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#116111 - 04/13/05 01:45 AM Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo

I came across this school in my search and have been reading through some of the informaion about their classes I began to notice things that I was told were 'warnings' about their legitimacy, and I was hoping the folks here could look as well and give their opinion as I've only begun to search.

A few things that set off 'flags' where:
Kenjutsu, the art of swordsmanship, is the most highly respected of all Japanese martial arts. But, due to the high initial costs (yes, you do need a real sword and that alone will cost at least several hundred dollars for the most basic, and thousands for something truly suitable for the art), this art is not for everyone.

I was under the impression that someone wouldn't even touch a real blade for at least a year or so into training, not having to buy one up front just to join the class, but I could be wrong.

Another quote I found confusing was this:
do, however, have a problem with the people who study a bujutsu as combat who have no need for such an art. The problem with this group is that they never really get into the art. Combat bujutsu is a dangerous art to practice, which is why so many of the techniques were either modified or eliminated when creating the modern bud. As a result of this danger, many students of combat arts tend to take a half-hearted approach to training. And, as a result, the ry becomes something that has lost both its cultural heritage and its combat effectiveness. (Here's a rule of thumb: If you study a combat art and don't receive an injury serious enough to require professional medical attention at least once a year, you're just playing at it.)
how true is that last part? About knowing you're really learning the true art if you're seriously hurt at least once a year, not that I'm afraid of injury per se, but it just seems like an odd thing to say.

I'm wondering if its just 'their thing' or warning signs on Evaluating Schools so I can be a better judge in the future [IMG][/IMG] Thanks

[This message has been edited by Nurb (edited 04-13-2005).]

#116112 - 04/13/05 08:46 AM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
That certainly sounds fishy to me. You should not expect to be injured in any training curriculum. Injuries can and sometimes do happen, but they are not a sign of serious training.

As for training with a "real sword" they could mean an iaito instead of a bokuto or a shinai. That's not clear from the paragraph. Some schools which practice tameshigiri(test cutting) will want you to get a live blade sooner than later for use in this practice. They may not be used regular practice.

There are other options of course in Chicago including a Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu dojo(Jikishinkai branch), and no less than two Mugai Ryu dojos.

You might try taking this query over to Sword Forum( ) and asking about Tenshin Ryu. It's a shame E-budo is still down, I know this has been discussed there before.

#116113 - 04/13/05 11:13 AM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo

Yup, fishier than a fishmonger on a hot day.

#116114 - 04/13/05 12:13 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo

Fishy? I don't know. Certainly different. The dojo seems to be associated with Frederick Lovret (by the articles in their "Budo Honshin" section and the arts taught), which has been talked about at length on e-budo. Unfortunate that it's down.

I find it funny that they consider it "playing" if you don't get at least one serious injury every year, yet their page for prospective students says:

"You should also be cognizant of the fact that, because of this discipline, dj injuries are almost non-existent"

So I guess they're all playing after all. Also, read Lovret's "My Budo" in that section. Notice how he accuses traditional bujutsu of being a myopic sect ("Our group is the only TRUE bujutsu"), and then subsequently sets out to explain why everyone else is doing it wrong and he's the one who's right. Pot, kettle, black. And certainly his views of what makes a good student are unconventional. I recall reading a good article (post?), I think by Hyaku, discussing how many groups seem to wear the uniform as a facade of traditionalism, and how the uniform doesn't matter, it's the budo that does. You can put Mr. Lovret at the direct opposite of that, and probably all of his students.

I find it even more interesting how they describe the dojo as a place to reform you completely into something new, yet expect you to turn up in business dress, with proper uniform (NO DIFFERENT than everybody else), shinken, strong kiai, etc. How much reform occurs if everyone must be the same from the start? If a student isn't dedicating himself to the study of the art, and your dojo is a place for everyone to improve and change themselves, isn't your desire to take him in and teach him to dedicate himself instead of turning him away?

At any rate, there are other dojo around that won't force you to buy a shinken for your first class, or even the uniform. In the end, it's about having a good teacher that you'll be able to learn from. Having doubts about one will lead you to question what he teaches, and that's just not productive for anyone. Lovret's style is appropriate for some. I know it certainly wouldn't be for me. You have to make up your own mind.

If what you're concerned is tradition and a living link to koryu, then I've got doubts about Yamate Ryu and Itto Tenshin Ryu, but nothing more. E-budo would have been the place to ask these questions.

#116115 - 04/13/05 12:31 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo

well injuries are unavoidable part of sword fighting no matter is it kendo or whatever. Thing is, nobody will cut your head of during the practice fight but if you use wooden swords and get hit couple of times real hard, you will remember your mistake and the pain, and you wont do it again, not the same mistake. Pain is the best teacher you will ever have. You are there to learn how to use a sword, how to face and defeat enemy with a sword... not to learn how to cut chicken breasts for sandwich.

#116116 - 04/13/05 03:08 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo

thanks for the input guys, I'll keep lookin [IMG][/IMG]

#116117 - 04/13/05 04:40 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo
Zeal Offline

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 56
Oh no! I haven't had a serious enough injury yet! Does this mean I'm not training hard enough?

Mind you I did stab myself in the hand today doing nukiuchi.

#116118 - 04/13/05 08:14 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo

Really i dont like the idea that you will get injured because you shouldnt even be near anyone with a sword or be near a sword yourself unless you have supervision and really its hard to screw up when you have FULL concetration.

#116119 - 04/14/05 10:46 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA

Don't feed the trolls. What a pathetic life these guys lead.

#116120 - 04/18/05 12:39 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo

[QUOTE](Here's a rule of thumb: If you study a combat art and don't receive an injury serious enough to require professional medical attention at least once a year, you're just playing at it.)

No, no, NO! You're right to question this school when things like this are part of the "philosophy" of the school.

It seems like this guy believes that receiving serious injury = serious training, but that's a load. It takes a lot more than geting hurt to prove your training seriously.

[This message has been edited by Kevin Ly (edited 04-20-2005).]

#116121 - 04/18/05 11:16 PM Re: Your take on this Kenjutsu Dojo
Amos Smith Offline

Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Well, I train with this school, and have since August of 2000. I enjoy the training and have yet to be seriously injured. I've trained with a live blade from my first class in Tenshin-ryu and have found it to be a good way to learn. If you want to begin to learn what its all about, come to the dojo.


[This message has been edited by Amos Smith (edited 04-18-2005).]

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