Koryu Bujutsu

Discussion in 'Koryu Corner' started by combatisshinryu, May 5, 2011.

  1. combatisshinryu

    combatisshinryu White Belt

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    Found this group on Meetup. They are in Lincoln Park MI and appear to be organized under a Stephen who is from Ashbun VA. Any insights into this group?
     
  2. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Virginia and Michigan are rather far apart... That's about all I can say from what you've posted. Is THIS the group? They seem rather sketchy on what exactly they teach, and it's origin. Doesn't mean it's bad or wrong -- but I can't find much out, either.
     
  3. combatisshinryu

    combatisshinryu White Belt

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    this appears to be the same outfit xcept there is a group that meets in michigan, the stephen person is also listed as organizer of the michigan group and apparently came to michigan for a "dojo visit"
     
  4. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    There is nothing listed in anything about them on-line that indicates that there is any koryu school or instructor involvement at all. My opinion is that it is a group of folks that like the idea of training in a koryu art far more than the reality of actually searching out and joining a koryu school. They have no real idea what the koryu really are, or how totally different what they are doing is from actual koryu training.

    There are some legitimate koryu schools practicing in Michigan. If you're interested, I can probably hunt up contact information.
     
  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    They look like an X-Kan split off, or possibly still involved. The Takamatsu shirt they sell is the big giveaway, but there were quite a few other clues (one quick little question, this shirt is designed with calligraphy from Takamatsu's own hand? Where did that come from?) My money would be on Bujinkan due to the dress-sense, or possibly Genbukan with the "Samurai/Ninjutsu" concept that constantly goes through their pages. It's fairly safe to say that few Bujinkan people seem to really have any understanding of Koryu training or approach, so while there are some Koryu schools that go into the curriculum, this just ain't Koryu.
     
  6. combatisshinryu

    combatisshinryu White Belt

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    I did find this on the VA website=

    "Seiko Bujutsu:. What does this mean in terms of what we are studying. There are many questions students often ask around techniques and application. This is a very tactical viewpoint and understandable given they are wanting to obtain and grow knowledge in these arts.

    I would like to provide a more strategic view point:

    'Seishinteki Kyoyo' (Spiritual refinement), which involves the heart, spirit and soul.

    Taijutsu (Unarmed defense), involving the body and the physical techniques.

    'Shin Gi Tai Icchi', combined produce miraculous powers and gives the practitioner the (Heart, technique and body combination).
     
  7. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Yep, it was pages like that that lead me to believe it's a Bujinkan group under a different name. The terms there are very much X-Kan terminology and lexicon. That said, the translation they give is a little, uh, fanciful....
     
  8. Koryu Bujutsu

    Koryu Bujutsu White Belt

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    Gang,

    This is Stephen and one of my students brought this to my attention. I laughed, shared it with my group leaders and thought interesting that people would guess, speculate and theorize about what we teach without knowing anything. The website is vague because I only teach semi private these days and the knowledge I have only goes to Students and not some mass marketing effort... We are not here to have the coolest 200 re-take video to lure in tons of new potential students... There is enough about history which alot of people devote that time instead of real knowledge/training that works on the Big guys... I know 100% that the knowledge we have is very rare and further more in my 27 years of pursuing these old arts in USA, Europe and Japan I know where to obtain the knowledge and more importantly where not to go.... :)

    To me, it's very simple, come down to one of my schools, Michigan, Ohio or come visit me in VA and do a class for free.. Empty your cup, come train and experience Koryu Bujutsu like I did many years ago.... Then process that against what you know and see where you end up in a comparission...

    P.S. We are in no way teaching what the kans teach in any fashion.... Nice catch on the takamatsu shirt... :)

    Please feel free to contact me off of the meetup site in VA.... (20147)

    Arigato,
    Stephen
     
  9. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hi Stephen,

    I'm not really sure why you came along here, as this entire post onlyl confirms that you have no idea whatsoever about Koryu, and are not teaching it at all. Add to that you are making claims that are rather easily countered, and I'm a little confused.

    First off, we were asked about your group and what we thought of it (in a Koryu section, and therefore from a Koryu perspective... and the amount of information was more than enough to demonstrate that you have no idea about Koryu, frankly). But that said, if you're not going to have much information presented, guesswork and theorising is exactly what we can do. And I must say that you have given no indication that we were off by a detail at all, really.

