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#286026 - 09/18/06 09:47 AM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: Marishiten]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

However, he's legitimate enough in the Western world (has menkyo) and has been taught in Japan and is respected by Japanese Senseis, and that makes him legitimate enough without getting to the official technicalities

Menkyo in what art? Taught by what Japanese sensei? Since lineage has come up let's get the cards on the table so we're all on the same page.


He has about 30 years experience and is only in his mid 40s. He’s an instructor in various other MAs too. I am not sure which Dan he is because I have never asked, considering it to be kind of rude.

Asking after a teachers credentials is not rude. It's very prudent. There are a tremendous number of frauds running around. Real instructors will not be offended. Why should they be? They have their credentials readily at hand. Nothing to fear. It is the reason such documentation exists.


Having a Japanese lineage doesn’t change A THING in the practical sense; it doesn’t imply that you know the proper technique or that it is effective.

Having a direct connection to ryu-ha in Japan does imply to a certain extent that the practitioner knows what he is doing, especially when combined with a teaching license of some variety or other. Let me reword your post a little bit substituting in another discipline for JSA and we'll see how it sounds.


Having a license to perform surgery doesn’t change A THING in the practical sense; it doesn’t imply that you know the proper technique or that it is effective.


The reason I did not provide this information because I felt it to be not my place to argue on my sensei’s behalf using information I could never be 100% certain of. It feels disrespectful. He may not be recognized officially as a Sensei in Japan, but he is known and respected. It does not detract from his legitimacy here.

The complaint is not that what he is teaching and the way he is teaching it will not make you a competent fighter. What we are saying, or at least what I am saying, is that it is not traditional JSA. This is not the way the JSAs are taught. It might be effective. It might not be. You'll never know for sure because you will never be able to test it in real battle. The arts that were tested in real battle have decided that this method of teaching is not the best way. Perhaps your sensei has hit on something they have not. Either way it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things as long as you are happy in your training. Just don't call it traditional JSA when it is not.
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

#286027 - 09/18/06 10:20 AM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: Marishiten]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

Something that strikes (yes that is a pun ) me as seriously wrong here is that bokken are "stand ins" for real blades.

So if your getting hit and brusied AT ALL--then your actually very DEAD.

Plus, bokken are extremely dangerous weapons--if all you getting is "various brisues and scratchs" then people are not hitting hard, or they are not hitting target.

Which again is questionable value.

Full power shots with bokken--sans armor should be breaking things---fingers, hands, wrists, collorbones, ribs, heads, etc.

If shots are being pulled or target limited for saftey, then your not "really" getting what you need here.

Something just does not fit here.

Edited by cxt (09/18/06 10:22 AM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#286028 - 09/18/06 02:11 PM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: cxt]
Benjamin1986 Offline

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
In fencing we use light canvas or nylon uniforms, they prevent cuts (and subsequent trips to the hospital for tetanus shots) and reduce bruising, but my arms and side get rather colorful at times.

However, it is the head I'm worried about. Fencing masks are there for a reason, and there have been deaths on strip even with them. Attacking someone without a mask on would be considered attempted murder. Automatic black card expelling you from the tournament and possible from the USFA/FIE.

However, there is really no advantage to getting hurt. If anyone remembers the "toy swords for toy swordsmen" discussion on Iaito a while back, we went over the problems with beginners using sharpened blades during Iaido practice. The final question that was never answered was very simple:

You are risking grevious harm to what advantage?

To be "hardcore"? This is to look cool, not be cool. Yes, you feel good from aching muscles and bruises. I admit, I do too; it feels nice to roll up my sleeve and say "Eric did this to me last week, but you should have seen Rachel's leg after I was done with her". However, like hitting a tree until your knuckles bleed, it does more harm than good. A dislocated knee can take you off fencing for a week. A broken hip can relegate you to wheelchair fencing FOR LIFE. That happened to my armorer years ago (though it was from a car accident), and though he was pretty good at wheelchair, I think he was never happy not being on strip. The same thing can happen with bokken.

