Kenjutsu techniques

Discussion in 'Japanese Swords and Sword Arts' started by ant888, Jun 15, 2016.

Tags:
  1. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,036
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    No, that's like saying you train in kung fu… it could refer to any of a huge number of things, with varying degrees of credibility and legitimacy. You also haven't said how long you've been training, or where… but to start with, what system of kenjutsu? If you aren't sure, can you give a link to a website?
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    10,971
    Likes Received:
    1,622
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    :)
     
  3. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    3,571
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Chris and others have made the important points, but it might be a good idea to back up and explain at a more basic level where they are coming from.

    Legitimate sword arts are those which were created by people who actually had experience with combative use of the sword. People who had been in real sword fights. Who had seen real sword fights. Who had taught others who used real swords in real fights.

    Since real sword fights are mostly a thing of the past*, legitimate sword arts are primarily historical traditions. A modern practitioner who creates his own sword art based on how he imagines a sword should be used is pretty much LARPing. Imagination is not a substitute for empirical experience.

    *(There are still some areas of the world where the machete is a commonly carried work tool and is sometimes used in fights. Theoretically a new legitimate sword art could be created by someone from one of those places who had survived a number of fights involving use of the machete.)

    There are some commonalities which can be found in different surviving historical sword arts, but there are also a lot of differences, based on factors such as the type of sword being used, the type of weapon being faced, the type or clothing or armor being worn, the tactical doctrine being applied, the historical context, and so on. There isn't really a "generic" template of a sword art which you can learn basics from.

    If you practice an art which has incorporated "sword training", but that training has no link back to the people who actually used a sword in combat, then your "sword training" is really so much baton twirling. It's a dangerous baton, to be sure. A sword is a long piece of sharpened steel and even an untrained person can easily hurt or kill others (or themselves) with a long piece of sharpened steel. An actual sword art goes beyond that and teaches you how to defeat someone else who has a deadly weapon and is trained in its use, while maximizing your chances for surviving the process. That's the sort of knowledge that someone had to bleed for.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Texas
    Glad to hear that you're still with us!
    As Chris pointed out, you haven't really given us anything. Since I have an irrational love of analogies, answering that you "train in kenjutsu" is just as if we were to ask what you drive, and you answered "a car". It is a generic description rather than an actual school. My main area of training currently is Meishi-ha Mugai ryu iaihyodo. They have both iaido and kenjutsu portions to their training. Ask your instructor what the name of the school that you practice is. If he says "kenjutsu", then I'll have to stand by my earlier statement.

    Chris,
    You always make much longer and more informative posts than I can. Thanks for making that effort!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ant888

    ant888 White Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hm, my instructor just said "kenjutsu". I guess you're right about him not being trained in Japanese Sword Arts.

    Excuse me not knowing before what he really teaches. :(
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    10,971
    Likes Received:
    1,622
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Well, you can always ask him. How he responds, both in what he says and in his non-verbal communication style, will tell you a lot.

    For how long have you been with him?
     
  7. ant888

    ant888 White Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I meant I asked him, and he said "Kenjutsu".

    As for your other question, I've been with him for 1 year. (more or less).
     
  8. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    3,571
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Did you ask him "what is the art you are teaching? or did you ask "what specific style of kenjutsu are you teaching?" Either way his answer is a red flag, but he should be willing and able to tell you the specific kenjutsu ryu that he trained in, its history, and his instructor's name. If not, then he almost certainly isn't legit.

    Does he teach only "kenjutsu" or does he have a school that's focused on some other art? Sometimes you find instructors who are legitimately qualified practitioners of something like Tae Kwon Do or Karate, but teach a side class in some specialty area (like weapons work) that they just took a seminar in and aren't so expert at.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. ant888

    ant888 White Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    1.Yep, I asked him exactly what you said.
    2. He also teaches Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. He says he "teaches" kenjutsu too, but it's only once a week.
    It's mainly focused on Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. Is this a red flag?
     
  10. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    3,571
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Yeah, that's what I suspected. He might be fully qualified to teach TKD and Hapkido, but he probably learned his "kenjutsu" via seminars from someone who wasn't qualified to teach it and had no real connections to any historical kenjutsu ryu. That doesn't mean he's a deliberate fraud. It's entirely possible that his association offered some sort of short "certification" course in sword work with the aim of adding additional options to attract students and that he accepted this course as legit without knowing anything about historical Japanese sword arts.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    10,971
    Likes Received:
    1,622
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Yeah, I agree with Tony.

    I suggest you ask very bluntly, what system, and what training does he have, and with whom. Specifics.
     
