A few questions about JJ

Discussion in 'Jujutsu / Judo' started by kehcorpz, Aug 11, 2016.

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  1. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That would be a very interesting thread and or continuation to some thing useful with this thread.
     
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The attempt is to steer this thread into some thing useful if it moves forward.
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought so, and it would be an interesting intellectual discussion for me, since that's the case with NGA. The dojo in Chitose closed back in the late 60's or early 70's, if I recall correctly. So far as we know, Nara Tominosuke (the hereditary soke, if I'm using the term properly) taught privately for a short time afterwards, but never created any new instructors in Japan. We have found no evidence of the art continuing there. In the US, Richard Bowe (under the direction of Mr. Nara) started teaching in the mid-60's, and has a legacy of many instructors starting schools since then. Our art's name - as used by the founder Morita Shodo - actually contains the word Japanese (Nihon). When NGA was brought to the US, there was (according to Mr. Bowe) some curriculum reorganization but no change to techniques.
     
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  4. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting case. I'd be inclined to say that it still counts as a Japanese art. However as time passes and generations of American teachers leave their stamp on the curriculum and teaching methods, perhaps it will become more of a Japanese-American art.
     
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  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd agree. Again, I think it depends on how we use the terms. If we use it to identify the origin of an art, then NGA remains a "Japanese" art. If we use the terms to define current state, then NGA eventually becomes "Japanese-American", then someday just "American" (in spite of the "Nihon" in the name).

    It could be reasonably argued that the mainline of NGA is Japanese, while Shojin-ryu is Japanese-American.
     
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  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Frankly, James, those people are irrelevant to this. It really doesn't matter what people unschooled in the matter mean, one of the main purposes of asking in a specific forum dedicated to a particular subsection of a topic (in this case, Japanese martial arts, further clarified down to Judo and Jujutsu systems) is that we don't just go with the ideas and beliefs held by lay people with no exposure. Honestly a big part of this is correcting such misinformation and misunderstandings.

    Honestly, the only insistence has been that, when in a forum dedicated to discussion of Japanese martial arts, we actually reference and discuss Japanese martial arts. Without sticking to even that simple, basic guide, there's no reason to have a dedicated forum. It's nothing to do with being koryu police, as you should well recognise…you've been around long enough to know that… and have acted as "gate-keeper" often enough yourself.

    That's the thing, Steve, the distinction is just as much practical as it is academic… in fact, I would say it's more practical than academic. It actually goes a bit deeper than a mere geographic origin… and as far as "for some it matters", it should matter here more than anywhere else. This is, after all, a forum dedicated to discussion of precisely this.

    It doesn't matter whether or not Japanese massage is actually Japanese to some hypothetical guys somewhere you've made up. It really doesn't. That's not the topic, it's not the point, and the people you're discussing don't exist.

    Now, if they were on a forum of massage therapies, and were engaging on a thread in an area dedicated specifically to Japanese massage therapies, including reiki, shiatsu and so on… and people started talking about sports-style remedial massage as if it was the same thing, then I'm pretty sure the guys wanting to actually discuss specifically Japanese massage therapies would have some interest in clarifying whether or not the sports massage was actually relevant to the sub forum.

    "They" don't matter. "They" really don't. "They're" not informed. "They" don't know what is or isn't authentic, or why it's important or not. "They" are the ignorant, "they" are lay-people. We are not. We are the source and resource of accurate information. We are a specialist discussion area for specialised discussions. We don't pander to people who don't know and accommodate their uninformed opinions. Their opinions don't matter. They're not relevant.

    And you just couldn't help yourself… pity.

    Your opinions are irrelevant, though. That's the most important take-away you can have here, Steve… your opinion is irrelevant. You don't have the relevant understanding, knowledge, insight, experience, exposure, or expertise to have an informed opinion… and, when arguing about the relevance or accuracy of the proper classification of a specialist area, if your opinion is uninformed, it's frankly irrelevant.

