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Re: Question: Selecting A Ryu
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I remember it is said that Kotô-ryû and Gyokko-ryû are like the opposite sides of the same coin... and that one without the other leaves the process half done....

Like:

Koppô = good form
Kosshi = using skill (to take the good form away...)

Posted on: 2006/1/23 21:11
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Re: Question: Selecting A Ryu
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i would have to agree with Ari here, and to a certain extent Sean as well.

like anyone else in the Bujinkan my experience of one particular ryu-ha or another comes from training in the Bujinkan. in other words: training it the way that Hatsumi sensei is teaching it. and Hatsumi sensei is teaching Bujinkan arts as a whole. hence his admonition "All Bujinkan. All the same."

i am sure there are those people out there like Sean who have had exposure to training one particular ryu-ha. but as for the rest of us....

....if we are picking our "favourite" ryu-ha over another, exactly on what criteria are we basing that decision? if our only understanding of a ryu-ha comes from our training it through the integrated filter( so to speak ) of the Bujinkan, then are we really able to discern an apple from an orange if we've only experienced both for years as one single type of fruit?

there's nothing wrong with asking the question of course. and i'm not taking it all that seriously in the first place.
just my two cents.


mark spada

Posted on: 2006/1/23 22:10
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Re: Question: Selecting A Ryu
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I'd almost put the "favorite" ryu in the same category as a "favorite" technique. Bad idea as it makes you predictable and more vulnerable. Each ryu has something beneficial to add to the total of the "Bujinkan" but each in itself is not as complete as the whole. I'd prefer to have as many "tools" available to me as is possible. By combining all into the Bujinkan this has happened. It does give you more options in each situation as opposed to only responding as one "ryu" would do. But that is just my opinion.
Ed Martin aka Papa-san

Posted on: 2006/1/23 23:06
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Re: Question: Selecting A Ryu
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Quote:

Strider wrote:
... are we really able to discern an apple from an orange if we've only experienced both for years as one single type of fruit?


mmmmm... I like Sensei's Bujinkan Fruit Salad
The combination of flavours are superior to any other!

Posted on: 2006/1/24 0:07
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Re: Question: Selecting A Ryu
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Pursuing mastery of one of our ryuha is a dangerous trap, as Papa-san pointed out. In addition, all you will know about the ryuha is limited to only what Soke has taught. Even then, Soke is known for throwing in teachings from other ryuha without pointing out the difference - so you could be learning waza that aren't even in the actual densho for that tradition!

There are individuals out there who have started their own "ex-Kan" organizations and focus on teachings from their own copies of the ryuha densho, sticking to exact technique memorization. People who train with them will get this type of lifeless teaching without truly understanding the depth of what they are learning.

Again, however, we have the danger of thinking you know a particular ryuha when you really don't. For instance, I know there are those out there who are studying Soke's Shindenfudo Ryu video and learning all the waza, but not realizing the video only shows about half the material ("dakentaijutsu"). The same is true for Takagi Yoshin Ryu, as well. And, there are more.

So, you can learn the waza of a ryuha and study all you can find about it, but it would be foolish to think you are actually "learning" a ryuha. You are only learning the skeleton, made bias by your own limited understanding and the context in which you are learning it.

For example, I know there are people who studied the waza of Togakure Ryu, wanting to "learn" the ryuha. But, if you look at how the school began, it was an evolutionary process combining koppo and koshi strategies for a particular purpose. These skills were already developed from other older arts (like Koto Ryu and Gyokko Ryu, for example).

In Shindenfudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu, the first waza is a counter to a throw. Other techniques are also counters. This means the waza are evolutionary responses to prior martial skills.

So, if you want to properly learn a ryuha, you need to first learn the roots of it, which may not be part of the densho training because it is assumed you already know it.

This is why we have the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki, with the Kihon Happo, Sanshin and the like. Study this material thoroughly. Make this your "ryuha" focus. Save the actual ryuha densho waza for later. You'll do yourself a much better service and, in my opinion, develop your taijutsu and understanding much more efficiently.

Posted on: 2006/1/24 1:40
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Re: Question: Selecting A Ryu
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Well put Darren! I think the question was just asked in the spirit of play, at least that's how I answered it. Like I said about apple pie, I like all of it even the doughy middle if it's uncooked. Hey doughy middle, I guess you are what you eat!

Posted on: 2006/1/24 5:38
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Gambatte!
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Re: Question: Selecting A Ryu
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Hi all,

I have been mulling this over for a couple of days.

Here is my take on Selecting a Ryu. Each Ryu-ha appears, to me, to be more like a series of maps showing us points of interest along the way. Sometimes the maps are of overlapping/ neighboring territories. Sometimes the maps are rough drawings of territories rudimentarily explored (or so seeming) with symbols for the points of interest/ hazards on the way to a specific destination. Even more so it is the map of the destination itself.

Like the maps created by the ancient cartographers and explorers the symbols and conventions of the maps are drawn from the style (including the fashion) of the time of its creation. For example blue dashes breaking up a solid blue line representing a fording point on a river. This symbolic convention is useful for commerce as well as developing a military defensive/ offensive strategy.

From another view point the dashes could be symbolic of something else. What do you think when the map says “Here there be Dragons”, what do you think the cartographer meant? Is it the original or a copy? A copy has the influences of the copier/ scribe to be taken into consideration.

There is some internal dialog, that for me, occurs in my translation of this concept-
1. The Bujinkan is the “Rosetta Stone” that allows translation of the distinct volumes contained in its library.
2. Each Ryu-ha is a map with its own symbol set.
3. Each symbol creates a context from which the interpretation of the other symbols within the symbol set changes or is expanded.
4. Each waza is a symbol.
5. The Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki is the symbol set common to all the maps.

As for me I’m grabbing my backpack, my field glasses, my walking stick and notebook. I’m going exploring today. Perhaps I’ll look at the maps I have at my disposal. Perhaps I’ll just take it as it comes.

I would like to thank each one of you for contributing to this forum. For it is a service, that does us all good.

Gambatte!

Posted on: 2006/1/24 5:40
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