Questions regarding authentication

kfman

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I am here looking for answers, and I would appreciate it if only those of you who are actually knowledgeable about this matter reply to it, as it is for a research article that I’m writing.

There seems to be a tremendous amount of debate within the martial arts community regarding the validity of ninjutsu, and those who teach it. I’ve spent several hours tonight online reading different articles, and walked away with zero answers.

To begin, there are many who claim that a Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi in Japan is the last living person who is a true teacher of ninjutsu, while others claim that he is a fraud, and presented their version of evidence to support it.

I have also read articles that claim that Ninjutsu in the United States is not authentic, and has reportedly been monetized by an individual named Stephen Hayes. Again, others in the martial arts community support Mr. Hayes as a true practitioner of Ninjutsu.

I want to know what the veteran practitioners and instructors in the martial arts community think of this, and how you determine who is telling the truth?

From what I have learned over the past several days, there are very few historical records to go on where Ninjutsu is concerned, and fewer still which have been translated into English.

The one that was recommended to me by a Mr. Antony Cummins, has also received discredit on a number of websites as well.
I used to teach kung fu at a park indoors where we shared the room with a Ninjutsu group. My only comment is that when I watched them, I wondered why they would need to do 3-4 moves to counter an opponent, when only one was needed. For example if an opponent grabs your shirt in the front, a simple wrist lock is all is needed, not many moves to get to the same place. It was like that for most everything I observed. I also recall their instructor saying his master was Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi in Japan and that he had gone there to train. Excuse me if I'm incorrect. I am not passing judgement, only observation.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi, @dunc .

@Chris Parker : Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful reply. I always feel like I don't have enough time to respond to all the points you make. So please accept my apologies for summarising (& therefore potentially missing points) in my posts

Ha, fair enough... they do tend to go on, don't they? Of course, not sure this one'll be any different... but we'll see how we go!

@BrendanF & @Chris Parker : I think we can all agree that training in the Bujinkan is very different from training in koryu, and as a result will produce different outcomes. I also think we can agree that that's by design and "each to their own"

Yes, I think that's, to a great degree, what we've been saying. Of course, that needs to be taken to it's logical result... the Bujinkan is very different to training in a koryu, because it's not training in a koryu... or training like a koryu... or training in a way that results in koryu style results. And, for the (I think) 12th time this thread, that's to be expected... the Bujinkan is not teaching ryu-ha... it's teaching Budo Taijutsu... teaching the ryu would actually counter-act that aim. And, likely also for the 12th time, for the aims of the Bujinkan, that's not only okay, it's exactly what should be done. It's ideal. My only point has been that people think that it's covering both bases, when it simply can't. You would need to be literally learning different martial arts... and I don't mean different kata.

@Chris Parker : I think your central point is that you believe that Hatsumi sensei has never taught the ryuha in a detailed and distinct way.

Yes... but, more than that, I personally doubt he ever learnt them in such a way either... so it's natural that he hasn't taught them that way. Even if he did learn them that way (all logic and evidence aside), it's clear that he has little interest in that method of teaching and transmitting, thinking it inferior to his more free, creative based approach... so why would anyone expect that someone who actively disagrees with this method of teaching and training would actually have taught and trained people this way? It not only doesn't make sense, it denies his own words and actions (believing that, for whatever reason, there are these special few who he broke his own rules for, and went against his own values for, with the end result being that they show no actual affect in anyone's movement or the way any of the schools are taught).

As a result no one in the Bujinkan, including those with traditional licences and the new soke, know these things.

"Know these things" is getting the wrong idea in there... this isn't a matter of "knowing" (intellectually) the tricks and traits and idiosyncrasies... it's a matter of training it into the body. If it's "known" (physically), then there should be no way of hiding it... and, in fact, that's precisely what we have. Even those with these licences (given under somewhat non-traditional circumstances, really), when you watch them, all belie the same physical "knowledge"... which is Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. No matter what ryu-ha they're doing... because that's what they're actually taught and trained in.

Look, there's considered to be a problem trying to do too many ryu at the one time... you end up with a lot of conflicting ideas and concepts, and it takes a lot to keep them separate effectively (some would tell you it's impossible, and it's hard to argue against that). And, once you start trying to do so many traditions, especially all in the one format/class/context, then they start blending into one... and you're no longer doing any of them, but simply "generic budo". You can take that generic budo and make it into it's own thing (Budo Taijutsu), but what you can't do is make it any of the ryu that went into it in the first place. It simply doesn't work.

I believe you base this assertion on your experience of the Bujinkan under Wayne Roy in the early 90s, the videos out there and some more recent training in Japan (I'm not sure how much training you had in Japan, when you were there and for how long and whether you visited the shihan's home dojos)

No.

Look, I know the posts aren't short, but I've also go to pains to point out that:
- my understanding of what should be present (and isn't)
- my understanding of how such things would be done (which isn't)
- my expectations of what would constitute proper transmission and evidence of it (which is not present)
and so on come specifically not from my time in the Bujinkan (and as an independent Takamatsuden practitioner), but more from my time studying and training in koryu (for the record, a bit over a decade now, including Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu, Shindo Muso Ryu [and associated fuzoku ryu-ha], as well as experience with Hontai Yoshin Ryu as a guest, not a member).

I have also gone to pains to point out that, for much of my time, I have also looked at the ryu-ha of the Bujinkan as separate entities in my study (in Mr Roy's schools, we were separating them out for individual study as far back as 1992 or earlier... the black belts had the option of specialising in their study of a school of their choice; my first instructor specialised in Kukishin Ryu, my main teacher specialised in Koto Ryu, and one of the other instructors, and my senior, focused on Gyokko Ryu as his personal study... in addition, from around 1996 onwards, the main classes were also focused on one school at a time... we would study Gyokko Ryu for 6 months... then Togakure Ryu for the next 6... then Koto Ryu...), however my understanding of what constitutes a ryu, and training in one, has developed and improved through my study of various koryu. What Wayne Roy's teachings did, however, was to help me to be able to identify and differentiate such teachings... but I have to point out that the understanding of the ryu I have did not directly come from him... in fact, I disagree with a number of his interpretations, but that's a different story.

Presumably you feel that you've gained detailed instruction in the ryuha from other sources (I'd be interested in understanding your perspective on this)

No, actually. Frankly, it'd be impossible... from the perspective of the Bujinkan, and it's lines, these ryu are dead. They live on only in parts, and in name... and, even in those parts, they have been separated from what makes them what they were. That's what happens when they're not passed on... as mentioned, I don't think Hatsumi really received them in much more than names and lists, and I don't think he's passed them on in any other fashion... even if he did receive them, he's moved completely away from them, so it's impossible to learn them due to there being no-one who can teach them.

That's my perspective on them. There are no "other sources", really... the only ones would be the Genbukan or Jinenkan (or Toshindo, etc)... all of which suffer from the same situation... a lack of ryu-ha in favour of a more consistent over-arching martial approach (Budo Taijutsu in the Bujinkan, Jissen Kobudo in the Jinenkan, Ninpo Taijutsu in the Genbukan)... each with their own "flavour", but not that of the individual ryu. Watching Manaka, or Hatsumi, or Tanemura, or any seniors from any of those organisations, it doesn't matter so much which "ryu" they're doing, the underlying approach is the same. What there are, though, are other lines to compare and contrast with...

and as you've learnt these things you've concluded that there is a marked difference in approach

Not really... frankly, I've known the various ryu should be markedly different in approach for decades, I just didn't have the sense for what they should be... by looking into these other lines, as well as getting a much better sense of how ryu-ha behave (and a range of insights into what to expect with regards to the schools themselves), I'm starting to develop an interpretation of the ryu that is markedly different to what you'd find in any of the X-Kan groups.

I'm stating that from my direct personal experience the long term shihan do know these things and will teach them if the conditions are right.

Genuinely, I'd love to believe that... the problem is that I've heard the same thing for a decade and a half, and there has been exactly zero evidence to support it. Additionally, not to put too fine a point on it, but the claims are always from people who I would suggest aren't in the best position to grasp what they should actually be looking at... that's not a slight, by the way, it's simply a fact. I wouldn't have the first clue what I'm looking at to assess proper content and structure for classic French cuisine... you could put anything in front of me and tell me that's what it is, and I wouldn't have any idea if it was or wasn't. That's despite eating a variety of foods my entire life, with much of my diet being European-based... so you'll forgive me if I don't take this personal experience as particularly experienced in the context I'm discussing.

For example: you ask and they know and like you, it's in their home dojo where class sizes are much smaller,

I completely agree that this would be the circumstance that the senior teachers would cover more in-depth than in regular class, it's just that there is nothing to suggest it's anything like actual ryu-ha transmission. In fact, the fact that it's entirely absent everywhere else would suggest it's not.

Here, what we need to determine is the difference between deeper and more detailed instruction in the Bujinkan kata (from the ryu), and ryu-ha instruction and transmission... to be absolutely clear, one is not "superior" to the other... in fact, both can be depending on the aim. And, if the aim is developing your understanding and skill with Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, and the kata associated with it, then the deeper study that comes with a relationship with one of the shihan, dai-shihan, or new soke (or Hatsumi) is exactly what you should be wanting. The problem I've noticed is the assumption of many Bujinkan practitioners that "I got more detailed instruction in this kata/area from x-shihan, that must have been ryu-ha transmission"... that's wrong on a number of levels, including the idea that "more details " = "ryu-ha transmission"...

perhaps Hatsumi sensei has asked them to teach the ryuha (which happened from time to time) etc

So... ryu-ha transmission/instruction happens in small groups, or one-on-one, away from the main classes, in private, not as part of the Bujinkan training methodology, by senior instructors, because Hatsumi asks them to do so? If he wants the ryu practiced and passed on, why not actually teach them himself? And why do it all in private? With seemingly no actual benefit or affect on the practitioner at all?

Sorry, Duncan, it just doesn't pass the smell test, if you will.

Seno sensei would teach Koto ryu his dojo on request or other ryu during the theme years (although as more people started coming to his dojo he moved away from doing this, I think because so few people could do the foundational movements of Koto ryu). Same for Oguri sensei and Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Ishizuka sensei with Kukishinden or Gyokko Ryu and so on

Speaking with all due respect to the passed, having watched quite a fair bit of their performance of kata from those ryu-ha, that's precisely what they would teach... kata from those ryu-ha. A simple example is day three from the 2003 DaiKomyo Sai... with Hatsumi calling on Seno, Noguchi, Nagato, and Oguri to teach from Koto, Gyokko, Shinden Fudo, Takagi, and the Kihon Happo... and the body mechanics and structural organisation, as well as the fists, attacks, defences, distancing, and more, were all very much the same, albeit with slight differences allowing for the kata and the individual... but not taking into consideration actual ryu-ha differences.

