Any Thoughts on George Kirby and Budoshin Ju Jitsu

Jusroc

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Any one from a Japanese Ju Jitsu background have any opinions on Mr George Kirby and his Budoshin Ju Jitsu?
 

Hanzou

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Immeadiate red flag;

Welcome to the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Yudanshakai website. Youre reading this because youre curious about Budoshin Ju-Jitsu and want to learn more about this traditional martial art, [which forms the core basis of the currently popular BJJ and MMA,]


That is complete nonsense.
 

drop bear

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Immeadiate red flag;


That is complete nonsense.

Yes and no.

There are jjj systems that have no relationship really with Japanese jujitsu. That are very similar to MMA.

It is one of those weird circumstances where the fake is a better product than the real thing.
 

Hanzou

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Yes and no.

There are jjj systems that have no relationship really with Japanese jujitsu. That are very similar to MMA.

It is one of those weird circumstances where the fake is a better product than the real thing.

The basis of what he's saying is that he's teaching the progenitor art of Judo, which isn't true. Also the core of BJJ is Judo, which this loon clearly doesn't think is cool enough to teach. He even says that his teacher learned classical Jujutsu from Kano personally in the 1920s and 30s and that Kano personally gave him a Sandan ranking. Yet interestingly there's no evidence to back up that claim... :rolleyes:

It's the typical BS advertising from fraudulent JJJ schools that try to denigrate Judo, Aikido, and BJJ by saying they teach the "real" art, and the newer systems are only teaching you fragments of the actual system. Meanwhile, they're probably just teaching you Judo (and increasingly BJJ) with some karate striking tossed in for good measure.
 

drop bear

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The basis of what he's saying is that he's teaching the progenitor art of Judo, which isn't true. Also the core of BJJ is Judo, which this loon clearly doesn't think is cool enough to teach. He even says that his teacher learned classical Jujutsu from Kano personally in the 1920s and 30s and that Kano personally gave him a Sandan ranking. Yet interestingly there's no evidence to back up that claim... :rolleyes:

It's the typical BS advertising from fraudulent JJJ schools that try to denigrate Judo, Aikido, and BJJ by saying they teach the "real" art, and the newer systems are only teaching you fragments of the actual system. Meanwhile, they're probably just teaching you Judo (and increasingly BJJ) with some karate striking tossed in for good measure.

You get lucky if it is judo and a bit of BJJ.

Otherwise I really have to do a video like this some day.

 

Tony Dismukes

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The basis of what he's saying is that he's teaching the progenitor art of Judo, which isn't true. Also the core of BJJ is Judo, which this loon clearly doesn't think is cool enough to teach. He even says that his teacher learned classical Jujutsu from Kano personally in the 1920s and 30s and that Kano personally gave him a Sandan ranking. Yet interestingly there's no evidence to back up that claim... :rolleyes:

It's the typical BS advertising from fraudulent JJJ schools that try to denigrate Judo, Aikido, and BJJ by saying they teach the "real" art, and the newer systems are only teaching you fragments of the actual system. Meanwhile, they're probably just teaching you Judo (and increasingly BJJ) with some karate striking tossed in for good measure.
Well, that one sentence on the welcome page is clearly misleading, but the lineage pages make it clear what the art is - a modern synthesis of Judo, Aikido, Karate, and probably influences from some other modern gendai jujutsu systems like Danzan Ryu. (I could tell that from the YouTube video before ever going to the website.)

Its not really historically accurate to call these modern, Western, ecletic systems traditional Japanese jujutsu, but most martial arts instructors arent exactly historians. (When Judo started becoming popular in Brazil, Helio Gracie spent some years proclaiming that Judo was a watered down phony art invented to fool Westerners, while only his family was teaching the traditional samurai warrior art of jiu-jitsu. So we in the BJJ community probably shouldnt throw stones when it comes to historical glass houses.)

As far as what I see in Mr. Kirbys video Id say its pretty typical for these modern Judo/Aikido/Karate hybrid systems. Ive seen worse. Ive also seen a lot better. Based on the skill and technique demonstrated, I wouldnt personally go out of my way to train with him. But hes been teaching a long time, so presumably there are a reasonable number of people who appreciate what he has to offer.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I almost forgot to add, Im definitely not a fan of the fact that he offers rank (all the way up to black belt) via pure video instruction and testing. I dont think thats a good idea no matter how good your art or your instruction is.
 

