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OwlMatt
10-06-2011, 11:43 AM
There is a place nearby that teaches this, and I have been toying with the idea of getting some extra weapons training outside aikido. Is there anyone who has trained in this who can tell me how it has affected their aikido, if at all?

Budd
10-06-2011, 11:54 AM
There is a place nearby that teaches this, and I have been toying with the idea of getting some extra weapons training outside aikido. Is there anyone who has trained in this who can tell me how it has affected their aikido, if at all?

Having trained both concurrently for a time, I'd say that it's best to make sure you're going in with a beginner's mind, rather than looking to augment your aikido with jodo. Depending on whether it's the seitegata (sp?) through the Kendo assoc or the koryu from a specific menkkyo line - one version does not necessarily look/feel like another, so visit the class, see what you think, how you feel about it and if you'd be willing to devote the time to it as it's own unique practice.

That said, I found there were things about it that very much informed my aikido . . but at the time I was training I was approaching SMR as the martial art I was practicing, while aikido was something of an ongoing experiment (still is, actually). I definitely do no regret the time I spent in SMR and it's definitely a unique experience having a skilled weapon wielder swinging towards you with intent (even in a training setting). I'd absolutely recommend anyone in aikido with an interest in Japanese weapons spend some time investigating weapons-specific practice.

Best,

Ellis Amdur
10-06-2011, 06:01 PM
It is unavoidable that koryu are regarded as wonderful antiquities, of no real utility in the modern world, other than to enhance one's life (a hobby) or to enhance one's modern (real) martial art. Contrary to that viewpoint is this account:
A friend of mine, a police officer in Hawaii, trains SMR. He got a call of "man with a machete," something he said is not all that uncommon on the west side of Oahu. Then a second call, "man cut with a machete." At a prison half-way house, one inmate, on meth, was offended by another and cut him from shoulder to hip, to the bone. My friend arrived at a nearby parking lot to see huge shirtless man with a machete, fighting with man with a broomstick, who was able to hold him off (the latter turned out to be a bystander who was trying to stop man with machete).
Police officer gets out of his car, pulls his gun, yells "drop your weapons." Man with machete turns his focus and man with broomstick retreats. Man with machete, sweating and bright red (thanks to that drug, paradoxically named "ice,") paws the ground with one foot, says, "It's a good day to die," and from twenty-five feet away, charges. Police officer fires a round and due to time dilation, tells me that he could see the bullet (a .45 round) fly thru the air and strike the man in the left pectoral and could also see a circular pressure wave of impact ripple through his body. (Bullet later found to have penetrated the man's heart). Man with machete did not even pause, and in the instant of gunfire-bullet strike - officer trying to fire a second round, man with machete is cutting off his gun arm with a downward swing.
NOW - SMR - there is a move in SMR where as the swordsman cuts down, one swivels one's body at the last instant, drawing one's arms inward in a very idiosyncratic SMR wave, and follows that swivel with a strike. Police officer automatically does THAT move, so that as he drew his hand inward, the machete struck the slide of his weapon instead of his arm, just as he fired, and the gun, deflected downwards, discharged and the bullet, it was later determined, tore out the man's femoral artery. He, not pausing one bit, spun with the impact of the bullet and cut at police officer's head, who jammed the gun under his chin (an irimi, also done in a particular SMR way) and fired, the bullet exiting out the top of the man's head. Who stood there swaying for a number of seconds, staring at him, machete still in hand before he dropped dead.
Police officer backed up, weapon on point, some twenty five feet, and when his back contacted his patrol car, he went "boneless," and slumped to the ground. He was found some moments later by back-up officers sitting on his butt, legs in front of him, weapon still pointed forward, unable to move.

Now, I could have made the point far more simply, "SMR has utility in the modern age, and there are first person accounts to prove it." But this is better, isn't it?

Ellis Amdur

mathewjgano
10-06-2011, 06:08 PM
Now, I could have made the point far more simply, "SMR has utility in the modern age, and there are first person accounts to prove it." But this is better, isn't it?

:eek: Damn straight! Thank you, sir! :straightf

OwlMatt
10-07-2011, 03:15 PM
I didn't really mean to treat SMR as a means to the end of another martial art. After two years of aikido, I can tell that what we do at my dojo (for good reason, I know) only scratches the surface of what the jo and bokken can do, and I'm interested in learning more.

I'd like to have an idea of how it would affect my aikido, obviously, but I'm interested in it as more than an aikido supplement.

Also, thanks for the story, Ellis.

Janet Rosen
10-07-2011, 04:42 PM
Thank you Ellis.

dbotari
10-07-2011, 08:01 PM
Hi Ellis,

Thanks for the great story. I am wondering if you can tell me what move and in which SMR kata the story refers to. I study SMR and am trying to picture the kata and move but cant quite place it.

Thanks,

Dan.

Ellis Amdur
10-07-2011, 08:11 PM
Nah - I don't know the names. I can see it in my minds eye (I've probably seen SMR more times than some martial arts I've actually practiced!). My friend called me the next day after this happened, and he mentioned two katas, but . . .

Chris Covington
10-08-2011, 09:28 AM
Hello all,

Mr. Amdur- I'm glad that people are using the skill sets they develop from koryu in the real world. Most of us in my dojo are LEO and we are always looking for new uses to what we do. I think this story illustrates very well how the kata training method works in the real world and how it isn't: if he attacks A your defend B, like in a bad karate class. A koryu is a living, breathing system that transcends swords, spears and sticks.

Mr. Story- I know a LOT of SMR guys. It is a very good martial art to study, be it seiteigata or koryu. I think there are some ryu that have a very strong "flavor" to them. SMR has a strong flavor about it and it will likely influence how you move in everything else. I can't articulate why but I can always seem to tell by the way they move if someone has done a lot of SMR. The art has very good approach, close, entry and very good timing, target, distance. If you have the chance to train with someone with some time in you might study all of the other weapons like the tanjo, jutte and kurarigama, too. This should expand your understanding of maai greatly. The other thing is that there is a SMR group in almost every major city I know of (the Baltimore/Washington area has 6 different groups I can think of off the top of my head, maybe more) making it one of the most available koryu around. If you move away you can likely find a dojo within an hour or two drive from you. I'd say go for it.

Best regards,