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Old 04-20-2006, 09:45 PM   #26
ronin_10562
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Just a quick reply to Craig. I have seen Shihan Bowe's Certificate from Shodo Moritasan and photos of Bowe training at the Hombu dojo . Your statements are ridiculous. If you are saying Shihan Bowe put his own interpertation of the art, that I can agree with since all most all teachers do that.

Walter Kopitov
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:46 PM   #27
Brad Darr
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Not defending Craig or giving my own opinion here, I would just like a clarification of which "Hombu Dojo" you speak of and if there is any way to view said photos. Again I have no experience with Nihon Goshin, I am simply interested in the lineage.
As a side note I was also curious to see that there was no mention of it on Aikidojournal, I would have thought that a website with information on Aikikai, Korindo Aikido, Daito-Ryu, and Don Angier would surely have some information on an art with history connected to several of these, anyone else find it strange?

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Old 04-21-2006, 04:22 AM   #28
Dazzler
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

I also have no knowledge of NGA.

My thoughts are that simply labeling something Aikido does not make it so, very much in line with the thoughts of Craig.

For me Aikido is not just a name. It is a description. The scholars and Japanese writers here can certainly add some depth, but my understanding is that its ideograms or Japanese characters represent/ translate as Heaven and Earth harmonised with Ki. (very roughly ;-)

This description is fixed.

Like walking.

Everyone accepts what walking is to us bi-peds. If someone starts to call it crawling or leaping then clearly this is incorrect.

I will add that the description is of the purest level of Aikido. With its physical and spiritual dimensions and its multi layered levels of practice there are few that actually produce Aikido that meets this lofty ambition..certainly not mine.

On the physical level is there anything unique to Aikido? Probably not.

What make Aikido different for me is this alignment with the Tao. Again some arts do similar so I'll not claim uniqueness but I think this is what differentiates an Aikido nikkyo from a Jujitsu nikkyo for instance.

NGA like many forms of jujitsu, may well utilise common techniques associated with Aikido. However unless its long term aim matches the (very rough) translation above then I personally wouldn't see it as the same as the Aikido I am familiar with.

I'm not familiar with all 'Aikido' styles of course.

So in a nutshell ....If NG Aikido aspires to meet the description of heaven and earth harmonised to achieve ki according to universal law of Tao (or anyone of the myriad variations of this theme) then it is Aikido.

If it doesn't and its followers translate it as something else then personally I wouldn't class it as Aikido.

As others have said "jujutsu" might be an acceptable label.

As I've said - I know nothing of it other than what is available here, so make absolutely no judgment of it as a martial art.

If its completely separate then is it a big deal? Those that practice it are happy with what they do, if it doesn't aspire to meet the Japanese translation but has other goals then is this a problem?

Not for me - I have enough problems trying to work on my own aikido. Harmonising heaven and earth to produce ki can be hard work!

Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

Respectfully

D
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Old 04-21-2006, 03:06 PM   #29
tedehara
 
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Brad Darr wrote:
Not defending Craig or giving my own opinion here, I would just like a clarification of which "Hombu Dojo" you speak of and if there is any way to view said photos. Again I have no experience with Nihon Goshin, I am simply interested in the lineage.
As a side note I was also curious to see that there was no mention of it on Aikidojournal, I would have thought that a website with information on Aikikai, Korindo Aikido, Daito-Ryu, and Don Angier would surely have some information on an art with history connected to several of these, anyone else find it strange?
Hombu Dojo means "headquarters dojo". There was a photo of Richard Bowe with his dojo mates on line. Presumably this was taken in the headquarters dojo in Japan before it closed.

Since Walter had a look at Richard Bowe's certificate, perhaps he can tell us if "Aikido" appeared on the document as part of the name of the art.

I believe Nihon Goshin means Japanese Self-Defense and Aikido was never a trademark name. While most people in the US believe aikido implies connection to Morihei Ueshiba, that is not necessarily so. There was a karate group who became interested in aikido so they decided to change their name from a karate association to an aikido association. They have no formal ties with any larger aikido group. Even though this may run counter to people's concept of the name, they have every legal right to make this word change. Aikido is a name that is in the public domain and anyone can use it.