    I know we're all supposed to entertain the idea that everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but the reality is that, while you can have your own opinion, it does not automatically have the same value or weight simply because it's yours.

    While true, it's also irrelevant. If you're not interested in a discussion of Japanese jujutsu (which is the area and topic of this thread), or in the accurate representation of correct classification of martial arts, then frankly, you're in the wrong place. What's of interest to us (in this thread and sub forum) need not be interesting to you… and, if it isn't, the question is… why are you here, arguing?

    So… Brian, who trains in Japanese jujutsu based arts, is a moderator who is required to monitor heated threads (I think this qualifies), and has a genuine understanding of the subject shouldn't be compelled to read this thread, as you think it may be of no interest to him, but you, who have no experience, understanding, or knowledge, are arguing with people you openly acknowledge as having expertise in the area, and refuse to actually take on board what the topic is (pretty much the definition of you not having genuine interest), you should be here?

    Is that really what you're saying?

    Huh?

    The thread was specifically and deliberately put in the Japanese Martial Arts - Judo and Jujutsu sub forum by the OP (after deliberately posting his other threads in art-specific areas, most dominantly Wing Chun, showing that he did think about where he wanted the discussion to be focused), and asked specifically about "traditional JJ", including what is and is not involved, what the training is like (on his body), and so on… while an argument can be made that he came in with little to no understanding of what Japanese (or traditional) jujutsu is… but that's what we're here to help him understand.

    But, because he doesn't use the specific name "Japanese Jujutsu" (for the record, this discussion started specifically because drop bear did use that exact term to describe a system which is not a Japanese art, and therefore not Japanese jujutsu), you think that, with no requests, no input from any member or the OP, and no reason that is represented in the thread itself, it should have been moved to a different forum? And you're blaming the mods for not enacting that move for no reason?

    There's no ganging up, Steve… you're simply out of your depth here, and we're pointing that out. Your stubborn refusal to understand and accept that is what has drawn this out.

    Interesting… I feel it's going to have a lot to do with how the art reacts to being outside of Japan (centrally). You could look at case-studies such as Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu… which is presently headed by Tobin Threadgill in the US. Mr Threadgill has taken a great amount of care and put in substantial effort to retain the "Japanese" aspect and "heart" of his system… which has therefore retained it's identity as a Japanese art. Ellis Amdur teaches a couple of Koryu systems, specifically Toda-ha Buko Ryu Naginatajutsu (which, intriguingly, has all of it's senior membership currently being Westerners… it's head is Kent Sorensen, in the role of Soke Dairi [representative soke]), and Araki Ryu. In the case of Araki Ryu, there is a tradition of "one domain, one ryu"… which means that he is simply the head of his own line of Araki Ryu… which is therefore based where he is (again, the US)… but remains completely Japanese in it's identity.

    By the same token, I'd class Danzan Ryu as a Western (or American-Japanese hybrid) system. Henry Okazaki was a Japanese ex-pat who moved to Hawaii when he was 15 or 16, and started martial arts there. In 1924 (at about 34 years of age), he went back to Japan, and apparently trained in a number of other systems (interestingly, none of which seem to exist outside of Okazaki's stated history), returning to Hawaii in 1925 to found Danzan Ryu… it was created solely in the West, although ostensibly (potentially) based in some Japanese arts… but doesn't have the same character as most Japanese systems, so I'd say no there.

    Ed Parker's Kempo system took most of it's basis from some basic karate, abandoned (or never had) a number of the more identifiable parts that would have put it with the Okinawan or Japanese systems, instead seeking to fill certain gaps with Mr Parker's own experiences on the streets of Hawaii, and with his own personal take on combative approaches, as well as his own physical limitations in skill and performance, and created a wholly new and purely Western variation on the karate previously learnt. Not Japanese at all, really a truly Western system… despite the historical ties.