Another example was Manaka sensei, when still in the Bujinkan, who went through a phase of showing how various techniques would change if you applied the methods from different schools to them. This was before the hombu was set up, but he did this in his regular well attended classes so probably there are many long term Bujinkan folk who remember those lessons and can back up my claims

And, honestly, the same thing there... I've seen the footage from the seminars and classes "back in the day", as well as the way Manaka-s teaches today, I have friends in the Jinenkan, and have gone through some comparisons of techniques... again, I would suggest that the differences were more superficial, based around ryu-ha kata preferences, rather than ryu-ha differences.

I found this training interesting and actively sought it out during a phase of my development. However, I have always been and remain a visitor to Japan so could only go so deep into it

Good to hear! As I said, this kind of depth into Bujinkan ryu kata can be great, and certainly enhance your Budo Taijutsu knowledge. That still doesn't make it ryu-ha transmission and study, though.

Other than my experience with the older shihan I don't know what training the new soke have had in the various ryuha they've inherited.

Okay.

It certainly seems like Sakasai Sensei at least knows Gikan ryu kamae because there's an article kicking around (in Japanese) with him showing them, to my knowledge they haven't really been taught publicly and they match the way I was taught by one of the older shihan back in the day

I'm always a bit cautious when things are claimed to be Gikan Ryu... I've seen a number of conflicting "versions" over the years... at one point, Asayama Ichiden Ryu waza were being taught as Gikan Ryu, as the kata weren't identified as any school. Then we had the Gikan Ryu demonstrated by Hatsumi-s on the Bujinkan Koppojutsu DVD... which doesn't really match the Gikan Ryu that Noguchi has apparently been showing recently... or the Genbukan Gikan Ryu methods... for the record, the only article I found was the Japanese Hiden one introducing him and basically giving his resume (逆井則男 Sakasai Norio | 達人・名人・秘伝の師範たち | 武道・武術の総合情報サイト WEB秘伝)... I'm not sure I'd identify any of it as any particular ryu-ha... but certainly Bujinkan.

I appreciate that you only really have my word for this, but it's not like I have a dog in this fight.

Well, it could be argued that being Bujinkan gives you at least a pup...

I don't have any interest in marketing myself or differentiating myself vs other folk in the Bujinkan or Koryu worlds by claiming some unique knowledge to get folk to attend my seminars (never done a seminar in my life). I have a regular job that pays the rent and just run my dojo my way and do my thing for the love of the art and to better myself as a martial artist

Same here.

Secondarily you're making a point that because there are several new soke of different ryuha rather than one single soke of the Bujinkan then the Bujinkan no longer exists

Functionally, yep.

Realistically, the Bujinkan is Hatsumi... it's his creation, based on his creative approach, with a mechanical base in some of the concepts of some of the ryu, with much of them used as a general basis for the free expression that he is after. This is great... but it does, by necessity, do away with the ryu, leaving Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu as the actual martial art taught and studied. In this case, I would certainly argue that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts, in terms of scope at least.

However that all gets problematic when the schools are split again... it's almost like trying to separate a cake back into flour, eggs, milk... they may have gone into it, but good luck separating them properly again. It's even harder here, where, in order to combine them, as well as the way that Budo Taijutsu has developed, there was a lot left by the wayside... starting with unique bodily organisation, moving onto the sense of reigi, zanshin, particular senses of distancing, styles of attack and defence, and so on... I've never seen anything resembling Kukishin Ryu mechanics when it comes to sword, staff, or anything else, for example... these would have conflicted pretty majorly with each other if still maintained as part of Budo Taijutsu, so it makes sense that they'd be removed... but the very act of creating Budo Taijutsu has meant the ryu-ha stopped.

To take it back to the Bujinkan itself, though, the beginning of the end of the Bujinkan was the de-centralising of ranking certificates and memberships that was announced in 2017... next was the splitting of the soke titles. That split the central information source (at least on paper) and power structure, but realistically means very little in terms of the ryu themselves, as the particular soke aren't about to teach the ryu they're entrusted with... after all, can you see everyone but Ishizuka stopping teaching the Kihon Happo and Sanshin as they're part of Gyokko Ryu? More to the point, can you see him asking them to?

What we're heading to is a whole bunch of different, but related, groups continuing to teach Budo Taijutsu... regardless of the ryu on the title of the head of that faction. Oh, and for the record, there is no "soke" of the Bujinkan... it's an incorrect use of the title. There is a Kancho, essentially a president, which is Hatsumi until he appoints someone else... but if the ryu that make up the methods are no longer held there, what's left? Or would we think that they would continue to use the same methods, which means the holder of the soke title is shown to mean nothing in regards to Budo Taijutsu.

On this I'd say it's early days and I doubt anyone will change things while Hatsumi sensei is still alive, but who knows what will happen in the future. Probably a lot of change...

True... but I feel the way I've described it is the only real objective way to see it... I appreciate that there are other views, but it would take a lot to convince me.
 

Tony Dismukes

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my expectations of what would constitute proper transmission and evidence of it (which is not present)
and so on come specifically not from my time in the Bujinkan (and as an independent Takamatsuden practitioner), but more from my time studying and training in koryu (for the record, a bit over a decade now, including Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu, Shindo Muso Ryu [and associated fuzoku ryu-ha], as well as experience with Hontai Yoshin Ryu as a guest, not a member).

And, to be clear, if you are studying and training in a particular ryu-ha, and doing it properly, then it will be expressed in all movement.

Despite that, to truly inhabit the school, to embody it in your thought and action, yes, that takes a lot of dedication.

"Know these things" is getting the wrong idea in there... this isn't a matter of "knowing" (intellectually) the tricks and traits and idiosyncrasies... it's a matter of training it into the body. If it's "known" (physically), then there should be no way of hiding it... and, in fact, that's precisely what we have.
I think these quotes and more like them help clarify the disagreement between yourself and Dunc regarding whether the different ryuha are "taught" at all within the Bujinkan. If I'm understanding you correctly, it goes beyond my earlier description of being aware of distinctions in body mechanics or general tactics between the ryu. You're looking for the full koryu approach to transmission, being fully immersed in a ryu, with all the technical and cultural aspects that entails. That, you are saying, does not exist in the Bujinkan and I suspect you are correct.

When Dunc describes learning the separate ryuha within the Bujinkan, he's probably referring to a different sort of process. I might be able to use an analogy from my own experience.

As a grappler, my primary art is BJJ, but I have varying degrees of experience in a bunch of other grappling arts. (Not to mention that BJJ will steal anything that works from other systems, so we already have influence from a variety of sources.)

When I teach a technique or tactic that exists within multiple systems I can, and sometimes do, explain how and why that technique or tactic might be done differently in different contexts or taught differently in different arts, i.e. tournament BJJ vs Judo vs freestyle wrestling vs MMA vs Sumo vs Ringen vs a street self defense scenario vs a different street self defense scenario. In my mind I am mostly focused on the common underlying physical principles which are expressed differently according to the needs of a different context (much as you are referring to the common underlying principles of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu). On the other hand, I can show significant technical and tactical differences between how those movements are expressed in these different arts. (And I can do it without concern for the "correct transmission" of those arts, since that's not really a thing in the culture I'm working in.) I suspect that this is the sort of thing that Dunc says he has experienced when he says he has learned something of the individual ryuha.
 

dunc

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I think these quotes and more like them help clarify the disagreement between yourself and Dunc regarding whether the different ryuha are "taught" at all within the Bujinkan. If I'm understanding you correctly, it goes beyond my earlier description of being aware of distinctions in body mechanics or general tactics between the ryu. You're looking for the full koryu approach to transmission, being fully immersed in a ryu, with all the technical and cultural aspects that entails. That, you are saying, does not exist in the Bujinkan and I suspect you are correct.

When Dunc describes learning the separate ryuha within the Bujinkan, he's probably referring to a different sort of process. I might be able to use an analogy from my own experience.

As a grappler, my primary art is BJJ, but I have varying degrees of experience in a bunch of other grappling arts. (Not to mention that BJJ will steal anything that works from other systems, so we already have influence from a variety of sources.)

When I teach a technique or tactic that exists within multiple systems I can, and sometimes do, explain how and why that technique or tactic might be done differently in different contexts or taught differently in different arts, i.e. tournament BJJ vs Judo vs freestyle wrestling vs MMA vs Sumo vs Ringen vs a street self defense scenario vs a different street self defense scenario. In my mind I am mostly focused on the common underlying physical principles which are expressed differently according to the needs of a different context (much as you are referring to the common underlying principles of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu). On the other hand, I can show significant technical and tactical differences between how those movements are expressed in these different arts. (And I can do it without concern for the "correct transmission" of those arts, since that's not really a thing in the culture I'm working in.) I suspect that this is the sort of thing that Dunc says he has experienced when he says he has learned something of the individual ryuha.
Hi
Yes I think that's a good analogy
In the Bujinkan the techniques from whatever ryu are usually done in the way of the individual shihan. That's by design and hence the mainstream - you see this in BJJ for example where people have their own way of doing things which varies to some extent from person to person, but are clearly identifiable as said technique
However, each of the ryuha have their own body movements and "game plan" (footwork, angling, power generation, distancing etc etc) that are different from each other
The sequence of the kata in the schools typically build on the lessons learnt in the preceding kata to create a distinct
art/methodology, it's quite interesting really to see how these curriculum must have evolved to the point at which they are now

The punching methods and kamae (guards) of Shinden Fudo Ryu are completely different from say Koto ryu, which are different to Gyokko Ryu or Kukishinden etc etc

Why would you punch from shizen/natural posture (Shinden Fudo Ryu) into someone standing in a kamae / guarded position (say Koto Ryu) or visa versa? You attack someone in a long guard (Koto Ryu) differently to someone in a short guard (Gyokko Ryu) and so on

It is hopefully obvious that everything downstream changes accordingly. Then you add the characteristics (or in BJJ terms "game") of the school and things become distinct very quickly

For example in the context of basic punching and "blocking"
In Shinden Fudo Ryu the power generation is done with the natural rotation of the spine and swinging of the arms to attack along a vertical centre line. So the receiving (blocking if you will) has to take account of this line and uses the foundational movements of the school (rotating the spine and sinking the knees) to get underneath the attack before rotating the spine back in with a counter attack
In Gyokko Ryu the power generation is by moving the hips and knees along the circumference of a semicircle. The punches have to deal with the guarded kamae so the receiver has to perform tehodokki before receiving the punch with the movement described above. This creates a pulling in or extending motion from a mid distance. The position taken presents particular targets for the attacker that are easily avoided with small hip movements and late avoidances to set up the counter
In Koto Ryu the power generation is done with a long extension of the hips in a straight line. So the attacker's arm can be counter struck whilst the uke is still moving away from the punch. This allows for the uke to use shallow angles and longer distances to force the attacker to over extend and creates time for a counter attack mid way through the (extended) 2nd attack using the long kamae to shift into position along straight lines
Kukishinden uses tilting of the spine and deep posture to create powerful strikes to the arms or receive punches
And so on
 
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Chris Parker

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Sorry for the delay in response, been a bit busy the last few days...

