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  1. Virus is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/13/2005 10:59pm

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     Style: Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Koryu newaza.

    I know that groundfighting goes back to the ancient wrestling styles like pancrase, but I'm interested in tracking newaza through the Japanese koryu arts. So far, I can't see anything mentioned beyond the Fusen ryu jujitsu stuff that was incorperated into Judo. I've seen a clip of some Fusen ryu kata performed at some demo and it looks like pretty standard classical jujitsu stuff with standing locks, thows ect. (unfortunatly it didn't show their newaza). In a discussionon another forum, someone said (who claimed to study Fusen ryu) that newaza was only a small part of what they do. All of the online references to Fusen Ryu say essentially the same thing, which I assume indicates that they all use one primary source. A typical citation appears below;

    Fusen was a school of Jiu-jitsu which specialized in Ground Work (Ne Waza). In 1900, the Kodokan challenged the Fusen Ryu school to a contest. At that time Judo did not have Ne Waza (ground fighting techniques), so instead they fought standing up, as Kano had been taught in both the Tenshin Shinyo Ryu and Kito Ryu systems he studied. Both Kito Ryu and Tenshin Shinyo Ryu had excellent striking skills and effective throws.
    When Kodokan Judo practitioners fought the practitioners of Fusen Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, the Kodokan practitioners realized that there was no way they could defeat the Kodokan Judoka standing, thus they decided to use their superior ground fighting skills. When the Kodokan fighters and the Fusen Ryu men began to fight, the Jiu-Jitsu practitioners immediately went to the guard position ( lying on their backs in front of their opponents in order to control them with the use of their legs). The Kodokan Judoka didn't know what to do, and then the Fusen Ryu practitioners took them to the ground, using submission holds to win the matches. This was the first real loss that the Kodokan had experienced in eight years.

    Kano knew that if they were going to continue challenging other Jiu-Jitsu schools, they needed a full range of ground fighting techniques. Thus with friends of other Jiu-Jitsu systems, among them being Fusen Ryu practitioners, Kano formulated the Ne Waza (ground techniques) of Kodokan Judo which included three divisions: Katame Waza (joint locking techniques), Shime Waza (choking techniques), and Osae Waza (holding techniques). This all occurs shortly before Judo arrives in Brazil, and serves as an excellent suggestion as to why Brazilian Jiu-jitsu contains a higher percentage of techniques on the ground than most styles of Jiu-jitsu or Judo. Thus, we find ourselves faced with the impending development of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil.
    Source: Jiu Jitsu. http://jujitsu.gungfu.com/

    It's commonly said that the absence of newaza in traditional Japanese combat arts
    is due to the fact that it is difficult to get up in armour, and that once you hit the ground you were as good as dead. In one of my Bujinkan videos, these guys are demonstrating kata in armour, one guy gets taken down, lands on his back, the other guy mounts, lifts his helmet and stabs to the neck with his tanto. Possibly this was the outcome of a fight that went to the ground. But surely fights happend outisde of the battle field when not wearing armour. If anyone has any references to newaza techniques from Koryu styles please post it in this thread, or feel free to discuss anything that you know about the subject.
  2. UrbanArmory is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 12:35am


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    The one that comes to mind immediately is Araki-ryu, which is a koryu specializing in grappling on the ground with weapons. Also, if I recall, they are one of the only extant schools that teach traditional chain weapons. From what I understand, they are also one of the most brutal koryus around- the two facts that come to mind is that unlike in many japanese martial arts, the person doing the technique is always attacking, as opposed to responding to attacks. Also, many koryus and other martial arts can be defined by the first technique that is taught- Araki-ryu teaches you how to kill a man while serving him tea.

    Also, Kashima Shinryu, the koryu I'm learning right now, has ground techniques which all start while facing each other in seiza, which is clearly not an armored situation.

    And that is the entirety of what I know on the subject.
  3. Spunky is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 12:42am


     Style: Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My .02

    I'm making the assumption that if newaza is present to any significant degree in koryu, it is still going to be shaped by the assumption that weapons could come into play on either side, and often are specifically designed to create space for a weapon. This changes the strategies you would employ relative to those in many contemporary contexts such as MMA.

    Most jujutsu kata that I've seen or read about, including those from Takagi Yoshin ryu and Shinden Fudo ryu, begin from seated positions and stay on the ground. I've heard this is because most "civil" scenerios would begin from such postures, AND that it largely cancels out the legs and thus as a starting point simplifies everything quite a bit compared to standing grappling (training later moves to standing postures). Pins and positioning tend to focus on controlling through the extremeties at more of a distance than the guard/mount positions that prove to be more applicable in competition and unarmed sparring.


    ...though that's certainly not a truism.

    There are a LOT of kata illustrating strategies for getting the opponent to the ground, and ending up in familiar positions (especially Shinden Fudo ryu), but not as much about what to do once you're there. I think assumptions were made that if you dominated the fight enough to get it to that point, usually would have applied percussive joint breaks on the way down, AND could easily deploy a weapon or restraining tool by then, you should probably be able to figure out how to conclude the situation.