Tony Dismukes

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One more addendum, putting on my Moderator hat for a moment

Please remember that fraudbusting and art bashing are both explicitly against the MartialTalk Terms of Service. You can express your opinion on Mr Kirbys apparent skill level as shown in his videos. You can express your opinion on the practicality of the specific techniques shown. You can clarify and correct any historical misstatements on Mr. Kirbys website. But specifically calling out Mr. Kirby or his art as fraudulent is not allowed per the rules of this site.
 

Hanzou

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One more addendum, putting on my Moderator hat for a moment

Please remember that fraudbusting and art bashing are both explicitly against the MartialTalk Terms of Service. You can express your opinion on Mr Kirbys apparent skill level as shown in his videos. You can express your opinion on the practicality of the specific techniques shown. You can clarify and correct any historical misstatements on Mr. Kirbys website. But specifically calling out Mr. Kirby or his art as fraudulent is not allowed per the rules of this site.


If hes claiming that his MA is traditional JJJ taught by Jigoro Kano at a point where Kano and his disciples were only teaching Judo, we cant say his claim is a load of baloney?
 

Tony Dismukes

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If hes claiming that his MA is traditional JJJ taught by Jigoro Kano at a point where Kano and his disciples were only teaching Judo, we cant say his claim is a load of baloney?
You can point out that this particular claim is incorrect. You can point out (as I did above) that his art is a modern synthesis, in line with many other of its ilk. (In fact, his website explicitly makes that clear in more than one place.)

Mr. Kirby, in common with many other jujutsu instructors, seems to think that because his art can trace its various antecedents back to historical Japanese arts, that makes it an actual form of traditional Japanese Jujutsu. (I doubt it has occurred to him that we could apply the same reasoning to claim BJJ as a form of traditional Japanese Jujutsu, probably because the Gracies gave up on that line of marketing many decades ago.)

Given that he lays out a fair amount of detail regarding his lineage (even specifying which parts he can verify vs those parts which have been related to him that he cant verify) I strongly suspect that any historical inaccuracies are just as likely to be mistakes on his part rather than deliberate fraud. If you believe otherwise, site rules require that you limit yourself to pointing out the errors rather than calling them out as fraudulent.

Lets face it, for a long time martial arts history has been passed down orally from teacher to student through the generations and a huge proportion of it has been filled with everything from minor mistakes and distortions to outright fantasy. Some of the most respected instructors in practically every art you can think of have passed on misinformation because thats what they were told (and sometimes because it made a good story.) (And yes, sometimes they deliberately lied, but MartialTalk is not the place to sort out those occasions.)

The internet has made it easier in a lot of ways to track down more accurate historical information, but I suspect that an instructor of Mr. Kirbys generation is still operating under the understandings and assumptions he picked up decades ago.
 
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Jusroc

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Thanks to everyone for their opinions on Mr Kirby and his style of Ju Jutsu.
Much appreciated.
 

SenseiScott

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Thanks to everyone for their opinions on Mr Kirby and his style of Ju Jutsu.
Much appreciated.
My training lineage traces back to Professor Kirbys instructor, Sanzo (Jack) Seki, and Ive attended numerous seminars taught by Kirby. My dojo teaches Budoshin Ju Jutsu, though it diverges in some small ways from Kirbys syllabus. It can be hard to separate arguments about purity from questions of lineage, evolution, training style, philosophy, and set of techniques. While the art inevitably will show overlap with several martial arts that include a common ancestor art, its inaccurate to describe Budoshin as a hybrid of these (judo, aikido, karate). Its a combat art largely evolved to a self-defense application. Training is mostly cooperative in response to simulated attacks (like aikido), which allows for more destructive techniques to be included than are found in the judo syllabus. The description traditional Japanese Ju-Jitsu is largely to avoid confusion with BJJ, which has been extremely successful at marketing. Prior to BJJs popularity it would have simply been called Ju Jitsu (or one of the other romanizations of the same words).

