Why did the Katana and some Chinese swords like the Jian develops schools of unorthodox grip approach but European styles never did?

Oily Dragon

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Hate to be disagreeable.. but the whole notion of him inventing nito is pretty farfetched. There are accounts of others doing so earlier. And he was taught in that style by his father.
He didn't invent anything.

He made it work though. The five element theory.
 

lklawson

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Trolling you by referring to the famous ronin with the 61-0 dueling record
According to him with no independent verification. Did I mention my own 112 to 0 dueling record?

who developed 鈭憭拐瘚 in the 17th century?
If you believe he was the first dude to pair a short blade in one hand and a long blade in the other then I've got a bridge to sell you. Heck the very term "left hand dagger" to refer to that in Europe dates to the 16th century and examples go on back through time.

No, I don't think 鈭憭拐瘚 is nearly as old as pooping. You might be, though. How's that for trolling?
I might be. But that doesn't make Musashi's dual-weapon use particularly innovative. And your claim he made "European swordplay look like a picnic" really reads like trolling.
 

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According to him with no independent verification. Did I mention my own 112 to 0 dueling record?
Bah. Rookie. I'm at 280-0.
If you believe he was the first dude to pair a short blade in one hand and a long blade in the other then I've got a bridge to sell you. Heck the very term "left hand dagger" to refer to that in Europe dates to the 16th century and examples go on back through time.
I think paring a long blade and a short blade likely goes back as long as people have been fighting with blades.
I do think the rapier & main gauche combination is both the most deadly and the most elegant.
 

Oily Dragon

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According to him with no independent verification. ....really reads like trolling.

No he didn't, but yes, you do.

Now, troll, explain why you just lied about his record.

Japanese history vs. you. go.
 

lklawson

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Innovative and revolutionary are not the same thing.
Innovative: Characterized by the creation of new ideas or things

Dual wielding weapons was not a new idea by Musashi's time. Therefore, not innovative.

Revolutionary: Marked by or resulting in radical change.

Because dual wielding weapons was comparatively common around the world there was no "radical change." Therefore not revolutionary.
 
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Oily Dragon

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Innovative: Characterized by the creation of new ideas or things

Dual wielding weapons was not a new idea by Musashi's time. Therefore, not innovative.

Revolutionary: Marked by or resulting in radical change.

Because dual wielding weapons was comparatively common around the world there was no "radical change." Therefore not revolutionary.
Great job! You proved innovative and revolutionary are, in fact, not the same thing.

Because when I said revolutionary, the zen enso must have been obvious to a gentle scholar such as yourself.

1636483035916.png
 
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Oily Dragon

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Best book on Niten Doraku, ever.

Heh, swords. Musashi mastered the jutte and shuriken too.

So unorthodox it hurt.

1636482698435.png
 
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ATTENTION ALL USERS:

Strongly held opinions are good. Debating them is good. Calling people names during the debate is not good. And it violates the Terms of Service.
So stop it. Keep the conversation polite and professional.

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Chris Parker

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Okay... as the central question of the thread was answered pretty simply, and clearly, by Kirk already, I'm only going to concern myself with the Musashi part of all this...

Musashi used a style using two swords, so, one hand per sword. But this style, he wrote, was best for taking a prisoner.

Actually, no, he didn't. The only reference to "taking prisoners" in the Gorin no Sho is stating that you should use the appropriate tool to the job (and not be dependent on any one tool or style of weapon), commenting that a spear is of limited applicability in taking prisoners. When it comes to applying nito, he stated that that is best applied against a group of enemies, and the first time he used it in combat was in the third encounter with the Yoshioka, where (depending on the record you read), the ambush set for Musashi involved between 70 and 200 swordsmen... he cut down enough of them that the rest scattered.

It is, and its greatest proponent really did make all of European swordplay look like a picnic.

The style was revolutionary...two streamlined sabers, one in each hand? Ingenious.

I think the term "revolutionary" is not really accurate here... additionally, he didn't use "two streamlined sabres, one in each hand", it was a daisho set (long and short).

Trolling you by referring to the famous ronin with the 61-0 dueling record who developed 鈭憭拐瘚 in the 17th century?

No, I don't think 鈭憭拐瘚 is nearly as old as pooping. You might be, though. How's that for trolling?

"Ronin"? No, he wasn't.

61-0 record? Not sure where you got the exact number from... in the Gorin no Sho, he simply states that he has had "as many as 60 matches" (or "duelled more than 60 times", or "fought more than 60 times", or similar, depending on the translation you look at). Some records indicate around 64 or 65, for instance...