    That's all fine and good, but the fact remains that your description of your teachings doesn't match the limited evidence you have provided. What you're doing ain't Koryu.

    Er, right.... still doesn't explain the complete lack of explaination about what you teach, though.

    Right, it's this talk about "what works on the Big guys" that shows you have no idea about Koryu, you know. I'm going to suggest you read the following thread:http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=93854

    You may notice that what you're doing is nothing like Koryu training. At all.

    Sigh.... talking about comparing what we already train in, and seeing what you teach, then possibly changing our approach shows a complete lack of understanding about Koryu (again!). Koryu are about preservation of the old systems, not who can beat who, or taking some of this, and some of that, and putting it together the way you have. The only way that someone already training in an art who attends an actual Koryu session can then alter their approach is to start training in that Koryu, end of story.

    Really? Are you serious in that comment (not teaching what is found in the Kan's)? Really? Cause, you see, first off there's the description of "Jujutsu/Ninjutsu Training", then there's the Takamatsu shirt (despite what many X-Kan people think, Takamatsu is not widely known outside of X-Kan circles, and would not be of any importance to any other Koryu group, so that shows the roots pretty well itself), and, if that wasn't enough....

    [yt]SaYkGCQk-Ic[/yt]

    0:08 The initial bow (frankly, this shows no actual Koryu training, as the bow is completely inaccurate. It's meant to be performed with everyone facing the Kamidana, not each other, as it's about waking the Shinto spirits, and scaring off evil ones).

    0:17 The bow towards each other shows a lack of proper instruction in Reiho, one of the cornerstones of actual Koryu training. This is evidenced by the differences between both partners bowing method and depth, amongst other things.

    0:22 "Ote Yawaraka Yoshi!" This is taken directly out of Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu, as taught in the Bujinkan, Genbukan and Jinenkan, and is done again incredibly badly. The foot position is what is refered to as "dead foot", and shows again a lack of proper Koryu training, or even proper X-Kan training, frankly.

    0:25-38 The kamae is a very bad Ichimonji no Kamae, again pure X-Kan (with more of a Genbukan feel, so that's where I'm thinking most of this has come from), and the movement is so pure X-Kan derived that it's ridiculous that you would have anyone believe that you are "We are in no way teaching what the kans teach in any fashion".

    1:04 Really? This is a standout in terrible from an entire clip of it. One more time, nothing here is anything to do with Koryu training at all, and is purely derived from X-Kan material.

    1:08 A Roundhouse Kick? In Koryu training? Not a chance, son. If you think this has any place in these systems, you once more have no understanding of Koryu whatsoever. At all.

    Honestly, I can keep going with the rest (the rolling around with one guy in a headlock for example), but it should be more than clear that what you are doing is purely derived from some rather bad X-Kan training, and no idea about Koryu whatsoever.

    If you enjoy it, and the guys enjoy it, that's great. But this is in no way Koryu training, and is X-Kan derived. Your claim that it isn't is just ridiculous.

    Not really any need, as it's plainly obvious that you're either deluding yourself, or your students, as to what you're doing. Really, what you're doing may be great, or at least enjoyable, but frankly it is nothing like Koryu, and has no place refering to itself as such. I do train in Koryu, as well as X-Kan material, so I am speaking from experience here, just so you know.
     
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  10. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    Hey Stephen.

    Since you are offended by Mr. Parker. I think you missed his words. It's not that you can beat Chris or whatever. It's just that your school is obviously a gendai school based on its training methods. Even Bujinkan is gendai even though is has legitimate Koryu roots. Koryu schools are arts developed pre meiji era, which are maintained in the same manner as the original creator/creators developed. So it's not about who can beat up who. It's about a maintained lineage leading back pre Meiji era Japan.
    So lets be generous and say you DID have roots from a Koryu. The way you are training is obviously not in the manner of how "known" Koryu usually look/train. So from the empirical evidence provided. Your school appears to be "gendai" and not "koryu"

    This isn't an insult to your school.
     
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  11. Sanke

    Sanke Green Belt

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    Stephen

    I'll be honest with you, I don't have enough experience to really say what is good or bad in terms of skill or how good a system is, so I'm not gonna talk about your video in that regard, but I do know enough about Koryu Bujutsu to say this: What your training is not Koryu.

