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Old 08-07-2007, 04:12 PM   #1
Ethan Weisgard
Dojo: Copenhagen Aiki Shuren Dojo
Location: Copenhagen
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Ogawa Ryu ?

One of my students sent me this link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0z77DzmzyE

It shows some clips of Ogawa Ryu - a very interesting ryuha. Does anyone know more about this art?

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:07 PM   #2
Timothy WK
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

There was a big thread over at E-Budo awhile ago about them. Long story short---it's fake, all made up.

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:35 PM   #3
Drew Mailman
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Non-members of E-Budo can't access that link, and you cannot register to become a member of the forum at this time. Can you copy and paste a few highlights from the thread, or give us another link to read from?
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:25 AM   #4
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote:
Long story short---it's fake, all made up.
There ain't nothin' fake about that guy throwing shuriken.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 08-08-2007, 06:35 AM   #5
Timothy WK
Location: Chicago, IL
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Well, for about 5 pages of that E-budo thread you get a bunch of people talking about how things just look a little off.

Quote:
I could be wrong, but I'm with Neil. Yes, it's done better than the usual slap-dash conglomeration of fake koryu, but some things about the info provided and the techniques displayed raised red flags.

As Neil said, traditional budoka don't need to use a tasuki with modern keikogi because there's nothing that needs to be tied up, like big sleeves of a montsuki. I figured, oh well, maybe they're doing it because they saw their sensei do it in Japan and they don't have montsuki..but then, some other stuff bothered me. The shurikenjutsu was kind of lame. The iainuki, zanshin, and demo of sword techniques seemed to have bad ma-ai, overly elaborate methods , bad tenouchi (if it's WAS koryu; if it's more modern...then whatever floats your sail).

I was willing to take it all with a grain of salt because I've seen worse, and maybe they were some odd offshoot of some odd offshoot. Their jujutsu stuff did look pretty fast, very much like Daito-ryu, mixed with some kurottee punches, but as a mix, it seemed well done.

But then I saw their pages about chanoyu. I get possessive about chanoyu because it's one of the hardest disciplines I ever studied. Drove me half-crazy. Doing jujutsu is like a vacation compared to full-time tea practice for an extended length of time. Don't you be doing some boojiggie with my chanoyu and passing it off as legit.

The kensui waste water bowl in the pics is in a totally wrong position relative to the person. One picture has the student doing something with the tea whisk while holding the bowl, with the kensui in the right side. To someone not schooled in tea, it looks pretty cool. To someone who's done it, it's pretty darn weird. It doesn't make sense, technically speaking, esp. her position relative to the wall and the water ladle handle. I'd say exactly why, but it would take up too much bandwidth. Suffice it to say, I know of no legit Sen school of tea that would end up in that position. Also, a female student is shown in white uwagi and hakama; that's never worn in tea. More proper in seppuku ritual, perhaps. Stuff like that got my attention.

There's a lot of discussion about Sen No Rikyu and the Urasenke system and the "current" (actually, the previous) headmaster, Daisosho Sen Soshitsu (now Genshitsu). But no info on how the group is connected to Urasenke, if any. There IS an Urasenke branch in Brazil. But no info about their location, the group's relationship, the teacher's status and teaching rank. If the person has a teaching rank, he'd also have a chamei, a tea name, proudly up somewhere on the web page because it's a big deal. The name is one indication of his lineage due to the kanji. I didn't find any chamei. These things are not supposed to be secret. They are supposed to be up front and clearly described to show one's relationship to Urasenke.

So I went back to the martial arts stuff and looked at it with very critical eyes.

Maybe they did learn something legit. If so, it's obfuscated by some hokey stuff. Well done hokey stuff, but hokey stuff nonetheless. Yeah, they've been shown in a budo magazine. And if they're in a magazine, they gotta be legit, right? Hummmmm.

I COULD be wrong. They COULD be legit in terms of their budo and I'm just a knee-jerk whiny doofus (move over, Neil), and I'm just badmouthing their form irresponsibly. Maybe. Dunno, though. Their web site raises more questions for me than answers. Well, whatever. If they enjoy what they're doing, then caveat emptor, or something like that. Just don't ask me about their chanoyu or I'll go nuts again.

...

Looking at just some of the vidoes Victor posted as links (geeeeeeeez Louise, they like to post videos), my own opinion is that they have no real "base." They have cribbed a series of movements that start out from different styles and added some eccentricities of their own. I see traces of Eishin-ryu, Katori Shinto-ryu, Ikkaku-yu, Takenouchi-ryu, Don Angier's system, and some other stuff, and I only glanced at some five or six of those videos before I stopped. I'm sure there's more to be found were one to go through all of those videos.

I have a feeling that a lot of those techniques were taken from DVDs, videos and books. Maybe there was some prior training in judo, aiki, and or karate, then it got a good shaking and voila; Ogawa-ryu martial arts, tea ceremony, and calligraphy. They are certainly energetic about it. But as a gas station attendant said when I was traveling through the southern part of the United States (I had no idea at the time what he was saying), "Thet thar dawg don' hunt!"