    Yeah, the NGA is an interesting one… a non-Aikido (Ueshiba) form of Aikido tracing back to Yoshida Kotaro, who introduced Ueshiba to Takeda Sokaku in the first place… and whose son, Yoshida Kenji was the teacher of Don Angier and his Yanagi Ryu… quite an interesting group of systems there! The founder, Shodo Morita, trained in Daito Ryu under Yoshida (and Takeda), as well as Judo, Karate, and some other arts, and combined them in his form of Aikido without a connection to Ueshiba's art (directly). Today, as you noted, it's not still extant in Japan since Nara sensei passed away in the 70's, and (I believe) is really only found in the US.

    What is most interesting in this context is that the art has clearly deviated from it's source schools to focus more on "Western" style attacks (jabs, hooks, side head locks etc), including in combinations, although that decision was one that Shodo Morita himself made, rather than an adaptation once finding itself in the US… so I'd not class it as a classical style, nor a particularly traditional one (although it does certainly retain hallmarks of each)… but when it comes to being a Japanese system… hmm. I'd say, so long as it stays close to the focus and emphasis of the original Japanese form, retaining the methodology and inherent "flavour" of being a Japanese art (not getting overly flashy, for example), then it will remain identifiable as a Japanese system… albeit one centred in the US. Time will tell how far it strays, though… and once it starts straying, it becomes a Western expression of a Japanese system… then a Western derivation of one… and finally, a Western system based on older Japanese methods. How long that takes can vary, of course… it could take a number of generations, or just one.
     
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  7. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Oh. See. I had a bit of a different impression there. See I was thinking you were accusing a style and a person of lying without evidence.

    Instead you have doubts and they might be misrepresenting their style.

    Which is more just an expression of an opinion. Without evidence.

    So what we might do here is because I gave the example from the source itself. We will keep that as an example of Japanese jujitsu until you are more certain than doubt and maybes.

    And we can both have a different idea on what consists of Japanese jujitsu based on our own experiences.
     
  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Then you need to have a method to discern legitimate martial art from a fraud.
     
  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    By the way. For those looking for any school of martial arts. Japanese or otherwise.

    This. May be a big red flag in regards to your training environments.
     
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  10. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    Why would I possibly need that? The only reason I can think of to need that is if I was interested in joining a particular dojo. If that was the case, there are plenty of methods to research any martial art dojo to determine if they are "legitimate" or a fraud, depending of course upon an individual's own interpretation of what constitutes a "legitimate" martial art.
     
  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's sort of my thoughts. My interpretation (Shojin-ryu), so far as I know, is farther from Morita's original art than what was taught by Mr. Bowe (what I refer to as "mainline NGA"). By your description, Shojin-ryu would be a Western expression of the Japanese system. That seems appropriate.
     
  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    You are making the distinction between legitimate arts an fraudulent ones. Or as you said. Japanese arts from those that think they are Japanese

    If we relied on individual interpretation. Then those that think they are Japanese ma. Are Japanese ma.
     
  13. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Oh, for gods' sake… are you determined to look this stupid? Really?

    I never said anything about no evidence… in fact, I provided a fair bit in my initial comments when you brought Barry Bradshaw up.

    I have doubts that any, other than Barry, is aware that what they're doing is not Japanese jujutsu… and, when it comes to Barry himself, I think he simply doesn't have the education to recognise it. He put together what he thought Japanese Jujutsu was like many years ago, despite never actually having any experience in it, and has just gone with that ever since.

    Oh, there's plenty of evidence. Sadly, you're frankly too uneducated to see it. But, if you want some, the fact that the Monash branch talk about how there were many schools of Jujutsu, and theirs is named "Tai Jitsu Ryu" is, bluntly, all the evidence required to make the call that they have never had a days education in Japanese anything.

    I have no doubt, there are no maybes, and your example has been shown to not be an accurate example of Japanese martial arts at all, let alone Japanese jujutsu since you first mentioned them.

    Give it up. You don't know what you're talking about.

    No.

    This is not an "agree to disagree" situation. You can't just have an opinion of what Japanese Jujutsu is… if it's not Japanese, it fails the very first criteria. It's like me saying you need to breath in oxygen to live, and you saying "no, I think you need to breath in hydrochloric acid, because I heard from a guy that it's a good thing". It's not up for debate.