    Honestly, I don't have to be an expert to tell you what you're doing isn't koryu. You merely have to compare the footage you have provided with that of any actual koryu system, and you can see that it simply does not match up.

    Koryu, as Tanaka has stated, are any school or system that can be proven to have been formed before the Meiji restoration (so i think that makes it before about 1868, but as i understand it, that's not quite right either). That means that it would have the same attitude as what would have been trained in that period in time, and that is most certainly not reflected in your posts.

    But honestly? I barely even need to bother pointing that out, due to your, quite frankly, childish attitude. That proves it more than anything else. Saying things like:

    Not only proves that you clearly don't have the right attitude for koyru training, it proves you barely have the right attitude to be on this forum at all. And really:

    I mean, really. Do I even need to say anything? You disagree with one man's posts and so your response is to insult the entire country? Not exactly becoming of a teacher, wouldn't you say?

    Anyway, I'm not here to change your mind about any of this. I'm happy where I am training now, and what I train in, and it seems that you are too.
    But if you're really going to come on here and debate about why you think your system is legitimate, at least come without the school-yard attitude. It does you no favours.

    P.S. Even though it might not say it on the site, I happen to know that Ninjustu Australia group don't use the same ranking system as the Bujinkan. Just FYI.
     
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  12. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Admin Note:

    Folks,

    Before this thread spirals downward anymore than it already has, let me remind everyone of the forum rules, that everyone agreed to upon joining. That said, enough with the personal shots, and posts that could be read as a challenge. For the record, thats the quickest way to get the boot from here, is to make a challenge post, but I suppose everyone knew that already, after reading the rules.

    This forum is open to everyone, but we do ask that things maintain a civil tone. If you're here to stir the pot, cause trouble, troll and things of that nature, this isn't the place for you, and you'll soon find your welcome worn out.

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    MT Asst. Admin
     
  13. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Stephen,

    First off, I really should just RTM this post of yours (which I have, to let you know), but as the entire basis of it is so far off base, I'm answering to clear up just how little you know what you're talking about with regards to myself here.

    Okay, you really have no idea where you are, or who you're dealing with here, so a few words to the wise. Martial Talk is the "friendly" discussion board for martial arts, and such comments as these are, shall we say, discourged? Especially when they have little basis other than a bruised ego on your side. Next, I'm not Bujinkan. We split from them over a decade ago, and the highest grade in our organisation is 5th Dan, so look at my 3rd in that light, okay?

    But I do have to ask, what do you know of my "third dan knowledge"? I might suggest looking through my past posts if you want to get a better idea of who you're conversing with, I don't think you have a very accurate idea at present at all. Especially when I can look at the clip of your guys (I'm assuming that they have more than 6 months there, particularly the guys in black belts, yeah?), and point out how bad they are (I was really being rather gentle earlier.. I can stop that anytime you like, though....), and how far off their training is.

    Oh, and if you've been told the same things about how you're doing things by people of high rank in these arts for 27 years, shouldn't that be a clue...? Just sayin'....

    Again, not Bujinkan. A cursory look should have told you that. And again, with no knowledge of what we do, or how we train, you're basing this all on what, exactly? For the record, though, we don't accept 13 year olds as students, so you're off there as well....

    I never said anything about not testing your skills, Stephen, I pointed out that your methods were not Koryu. That's all. As far as contests in Japan, really, I'm not someone you need to educate on history, trust me on that.

    Sigh... not Bujinkan, mate.

    I am intrigued by this apparent hatred of the Kans (specifically Bujinkan), as almost your entire technical methods seem to come out of it. No matter what you say, it is completely demonstrable (and has been demonstrated in your own clip) that the basis of what you teach comes from at least one of the Kans - you use the same terminology (which is Ryu-ha specific), you have the same kamae (which is very Ryu-ha specific), you feature the same descriptive terms (Jujutsu/Ninjutsu), you feature the same movement concepts (organisation specific) and more.

    So what's the deal there? You are Kan based, there's really no denying it. And you are not Koryu, there is no denying that. That's really all I said, and it's resulted in this? Wow....

    Well, I have trained in BJJ, so that'll give me an edge, yeah? But here's a question, what happens if I beat you? What if I beat you in around three minutes? Or in 1 minute?