To emphasize not getting hit? The problem (like with sport fencing) is that it makes you think that some hits are acceptable. If you block a blade but it comes in at a light thump, your mind views that as acceptable pain, but a sharpened blade would cut through your pecs or arm easily (I know one guy who severely cut his hand on one of his knives while reaching into the backseat for a Coke (yes, we called him an idiot for having an unsheathed knife in the backseat)). Any sort of contact can be fatal, so you need to avoid all of it.

I hope I made some good points. Talk to you later.

Edited by Benjamin1986 (09/18/06 02:50 PM)
Fencing Club at UH

#286029 - 09/19/06 06:09 AM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: splice]
Marishiten Offline
illegitimate Onna Bugeisha

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Australia, NSW

These are direct quotes. You did talk about legitimacy, and you even warned people about doubting it. That certainly counts as a mention. Not that I care, but if you're going to tell people not to doubt your teacher's legitimacy because he has great skill, and then saying you never mentionned anything about legitimacy in your next reply is pretty nonsensical.

I did not mention his legitimacy in my original post - the post determining WHAT I CAME HERE TO TALK ABOUT. Of course I mentioning his legitimacy in a post responding to your doubt legitimacy.


Partly agree. It certainly doesn't imply that the technique is effective, no. However, legitimacy means proper technique. Not necessarily effective, but certainly proper and correct.

Yes, I agree too. But this has little to do with my claim that My sensei is legitimate - and if not 'legitimate' in the sense that you mean, then certainly VALID.


Perhaps not to you, but you are not the center of the universe. To many people who practice Traditional Japanese Sword Arts, lineage and legitimacy are the very core of the art. After all, if you don't consider that relevant, what is? I'm reasonably certain you will never have a real swordfight, never kill anyone with a sword, and never use the techniques you learn in class. If the practical application is simply not there, and you decide to discard all the tradition that is the art, what are you left with? A dance.

Our classes are one of the most traditional I have seen or heard of. And yes, believe it or not I have used some of the techniques in real life. I don't only learn how to handle a sword, there are lots inherent little things you learn along the way.

If you're not certain of your information, you really have no place to even speak about it. It's rather silly to withhold information, not even be sure about it, and yet insist that people should take the legitimacy of a teacher for granted. That's not the way it's done.

For the last time I DID NOT COME HERE TO TALK ABOUT HIS LEGITIMACY. It was brought up by someone else. How about you go read over my first post again and acquaint yourself with what I'm trying to say, and that is that many people these days are afraid of pain, to put it succinctly. Stop putting words into my mouth and then using them against me - you are not the centre of the universe either and are in no place to judge my school, sensei or myself.


If he is not recognized officially, I am sorry but that's all there needs to be said about legitimacy. I'm sure he has nice friends and students and everything, but official recognition establishes legitimacy, not good feelings and opinions.

That's great and jolly but it doesn't change his validity. I suppose that's the word we should have been using. And it also does not make my school any less valid than another, nor any more courrpt.

#286030 - 09/19/06 06:21 AM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: Charles Mahan]
Marishiten Offline
illegitimate Onna Bugeisha

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Australia, NSW
Charles, surgery IS NOT a good analogy - and my sensei DOES have a liscence to teach MA. He just happens not to be of Japanese lineage. It's like saying that "Gee, you're not a [insert Western nationality] so therefore you are not adept at surgery".

I will call it traditional JSA because I believe it is and no one here will fully know that - no matter how much I explain - unless they attend the classes. Just because I mentioned that we eventually spar full force and that people learn faster by making mistakes and getting a few bruises DOES NOT maka the central focus of our training.

After WWII JSA was toned down a bit, especially in America. There are tons of traditional Japanese stories of senseis teaching their student 'the hard way'.

I don't mind a debate and I will not back down - I did come hee for one, as is evident by my first post. However in this first post I did not mention the legitimacy of my sensei - it was brought up by someone who believed that my sensei and style must be 'corrupt' because of how we do things. I DID NOT START THIS. And then I get bagged at for not providing information about something which I did not come here to debate in the first place. I came here to discuss the commercialisation and pacification of MA in general.

