, though. It is a dead pattern containing some interesting techniques that are never applied to sparring in any way.
Originally Posted by traversnz
I see some flags, but go by what Syphilis said. Watch their grappling, and if it doesn't involve any sparring get out.
Just sounds like a very long way of saying its Judo class to me, It might be worth seeing if they enter local tournaments under any grappling rule set.
Originally Posted by Section-8