  12. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Texas
    No worries, and no excuses needed.
    After Japanese style swords began being produced inexpensively by the Chinese forges in the late 90's, lot's of karate and tae kwon do places began teaching "kenjutsu" and "kendo" to take advantage of the new popularity of Japanese style swords. The Japanese martial arts forum e-budo used to have an entire thread devoted to funny pictures of various instructors posing with Japanese swords taken off the internet. As long as you're using a bokken or non-sharp iaito, there will probably be no real harm in it. Just be aware that it will most likely bear very little resemblance to legitimate Japanese sword arts.
     
  13. ant888

    ant888 White Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Okay, but will my bokken come to use like my instructor said? :confused:
     
  14. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,036
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Er…. can you rephrase that? It doesn't seem to make much sense the way you've said it…

    Oh, and can you give us a little more to go on… I understand your instructor hasn't been forthcoming with a name for his sword work other than "kenjutsu", but do you have a website link? And can you let us know where you are, so we might be able to offer some suggestions for alternate kenjutsu (or related) training near you? Koryu systems in particular are renowned for not advertising… but the Koryu community is still relatively small and tightly knit, so we might know of someone or something viable…
     
  15. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Kenjutsu is not something you do on your own although you can do mirror work to correct body posture in between one on one practice. You need an opponent/instructor who attacks you to varying degrees to gain any experience.
     
  16. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes Received:
    1,189
    Trophy Points:
    253
    Ant88, are you learning the TKD as well?
    If you are and if you enjoy it and like the instructor I wouldn't think too much about it.
    In my opinion there are a lot of schools out there who add weapons training to the core art. Sword and nunchucku are the most common. However these schools have no connection to authentic traditions and really only teach stuff for fun and for fancy demonstrations in tournament settings. It's all made up crap but it's fun. There really is nothing wrong with it as long as you yourself understand that it's just pretend play. If at some point you want to really learn an authentic sword art then do some research and find a good instructor.
    My only advise would be that if you stick with the TKD and become an instructor don't fall into the trap of thinking you know real swordsmanship and I would be honest about it with both yourself and others.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. ant888

    ant888 White Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I'm learning TKD and Hapkido.

    I might ask my instructor if he can make accommodations for me, instead of only teaching it every week, he has said in the past that he can do 1on1 classes, possibly some kenjutsu.
     
  18. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I am rather confused. what you do is Korean. Kenjutsu is a Japanese word related to Koryu or Classical sword schools. I was the one who did the demonstrations shown in the second video on Post #10 up to 2008 until I semi retired.
     
  19. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,036
    Likes Received:
    939
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Okay, you're confusing me as well now… we've pretty well established that whatever your teacher is teaching, it ain't actually anything we would recognise as, or identify as, actual kenjutsu… as Hyoho said, kenjutsu is a specific Japanese term for Japanese methodologies of combative disciplines using a sword… it's not just whatever anyone happens to do with a Japanese-style sword. So… why, if you're (seemingly) interested in actually studying kenjutsu, would you be going back to this guy to ask for private lessons in it? Of course, if you don't care about actual legitimate sword, then sure, take as many private lessons as he can charge you for… but if you are wanting to actually study kenjutsu (authentically), why would you go to him? And, this is just for me, really, but is there a reason you've refused to acknowledge or answer most of the questions here that are only there so we can help you in your search? For your information, here they are again:

    Whereabouts are you (city, state… hell, country would be a start)?
    Is there a website for your current school (ideally one that has any mention of this "kenjutsu" being taught)?
     
  20. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    21,089
    Likes Received:
    1,824
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Perhaps if we figuratively step back, we might arrive at an answer...

    Is the sword your base art, or is it something you're doing in addition to another art? If so -- what is that other art. For example, Chris mentioned Aikido is sometimes paired with Aiki-ken, so even if you just know that you train in "aikido", we can make a reasonable guess that the "kenjutsu" is really "aiki-ken."

    ETA:
    OK, I see that we already got there... :D

    Let's give your instructor the benefit of the doubt. He learned some sort of sword to add it to his curriculum. At a guess, through a few seminars and maybe a certification. The problem is -- most of the time, when people do something like that, they don't really learn the system. It's just not likely given the format. Instead, they learn a few techniques or a kata... enough to put it on the window and schedule of classes.

    Within my art, there are several weapons systems. They're all built on applications of the core art. Even then, I don't feel that having learned a single form or worked with one or another of them for a few weekend seminars makes me a master of it. I might be able to teach that form, to the extent it was taught to me -- but that's as far as I'll go. I'll claim a deeper understanding of a very little bit of it... but my focus for years has been the empty hand art. There are nuances and elements that are vital to know and to know how to impart as a teacher. Make sense?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
kenjutsu pdf
,

kenjutsu techniques

,
kenjutsu techniques pdf