--Wayne Muromoto
The history they gave was also suspect.

Quote:
Here is a rough translation of much of the main page of this organization's website (my Portuguese is rusty, but still serviceable). Hope this helps give some background to what these folks are about.

By the way, their website appears to be well-intended. It has a good narrative about the history of Japanese immigration to Brazil. Brazil has the largest Japanese population in the world outside of Japan.

Here's a link to the original Portuguese web page this comes from.

http://www.bugei.com.br/bugei/history.asp

"Kaze no Ryu Bugei is the “martial art like the wind”. It was developed by the Shizen people, who inhabited the forests of Hokkaido, in the north of Japan, during the Kamakura era (1192 – 1333). During that time, the art was called “Uchiu Shizen” which means “dominion over nature and space”.

The origin of the Shizen is linked to the Ainu (the true natives of Japan, who are closer ethnically to Caucasians than to the Japanese) who were forced into the north of Japan for centuries. Documents from the year 801 indicate that the Ainu tribes were defeated in the north by Tamuramaro Sakanoue (Oscar Ratti). The repressed Ainu joined forces with others who were unhappy under feudal rule, such as various ronin and farmers, and took refuge in hidden forest villages. In direct contact with nature, these people developed their own culture and traditions. Four villages comprised the Shizen people: Kawa, Yabu, Tayo and Yama.

The Shizen developed their own language – “Shizen-go” – as well as their own religion, the “O-Chikara” – based on the cult of natural forces, called Tengu.
The Bugei taught by the SBB comes from the Ogawa Shizen Kay school, which descends from the village of Kawa. History confirms that the "Kaze no Ryu" was established by Yorike Mizuguchi who, influenced by Choisai Iizasa and with the help of the Japanese “kami” (gods), changed the direction of the martial ways of the Shizen.

"Kaze no Ryu", like other styles, developed through constant technical refinements which, together with a continually evolving base of principles, determined the path of development of the art...

...thousands of examples of mortal combat between two men formed a human experience that became an intrinsic aspect of the Japanese soul...

... Yorike Mizuguchi, who later changed his name to Manabo Ogawa, is the root of the Ogawa family tree. Yorike was a priest who believed that messages from the gods were the basis of his development. Manabo is recognized by the priests as the Kokeisha (direct successor) of the traditional lineage of the village of Kawa.

It is believed that his adopted name – Ogawa – is undoubtedly an homage to his rebirth in the waters of the “little river” that runs through the village..."
__________________
Howard Spivey
Quote:
Thanks, Howard, for the rough translation. Understandably, there may be something lost in translation, but...

..."Kaze no Ryu Bugei is the “martial art like the wind”.

It's actually more like martial culture of the Wind Style, although properly it would be called Fuuryu. Hmm. Where did I hear that name before? No "like."

...It was developed by the Shizen people, who inhabited the forests of Hokkaido, in the north of Japan, during the Kamakura era (1192 – 1333).

No such people. Shizen just means "natural." As in All Natural Organic vegetables. Natural herbs. To my knowledge no such "tribe" called "The Naturals" existed in Japan.

During that time, the art was called “Uchiu Shizen” which means “dominion over nature and space”.

...More like "Outer Space Natural." More to the point, it doesn't make much senes in Japanese.

The origin of the Shizen is linked to the Ainu (the true natives of Japan, who are closer ethnically to Caucasians than to the Japanese) who were forced into the north of Japan for centuries.

People used to think that but I believe that recent DNA tests show that they are probably more Mongol (North Asian) than Caucasian, related to Mongolians, Mancurians and other North Asian (and North North American Native Americans) than Caucasians.

...Documents from the year 801 indicate that the Ainu tribes were defeated in the north by Tamuramaro Sakanoue (Oscar Ratti).

I'm not sure of Ratti's source, but splitting hairs, I believe that documents called those northern tribes "barbarians" or Emishi, and Emishi is a problematic word that doesn't describe Ainu per se. The Emishi may have been some Ainu tribes, but they may have also included simply groups who didn't want to have anything to do with the Imperial Court, but were ethnically and culturally of the same culture.

...Four villages comprised the Shizen people: Kawa, Yabu, Tayo and Yama.

Ah...Nope.

...The Shizen developed their own language – “Shizen-go” –

"Natural language?" Baby talk? Shizen-go makes no sense.

...as well as their own religion, the “O-Chikara” – based on the cult of natural forces, called Tengu.

O-Chikara: Honorable Strength? Big Strength? Tengu are demons, considered forces of nature, but not all of natural forces.

...The Bugei taught by the SBB comes from the Ogawa Shizen Kay school, which descends from the village of Kawa. History confirms that the "Kaze no Ryu" was established by Yorike Mizuguchi who, influenced by Choisai Iizasa and with the help of the Japanese “kami” (gods), changed the direction of the martial ways of the Shizen.

