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To Ryu or not to Ryu
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I train with Jeff Ochester here at the Dayton Bujinkan Dojo. He has a great sense of teaching the Kata with a good historical sense but at the same time allowing us to concentrate on the essential movements and not get hung up on a history lesson.

We have discussed the value of studying and learning the specifics of each Ryu and lessons learned from the Kata. We have also talked about the dangers of becoming a Kata collector or the stagnant effect of getting hung up on the specifics of Kata "purists".

Both Jeff and I started training under a teacher who was very closed mouth about the specifics of each school. The trainig was still excellent and we learned the basics very well.

My question to the Kutaki community is this, What value do you place on the specific ryu ha and when in your teaching or your own training should you make the effort - if at all - to learn each schools kata and history.

Thank you for your input.

Marty

Posted on: 2005/11/25 3:43
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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Always make the effort! Understand the Ryu that you are studying. Then as soon as you "understand" the ryu-ha kata, forget it. You're body will "feel" the difference.

Posted on: 2005/11/25 10:38
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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My view on this... hmm... how to put it...

If you take a tech/form from one school and do it without the methodology of the said school it might not produce the result you are looking for in the way it was meant to.

The forms teach the school's method for that situation. And this is usually - AFAIUI - a complete situation, overall solution, all-encompassing within the school. We all have done similar Waza from different schools. This comes from the fact that the bodies of Uke and Tori are the same no matter what school but the principle of the school gives flavour to the actual happenings. Take Omotegyaku for example - each school has it, but all look at it a bit differently AFAIK according the school's "view of the world"....

So, in the end... knowing this is important. Not in the Kyû levels, most likely, or maybe not even in Dan-levels, but if you are a teacher.....

Posted on: 2005/11/25 15:50
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Ari Julku
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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Quote:

Yamazu wrote: If you take a tech/form from one school and do it without the methodology of the said school it might not produce the result you are looking for in the way it was meant to.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. Is it not Ok to teach the forms out of order, or to mix and match from different schools to compare and contrast the different philosophy?

Marty

Posted on: 2005/11/25 17:12
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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Quote:


I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. Is it not Ok to teach the forms out of order, or to mix and match from different schools to compare and contrast the different philosophy?

Marty


Yes that is okay. But shouldn't you first know the technique in the total context it was meant to be before you start mixing up things and compare how it changes the outcome?
Knowing Yamazu a bit I would guess he will answer something along the lines of: shu, ha, ri....

Take care,

Jan Ramboer

Posted on: 2005/11/25 17:46
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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When I posted this, I thought it might gravitate to two camps - On one extreme - the traditionalists who see the Kata in their original settings, and order, strictly taught with the exact angle, distance and effect each time. One might see this somewhat like what some have criticized the Jininkan as being too much of. The other extreme is that the strict structure doesn't matter and only the feeling or concept of the movement is what is important. In fact the knowledge of the specific schools may hinder true understanding of the movements involved. You might see this as another bujinkan splinter that looks as movements only as generalized scenarios.

I have seen and learned from both methods of thought and personally I feel the later way of thinking may be more essential, but I agree that if you put yourself in the place of teaching this art, the prior mindset is important.

Once again, a westerner thinks backwards, ha - ri - shu?!! I think that Shu-ha-ri cycles regularly, and that just when you think you really know a kata, you need to go back and learn the basics again in order to see what you missed!

Marty

Posted on: 2005/11/25 19:18
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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Concerning Gyokko-ryû... I've heard "starts with Kokû, ends with Kokû!" This could be seen as the ouroboros, if you will. On the "upcoming cycles" your view/knowledge will most likely deepen, change even, in a way.

Posted on: 2005/11/25 20:06
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Ari Julku
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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when my teacher is showing us a particular kata, sometimes he will admonish us to practice it with a feeling related to the specific ryu-ha:

"Remember to do this with Koto Ryu feeling."

"Try to have a Gyokko Ryu feeling here."


sometimes he won't. either way, the feeling always seems to come through when practicing the movements of the kata correctly. there are times when i feel i understand what i'm doing is a Kukishinden Ryu type of feeling, but again that only seems to come through after practicing the movements correctly.
i personally believe that grasping the feeling is important, but not at the expense of learning the movements correctly; in other words i'm not worried about grasping the feeling right away. that will happen naturally without me trying to force it.

on the other hand, should we be taking into account Hatsumi sensei when he says: "All Bujinkan. All the same."
i pose this question to those with much more training experience and exposure to Hatsumi sensei than i possess. is he admonishing us not to worry about it? or is he merely leaving it up to us to decide if identifying specific feeling with specific ryu-ha is important?


mark spada

Posted on: 2005/11/25 20:49
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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I think we all have to be very careful in this area. How do we know that we know the feeling for a specific ryuha? I really can't see myself knowing the feeling behind a ryuha without knowing (knowing through diligent practice) the feeling of that certain ryu's kata. Who is best to teach us this type of feeling? Is it Soke? Personally, I think not. Soke teaches nothing and everything at the same time. To learn the kata behind a certain ryuha you need plenty (years) of diligent practice with an instructor who knows the ryu deeply. (Menkyo Kaiden anyone?)

So until we find an instructor to teach us the kata behind the feeling we should be content to learn what is being shown to us without trying to put that feeling into a dichotomy somewhere.

But whadda I know?

Posted on: 2005/11/25 21:35
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Re: To Ryu or not to Ryu
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Quote:
Arag... Strider quoted:
"All Bujinkan. All the same."


And that's true, right? Whatever Hatsumi-sôke teaches us is Bujinkan Dôjô Budô Taijutsu, right? It is his thing, it is being taught the way he sees it best.

On the issue of different schools and their "taijutsu-identity"... I still think that the forms are made "around" the identity, not the other way around. Like in Gyokko-ryû the powerfull turning of hips... Many of the forms become something quite different without that idea in them. They can, naturally, be done using other dynamics, but then it might not be "that form" anymore. Just Bujinkan, all same

Good or bad? Don't think so. Just a thing to note, IMHO.

Posted on: 2005/11/25 21:59
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Ari Julku
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