Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by Christianson, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    I think you misunderstood the point of my post, I'll attempt to clarify. Nobody here can definitively discuss the swordwork of Jigen ryu as none of us practice that art as far as I know. However, I pointed out the history of the art because it has been in existence for over 400 years. At the time of its inception, it was taught solely to the warrior class, those who fought for a living. This tells me that there were enough people that believed it was better than other arts to keep it alive through the 300 or so years of its existence when swords were still in use in Japan. To dismiss it as impractical and "not as good as the other guys" is to say that centuries worth of professional warriors had no idea what they were doing. That just seems excessively egotistical to me personally.

    I would prefer to say that I have no understanding of their training methodology or base movements, so what they show in their demonstrations makes no real sense to me from a training point of view. To dismiss it just because you don't understand it seems more like pushing a personal agenda rather than an attempt to gain greater understanding. This is why I feel you've gotten a number of dismissive answers to your questions.

    Again, just my thoughts on it.
  2. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Brilliantly explained as usual. Damn you articulate Texans.
  3. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    History is not a predictor of the current generation's skill and who is to say that what they are training now reflects what was trained 400 years ago? I would guess that over almost half a milennia it doesn't; not entirely anyway. And not being willing to criticize something just because it was previously used by soldiers seems shortsighted to me.

    Well at least you gave me a good laugh! I have zero stake in the outcome of this so no, no agenda here :D I've said before that I may be missing things that may not be shown but I find it perfectly reasonable to discuss what is shown based on experience in sword-similar systems. But we seem to have gotten away from that to "you can't discuss something without being trained in it."

    I don't train Gatka but I can recognize the commonalities between its use of the tulwar and european sabre and the Chinese dao in various systems. It's no different here. No one can discuss in intimate detail with an insider's perspective but it is certainly not verboten to discuss it.

    Either way I've enjoyed what I've learned about it from discussing with you guys and I thank you for that. I don't discount the possibility that they may be adept swordsmen but what I've seen here makes me think the probability may not be so high.
  4. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    Articulate Texans? That's an oxymoron on par with military intelligence! It's only because my Mum was British. :)
  5. Josh Reyer

    Josh Reyer New Member

    I'll tell what I see in that clip that makes me appreciate it, even it doesn't follow the same precise technical paradigm as the school I practice. Note that I don't do Jigen-ryu, so some of the stuff I may be totally off on, while missing other stuff. But FWIW, this is what my eyes see:

    The form is called "Saiki" 再起, which in modern idiom means "resurgance", but literally means "rise again".
    The form is done while continuously moving back. Nevertheless the practitioners maintain precise maai the entire time. I would bet that, like a similar form in our school, the speed at which the senior moves back varies, and part of what the student must do is clearly observe their partner and adjust accordingly.
    The shidachi does, by my count, at least 12 strikes in 4 seconds. Not only are they fast, but precise - he strikes from both sides, at the same point each strike. He does this, mind you, while maintaining a very precise maai.
    To demonstrate how precise the maai is, he stands up tall before the last cut. His partner then swings his bokuto between them, where it is just short of the practitioner. This demonstrates that despite the constant moving and striking, the practitioner has retained the correct maai the entire time.
    It also suggests why he was moving hunched over. His lower body maintains perfect maai outside the range for a counter; he then leans his upper body only into striking range. Thus they train to overwhelmingly attack without getting carried away and opening themselves up to counters.
    I would also hazard that if the practitioner does not maintain his steady stream of rapid-fire attacks, his senior "breaks" the kata and points that out to him -- probably in a somewhat vivid and painful way.
    In addition to the technical aspects mentioned here, one mental aspect that is likely trained is the ability to psychosomatically dominate the opponent without losing oneself in the passion of attack.

    I suppose that a sufficiently athletically gifted individual could maintain 3 precise cuts per second. The individual in the video does not strike me as especially athletically gifted, so I surmise they have a very effective pedagogy, of which this particular kata makes up a part.
  6. Josh Reyer

    Josh Reyer New Member

    One thing I forgot to add. It is undoubtedly difficult to deliver strong strikes with that posture and using primarily the forearms. That's also probably one reason it is trained that way.
  7. ludde

    ludde Valued Member

    I train in what you might consider a rich and 'sophisticated' form of swordsmanship, and in no way do I find myself looking at Jigen-ryu and say that my 'sophisticated' ways would beat that.
    I actually resonate good with what they do. Maybe because my school has a part in Jigen-ryu history?

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