"History" as in what reference? Certainly not in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten or the Honcho Bugei Shoden, where one would think it would be listed, especially if it had links to the TSKR and Iizasa line.

... Yorike Mizuguchi, who later changed his name to Manabo Ogawa, is the root of the Ogawa family tree. Yorike was a priest who believed that messages from the gods were the basis of his development. Manabo is recognized by the priests as the Kokeisha (direct successor) of the traditional lineage of the village of Kawa.

???? Priest...as in Shinto priest? My understanding is that a whole village doesn't inherit a Shinto lineage, but this may be my own bad reading of the translation.

Yes. At least no ninja visions in a dream, but aliens from outer space ate my brain if I believed all this. Oddly, though, they attack the fabrication of their lineage as vigorously as they do their techniques. Lots of work went into this, but WHY in Heaven's name go through all that trouble when you could just hop on a plane and study something legit and return, rather than live out a lie? Why? Why do I keep receiving spams for helping little old millionairre ladies from Nigeria or North Korea? Why are there bogus Medal of Honor winners? Why do these guys fascinate me in a sick way?

Wayne Muromoto
At one point, one of the school's students steps in to help "clarify" things:

Quote:
Dear members, practicioners and experts,

Congratulations for the forum and for the excelent degree of its participants and contents.

In the name of the CNKB - Conselho Nacional de Kaze no Ryu Bugei (National Council of Kaze no Ryu Bugei), registered in Brazil, and under request of superiors, I will attempt to clarify some of the questions hereby presented.

The story of our style, former “Kaze no Ryuu Bugei”, started in the Kamakura age - 1192 a.C. - 1333 a.C., with the shizen people, at that time living in the north of Japan, nearby Hokkaido. Closely related to the Ainu people, known as the first natives of Japan, the Shizen people were few, composed by the repressed Ainu and other discontent with the feudal regimen, such as rounin and farmers, among others. Notably, as rebels and few, all efforts were made towards keeping themselves hidden and silent. Mr. Oscar Ratti, author of many books, which most of you certainly know, mentions in his book “Secrets of the Samurai” some passages of the Ainu people being pushed back into the northern lands of Hokkaido, which accords to some part of the teachings being passed, surely, at least three generations from the present one, from teacher to student, as the usual. Mr. Ratti’s book, however, is not the only available source for researching the fact that the Ainu people and culture like people (where the term “Emishi”, used in Japan to designate those tribes from that time, with different culture, habits and language from the “nihon jin”– japanese people – came from) existed, opposed and resisted the rules of the Japanese Emperors – many citations and explanations can be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica and there are several books about their history.
There, with the constant need to learn / develop a martial art (in the original sense of the expression, remounting the roman god of the war, Mars – not only self-defense), a system that could provide effective means when life is indeed threatened during conflicts and combats, it was compiled a style, at that time called “Uchiuu Shizen”.
Naturally, due to the great deference that many bushi had for the arts but martial, such as the calligraphy, the painting and the meditation, among others and to the practice of those as a habit, it was incorporated to the style and studies.

The teachings from the school say that the name “Kaze no Ryuu” (style of the wind) was baptized by Yorike Mizuguchi because of the strategical knowledge that aimed to deceive the enemy, that is, moving forward and backward, as the wind. The possibility of writing the kanji for wind, “kaze”; and style, method, “ryuu”, in its chinese readings, onyomi, respectively, “Fuu” and “Ryuu” (already), although makes a lot of sense in Japanese, could lead to a misunderstanding, since “Fuuryuu”, with exactly those kanji, is a word of common use, meaning “elegance”, or something like “refinement”, being a noun or an adjective. Anyway, the name “Kaze no Ryuu” has been taught surely, at least, since Ogawa Sensei.

The course of history reaches Ogawa, Hiroshi, known as a genious man in his martial art – at the same time, a man that passed through many frustrations and bitternesses in his lifetime, notably being a person quite difficult to live with. From this point of view, in all the story of Ogawa Sensei, there are three versions: his own, the one from his enemies and the true one. We know only his own.

This small résumé, however, may be seen as legend, and there is no manner to comprove it. There is no way to attest that the style is definitively ancient, nor that the grand parents of Ogawa Sensei already practiced like that.

From that on, we, his students, deal with the responsability of passing forward what was transmitted from him. We are not filiated to any kind of organization, even because Ogawa Sensei did not like to show up and did not allow his students to appear frequently in every event around – and this feeling was absorbed by everyone active in the group. It was only later, in the later 90’s, that Jordan Augusto Shidoushi started to gradually disclose the structure set.
Although, as mentioned, we are not filiated to any kind of organization, at the same time we continue the method of Ogawa Sensei.

