Kuroda seems to do more weapons than "empty hand". Today, it is the opposite. More people do "empty hand" and virtually no weapons.
One thing lost in all this "kuchiwaza" is context. Kuroda teaches a classical bujutsu system. Everything he does exists in the context of a particular framework. Shishin Takuma ryu is a taijutsu system that was created as an adjunct to kenjutsu & iaijutsu. It is not and never was intended to be a school of pugilism or wrestling. So it is outside the arts paradigm to employ the hard striking found is an art like Ushiro's Shindo ryu karate. Therefore, why would you quantify their internal skills by evaluating striking ability? Understand? Where Kuroda's manifestation of superior body skills demonstrates itself is in superhuman speed and precision. This is a school predominantly focused on swordwork afterall. Power is of secondary importance when we're talking razor sharp steel meeting flesh. How much power do you need to cut a major artery with a katana? I'll take speed in his world anyday, thank you........
Now imagine I'm in Kuroda's box looking out. I see a guy like one posting here. I say, "Yeah, they're strong but they're too slow, They don't have "it". They are limited in their abilities and don''t understand what they're missing"
Wouldn't that likewise be a sign of arrogance?
Rob asked if any of Ushiro's students can apply their internal strengths outside of karate. My response is, why would they? They are karateka! That's their paradigm,
This is what I mean by context. Making critical observations of people or systems outside their context seems pointless to me. If your training matches your context, great! If it doesn't, then there needs to be a change. That's what really needs to be the subject here. Being myopic is the problem. What Mike and Dan's insights offer is valuable but risks becoming bit cultish when opinons are presented without the insight or direct experience to back them up. Something that really grates on me is saying go out and feel it and then commenting on something or someone you've never personally felt. Don Angier, Kuroda, Ryabko and Ushiro developed their internal skills in a different manner than those being promoted here. For people posting here to conclude that different methods for achieveing internal skills are either inferior or less efficient without DIRECT experience to make such a conclusion is so obviously flawed that it borders on arrogance.
I have a suggestion for some of you that think the solo kata system is the only, best or most efficient way to achieve internal skills. Stop with the opinions based on limited exposure. Go out and feel Mikhail Ryabko. Don't watch video's, go feel the man in person. Challenge him and see what happens! Then go play with a guy like Bob King or Joe Neal who's hasn't been doing Systema longer that 5-6 years and get back to us. My experience with Systema is real not imagined! These guys can hit like freight trains and are as soft anyone your liable to meet. They learned their skills in another method than I learned mine, which is very similar to that being promoted here. That's why I keep a truly open mind and don't comment on things I have no direct experience with. I've been burned before by having a closed mind so I've put that limiting factor away in my pursuit of superior budo.
Another thing to keep in mind. If this stuff was the end all, be all of martial skill, why isn't anyone doing this type of training, the heavyweight boxing champion of the world? I've done competitive karate, western boxing and muay thai. What I learned in these pursuits is that these worlds are very Darwinian. What works ......works. What doesn't...doesn't. Every truly competitive martial pursuit develops a training methodology that works because it evolved in the harsh crucible of testing....Real 'balls to the walls' testing!
If these methods are so generally superior to others, bring me a Chinese IMA guy and lets put him in the ring with a guy like Mike Tyson and see who hits harder. Again, my mind is open to any result because I don't know the answer.
Toby Threadgill / TSYR