    Or 5 seconds?

    What will that mean? Will it mean that I am really training Koryu and you're not? Will it mean that your training isn't based in the Kan's? Will it mean that you apologise for acting like a little child here?

    It won't mean any of those things. It'll only mean that one person beat another at one time, and has really nothing to do with the topic at hand, namely that you are not teaching Koryu. Seriously, drop the ego, and grow up. You're not doing yourself any favours with your replies here.

    Oh, dear lord, WE ARE NOT BUJINKAN! Okay? And, for the record, no you didn't read the page properly, as we specifically mention not focusing on "lot's of techniques", there really isn't any "history of how the scrolls were handed down" (that's the correct spelling of "were" there, by the way), and the changes were one of the big things that put us apart from the Bujinkan. So you lose points on reading comprehension there.

    Are you serious?!? You claim to teach Koryu and mis-use the terminology that badly? No, there is no creation of a new "Ryu-ha", if you're asking that then you have no idea what a Ryu-ha is, how it is created, how it is transmitted, and so on. We have a new organisation, which is a completely different entity. Son, you're just proving again and again that you have no idea about Koryu (or much in the way of martial arts, I might add) whatsoever.

    And, again, drop the insults. You're in the wrong place for that.

    I have no clue about martial arts? You're the one misusing terminology, and demonstrating a lot of ignorance on this topic.

    No intelligence? You have so far completely failed to put forth any real answer or reasoned responce to anything put forth, so that doesn't seem like it's aimed in the right direction there.

    A big mouth? Ha, compared to the ego driven personal attacks you've spouted here, which have no basis in the discussion at hand in the first place? Nice.

    The idea that I can judge is based on a few things, and what I am judging is nothing to do with "stepping into a ring", it's based on the fact that I do know what I'm talking about, and you're out of excuses, so you've moved it to a hypothetical non-existant arena. This is a strawman, and just shows a lack of real argument on your side.

    And, one more time, I am not Bujinkan. Try again.

    Really? That was you "slapping me around"? Sorry, not impressed, mainly as I have no idea how any of that was any more than you stroking your own ego, making you feel that only you know the "real training".

    Sorry, but what exactly have you "exposed"? My school was not the one being looked at, so there was nothing to expose... and your "exposing of me" was centred around my being Bujinkan (you may have realised by now, but I'm not), whereas my posting was nothing to do with the "Ninjutsu" side of my training, I was posting here as a pratitioner of Koryu, which is separate to the Ninjutsu thing. I train in two separate Koryu, both of which are some of the most well known and most respected Koryu there are (one of which is probably the most respected of all, the other is the school of one of the most famous warriors of Japans history.... see if you can figure them out!).

    So, uh, you've exposed what, exactly?

    Finally, while I appreciate the free publicity, posting other members contact details I believe is also against the TOS here, so, uh, might want to rethink your plans of attack from now on.

    The issues are as follows:

    This thread is in the Koryu Corner forum, therefore it is about Koryu training. Koryu training is very specific, and not what you are doing, so that was stated. In fact, what you are training is based in the Takamatsuden material (X-Kan), and is not Koryu in it's transmission methods and other details. You argued that we didn't know what you actually train in, however the clip provided above is absolute confirmation of the suppositions (the clip is from a link on the MeetUp site, by the way).

    You are not teaching Koryu.

    You are based in X-Kan material.

    You seem to demonstrate quite a bit of anger/hatred against the X-Kan's.

    Any claims to the contrary go against all demonstrable evidence.

    For absolute confirmation, here is the clip again:

    [yt]SaYkGCQk-Ic[/yt]

    Compared with a Bujinkan clip:

    [yt]MWARvKjOloU[/yt]

    Hmm, does that kamae look familiar?

    Genbukan clip:

    [yt]R1GiS9KtHK0[/yt]

    Same initial bow with claps (this is the way it should be done, by the way).


    One more time, though, my experience is in both Takamatsuden systems (which is why I can recognise it) and Koryu systems (which is why I can quite easily say that what you are presenting is not Koryu at all, in any way shape or form). And again, none of this is a value judgement, it is simply a statement of fact.... as I said, what you teach may be great, or enjoyable, much loved by those who are involved, but that doesn't make it Koryu, and doesn't stop it being based in X-Kan material.