Ogawa Sensei always said he taught Koryuu, and for every movement and sequence of Koryuu there was a precise explanation for that movement at certain time of the history and according to the line of thoughts of the ancient warriors. And it is kept untill nowadays. Because of the very large amount of details and references to such ancient things, objects, weapons, situations and ways of thinking, it was always clearly taken that what was studied reached ancient times.

Furthermore, Ogawa Sensei developed several studies beyond the classical sequences, which made the students of the Ogawa Sensei’s school quite different, technically, from others students of Kaze no Ryuu Bugei. As a matter of preserving what was taught by Ogawa Sensei, his students began to refer to it as Ogawa Ryuu, and, probably, at this time the most correct was Ogawa Ryuu Ha.
In the same way, aiming the preservation of what was taught in Brazil, all the Seiteigata was catalogued and photographed and it is kept as internal documents of the school.

Anyway, if it is a Ryuu, a Ryuu Ha or a method created by himself, we do not have how to know it securely and it is extremely hard to be comproved deeply.

About the study in Ogawa Ryuu, since Ogawa Sensei’s time, it was developed under subjects, or arts. Many of them are briefly discribed in our site: www.bugei.com.br
Also, it can be found at http://www.bugei.com.br/bugei/bugeinobrasil.asp the most coherent history, with names and dates, about the early development of the Ogawa Ryuu Bugei in Brazil.

So, under the subject “Juujutsu”, for exemple, all the postures, breathing, disposal of hara, angles, ma-ai, timings and peculiar characteristics will be according to the specific ways of thinking present in Juujutsu. In our style, Juujutsu is typically an art of self-defense, used most generally in situations of agressions, attacks or situations of everyday. The sequences and movements comprove this historical feature, and so do all the details surrouding the study. We note that these characteristics of this little example may be surely applied to our Juujutsu only – among the so many existing styles of Juujutsu, there are certainly some that were not developed mostly for self-defense.

For each subject, different studies, different exercises, different explanations.

On the other hand, the school sets two kinds of study and practice: one the classical sequences and the other is the free form – in which Ogawa Sensei stood out the most. In the free form, logically, every practicioner and teacher make efforts to polish and improve himself, and that one changes constantly, for it pursuits the maximum reality within limits - but never adulderate the Koryuu Seiteigata forms.

In the videos and documentaries that are available in the site – all the videos made in the institution available to the public may be found there - there are many ones showing Seiteigata forms, other ones showing free forms. Someones are performed by Shidoushi, others by older students and yet, others by very begginers. Obviously, the purpose of each one if different.

We truly admire researchers who share their opinions in a serious way with other people and believe that this can lead to great conclusions and studies. Nevertheless, it is not usual the institution reply to any kind of forums, regardless of its aims, purposes or contents. Thus, we believe still many questions will be raised in a forum with so many experts and researchers, but we guard the right to remain silent.

As said, the institution is open to whoever wants to know or study the style in a serious and ethical way, according to our purposes. We do believe that even with the experience that great experts may have, having its own experiences about something, specially a style or school is the first minimum step to be able to evaluate it.

Shidoushi lives in Barcelona and is organizing the legal stuff to start his classes. Courses and seminars may be found from times to times.

Faithfully,

Thiago Finotti de Moraes
CNKB – Board of Directors
Quote:
Mr. Finotti,

Thank you for replying. As you noted:

"...There is no way to attest that the style is definitively ancient, nor that the grand parents of Ogawa Sensei already practiced like that.

From that on, we, his students, deal with the responsability of passing forward what was transmitted from him. We are not filiated to any kind of organization, even because Ogawa Sensei did not like to show up and did not allow his students to appear frequently in every event around – and this feeling was absorbed by everyone active in the group."

The statement, I believe, says it all. No need for me, at least, for further questions. You can't prove it, one way or the other.

Wayne Muromoto
But the real kicker comes on page 6:

Quote:
I know them. I`ve trained with them.

My first knowledge about Shidoshi Jordan Augusto was in 94 in a brazilian martial arts magazine in which he was presented as a master of Daito ryu. My father contacted the magazine so we could reach this, as far as we believed, only master of Daito ryu residing in Brazil. After four months we were able to contact his students who then explained that they actually trained an ancient japanese religion called "Bugei Art" that involved more than 18 physical disciplines and 36 spiritual ones.

Just to put into context, back in 94 there was no internet and very little trustworth bibliograph was avaiable in brazilian bookstores. I had some books(in english) that had such pearls of wisdom like "Jujutsu then became judo" or "samurai praticed karate"...and i was eighteen

After three years of correspondency and many invitations for Shidoshi to come to my city to teach, it was only after i left the Aikido organization that he accepted to come.

It was 1997 and i decided to do a Workshop on Kenjutsu on my own(talking about frogs on wells, in my ignorance i thought that my video based aikiken was kenjutsu...and the worst, most people agreed for the lack of references...) and he came with some students. He participated on the seminar and demonstrated "Daito ryu Aikijujutsu" and "Kaze no ryu Kenjutsu"(the no meaning, acording to him, the possessive particle, thus rendering the name "Tradition of the wind").