Oh, and Kirk wasn't suggesting that Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu was that old, but that dual wielding is... in case you missed that.

Hate to be disagreeable.. but the whole notion of him inventing nito is pretty farfetched. There are accounts of others doing so earlier. And he was taught in that style by his father.

This is where we get to the "revolutionary or not" aspect.

Did Musashi invent dual wielding for Japanese swords? Nope. Schools such as Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu predate Musashi by about 150 years (as you know, Brendan), and contain two-sword methods (referred there to Ryoto). Other arts also include it, such as Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Yagyu Shingan Ryu (often with two kodachi), Araki Ryu Gunyo Kogusoku (in their iai... quite interesting!), Shingyoto Ryu, Shinto Muso Ryu (in their Uchidachi methods, as well as in the Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu portion), Tendo Ryu Naginata (with two medium sized single hand swords... a bit shorter than a "regular" katana, but longer than a kodachi), and so on and so forth. And, aside from one school there, there isn't a direct connection back to Musashi in any of them (in fact, the records of Katori Shinto Ryu show Musashi as having trained with them for a little while, as well as with the Takenouchi Ryu in their records, and a few others).

This brings us to exactly why Musashi is so associated with Nito methods... one could argue that it's due to his naming his school the Nito Ryu (or Nito Ichi Ryu) for much of his later life, seemingly only changing it to Niten Ichi Ryu right at the end, but personally, I don't think that's enough. Instead, I think it's more in line with Hayashizaki Jinsuke being described as the "founder" of Iai (sword drawing)... and that is that, in each case, while the skill was already present, these men were the first to have these aspects as a central core to their schools.

Pretty much all Japanese arts have a central focus, even the larger sogo bujutsu methods. This might be bojutsu (Kukishin Ryu as a sogo bujutsu centred around the bo, but we also look at bo specialist schools, such as Muhi Muteki Ryu, Chikubujima Ryu, and so forth), Kenjutsu (again, sogo schools include KatorI Shinto Ryu and Kashima Shin-ryu, as well as more solo-focused schools such as Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Ono-ha Itto Ryu, Yakumaru Jigen Ryu, and almost innumerable others), naginata (Tendo Ryu, Toda-ha Buko Ryu, Jikishinkage Ryu, Chokugen O-Naginata, and so on), spear (Hozoin Ryu, Owari-Kan Ryu, Saburi Ryu, and so forth), or jujutsu (Takenouchi Ryu being the most famous, although very much a sogo system, Iga Ryu-ha Katsushin Ryu, Tenjin Shin'yo Ryu, and many, many more). Prior to Hayashizaki Jinsuke, the concept of Iai (or Batto) was already present in a number of schools, however it was not until Hayashizaki that an entire school was based around it, being the Tosa-Iai schools (today most commonly seen as Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and Muso Shinden Ryu). Yes, there were a number of innovations made in this area, which is to be expected if it's the focus of the school, but it wasn't really the first school to develop Iai methods.

Similarly, Musashi wasn't the first to develop Nito methods either. What he was, though, was the first to develop his entire art centred around the use of two swords (he writes that, in the Niten Ichi Ryu, a beginner should start holding both swords at the same time... showing that, in his school, Nito is a primary focus). Indeed, in the Gorin no Sho, the only "techniques" listed are the five Nito kamae and the five Nito waza (for the record, this is the smallest section for sword in the school... there are 12 single long sword kata, 7 short sword kata, and only 5 two sword kata... as well as some 20 bojutsu kata, and a small set for jutte, and another of yawara/jujutsu), making it entirely likely that Musashi primarily only taught his two sword methods as his school (the earlier version of his teachings, taught under the name Enmei Ryu, contained no single sword techniques, and had some 11 two sword kata, for the record), with the other methods being developed either slightly later, from his teachings, or simply used as further expressions of lesser importance.

Regarding what Musashi was taught by his father (Munisai), it is likely that he learnt the basis of his kenjutsu, as well as an approach to jitte... which, for the record, is not the jutte we think of today, with a completely different design and usage. This school was also called the Enmei Ryu (for the sword, it was Tori Ryu for the jitte, a school developed by Munisai himself), but was not the same one that Musashi taught later, despite the same phonetic name.

He didn't invent anything.

He made it work though. The five element theory.

