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Old 08-25-2004, 03:44 PM   #26
Fred Little
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Kent:

Reverend Furuya seems to have been fairly clear that his rank was in Muso Shinden Ryu, not in seitei iaido.

Without getting into the argument about whether or not MSR is genu-wine koryu, it is sufficiently similar that we can say that while there is some overlap between practitioners of various lines of koryu iai, neokoryu iai, and seitei iai, and some koryu practitioners may also be members of the AUSKF, the AUSKF has no authority whatever in regard to gradings within the various koryu and neokoryu schools. Indeed, the suggestion that it does has caused loud and bloodcurdling screams of outrage on other occasions in other venues.

Inasmuch as Reverend Furuya is not posting in this forum at present, your best bet might be to ask him directly and privately. If you're looking for a public answer, the Sword Arts Forum at E-Budo is likely to have several individuals sufficiently familiar with the various lines of MSR transmission to provide an answer.

Hope this helps,

Fred Little
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Old 08-25-2004, 04:02 PM   #27
Chris Li
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
Hello Kent,

You asked in your way and he answered in his way.... very Japanese, I think.
None of my instructors in Japan ever mentioned their ranks, and it was never included in any of their advertising. However, none of them ever hesitated to answer a direct question.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-25-2004, 05:01 PM   #28
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
Reverend Furuya seems to have been fairly clear that his rank was in Muso Shinden Ryu, not in seitei iaido.
Well, there is the little hitch of Muso Shinden Ryu as "real" koryu having it's own set of traditional licences. To be clear, I'm not suspcicious of his credentials because they're not from the AUSKF/IKF, I'm suspicious because he won't say where they're from.

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Old 08-25-2004, 05:03 PM   #29
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

I have absolutely no axe to grind regarding Furuya Sensei. So consider my thoughts here generic.

One's affiliation with a teacher or a lineage and how long one has been training are like a calling card in the Japanese martial arts. When I visited Japan no one asked me what my rank was... it was always "who is your teacher" and "how long have you trained". There seemed to be some underlying assumption about how hard you had been training so length of "time in" seemed to tell folks what they needed to know.

With the growth of Aikido there has developed a fairly wide range of experience such that the "time in" answer doesn't give a very good indication of someone's level or status. You can have twenty years of training twice a week at a community center dojo under someone relatively junior himself or you can have twenty years of training, six or seven days a week under a student of the Founder or equivalent. These are clearly two different things.

So people start to grasp onto "rank" as a way to peg someone into the hierarchy and figure out where they stand relative to ones self and ones tradition. But after almost fifty years of Aikido in America with shifting affiliations, the explosion in the number of organizations, etc. old timers often have a complicated history of training. Consequently, you have people with a vast experience who are without current association with any of the standard teachers or organizations which would grant rank that was unquestioned within the larger community.

Many people, finding themselves in this type of situation, turn to organizations like the the US Martial Arts Assoc to grant them rank that they feel is commensurate with their experience. But this approach has only served to obscure what, if any, meaning rank might have had since the people giving the rank out often don't have any recognized authority to do so. This is a bad approach in my opinion and only gives the impression of sleaziness and trying to get around the system.

I think we are getting to the point where these issues will have gone past the point of no return in that issues of rank etc simply won't mean anything. We are almost returning to the time when it was all about who your teacher is and how long have you trained? When there is no popularly recognized answer to this question, folks will inevitably fall back on asking people whose judgment they trust what they think about Sensei so and so. It's going to be more about what stature you've attained within the community and not about some number from a group no one has heard of or respects.

That said, it is perfectly reasonable to ask the pertinent questions when someone cites ranking. Who gave it to you is a very fair question and should have a very clear answer. If one doesn't wish to answer such questions one shouldn't publicly post the information...

In the case of a teacher like Furuya Sensei, I don't see the standard warning signs that give me the caution light. The ranks he is citing are quite commensurate with the time he has been active. The people he says he has trained with are well known instructors with whom his association would be relatively easy to document. Furuya Sensei is, in fact, a well known instructor who has written books, been active in the Aikido community, has authored many videos, etc. It would be extremely easy for anyone interested to see his Aikido or Iaido and judge if the rank claimed was equivalent to the ability being demonstrated. None of these things are true in the case of the typical self created charlatan. In fact, if you look at the profile of the martial arts liar, they usually lie big if they lie (8th - 10 Dan claims, Grand Masters, Sokes, black belts in multiple arts). I don't see any of these danger signs here and consequently would be inclined to be polite and respectful until some piece of first hand knowledge caused me to change my opinion.