I had a very extremely completely lame Aikido so he looked amazing.

Two months later i went to Goiânia(his hometown) for a month to stay in his house for some practice. And after my return to my city i brought him to teach a workshop on "Jojutsu"("Gonnosuke`s method").

Althought i was very well treated and enjoyed tremendously the practice i deeply disliked the religious aspect(animism with guiding spirits who had very tendencious advices for me towards martial arts and personal life...).

About the technique

Jordan`s technique seems very much like a blend of good Yoshinkan and good Judo, trained without the emphasis on grabing the gi. His weapons are definetly Aikido type. He studies alot of videos thus he is able to increase his repertoire with kata he adds and them blends into his "tradition".

So, what`s wrong?

As i mentioned, at first he taught three diferent Koryu in his "Bugei Art"(as it was called back then): Daito ryu, Shindo Muso ryu and Kaze no ryu. He also explained how the term Bugei refered specifically to his school(if it is called Bugei, it is related to him and his school...).

As in 98 me and my father finally got internet and found KoryuBooks, Mugendo Budogu and Tozando, we were able to buy fantastic books and videos...and contact people from koryu budo.

And what a surprise it was to see how "diferent" Kenji Matsui`s Shindo Muso ryu was from Jordan`s...

When i mentioned this to him he simplely said that what he taught in the workshop was "Kaze no ryu Jojutsu"(not quite what he said on the video my father made of that seminar...). After extra six months he was explaining that actually it was Kaze no ryu Bugei, which included Aikijujutsu, Kumiuchi, Jojutsu, Kenjutsu, Sojutsu, Naginata jutsu, tanto jutsu, hojo jutsu, okinawan weapons(yes!)...and that it was a secret martial art of the Ainu people.
Yes, Ainu.

The ranks were also very unusual, starting with Kohai, seito(first level up to third as i recall), deshi, uchideshi and goes on(i really don`t remember it all, but i have it written down). The exam`s fees were also unusual in which they would cost from U$300(for the first levels) til U$1000...and for Brazil those prices were even higher than they sound for you folks on US...

Also, there was an unhealth atmosphere of formality...in the presence of Jordan students were expect to sit in seiza and remain in silence, avoid eye contact and treat him in the same manner one sees daimyo being treated in samurai movies. And i won`t go into the nasty details(and they exist).

From 97 to 99 Jordan was able to gain a large following and lots of money...but even though most of his students were originally friends of mine, all of them had cut contact with me and my father for no particular reason...and when i would stumble on them in a mall or such they would be extremely formal("greetings Renato san/sensei...i hope all is fine with you and your family").

In 2000 the bomb fell...i was on the beach and was greeted by two friends who had entered on the "Kaze no ryu Bugei".

Well, let`s say that ALL his students had left, some were suing him, and them they proceeded to tell me what the students were recquired to do...including the fact that it was forbidden to mantain contact with me and my father, at the cost of being expelt.

Present status.

As i said before, Jordan is very skilled and has an amazing charisma. He is also very quick into improving/fixing his art. And i inadvertly have helped him in doing so with a hot debate i had on the Orkut-based community "Kenjutsu - Kendo" were i listed all the incongruences of his "Koryu", among which was the name. Now he uses the name Ogawa ryu instead of Kazeno ryu(which he still uses, but with the reading "direction of the wind" instead of "Wind school") and has "fixed" all the most obvious absurds on his claim of being a legitm koryu(except the Ainu nonsense, but he will most likely do it, sooner or later) .

Conclusion

The empty hand techniques are good (better than most average Aikido & Judo), the weapons are so-so and the cultural aspect is confuse.

All in all it is very much like Saigo ha Daito ryu.
And not something i would recomend.
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Renato Costa de Alcântara

Last edited by Timothy WK : 08-08-2007 at 06:37 AM.

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:48 AM   #6
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Basically, there are still technical give aways as to the lack of or extremely mixed "provenance". Not to mention the obvious problems with veracity over the years, and the attempts to rectify the errors without just coming clean.

But in terms of just physical skill, he and his students look skilled on video. Hard to tell more without feeling it.

My opinion...I wouldn't go out of my way to find out how technically skilled they are if they can't tell the truth. Without the "Koryu Trappings" (TM), I might very much enjoy training with folks like that. But when you start lying about things, then I really can't trust you. So no...not buying.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:35 AM   #7
Hebrew Hammer
 
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

I too have seen these impressive clips...regardless of their lineage, it is some of the best martial clips I've seen on Youtube. I thought I read they were an off shoot of Daito Ryu...but I'm not 100%. I dont' understand all this Martial Hubbub about lineage and who's style is more real than another's...the proof should be in the dojo.