For those who insist there is a specific "aiki" way to do technique, I'd like to remind them there is aiki-ken. If you can take an aiki approach to sword, then you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything. So that test really doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:44 PM   #30
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Question Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

I have had experience with NGA (and I am not trying to take sides - for me this is a fact finding mission to help in my own diagnosis of the history of NGA/Kotaro) and I noticed the comments about Yanagi Ryu and Yoshida-Ha and had a question. So many people question the legitimacy of NGA due to the limited confirmation of Shodo Morita's education by Yoshida Kotaro, but in reading some information regarding Yoshida Kenji, there was a rift between father and son. How long and to what extent did Kotaro pass on the art/arts he had learned? It seemed that their relationship was adversarial (mostly politically driven from what I have read) and father may not have spent the time teaching, especially since he was traveling and teaching as often as he was. Could the differences between Kotaro's style and Kenji's, as was stated in this thread, be due to the limited time Kenji had with his father? And therefore the diferences between Yanagi Ryu and NGA?

Here is the question, how long did Kenji study with Kotaro, and what was transmitted from father to son? I feel we must be fair to NGA's lineage in this light. If there is information to confirm the full transmission of style from father to son , I would be grateful to be exposed to it.


Rick Jones
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:05 AM   #31
Brad Darr
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

I am aware that "honbu" is headquarters in japanese. I was looking for a specification from the poster about which headquarters and if there was a link or some way to learn about it.

I would also be curious to learn anything about the Yoshida lineage, so if people have info please post it.

Brad

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Old 04-24-2006, 03:43 AM   #32
Dazzler
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
Hombu Even though this may run counter to people's concept of the name, they have every legal right to make this word change. Aikido is a name that is in the public domain and anyone can use it..
Legally I can change my name to Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan.. legally doesn't mean jack.

Aikido has meaning - it is a description of what we do and practice however varied should be geared towards meeting this description.

If practice isn't geared towards meeting this description it is something else, maybe good, maybe bad...but something else.

If Aikido is just a label then why not pingpongpo ...another totally meaningless label...but probably not used elsewhere so nice and easy to register as a trademark.

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
For those who insist there is a specific "aiki" way to do technique, I'd like to remind them there is aiki-ken. If you can take an aiki approach to sword, then you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything. So that test really doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
This quote doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yes you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything....and then use it as part of your development approach to achieving aikido.

If your using an aiki approach then its aiki. No problemo..

But whats your point Ted?

D
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:04 PM   #33
tedehara
 
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
Legally I can change my name to Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan.. legally doesn't mean jack.
It might be the deciding factor when a beginner decides who they'll study aikido with. Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan sounds a lot better than 4th dan who is struggling to put together a dojo. The important decision of who you will study with is usually made when you're mostly ignorant.

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
Aikido has meaning - it is a description of what we do and practice however varied should be geared towards meeting this description.

If practice isn't geared towards meeting this description it is something else, maybe good, maybe bad...but something else.
That description of your activity is subjective. It is different for each one of us.

The name Aikido originated outside of Morihei Ueshiba and was adapted by him to describe his art. The only thing you can hope for is that those who use the name Aikido, describe the origins of their art. Nihon Goshin has to my knowledge, always been up-front in its origins with Shodo Morita.

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
If Aikido is just a label then why not pingpongpo ...another totally meaningless label...but probably not used elsewhere so nice and easy to register as a trademark.
Because Aikido is a market label. People are more likely to recognize aikido as a martial art, rather than pingpongpo.

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
This quote doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yes you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything....and then use it as part of your development approach to achieving aikido.

If your using an aiki approach then its aiki. No problemo..

But whats your point Ted?