I think these quotes and more like them help clarify the disagreement between yourself and Dunc regarding whether the different ryuha are "taught" at all within the Bujinkan. If I'm understanding you correctly, it goes beyond my earlier description of being aware of distinctions in body mechanics or general tactics between the ryu. You're looking for the full koryu approach to transmission, being fully immersed in a ryu, with all the technical and cultural aspects that entails. That, you are saying, does not exist in the Bujinkan and I suspect you are correct.

Well... yes... but it actually goes further than that, especially when it comes to the evidence as I see it. I'll see if I can cover what I'm seeing when I get to Dunc's post.

When Dunc describes learning the separate ryuha within the Bujinkan, he's probably referring to a different sort of process. I might be able to use an analogy from my own experience.

Oh, I get exactly what Dunc is meaning... as I've said, it's exactly what I would have said a number of years ago, and how I would have seen it then as well.

As a grappler, my primary art is BJJ, but I have varying degrees of experience in a bunch of other grappling arts. (Not to mention that BJJ will steal anything that works from other systems, so we already have influence from a variety of sources.)

When I teach a technique or tactic that exists within multiple systems I can, and sometimes do, explain how and why that technique or tactic might be done differently in different contexts or taught differently in different arts, i.e. tournament BJJ vs Judo vs freestyle wrestling vs MMA vs Sumo vs Ringen vs a street self defense scenario vs a different street self defense scenario. In my mind I am mostly focused on the common underlying physical principles which are expressed differently according to the needs of a different context (much as you are referring to the common underlying principles of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu). On the other hand, I can show significant technical and tactical differences between how those movements are expressed in these different arts. (And I can do it without concern for the "correct transmission" of those arts, since that's not really a thing in the culture I'm working in.) I suspect that this is the sort of thing that Dunc says he has experienced when he says he has learned something of the individual ryuha.

As I said, I get exactly where Dunc is coming from, however, what I'm talking about is something a fair bit beyond this idea... for one thing, the idea of "the same technique/tactic in different systems" is not a factor at all... in fact, that's the last way these should be looked at if we're looking at them as properly approached distinct schools. There just isn't the cross-over like that other than in largely superficial fashion (most schools having some kind of outer-wrist-twist lock action, for example). The thing is, though, you can't look at them as variations of the same, you have to see them as individual and unique concepts specific to the ryu you're looking at/studying. Without that starting point, you're never going to get anything like actual individual schools... just variations on themes (which is what we have).

Hi
Yes I think that's a good analogy
In the Bujinkan the techniques from whatever ryu are usually done in the way of the individual shihan. That's by design and hence the mainstream - you see this in BJJ for example where people have their own way of doing things which varies to some extent from person to person, but are clearly identifiable as said technique

Sure... of course, this kinda denies the idea of training in specific ryu, but indicates more a personal expression of the concepts of Budo Taijutsu by various practitioners (and teachers) using (or via) the various kata/techniques... and, of course, there's a major distinction between the way such differences/preferences come up in BJJ as opposed to BBT, but that's a whole other conversation again...

However, each of the ryuha have their own body movements and "game plan" (footwork, angling, power generation, distancing etc etc) that are different from each other

While true, if you start from the position of Budo Taijutsu as the base (which is the way the Bujinkan operates and teaches), then what you're looking at is superficial variation, not ryu-ha differences... in fact, much of this incorrect starting position is highlighted in your examples, where you look at differences in the way various schools do the same thing, rather than looking at how each school engages in their methods in the first place. Additionally, by starting with the basis of Budo Taijutsu concepts, you end up being lead to a belief that certain things are in the schools (or a part of them), when they're not... instead, you're looking at a way of adjusting the Budo Taijutsu aspects to suit the way the schools do things... taking you in the wrong direction to begin with.

The sequence of the kata in the schools typically build on the lessons learnt in the preceding kata to create a distinct
art/methodology, it's quite interesting really to see how these curriculum must have evolved to the point at which they are now

Actually, that's kinda backwards... most schools would start with a few essential concepts and techniques as expressed by the founder fo the school... these would often form the highest level teachings of the school, with the low- and mid-level teachings being developed later, primarily to act as a way to understand the higher level concepts. To use Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu as an example, there's a reasonable amount of evidence that, formally speaking, Musashi taught his five two sword techniques as his school, and not much more than that. Afterwards, the long sword and short sword kata were added, working as building blocks to help develop a range of skills and ideas to help you understand and perform the nito work (the bo was also added later... as were more "foundational" nito methods, although they are no longer taught officially as part of the school).

The same goes with pretty much all classical arts... what this means is that the higher levels of the school are what you should actually be looking at to get to the "core" of the art... which is why most schools only let full licence holders teach... they're the ones who have gotten to that higher level, and can see what the important facets of the lower and mid-level kata are actually meant to teach. But the problem here is that these higher level concepts and principles are lost (functionally)... instead, the "higher level" ideas aren't those of the ryu, but those of Budo Taijutsu... so that's the filter through which the schools are re-interpretted... leading to observations such as the ones you offer below. Again, the way you're presenting these is pretty much how I saw them as well, until I started looking into things with more of a ryu-ha concept in mind.

The punching methods and kamae (guards) of Shinden Fudo Ryu are completely different from say Koto ryu, which are different to Gyokko Ryu or Kukishinden etc etc

Well, do we want to start with the fact that Shinden Fudo Ryu (Dakentaijutsu) doesn't have any kamae, so are we talking the Jutaijutsu (Taijutsu) here? Next, when you say "completely different", are you sure about that? Let's look at a couple... and I'll be using SFR Taijutsu as my example here...

Standing naturally, hands on your thighs or at your sides (Gyokko Ryu Hira no Kamae, Shinden Fudo Ryu Shizentai, Kukishin Ryu Hira no Kamae).

Stand with one foot in front, the arm on the same side extended forwards and open in a Shuto-ken (Kiten Ken), the other hand held back towards the body (Gyokko Ryu Ichimonji/rear hand in Boshi-ken near the lead elbow, Koto Ryu Seigan no Kamae/rear hand in Shuto-ken on the bicep, Kukishin Ryu Seigan no Kamae/rear hand in Fudo ken at the hip, Shinden Fudo Ryu Taijutsu Seigan no Kamae/rear hand held in Fudo ken near the jaw - we could also include Doko from Togakure, Ichi no Kamae from Togakure, Doko no Kamae from Gyokko, and so on. That's before we even get to the weapon kamae, where this forms the basis for Seigan with Bo, Sword, Naginata, and so on). The only real points of difference are the position of the rear hand, how far back your weight is, and how far side-on you stand.

Stand with your feet even, and your hands extended to the sides (Hira Ichimonji no Kamae from Gyokko, Kukishin, Shinden Fudo Ryu Taijutsu, Takagi Yoshin, Togakure, and Koto Ryu, albeit with Kotos' version sometimes shown as on one leg).

These are the basic kamae from each of these schools, and, as you can see (or check from any source), they are really all using the same basic structural concepts with some variation, regardless of the school.

When it comes to punching, it's interesting that you'd bring that up... we'll cover that in a bit...

Why would you punch from shizen/natural posture (Shinden Fudo Ryu) into someone standing in a kamae / guarded position (say Koto Ryu) or visa versa? You attack someone in a long guard (Koto Ryu) differently to someone in a short guard (Gyokko Ryu) and so on

Why are you standing in a kamae/guard? Most jujutsu/taijutsu schools don't, you know... "standing in kamae" is almost always reserved for muto dori... when kamae are used, they're almost never as pronounced as found in the Bujinkan/Genbukan/Jinenkan expression... which takes us to whether or not the kamae as taught are actually how they're meant to be done... to which, in most cases, the answer is no. In other words, what you think is Seigan no Kamae for Koto Ryu isn't... nor are any of the other kamae actually what you think they are. What you are used to are Budo Taijutsu adaptations of some aspects of the actual kamae... but, because the starting point is incorrect, the rest is naturally altered to something that isn't actually expressing the way the school operates. And, because you're starting in a kamae that the school doesn't actually use, your movement and ways of performing the techniques are naturally similarly changed and altered... which is where my comment that the schools are being done "wrong" in the various 'Kan's comes from... when looked at from the perspective of the schools themselves, that is.

It is hopefully obvious that everything downstream changes accordingly. Then you add the characteristics (or in BJJ terms "game") of the school and things become distinct very quickly

While that's true, I don't think it's going in the direction you think it is... as mentioned, the higher levels of the school are the actual core of it, so to speak... the lower levels should be starting to shape you towards them... but if the lower levels are based on something else, as you head "downstream", so to speak, you actually just end up further from the way the school would intend...

I would also suggest that "add(ing) characteristics... of the school" is exactly how it shouldn't be done... they should be present initially... if you have to add them, then the immediate implication is that you're adding them to an already existing base, which means you're already starting with the wrong approach.

For example in the context of basic punching and "blocking"
In Shinden Fudo Ryu the power generation is done with the natural rotation of the spine and swinging of the arms to attack along a vertical centre line. So the receiving (blocking if you will) has to take account of this line and uses the foundational movements of the school (rotating the spine and sinking the knees) to get underneath the attack before rotating the spine back in with a counter attack

Is it? What do you base that on?

Look, obviously the answer is "that's how I was taught", and that's perfect if you're interested in doing it in the Bujinkan fashion... but once you look past that, things change a fair bit.