He invented plenty, including a range of artistic techniques that are difficult (to say the least!) to replicate today... with regards to his kenjutsu, especially regarding his nito methods, I would suggest that he really did come up with his own approach to using two swords that I haven't really seen in any other school unrelated to him. Most other nito methods either use both swords doing the same thing at the same time (Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Araki Ryu), or they use the swords in singular action, one at a time, each with it's own individual action (Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu, Shindo Muso Ryu, etc). By contrast, Musashi's nito methods emphasise performing two different, distinct actions with each sword at the same time (ie one blocking while the other counter-cuts, one clearing while one attacks, and so forth).

As far as "five element theory", all I can say is... HA!!!!!!!!! Nope.

According to him with no independent verification. Did I mention my own 112 to 0 dueling record?

Actually, the majority of the duels are recorded... some obviously are more famous than others (Sasaki Kojiro, the Yoshioka, Muso Gonnosuke [only one!], Arima Kihei), but many others are recorded (such as the ones around the controversy of his dojo near the gate of Himeji castle). Some weren't officially recorded, of course, but the majority were.

Best book on Niten Doraku, ever.

William de Lange's work is always good, agreed.

Heh, swords. Musashi mastered the jutte and shuriken too.

So unorthodox it hurt.

View attachment 27554

Firstly, what makes the learning of jutte and shuriken "unorthodox"? Seems pretty standard, really, especially for someone who advocating using the correct weapon for the task, and to not get overly reliant on a single weapon or style of weapon... his encounter with Baiken (note: not Shishido Baiken, the "Shishido" name was invented for Yoshikawa's novel... the only name recorded in the school is "Baiken") wielding a kusarigama showed the usefulness of shuriken technique and tactics... and, really, only a handful of schools would only have techniques for one thing or aspect... they may focus on one, but often had a range of other lessons as well

Secondly, what is your connection Musashi? I mean, are you just a fan? My point is that, while enthusiastic, you're not being overly accurate in the way you're describing him and his school... and we'd rather that only accurate information went out, if you wouldn't mind.
 

Oily Dragon

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Okay... as the central question of the thread was answered pretty simply, and clearly, by Kirk already, I'm only going to concern myself with the Musashi part of all this...



Actually, no, he didn't. The only reference to "taking prisoners" in the Gorin no Sho is stating that you should use the appropriate tool to the job (and not be dependent on any one tool or style of weapon), commenting that a spear is of limited applicability in taking prisoners. When it comes to applying nito, he stated that that is best applied against a group of enemies, and the first time he used it in combat was in the third encounter with the Yoshioka, where (depending on the record you read), the ambush set for Musashi involved between 70 and 200 swordsmen... he cut down enough of them that the rest scattered.



I think the term "revolutionary" is not really accurate here... additionally, he didn't use "two streamlined sabres, one in each hand", it was a daisho set (long and short).



"Ronin"? No, he wasn't.

61-0 record? Not sure where you got the exact number from... in the Gorin no Sho, he simply states that he has had "as many as 60 matches" (or "duelled more than 60 times", or "fought more than 60 times", or similar, depending on the translation you look at). Some records indicate around 64 or 65, for instance...

Oh, and Kirk wasn't suggesting that Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu was that old, but that dual wielding is... in case you missed that.



This is where we get to the "revolutionary or not" aspect.

Did Musashi invent dual wielding for Japanese swords? Nope. Schools such as Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu predate Musashi by about 150 years (as you know, Brendan), and contain two-sword methods (referred there to Ryoto). Other arts also include it, such as Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Yagyu Shingan Ryu (often with two kodachi), Araki Ryu Gunyo Kogusoku (in their iai... quite interesting!), Shingyoto Ryu, Shinto Muso Ryu (in their Uchidachi methods, as well as in the Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu portion), Tendo Ryu Naginata (with two medium sized single hand swords... a bit shorter than a "regular" katana, but longer than a kodachi), and so on and so forth. And, aside from one school there, there isn't a direct connection back to Musashi in any of them (in fact, the records of Katori Shinto Ryu show Musashi as having trained with them for a little while, as well as with the Takenouchi Ryu in their records, and a few others).

This brings us to exactly why Musashi is so associated with Nito methods... one could argue that it's due to his naming his school the Nito Ryu (or Nito Ichi Ryu) for much of his later life, seemingly only changing it to Niten Ichi Ryu right at the end, but personally, I don't think that's enough. Instead, I think it's more in line with Hayashizaki Jinsuke being described as the "founder" of Iai (sword drawing)... and that is that, in each case, while the skill was already present, these men were the first to have these aspects as a central core to their schools.