The densho maintained by George Kirby is vast, his direct instruction is excellent and enjoyable, and his books cover a lot of ground. Hes been teaching longer than most folks here have been alive. Hes certainly prefer that students attend classes in person, and video instruction, while rigorous, is clearly intended for folks who dont have a dojo reasonably available to them.
 
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Jusroc

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Thanks Very interesting.

As a hobbyist, who doesn't take themselves too seriously and coming more from a contemporary rather than classical martial art mindset.

I am not that bothered as to whether an instructor or art has authentic unbroken lineage for centuries, although I also would not hold it against an instructor or style.

I would objectively judge my experience with the instructor based on what i experience.

From what i have seen of Mr Kirby, he does come across as a nice guy, and his courses / lessons are very reasonably priced.

Over the years I have trained with all sorts of personality types, some real nice genuine guys, some guys who were rotten to the core, some who were real bullies and some who were useless at communicating.

Haven been a coach myself, I realise communication skills are essential to being able to coach well, as well as having a good understanding of the technical matters.

So. sounds like his program could be worth reviewing.
 

Steve

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You get lucky if it is judo and a bit of BJJ.

Otherwise I really have to do a video like this some day.

Okay. I love that he did that on a blue mat with a blue background. If I had a little more time, I'd totally key in some kind of awesome background. Looks like it would chromakey right in.
 

BrendanF

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It can be hard to separate arguments about purity from questions of lineage, evolution, training style, philosophy, and set of techniques.

What is the distinction between an 'argument about "purity"' and a 'question of lineage'?

its inaccurate to describe Budoshin as a hybrid of these (judo, aikido, karate).

Why is that inaccurate?
 

SenseiScott

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SenseiScott said:
It can be hard to separate arguments about purity from questions of lineage, evolution, training style, philosophy, and set of techniques.

Brendan: What is the distinction between an 'argument about "purity"' and a 'question of lineage'?

Scott: Questions of lineage are (at their best) factual questions, though the facts can get blurry from time or obfuscation. Questions of purity are often emotional, value-laden judgements. At their best, I think purity questions are about historical accuracy. At their worst, purity questions tend to be about protecting an art from evolution, accommodation to cultural and legal changes, and questions about the purposes actually served by the art.

SenseiScott said:
its inaccurate to describe Budoshin as a hybrid of these (judo, aikido, karate).

Brendan: Why is that inaccurate?

Scott: Calling Japanese Ju-Jitsu a hybrid of these gets the order wrong, and thus is misleading about the scope of the arts. Perhaps my biology training is making me pedantic, but the parent isnt a hybrid of the offspring. It would be more accurate (if, perhaps, provocative) to describe the descendants as (evolved, highly focused) subsets of the the parent art. If youre simply trying to explain Japanese Ju-Jitsu to someone who is familiar with judo, aikido, and karate then it could be helpful to say that Ju-Jitsu includes the techniques found in each of these, or more generally the classes of techniques found in each. OTOH Ju-Jitsu training in seionage includes versions familiar to judoka as well as versions intended to cause injury when necessary. Ju-Jitsu training in shihonage similarly includes approaches familiar to aikidoka as well as others explicitly intended to break an arm (again, when necessary). Various schools in each of these disciplines will vary, of course.
 

wab25

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its inaccurate to describe Budoshin as a hybrid of these (judo, aikido, karate).
Interestingly: Historical Lineage

The Budoshin site itself claims that Budoshin has Aikido as a parent art and Judo as a parent art. It claims that there are other "Jujitsu" type arts between the Aikido and Judo and Budoshin Jujitsu. It also shows the parent Jujitsu Arts to Aikido and Judo. But it is quite a path from the Jujitsu arts, through Aikido / Judo, back through Jujitsu again and then to Budoshin Jujitsu. With such a mixed pedigree, how could it be anything other than a hybrid art?

