Quote from Kevin:
"I am not a scholar, but I believe in the old days, ryus were held accountable. Accountable to the results they produced in a society that trained these guys for practical purposes. In modern times it becomes an esocteric practice with a lot of people running around in costumes, re enacting an anachronism that has little to do with the real world. There are very few that are qualified to interpret these tactics and methodologies of days gone by.
So I think that probably has a lot to do with Chris' point."
.....I would say that the defininition of accountable you use is not what the original poster was thinking. Any ryu that was not effective died out if it's practitioners were killed.No Ryu was held accountable by anything and their practice is anything but esoteric in today's world. Having practiced Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo I can tell you it has a real application in the modern world that can only be felt by those who train in it. To say that " In modern times it becomes an esocteric practice with a lot of people running around in costumes, re enacting an anachronism that has little to do with the real world" Shows little experience in the Koryu.
In effect Darwinism held it accountable. Of this that survived, how many are really preserved intact? In the west especially, even if one aligns themselves with a ryu, or establishes at best what could be described as an affinity, what in their/our background gives us the ability to judge quality or to synthesize or intepret the system as a whole?
I did not mean to imply that all ryus in the west are a waste, but to only ask the question, how do you know? How does a culture that is really devoid of folks with a background in fighting hold accountability?
I think a lot of ryus are just that...costumes and trappings and not much else. I use the word ryu very loosely, as a true ryu would not be that...only the ones that call themselves ryus, but have very little depth or synthesis of a complete system.
It is also possible to have a sound ryu, preserved intact and u still have so called members that are completely lost in this sauce.
As u know. Preserving and practicing a old system that is essentially frozen in time is a great deal of work to do. It is a lot more work to interpret that system to modern practices and provide people insight on application. The are very few and rare individuals that can do this well. I value them.
Overall though, I like Chris think there are a lot of things going on out there that are a hodgepodge of whatever.