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  1. Antisocrates is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/31/2005 9:30pm


     Style: FiFiFu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Antisocrates

    I agree with much of what you've written. I have seen a lot of kenjutsu kata that is dead, no question about that. But it doesn't have to be. If its a partner kata, and you're actually defending and attacking, if your partner is not "dancing" with you, but rather attacking you, varying their strikes, quickly, explosively, then it can come alive. If you practice a partner kata this way, if your partner varies the speed and cadence of his attacks, if you have to react instead of flowing with a choreography, then things become more realistic, because you will be hit, and hit hard, if you don't know what you're doing. More realistic, not totally, but more.
    But you would agree that it's no substitute for full contact sparring, no?

    And with regards to current ryuhas being dead, all I can say is that given the state of traditional martial arts in Japan, that fact that the practitioners of these ryuhas keep getting older and older, its not surprising. Most of these people are simply too old to be practicing the really physical aspects of many of their ryuhas. My Dad is in his 90's and all the sword work that he practiced will be lost with him, in part because when I was younger I wanted to play hockey instead of some funny martial art with a hakama, and in part because he only wanted to teach me things in the traditional way, and of course being a rebellious teenager, I refused.
    Ice hockey?! Of all the sports you could've chosen, ice hockey. Well, at least you had fun, right? (Didn't know Japanese teens were into ice hockey...)

    A semi-funny thing I've heard about koryu (and traditional MA in general in Japan) is that it will be Westerners who'll save them from extinction, by being the only group of people willing to swallow everything (culture, curiculum, methodology, etc) whole. Kind of how Kashima Shinryu blossomed into a famous ryuha with branches around the world, due to person like Dr. Friday who's done more than anyone else to popularize koryu and his ryu in the West. I've heard from more than one person that his book on the ryuha has suckered me admirers around the world. It's only semi-funny, because it's somewhat sad that today's Japanese are rejecting their beautiful heritage.

    I feel sadness that you haven't been able to be the proper inheritor of your father's skills, but I do hope that there are others who'll carry on other than your family.

    With regards to sparring, yes, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm always lobbying for sparring. I'm always trying to get people to spar, trying to get people to interpret and re-interpret their techniques. But as you know, that doesn't always go over very well. People tend to cling to some interpretation of "tradition" and then they don't want to be seen as rocking the boat, as trying to add something new. Which, in my opinion, is the reason why their arts are often not growing as much as they could be.
    I sort of see the anti-sparring POV too. I believe it was Dr. Friday who wrote that, given the obsolence of swords as a military art, the complete, authentic transmission of the culture as whole is more important than any practical validations of these techniques in this day and age. According to this POV, since obviously these skills worked in the days of war and since war with swords is no longer an option, it's not right to change or test the techniques: Because we today cannot fully test or comprehend the "whys" or the purpose of the techniques. What may seem as impractical today may have been perfectly practical back then, in the heat of battle. Therefore, rather than "improving" based on inadequate methodology, it's best to transmit everything as is. Sparring can only engender bad habits.

    So goes this POV, which I sympathize with, but in practice, turns koryu into dead arts.
  2. Meex is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/31/2005 9:41pm

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     Style: Tao Ga

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Naginata-vs-sword vids? Yeah, that should be very interesting!
    My friend had a naginata, but no teacher. We didn't use it to spar against, because most of our techniques endeed up looking like Chinese kwon do techniques. . .with less control.

    Hope you can post them sometime.

    `~/
  3. MEGA JESUS-SAMA is offline
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    **** you math class

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    Posted On:
    1/31/2005 9:50pm

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     Style: TKD, Ballet, Archery

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    Naginata work looks awesome, but there's nothing out here.

    Nothing out here in California.

    I need to move to the city.
  4. Ronin is offline

    Merry Christmas Bitch

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    Posted On:
    2/01/2005 9:00am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Canadian Shidokan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocrates
    Mostly katas, sometimes slow sparring is my understanding of how koryu works. That's why stories of high-ranking koryu budoka getting beat by a kendoka is not uncommon in Japan, because in kendo there's at least some form of sparring. Detractors of koryu and Japanese sword arts in general, have called the current Japanese ryuha system as "dead", and their arts as "dead arts". By and large I agree.

    In contrast, Western sword arts are alive and constantly improving because they innovate, in both safety measures and in new interpretations of old texts (and tecniques), and because they have full-contact sparring. Instead of drilling katas day after day, they strap on the latest safety gears or simply in full plate armor, and go full strength with their swords. Accidents are rare, because of the safety measures.
    First of all, a match between a kendoka and a kenjutsuka would ONLY be valid if they were using a bokken NOT a shinai ( they can still use the kendo armour though.

    Second: Full contact sparring has its pros and cons.
    As for western arts being alive and improving, when was the last "new" technique created in western fencing? mediveal OR renaissance ?
  5. Kirioroshi is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/01/2005 11:48am


     Style: Kendo-Iaido

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEGA JESUS-SAN
    Naginata work looks awesome, but there's nothing out here.

    Nothing out here in California.

    I need to move to the city.
    Actually, there is more in California than anywhere else.
    In SO.Cal, there is Helen Nakano
    and in Northern Cal, there is Miyako Tanaka, who teaches atarashi (sp) Naginata and Tendo Ryu.

    So to the best of my knowledge, Berkeley area, San Jose area has a club, and then the LA area.
  6. MEGA JESUS-SAMA is offline
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    **** you math class

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    Posted On:
    2/01/2005 6:24pm

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     Style: TKD, Ballet, Archery

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirioroshi
    Actually, there is more in California than anywhere else.
    In SO.Cal, there is Helen Nakano
    and in Northern Cal, there is Miyako Tanaka, who teaches atarashi (sp) Naginata and Tendo Ryu.

    So to the best of my knowledge, Berkeley area, San Jose area has a club, and then the LA area.
    I was thinking locally.

    It's sort of weird. I can find udon, miso, nori, gyoza, cha siu bao and what have you at my normal supermarket, and there's dozens of Asian restaraunts in the area (A suburban area, no less), but martial arts? Nope.
  7. NextGuard is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/06/2005 7:11pm

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     Style: Street

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirioroshi
    ....Huh?!

    Snow Crash. Essential book. Forcast a lot that has become true about virtual worlds and completely missed other things.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash
    NextGuard = Paul from Atlanta

    Ten years experience can be ten true years or one year repeated ten times.
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