Ninjutsu Noobie Question: Tenshin Shden Katori Shint-ry

Tenguru

Yellow Belt
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
42
Reaction score
1
Let me just get this out of the way up front: This is a "noobie" question. i.e. I don't study Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, nor do I live in Japan. I don't frequently travel to Japan, either.

I did a quick search and didn't quite find the answers to the questions that I formulated. I am sure that some of you men/women who have trained in the Bujinkan (or its derivatives) and/or lived in Japan would be able to give a few answers.

Does Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū publicly claim to include any sort of Ninjutsu in its curriculum?

Does the training appear to be compatible with the Bujinkan's view of natural body movement and combat?

Is there any dialog or relationship between the Bujinkan and the TSKS ryu. I have been told that there appear to be similarities in the core skillsets practice by both schools.

Anyone on the forum train in both schools? Would that even be accepted (by the Bujinkan or TSKS)?

Does Bujinkan sword training look at all like TSKS ryu training?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3592341485993959661&q=Otake+Risuke
 

Brian R. VanCise

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
27,758
Reaction score
1,516
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
Let me just get this out of the way up front: This is a "noobie" question. i.e. I don't study Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, nor do I live in Japan. I don't frequently travel to Japan, either.

I did a quick search and didn't quite find the answers to the questions that I formulated. I am sure that some of you men/women who have trained in the Bujinkan (or its derivatives) and/or lived in Japan would be able to give a few answers.

Does Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū publicly claim to include any sort of Ninjutsu in its curriculum?

Does the training appear to be compatible with the Bujinkan's view of natural body movement and combat?

Is there any dialog or relationship between the Bujinkan and the TSKS ryu. I have been told that there appear to be similarities in the core skillsets practice by both schools.

Anyone on the forum train in both schools? Would that even be accepted (by the Bujinkan or TSKS)?

Does Bujinkan sword training look at all like TSKS ryu training?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3592341485993959661&q=Otake+Risuke

Wow great video find! That is priceless. I think I have seen that video just once in my lifetime and now I can watch it again. Thanks.

Alot of people here could probably answer this better than I. There are similarities and yet many differances. These differances will become readily apparent if you ever have a chance to train with Hatsumi Soke. (he literally is one of a kind)

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu focuses mostly on Tachi, katana, naganata, yari, some other weapons, empty hand and they talk of Ninjutsu in their advanced learning areas. However they are a pretty much what you see on the video. It is a beautiful art and very rare outside of Japan. (hopefully that will change)

As to a relationship with the Bujinkan I could not answer that but I would believe no. Hopefully someone else can answer better.

Needless to say thanks again for the video clip!
 

bencole

Green Belt
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Messages
114
Reaction score
3
Does Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū publicly claim to include any sort of Ninjutsu in its curriculum?

It is well known that TSKSR contains "shinobi no jutsu" teachings. Now whether that means that the leaders of TSKSR are "publicly claiming" this, or that the practitioners of the art are merely revealing their own opinions is unknown. Aside from foreigners, no one would really "care" that much that a given school "contains ninjutsu" per se. It's just part of the art, just like any other part. ;)

Tenguru said:
Does the training appear to be compatible with the Bujinkan's view of natural body movement and combat?

TSKSR is a very formal art. Notice how each kata includes "pagentry" such as drawing the sword in a certain way, lining up the sword so that they cross before beginning, and so forth. It is noticeable that the kamae are very important. Every "attack" accompanies a precise kamae, and so forth.

I believe this type of movement is precisely the type of movement that Hatsumi-sensei wishes people would move away from. People within the Bujinkan who "collect kata" tend to have this style of movement, which, in Hatsumi-sensei's eyes, is considered "dead movement" (like a museum is "dead" but a garden is "alive").

Clearly, the TSKSR instructors think that the strict adherence to these forms is vital for the longevity of the art. Hatsumi-sensei does not think the same for the Bujinkan's longevity.

In terms of "forms," the Bujinkan shares some similarities. We have "traditional forms" wherein people move for certain kamae to the next kamae in orchestrating a kata. A lot of people in the BJK know bo kata or sword kata that contain "five strikes or six strikes before the uke dies" in a similarly choreographed session.

In terms of "spirit", however, the Bujinkan has some strong dissimilarities. This reflects Hatsumi-sensei's "jazz-like" virtuoso and his views of what Takamatsu was truly trying to teach him. Hatsumi-sensei views the kata in the scrolls as vehicles for "something else." For this reason, Hatsumi-sensei teaches "principles" of movement, rather than the actual forms, per se.

When Hatsumi-sensei teaches, for example, he usually starts with the "official form" according to the densho, then transitions hundreds of times building off the exact same principle inherent in the "official form," rather than demanding that people practice the "official form" hundreds of times.

As to precise differences in movement, I noticed difference in the knees and spine when striking, for example, from the way I was taught sword. I am not saying the TSKSR instructors are "wrong," just "different" in terms of what they emphasize. Though seemingly small, these are important aspects because the knees and spine are the true source of power and distance in the Bujinkan.

Tenguru said:
Is there any dialog or relationship between the Bujinkan and the TSKS ryu.

Not really. There is a fundamental difference of "what is important" across both grandmasters. And seeing how they are both grandmasters, they have the right to teach their art as they see fit. Both styles of teaching have "goods" and "bads."