    We have a method. Frankly, we have many methods. But, when it comes to looking at the criteria for an art to legitimately be a Japanese Jujutsu system, it needs firstly to be Japanese… then we look at the Jujutsu portion.

    How so? I'm saying that you, not having a clue what you're talking about, are not to be considered important when it comes to offering an opinion on what constitutes a Japanese martial tradition. That's like saying that a 3 year old, no matter how many toy planes they have, their opinion when it comes to flight paths, construction and build of airplanes, the properties of aerodynamics and so on is completely unimportant. And, really, we have no need or requirement to cater to the beliefs of three year olds.

    No.

    It doesn't matter what they think they are, it matters what they are. Get that through your head.

    Yep, I'd go with that.
     
  14. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd see it more as a distinction between instructors who know the actual history of their arts and those who don't.

    TKD is a totally legitimate martial art. It is not (as some practitioners believe) derived from 1000-year old native Korean arts. The flying kicks taught in many TKD schools were never (as some practitioners believe) used to knock cavalrymen off their horses.

    The fact that some TKD instructors believe and promulgate these myths doesn't make TKD fraudulent. It just means those particular instructors are uncritically parroting bogus history that they honestly believe. Nevertheless, the fact that they honestly believe these things about TKD doesn't make them true.

    Modern western forms of jujutsu (including the kinds you described as "kind of a cross between judo aikido and karate" are legitimate martial arts. They are not "Japanese", in the sense that they were not created in Japan and they don't closely resemble the forms of jujutsu which were created in Japan.

    The fact that many instructors of these western jujutsu styles describe them as "Japanese jujutsu" doesn't necessarily make them frauds. Many of them honestly believe that their arts were created in or are very close to arts which were created in Japan. They just aren't history experts.
     
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  15. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    No that was your opinion.
     
  16. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    No, son. Your lack of education in this does not negate the evidence just because you can't recognise it.
     
  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well either they are fraudulent or I can use it as an example of Japanese jujitsu.

    It seems pretty simple.

    "What is jjj like?"

    "I did jjj and it was like this."

    Cut and dried. If Chris Parker does jjj and it was like something else. Fine. If he wants to flip out about it over 8 pages then also fine.


    I am not the one having the coronary over what is and isn't jujitsu.
     
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  18. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    No the lack of evidence negates the evidence boy.
     
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  19. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    No, those are not the only two options. They are not Japanese jujutsu, therefore you cannot use it as an example, and as far as "fraudulent", no, they're most likely simply uninformed and are believing that that's what they do. It's not.

    It's only that simple if you actually did Japanese Jujutsu.

    No. You're still missing the actual discussion. It only works if both people actually trained in Japanese jujutsu.

    No, you're the one refusing to listen to people who know what they're talking about.

    The evidence is myriad. I gave a damning piece of it in post 153… if you can't see that as evidence, you simply don't have the first clue in this field. Which is the damn point.
     
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  20. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    False dichotomy. "Fraudulent" indicates intent to deceive. Someone can be mistaken without being fraudulent.

    I'll give another analogy, this time a personal example.

    Growing up, I was told that I was 1/16th Cherokee, by way of a great-great-grandmother. Having no reason to doubt that, I would include it when asked about my ancestry - French, Scottish, English, and 1/16th Cherokee.

    Recently, I've discovered that this claim - specifically 1/16th Cherokee is a relatively common story among white Americans and is more often than not untrue. Sometimes it was to cover up black ancestry, sometimes it was just for the romance of having a perceived link to Native American culture, sometimes it's unclear where the story originated.

    If someone did a detailed genealogical investigation of my family and discovered that this Cherokee great-great-grandmother never existed, does that mean I was a fraud every time I told someone I was 1/16th Cherokee? No, it just means I was mistaken.

    Likewise, someone who teaches a western style of jujutsu and says that it is "Japanese" (in the sense of being an art created in Japan) can be honestly mistaken without being a fraud.123
     
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