What is it with these Brazilians?...every time I see clips of them, no matter what the style I'm usually quite wow'd.
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:05 AM   #8
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Kevin Hagens wrote: View Post
I dont' understand all this Martial Hubbub about lineage and who's style is more real than another's...the proof should be in the dojo.
It's not about Real. It's about Facts. If someone says, "We will teach you practical jujutsu!" then the proof is in the dojo. If someone says, "We will teach you an ancient Ainu form of martial arts!" then the proof is not in the dojo. It's in the facts that back up that claim. If there are none, then it's disingenuous at best, and fraud at worst. If the style is personally worth being lied to, then great. Myself, no matter how good I may find the art, I could never stay with an instructor who lied to me to that degree.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:53 AM   #9
Jim Sorrentino
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Lies

Greetings All,

Robert Wolfe said it best, several years ago on e-budo :

Quote:
Regardless of the physical efficacy of individual techniques within a particular system, Dave Lowry has made the point that fundamental dishonesty or deliberate obfuscation at the core of a system corrupts the practice in subtle but significant ways and ultimately affects and compromises the practitioners themselves by requiring energy and spirit that should be available to training be diverted to justifying the practice, to themselves or others. An internal schism is created when some seed of doubt in one's instructor is planted, exacerbated by the fact the physical and psychic danger inherent in practice of classical (or classical-styled) martial arts in essence requires absolute trust and faith in the instructor. Eventually such disharmony can reach something of a critical mass, resulting in even as senior a practitioner as Mr. R----- deciding honor and integrity demand a different course.
Jim
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:24 AM   #10
ChrisMoses
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Renato (also a member here and the final poster quoted above) and I have been corresponding for the last few years, and I have no reason whatsoever to doubt what he wrote there. In fact, I've heard quite a bit more off-forum about this group. Enough to convince me that regardless of how physically skilled they are, I would never set foot in their dojo. True budo should improve the whole person, and if someone who has supposedly 'mastered' an art still finds it in themselves to lie about what they do and hold unhealthy sway in their students lives, they, in my view, have failed as budoka.

Chris Moses
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:56 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

And anyone who can't see the reasoning behind what we are saying here, gets what they deserve. And they are welcome to it.

Best,
Ron

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Old 09-21-2007, 11:23 AM   #12
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

I don't really care about this group at all.
I think Robert Wolfe has a good handle on it, for having been a victim of it himself. And just because the students drank the kool-aid doesn't mean they are all culpable either.
Why folks have to align themselves with some ancient Japanese something or other -when even much of the real stuff simply sucks-and/or has been morphed through the centuries past any serious credibility anyway-is beyond me. If you must...I mean if you love the ancient Japanese arts....-go do one.
These guys and gals would do better to make -themselves- truly capable and carry on from there. Though it would mean dumping the hakama and gi and just train as a MMA group. Though if they did these supposed "deadly techniques would have to stand on their own merits and their own two feet. Something which most men run from.

As for Dave's excellent argument of fundemental dishonesty.
We then must make cultural allowances for Japanese tatamae and honne where lying is...uhm...credible? I have seen it first hand. Though I was raised properly where there is no excuse for lying and no credible reason for doing so-people.... these days are far more casual about it and who it harms. Why its almost an acceptable form of a social contract now. Just like in Japan.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:40 PM   #13
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
"Koryu Trappings" (TM)
TM!?


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Old 09-21-2007, 01:03 PM   #14
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
We then must make cultural allowances for Japanese tatamae and honne where lying is...uhm...credible? I have seen it first hand. Though I was raised properly where there is no excuse for lying and no credible reason for doing so-people.... these days are far more casual about it and who it harms. Why its almost an acceptable form of a social contract now. Just like in Japan.
Dan, this is a really interesting point which I've also seen, first hand. I think there's sort of an in-group/out-group approach to lots of this types of training (from genuine koryu, fake "ko-roo", even to MMA gyms/clubs, there's often a kool kids vs. outsiders mentality) which unfortunately can transmit over to only certain people being allowed access to varying degrees of "truth", which can then be subjectively manipulated based on someone's perceived authority.

Of course, part of the problem is this notion that making something more "Japanese" is making it better (or even, in some cases, more appropriate). On the other hand, if you're choosing to train with someone, on some level you're accepting their version of reality, as it applies to combatives. Eventually, I think what happens is that some want to just be led blindly, while others constantly evaluate, try to improve and ultimately raise everyone's game (some have to strike out on their own to do this, while some can do it within their collective).

Maybe it boils down to some people ultimately training to achieve something versus some people training to belong somewhere. Then, of course, there's different levels of honesty (with oneself and others) even between and within those paradigms.

No easy answers, but I think starting with honest inquiry ain't a bad thing on a number of levels . . .
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:48 PM   #15
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As for Dave's excellent argument of fundemental dishonesty.
We then must make cultural allowances for Japanese tatamae and honne where lying is...uhm...credible? I have seen it first hand. Though I was raised properly where there is no excuse for lying and no credible reason for doing so-people.... these days are far more casual about it and who it harms. Why its almost an acceptable form of a social contract now. Just like in Japan.
Dan, you have raised the tatemae/honne distinction in other discussions. How does it apply to the present discussion of an apparently phony ryu? Are tatemai and honne really about lying?

