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[Oxford UK] So how full of it are these guys?

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    I clearly said in my first post that I am not a member of BAMA. Yanno...just pointing that out. I'm not defending the organization, which I believe I made my opinion clear on. I don't HAVE a 'Grand Master', especially one with a made up name that doesn't even make sense. I don't even know who Tim Forsyth is, besides him sharing a last name with a particularly good writer of spy novels. I'm not SEEING anything, I'm making reasoned analysis from the facts I have on hand about BAMA of which I am not a member and my own personal opinions. Okay, I don't know as much about the subject of sword as you. I don't even pretend to. I was drawing comparisons to how my school practices sword, not how BAMA practices sword. Even if not clearly stated, knowing that I'm not a member of BAMA as you seem to be assuming (perhaps having missed my first post) it was inferred.

    So yeah...just, throwing that out there before I get slammed for being part of an organisation I'm not a member of and from what I have read don't even particularly like.


      What ryu-ha or gendai sword school do you study then, as a matter of curiosity.


        I would say that my school the Budo Foundation(Don't ask why its called Budo, I don't know. I get the feeling it is meant to describe the diverse range of sources and inspiration it would have to ask the founder of style, Gary Gregory) Actually, I got lost there. I would say that it is most certainly based around a very strong core of Shotokan. Most of the terminology, movements, stances...practically everything is drawn from Shotokan. I don't know if there are standard kata for Shotokan or not but ours were created in-house.

        As for the sword school, I haven't the faintest clue if there are sub-styles of sword to Iai or Kenjutsu (mostly Iai, in my limited experience). I have only been practicing sword for about...maybe eight months. My knowledge on the subject is hardly encyclopedic. Again, I would have to defer to a higher power (the aforementioned Gary Gregory) before I dig myself into a hole with conjecture, as I am often wont to do.


          So, in eight months of study, you don't know the name of the sword system you study or any specific details about it.

          Er... Ok then, is it at least koryu or gendai in origin ?

          *Koryu - Old school predating the Meiji Restoration of 1867

          *Gendai - Modern anything after 1867.

          How are assessments in progression conducted? Using the kyu/dan or menkyo systems of certification ?


            Well I do know it is Iai, I know it is Gendai (yes, I do know the terminology, at least terminology that isn't obscure.) but beyond that I haven't the faintest clue. I enjoy it, it isn't flashy, and it seems solid, at least at a casual glance. I've been butchered enough for everything from my cuts to my grip to...well, pretty much everything. I gathered that sword was a fairly recent development by the time I joined, so I think I got on within the first few months of it starting. There are usually only two to six of us doing it, so at least my mistakes get found and corrected fairly rapidly. Well...they try to correct them. Success is another matter. Again, I must defer judgment higher up the chain.

            The sword level advances by kyu/dan, the same way as the actual Shotokan(or Budo Karate or...whatever you want to call it) advances.


              ...So how do you know you're not learning some absolute fucking shite, wasting your money and time studying a completely pointless method which will be laughed at by any self respecting and legitimate sword art student?


                *shrugs* I don't. I'm seventeen, I'm loaded with college work, I don't have the resources to look at other schools, and I don't have the time either. I can only trust that my instructors are honest, fundamentally good people who wouldn't rip me off. I don't intend to enter any competitions or shows with my skill (what little there is), I do it purely for spiritual reasons. (Is spiritual the right word? Calming, with no religious overtones? That always bothered me.)

                So no, I don't know. It doesn't particularly bother me that I don't know. I can always ask, and I'm reasonably certain I would get a good answer. I read various warning lists of what constitutes a McDojo, and from what I could see it didn't meet a single one. So think what you will, and I will think what I will. I don't know which one of us is right, and without direct experience of what I personally am learning then neither do you. Until that situation changes we will have to settle for intellectual and rational discourse.


                  Originally posted by Sayle
                  *shrugs* I don't. I'm seventeen, I'm loaded with college work, I don't have the resources to look at other schools, and I don't have the time either. I can only trust that my instructors are honest, fundamentally good people who wouldn't rip me off.
                  I hope so too however, I think you'll be surprised to learn that legitimate Japanese sword arts within the UK is a fairly small community - Who is (are) your instructors ? Are they members of either the British Kendo Association or the British Iaido Association ? You would know the answer to the latter because you too would also be a member of either if your instructors were affiliated.

                  What is the name of your iai dojo?

                  Do you know the names of the kata you study? (Any of them will do if you don't know all of them)

                  What measures have you instructors taken to safe-guard you and other member's training since the introduction of the UK sword ban ?

                  Indulge me if you will, and describe the very first kata you were taught.
                  So no, I don't know. It doesn't particularly bother me that I don't know.
                  I take it then, you don't consider yourself a particularly serious student, given that you really don't care about the simplest of information pertaining to your chosen art.

                  When as a matter of interest did you learn the name of the Karate you study?




                    Please tell me this isn't the douchemob you train with :



                      Listen to the douchebag kid.

                      He's not trying to trap you, or make you look like an idiot, he's trying to help you.


                        Oh and I forgot to mention, if you [Sayle] wanted to email me about this rather than continue openly please do so.

                        [email protected]


                          *grins wryly* Yes, that does look remarkably like the douchemob. Looks spectacular, doesn't it? The website looks like it was put together by a five year old with free software, the descriptions of what is taught isn't even accurate and in places where it tries to describe what is happening even uses the wrong terminology, and quite a few of the examples are downright sloppy. I try not to look at it if I can help it. I must say I'm going to have quite a few hard questions when I go next.


                            Also please tell me the students don't actually call the head honcho by a Japanese surname.


                              In that small facet at least your fears may be allayed - that is not the case. Although upon reflection of what you have said I came to an interesting conclusion by analogy.

                              I thought that you enter a doctors clinic and meet a man. He seems well at ease there, so you ask him if he can help you with a persistent pain. He seems quite friendly, but confesses he is not a doctor and cannot help you.

                              A year later you enter the clinic again, and meet the same man. He is wearing the dress of a doctor this time, so you ask him if he can help with a new pain you feel. He says that although he works there he is merely an assistant of the doctor and cannot help you.

                              Another year passes, and you meet the man again. He has not changed, and you ask him if he can help you. He says that he has watched the doctor closely and understands how he could help you with your new problem, and does. You congratulate him on his understanding, but he merely looks confused, and confesses that he did not truly understand how it worked, only what to do. So you leave and when you return do not speak to the man again.

                              When I wrote this I was not entirely sure what I meant, and I still don't. I considered that understanding is subjective and cannot be defined, but by that logic understanding is without true meaning and does not matter, which is not the case. I considered that true understanding is vastly different from understanding what is done, and found this was a more valid avenue of inquiry.

                              Mimicry is effective and with enough observation and mimicry the basic underlying themes of a craft or skill can be understood, but it lacks the true understanding of the practitioner. Though it can solve your problems and carry a semblance of knowledge your trust would be diminished if this was found to be the case. I'm was not entirely sure what I'm trying to tell myself, then I realized the worse thing of all.

                              Just like in the story, I hadn't a clue of what I was talking about.


                                You've hit the nail on the head mate.

                                Imitation of physical movement will never explain how or why that physical movement exists.

                                Sure, bullshitters can come up with bullshit reasons [because they don't know better themselves] but when compared to non-bullshit, it becomes very obvious.

                                Good luck in your training with this group, and again without wishing to sound rude, I suspect you're going to need it.




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