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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: 5811
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.
_________________________
www.BostonSamuraiArts.com

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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)
_________________________
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.
_________________________
www.BostonSamuraiArts.com

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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: 5811
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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#145713 - 05/27/05 09:17 AM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: cxt]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Come to think of it. There's no indication on that page of how long the instructor studied KSR under Sugino-sensei either.

While it seems certain that he had solid instructors, without some idea of how long he trained and what rank he obtainedm I don't think it's a been shown that he has had solid instruction.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#145714 - 05/27/05 11:31 AM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
As has already been asked, what is the point of "founding" a new style of swordsmanship which is a combination of other styles? We don't fight with the sword anymore, we preserve traditions. We don't adapt and combine them as we see fit.

The text on the page states:


Satori-Ryu Iaido was developed due to a recognized need for a quality school of instruction in the art of Iaido.


I'm sorry to say, but that is just bullsh*t. What recognized need? Who recognized that need? What's wrong with the hundreds of different Ryu that are currently taught around the world, and have traditions that span centuries?

Oh, right, Mr. Kirby knows better, and he had to make his own school. Well, that's what it comes down to; his teachers most surely didn't teach him what they knew in the hopes he would quit and form his own school.

As for his qualifications, it is strange he does not state what rank/certificate (if any) he obtained in the primary arts that he used to develop Satori Ryu.

Quote:


Renshi Kirby has not taken any rank higher then he has recieved from his instructors.





Unless there is something missing in his qualifications on that page, I don't believe this is true. He cites "Roku-Dan in Satori-Ryu Iaido". Satori-Ryu is admittedly his own creation. That rank is the highest he has in Iaido. His other Iaido rank is Renshi (2 years after yondan min.) from the IMAF. I know of no JSA Ryu that ranks under the IMAF, perhaps I can be corrected on that. So he did definitely award himself a rank in Iaido higher than any other Iaido rank he had.

And of course, to curtail any such nonsense, I am not saying anything about his martial arts skills, his ability to take me (or anyone else) down, his character, anything of that sort. Just his legitimacy.

At any rate, hyaku's quote is worth rereading again and again. Until, perhaps, you understand why it is silly to learn from someone and then ignore their teachings.

PS: Perhaps you should have someone with a bit more experience and Japanese knowledge look the page over. Whoever made it can't spell either Seitei or Eishin.

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#145715 - 05/27/05 02:25 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Charles Mahan]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5811
Loc: USA
Charles

As has been pointed out (and quite rightly--I must admit) I have a tendency to be very blunt and very aggressive with my questions.

Trying to be less harsh with my questions--just did not want the guy to think I was hammering his teacher right off the bat.

Until the situation warrents of course--if it does.
Trying to turn over a BIT of a new leaf--not signing up for electro-shock treatments


Edited by cxt (05/27/05 02:28 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#145716 - 05/27/05 02:36 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: cxt]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Oh I hope I didn't come off harsh either. I didn't mean to be. I was just commenting on the lack of real information on the website.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#145717 - 05/27/05 04:05 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Satori_Ryu Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Knoxville, TN, USA
Just to clarify some more information about the website, the website is for my dojo at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville that is run by Lancing England. He is very skilled at a what he does, but he have very little knowledge for the Japanese language and Romanization. This is Dale Kirby's website which currently does not have any information on Satori Ryu. Dale Kirby does hold rank of 7th Dan in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu.

http://www.kirbyskarateacademy.com/index2.htm

The Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Nanadan Kyoshi in Cullowhee, North Carolina would that be Gregory W. Huff? If it is, he studied under Dale Kirby for many years with my sensei.

Thank you very much for your comments, and I don't think any of you are being too harsh. At the moment, this is the only dojo that teaches authentic Japanese swordsmanship (at least in my opinion) in my area. In the future, I am take another style, but for now, I am happy with Satori Ryu.

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#145718 - 05/27/05 04:27 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: Satori_Ryu]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5811
Loc: USA
Satori

Glad your happy, hard to do, find a dojo that your happy with, lord knows many folks can't find one.
So, you are already one step ahead of the game.

But I am still curious as to why a brand new style was needed or warrented?
Seems to me that there are two good legit styles already there--does not seem much need for a 3td that combines both--if thats in fact what it is.

Was something preceived as lacking?

Was it a question of just "mergeing" the styles?

What?

Also aware that you may not have that information--but your the only one we have to ask.
So I gotta ask you.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#145719 - 05/27/05 06:19 PM Re: New Styles: Good of Bad? [Re: cxt]
Satori_Ryu Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Knoxville, TN, USA
Sorry cxt for not answering your question sooner, but once again I am try to post from work. I work in a call center, so sometimes I have plenty of time to replay and others I have 5 seconds. That last post took about an hour to type out in full. While I checked for gramar and spelling as much as I could, I did not put in the post as much as I wanted to. I was actually about to edit the post to put in the reason when I saw your next post.

From the information that I have been told, Dale Kirby's Japanese teachers told him to set up his own style. I have just recently reached shodan, and I have started to take more interest in the history of Iaido. I have never heard directly form Renshi Kirby as to his reasons, and his two books where writen before (1985) he started calling his style Satori Ryu.

Unfortunatly I have not been able to attend another dojo that teaches Iaido, so I don't know exactly how Satori Ryu is different from MJER, TSKSR, or any other style. I have been reading Flashing Steel: Mastering Eishin-Ryu Swordsmanship by Masayuki Shimabukuro and Iaido Sword : Kamimoto-Ha Techniques of Muso Shinden Ryu by Richard Babin as well as many different websites (which lead me here). As with anything on the internet, I take most of what I read with a grain of salt.

Charles Mahan: In answer to your question about how long time Kirby sensei spend with Sugino Sensei, he studied and lived with Sugino-sensei for several months. I don't have the exact time off the top of my head. I also don't know exactly when Kirby sensei started to study with Yamaguchi Katsuo, but I am pretty sure that he still studies under him because when I first started my training Kirby sensei was only 6th Dan, and now he is 7th Dan.

I hope that I have answered some more of your questions now, but if there is anything that is still unclear please let me know. Thank you all for the feedback that you have provided.

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#145720 - 05/27/05 10:53 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
Quote:


The Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Nanadan Kyoshi in Cullowhee, North Carolina would that be Gregory W. Huff? If it is, he studied under Dale Kirby for many years with my sensei.





Indeed. That was pre-'87 when Huff-sensei joined the Navy and got stationed in Japan for 12 years. So Kirby-sensei's association and rank is with the IMAF right? I still don't understand why he felt it necessary to create his own style. I have seen a fair amount of Huff-sensei's iai but none of Kirby-sensei. I suspect it would be interesting to compare the differences between the two.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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