In Gyokko Ryu the power generation is by moving the hips and knees along the circumference of a semicircle. The punches have to deal with the guarded kamae so the receiver has to perform tehodokki before receiving the punch with the movement described above. This creates a pulling in or extending motion from a mid distance. The position taken presents particular targets for the attacker that are easily avoided with small hip movements and late avoidances to set up the counter

Gyokko's interesting for me, in that, along with Togakure Ryu, there's not really another line for me to compare it to to see just how accurate or not it is... however, there's a number of things that indicate to me that at least some of the way it's taught is not accurate... with the first thing being the idea of punching in the first place, and whether there is much at all. In fact, I would posit that there are only two "punching" attacks at all in the school, and potentially none in any response... and no "punches" to the head/face... so, as soon as you start from a standpoint of there being punching attacks, you're already on the wrong path... which leads to a non-Gyokko Ryu power source and movement idea... instead coming up with an adaption of the Budo Taijutsu approach to factor in the kata sequence in the Gyokko Ryu techniques... hmm, it's not so easy explaining this, is it? Let's try, anyway...

We'll start with kamae... as, after all, it's the basic launching pad for all your movement, right? So, what are the kamae concepts of Gyokko Ryu? For one thing, the weight is almost always 50/50... not back. The hips are also largely square onto the focus (often the opponent, but more realistically whatever you're engaging in... the target you're striking, the point of contact/control for a lock, where you're blocking/receiving an attack, and so on. There are some exceptions, which, when you think about them, aren't, but we won't go into that much detail). This goes for Ichimonji, Jumonji, Hicho, Hira Ichimonji, Hira... all the fundamental kamae of the school. Obviously, there's more (the way the knees are bent, what muscles are tensed, how the arms are positioned etc), but this is the actual core of the kamae concept of Gyokko Ryu, which is clear through the fact that it is found across the board. This means that this basic structural concept should be utilised throughout the school... otherwise, what's the point in emphasising it in these kamae (which make up around 80% of the kamae in the school, with the remaining ones largely variations of them)... agreed?

So, why is the primary attack a stepping punch, ending in a side-on position? That's not matching the rest of the school's concepts in body structure and position (of course, it matches Budo Taijutsu just fine)... so what should it be? Well, the attacks would need to keep the hips square on... for a punching attack, that makes little sense, as it basically just limits the effective range and strength of the attack... so what do I think they should be? Well, the most likely would be the following... a downward back-fist (ura-ken), omote and ura shuto-ken (kiten-ken), and tetsui-ken (hammer-fist striking). This then means that the methods of striking and receiving is based more on a rotation of the elbow... which makes the uke nagashi methods make perfect sense... as well as certain rather unusual aspects of the kata themselves (the ken kudaki strike to "the underneath of the elbow/hoshi" in Koku it's just not easy to hit if the attack is a punch, but if it's an ura-ken, then the elbow rotates around, exposing that target, and making the technique make sense.

To be honest, this then fits more with Classical Japanese arts... the idea of a stepping punch, or, really, a punching attack at all, is quite uncommon... the idea of a grab-and-punch attack is also pretty much unheard of... grab and hammer-fist, on the other hand, is pretty common/standard... so all those techniques in the Bujinkan expression where you have a grab and punch? Yeah... wrong, again.

This, by the way, is what I mean when I say I'm doing these schools these days quite differently to the Bujinkan expression... and Gyokko Ryu is still one of the closer ones... they change even more as we go through the other schools...

In Koto Ryu the power generation is done with a long extension of the hips in a straight line. So the attacker's arm can be counter struck whilst the uke is still moving away from the punch. This allows for the uke to use shallow angles and longer distances to force the attacker to over extend and creates time for a counter attack mid way through the (extended) 2nd attack using the long kamae to shift into position along straight lines

Yeah, again, this comes from a kamae concept that matches the Budo Taijutsu idea (itself being based in a combination of Togakure and Gyokko, along with some, honestly, simplified approaches to attacking methods)... when you start looking at the school independently of that, and bring in the other lines to gain a wider appreciation, then things change again.

Again, let's start with kamae... the most "signature" kamae of Koto Ryu would likely be Seigan, agreed? In the Bujinkan, it's adopted by standing with one foot in front (let's use the left, but, as you know, it's done as both migi and hidari), with the other behind, turned up to 45-degrees away, and your weight slightly back (about 60% on the right/rear leg, 40% on the lead). The left hand is held extended with the hand open in kiten-ken, fingers pointing towards the opponent's eyes, and elbow bent, and your right hand open in a similar fashion at your bicep. This has your hips turned into a han-hanmi position (45-degrees), loading up power and tension in your rear thigh and hip, allowing for an explosive forward movement by driving your hips forward into the extension you're describing... however...

If you look at the images in the densho (as shown in Hatsumi's video and DVD on Koto Ryu, for the record), which also match the images in the Ueno Takashi documents, you'll see that the images don't actually match the way it's done... instead, the posture is done with a cross-step action forwards, and the opposite hand held out in kiten-ken (step forward and across your body with your left leg, turning your hips to the left, allowing your rear foot to lift the heel off the ground), and the left hand held across your chest open at your right shoulder. Your weight is also (by necessity) forward, not back, and the entire structure of tension and positioning is markedly different, if not completely opposite, to the way it's done in the Bujinkan (for an illustration, see the videos I linked earlier). This means that the power source/generation is done by twisting/untwisting the hips... think of the idea of unscrewing or screwing on a bottle cap... rather than an overt forwards movement.

A careful reading of the descriptions given in both Hatsumi's "Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai" and the various translations of the Ueno text show the same thing... it's also interesting to note that the idea of "blocks" in Koto Ryu are minimal... most of the techniques are entered around evasive stepping back (cross-stepping, really)... the only school that actually employs the uke nagashi that we're used to is Gyokko... which makes sense when you consider the idea of rotating the elbow... none of the other schools actually use it at all.

Kukishinden uses tilting of the spine and deep posture to create powerful strikes to the arms or receive punches
And so on

Does it? I see that statement being made, usually accompanied by the idea that the school is based in fighting in armour... even though there's really nothing to back that up. The overly deep stances are, again, just variations of the basic structure found across the board in the Bujinkan, and, if one was to be a bit cynical, is likely done largely to differentiate this school... but they still follow the same pattern as the way the Koto Ryu ones are done in the Bujikan (lead hand extended, rear one back near the body, weight back, etc). When you start to look at the techniques from a realistic, and practical sense, the whole lumbering "in armour" movement makes no sense at all... it's just too slow to justify waiting for attack after attack...

I'm going to use an example from the Jinenkan here, Adam Mitchell. Now, I like Adam, he's a very serious, dedicated practitioner, and highly skilful in the way he performs these techniques... and, as an example of the Jinenkan, he's fantastic. That said, here's a video of Hosetsu (Kukishin Ryu Dakentaijutsu, Shoden Gata):

Compare that with the other group showing the same school (Kijin Chosui Ryu Kukishinden), again, starting around 45 seconds in:

These are the same techniques, but, really, completely different schools... not so much "powerful strikes to the arms", more checks against incoming strikes... more upright (and forward) in the kamae, different methods of punching attacks (and, you'll note, grab and hammer fist, not grab and punch...), giving a much faster way of moving, with a lot more mobility, and so on.

This is the same across the board... Takagi Ryu Jujutsu really doesn't use the same postural concepts, attacking methods, receiving methods, distance management, post-kata zanshin, and more, that the Bujinkan Takagi Yoshin Ryu does (or the Genbukan's Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu Ishitani-den does), despite them being the same school from the same source (Ishitani to Takamatsu to Hatsumi, Ishitani to Kakuno to Tsutsui, Yagi to Ishitani and Fujita, Fujita to Mizuta, Mizuta to Takamatsu)... considering the closeness of the schools historically, they should be pretty much the same realistically... the other Ishitani schools (outside of the Takamatsuden) share the same methods of movement, however in the Kan's, they don't... in the Kan's, they share the movement of the overall approach of that Kan...

One more time, though, if your aim is to follow the Bujinkan, then you should be doing the kata the way the Bujinkan does them. If you want to develop a broader expression of Budo Taijutsu, then do them the way the Bujinkan does, with the differences from ryu to ryu as they're shown there... which is what you've described. However, if you want to understand the ryu independent of the influence of Budo Taijutsu, then you'll start to realise that, from a ryu-ha perspective, they no longer retain their individual character, or, indeed, their original characteristics... in that sense, the actual ryu no longer exist... what is now around is Budo Taijutsu, and Budo Taijutsu adapted and altered schools... you could describe them all as "Hatsumi-ha", as they are realistically "new" versions or expressions... but, realistically, while that's the most generous way to view them, it's also a bit inaccurate... as they're not distinctly being taught as such. Just variations on a theme from Budo Taijutsu... with a few different flavours.
 

dunc

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Hi Chris

I'm sorry, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I think your desire to differentiate yourself from the Xkans mixed with an interest in going deep into the ryuha has clouded your judgment somewhat

Well, the most likely would be the following... a downward back-fist (ura-ken), omote and ura shuto-ken (kiten-ken), and tetsui-ken (hammer-fist striking). This then means that the methods of striking and receiving is based more on a rotation of the elbow... which makes the uke nagashi methods make perfect sense... as well as certain rather unusual aspects of the kata themselves (the ken kudaki strike to "the underneath of the elbow/hoshi" in Koku it's just not easy to hit if the attack is a punch, but if it's an ura-ken, then the elbow rotates around, exposing that target, and making the technique make sense.

To be honest, this then fits more with Classical Japanese arts... the idea of a stepping punch, or, really, a punching attack at all, is quite uncommon... the idea of a grab-and-punch attack is also pretty much unheard of... grab and hammer-fist, on the other hand, is pretty common/standard... so all those techniques in the Bujinkan expression where you have a grab and punch? Yeah... wrong, again.

Using Gyokko Ryu as a clear example above - I believe your basic premise is that you know better than Hatsumi sensei when it comes to how the kata should be performed
Despite the fact that he is the sole source of this ryuha....