Half the time it seems as if you guys are fishing for debates that are not even there.

#286031 - 09/19/06 06:28 AM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: Marishiten]
Marishiten Offline
illegitimate Onna Bugeisha

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Australia, NSW
Benjamin and cxt. yes you guys did provide a few good points, which are actually ON TOPIC.
The reason there are "only cuts and bruises" is not because we do not go full force, it's because most of us have enough control by the time we're sparring full force to keep back when we realise that our opponent will not block properly.

Yes I realise that I would be dead - but potential cuts to the by the sword should not be ignored, they should be acknowledged. Eventually you stop getting hit at all because you have learned proper technique not to. How are you supposed to know how good you REALLY are without acknowledging your weaknesses and potential injuries that you could have received by a real sword.

#286032 - 09/19/06 10:43 AM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: Marishiten]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

If your "pulling" your strikes---then you are neither "really" learning nor are you "really" teaching.

Your learning how to "pull" your strike and the person your working with is learning that your going to "pull" your strikes.

Lethal habits when dealing with weapons.

Don't mean to be harsh--but that is the way it is.

Folks that actually killed people with weapons did not "spar" with them in order to build skills---they may have "sparred" at times--but they certainly did not use it in the modern sense of the word.

The folks that actually killed people used kata (two person) to train.

Look at it like this.

You know anyone that has been in a war?

What would be THIER reaction if you, having never fought in an actually war/firefight etc---if you told them that you "knew better" in how to train for a an actual battle and invented your own set of training and drills?

They would laugh you right out of the room.

Pretty much the same thing here.

Ignoreing the training methods of people that actually used the weapons to kill, the info people died to gain is not the best approach to take---in my opinion.

And to answer your question directly---since everyone is "pulling" their strikes and you KNOW that--you are NOT "really" getting a good indication of how good you are at all.

The mental/emotional stress do not exsist in a enviroement where people are "pulling" strikes so you "really" don't know how good you would be is those factors were added.

You "think" you are. But your not.

Both Eastern and Western sword experts have noted just how serious dangerous such assumptions can be.

Just an opinion--and worth every cent you paid for it--exactly nothing

BTW what Charles is getting at is that ones "feelings" about ones training are pretty irrelvent to the actual facts of the school.

Koryu are often actually "owned" by specifc people and specifc familes--if on is claiming to teach a given koryu then there are certian things that you need to have.

It would go a long way in answering some of the questions Charles and other have raise dif you could provide some basic info.

(Charles, PG Smith, Splice, Ben, have been around, they know what they are talking about---you may not agree with their postion--but you really should seriously listen to what they have to say)

What specific ryu is your teacher teaching?

With whom did he/she train with?

Just asking--please don't take offense.

Edited by cxt (09/19/06 11:02 AM)

#286033 - 09/19/06 11:47 AM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: Marishiten]
splice Offline

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON

That's great and jolly but it doesn't change his validity. I suppose that's the word we should have been using. And it also does not make my school any less valid than another, nor any more courrpt.

If you have practical application and no connection to a tradition, what does 'valid' mean? 'Looks like he knows what he's doing'? 'I trust him, and so should you'? An art can be legit (connected to a living tradition), it can be effective (but we don't test that anymore), but what does 'valid' mean, exactly? Because without the art and the application, well, my neighbour swinging a wallhanger in his backyard can be 'valid'.


I will call it traditional JSA because I believe it is and no one here will fully know that - no matter how much I explain - unless they attend the classes.

Then you have little knowledge of what traditional JSA are. We don't need to attend classes to establish whether a teacher is connected to a legit art, and whatever can be seen in class has little to do with whether or not the teacher is legitimately recognized by the proper authority to teach the art they claim to teach. You don't need to show up to class for that, and indeed, when talking about traditional arts, I believe that you should not show up to class unless you know exactly what it is.


you are not the centre of the universe either and are in no place to judge my school, sensei or myself

I am not judging anything. Judging would be commenting on your sensei's skill, his character, your school's reputation, anything like that. Legitimacy is a fact. Whatever my opinion is, if your teacher has a signed menkyo from the soke of Tatsumi Ryu, then he is licensed to teach Tatsumi Ryu, end of story. Since there is no statement or information either way, there is no judgement, simply doubt. It would be easy to dispel, but if you're incapable or unwilling to do that, why continue replying? We won't just start believing you based on the strength of your conviction, you know.