It is very easy to embarrass oneself on-line by publicly casting aspersions on someone one later finds is quite a good instructor and someone one actually likes when you meet in person. Always best to be careful.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 08-25-2004 at 05:08 PM.

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Old 08-25-2004, 05:08 PM   #30
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
None of my instructors in Japan ever mentioned their ranks, and it was never included in any of their advertising. However, none of them ever hesitated to answer a direct question.
While my training in Japan has been very limited, my experiences both there and in the US match Christopher's.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 08-25-2004, 05:24 PM   #31
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
In the case of a teacher like Furuya Sensei, I don't see the standard warning signs that give me the caution light. The ranks he is citing are quite commensurate with the time he has been active.
To be clear, I don't view the ranks he claims in and of themselves as any sort of warning sign. It is entirely and specifically his refusal to say from where he received his iaido rank, as he has been quite detailed regarding the aikido rank, that I view as a warning sign.

I only posted in this thread because others wrote things like
Quote:
Jeff Bowden wrote:
I think questioning the credentials of an instructor like Furuya Sensei is a little nuts.
I don't thnk it's "a little nuts," and I posted to explain why. I only posed the query about his iaido rank that lead to all of this out of the curiousity of a fellow practicioner. Iaido kodansha arn't all that common in the US.

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Old 08-25-2004, 06:13 PM   #32
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote:
To be clear, I don't view the ranks he claims in and of themselves as any sort of warning sign. It is entirely and specifically his refusal to say from where he received his iaido rank, as he has been quite detailed regarding the aikido rank, that I view as a warning sign.

I only posted in this thread because others wrote things like I don't thnk it's "a little nuts," and I posted to explain why. I only posed the query about his iaido rank that lead to all of this out of the curiousity of a fellow practicioner. Iaido kodansha arn't all that common in the US.
It's not inappropriate to ask. The ranks were posted so it's open season as far as I am concerend. The one pre-supposes the other; as soon as you say rank "x" the very next question is from "whom"...

But I have personally had the experience of offering a public apology on-line when I had inadvertently gone a bit too far in one of these discussions so it's always a good idea to act with restraint so you don't regret what you say later. This is a small community and getting smaller with events like the Expo bringing so many people together. You could very easily end up face to face with someone whom you had offended; best to avoid doing that unless it's such a clear cut case that you simply don't care.

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Old 08-25-2004, 06:18 PM   #33
tedehara
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote:
...I only posted in this thread because others wrote things like I don't thnk it's "a little nuts," and I posted to explain why. I only posed the query about his iaido rank that lead to all of this out of the curiousity of a fellow practicioner. Iaido kodansha arn't all that common in the US.
Jeff didn't write that, he was quoting me. Perhaps the best way to verify someone's training is privately, not on a public forum.

I wouldn't worry about it. It's nice to know people are, who they say they are - especially on the internet.

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Old 08-25-2004, 07:02 PM   #34
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
so it's always a good idea to act with restraint so you don't regret what you say later.
This is why I've been careful to point out that I think Furuya sensei's "6th Dan Kyoshi in Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido" is suspect, not false. And just to be clear, I don't think it's false. I think it's in the "undetermined" catagory.

If and when that rank is determined to be from a legitimate source, I'll have no problem acknowledging it as such. Maybe it's the academic in me, but changing my opinion with new evidence seems natural, not embarassing.

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Old 08-25-2004, 07:04 PM   #35
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
Jeff didn't write that, he was quoting me.
Sorry. Ah, the perils of quoting multiple sources in one post.

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Old 08-26-2004, 08:40 PM   #36
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
I'm a bit lost, what ranks in aikido and iaido exactly has M.Kensho Furuya and who were his teachers?
By teacher I mean instructor with whom M.Kensho Furuya practiced REGULARY during years, not occasional seminars.
I found it is very suspected he doesn't give honest, straithfull answer.
i think to suspect kensho furuya of dishonest anything is suspect.though i've never met him personally and he may not agree with my use of aikido. i know he is a sincere and diligent person and a perfect example of the technical form needed to absorb the art .not to mention he runs a school in a part of L.A that many people would not go to with out a gun.
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Old 08-27-2004, 12:29 PM   #37
twilliams423
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Jason DeLucia wrote:
not to mention he runs a school in a part of L.A that many people would not go to with out a gun.
Not sure whom we should fear more... our neighbors, the local artists of the LA Artist district, or the architecture students from SCIArc from across the street?
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Old 08-27-2004, 03:44 PM   #38
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
I'm a bit lost, what ranks in aikido and iaido exactly has M.Kensho Furuya and who were his teachers?
By teacher I mean instructor with whom M.Kensho Furuya practiced REGULARY during years, not occasional seminars.
I found it is very suspected he doesn't give honest, straithfull answer.

i think to suspect
Quote:
Jason DeLucia wrote:
i think to suspect kensho furuya of dishonest anything is suspect.though i've never met him personally and he may not agree with my use of aikido. i know he is a sincere and diligent person and a perfect example of the technical form needed to absorb the art .not to mention he runs a school in a part of L.A that many people would not go to with out a gun.
One doesn't have to "suspect kensho furuya of dishonest anything" to appreciate straightforward answers. Their absence does, however, incline one toward suspicion, not because it's Furuya, but because it's evasive.