D
My point is there is no fast and easy way to judge what is aikido. Maybe that's for the best. Budo has always been about the martial artist, not the martial art.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 04-25-2006, 07:56 AM   #34
Dazzler
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
It might be the deciding factor when a beginner decides who they'll study aikido with. Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan sounds a lot better than 4th dan who is struggling to put together a dojo. The important decision of who you will study with is usually made when you're mostly ignorant.
That may well be true Ted. However you did initially bring up the question of legal ownership of the term "Aikido". My point is that the law and the truth are not inextricably linked.



Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:

That description of your activity is subjective. It is different for each one of us.
I agreed it can be very different. In terms of description I do not agree. I have been taught that O'Sensei began to use the term to describe his art around 1942. It is written as 3 ideograms - Ai Ki and Do.

Applying my own very simplistic interpretation on Ai and Ki, (to save time and typing) Loosely these translate as Man and Energy. There is a lot more to be written on this but not directly relevant to the discussion in hand so I'll not digress further.

Do, while widely taken and interpreted at 'The way' is represented by the ideogram Dao and is linked to the Tao.

This in turn can be seen as yin and yang. The combining of these forces is the harmony of Aikido.

While we westerners may well choose the easy paths of ignoring the complicated oriental stuff and accepting glib easy translations does that make us correct?

My thoughts are probably not, but there are many that disagree.

anyway - I'll not dispute that others have used the term, or that I'm no expert on chinese/ japanese translation.

Just giving an angle on the thought processes I've been exposed to.

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:

The name Aikido originated outside of Morihei Ueshiba and was adapted by him to describe his art. The only thing you can hope for is that those who use the name Aikido, describe the origins of their art. Nihon Goshin has to my knowledge, always been up-front in its origins with Shodo Morita.
I think we probably agree here to some extent. If NGA take the interpretation above for their version then I'd accept that they are working towards the same thing as the rest of us. If they don't then my opinion is that its not the same stuff.

I've already said that O'Sensei may not have been the first to use such terms, my believe is that he may have been the first to specifically link the martial form to this philosophy of Tao.



Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:

Because Aikido is a market label. People are more likely to recognize aikido as a martial art, rather than pingpongpo.
I think this is the crux. Personally I work on the basis that Aikido is not just a market label but a fairly tight description (or as tight as can be possible when working with translations going back through japanese and chinese symbols.

This is what we do - I know many other don't. Its a choice thing I guess - Accept theres more to Aikido than a label or not.

Just giving upsome of the things I've been taught.


Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
My point is there is no fast and easy way to judge what is aikido. Maybe that's for the best. Budo has always been about the martial artist, not the martial art.
Thanks Ted.

My final thought is that regardless of the philosophical stuff its all just pie in the sky unless you train hard and with a purpose.



Regards

D
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Old 04-28-2006, 01:45 AM   #35
ronin_10562
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

I have seen Mr. Bowe's certificates and I recognized the Kanji for Nihon Goshin Aikido. If you go to http://www.aikidoinc.com/bowe.asp?si...K4o6Gn7lEgaYrN that's Bowe getting promoted by the founder Moritasan and the next is a group shot http://www.aikidoinc.com/history.asp...K4o6Gn7lEgaYrN

Walter Kopitov
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:21 AM   #36
ronin_10562
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
This is simply wrong.

Richard Bowe attended seminars by Koichi Tohei Sensei in the 1960's. When he invented his own school, he was told not to call it Aikido. In the sixties, Black Belt magazine was young, it had many favorable articles on Aikido. Aikido was new and mysterious. It's not surprising why he marketed his school as Aikido. You can look at their testing syllabus today and see things that were clearly derived from Tohei Sensei style of teaching. The idea that Richard Bowe had any contact with anything called Aikido in Japan is very doubtful.
This is a bunch of crap that I did not expect to see on this site. It's nothing but opinion and or rumor with no fact. If any one goes to www.aikidoinc.com you can get more info on the art. As for the name of the art it's called Nihon Goshin Aikido not Aikido.

