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#355498 - 08/17/07 09:48 AM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: Charles Mahan]
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2805
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
I'm not too sure he has Tode elements in his system. From seeing limited techniques at the EC Get Together last year it looked purely japanese to me. However my conclusion is based off of an hour of participating in techniques he showed. It is not based on training in the system in its entirety.
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#355499 - 08/17/07 09:56 AM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: Raul Perez]
jpoor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 726
Loc: Fairfax, VA
Here is a novel idea folks. Why doesn't someone just ask him?

Asking me would do little good because I wasn't there long enough to know or even see everything the school trains.

What I can say is that there was a heavy mix of hard and soft fist. There were influences from Okinawa, Japan and China even. No kata, no free sparring, though he is in the process of starting up a tournament team and there will be a separate sparring class soon. At least that is the plan as I know it.

The folks you see listed on the black belt council section of the page visit fairly frequently and instruct aspects of their individual arts.
_________________________
Don't let the white belt fool you. . .
I know even less than you might think.

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#355500 - 08/17/07 09:57 AM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: Raul Perez]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I assume the poster in question was referring to this from the website.

Quote:

These elements are the foundation of our training:
AIKI soft and controlled art
BU technique of war
JUTSU our combative or Bushido (Way of the Warrior) origin
TODE applied hand and leg technique


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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#355501 - 08/17/07 10:14 AM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: Charles Mahan]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I'd like to point out that I don't see any wrong with creating your own system and combining all sorts of different stuff to make it work. So long as you are honest about what you are doing. That certainly seems to be the case here. While he calls it Aikibujujutsu Ryu, which is certainly an odd name for a style, the website doesn't claim it is a legitimate Japanese Koryu or anything. So there is nothing wrong whatsoever with that.

My only real concern is not having any idea where his JSA training has come from. Swords are very dangerous weapons. They are designed to kill people. They are like guns which can't be unloaded and have no safety. You can quite literally cut off your fingers if you do something wrong. Much worse can go wrong.

What I'm getting at is that it really should be taught by people who have received some real training themselves. Especially if they intend to put live blades in the hands of new students who will then attempt to perform Iai. It's one thing to put a drawn sword in the hands of a newbie and have them swing it about. It's another thing entirely to try to teach that newbie how to do nukitsuke and noto with a live blade. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it should definitely be done with a qualified instructor handy to let the student know when they are doing something that might leave them with a crippling injury. I'm not saying this person isn't a qualified instructor, but what I've heard and read so far isn't promising. It would be nice to have some idea what his training history in Iai is. That's why I asked over at E-budo if anyone knew anything about him. Still waiting on a reply.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#355502 - 08/17/07 12:25 PM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: Charles Mahan]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

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

I'm deeply cynical and suspcious at the best of times--that is a given.

But I've got some red-flags on the website itself.

Chief among them are:

1-No mention of exactly whom trained him, in exactly what in which he was trained, or for how long.

2-This little gem---"Our style was assoicated with a traditonal European System rooted in Japanese Aiki-Bujutsu for some 20 years, upon the death of its Soke, now stands alone."

Its all the stuff that it DOESN'T say that gives me pause. As does its very specificly vauge wording.

Like I said, I am cynical and deeply suspicious. Might mean nothing at all.
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I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#355503 - 08/17/07 12:35 PM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: Charles Mahan]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I've never go on E-Budo but I must have visited it many years ago as I could log in after I put my e-mail address in and it sent me my password. Nothing much there yet.

JPoor, I'm happy that you are feeling better by this and no matter what myself or others have said, it only matters about you. However I would just like to point out that as a person new to this you took just a small amount of time to figure this all out compared to the greater amount of time that this person has into this. Also I agree training with new people with real swords is fishy and something I have never heard of and would advise against. Even my nunchuck training we use the softer ones especially for beginners.

Earlier I pointed out that I felt this was "damage control". I work at a chemical company and I am involved in customer service so I know a lot about damage control. I feel that he probably is not a bad person but he also doesn't want a poor image of himself or his school to any potential students or any existing students. When faced with this problem he had to come clean or hide it and be bitten in the ass later with it. Again this is only my opinion but there are just too many red flags that go off for me. Again I am happy that things worked out in the end for you JPoor. You are the one that went through this and who the bottom line it should matter to.
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#355504 - 08/17/07 12:57 PM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: cxt]
jpoor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 726
Loc: Fairfax, VA
as for # 2 That would be the World (or European, can't remember off the top of my head) Aikibujutsu Federation. I did a little searching on that recently, but didn't come up with a whole lot.

