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  1. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 3:26pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryT View Post
    What I "thought I saw" was a fast, fluent and skilful kata demonstration. I see that the previous two contributors to this thread are swordsmen; so I'd like very much to hear from them, please, as why my impression was so wrong, and therefore as to why Jon Alexander's sword demonstration is "bullshit."
    It is out of your knwoledge sphere that's the problem. I have done and practice many forms from JMA, KMA, and CMA. You have to judge them within the style even if there is some crossover.

    What looks good in a CMA form in many cases would get you failed in a JMA BB test and vice Versa.

    IMO same applies to sword arts. I'm pretty sure I learned some BS sword forms in my KMA McDojo art. Still, listening to the guys here I know I was taught some of the basic fundamentals correctly.

    Some of the cuts look wrong, he is dipping the blade tip down, he is making improper cuts, and this is from a guy who did 2 years 15 years ago.
  2. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 3:39pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryT View Post
    What I "thought I saw" was a fast, fluent and skilful kata demonstration. I see that the previous two contributors to this thread are swordsmen; so I'd like very much to hear from them, please, as why my impression was so wrong, and therefore as to why Jon Alexander's sword demonstration is "bullshit."
    There are several well established authentic schools of Japanese swordsmanship existing today which have their origins and development within the feudal era of Japan's history, these schools, whilst subject to a considerable amount of development and evolution over hundreds of years have and share a purpose, that being combative use.

    If Alexander studied an authentic Koryu, he wouldn't feel the need to invent something new because Koryu has everything and more for a lifetimes study.

    Today, those schools of Japanese swordsmanship which still thrive, retain their purpose although today it is redundant because we no longer wage war with swords, the "purpose" of the techniques within their respective Ryu-ha is born directly and specifically in knowledge from what was the epitome of "aliveness" in application - life or death encounters on the battlefield.

    The Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei created a set of kata collectively known as Seitei. Seitei is considered a Gendai Budo because the system (only now consisting of 12 kata) was created very much after the Meiji Restoration, it's purpose wasn't combative application but the perfection of physical technique (amongst other things). That said, each of the 12 kata is drawn directly from a Koryu sword school so, you could say the kata still retain some degree of authenticity although the emphasis isn't on killing an opponent.

    Seitei is readily available within the UK as are several authentic Koryu sword arts. There really isn’t a need to start inventing new ones.

    Let's now take Alexander's sword method.

    What particular emphasis are the kata forms based ? We don't know
    What emphasis is placed upon the performance ? We don't know
    Which Ryu-ha has influenced the creation of the method ? We don't know
    Are the fundamentals of basic Japanese sword use seen in the video ? No absolutely none that I could see

    Now, I (and I'm sure Neil as well) could start detailing several technical failings in what we saw but that would be a very long discussion where we explain those technicalities which are learned at a very early stage in anyone's study of nihonto.

    Trust me when I say what you saw was bullshit, bullshit done to impress those who don’t know anything about JSA.
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  3. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 3:49pm


     

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    Since you know what you're talking about and I don't, I stand corrected.
  4. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 3:56pm

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    There hasn't been a Japanese sword school ever which taught it's students to rotate/spin the sword in the way Alexander demonstrates, this begs the question, why would he think that's an appropriate and legitimate method to use himself.

    Watch this as a direct comparrison

    YouTube- Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu - Part II | 天真正伝香取神道流
    Last edited by Rock Ape; 9/03/2010 4:04pm at .
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

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  5. NeilG is online now
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 4:04pm


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    Unfortunately I can't see the video as I'm at work. But look for the following telltale signs:

    1. Can you imagine his opponent(s)? You should be able to.
    2. Does he spin or roll on the ground at any point? Does he spin the sword? Looks flashy, likely to get you killed.
    3. Is he doing any sort of kicking or punching as part of the kata? JSA deals primarily with the use of the sword.
    4. Is he using the sword primarily one-handed? JSA arts cut one-handed on the draw but usually use two hands after that.
    5. As he cuts, are his arms more or less straight as the sword makes contact with the target, real or imagined? Cutting with bent arms gives up distance and speed in the cut, most JSA I've seen extend the arms during the cut. It's a difficult and non-intuitive skill to pick up.
    6. Are his hands lined up on the grip such that the palms face each other? For that matter, is the left hand at the bottom? Is the grip diagonal across the hilt? These are standard grip techniques. Most untrained people hold the sword likea baseball bat.

    If I have time tonight I'll have a look at the video but I have a feeling I won't like it.
  6. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 4:52pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Stiglitz View Post
    Is the Tomiki Aikido claim related to this thread as a matter of interest ?

    If the claim of a Godan in Tomiki style is associated with Abbe as the issuer or teacher, then it's instant bollocks. The grades Abbe ultimately issued for Aikido were ratified from Hombu Dojo, Tokyo through Ueshiba Morihei himself. Not Tomiki Kenji.
    Just to address this. I haven't seen any specific claim from Alexander that his claimed ranking in Tomki Aikido was issued by/associated with Kenshiro Abbe. At this point, it would appear that the claim is a 4th Dan in TA *and also* that he 'formally trained with' Abbe.