And I might be wrong, but I would think perhaps there are some people here that know a lot about what traditional JSA are about. Especially when they've been involved with them for decades, in certain cases. Does your cup runneth over?

#286034 - 09/19/06 05:45 PM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: Marishiten]
pgsmith Offline

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Apparently it was my comments that got you all excited and upset here. You asked for opinions, and I simply gave you mine. My statement was very simple, and was not made to "caste doubt" on your beloved instructor. I was simply stating my personal opinions, since you asked for them ...
1) I don't see the value in what you are doing. It teaches how to whack at each other with sticks, not how to fight with swords.
2) Your instructor is not licensed to teach by a legitimate school of the Japanese sword arts. This is because there are no legitimate schools of the Japanese sword arts that allow their junior students to "spar" with bokken. Not one. All of the Japanese sword arts schools, except for kendo, utilize kata as their main training tool. All of them.
3) It's a terrible accident waiting to happen. A bokken that is swung the way a Japanese sword is used becomes a lethal weapon in its own right. You are either learning to cut incorrectly, or ... well ... you are learning to cut incorrectly.
4) You have no idea if what you are doing is effective or not. This is because the Japanese sword arts have been taught the same way for hundreds of years. The menjyo and methods are still in existence. When they formulated these methods, the participants still regularly used their swords to preserve their lives. If you change them now, you have absolutely no way of knowing whether what you are doing is effective for anything other than stick fighting.

These are my opinions. You asked for them originally, and it makes no difference to me at all whether you agree with them or not. However, I would advise you not to ask for other people's opinions, and then get all bent out of shape when they conflict with yours.

#286035 - 09/19/06 09:08 PM Re: No Pain no Gain [Re: pgsmith]
Marishiten Offline
illegitimate Onna Bugeisha

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Australia, NSW
cxt, you have so many quotation marks around your words I'm not even sure anymore what you're getting at.

tha kata we do are NOT 2 person - they are one person. Basically, going through the motions on your own etc. That, on its own, is NOT going to teach you much skill when it comes to facing a real opponent. Sparring is there for timing, footwork, and improvisation - all of which are essential in a real battle if you live long enough to use them. Sparring has also made me understand the kata more, it makes it more concrete and shows me the application of it.

We don't 'invent' anything. I am not saying i 'know better'.
You know whose opinion should be heeded? Those who LIVED to gain, not those who died.

I know what I think - I think that I'd be getting a better indication of how good I am than someone who's afraid to get hurt, uses kata as a main mode of training, and if they spar, they do it lightly. "I'm sorry, but that's how it is". And yes I have as much right to say that as you have.

I don't care how much ANYone has been around. Have they BEEN in battles? I doubt it. So where have they 'been around'? Dojos? other schools? I will only listen to those people when they grow up and stop making assumptions based on a couple of my posts about my whole school.

But I'll answer these questions:

With whom did he/she train with?
I don't keep a list do I? This is not some obscure little school. It is a branch of a very well-known MA group. If you're in Australia, or even where you are, you might have heard of Peter Obrakar. I'm sure googling the name will give you some results. My sensei is friends and trains with him, and he himself is well established. Peter teaches Karate, my sensei teaches with him. My senseis sensei has recently died, he (my sensei) has trained in Japan and received gradings there.
What specific ryu is your teacher teaching?
I'll just write word-for-word what it says on my certificate:
Koryuu Bu-Jutsu, Batto-Jutsu, tatsumi ryu, Muso Shinden ryu iai-do. This is what I train in, but not everything he teaches. He HAS the liscence to teach these, as well as a handful of other MA.

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