Thread: Japanese Swordsmanship
1/31/2005 9:30pm, #81
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
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.
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.
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.
So goes this POV, which I sympathize with, but in practice, turns koryu into dead arts.
1/31/2005 9:41pm, #82
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.
1/31/2005 9:50pm, #83
Naginata work looks awesome, but there's nothing out here.
Nothing out here in California.
I need to move to the city.
2/01/2005 9:00am, #84Originally Posted by Antisocrates
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 ?
2/01/2005 11:48am, #85Originally Posted by MEGA JESUS-SAN
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.
2/01/2005 6:24pm, #86Originally Posted by Kirioroshi
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.
2/06/2005 7:11pm, #87Originally Posted by Kirioroshi
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_CrashNextGuard = Paul from Atlanta
Ten years experience can be ten true years or one year repeated ten times.