    There is also, by the way, something that vaguely resembles pulling guard in Koto ryu of all places, in one of the chuden gata called "hisaku:"

    Grab his shoulders with both hands and leap up encircling your legs around the attacker and cross your ankle so that they are interlocked. Now straighten your legs out to perform a Do jime. Drop down and pull on his ankles to drop him to the ground.
    ...granted this is more of a body choke and sweep/slam, but you could easily end up in guard or mount.
    Last edited by Spunky; 12/14/2005 12:46am at .
  4. Virus is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 1:54am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    UrbanArmory: We have the seiza stuff in some of the BBT schools, and it came to mind when thinking about koryu newaza. I've done a little of it but I wouldn't consider myself an expert. While done on the ground, it's not what is usually associated with the judo/jj style of newaza. Maybe this is what passed for groundfighting in those days, and the Fusen ryu was onto somthing big. What techniques do you do from that position Urban?

    Spunky: I know that technique that you are talking about, and I used to consider it a bit silly. If you are skilled at using the guard and setting up armbars and triangles then it could be made to work for you. I even saw a guy use a similar thing in a MMA match. He got a double collar-tie, jumped up, wrapped both legs around the other guy's body then fell onto his back with the other guy in this guard. On t3h str33t if the other guy had zero ground game then it could be effective (barring the presence of lava, multiple attacker ect.)

    I've seen a lot of BBT stuff that's done on the ground, but it's not the judo/jujitsu style of stuff which has a strong emphasis on transition and movement. Obviously the Fusen Ryu had it, where else do you find it? If you go back to Greek pancrase or Egyptian wrestling you'd find all the arm and leg locks in catch wrestling/bjj so why is it so hard to find in the Japanese styles?
  5. Spunky is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 3:00am


     Style: Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've seen a lot of BBT stuff that's done on the ground, but it's not the judo/jujitsu style of stuff which has a strong emphasis on transition and movement.
    Heh, that's interesting since I usually correlate a strong emphasis on transition/movement with BBT as opposed to static positions. I'm not entirely sure what locks and holds you find lacking, since the locks themselves are there regardless of orientation of the fighters, and (though I might catch a lot of flack for this) if you really understand armlocks you should be able to figure how to apply them to the legs, with various parts of your own body, whether you and/or the opponent are standing,, grounded, falling, flying, etc. (not that I'm an expert in any way :smile:)

    That said, while Fusen ryu might have "been on to something big" in a way, I just want to re-stress that the context of weapons requires a big adjustment in tactics. From what I've seen, in European fightbooks which mirror a period of history were those educated in combat were regularily armed, the wrestling/grappling techniques appear to have a similar tendency to stay upright and control the opponent with more space in which to avoid, control, and apply weapons.

    It seems to me--and I'm completely open to evidence to the contrary--systems that develop in the context of pure unarmed fighting naturally gravitate toward tighter space and direct center->center control. Compare "classical" kumi-uchi to a modern clinch; they are essentially the same thing but have evolved under different conditions.
  6. UrbanArmory is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 3:00am


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    Well, it's definitely not judo/BJJ or wrestling style techniques (I have a little experiance with these). Honestly, I don't think I could describe them adequately- check Legacies of the Sword by Dr. Karl Friday- it's a great resource for Kashima-Shinryu and other koryu info, both jujitsu and kenjitsu.

    This has piqued my curiosity- I've been searching around, and haven't seen any real "wrestling" in battlefield koryu. Makes sense. Spunky seems to know better than me.
  7. Spunky is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 3:04am


     Style: Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I am of course only making mildly educated guesses based on what I know technically and read about historically, not really drawing from any specific concrete historical or archeological references. I would love to hear a response from someone more academically qualified.
  8. UrbanArmory is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 3:17am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Spunky- If you've seen dog brothers videos, I've seen several times when two fighters were in guard and seen the butts of sticks jammed into the base of the neck. Ouch. I was also shown how easy it is to stab into the kidneys from mounted positions- at any time you can hammer at someone's back, you can stick 'em.


    I'll ask some people at my class who are actually educated in these matters. I'll reply with the result. All I know is what I learn.
  9. Spunky is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 3:31am


     Style: Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Spunky- If you've seen dog brothers videos, I've seen several times when two fighters were in guard and seen the butts of sticks jammed into the base of the neck. Ouch. I was also shown how easy it is to stab into the kidneys from mounted positions- at any time you can hammer at someone's back, you can stick 'em.
    I'm not sure how you intended this, but if anything I would see it as a demonstration of why weapon-centric systems may of migratd away from those kinds of positions.
  10. UrbanArmory is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/14/2005 3:37am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    That's what I meant by it.

    In a different yet similar note- I'd love to try to grapple with a wooden knife tucked away, and see when I can draw and stab.
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