And we have footage of Takamatsu sensei training against a grab and punch and standing in kamae to receive a punch, but you're suggesting that neither of these are correct either

My examples were perhaps too brief in their description, but popping a few comments in below in case they are helpful in explaining where I'm coming from
 

Chris Parker

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Hi Dunc,

Hi Chris

I'm sorry, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I think your desire to differentiate yourself from the Xkans mixed with an interest in going deep into the ryuha has clouded your judgment somewhat

Ha, no, I don't take any kind of offence at that... I understand exactly where you're coming from, and why you would think that, so all cool on that front. Of course, I have no desire to "differentiate" myself from the X-Kans at all... realistically, my desire is to be as honest to my own understanding of the arts as I can be...in fact, I would suggest that the following of what is done in the Bujinkan as being the accurate view of things (regarding the ryu themselves, obviously... when it comes to the Bujinkan approach, of course the Bujinkan and it's leadership is who you should be looking to) is more a case of "clouded judgement". To be blunt, I would say that I'm seeing things a lot more clearly than I have before...

Using Gyokko Ryu as a clear example above - I believe your basic premise is that you know better than Hatsumi sensei when it comes to how the kata should be performed

Well, that's a kinda loaded way to put it... "know better"? I don't know about that. What I would say, though, is that in applying my understanding of Classical Japanese arts, and by examining (closely) the body structure and organisation of the school, as well as how it's written (using Hatsumi's book, Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai as the primary source, as it's supposed to be essentially what is written in the densho, although I take that with a grain of salt or two), has lead me to a range of conclusions that has altered in large and small ways the way I see the school and it's methodologies. What I am not saying is that my version is me "knowing (the school) better" than Hatsumi or the Bujinkan... instead, I'm saying that the school has been necessarily altered to fit in the broader approach of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu... which is a different statement. Essentially, what I'm doing is reverse-engineering to what they were/would have been... am I right in this? Probably not, in a number of ways... but do I feel that it's closer? Yes.

But here's the thing... for yourself, for the Bujinkan, for, well, anyone else, it doesn't matter so much. I'm not trying to convince you to change the way you do things (as I've said, if you're part of the Bujinkan, you do it the way it's done in the Bujinkan, as that's what's "right" there), but hopefully I'm giving you a different perspective that can help broaden your appreciation of these arts.

Despite the fact that he is the sole source of this ryuha....

Which takes us to the idea of whether or not he's actually a source for it... but, of course, he's not the "sole source"... there's also the Genbukan, the Jinenkan... various off-shoots (including myself, of course), and, to be absolutely clear, technically Hatsumi is no longer the source for Gyokko Ryu... that would be Ishizuka. And, if you still think Hatsumi is "the source" (as opposed to a source), then you're denying his appointing of Ishizuka-s as the new soke, which would indicate that you don't believe that Ishizuka has the knowledge of a soke (or that his Menkyo Kaiden in Gyokko, which he got a number of decades ago, is valid as a source)...

The problem with all of this, of course, is it hinges on a few things... namely that Hatsumi got proper (full) transmission, rather than a partial education and a title from Takamatsu in the first place... then, that Hatsumi has similarly given the same full transmission in the school distinctly and separately... and, thirdly, that there has been no adjustment/adaptation to the methods of the school, drifting it away from it's actual approach. And, simply put, if point one didn't occur, then point two couldn't either, and point three is similarly moot. If point one did happen (full transmission), that's no guarantee that point two also occurred... and, of course, the idea of point three is, as I think I've demonstrated a number of times, something that has absolutely occurred (drift to bring the methods in line with the wider approach of the various Kan that it's found in).

What all of this comes back to, then, is the very first idea I gave in this thread... the schools aren't taught/transmitted as individual schools. They never have been. Functionally, they're dead schools, existing now only in parts that go into the make-up of the various Takamatsu-derived organisations, and as paper titles. And I believe that due to the high likelihood that Hatsumi firstly didn't learn the schools in that sense in the first place, and never taught them in anything like that format, due to his not learning them initially, combined with his views on such transmission and martial approaches (ie he doesn't like it).

Now, I'm going to try to make this clear as well... none of this is a criticism of Hatsumi, the Bujinkan, or anything else (we could get into that, but that's not what I'm doing here). It is, simply, an observation. Hatsumi wanted to create his own approach, which he did in Budo Taijutsu. That's laudable, and shows his creativity above all else... but, and here's where it gets to the point, in order for Budo Taijutsu to be "born", the ryu had to die. There's really no other way. So, either the Bujinkan (Hatsumi and all others) teach Budo Taijutsu, or they teach the ryu... and they don't teach the ryu. They teach material that comes from them, sure... but not the ryu themselves.

And we have footage of Takamatsu sensei training against a grab and punch and standing in kamae to receive a punch, but you're suggesting that neither of these are correct either

I'll start by saying I don't remember seeing footage of Takamatsu standing in kamae to receive a punch (the grab-and-punch, yeah), but no, what I was saying is that these types of attacks are simply not found in classical arts... they are found in modern ones (especially the stepping punch ones), and are found in a number of Chinese systems, but It's rare (to say the least) to have a stepping punch attack to the head. Say, here's an interesting thing, looking through the text in Unarmed Fighting... it never says "punch" (or tsuki, for that matter)... it simply says to "strike with the fist", or, more often, "strike" (utsu 打つ) as the most common term for the attacks... is that definitive? Nope. But it's an interesting thing to keep in mind...

To be honest, considering the relatively short time that Hatsumi was training with Takamatsu, both in terms of number of years, and actual training time, and the amount of information that would have needed to have been given, I don't find it particularly surprising to consider that Takamatsu would have used a basic framework to learn much of the technical material... it's also, I feel, a not-unfair statement to say that the uke side of things in Bujinkan training is under-developed, to say the least... whereas in most classical arts, that side is the senior one... in the Bujikan, though, it seems that the "attacker" is basically there to provide a shape/angle for the defender to do their thing... ukemi is focused on, sure, but the uke's role himself? Not so much. Certain teachers might look to that side more than others (before it gets said, no, I haven't seen every Bujinkan training session ever held by everyone), but it would certainly be in the minority in that case... and the question would be where their take on that side came from...

My examples were perhaps too brief in their description, but popping a few comments in below in case they are helpful in explaining where I'm coming from

As said, I get exactly where you're coming from, so no need to go into further detail... after all, talk to me 5 years ago, I'd be saying pretty much exactly what you are here, albeit with a number of caveats... at that point, I was already looking at how "accurate" the mechanics for things like Kukishin Ryu Kenpo are, which is kinda how this started (my looking more into how things "should" be)... but would have seen things much the same way you do, regarding what the "differences" are between the ryu... from my current perspective, though, that's just not how ryu-ha differences manifest... so I think the bigger issue is not me not following you, but more you not understanding my perspective, as Tony indicated. And that's fine, as I said, I'm not here to get you to move away from the Bujinkan and it's approach... just providing an alternate interpretation that may encourage some to re-think about how things are done, and why.
 

dunc

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Hi

On my phone so can’t really go through every point - apologies once again

On Gyokko: the curved movement applies to the attacks as well as the blocks and you don’t aim to be completely side on so it is different from how you articulate it I think
This form of punching (I agree with your point that the attacks are generally prescribed this is to allow for variations in them) makes uke nageshi the perfect response. I don’t think it’s the perfect response to a hammer fist BTW
By sole source I mean everything we know about the school comes from Hatsumi sensei. Probably each Soke will evolve and change things as they have done over the history of the schools

On Koto: seigan encompasses both footwork. This is an essential point and a key building block for the ryu
The power generation and footwork is done away from uke not towards them as you describe. This method of creating distance/space/time is a key building block

on Kuki: the tilting of the spine and bending of the knees arent for the reasons you describe. leaning is not great in armour and getting too low in armour is tiring
It’s for a couple of reasons some technical some contextual. You can see it a little in the video you posted and if you look closely the person executing the kata would benefit from leaning a little more (BTW a lot of consistency in the attacking methods using punches between the lineages)
You can also see Takamtsu sensei using his spine with this fundamental method when teaching bo
Interestingly and based on the video you posted I see no attempt from tori to disrupt or slow down his attacker. This seems to be an obvious error both from my understanding of the core teachings of the ryuha (which are manifest throughout including weapons work) and from a basic martial arts perspective (namely it’s almost impossible to apply a technique if you haven’t “worn your opponent down” or compromised them in some way)

On the transmission from Takamatsu to Hatsumi: Who knows for sure? But the facts that Takamatsu gave Hatsumi licences in the ryuha and we can see him teaching Hatsumi the forms from the schools would suggest different
i think we can safely say that Hatsumis understanding would exceed either of ours

I agree that the development of uke is generally neglected somewhat
 

Tony Dismukes

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it's also, I feel, a not-unfair statement to say that the uke side of things in Bujinkan training is under-developed, to say the least... whereas in most classical arts, that side is the senior one... in the Bujikan, though, it seems that the "attacker" is basically there to provide a shape/angle for the defender to do their thing... ukemi is focused on, sure, but the uke's role himself? Not so much.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my impression that in koryu arts it is common for the senior practitioner to play the uke role because it allows the more experienced person to feed an attack that provides the correct timing/distancing/energy/structure/etc that is appropriate for the counter being practiced. It also gives uke the option, if tori performs the technique incorrectly, of not going along with it and demonstrating how an attacker would take advantage of the mistake(s) made. Of course this requires that uke clearly understands not only the technique being practiced by tori, but also how to properly and successfully deliver the attack being countered and how to deal with inadequate defenses. (I sometimes do the same thing, in a much less formalized way, with my students.)

Assuming this is what you are referring to, then I agree with your assessment of the Bujinkan training with regard to uke. I think this has a number of detrimental effects. Practitioners end up training against attacks which are not only highly stylized, but also basically incompetent (in the sense that they would have essentially no chance of being successful against a decent fighter in any style). The uke also ends up being conditioned to respond to the counters in an unrealistic and overly cooperative manner, and this is one of the elements which ultimately leads to some instructors demonstrating completely nonsensical techniques.

This is why when I'm teaching, even while drilling cooperative reps, I check to make sure the uke isn't just feeding the correct energy to their partners to allow the technique to work. I also check to make sure they aren't making the technique too easy by having bad structure or balance or taking a dive when the technique is done incorrectly.
 

punisher73

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I know I'm gonna do a little bit of a thread necro here.

Just to try and clarify for myself: Hatsumi published the "Togakure Ryu Ninpo" book in the early 80's. Based on reading through here, it sounds like that was the "banner" that was being used at the time and the things explained and shown in the book are not exclusively from the Togakure school, but also included large parts of the other schools (mainly Gyokko Ryu?)
 