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Old 08-27-2004, 05:42 PM   #39
twilliams423
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Just because one is curious, does not entitle anyone to anything.
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Old 08-27-2004, 06:54 PM   #40
Chris Li
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Tom Williams wrote:
Just because one is curious, does not entitle anyone to anything.
For a private individual, sure, but in this case the ranks are publicly stated as credentials for a commercial enterprise. I don't think that the questions are unreasonable, and the entire thread (as well as some other threads) could have been headed off by a one sentence factual reply.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-27-2004, 08:54 PM   #41
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
None of my instructors in Japan ever mentioned their ranks, and it was never included in any of their advertising. However, none of them ever hesitated to answer a direct question.
Exactly. I have not trained in Japan but none of my instructors ever made it a point to mention rank in advertisements or in passing in class. If asked directly they have all been accomodating.

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Old 08-27-2004, 09:44 PM   #42
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Jason DeLucia wrote:
.not to mention he runs a school in a part of L.A that many people would not go to with out a gun.
If I run a school in bad area of any town, it means automaticly that my 6th dan in iaido is a real one?
Jason, think a bit before you post

My iaido instructor had no prob to give a name of his teacher and how long he practiced with him. I'm very surprised that can be any problem with issue.

Last edited by NagaBaba : 08-27-2004 at 09:47 PM.

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Old 08-28-2004, 09:52 PM   #43
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
I'm a bit lost, what ranks in aikido and iaido exactly has M.Kensho Furuya and who were his teachers?
By teacher I mean instructor with whom M.Kensho Furuya practiced REGULARY during years, not occasional seminars.
I found it is very suspected he doesn't give honest, straithfull answer.

i think to suspect

One doesn't have to "suspect kensho furuya of dishonest anything" to appreciate straightforward answers. Their absence does, however, incline one toward suspicion, not because it's Furuya, but because it's evasive.
with respect ,when i watch him i have no reason to doubt his technical credentials so it would be easy to understand why he doesn't get into it .if that were me (and it is somewhat)if after seeing what he's doing ,to question credentials is somewhat of an insult.no man after a certain point should be considered because of some one elses name .there was a time when people stopped asking mr.ueshiba if he knew mr.takeda .if you see someones aiki and you don't like what they're doing or even if you do their teachers wont make a dimes worth of difference .that and he may have simple discrete professional reasons ,(as do many people who have had many teachers)reasons of loyalty.but if you wanted to ask some people who i think knew him ,not possible at this time but kisshomaru ueshiba was i think one of his teachers,and perhaps also yamada yoshimitsu.if you really wanted to bark up some lineage to satisfy your curiosity i think those are both valid avenues.but don't be suprised if he is not acknowledged as it is popular tradition .
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Old 08-29-2004, 12:05 PM   #44
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Jason DeLucia wrote:
with respect ,when i watch him i have no reason to doubt his technical credentials so it would be easy to understand why he doesn't get into it .
Hi, Jason,

In a vacuum, I see your point. But we don't live in vacuums. The query doesn't even have to be about the individual we're asking. There are charlatan's out there and openness about lineage is one way to create an environment inhospitable to them.

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Old 08-29-2004, 07:15 PM   #45
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Re: Response to an article by Kensho Furuya

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Hi, Jason,

In a vacuum, I see your point. But we don't live in vacuums. The query doesn't even have to be about the individual we're asking. There are charlatan's out there and openness about lineage is one way to create an environment inhospitable to them.
yes i agree completely ,i just assumed that kensho furuya would have been obvious by what we can see about him .i happen to have many of his tapes and i like them very much but i acknowledge that someone might have been contributing to the debate without the benefit of such knowledge.and in a vacuum there would be no reason to be evasive but back in the real world there are valid reasons.and i'm sure his friends and teachers appreciate his discretion .i wish that (and maybe he will)mr.furuya will look past the fact that some folks debate at a less pious level,and if he lends him self as an enduring example and not give up it will benefit all.FURUYA SAMA
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