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#145703 - 05/18/05 04:30 PM New Styles: Good of Bad?
Satori_Ryu Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Knoxville, TN, USA
I was wondering what people thought of new schools of swordsmanship being developed in modern times (when swords are no longer used in combat)?

I think it is a good idea as long as the creater has a strong background in traditional schools. Swordsmanship has a different place in society, since learning to use a sword can be considered "useless" in the age of fire arms.

Does anyone else have an opinion on this? Thank you.

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#145704 - 05/18/05 04:54 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA

What "new" ryu are you talking about?

Kinda need to know specifcally which schools you mean.

In VERY GENERAL TERMS, we know the koryu "worked" because the folks that used them actually USED them in lethal combat.

If folks "make up" a new school, you don't really have any idea if it works or not--and since you can't go around killing folks in swordfights, there is no way to tell if what you do will work or not.

If what you do is largely the same as actual koryu school then why the need to make a "new" style at all???

If your posit is that swords are not "really" used at all in todays society--then AGAIN whats the point of "new" style at all????

You can't really test your conclusions, so all three cases are just speculation.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#145705 - 05/18/05 05:36 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
The only way to test the ability of a new school of sword play is to use it in inter-school tournaments, which are very rare. Unfortunately, these things have their problems. Some things that excell in the tournament are poor on the field and vise-versa, and other styles are very difficult to beat until you have practiced against them before (such as my "can't-touch-me" style of fencing used by so many lefties), so testing the effectiveness of a style is extremely difficult.

Then, we get into the whole philosophy of why the heck we are swinging steel around anyway. Is it to be the best swordsman in the world, is it to achieve spiritual fulfilment, or is it simply because we love hearing that whoosh of steel in the wind and the adrenaline rush we get in the ring? Some of these reasons allow new styles, while others disuade them, and some don't even care.

In the end, it all comes down to the person. If the school is well founded and well taught (ie: not a McDojo, belt-factory, or "look at me, people call me sensei" place), then I see no problem with new styles appearing. It is the bad ones, such as those above and the "I've been to three classes, I can do this better than they can" people that I worry about.
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#145706 - 05/18/05 08:16 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
hyaku Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 85
Loc: JAPAN
I think this quote sums it up.

"One who claims to have thoroughly learned his master's techniques while disregarding his master's teaching, relying instead on his own talents, is worst than a fool" - "Teachers must exercise special caution not to impart their wisdom to those who are not ready for it."

Yamaoka Tesshu Sensei-Itto Shoden Muto Ryu Kanaji Mokuroku

Any idiot can make things up and call it their own in full or in part.

Sword education teaches us the futility of picking up a weapon and its horrific consequences. Its a tool of learning used at that particular time, not something that is used in reality.

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#145707 - 05/20/05 11:45 AM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
I think there are very few new styles that are legitimate.

Like James Williams's Nami Ryu and Obata Toshishiro's Shinkendo. I'm not sure of any other new styles/non koryu arts that I would trust aside from those 2. And Nakamura Ryu and Toyama Ryu which is where Obata's foundation for Shinkendo came from.

I would mainly trust in the above styles and legitimate koryu arts. Old arts that were used for real combat in ancient times.
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#145708 - 05/20/05 12:24 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Walter Wong]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Legitimate how exactly? That's one of the problems with Gendai arts. How well trained was the instructor who decided to found his own art? Why did he bother? What was lacking in the art that he was a member of? Is it an exercise in self agrandizement? Ego? Or is there some other reason to seperate from the parent organization? How far removed was the founder from the leader of his previous style? Ie. Was the guy a student of the soke, or the student of a student of a student of the soke?

There is a certain amount of arrogance inherent in the prospect of founding your own style. It seems to me that the founding idea behind breaking off is that your instructors were great and everything but you've got a better way. If that's not the case why would anyone break off?

I'm not saying that new arts are necessarily bad, but that they are deserving of very close scrutiny. The line between a genuine evolution of one style into a new style and the McDojo down the street is a difficult line to discern.

It's a very fuzzy issue, and the primary reason why I prefer sticking with the koryu that I'm involved with now. If I want to checkup on my sensei's credentials, it's trivial to do. I could even checkup on sensei's, sensei's, sensei's credentials if I so chose. This is generally true in the koryu world. Koryu schools are very tightly organized.


Edited by Charles Mahan (05/20/05 12:29 PM)
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#145709 - 05/20/05 01:27 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
That's a good point. Very true very true.
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#145710 - 05/26/05 07:07 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Walter Wong]
Satori_Ryu Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Knoxville, TN, USA
I am sorry that my original post was not that detailed. I tried to write it a work, and I did not take as long as I should to write it. This is the first time that I have had a long enough time to write a better explination.

Walter Wong and Charles Mahan pretty much answered the question was asking. I was wondering what the community thought of newer schools like Shinkendo and the art that I take Satori Ryu Iaido.

I am pretty sure that no one has heard of Satori Ryu before. We are a very small school (only about 2 full time dojos) located in the state of Tennessee. It was founded by Renshi Dale S. Kirby Sr who studied under Yamaguchi Katsuo (10th Dan Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu) and Sugino Yoshio (10th Dan Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu).

This is our dojo's webpage: http://web.utk.edu/~twoskies/satori.html

We are not currently recognized by any iaido organization, but that is in the works. The politics of that is not something that I have much knowledge or desire to know much about. Renshi Kirby has not taken any rank higher then he has recieved from his instructors.

I do not have any doubts in my mind about the quality and authenticity of his skills or what he teaches. There have been talks with in the dojo of expanding. I asked the question mostly to find out the reactions we would recieve from other swordsmen and schools. Thank you very much for your responses.

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#145711 - 05/26/05 10:04 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Any idea what his MJER credentials are? Aside from training with Yamaguchi-sensei there is no information at all. It's wierd that he doesn't list Yamaguchi-sensei on the link you offerend. I'm curious how long he studied and what rank he achieved. I understand why he cannot teach TSKSR as such, but any idea why he did not continue his MJER training as MJER training instead of creating his own style? There's a fair amount of MJER to be had now in this country.

Heck the second most senior MJER(znir/seitokai) in the country and a 7th dan Kyoshi to boot is in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Just a couple of hours away.


Edited by Charles Mahan (05/26/05 10:10 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#145712 - 05/27/05 09:11 AM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Satori

Seriously, with all respect.

I am still wondering about my origianl question---why bother to make up a "new" style at all?

Seems that your teacher has had solid training in two forms of JSA, what would be the need to "make up" a new style?
If your just combining them--whats the point of that?

Again, just looking for some clarification here. Just feels like I am missing something and I was hopeing you could help.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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