From what I understand, Mr. Anthony inherited the system from the former Soke (I've heard the name, but don't recall it as it wasn't a big part of daily class) I asked another student once, and they told me, but unless I write it down quickly I suffer from CRS sometimes.


I need to point out that I am not going to play the game of swaying opinion one way or another, but if there is an answer I can give, I'll give it.

The lack of obvious lineage caused me only minor concern at when I initially visited the school. Lineage doesn't make better MA as far as I'm concerned. A false lineage, however, comma, brings a whole other list of concerns (not saying any of his claims are false, just to be clear).

Mr. Anthony talks about lineage very rarely, and almost never in concrete terms. To give him credit though, I never said, who is your teacher and his, and his, etc etc.
The Aiki Bujutsu training made a lot of sense and was very well rounded. The thing that keeps me personally from returning for now is I can't deal with what I see as conflicting inconsistent instruction. I tried and was getting past some of it, but then this sword thing put me over the edge.

I'll explain:

There were several instances, but one or two will suffice. FIrst I have to say that I really do understand tweaks and adjustments made based on body type, strength, ability etc. In my mind these examples are not part of that.

Modern (or modified) fighting stance depending on which instructor was speaking. We're drilling and one of the senior students (a fairly new black belt) corrects my stance to a more "pigeon toed" position. That student walks off and one of the instructors comes up and "re-corrects" me right back to the way I was. Senior student # 2 comes by and "fixes" it to yet a different option. Back to the first student who gets frustrated and unhappy that he has to correct me again. It was almost a "you're not listening to me, get with it" vibe that I got, though that was never stated.

Next, jab from fighting stance. I almost never used a vertical fist, keep this in mind. Ok so instructor number one works on my jab and has me keep my fist at whatever angle it starts at in the guard up position. Not quite vertical, not quite horizontal, somewhere in the middle. The explanation is that this way is faster than rotating the fist. Ok I can try this for a while. So, I work to over come the muscle memory of rotating the fist. Along comes instructor #2 and says "I don't know what that is, that's not a jab, that might be some kind of goofy punch, but," etc etc.


Now, I'm not going to get into which version of each technique I prefer, there are many opinions on that matter. However, I feel fairly strongly that in the same school, the same techniques should be taught the same way by everyone, ESPECIALLY for something so basic. I addressed this and the answer was "they are really trying to help" (never doubted that, these are good people) and "different body types require different mechanics." Well, yes and no. If we're talking about a 110 pound person shoulder throwing a 280 pound person versus a 230 pound person throwing the same guy, ok I can buy that.
I can buy it at advanced levels, I'm not sure I can buy it for something as simple as the position of your fist for a jab.


I know that last bit was a bit off topic, but it was related in a way. I'm loathe to see another thread on this subject as I don't really go in for bashing a former instructor.


Edit: Dereck we must have been typing at the same time.

Bottom line, I'm still somewhat going through this. My life isn't ruined and I'm not wallowing in depression. I'm, however, still quite a bit upset over the matter.

As far as image goes, I'm sure there is something to that, it is after all a business. Knowing what I paid and what the gym took (60/40 in favor of the gym), though, there isn't a boatload of money being made. I would still recommend that anyone interested check out the school and make up their own mind. Personally, you couldn't drag me back to the sword class there, but the rest, maybe someday. There will be healing to do on both sides if that is ever to happen

On the subject of training with live blades, some very reputable instructors (some that helped me with the sword evaluation) have told me privately that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a live blade right from the start if done properly and safely. I know this is a hot topic for some, but it is not unheard of.






Edited by jpoor (08/17/07 01:05 PM)
_________________________
Don't let the white belt fool you. . .
I know even less than you might think.

Best,
Jim

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#355505 - 08/17/07 01:21 PM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: jpoor]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

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

I completely get what your saying.

You have to remember my deeply cynical nature--I'm not really joking when I cop to that.

Lineage certainly does not make a system automatically better--I have met people with MASSIVE credits in their CV of skills that can't teach worth a lick.

What bugs me is that if I was looking at somebodies resume--and they want me to hire them, which is pretty much the situation here--and they claimed a college degree and 20 years of training BUT, left OFF the actual school they went too and exactly where they worked, for how long, and with/under whom.

It just looks/feels weird and it stands out.

Most of my problem usually come down to how things get marketed.

The guy seems sincere--and his standing up over the sword snafu speaks well of him--or at worst his customer service is pretty good--which is NOT a bad thing.

