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    Koryu - gendai

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    DougNZ

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    Koryu - gendai

    Post by DougNZ on Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:53 pm

    I have watched the koryu demonstration in the Yagyu Shingan Ryu post a number of times.  I have watched other demonstrations of koryu ju-jutsu and trained with a few people who study in various ryu.  I've also trained with many ju-jutsuka from many different so-called gendai schools.  At the end of the day, I don't see a whole lot of practical difference between the two.  Taken a step further, I struggle to buy into the koryu-gendai argument of purity vs practicality.

    Much more pertinent to me is the interaction between uke and tori, regardless of the ju-jutsu on display.  What I tend to see is unrealistic distancing in attacks, attacks that freeze on 'impact', uke who turn off their bodies' natural inclination to adjust to sudden changes in their immediate environment, unrealistic and exaggerated arm and body movements, etc, etc.  It really doesn't matter if it is koryu or gendai, Japanese or Western; what I see is people perfecting improbable, artificial fighting responses.

    On the other hand, I become very excited when I see ju-jutsuka who clearly do a lot of randori and shiai.  Their posture is different, their attitude is different, their distancing is different, their commitment is different ... everything is different.  Their ju-jutsu may not be elegant or flowing or spectacular, but there is an immediately recognisable beauty in the sophisticated simplicity of their ju-jitsu.  Sadly, such displays are rare.

    Why is it that so many ju-jitsu schools fail to practice randori and shiai?  Why do they value choreography over fighting ability?  And how can they practice the art of yielding without learning to yield during committed and continuous attack?

    Emanuele2

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    Re: Koryu - gendai

    Post by Emanuele2 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:52 am

    Modern ju jitsu is a lot different from koryu ju jitsu. I attend a modern ju jitsu class, and we do a lot of katas without resistence, duo system, sparring ecc.
    In koryu ju jitsu there are a lot of drills, kata, fundamentals with emphasis on technique (slow movements, precise moves ecc.).
    In modern ju jitsu we search speed, coreography ecc.

    Brainjutsu

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    Re: Koryu - gendai

    Post by Brainjutsu on Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:13 pm

    Different times, different norms, even different cultures breed different methods. It's really hard to compare the two in an objective way. Besides that, one should be careful about the authenticity of a particular koryu system. I've seen many instances where that's nothing but a marketing trick. On the other hand, I've also had some positive experiences with koryu systems. Techniques were really down to the ground, effective and quite painful. Yet, using many of them in today's time would certainly put you behind the bars.

    As far as the modern jujutsu goes, it's basically a venue to escape the rigidity of modern arts (judo, karate, aikido) and to find either one's own expression in martial arts or a shortcut to it. What you get in the end depends on who does it. I wouldn't say that those preferring shiai/randori are for that reason better than those practicing katas. In fact, it may get you to the wrong track since shiai is a very different environment from the street. The problem is rather in not progressing from kata or shiai. The reality is, however, that a great deal of instructors do not have any real experience in self-defense to correct and polish their skills. Even worse, many simply engage in picking out particular techniques from judo, karate, aikido and other arts and "glue" them together without too much of thinking.

    It's a colorful world and generalization is not easy.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Koryu - gendai

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:30 am

    DougNZ wrote:I have watched the koryu demonstration in the Yagyu Shingan Ryu post a number of times.  I have watched other demonstrations of koryu ju-jutsu and trained with a few people who study in various ryu.  I've also trained with many ju-jutsuka from many different so-called gendai schools.  At the end of the day, I don't see a whole lot of practical difference between the two.  Taken a step further, I struggle to buy into the koryu-gendai argument of purity vs practicality.

