James Singleton (wanderingwriath) wrote:
Thanx Chuck, but what's real koryu? (helpless face)
Now THAT'S a million dollar question.
I can state, unequivocally, it is NOT something invented in the last 50 years.
Koryu, generally speaking, are the Japanese martial disciplines that evolved from the warrior class (thought there ARE some exceptions), prior to the Meiji Period (1868-1912).
Get thee to www.mugendo.com
and buy the three books edited by Diane Skoss (the Koryu Bujutsu trilogy ...)
They are one of the best references works in English about what koryu are and are not.
Anything by Ellis Amdur can help as well. Dave Lowry talks about koryu a lot, but I cannot see eye to eye with some of his ideas, though I cannot fault his depth of knowledge.
Koryu are the older arts, Takenouchi Ryu, Katori Shinto Ryu, Sekiguchi Ryu ... even (despite the fact that they're often being taught LIKE gendai budo these days) Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu, Shinto Muso Ryu, et al ...
Gendai budo are the 'new' arts, developed (certainly) after the Meiji Period) and generally having roots in the koryu.
Gendai budo sometime like to use 'do' and disassociate themselves from their 'martial' ('jutsu'), pasts. BS, sez me. It's all the same, in the end. Jutsu and Do is a whole 'nother argument and discussion ...
How does one differentiate (esp. when confronting somehting like Lovret's Tenshin Ryu and Yamate Ryu)?
Broadly speaking, lineage. Lovret's arts have NO verifiable lineage and no one outside of FJ Lovret and his students who can attest to their veracity.
CAVEAT: That is NOT to say that it is not good training, interesting budo, useful endeavor ... it is to say that his choice of a flexible reality as a marketing tool is dubious and should not be taken without a grain of salt.
Some of 'em are good folks and KNOW the deal, but are deeply invested and, frankly, LIKE what they're doing. Nothing wrong with that. The test of THEIR mettle will come when Lovret is gone and they start transmitting what they know ...
Verifiable koryu lineages are documented, researched, and info is available. The Japanese are OUTSTANDING record keepers -- there is simply no SUCH thing as a secret or unknown Japanese martial art, period.
If you have questions, go to www. koryu.com
and gt Meik Skoss' e-mail address there or e-mail email@example.com
or e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org
)privately and I can point you at any number of folks who can talk to you about what koryu is and isn't and can talk to you about the Yamate Ryu's lineage or lack thereof.
And BTW, for the record, there probably are less than a handful of koryu jujutsu systems that will use the term aikijutsu or aikijujutsu at ALL.
Why's that important? It ain't really, unless you're a budo scholar (geek) (like me?).
However, if an alleged 'master' of ANY given 'koryu' system will lie to his students about something as easily verifiable his lineage, what ELSE is he doing???
Most lineages of Japanese styles are easily verifiable. There are exceptions, but those exceptions CAN be verified through other means.
End note: If a man teaches a Good Thing, why does he need to lie about that Good Thing's parentage? Sigh.