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Charles Hill
02-01-2011, 10:10 PM

I am looking for some advice/help. I have just discovered a branch of Shinkageryu Shoden Kamiizumi Kai somewhat near my house.

Here is the main website. http://www.sinkageryu.jp/

Does anyone have any info on this school? I have been reading up on Shinkage-ryu on the Internet and in the Koryu related books I have. I have not found any specific info other than what the school puts up on its own website.

A more general question is, how can one research legitimacy claims of koryu schools? Any info on resources would be appreciated. I have looked at the Skoss` website and do own their Koryu Bujutsu books. I read Japanese, so resources in Japanese would be fine.

One more question. When I go take a look at the training, what should I look for and ask about?

Thanks so much,

Ellis Amdur
02-01-2011, 10:54 PM
That one's easy. Send an inquiry to Meik Skoss at Koryu books (or Dave Hall, who is located in the Washington, D.C. area), both being senior members of the Yagyu family Shinkage-ryu. Put in the link to the website, and either one of them can place the group exactly in the scheme of things.
Ellis Amdur

Josh Reyer
02-01-2011, 10:59 PM
This school is an off-shoot of the Marobashikai. The Marobashikai is headed by Watanabe Tadashige. Watanabe Tadashige's father, Tadatoshi, was a student of the 20th soke, Yagyu Toshinaga. I do not know how qualified the teachers of the Kamiizumi-kai are. To me, one yellow flag is that the teacher of neither dojo is mentioned, nor their level of attainment and/or years of training with what Sensei. They also take some potshots at the line I practice, but, well, that's budo for you.

For reference, here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLvlSjbq8hk) the Marobashi-kai in New York. The last kata they do is actually the old Kamiizumi-era Sangaku, so a good example of what the Kamiizumi-kai will be practicing.

Here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn-p19C8MAQ) the mainline, and here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xW1VYumUK8#t=5m13s) an older offshoot of the mainline for comparison.

As for legitimacy, any legitimate group should be completely happy to share their lineage. Once you've established that, the best thing I can recommend is to view various schools, or lines within schools, and find the one that impresses you most, be that the atmosphere of the dojo, the technique, or the style.

Also, you can check the home page of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai (http://www.nihonkobudokyoukai.org/) or contact the Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai. Membership in these organizations doesn't mean one is any good, nor does non-membership mean that something is not legitimate, but it's a place to start.

Charles Hill
02-03-2011, 08:49 PM
Thanks Ellis and Josh for your replies. I have just sent my question to Mr. Skoss.

Josh, the videos you linked were interesting, I learned a lot.

The Nihon Kobudo Kyokai website was good, too. I found that the honbu for Ellis` Todaha ryu is in the nearest big city to me. Still a bit too far for me, being married with a kid and a job.


Charles Hill
02-04-2011, 07:17 AM
I received a very quick reply from Meik Skoss. It was comprehensive and very helpful. Mr. Skoss is definitely a great source of information.

Josh Reyer
02-04-2011, 10:57 AM
What did Meik say? Feel free to PM me if you feel it'd be inappropriate for an open board.