    I'll wait for the apology.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
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  14. novamag

    novamag White Belt

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    I'm actually appalled at this thread. I have been training in martial arts for 15 years now. Mostly in Filipino styles and American Kenpo. I just started training a couple months ago in the Koryu Bujutsu arts. These forums are setup to share information and inform people that may be interested in studying a particular martial art or furthering their knowledge.

    You guys slammed a school before you knew anything about the school. Someone had a simple question whether anyone has heard of the school. You based your opinions on a couple of websites and a short video. If you knew nothing about the school you should have kept your comments to yourself.

    I know you may say you are only trying to protect people from true Koryu Bujutsu schools versus frauds. Instead of slamming a school you know nothing about how about educating people on what to look for and what questions to ask. Those of us that know little about Koryu Bujutsu would appreciate that a lot more. As you know the free knowledge is very limited.

    Based on the fact that there is very little public knowledge of Koryu Bujutsu. I think it is unfair to slam someone based on a few small pieces you have pulled up on the web about the school. I think this is hardly a full insight on what the school teaches. After all isn't this school doing what other Koryu Bujutsu schools are doing, limited the amount of public knowledge.

    I think Stephens comments/attacks where warranted. The actions of some of the people on this thread where extremely disrespectful to him from the start. He initially merely offered anyone interested in finding more out about the school to stop in and take a class. You guys immediately started trying to discredit him and tear him down. I believe each of you would have the same reaction he did.

    Maybe next time ask questions about his lineage and background and possibly provide insight into yours. I'm not looking for resumes or I'm better than you scenarios. It would just be more of a service to the rest of the community to have a respectful conversation that will help inform/enlighten everyone.

    That's just my two cents and I know for a fact that this is what this forum was designed for because one of my instructors actually stood it up. Everyone will have differencing opinions. That's what makes the world go round. In the end it is all about can you get your point across and walk away knowing you were able to help educate people and further your arts without disrespecting another's opinion.

    Respectfully,

    Brian Pancia
     
  15. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    I think you are reading the wrong thread. No one attacked "Koryu Bujutsu" school.(which is weird to keep calling a school this)

    But
    They just said it wasn't a Koryu... Which it is not. Then Stephen came on the attack, which in return he was corrected harshly. Not with personal attacks, but actual facts.
     
  16. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Brian and Stephen,

    The big reason you are going to catch flak from everyone in particular is in the name of your system ie. Koryu Bujutsu. Koryu as has been explained here are the old systems of Japan predating the Meiji Restoration that have maintained their traditions and training methods to present times. Here is a wikipedia link on Koryu.

    Here is one video of a system that fits and represents the Koryu martial arts in Japan

    Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Part 1


    It does come down to the fact that by naming a system Koryu Bujutsu it is misleading. The system you are practiticing as stated by others is simply not Koryu!

    It may be a great system and you may love practicing it and if that is the case then great. However, it does not change that fact that it is not a Koryu system from ancient Japan and that the name is misleading to people who might not be in the know! [​IMG]
     
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  17. novamag

    novamag White Belt

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    Brian,

    Thank you for your response. Now with that said to get this topic back on track if warranted. The original question was has anyone heard of the shool in Michigan. I'm sure people can go to the school and/or call the instructor and find out more info for themselves. However, what would be nice to know is given the fact that there is a strong disbelief they are teaching true Koryu there:

    What are some schools in the same areas that people can contact?
    What are some questions people should ask schools/instructors they are looking at?
    Are there certain qualities/characteristics/desires an individual should poses prior to looking at the ancient Japanese arts?

    With everything it will ultimitely come down to what the individual likes the most regardless of style. One style may work for one but not for another. More insigts would be useful.

    Respecfully,

    Brian Pancia
     
  18. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Right, let's clear a few things up then.

    You're appalled? At what, might I ask? I really don't think you've understood what this thread has actually asked, or said. As you say, the majority of your experience isn't in Koryu, and (if I'm reading you right) you are a relatively new student of Stephen's, which means you still have no experience of Koryu. That is, of course, me assuming that by "I just started a couple months ago in the Koryu Bujutsu arts" means that you have started with this group? If not, and you mean that in the last couple of months you have started training in a Koryu, can you please clarify that detail?