Pretty much all Japanese arts have a central focus, even the larger sogo bujutsu methods. This might be bojutsu (Kukishin Ryu as a sogo bujutsu centred around the bo, but we also look at bo specialist schools, such as Muhi Muteki Ryu, Chikubujima Ryu, and so forth), Kenjutsu (again, sogo schools include KatorI Shinto Ryu and Kashima Shin-ryu, as well as more solo-focused schools such as Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Ono-ha Itto Ryu, Yakumaru Jigen Ryu, and almost innumerable others), naginata (Tendo Ryu, Toda-ha Buko Ryu, Jikishinkage Ryu, Chokugen O-Naginata, and so on), spear (Hozoin Ryu, Owari-Kan Ryu, Saburi Ryu, and so forth), or jujutsu (Takenouchi Ryu being the most famous, although very much a sogo system, Iga Ryu-ha Katsushin Ryu, Tenjin Shin'yo Ryu, and many, many more). Prior to Hayashizaki Jinsuke, the concept of Iai (or Batto) was already present in a number of schools, however it was not until Hayashizaki that an entire school was based around it, being the Tosa-Iai schools (today most commonly seen as Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and Muso Shinden Ryu). Yes, there were a number of innovations made in this area, which is to be expected if it's the focus of the school, but it wasn't really the first school to develop Iai methods.

Similarly, Musashi wasn't the first to develop Nito methods either. What he was, though, was the first to develop his entire art centred around the use of two swords (he writes that, in the Niten Ichi Ryu, a beginner should start holding both swords at the same time... showing that, in his school, Nito is a primary focus). Indeed, in the Gorin no Sho, the only "techniques" listed are the five Nito kamae and the five Nito waza (for the record, this is the smallest section for sword in the school... there are 12 single long sword kata, 7 short sword kata, and only 5 two sword kata... as well as some 20 bojutsu kata, and a small set for jutte, and another of yawara/jujutsu), making it entirely likely that Musashi primarily only taught his two sword methods as his school (the earlier version of his teachings, taught under the name Enmei Ryu, contained no single sword techniques, and had some 11 two sword kata, for the record), with the other methods being developed either slightly later, from his teachings, or simply used as further expressions of lesser importance.

Regarding what Musashi was taught by his father (Munisai), it is likely that he learnt the basis of his kenjutsu, as well as an approach to jitte... which, for the record, is not the jutte we think of today, with a completely different design and usage. This school was also called the Enmei Ryu (for the sword, it was Tori Ryu for the jitte, a school developed by Munisai himself), but was not the same one that Musashi taught later, despite the same phonetic name.



He invented plenty, including a range of artistic techniques that are difficult (to say the least!) to replicate today... with regards to his kenjutsu, especially regarding his nito methods, I would suggest that he really did come up with his own approach to using two swords that I haven't really seen in any other school unrelated to him. Most other nito methods either use both swords doing the same thing at the same time (Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Araki Ryu), or they use the swords in singular action, one at a time, each with it's own individual action (Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu, Shindo Muso Ryu, etc). By contrast, Musashi's nito methods emphasise performing two different, distinct actions with each sword at the same time (ie one blocking while the other counter-cuts, one clearing while one attacks, and so forth).

As far as "five element theory", all I can say is... HA!!!!!!!!! Nope.



Actually, the majority of the duels are recorded... some obviously are more famous than others (Sasaki Kojiro, the Yoshioka, Muso Gonnosuke [only one!], Arima Kihei), but many others are recorded (such as the ones around the controversy of his dojo near the gate of Himeji castle). Some weren't officially recorded, of course, but the majority were.



William de Lange's work is always good, agreed.



Firstly, what makes the learning of jutte and shuriken "unorthodox"? Seems pretty standard, really, especially for someone who advocating using the correct weapon for the task, and to not get overly reliant on a single weapon or style of weapon... his encounter with Baiken (note: not Shishido Baiken, the "Shishido" name was invented for Yoshikawa's novel... the only name recorded in the school is "Baiken") wielding a kusarigama showed the usefulness of shuriken technique and tactics... and, really, only a handful of schools would only have techniques for one thing or aspect... they may focus on one, but often had a range of other lessons as well

Secondly, what is your connection Musashi? I mean, are you just a fan? My point is that, while enthusiastic, you're not being overly accurate in the way you're describing him and his school... and we'd rather that only accurate information went out, if you wouldn't mind.
Finally, I have a few questions for you.

Why did you claim he was not Ronin, when he abandoned General Hideyori and became a wanderer. Of top of literally being the stereotypical image of a ronin in all of popular culture. And it being in the book.