Mr. Bowe has a unique background. He was trained as a fighter at a young age (boxing and combat judo)(Mr Bowe's father trained professional boxers). When he went to Japan while stationed in the military he had an opportunity to train in a variety of arts and analyze them in terms of effectiveness. He trained in Karate, Ueshiba Aikido, and Judo. He felt that Moritasan's form of self-defense was the most effective and focused his energy in that art.

"This is a true Aikido dojo " that quote is from the late Toyoda sensei when I had him hold a seminar at my dojo. I'm sure he would not say that with all of the NGA schools. What it comes down to is the spirit of the dojo. Some are very karate oriented and some dojos are focused on aiki. The good thing about NGA is it allows the practitioner to choose his or her path, because both parts are taught.

Walter Kopitov
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:02 PM   #37
ronin_10562
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

When Mr. Bowe was trained in NGA, there had been no organized method of instruction. Master Morita taught what ever techniques he felt like without them broken down per belt level. Mr. Bowe organized the techniques into different sets per belt level. I would not be surprised if he had seen Tohei's Ki techniques and created his own version. Can you imagine the difficulty having to create a syllabus from scratch? It's not that simple.

Walter Kopitov
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Old 04-29-2006, 09:37 PM   #38
Talon
 
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

From Aikido FAQ website:
"Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to by his title 'O Sensei' or 'Great Teacher')."

From the posted NGA site.
"Nihon Goshin Aikido (Japanese Self Defense) is a system which was founded and developed by Japanese Martial Arts master named Shodo Morita"

Something here is seriously different and odd. I always was of the belief that Aikido was founded and developed by Morihei Ueshiba as per the commonly accepted deffinition. If you're art was developed by someone else and you don't bow to O'Sensei's picture, you are not really practicing what is commonly reffered to and accepted as Aikido.

I'm not saying that its not a good martial art, or that you should not practice it, but the use of the word Aikido in the name clearly implies some kind of deception. At least it does to me and the majority of people who consider the Aikido FAQ definition as the correct one for the therm AIKIDO.

Just my two cents.
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Old 04-29-2006, 09:48 PM   #39
Chris Li
 
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote:

I'm not saying that its not a good martial art, or that you should not practice it, but the use of the word Aikido in the name clearly implies some kind of deception. At least it does to me and the majority of people who consider the Aikido FAQ definition as the correct one for the therm AIKIDO.

Just my two cents.
The Aikido FAQ is a general information source, but it isn't definitive. For starters, try this article.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-30-2006, 04:17 AM   #40
Amir Krause
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
The Aikido FAQ is a general information source, but it isn't definitive. For starters, try this article.

Best,

Chris
As A student of Hirai sensei M.A. - Korindo Aikido, I would like to second that.

As opposed to what Talon and many other Aikido students seem to believe, the name Aikido is not unique to the M.A. that where developed by Ueshiba. The name is a generic name for a group of M.A., it is true that the largest and most commonly available systems among those were developed by Ueshiba. But Ueshiba only adopted the name and can never change the fundamental meaning of it.

Other M.A. that have Aikido in their name are not necessarily part of some deception. The first example that comes to mind is Korindo Aikido - as you can read him explain in the interview, sensei Hirai right to the name Aikido is historical pr oven and clear, without any relation to his connection with Ueshiba.


Amir
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:27 PM   #41
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Nihon Goshn Aikido was developed in Shodo Morita's small dojo in Japan. The term aikido is not proprietary. NGA was brought to the US by Shihan Bowe, and much of its development and spread is due to his work. There were NGA dojos in the US since, I believe the early 1960s.

A couple of things come to mind Firstly, it is all about training. Those of you who worry about the use of the word "aikido," have way too much time on your hands (it seems to me). It is true that pure aikido is now associated with O'Sensei's art. NGA never pretended to be that form of martial art. The development and linneage to Morita had always been stressed.