    Next, what this forum is set up for ("sharing information and informing people that may be interested in studying a particular martial art or furthering their knowledge"), er, what do you think we've done here? We have a group using the name "Koryu Bujutsu" that has nothing to do with actual Koryu training, there was a member that asked (in a forum dedicated to Koryu) about them, we honestly looked at it, and said quite accurately that it is not Koryu. Not that it isn't good, not that it isn't fun, not that it isn't valid or legit, just that it isn't Koryu. That is us sharing our information, insight, experience, knowledge and understanding of this topic. If you don't think it is, what would you class it as?



    For crying out loud, can you point out the "slamming" that occured before Stephen showed up? Our opinions were based on more than just what we saw on the website, it was also based on, in a number of cases, years of involvement, research, and experience in these arts, knowledge of the hallmarks to look for for a Koryu system, and the hallmarks to look for to definitively show that something isn't Koryu. After all, the original question wasn't if anyone had heard of them, it was asking for any insight into the group... and that is exactly what was provided.

    Really, this is like getting a group of Ballroom dancers, schooled in the formal, classical presentation of the dances, showing them some street Latin, and asking them if it's Ballroom. No, it's not. Does that mean it's not dancing? No. Does it mean it's not good fun, and filled with benefits? Not at all. Just that it's not classical Ballroom dancing. Okay? Same thing here. It's claiming to be Koryu, and it just isn't.



    You want education on what is Koryu? Do you really want me to rip apart every part of the pictures, the written information, the video, and so on to demonstrate exactly why this group is not Koryu in any way, shape, or form? Really?

    But if you're really after some education on what Koryu are (and some clues as to why this group isn't), the following threads are a good starting point:

    http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=93854 The Purpose of the Ryu (given to Stephen earlier, you may notice)

    http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=93222 Koryu Practices

    Read those, then get back to us.



    No, it isn't doing what other Koryu are doing (first off, it's not a Koryu, and doesn't teach Koryu, so saying "what other Koryu Bujutsu schools are doing" is frankly missing the point.... and the term "Koryu Bujutsu" is actually kinda a tell, so you know). Koryu may keep their teachings for their members, but they also very regularly demonstrate themselves to the public (and functions known as Embu, which can range from highly formal to very relaxed affairs), publicise themselves, and are seeking people to continue them. You can get many DVD's, books, articles, websites and so on where there is a lot of information out there.... there's even dedicated magazines to Koryu in Japan!

    This type of mentality is common with people who want to be what their image of such training actually is, and they always go overboard! The same thing here, really. We get the same thing over and over again, those who don't actually have the experience or knowledge try to tell actual practitioners how things should be done, while at the same time completely missing the point as to why and how things are done in the first place. Comparing Stephens group with Koryu mentality is like comparing a little kid playing soldier with actual soldiers (the kid always has the soldiers fighting, rather than marching, standing guard, etc). The two are unrelated.



    Now, really, this isn't a long thread, surely we don't need an actual summing up already? Sigh, no that is not the way it went down. Here's what happened, I remember it like it was typed up in front of me....

    We had a member come along, specifically to the Koryu section of the forum, to ask for any insight into a group he had come across. We soon figured out which group he was talking about, and looked into it. We came to the, frankly obvious conclusion, that it was not Koryu, and as that is the focus of this subforum, that is what we focused on. I personally went a little further and identified the origin of the actual group itself.

    That was it, really, and the thread stopped.

    Then, a month after it had stopped, Stephen turned up. He made references to us being wrong in our assessment, but provided no evidence or example to back up what he was saying. In fact, he started off by saying he and his group leaders were having a laugh about this thread and what we were saying (implying that he thought we were less-than-intelligent to think such things). He then continued to make statements that basically screamed to us "I don't do Koryu, and have no idea what it is", such as the comments about what works or doesn't "against the BIG guys", and some random comment about knowing that what he has is "very rare" (it isn't), and that he knows "where to go, and more importantly where not to go" (although from seeing him move, I wouldn't trust his judgement on such things).