Peter Goldsbury gives an excellent thumbnail sketch of tatemae and honne on Aikido Journal at http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=681. At the beginning of the piece, he states:
Quote:
The Japanese martial arts, as a microcosm of Japanese society as a whole, rests on a trinitarian distinction: ‘omote' and ‘ura'; ‘uchi' and ‘soto' and ‘tatemae' and ‘honne'. Omote is what happens before the face; ura is what happens behind one's back. Uchi is ‘us'; soto is ‘them': the in-group vs. the rest. Tatemae is formal, public, official; honne is informal, private, unofficial. I think that the core of these distinctions is found in all cultures, but in Japan the refinement of these distinctions is quite exquisite: it is an art form.
I agree with Budd: we should start with honest inquiry.

Jim
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:44 AM   #16
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
It's not about Real. It's about Facts. If someone says, "We will teach you practical jujutsu!" then the proof is in the dojo. If someone says, "We will teach you an ancient Ainu form of martial arts!" then the proof is not in the dojo. It's in the facts that back up that claim. If there are none, then it's disingenuous at best, and fraud at worst. If the style is personally worth being lied to, then great. Myself, no matter how good I may find the art, I could never stay with an instructor who lied to me to that degree.
Josh,
I understand your point, but it seems to me that people are often arguing the 'facts' that date back sometimes hundreds of years and these 'facts' are often incomplete...stuff happens, scrolls are destroyed, names are left off lists, private students are not kept on the books...etc...and what some people believe to be 'facts' are too often legend and lore. History is often revised to suit perspectives. For example...the Cultural Revolution in China attempted to destroy the Shaolin Monks and many of its Martial traditions...think of the thousands of lost records here.

I'm aware too that there are huge numbers of 'Frauds' out there and you can usually tell in a short period of time training with them. Just because someone has their 'facts' in order doesn't make them good teachers. Much in the way that having a marriage license makes you a good spouse.

I just think that no one, who has commented on them, in this thread, has either trained with them or personally seen the level of teaching at their dojo. They are just discrediting or invalidating there skill based on lineage or the lack of proof there of or on internet rumors. Maybe I'm in the minority here.
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Old 09-22-2007, 04:28 PM   #17
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Kevin Hagens wrote: View Post
Maybe I'm in the minority here.
You are. Many of us participated in the e-budo thread that was linked and quoted above. They have changed their claims over the years, I do know someone who has trained with them and their students. If you have seen enough Don Angier and/or Daito Ryu tapes, you've also seen a lot of their ancient 'Ainu' artform...

Chris Moses
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:00 PM   #18
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

If someone has reliable info and/or direct knowledge about these people, please contact me via PM.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-27-2007, 07:36 AM   #19
DH
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote: View Post
Dan, you have raised the tatemae/honne distinction in other discussions. How does it apply to the present discussion of an apparently phony ryu? Are tatemai and honne really about lying?
Jim
Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Dan, this is a really interesting point which I've also seen, first hand. I think there's sort of an in-group/out-group approach to lots of this types of training (from genuine koryu, fake "ko-roo", even to MMA gyms/clubs, there's often a kool kids vs. outsiders mentality) which unfortunately can transmit over to only certain people being allowed access to varying degrees of "truth", which can then be subjectively manipulated based on someone's perceived authority.

Maybe it boils down to some people ultimately training to achieve something versus some people training to belong somewhere. Then, of course, there's different levels of honesty (with oneself and others) even between and within those paradigms.
I guess it al depends how and where you were raised. People these days have situational ethics, Corporate spin, the Japanese cultural support for half truth, even their own versions of Amish group-shunning etc.
All of which can be accomplished without lying.

I revisited this thread after having a series of discussions with certain folks in a certain art. It was their general opinion that it is easier to give a "No comment" than to offer a lie. Further it is far less harmful to all involved.
One person, who trains with a certain shihan and has an affiliated Dojo made a very clear statement. "If it isn't factually correct and the person knows it. It's a lie." It may be a "group-supported lie" (think Enron) But it was created and mandated by the head office. He went on to say. "I don't want someone like this in my life. I don't want to be associated with a person, much less an entire group who would do such a thing. and he summarilly resigned from the organization.No if's...., no and's,..... no but's.

As I said I don't really care about these sam-you-eye imposters here. Are they any less comical than many people in the martial arts world? Many of whom are there because they "have issues" in the first place. And the martial art vertical structure gives them ample support for an obviously flawed character. It easily explains the mendacity, and also the hiding and subsequent protectionism of low level skills behind a structure that you see so often in these arts. It's why I see little difference between these fabricated-out-of-whole-cloth play actors in skirts, and many so-called Budo teachers who have nothing much to show that your average high school wrestler couldn't take apart.
In the end they are both constructs. Nothing more than an illusion.