Secondly, it is all about training. Linneage and how many dojos are in practise are just a matter of marketing, popularity and show. Someone mentioned Yanagi Ryu on this thread. I have had the good fortune to meet Don Angier when he visited Walter's dojo. His art was not NGA, but there was a collegial working attitude between him/his students and ours with regard to appreciation of aiki. This does not mean that Morita did not train under Yoshida Kotaro, only that NGA is not Yanagi ryu. Despite much probing, the definitive training of Shodo Morita himself is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. Yanagi ryu was a family system, passed from father to son. No shodan/ranks. No belts. No one cares about those things, just about the techniques.

For those of you who want to train only based on linneage, I would say this: are the principles of the dojo and the sensei real? Do they work, can you learn and train and achieve? If the answer is to those questions is in the affirmative, you are in the right place. If not, the linneage would mean less to me and should to you too.

As people who cross train know, sometimes you pick and choose what techniques and knowledge suit you. This is, apparently how both Shodo Morita and O'Sensei formulated their arts. That may or may not have been "sacriligious" to their former teachers. Oh well. Now some of you here, are bickering about who owns the term "aikido," whose art is "real" or "legitimate." This is quite humorous to me.

The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Train, and then decide.


Matthew
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:34 PM   #42
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
As opposed to what Talon and many other Aikido students seem to believe, the name Aikido is not unique to the M.A. that where developed by Ueshiba. The name is a generic name for a group of M.A., it is true that the largest and most commonly available systems among those were developed by Ueshiba. But Ueshiba only adopted the name and can never change the fundamental meaning of it.
A couple of caveats:

1) Yes, it was a generic name for a division of the Butokukai, but that division, in practice, consisted of Morihei Ueshiba's art. Also, the Butokukai went belly up after the war.
2) Morihei Ueshiba does appear to be the first to have adopted that name as the name of his art (Minoru Hirai opened the Korindo dojo several years later).
3) Worldwide, 99% of practitioners of "Aikido" labeled arts trace themselves back to Morihei Ueshiba. So it shouldn't be unexpected that most people regard that usage as definitive.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-01-2006, 02:20 AM   #43
Amir Krause
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Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
A couple of caveats:

1) Yes, it was a generic name for a division of the Butokukai, but that division, in practice, consisted of Morihei Ueshiba's art. Also, the Butokukai went belly up after the war.
2) Morihei Ueshiba does appear to be the first to have adopted that name as the name of his art (Minoru Hirai opened the Korindo dojo several years later).
3) Worldwide, 99% of practitioners of "Aikido" labeled arts trace themselves back to Morihei Ueshiba. So it shouldn't be unexpected that most people regard that usage as definitive.

Best,

Chris
Chris, I agree with all your comments, those are the facts as far as I know them. I do not think they contradict the essence of my statement about the nature of the term "aikido".

Amir
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:45 AM   #44
Jose Garrido
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Exclamation Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

OK guys, I just looked at this thread and it bothers me in a few ways. One way is the fact that NGA has NEVER claimed to be AIKIKAI related and that people have forgotten that NG= Nihon Goshin= Japanese Self-Defense. It is a practical self-defense oriented style. I also have seen all of the certificates and they do read Aikido.

Now what techniques are present. Richard Bowe used American/English names for them but I can assure you that the following "aikido" waza are present: ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, hiji jime, kotegaeshi, kokyunage, kotegaeshi, kaitennage, shomen iriminage, sokumen iriminage, sudori. Now the jujutsu based: osotogari, ogoshi, ippon seionage, seio-otoshi, kani basami, yoko wakare, hara guruma and more.....

I started my NGA training in 1964 and I can assure you that it is an aikido system with its roots in Daito-ryu because it has some techniques that can be traced directly to its Daito-ryu version without any changes.

Now, this is my two cents worth that I felt I had to add. The only other thing that I must add is that Richard Bowe is and was an exemplary martial artist and instructor. When I trained with him, he was a hard task master about correct technique. And I feel that if you want to train in a a practical and effective Gendai (modern) Budo (martial way) NGA is it.

Now I will bow out

Jose' Garrido

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