    Next was his comment (that you interpret as an open, welcoming invitation) that people should "empty their cup", come down to his group, see what he's presenting, and see how it fits with their training.... which, again, goes completely against the idea of him teaching or even understanding Koryu and what it is. This type of comment is a hallmark again of people who know that they're less-than what they claim, and try to get some sense of ego back by essentially "big-dogging" other people. It's been seen many times before, and it's not impressive in the least.

    Finally was his bizarre claim of "We are in no way teaching what the Kan's teach in any fashion", when the terminology, movement, concepts, kamae, striking methods, and more all come directly out of them with no question whatsoever.

    I pointed all of this out, including the inconsistencies with his story. He went a little odd then.

    His next post was completely off base in regards to myself, and consisted pretty much of nothing but what he seems to have considered a devestating character assasination. The problems are, though, that:
    - He was wrong in all of his basic assumptions about me that he was basing these attacks on.
    - The attacks were vague, random, and bore no relevance to any part of the discussion at hand.
    - The post was littered again with examples that Stephen has no idea whatsoever about Koryu (or about me, it seems).
    - Stephen completely avoids any of the issues that have been raised about his group, instead launching attacks on a fictional version of me.

    There's a lot more, but really, if you think we were harsh, or his comments were justified, then you really don't want to see me really pull this apart. As I've said, I've been gentle so far.

    PS If I was looking at this with a cynical eye, I might note the same spelling mistakes in your posts as Stephens ("where" when it should be "were", for instance), I may also note that it takes a day or two to be able to post here once you register so you can be verified, which would put you back at Stephen's first post when you signed up, and that you have joined this forum specifically, it seems, to complain about one thread where your new school is being discussed, despite having much more experience in very unrelated systems..... hmm, make of that what you will.....

    We had no need to ask about his lineage, it was painfully obvious that it wasn't Koryu, and it was X-kan based. As for resume's, I did say straight away when Stephen came in that I train in two Koryu systems as well as X-Kan material... and anything disrespectful did not start from our side, let's be clear on that.



    Well, I gotta tell you, I was involved in the creation of this subforum, and know for a fact why it was created. And it was to give people direction and information on actual Koryu training, not people who don't have a clue but claim it anyway.

    And, while I'm at it, Stephen's opinion never entered into it (frankly, the only "opinion" he has proffered seems to be a rather low one of the Bujinkan), we were (and are) dealing with the facts.

    Stephen's group is not Koryu.

    Those training there are not training in Koryu.

    Stephen doesn't know or understand what Koryu is.

    There's really nothing more to it than this.

    I hope so, Brian.

    Hmm, it seems you posted something else while I was posting this, might as well answer that while I'm here, yeah?

    The topic is insight into the MeetUp group, from a Koryu perspective. In that light, the topic is done. They are not Koryu, therefore they have no relevance from a Koryu perspective. Oh, and it's not a "strong belief", by the way, it is very simply that they are not teaching Koryu. They are not the first to not know or understand what Koryu is, and think they are doing it while actually being the exact opposite of it, and they won't be the last, but it is very easy to recognise once you know what you're looking at.

    Here's one: Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu, a Koryu sword drawing system. http://www.ustamiyaryu.org/

    Koryu training involves learning a specific school, or system, refered to as a Ryu. This Ryu is taught primarily via kata training, where the techniques are drilled the same way over and over again, the way the art says they are done. The most important thing is that the Ryu is preserved and consistent.

    Then again, as I said, Stephen is far from the only one misusing these (and many other) terms. Here's another site I found when looking for Koryu in Michigan: http://www.seishinkan.com/

    The number of gigantic errors in terminology, expression, and so forth means that I can safely say this is a similar type of idea, thinking they know about Koryu while at the same time having no real idea at all (for example: the term Sogo Bujutsu simply refers to a classification of a particular type of Ryu, it is not a martial art itself the way the site claims it to be).

    In terms of what you should ask the instructor, well, you should ask for a basic history of the Ryu, where in Japan it comes from, any historical usage that might be known, and where the instructor recieved their training from. For a Koryu, typically an instructor will be very senior in the Ryu, and will have the correct documentation in it from the representative head, or be able to refer to them very easily. Other than that, do your homework. Go to sites like www.koryu.com and see if it's listed there (many Koryu taught in the West are). With some Ryu, there are a number of branches of them, so you can ascertain which branch it is you are applying to join (important point: You do not "train", or "learn" a Koryu, you join it in order to preserve it. We'll get to that in a second).