Chris Parker

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Hi Dunc,

Sorry for the delay in response.

Hi

On my phone so can’t really go through every point - apologies once again

On Gyokko: the curved movement applies to the attacks as well as the blocks and you don’t aim to be completely side on so it is different from how you articulate it I think
This form of punching (I agree with your point that the attacks are generally prescribed this is to allow for variations in them) makes uke nageshi the perfect response. I don’t think it’s the perfect response to a hammer fist BTW
By sole source I mean everything we know about the school comes from Hatsumi sensei. Probably each Soke will evolve and change things as they have done over the history of the schools

On Koto: seigan encompasses both footwork. This is an essential point and a key building block for the ryu
The power generation and footwork is done away from uke not towards them as you describe. This method of creating distance/space/time is a key building block

on Kuki: the tilting of the spine and bending of the knees arent for the reasons you describe. leaning is not great in armour and getting too low in armour is tiring
It’s for a couple of reasons some technical some contextual. You can see it a little in the video you posted and if you look closely the person executing the kata would benefit from leaning a little more (BTW a lot of consistency in the attacking methods using punches between the lineages)
You can also see Takamtsu sensei using his spine with this fundamental method when teaching bo

I've tried to put together a response to this a few times, but, in the end, I think there's not a lot of point to it... mainly as it'll basically come down to my saying that all the Bujinkan schools (as taught there) apply the same basic structure and concepts with variations within them, but not in any way that indicates actual distinction between ryu, and you'll respond that "these are the distinctions", where I'll say "no, those are variations", and we'll go round in circles... in essence, my point is that, outside of faith in Hatsumi and the Bujinkan approach, all evidence points to the conclusion that the schools are not really individual schools there... with logical conclusions being either that Hatsumi changed them all to match a single approach, or that he never really got them as distinct, separate schools from Takamatsu in the first place.

But here's the thing... if your only real exposure is within the Bujinkan and it's approach, and you use internal Bujinkan understanding to validate that belief, then I would be highly doubtful that you would ever really see what I'm saying. That's not a slight, of course, just saying you can only see what you understand... and, as said, it is mainly through my koryu exposure that I've come to realise this to the degree that I have now... in other words, only by going well outside the Bujinkan's methods could I start to understand, and therefore, see what I had already suspected. Especially because I do multiple koryu.

To go through a couple of your comments, though, as I do feel they deserve an individual response, there are a few things I'd like to clarify:

(re: Gyokko Ryu)
This form of punching (I agree with your point that the attacks are generally prescribed this is to allow for variations in them) makes uke nageshi the perfect response. I don’t think it’s the perfect response to a hammer fist BTW

I would recommend playing with it a bit... see how easy it is to strike the jakkin with uke nagashi when the elbow is rolled over (hand vertical in a punch), or kept underneath (tetsuiken). You'll also find that the range shortens a bit, making the target much more attainable than a fully extended "punch"... but, really, there's no issue with you keeping doing things the Bujinkan way... I'd expect that you would, really!

I do think you've missed the point about how the attacks are written, though... it's not at all that they were written just saying "strike", or "strike with the right" or similar to allow for variations... that's, bluntly, a common thing I hear that I attribute to a lack of education in the subject. What needs to be remembered is that a) the documents aren't "teaching notes", they're often rather shorthand descriptions (sometimes just names) presented to people who have been training in the techniques for a length of time... the strike doesn't need to be absolutely identified, as the person with the scroll knows exactly what strike it refers to... b) the "assumed knowledge" (which includes that you've trained the techniques correctly for a time) needs to be understood in cultural context... and the cultural context for types of attacks and violence found in old systems is that, simply, straight punches to the head almost don't exist... straight punches to the body, yeah, but to the head it's almost always a hammer fist or shuto-style strike.... because none of them are meant to be hand strikes. They're representative weapon attacks (stab the body, cut to the head/neck), and c) a more vague description means that someone from another school getting hold of the scroll won't know the exact method or angle of the attack/strike. To think that this means you can "choose" or explore whatever strike you want is to completely misunderstand the reasons for the way the scroll is written.

On Koto: seigan encompasses both footwork.

Here's where the real disconnect is... I'm not talking about a variation in footwork, I'm talking about a completely different body structure and organisation... so, yeah, the way you describe things is how they're done in the Bujinkan... but not necessarily in Koto Ryu (if you were to find it separated from the X-Kan). What you're describing is an adaptation of the actual school into the mechanics and organisational structure (body) of the Bujinkan's Budo Taijutsu approach... again, we can go round in circles, but we're describing two different things... which is the point I've been making.

This also then ties into the whole "Hatsumi is the sole source we've got"... if you only take the way that these methods are taught within the Bujinkan, with Hatsumi as the "sole source", then, simply, you're not going to see what I'm talking about... which is fine if your aim is to understand and follow the Bujinkan (and Hatsumi). I'm not tied to that at all, so I'm free to look well and truly beyond him... however, I will note that, by taking that as the "sole truth" it can lead to some rather blinkered understandings when looking at the wider world.

Interestingly and based on the video you posted I see no attempt from tori to disrupt or slow down his attacker. This seems to be an obvious error both from my understanding of the core teachings of the ryuha (which are manifest throughout including weapons work) and from a basic martial arts perspective (namely it’s almost impossible to apply a technique if you haven’t “worn your opponent down” or compromised them in some way)

This is what I'm talking about... you're only seeing this through the frame-work of your understanding of the "core teachings of the ryu-ha"... well, who says your understanding of the core teachings are actually the core teachings of the ryu, and not just the expression of some facets of the school (or even not from the ryu itself at all) as taught within the context of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu? What makes you think (other than faith in Hatsumi) that what you do is true to the "core teachings of the ryu-ha"? How do you qualify that to mean? How do you know what the weapons work is meant to be like (to clarify that, I have yet to see what I would identify as correct weapons usage in the Bujinkan, mainly as I don't think it's a factor in the way weapons are explored [rather than "taught"] there...)?

On another forum, a video was posted of Inoue Kyoichi-sensei, 19th Soke of Hontai Yoshin Ryu (at that time, his father, Minaki-sensei, was the 17th soke, and Inoue's father, Inoue Tsuyoshi-sensei would later become the 18th... for clarification, Hontai Yoshin Ryu is a branch of the Takagi Ryu, with Minaki being a student of Kakuno Happeita, who also received his licence from Ishitani [read as Ishiya here and in other lineages... interesting that only the Takamatsuden arts use the pronunciation "Ishitani"...] Takeo) performing some bojutsu, which is described in the school as being from Kukishin Ryu. Inoue-sensei performed these techniques solo, being made up of about 4 of the kihon waza, and a couple of sequences taken largely from their kumitachi methods (the school has 10 kamae, 8 kihon, and 10 kata (for reference, I have trained with the local Hontai Yoshin Ryu group in their Bo, Hanbo, Iai, and Ken methods), with the last one being based on their 8th kata, Nagi Ranpu... in your comments, you described them as "just posing"... "the strikes are ok, but (the spinning) gets a bit silly, imo"...

Now, one could point out that the Hontai Yoshin Ryu has gone through a fair amount of change between Kakuno-sensei and Minaki-sensei's leadership, with the school being restructured, creating a whole series of more fundamental throwing, locking, and striking kata, reducing the bo to 10 kata (the mainline of Takagi Ryu maintains 24 bojutsu kata, similar to Kukishin Ryu mainline... the mainline of Takagi Ryu also traces back to a student of Kakuno), and keeping pretty much only the Omote no Kata from the Shoden, and some Muto (Tachi) Dori, as well as some new methods for Tantodori and so forth... so it could be expected that the Hontai Yoshin Ryu is less likely to be representative of the school, so the Bujinkan could have it right... however, the Hontai Yoshin Ryu matches the Takagi Ryu mainline, Shingetsu Muso Yanagi Ryu (another school tracing from the Takagi Ryu, but from a much earlier generation), and has a lot of similarities to the Kukishin branches, including the mainline... really, the outlier is the Bujinkan approach... so taking the Bujinkan as the "correct" method is, using Occam's razor, not the most likely...

In addition to this, there are any number of facets that I would point to that further reduces the likelihood of Bujinkan approaches of accuracy in the teachings... on the same forum, when the topic of embu came up, a Bujinkan member made the comment that "Embu is something of a demo, or a presentation of the art, often theatrical. It is done in a manner to present the art to the public, and a way of showcasing the movements and ideas within it." This is, frankly, completely backwards... they aren't about "demonstrating to the public", nor are they "theatrical" (quite the opposite), and so on... but, of course, these ideas do match the concept of a Bujinkan embu, which is where the ideas came from... however it really goes against a lot of the basic tenets and concepts of classical systems. You also have a rather popular video (among Bujinkan members) of Someya showing sword etiquette and handing (non-combative), often accompanied by comments that "this should be watched by everyone", or "this is very important information!"... except, of course, that what he shows isn't really anything like the standard etiquette for sword handling in a number of facets... the way he teaches to hand a sword over, for example, is just... honestly, a bit bizarre. There are comments about how, if you don't do what he's showing at something like a sword store, people will consider you ill-educated... frankly, the opposite is true. Do what is shown, and you'll be the "strange foreigner" who doesn't know what they're doing, but hey, at least they're trying! Then there's the inconsistencies in mechanics of weapon handling, and more, all of which add up to the comments I've been making here.

What I'm basically saying is that, if what you see from anywhere group teaching a related art doesn't match what you expect, it doesn't mean it's lacking in the "core concepts" of the art... it's just as likely that what you're seeing is showing how the Bujinkan expression doesn't match the core concepts of the ryu... in fact, I would say more likely.