In a world of grey it is sometimes refreshing to see black and white.

Last edited by DH : 09-27-2007 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:51 AM   #20
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Hi Dan,

Agreed on some things being black and white - on a case by case basis (who says budo isn't full of contradictions?)
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:26 AM   #21
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,

Agreed on some things being black and white - on a case by case basis (who says budo isn't full of contradictions?)
Hi big guy
Hmmm.....cute
But more and more people today wouldn't even get the joke. "Case by case" as a qualifier for lying, at least for me, is part and parcel to the situational ethics and the acceptance of lying I was talking about. I reject it. If we sat and yakked a bit I could outline a few personal experiences. Including some rather hilarious, and easy to unravel lies from Budo teachers. Were one to really get down to it lying reveals personality flaws. Why lie?
Ego
Protectionism
vanity
jealousy
Greed
And greed breeds dishonesty in many forms. As Sinclair wrote “It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding.”
But, in the end, as I said, a lie is still a lie. There is no grey area, only the social contract that offers cultural support for individual or group lying. Something which simply warns to me to hold my own council and trust no one involved. And as that Student I mentioned stated- he didn't want to be involved witth budo people who find that behaviour acceptable. Budo folks should also consider another form of lying. Paying your money to be taught, only to find out you were not in fact being taught. Or in other cases not being taught equally.
Were are not Chinese, we are not Japanese, And just because we "understand" a thing doesn't mean we need to embrace it either.
Here in the states for many folks in business, measuring honesty in a person is NOT a compliment. They consider it a measure of Naivet'e or innocence. I've even heard it described as ignorant! In some circles morphing and massaging the truth is not only acceptable- the art of it is considered admirable. But there is a better way, and involves even more skill. And I have seen decisions made based on a reading of character and the sense of trust.
Everyone decides on their own.
These kids here would have been better off-they would probably even receive compliments- had they just been open about combining things. I mean really, most people are still impressed with a stupid jointlock, so there isn't even a need to add a history to it.

Last edited by DH : 09-29-2007 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:36 AM   #22
Budd
 
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Re: Ogawa Ryu ?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi big guy
Hmmm.....cute
But more and more people today wouldn't even get the joke. "Case by case" as a qualifier for lying, at least for me, is part and parcel to the situational ethics and the acceptance of lying I was talking about. I reject it. If we sat and yakked a bit I could outline a few personal experiences. Including some rather hilarious, and easy to unravel lies from Budo teachers. Were one to really get down to it lying reveals personality flaws. Why lie?
Agreed completely. I think anyone that's been doing this stuff for a bunch of years - with an eye towards results rather than belonging/status - has some stories/experiences. Though I look forward to the next time we get to sit and yak (following other fun stuff no doubt ).

I also think it's a carryover from older times whereby you apprenticed/indentured yourself. In this case, you might willfully put yourself in the hands of a master in order to better "learn". People on a basic level know that to do anything well you have to commit 100%. Other people on a basic level know that if you get people to do that, they're easier marks to take advantage of (think cults and breaking down individuality).

The con man knows that to sell the con you have to create all of the trappings. I'm sure plenty of times that it's not done out of malice, but even good intentions . . . . you know where that can lead. Or as Sinclair also said, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach."

A big problem is the average person isn't going to have a frame of reference to make an educated choice. Look at all the folks here that are still talking about ki/kokyu/bodyskills when I'd be willing to take odds that people aren't talking about the same thing. Yet, it becomes a status-self worth-reassurance game to say, "We already do that". (nevermind the additional need to train with people that aren't going to just fall and offer "intelligent resistance" - I'd take odds on what people consider "intelligent resistance" as well)

I was recently watching the Pirates of Penzance movie and was struck by two parts:

1) Ruth apprenticing Frederic to the Pirates because she misunderstood his father's wishes (instead of apprenticing him to a ship's "pilot", she apprenticed him to a "pirate"). How much misunderstood stuff might be done in today's martial practices because of a misunderstanding/misrepresentation of the original intent?

MMA is at least honest about constantly testing and reinventing itself. I think practitioners of more traditional arts may do the same thing, but whether they're as honest about it is another question.

2) The scene in the beginning where Frederic is taking the boat to civilization. He is still with Ruth because he wants to believe that she is a beautiful woman (she hasn't tried to dissuade him of this notion either). When he finally sees the Major General's daughters on the beach, he realizes that he'd made a judgement based on not having any real comparative information. Hurt feelings and harsh words abound. If you've trained in something for years and committed to it, only to find that there's been a fundamental dishonesty (by the fault of you and/or others), there's going to be some subsequent ill will.

Of course, maybe I'm just reading into it too much, but I think both parts may have equal relevance to the discussion.
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