    The single best article to answer that has been posted here many times, one more won't hurt.... Read this over and over and you may see what we're getting at here:

    http://shutokukan.org/join_the_ryu.html

    Very correct. The Koryu aren't for everyone, they're not even for anything like the majority.... or even the minority, it seems! They can be very demanding, and you (the student) are not the focus, or the important thing when it comes to the Ryu. Most people who go for this quasi-Koryu approach frankly are not really interested in the realities of Koryu, or aware of them, which is fine, but it doesn't mean that they can go around calling themselves Koryu.

    Understand?

    For your viewing pleasure, though, here are a few Koryu clips:

    [yt]cQB5Lc1C_a8[/yt] Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu, probably the most respected of all Koryu...

    [yt]pSxsSqX0d2o[/yt] Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu again, this time a more current video (the first was from the 70's). Go to about 6:30, and check the movements against the first clip.

    [yt]Z7LDXpAohjQ[/yt] Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, founded by possibly Japan's most famous of all it's warriors....

    [yt]EynoRgKpBkc[/yt] Takeuchi Ryu, believed to be the oldest Jujutsu system in Japan, and the source school for many others.

    [yt]sVbd4x4EdUg[/yt] Toda-ha Buko Ryu, a school centred around the Naginata.

    [yt]GzTCQk2KHyQ[/yt] Yagyu Shingan Ryu, found in a few branches

    [yt]1-O-KNKJMLA[/yt] Shinmuso Hayashizaki Ryu Iai, very interesting and specialist swords used.

    [yt]eeki2y-r-Dc[/yt] Sosuishi Ryu Kumi Uchi, their Jujutsu syllabus

    [yt]_uYl6Pp4vdc[/yt] Sosuishi Ryu Koshi no Mawari, the sword methods of this system. These two clips show how the Ryu-ha is organised (similar to the first Katori clip)

    I can keep going for years that way, by the way

    But, to constrast, here are a few quasi-Koryu groups. See if you can see the differences:

    [yt]XCbmNhiT3fc[/yt] Neji Gekken Ryu, modern, invented system.

    [yt]zzgdWRcqZvQ[/yt] Cary Nemeroff... claims an old lineage but made it up in about 2001. This, by the way, is very bad....

    [yt]XfahVJjmgEo[/yt] Or, for the worst of it, this group steals the kata of legit Koryu and tries to pass them off as their own. There is a special place in Budo hell for these types......
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  19. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Regarding koryu bujutsu in general rather than the specific club/school here, this is probably the best site for them: Martial Arts of Japan:Koryu.com. Within that site, Diane Skoss has provided this overview of koryu arts:
    I encourage reading the whole article -- and there are many others that are interesting on the site.

    In short, I can't address the usability or functionality of Steve's Koryu Bujutsu training group. I have no real information about where he learned, nor have I got anything but the little bit of information here to assess. I've seen plenty of bad websites for good clubs and good training... But I'm confident it's not true Japanese koryu martial arts.
     
  20. novamag

    novamag White Belt

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    I would like to thank everyone that has responded to the post with some useful information around Koryu Bujutsu. Some of it I have already seen and read through and others I will definitely add to my library.

    Even though I just joined and posted to this post I have followed martial talk since the beginning. Mostly around the Filipino arts. I have found a lot of great information here. I do apologize if I offended anyone. That was certainly not my intention.

    As for my quest to find out more about Koryo Bujutsu it will continue. I believe that there is a distinct difference between learning the history around certain arts and actually learning the techniques behind the arts. I’m fascinated by the history and think it is important, but for me I'm not concerned about what you call it as long as it works for me and I enjoy it. I've seen these types of discussions in other arts especially when you get to the less common ones like Koryo Bujutsu arts or the Filipino arts. It is like religion or politics and people are sensitive to their opinions.

    I do wish everyone the best on their journeys. With most of us here, martial arts has become a way of life and not just a class we show up to a couple times a week. Everyone’s path is different even if at certain points they cross.

    Mr. Parker,

    While some of the information you provided is interesting your delivery I find offensive. This is just my opinion and doesn't really justify any further long winded posts. Just like you are entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to mine. Whether we agree or not is totally irrelevant. With respect I will leave it at that.
     

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