On the transmission from Takamatsu to Hatsumi: Who knows for sure? But the facts that Takamatsu gave Hatsumi licences in the ryuha and we can see him teaching Hatsumi the forms from the schools would suggest different

Does it? Do we have footage of Hatsumi being taught all the forms from all the systems? We have some basic locks and throws, as well as a couple of Takagi-ryu kata, and some basic weapon handling... but that's not the same thing at all. In addition, integrating the ryu is a lot more than just learning the sequence of movements (and, again, the simple time involved would likely indicate that even that didn't happen over Hatsumi's time with Takamatsu), it's a matter of training your body to conform to particular body organisation and structure, mindsets, movement methods, distancing concepts, power generation, and more... all of which are unique to the individual schools themselves. And, looking through the footage we have, the focus seems more on learning sequences, not about integrating a ryu-centric understanding (although, of course, we have snippets at best of a 10-year period... so this is also far from absolutely conclusive... the footage we have could be from the very beginning of Hatsumi's study, after all, and the focus could have changed a fair bit as time went on... I don't personally believe that, but that's not something we have an answer to).

i think we can safely say that Hatsumis understanding would exceed either of ours

I like the optimism here, and logically, it would make sense... the problem is that there has been little to no evidence of any such understanding. As I said, this is probably the most controversial line of discussion I could give... but, honestly, it's only based on what we have to work with. We know that Hatsumi trained with Takamatsu (after Ueno). We know that Takamatsu licenced him in at least 6 ryu, with one more being something he potentially just got some documents on, another purely as "paperwork", and a third as something that mysteriously got added a number of years after Takamatsu's passing. We know that he got these licences within 10 years of starting his training with Takamatsu. We have footage of Hatsumi learning a few techniques with Takamatsu, including some ryu-ha kata, and some kihon (both weapons and unarmed).

We can also see that the ryu-ha are far less "distinct" within the Bujinkan as outside, and that there are some major and notable differences between the schools taught in the Bujinkan and outside. We also know that Hatsumi has been critical of how he perceives classical arts (koryu), and teaches in a way that is pretty much opposite to such arts, with more emphasis on creativity and "feeling" than on accuracy of technique and transmission. We know that, for much of the first couple of decades of the Bujinkan, there was no distinction made between where any of the techniques or methods came from, and that, even today, principles, concepts, actions, movements, techniques, and so on from various schools are (almost casually) borrowed from each other constantly with no regard for any kind of purity of the schools. We know that membership are ranked in Hatsumi's creation of Budo Taijutsu, not the ryu-ha, although some of the older members had specific school licences (and now soke titles), these aren't really done, and the manner in which they were given out was not really linked to actual study of the ryu from any indication we have.

So, we have a situation where ryu aren't taught and transmitted in a way that would ensure the schools are treated properly, in fact, the very methodology that would ensure that is actively worked against, and the head of these systems is not a fan of the approach that would be deemed as necessary... His understanding might very well be there... but it makes no appearance in any aspect of the organisation other than in name and some variations to a base approach applied across the board.

Mind you, if I'm going to continue to insist that the schools aren't taught correctly, might I request that you indulge me in answering a few questions? They're really quite simple, and shouldn't tax you, nor are they giving away any "secrets" in any way... they're simply about the kamae found within certain areas (not how they're done, just what they are, really). Thanks.

Can you name the schools that have Hira Ichimonji (standing flat, hands held straight out to the sides) within them?
Can you name the kamae for Kukishin Ryu Bojutsu Keiko Sabaki Gata?
Can you name the primary kamae for Kukishin Ryu Kenpo?

Thanks!

I agree that the development of uke is generally neglected somewhat

To be honest, I don't know that many in the Bujinkan would understand what the role of the uke actually is... as, again, it isn't a factor in the way the Bujinkan operates.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my impression that in koryu arts it is common for the senior practitioner to play the uke role because it allows the more experienced person to feed an attack that provides the correct timing/distancing/energy/structure/etc that is appropriate for the counter being practiced. It also gives uke the option, if tori performs the technique incorrectly, of not going along with it and demonstrating how an attacker would take advantage of the mistake(s) made. Of course this requires that uke clearly understands not only the technique being practiced by tori, but also how to properly and successfully deliver the attack being countered and how to deal with inadequate defenses. (I sometimes do the same thing, in a much less formalized way, with my students.)

That's a part of it all, yes. There are other technical aspects, and there are a range of philosophical aspects as well (I sent out an email to my students recently covering this aspect by pointing out some of the facets of In-Yo Taoist dualities that are enshrined in such practices), and some pedagogical reasons, for both sides. One of the biggest is on the nature of the transmission, and ensuring that the school is passed down correctly at all levels. The rest is more assurances that that's the case.

Assuming this is what you are referring to, then I agree with your assessment of the Bujinkan training with regard to uke. I think this has a number of detrimental effects. Practitioners end up training against attacks which are not only highly stylized, but also basically incompetent (in the sense that they would have essentially no chance of being successful against a decent fighter in any style). The uke also ends up being conditioned to respond to the counters in an unrealistic and overly cooperative manner, and this is one of the elements which ultimately leads to some instructors demonstrating completely nonsensical techniques.

Yeah, I think these are all fair assessments.

This is why when I'm teaching, even while drilling cooperative reps, I check to make sure the uke isn't just feeding the correct energy to their partners to allow the technique to work. I also check to make sure they aren't making the technique too easy by having bad structure or balance or taking a dive when the technique is done incorrectly.

Good plan. That's how it should be. Of course, it also needs to be relative to the level of the student, but I'm sure you're taking that into consideration as well.

I know I'm gonna do a little bit of a thread necro here.

Ha, no, I've been meaning to come back to this thread for these responses for a bit...

Just to try and clarify for myself: Hatsumi published the "Togakure Ryu Ninpo" book in the early 80's. Based on reading through here, it sounds like that was the "banner" that was being used at the time and the things explained and shown in the book are not exclusively from the Togakure school, but also included large parts of the other schools (mainly Gyokko Ryu?)

Very much so. In fact, the "Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu" book (sometimes loving called "the purple book" from it's cover) is really just a somewhat early version of the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki... which is the closest thing the Bujinkan has to a standardised syllabus (if it was used that way universally, and followed with consistency and quality control, the Bujinkan would, I feel, be a much different organisation... of course, it's a text of Budo Taijutsu... but we'll get to that). In fact, let's look at the contents:

Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu is divided up into sections: Ten Ryaku no Maki, Ten-Chi no Maki, and Jin Ryaku no Maki.
The Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki is divided up into sections: Ten Ryaku no Maki, Chi Ryaku no Maki, and Jin Ryaku no Maki.

The Ten Ryaku no Maki for TRNT is as follows:
- Authors Introduction
- Bujin Shoku to Seikatsu (Warrior Food and Lifestyle)
- Junan Undo to Kokyuho (Stretching/Conditioning and Breathing)
- Ryutai Undo ("Dragon Body" Conditioning)
- Kokyuho (Breathing Methods)
- Shinkokyu San'aun (Deep Breathing Three "Aun" - a form of Buddhist mantra in meditation)
- Taihenjutsu ("Body changing skills" - methods of receiving)
- Kaiten (rolling)
- Shiho Tenchi Tobi (Four directional Heaven/Earth Leaping)
- Zenpo Ukemigata to Ryusui (Forward Break-falls and Flowing Methods of Receiving)
- Shinken Gata Taihenjutsu (Evasion and Receiving Methods Against a Real Sword/In a Real Situation [Gyokko Ryu])
- Ukemi no Jutsu to Ankoku Toshijutsu (Receiving Skills and Night-sight Development)
- Kamae to Sonso Gata (Postures and Movements - for reference, the kamae are: Fudoza [Shinden Fudo], Ryuho [Gyokko], Ryuho Fusetsu. [Gyokko], Shizen [various], Hoko [listed in my copy as "Hi no Kamae", Koto], Doko [Togakure - there's also a similar one with the same name in Gyokko], Jumonji [Gyokko], Hicho [Gyokko], Ichi [listed as "Ichimonji", this is Togakure Ryu's Ichi no Kamae, as opposed to Gyokko's Ichimonji], Ihen [not a specific kamae or school, similar in this instance to nageuchi no kamae, or the posture of throwing a strike], Hira Ichimonji [named here as Hira - various])
- Shoten no Jutsu ("Heavenly Climbing" Skills [Togakure Ryu])
- Ukenagashi (Receiving Flow/Blocking)
- Hiken Juroppo (16 Secret Fists/Striking Methods - for reference, listed here are: Kikakuken [headbutt], Shukiken [elbow], Fudoken ["regular" fist], Kitenken [hand edge, also called Shutoken], Shishinken [end of the fingertip], Shitanken [extended fingers], Gyokakuken ["demon horn fist", extending the index and little finger], Sanshitanken [extending the three main fingers], Shishitanken [extending all four fingers together], Shuken ["beak" fist], Shakoken ["hand claw"], Shitoken [also called Boshiken, the tip of the thumb], Shikanken [extended knuckles - two forms are shown, all four fingers first knuckles, or just the middle finger, which is the Gyokko Ryu form], Koppoken [middle knuckle of the thumb], Happaken [palm], Taiken ["body fist" - striking items not covered, such as hips, or shoulders], Sokuyakuken [sole of the foot], Sokkiken [ knee], Sokugyakuken [top of the foot], Kiken ["spirit fist"]
- Sanshin no Kata ("Three Hearts" Techniques [Gyokko Ryu])
- Kihon Happo (Fundamental Methods [Gyokko Ryu])
- Koshi Dai Ippo-Dai Sanpo ("Hip" Methods 1-3/Kihon Happo Striking Techniques, also called the Moto Gata)
- Torite Gata Dai Ippo-Dai Goho (Seizing Methods 1-5, Kihon Happo Grappling Methods)
- Kyusho to Kiai (Striking Points and Kiai/Energy Harmonizing)
- Koppojutsu Kinketsu Teisoku Kasho Meisho (Striking Points Lists)