I personally am a huge fan of Hatsumi-sensei's "jazz-like" style, which many people may not like. There is a reason why I chose to train in the Bujinkan, rather than some of the many koryu that were available to me during my almost decade in Japan. (Note: I had never trained in the Bujinkan before I was on Japanese soil, so I did not go there looking to train with Hatsumi-sensei as most people in the Bujinkan do when they move there.) Irrespective, the Bujinkan certainly found me. LOL! ;)

Tenguru said:
Anyone on the forum train in both schools? Would that even be accepted (by the Bujinkan or TSKS)?

There is nothing stopping you from training in both TSKSR and BJK at the same time, but in order to "get good" in each art, you will need to internalize the teachings. If you start doing TSKSR type of movement at BJK Hombu, people will look at you very strangely, and will think that you are acting inappropriately, given Hatsumi-sensei's preferred style of movement. I am certain the same eyebrows would be raised if a BKNer when to a TSKSR dojo and insisted upon doing variation after variation (a la Hatsumi-sensei), rather than working on perfecting the assigned kata.

It would be akin to have two different operating systems in the same computer. It could work, theoretically, but practically, it gets messy. This is especially true when the accidental use of one operating system in the other environment could close off opportunities for future learning.

"There is someone who doesn't get it" could become your catch phrase across both dojo environments! LOL! ;)

Hope that helps!

-ben
 

bencole

Green Belt
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Messages
114
Reaction score
3
I'm not sure that is the case...?

I meant in terms of "official stances" or "rules." These rules exist, for example, in terms of training with Mr. M or Mr. T of the other "X-kans."

I clearly address the point of how different operating systems will force you (eventually) to make a choice. But there are no "official rules" precluding such contemporaneous training.

-ben
 

Grey Eyed Bandit

Master of Arts
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
1,503
Reaction score
48
Location
MAP Hell
I meant in terms of "official stances" or "rules." These rules exist, for example, in terms of training with Mr. M or Mr. T of the other "X-kans."

I clearly address the point of how different operating systems will force you (eventually) to make a choice. But there are no "official rules" precluding such contemporaneous training.

-ben

I was referring to official stances too, on behalf of TSKSR.
 

Don Roley

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
3,522
Reaction score
71
Location
Japan
Does Tenshin Sh?den Katori Shint?-ry? publicly claim to include any sort of Ninjutsu in its curriculum?

Yes and no. What they do could be called ninjutsu under a broad definition of it. They did not train people to live as spies or other arts that were considered part of being a ninja. So according to the definitions as laid out by works like the Bansenshukai, no.

Does the training appear to be compatible with the Bujinkan's view of natural body movement and combat?

Without actually trainining in it myself and just observing a lot of what they do, I think you should place them in one area and us in another.

Is there any dialog or relationship between the Bujinkan and the TSKS ryu. I have been told that there appear to be similarities in the core skillsets practice by both schools.

No dialog AFAIK.

Anyone on the forum train in both schools? Would that even be accepted (by the Bujinkan or TSKS)?

Sad to say, some idiots have fouled up the chances of most of us ever training in it. I am not saying it is impossible, but I would bet good odds that 99 percent of Bujinkan members would be shown the door in a polite, but firm, manner after past experiences they have had.

Does Bujinkan sword training look at all like TSKS ryu training?

Yes and no. They are Japanese arts so there is more similarities than with something from another country. Neither of us do spinning back kicks to the head in our sword kata. On the other hand, Katori Shinto ryu has a lot of differences with even Kashima Shinto ryu with which it has a strong historical tie with. I would say that if you study one, you should avoid studying the other for at least several years due to you seeing the broad picture and becoming unable to tell the very, very important small points. Actually, to my eye they really are very different. But to someone with little experience, they may look the same just done with different attitudes. And that is a dangerous attitude to have when dealing with an art as great as Katrori Shinto ryu.

Hope this helps.
 

bencole

Green Belt
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Messages
114
Reaction score
3
Nimravus said:
I was referring to official stances too, on behalf of TSKSR.

Sad to say, some idiots have fouled up the chances of most of us ever training in it. I am not saying it is impossible, but I would bet good odds that 99 percent of Bujinkan members would be shown the door in a polite, but firm, manner after past experiences they have had.

As with anything, I think it depends on *HOW* you actually approach the study and *THROUGH WHOM* you approach it. ;)

If you go in expecting to be handed everything and adhering to Hatsumi-sensei's operating system, then I would think that you would be shown the door. I will bet you that the aforementioned "idiots" did just that....

What the TSKSR folks want is for their students to respect the art. The art itself, given its historical significance, transcends any student, so to speak.

If you approach the art in the way that *THEY* want you to approach the art (and this may include laying the roadwork to get an "introduction" from the right person), then I still stand by my assertion. Hatsumi-sensei, on the other hand, is much more "forgiving of idiocy." ;)

-ben
 

Don Roley

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
3,522
Reaction score
71
Location
Japan
As with anything, I think it depends on *HOW* you actually approach the study and *THROUGH WHOM* you approach it. ;)

If you go in expecting to be handed everything and adhering to Hatsumi-sensei's operating system, then I would think that you would be shown the door. I will bet you that the aforementioned "idiots" did just that....

Ben, I don't want to go into details here about the matter. Maybe when you are in Japan next and we get lubricated after class I can let you in on the names and what they did. But have you heard the story about the idiot that burned down Oguri's old dojo? Well, this story is just about as bad.
 

ManOfVirtues

Yellow Belt
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
Location
Omaha, NE
Prior to coming to the Bujinkan communiy I was fortunate to train in both Kendo and Iaido. After watching the katana kata portion of the video, and I must say it was a great find, It is hard for me to find the words to describe it. It seemed more free flowing and less structured than the kata I am used to.

I think im going to have to find me some more videos.
 
Top