Is it [koryu] strictly from the Samurai traditions?
And does Koryu have things like 'closed door disciples' (actually this phrase is from Chinese arts) and contain scrolls of knowledge that are passed down the next patriarch of the ryu? Or is this also myth?
1/ Koryu are schools created and transmitted before 1868 when started the Meiji era. They are old schools of the old age. At that time bujutsu were samurai knowledge. So it is samurai tradition. To my understanding.
2/ Wang Yang was my teacher in Chen style Tai Chi Chuan. She was the "disciple who closes the door" for one of her masters. That means she was the last one who came in time for the last harvest of her master's knowledge. In koryu, the teaching is given following the needs and abilities of the students. Those who may have more abilities may be called "closed door disciples" by those who have less abilities but in fact there is not much difference but in that each should receive what is best for him or her. It is not really a student's concern what another student gets: everyone gets according to his needs and abilities.
3/ Scrolls of knowledge that are passed down the next patriarch of the ryu may be reality. In fact it does happen but what is handed down is in fact the ability and undestanding of the teaching. In 2011 interview
, Iwami Toshio soke says: "Soke [Headmaster of a koryu] means the only one who has succeeded in proper thoughts and skills. We have to learn these through Soke as through a mirror; we could also say Soke is like a needle and pupils are like threads, i.e. Soke leads us like needle and threads."
4/ Any martial art should be considered as a myth until you have studied it. Myths were and are teachings. What some call myths are lies or fantasies. Meeting a myth means going for experience and adventure.