Ten Ryaku no Maki from TCJRnM
- Ukemi Gata Taihenjutsu (Receiving Body Changing Techniques)
- Kyuhen no Kata (9 Changing Techniques)
- Taihen Ukemi Gata - Mae Gaeshi (Forwards "Turn Over"/somersault)
Zenpo Kaiten (Forwards Roll)
- Yoko Gaeshi (Sideways Roll)
- Ushiro Gaeshi (Backwards Roll)
- Zenpo Ukemi (Forwards Break-fall)
- Ryusui (Flowing Like Water)
- Shiho Tenchi Tobi (Four Directional Heaven/Earth Leap)
- Shoten no Jutsu ("Heavenly" Climbing Techniques)
- Hokojutsu (Walking Methods)
- So Shin So Soku Ho
- Hyojo Hoko
- Mu-on no Ho
- Shizen Gyoun Ryusui (Flowing Naturally In Response)
- Soshin Gokei Gogyo no Kata/Sanshin no Kata ("Three Hearts" Patterns [Gyokko Ryu])
- Kihon Happo Gata [Gyokko Ryu]
- Kosshi Kihon Sanpo (Fundamental Three Methods of Kosshi, also known as the Moto Gata)
- Torite Kihon Gata Goho (Five Methods of Seizing Fundamentals)
- Kyu Kamae (Nine Kamae - listed are: Fudoza [Shinden Fudo], Shizen [various], Hira Ichimonji [various], Ichimonji [Gyokko], Doko [Togakure], Hicho [Gyokko], Hoko [Koto], Kosei [Kukishin], Jumonji [Gyokko])
- Taihenjutsu Mutodori (Body Changing Sword Defence [Gyokko Ryu])
- Hoken Juroppo Ken (16 Striking Treasures - listed are: Kikaku Ken [headbutt], Shukiken [ Elbow], Fudoken ["regular" fist], Kitenken ["hand sword", Shutoken], Shishinken [tip of one finger], Shitanken [extended fingers], Shakoken [hand claw], Shitoken [tip of the thumb, also called Boshiken], Shikanken [extended knuckle], Koppoken [thumb knuckle], Happaken [palm], Sokuyakuken [sole of the foot], Sokkiken [knee], Sokugyakuken [top of the foot], Taiken ["body" weapon], Shizenken ["natural" weapons, teeth, nails, etc])

Ten-Chi no Maki (TRNT)
- Keri (Kicks)
- Keri ni Taisuru Uke Gata (Receiving Against Kicking Attacks)
- Ken no Tsukai Kata Inashigata (Methods of Using Fists)
- Aite to Kumu Koko Kogamae (Principles in Grappling With An Enemy)
- Tehodoki (Grip Escapes)
- Oyagoroshi, Kogoroshi (Killing the Parent, Killing the Child - note: these are Tehodoki methods)
The next list are various joint locks.
- Takeori ("Bamboo Breaking" [Kukishin])
- Omote/Ura Oni Kudaki (Outer/Inner Demon Crushing [Kukishin/Takagi])
- Muso Dori ("No Thought" Capture [Koto, Kukishin, Takagi])
- Ogyaku to Henka ("Big Reverse" variations)
The next list are chokes.
- Shime Waza (Strangling Techniques)
- Koroshi Jime ("Killing" Choke)
- Jigoku, Gokuraku, Yume no Makura ("Hell", "Paradise", "Dream Pillow" - a section, with these names coming from Kukishin and Takagi methods)
The next section deals with throws.
- Nage (Throws)
- Harai Goshi, Harai Otoshi (Sweeping Hip, Sweeping Drop)
- Gyaku Nage (Reverse Throw)
- Taki Otoshi ("Cataract" Drop)
- Osotonage to Hiki Otoshi (Rear Throw and Pulling Drop)
- Uchimata Uchigake (Inner Thigh, Inner Hook)
- Haneage (Snapping Lift)
- Itamiken Nage ("Painful Weapon" Throw)
- Nage ni Taisuku Waza (Defences Against Throws)
- Ransetsu to Soto (these are two sacrifice-throw kata from Koto Ryu)

Chi Ryaku no Maki (TCJRnM)
- Hajutsu Kyu Ho (Nine Methods of Breaking [grips/structure])
- Tehodoki (Grip Breaks)
- Taihodoki (Body Grip Breaks)
- Oya Goroshi (Kill the Parent [Tehodoki])
- Ko Goroshi (Kill the Child [Tehodoki])
- Koshi Kudaki ("Hip Crush", Throw Breaking)
- Keri Kudaki (Kick Breaking)
- Keri Kudaki (Kick Breaking [listed twice])
- Ken Kudaki (Strike Breaking)
- Torite Kihon Dori (Fundamental Grabbing and Capturing Methods)
- Migite Omote Gyaku (Right Hand Outer Reversal)
- Ura Gyaku (Inner Reversal)
- Suwari Gata (Seated Techniques)
- Ichi Geki
- Osae Komi (these two kata are similar to some Shinden Fudo Ryu Taijutsu methods, but are not strictly from any known ryu)
- Happo Keri Henka no Koto (Eight Methods/Directions of Kicking Variations)
- Sukui Keri (Scooping Kicks)
- Hito
- Kappi
- Konpi (the above are three kata from Koto Ryu)
- Jumonji
- Keri Sukui
- Ashi Dome (these are not from a defined school)
- Gyaku Waza (Joint Lock/"Reversal" Techniques)
- Take Ori (Kukishin)
- Omote Gyaku (various)
- Ura Gyaku (various)
- Hon Gyaku (various, found in Gyokko, Takagi dominantly... the name comes from Asayama Ichiden Ryu, though...)
- Omote Oni Kudaki (Kukishin, Takagi)
- Ura Oni Kudaki (Kukishin, Takagi)
- Musha Dori (various)
- Muso Dori (Koto, Kukishin, Takagi)
- O Gyaku (various)
- Nage Kata (Throwing Techniques - dominantly from Kukishin, Takagi)
- Ganseki Nage
- Harai Goshi
- Gyaku Nage
- Taki Otoshi
- Osoto Nage
- Uchimata Uchigake
- Hane Nage
- Itami Nage
- Ryusui Iki (Sacrifice Throw)
- Tomoe Nage
- Tachi Nagare
- Yoko Nagare
- Temakura
- Shime Waza Go Gata (Five Choking Techniques - dominantly from Takagi)
- Hon Jime
- Gyaku Jime
- Itami Jime
- Sankaku Jime
- Do Jime

Jin Ryaku no Maki (TRNT)
- Kumi Uchi (Close Combat Methods)
- Ashirau Ippo-Yonpo (Footwork Methods 1-4)
- Musan (Shinden Fudo)
- Rakurai (no defined ryu)
- Chikusei (Shinden Fudo Ryu Taijutsu)
- Fudo (Shinden Fudo)
- Koku (Gyokko)
- Konpi (Koto)
- Hito (Koto)
- Kappi (Koto)
- Gyakuryu (Gyokko)
- Katamaki (Koto)
- Koyoku (Koto)
- Renyo (Gyokko)
- Shiho Dori (Kukishin)
- Kasasagi (Gyokko)
- Ko (Gyokko)
- Ku, Gyaku Otoshi (the name is from Takagi Ryu, but the method shown is Hissaku from Koto Ryu)
- Joseigoshinjutsu (Women's Self Defence Techniques)
- Roto (Shinden Fudo)
- Hane Kujiki (no defined school)
- Ryo Yoku (the name is found in Shinden Fudo, but it's a different technique)
- Shinsen (Koto)
- Ichi Tai Tasu (One Versus Many)
- Shinken Shirohadome to Shiroha Dori ("Real Sword" Stopping and Capturing the Edge of a Blade)
- Muto Dori (Unarmed Sword Capture)
- Sekiryoku (Koto)
- Koryo (Gyokko)
- Chingan (Gyokko)
- Hissaku (Koto - variation)
- Fumo (Gyokko)
- Bakko (Koto)
- Muko Dori (Takagi)
- Shika Ashi (Kukishin - variation)
- Shuriki (Koto)
- Akuken (Shinden Fudo - variation)
- Gokuraku (Takagi - variation)
- Fudo (Shinden Fudo - variation)
- Shiroha Dome (principle from Takagi)
- Shiroha Dori (principle from Takagi)
-Totekijutsu (Throwing Blade Art)
- Tsubute and Kurumi
- Ishi Nage (stone throwing)
- Senban Nage (throwing blade)
- Metsubushi (blinding powders)
- Ita Shuriken/Hira Shuriken (flat shuriken)
- Kakushi Buki (Hidden Weapons)
- Shuko
- Shinden Gokui (Divine Secret Transmissions)
- Atogaki (Afterword)

Jin Ryaku no Maki (TCJRnM)
- Ichi Geki
- Osae Komi
- Ude Ori (the three above are based on Shinden Fudo Ryu Taijutsu, but not found in the school itself in these forms)
- Kana Shibari
- Tengu Dori (the above two are based on Takagi Ryu kata, and make a pair)
- Ketsu Myaku (Gyokko)
- Tai Jime (based on Takagi Ryu)
- Jigoku Otoshi (based on Takagi Ryu)
- Keri ni Taishite (Against Kicks)
- Koto (no defined school)
- Huko Sono Ichi (no defined school)
- Huko Sono Ni (no defined school)
- Nage Kaeshi (Throw Counters)
- O Gyaku (Koto)
- Atami Dori (no defined school)
- Fu Kan (Shinden Fudo)
- Koyoku (Koto)
- Hoteki (Koto)
- Ate Nage (Takagi)
- Setto (Koto)
- Hissaku (Koto)
- Hito (Koto)
- Seion (Kukishin)
- Yume Makura (Kukishin)
- Ryote Kake (Takagi)
- Fudo (Shinden Fudo)
- Gokuraku Otoshi (Takagi)
- Teiken (Gyokko)
- Setsu Yaku (Shinden Fudo)
- Musan (Shinden Fudo)
- Gekkan (Shinden Fudo)
- Katamaki (Koto)
- Konoki (Koto)
- U Gari (Shinden Fudo)
- Shizen (Shinden Fudo)
- Haibu Yori (Rear Grab Breaking)
- Yuki Kudaki (Gyokko)
- Sakketsu (Gyokko)
- Kin Kudaki (no defined school)
- Unjaku (Shinden Fudo, also called Hibari)
- Kito (no defined school, also called Keta Otoshi)
- Shiho Dori (Kukishin)
- Moguri Dori (Kukishin)
- Koku (Gyokko)
- Renyo (Gyokko)
- Saka Nagare (Gyokko)
- Kasasagi (Gyokko)
- Ko (Gyokko)
- Soto (Koto)
- Ransetsu (Koto)
- Muto Dori Kata (Unarmed Sword Defence)
- Ken Kobushi/Ken Nagare (generic, name from Takagi)
- Santo Tonso no Kata ("Practice Forms of the Escaping Rat" - all from Togakure)
- Kata Ude Tonso
- Migi Ude Tonso
- Hidari Ude Tonso
- Migi Tonso
- Kubitsugi Tonso
- Atekomi Tonso
- Kote Uchi Tonso
- Migi Uchi Tonso
- Sayu Kumogakure Tonso
- Kosei Kirigakure
- Happo Kirigakure

So, what you can see by these is that the basic structure is the same, as well as a good degree of the content... in addition, most of it is from schools other than Togakure (the end of the Tenchijin is specifically Togakure, but that doesn't feature in the Togakure Ryu book itself...).
 

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