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Old 08-14-2010, 09:27 AM   #1
Location: Germany
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 219
Kage Shihan ?

Severeal times recently I have stumbled upon the term kage shihan (translated as "shadow master") in forum conversations concerning koryu as well as Daito Ryu.
It seems to designate a master of a ryu, having received the highest secrets of the school but not appearing on its official records. He would remain in the shadow and teach only the worthiest and best students in order to preserve the school's integrity and survival.

At first glance it has a bit of a taste of conspiracy theory, and the sources of the information concerning this particular subject are very nebulous, but it appears several times, especially in French karate pioneer Henry Plée's writings and a few other books.

Could anyone confirm its existence, past or present, or debunk it as one of those martial myths ? Thanks in advance.

PS : I'm ready to believe that if you lean towards the second option, it'll mean that you haven't been initiated to the real secrets or that you're part of the conspiracy

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Old 08-15-2010, 02:22 AM   #2
Walker's Avatar
Dojo: 鷹松道場|Takamatsu Dojo ATL
Location: ATL--GA
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 220
Re: Kage Shihan ?

It seems to me that making someone a shadow master would be just about the best way to get rid of that crazy student who thinks they know it all.

Step One: Tell them, "Yes, you are the very best and know all of the secrets."

Step Two: Appoint them the "Shadow Master"

Step Three: Remove all record of them from the school's paperwork.

Step Four: Tell them that they must find some secret place to hide (don't tell us or anyone else where you are going, it's a secret) Remind them that to stay in the shadows they must not teach anyone or even let them know they are a great master or there is the danger that the ninja agents of the evil cabal of all world conspiracies might find and eliminate them.

Step Four Point Five: If they ask how they will know when to return to save the tradition tell them that Ped Xing from the secret reformed ecclesiastic order of observant shaolin monks will appear and deliver an invisible message.
Or maybe just tell them they'll be sent for when the time is right. Don't forget the silent password.

Step Five: have a glass or two of your favorite beverage. You've done a good days work and deserve a nice drink.

... and no, "It's Miller time!" is not the secret silent password.

-Doug Walker
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:38 AM   #3
Location: Germany
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 219
Re: Kage Shihan ?

Very good !

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