Thread: On Koryu
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:54 PM   #19
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
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Re: On Koryu

Speaking for myself: Neither of the koryu I studied (and am fully certified to teach) had in their curriculum "baseline" skills. [list][*]However, the physical movements are such exquisite vessels that I can fully imagine that some generations back, they were an explicit part of the study.[*]Having learned some small modicum of these skills has virtually transformed my traditional practice, without any discernible (external) changes in the kata

Also, records indicate menkyo kaiden in 5-7 years in the Meiji period. It is my belief and experience that koryu training takes far too long, because many teachers, greedy for power and status, withhold information or drag out the teaching.

I'm not arguing with any of the above posters, most of all Toby. I keep some things in house, some things secret from my own students - at least until a certain level. BUT - my research indicates that "koryu," back in their founding years were far more prosaic, often an exchange between skilled individuals from other schools. (Brothers rather than parent/child relationship). I'm currently undertaking such an exchange where I teach a wonderful martial artist Araki-ryu and he teaches me BJJ - we each have the experience of being utterly humbled by the other within the course of an hour and a half. The striking thing is that his sword work is among the best I've ever seen in the ryu, within a period of less than two years. (Sadly, I cannot claim the same equivalence in my BJJ).

I'm holding nothing back and he's picking up with both hands. (And ironically, that is making my sword far better). The grasping process I see in all too many koryu results in eternal students, chafing like Prince Charles, waiting for mummy to pass on to her eternal reward. This dynamic being nothing I want a part of, I find myself fully agreeing with both Mike and Toby.

Ellis

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