This is not meant to say anything bad about Budoshin Jujitsu... Heck, I study Danzan Ryu... its in a worse condition. The founder, Okazaki, was Japanese and immigrated to Hawaii as a boy. He did most of his training in Hawaii. He did learn Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu and two other Japanese Jujitsu arts. So, whatever he created would be a Japanese Jujitsu... Except that he also trained Hawaiian Lua. His art, contains most of the Lua art as well... Some people call Danzan Ryu, Hawaiian Jujitsu. Except that he also trained in Chinese Kung Fu. In fact, the name "Danzan Ryu" is in honor of his Chinese Kung Fu instructor. (its the Japanese spelling of the Chinese nick name for Hawaii) So, should it be called a Chinese Jujitsu? Except that he also studied Western Boxing and Wrestling. I call Danzan Ryu a Japanese Jujitsu system to differentiate it from BJJ. But, Danzan Ryu is in reality a hybrid system. There is nothing really wrong with that. It does not take away from the art at all. (us practitioners do that well enough...)

I think its great that Budoshin does do its best to lay out the lineage. But, having done that... it kind of shows that Budoshin is in fact, a hybrid art.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Scott: Calling Japanese Ju-Jitsu a hybrid of these gets the order wrong, and thus is misleading about the scope of the arts. Perhaps my biology training is making me pedantic, but the parent isnt a hybrid of the offspring. It would be more accurate (if, perhaps, provocative) to describe the descendants as (evolved, highly focused) subsets of the the parent art.
The issue here is that we aren't talking about "Japanese Ju-Jitsu" in the abstract. In fact there is no such singular art as "Japanese Ju-Jitsu." "Jujutsu" is a name for a broad and diverse family of somewhat related arts. If you narrow it down to "Japanese Jujutsu", meaning members of that family which were created in their current form in Japan, then that still leaves a reasonably diverse group of koryu (old school) and gendai (modern) arts which were created by different individuals at different times for different purposes. In this thread we are talking about Budoshin Ju-Jitsu, which is a modern formulation, created and named by Mr. Kirby based on pre-existing arts.

We can take a quick look at what those arts are, based on the info on Mr. Kirby's website:

He cites his main instructors as Jack Seki and Harold Brosious.

Jack Seki reportedly held dan ranks in Judo, Aikido, Karate, and Ju-jitsu. Supposedly he learned the Ju-jitsu from his father Sanzo Seki who was a "Ju-Jitsu master." However there is no indication of what specific style of jujutsu this would have been. It wasn't Kito Ryu or Yoshin Ryu or Tenjin Shin'y-ry贖. If it was a koryu art, he didn't pass it along in the koryu manner. If it was a gendai art, it's name has been lost to time. In any case, assuming Mr. Seki's honesty regarding learning something from his father, there is no indication that it was a system which predated Judo, let alone an ancestor in Judo's family tree.

Harold Brosious practiced an art he created named Ketsugo Ju-jitsu. He learned from Harry Hamzy, Sr (and unspecified "others"). Mr. Hamzy practiced an art he created named Ketsuka. He learned Aikido from Kenji Tomiki (and unspecified other things from unspecified others).

Mr. Kirby also gives credit to other instructors he has worked with, most of which are practitioners of modern hybrid styles like Danzan Ryu.

So, as a matter of the historical record avouched on his own website, the sources of the material in Mr Kirby's art are primarily from Judo and Aikido. There may also be some Karate in there via Mr. Seki's teachings. There may be some influences from other modern hybrid jujutsu systems. There might be some Daito Ryu in there. There might be some elements of some form of Japanese jujutsu which isn't derived from Judo or Aikido, but if so then we have no record of what that art might have been named, who created it or when or for what purpose.

None of this is a criticism of George Kirby, his art, or his skills. If he chooses to call his art "traditional Japanese Ju-jitsu" because it is descended from a continuous lineage of previous arts which go back to Japan and fall under the broad umbrella of "jujutsu", then that's fine with me. Other people are more particular about the use of "traditional Japanese" in this sense, but I have no problem with it as long as I understand what is meant.

However it is historically incorrect to state that Budoshin Ju-jitsu is any kind of parent art to Judo, Aikido, or Karate. The timeline runs the other direction.
 

Hanzou

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caped crusader

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I have this book at home. Was given to me but honestly it's just like most ju jutsu, ju jitsu , jui jitsu... a Mix of judo, karate, aikido.
Maybe the System from wally jay Was different small circle but it's all just nearly the same.
No secrets...
md30664871331.jpg
 

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