The latter part of the post---sadly that is pretty "normal" there is pretty much always conflict between what a "senior student" and the head guy is going to tell you.

As a rule of thumb. do whatever the person standing in front of you is telling you--yeah, its irritating, but that is sometimes just what you have to do.

Or you can always POLITLY tell the person that your doing it as the head teacher TOLD you to do it--and ask THEM to help you clear up with the head teacher what your supposed to do.

Sometimes you have to get up-front with all the people trying to "help" you train.

Sometimes you have to CALMLY AND POLITLY tell whomever is standing in front of you that you paying a lot of your hard earned money to be hear and that guy says do it this way and this guy says do it that way--and you would really appreciate it if they could talk and get back back to you on how they want it done--please.

Sometimes it works wonders.


Edited by cxt (08/17/07 01:22 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#355506 - 08/17/07 01:30 PM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: cxt]
jpoor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 726
Loc: Fairfax, VA
Maybe I was lucky, but I never had those type of conflicting instructions in my dojo in CA over a period of 5 years.

Even so, being that these were both new black belts, if we subscribe to the theory that BB is just the start I can understand. When were talking about the three actual instructors 8th, 6th and 4th Dan they need to be on the same sheet of music or at least be able to explain why they prefer a vertical fist over a horizontal one without saying what the other guy just taught you is total BS.

That's just my thought on it though.
_________________________
Don't let the white belt fool you. . .
I know even less than you might think.

Best,
Jim

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#355507 - 08/17/07 01:44 PM Re: My sword got here :D [Re: jpoor]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

Lineage doesn't make better MA as far as I'm concerned.




Well. I think lineage makes a lot more difference in a weapons art. You can muddle your way through with unarmed combat. You can puzzle things out on your own. Do a lot of sparring. Learn a few tricks, and especially if you have some natural talent, you can get to be pretty darn decent. Trial and error works, because while you may break a few bones, you aren't likely to get killed or maimed by accident.

Where unarmed arts differ from armed arts, particularly sword arts, is in the ability, or rather inability to test ideas. You can't really go out and pick a fight with another swordsman to put your ideas to the test with a real opponent. That used to be possible, but it's not anymore. So you can make things up all day long. They will make sense intellectually, and you will never have any idea if they are actually viable techniques. Creating a viable sword art from scratch, or synthesizing one based on unarmed concepts is all but impossible. Thus it is useful to understand the details of an instructors sword art background.

Then there are the safety issues. Accidents happen. Even to the very well trained. There was a gentleman in California who was a quite accomplished battojutsu guy who cut his thumb off. No urban myth. That actually happened. Then there was the incident of the guy who ran his arm through a couple of years ago and nearly killed himself in the process. Then there was the guy who ended up with a punctured lung when he let a newbie try doing some cutting in his backyard. That was talked about over at kendo world recently. Mind these types of injuries are really quite rare. But they are mostly rare because usually there is a qualified instructor handy to keep an eye on things and make sure students aren't doing something stupid. In order to know what to keep an eye out for, you have to have been trained. Thus the issue of lineage ends up playing more of a roll.

Now I'm not saying that someone can't start with no JSA training and create their own style and end up with something that is worth training in and with the ability to run class in a safe manner. What I am saying is that the odds are very low. And why would anyone bother when there are perfectly good instructors around? Instructors who do have the training in arts that have been proven by previous generations.


Quote:


On the subject of training with live blades, some very reputable instructors (some that helped me with the sword evaluation) have told me privately that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a live blade right from the start if done properly and safely. I know this is a hot topic for some, but it is not unheard of.




Therein lies the catch. That's why a proper instructor is necessary, particularly if you intend to put live blades in the hands of newbies. I've a pretty good idea of what would happen if I started having new students try to use a live blade in class. Now I could compromise the curriculum. Have everyone shorten their swords by a couple of inches. Pay close attention to what they are doing during noto. Lean forward instead of doing proper saya-biki etc. I can make it safer. Probably not safe enough, but safer. But of course, then I wouldn't be teaching the techniques properly. I would be ingraining some very bad habbits that would likely get the student killed in a real fight.

So yes it is possible, but no I'm not eager to try it, and while it is posisble and is done by some, it is also VERY rare. Particularly within the Iai world where the very act of nukitsuke and noto put the practitioner in no small amount of danger if they don't get things right. As I've said all along, this was not enough to be damning, but it is a red flag. Something worth checking up on.
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