Why did you claim his 61-0 record is a surprise to you? Right before you said "Actually, the majority of the duels are recorded... some obviously are more famous than others (Sasaki Kojiro, the Yoshioka, Muso Gonnosuke [only one!], Arima Kihei), but many others are recorded (such as the ones around the controversy of his dojo near the gate of Himeji castle). Some weren't officially recorded, of course, but the majority were.". So, about 61-0 sounds right to both of us, because it's right in the histories.

As far as 5 Element "theory", can you read this? 鈭頛芣. How bout 鈭憭??

Not a Ronin? No five elements? No record? Really, I'm speechless.

At least you could admit he was very unorthodox, hence the thread.
 
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Chris Parker

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Finally, I have a few questions for you.

Really? I note you didn't answer mine...

Why did you claim he was not Ronin, when he abandoned General Hideyori and became a wanderer. Of top of literally being the stereotypical image of a ronin in all of popular culture. And it being in the book.

While Musashi did spend some time acting as is commonly seen to be a ronin, the majority of his life was spent either in the service of a number of daimyo, so I'd not categorise him as a ronin as a way of characterising his life. Popular culture really doesn't mean much here, as much of it is based in more fantasy than anything accurate or historical. Speaking of... Hideyori? Um... what? Hideyori was the (somewhat illegitimate) child of Hideyoshi Toyotomi... he was not a general, he was Toyotomi's chosen successor, who the Western forces (lead by Mitsunari at Sekigahara) were loyal to. And Musashi was never with him, the lords he was working for (there's that pesky non-ronin thing) were very close to the Tokugawa... Musashi was involved in the Osaka campaigns that ended with Hideyori committing suicide...

Why did you claim his 61-0 record is a surprise to you? Right before you said "Actually, the majority of the duels are recorded... some obviously are more famous than others (Sasaki Kojiro, the Yoshioka, Muso Gonnosuke [only one!], Arima Kihei), but many others are recorded (such as the ones around the controversy of his dojo near the gate of Himeji castle). Some weren't officially recorded, of course, but the majority were.". So, about 61-0 sounds right to both of us, because it's right in the histories.

The "surprise" is that you are giving a definite figure for the record, considering we don't have an absolute definite one ourselves.

As far as 5 Element "theory", can you read this? 鈭頛芣. How bout 鈭憭??

Oh boy.... yes, I can read Gorin no Sho and Godai... can you understand that there isn't really anything like it in Musashi's teachings? Here's a clue... when the current soke was asked about the connection with the Godai, he said "What is that?"

Musashi used the concepts of a Buddhist stupa (a Gorinto... see any similarity in the name?) to group the various major topics of his book... but they don't follow anything like the established "Godai" concept. Instead, it's more a way to differentiate the themes and overarching concepts he was discussing.

Not a Ronin? No five elements? No record? Really, I'm speechless.

Speechless is good. Maybe it means you'll listen a bit then?

At least you could admit he was very unorthodox, hence the thread.

Again, what precisely do you know of Musashi's methodologies? What makes you think he was unorthodox? What do you think "orthodox" even means in this respect? You're not going to tell me you think Musashi was the first to apply psychology to combat, do you? Or the idea of disrupting the opponent mentally before physically engaging? Do you think his physical techniques were "unorthodox"? Please explain why. Oh, and also realise you're talking to a member of the school, direct student (monkasei) to the 12th soke, and Australian representative for the school... if you think you have a better idea of Musashi than we do, you may want to rethink things a bit...
 

Oily Dragon

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While Musashi did spend some time acting as is commonly seen to be a ronin, the majority of his life was spent either in the service of a number of daimyo
So what you're saying is, you lied about Niten Doraku when you said he was never ronin.

Just like that Wheel of Time dude, Kirk, just claimed his entire duel record was "self reported". That you contradicted, yourself.

And you just claimed to be part of his Zen Buddhist heritage. Even with your flawed ideas about the Five Elements.

Splendid. So am I. The revolution is now.

1637214491191.png
 

lklawson

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So what you're saying is, you lied about Niten Doraku when you said he was never ronin.

Just like that Wheel of Time dude, Kirk, just claimed his entire duel record was "self reported". That you contradicted, yourself.

And you just claimed to be part of his Zen Buddhist heritage. Even with your flawed ideas about the Five Elements.

Splendid. So am I. The revolution is now.

View attachment 27609
Are you trying to dispute my 112 to 0 record? I just won a few more. I think I'm up to like 115 to 0 now.
 

Flying Crane

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I just started the Wheel of time, Im half way through book two. I dunno, I think its ok but not sure its good enough to get through 14 books.
 
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