    Still, it would be good to know if he really does hold this rank.
  7. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 6:50pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The other three parts of the vid that Hugo posted... some more sword stuff on here, also nunchaku, sai, staff, unarmed forms, a bit of Tai Chi. Those in the know might be able to determine something about his skill level from them...

    vids also feature Bob McCormack, who appears to be one of Alexander's senior students.

    YouTube- Martial Arts Memories Part 3
    YouTube- Martial Arts Memories Part 4
    YouTube- Martial Arts Memories Part 5
    (part 5 from 2mins onwards has to be seen to be believed - no idea what is, looks like scenes from some terrible music video)

    Re: the connection between Alexander and Pete Delane/BAMA, which I touched on earlier. Found this whilst looking for something else...

    http://www.setbb.com/phpbb/viewtopic...mforum=bushido
    liquidthoughtz
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    the b.a.m.a. gave me a good foundation, there were few instructors when i was teaching with them. Jon Alexander formed Zenshin ryu back in the late 1960s. If you want to check his website out it is www.orientalmartialarts.org ......it has a brief history of zenshin ryu there.
    Jon was trained in Japan in many different arts. He wanted to start his own system though, back then martial arts was very limited, his idea i think was to create a british martial arts school. Nowadays, these crosstraining styles are everywhere, but back then he was probably one of the first. In the early seventies Jon put an advert in a magazine offering martial arts tuition and stunt work/choreography (which he dabbled in too). Pete Delane answered the advert.
    Jon said that he was a nice guy, a real character with a drive behind him. Pete started travelling to London from Gloucester sometimes many times in a week by train. Remember back then there werent a great deal of martial arts schools around...zenshin ryu mixed Karate, Aikido, japanese sword and other weaponry into one school.
    Bob McCormack was the nunchaku man for zenshin Ryu you can still get his instructional video from Blitz!
    Jon said that after some years of hard training, Pete was good enough to run a franchise Zenshin club in Gloucester. Zenshin was very successful in the seventies, many good people were trained by Jon. Steve Rowe and Vic Charles to name a few. At one point Jon was teaching halls full of people.
    In the late seventies instructors started to break away from Zenshin, maybe they realised that they could earn more being the boss? Maybe they felt creatively stiffled? Pete Delane took the Gloucester club and the students there with him. that was 1979, i think.
    25 years on and Bushido advertises as a Samurai school formed in 1973. A closed door sect of Zen and martial arts teachers. I think that being part of something special makes you feel special, unique and different to everyone else. This feeling is probably what brings a Bushido student to the assumption that they are in a higher caste. Of course Zen brings you to liberation not a life of control and conditioning.
    A friend of mine went to an interview in Swindon last year, when asked what kind of Karate is taught, the high level instructor told him, "it is Bushido Karate, the oldest style, over 1000 years old".
    Some clarification from one person's perspective, at least...
  8. Sri Hanuman is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 7:36pm

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     Style: Cheng Man Ching Taijiquan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larus marinus View Post
    The other three parts of the vid that Hugo posted... some more sword stuff on here, also nunchaku, sai, staff, unarmed forms, a bit of Tai Chi. Those in the know might be able to determine something about his skill level from them...

    vids also feature Bob McCormack, who appears to be one of Alexander's senior students.

    YouTube- Martial Arts Memories Part 3
    YouTube- Martial Arts Memories Part 4
    YouTube- Martial Arts Memories Part 5
    (part 5 from 2mins onwards has to be seen to be believed - no idea what is, looks like scenes from some terrible music video)

    Re: the connection between Alexander and Pete Delane/BAMA, which I touched on earlier. Found this whilst looking for something else...

    http://www.setbb.com/phpbb/viewtopic...mforum=bushido


    Some clarification from one person's perspective, at least...
    I couldnt find a Taiji demo in those videos, but damn... you weren't kidding about video 5, 2:00 and on... Shaw Brothers have a copyright infringement on their hands, big time.
    =================
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  9. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 7:58pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Here is my major problem now. He uses that Japanese Swords a lot like a Chinese Broadsword. That is something that always bothers me when I watch alleged JSA arts.

    YouTube- Bak Hok Pai-White Crane Kung Fu Broadsword routine @ the Kung Fu Corner @ Kowloon Park-Sculpture Garden-Hong Kong 4/12/09

    Oh and I hate you guys for showing me my McDojo art is even worse.
  10. Sri Hanuman is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2010 8:01pm

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    I have a knee jerk reaction (a negative one) whenever someone tries to use the Wong Fae Hong theme in their video. Thanks a lot IIF.
    =================
    Kama Sutra blue belt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    I used to **** guys like you in prison.
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    Dude I kill people for a fucking living.

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