    Really ? Maybe in the West, but I think that is obvious. Just consider their setting. Where are they practised ? Both are usually practised in a "sports hall" !! From a purist point of view that is actually very strange. Nevertheless, when taught or practised in the West the approach is still sports-like, maybe not competitively, but then still as recreational sports;

    Gendai-budô are not typically sôgô systems, and in the West nothing is really practised as a real sôgô system. Just imagine making it mandatory to all of your students to also come to class one hour per week purely to study caligraphy and see how many you will retain. They just want the recreational sports aspect of it, they are not interested in the rest, unless it is very superficial, very brief, they're not prepared to seriously study Japanese, seriously read, or anything else. Besides many koryû practitioners in the West behave like they're brainwashed sect- or cult-members having lost any sense of critical thinking and self-questioning, being only happy to belong to the cult and using that invented privilege to distinguish themselves from you and others while missing the essence of what they are doing.


    DougNZ wrote:
    Why is it that so many ju-jitsu schools fail to practice randori and shiai? Why do they value choreography over fighting ability? And how can they practice the art of yielding without learning to yield during committed and continuous attack?

    This is partly a paradox. Traditionally this separation between kata and randori did not exist to the same extent. Kata almost was randori. It was performed on resisting partners. You still see that in jûdô' gô-no-kata, which is its oldest originally surviving kata. Today kata by many is understood as demonstrating something to others, when really it has nothing to do with it.


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Koryu - gendai

    Post by DougNZ on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:35 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:This is partly a paradox. Traditionally this separation between kata and randori did not exist to the same extent. Kata almost was randori. It was performed on resisting partners. You still see that in jûdô' gô-no-kata, which is its oldest originally surviving kata.  Today kata by many is understood as demonstrating something to others, when really it has nothing to do with it.

    I have seen kata performed, as you say, almost like randori, and seen randori performed almost like kata.  The central issue is that, resistance or not, both tori and uke know where uke is going to end up and that has to affect the interaction between the two on a number of different levels (physical, mental, emotional).  

    When both tori and uke are intent on subduing the other, by whatever means, then the interaction is quite different.  Attacks become less 'safe', which affects distance, momentum and resistance.  Movement becomes more subtle and reactionary, which affects momentum and tori's ability to blend with uke and perform fine motor-skill techniques.  Distance is managed differently so that strikes are negated, balance is upset, and leverage is maximised.  And that is just some of the physical aspects; consider the mental and emotional responses of uke and tori in chaotic randori and shiai...

    Returning to my central point, I believe that performing jujutsu without practicing any application in a random fashion is simply perfecting choreography and disregarding the fact that jujutsu is, at its heart, a fighting art.

    Brainjutsu

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    Re: Koryu - gendai

    Post by Brainjutsu on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:19 pm

    I think your question is not properly set.

    Kata and randori are methods of developing the true martial skill. Neither should be considered to be a recipe for a real encounter. They are based on certain elements of the reality but they are not the reality. Unfortunately, people especially on the West tend to take what they see for granted.

    What you do when training depends on what is the underlying philosophy of the fight of any given martial system. Violence represented in martial arts is not the one that simply happens out of the blue but the one that appears in a specific context. Is it sport or self-defense or law-enforcement or something else? For example, a self-defense kata, among other things, teaches you to end the encounter as quickly as possible. Getting attached to the opponent in a self-defense would drain your strength away and expose you to attacks from behind and eventually get you killed. Randori, on the other hand, teaches you how to overcome the unexpected and chaotic situations or how to endure in protracted encounters like those in sport matches. Which one should be more in the focus of your training depends on the specific purpose and likelihood of its occurrence.

    Demos like the one you mentioned are hard to understand properly without reviewing it. You have to ask what it actually represents. Is it a real deal, or perhaps just a drill? Who would do something like this, under what conditions? Was it made because it had been proven in combat or it came from a dojo brainstorming? Or maybe the master wanted to impress someone with it or to inflate his syllabus so he can charge more for the classes? Searching for the answers seems like chasing a ghost but that’s actually how you learn and progress. Focusing simply on the visual appearance of what is essentially an extract of the martial system is likely to get you in a wrong direction.

    Take care

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