tony BEBBINGTON

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Postby Nazareth » Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:10 pm | #31

That's a matter of judgment.

Yes, they are certainly something along those lines now, but that's 'cos at some point they decided to embark on such a course - rather than modernising.

All martial arts potentially face the same issue - I believe JKD is such an example - there are dojos that attempt to continuously learn in the spirit of their founder, and there are those that are ossifying.

Originally Koryu were not 'living treasures', they were used in real situations, real battles, real wars. Somewhere along the line things changed. My assumption is that this started earlier than the Meiji Restoration - after all, firearms had already been introduced to the country by the Portuguese but you don't have firearm katas.
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Postby cullion » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:58 pm | #32

Nazareth wrote:That's a matter of judgment.

Yes, they are certainly something along those lines now, but that's 'cos at some point they decided to embark on such a course - rather than modernising.


Koryu means 'old school'. They are preserved with official status by the japanese govt. precisely as a reminder of the country's feudal past (although doubtless people who train in them do feel there is still some practical value in at least some of the training methods). The meiji restoration was partially a leaving behind of these things. Samurai were replaced with soldiers wearing western style uniforms and bearing rifles.

Originally Koryu were not 'living treasures', they were used in real situations, real battles, real wars. Somewhere along the line things changed. My assumption is that this started earlier than the Meiji Restoration - after all, firearms had already been introduced to the country by the Portuguese but you don't have firearm katas.


Most koryu date from after the warring states period and use 'rank' or 'licence' systems closer to those employed by merchant houses than samurai clans. By the time they were declared koryu, a lot of them would have already ossified through lack of battelfield use.
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Postby Nazareth » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:12 am | #33

cullion wrote:Koryu means 'old school'. They are preserved with official status by the japanese govt. precisely as a reminder of the country's feudal past (although doubtless people who train in them do feel there is still some practical value in at least some of the training methods). The meiji restoration was partially a leaving behind of these things. Samurai were replaced with soldiers wearing western style uniforms and bearing rifles.
In other words, much like western medieval swordfighting and the like.
cullion wrote:Most koryu date from after the warring states period and use 'rank' or 'licence' systems closer to those employed by merchant houses than samurai clans. By the time they were declared koryu, a lot of them would have already ossified through lack of battelfield use.

Not quite, but almost. By your own evidence, it sounds like they ossified not through lack of battlefield use, but through lack of adaptation to a changing world which had no place for the traditional battlefield techniques in actual warfare.
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Postby cullion » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:53 am | #34

Nazareth wrote:
cullion wrote:Koryu means 'old school'. They are preserved with official status by the japanese govt. precisely as a reminder of the country's feudal past (although doubtless people who train in them do feel there is still some practical value in at least some of the training methods). The meiji restoration was partially a leaving behind of these things. Samurai were replaced with soldiers wearing western style uniforms and bearing rifles.
In other words, much like western medieval swordfighting and the like.

Yes.

cullion wrote:Most koryu date from after the warring states period and use 'rank' or 'licence' systems closer to those employed by merchant houses than samurai clans. By the time they were declared koryu, a lot of them would have already ossified through lack of battelfield use.

Not quite, but almost. By your own evidence, it sounds like they ossified not through lack of battlefield use, but through lack of adaptation to a changing world which had no place for the traditional battlefield techniques in actual warfare.


Yes.. except the ossification is sort of deliberate. If the idea is to preserve ancient training methods for naginatas and swords, trying to make it 'relevant to modern day self-defence' pretty much makes it a given that the first thing you do is get rid of the mediaeval weaponry...

It's like worrying if a fencing class is good for self-defence. There certainly might be some useful ideas and training methods in there (Bruce Lee thought so, and hey at least they spar...;)), but if you asked the instructor how it was supposed to help you with modern self-defence when you weren't allowed to carry a sharpened epee into nightclubs.. he'd quite rightly look at you as if you were a bit thick...
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Postby Splinter » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:00 am | #35

Nazareth wrote: after all, firearms had already been introduced to the country by the Portuguese but you don't have firearm katas.

early fire arms were cumbersome to use / carry and slow to reload.
hence they were used at distance - thus kata were impractical, since the opponent was over 100yrds away.  They had cannon for longer but never developed a cannon kata.
Had modern automatic pistols been available early one then the sort of incorporation you can get in certain arts (where defence against a pistol held to temple /forehead etc have been incorporated and included in kata) may have happened in koryu.

I would not be surprised to discover that tradional schools actually do have have firearms techniques, but these are part of the techniques which are held close (secret) to the school and only taught to those trusted not to discuss them  openly or online.
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Postby Urban Fisherman » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:26 am | #36

Splinter wrote:
Nazareth wrote: after all, firearms had already been introduced to the country by the Portuguese but you don't have firearm katas.

early fire arms were cumbersome to use / carry and slow to reload.
hence they were used at distance - thus kata were impractical, since the opponent was over 100yrds away.  They had cannon for longer but never developed a cannon kata.
Had modern automatic pistols been available early one then the sort of incorporation you can get in certain arts (where defence against a pistol held to temple /forehead etc have been incorporated and included in kata) may have happened in koryu.

I would not be surprised to discover that tradional schools actually do have have firearms techniques, but these are part of the techniques which are held close (secret) to the school and only taught to those trusted not to discuss them  openly or online.


I've read that prior to the boxer rebellion, the boxers demonstrated that they could stop single bullets with "iron shirt" techniques; in part as the guns widely available in China at the time were pretty crude and had limited stopping power. Hoever against the massed ranks of infanty, iron shirts" didn't work. Is this apocryphal?

I also thought that for a long time the advantage that guns had was that their use was easier to teach than use of bows, but they were not necessarily more dangerous. This might have limited the desire of martial experts to learn about them as they would have been weapons for inexperienced plebs.
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Postby Robw » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:26 am | #37

I am not a student of a Koryu nor have I played one on TV but I am a 'paper' student, i.e. I read a lot of books about the Koryu by people who do or have trained in them.

I do 'know' however that

a) There are a small number of Ryu which teach Musket Kata and indeed a modern martial art which is based on ryu specifically regarding fighting with bayonets (Jukendo ?)

b) Discussing the Koryu as if they were all the same is about as useful as having  a discussion about Jiu Jitsu as if it was one consistent art with a similar syllabus and teaching styles across differing organisations.

There are a great number of Koryu which have to a certain extent deliberately 'ossified' and see their role specifically as preserving to the best of their ability ancient knowledge for it's own sake.

There are others which while still very traditional in their teaching methods and in the almost exclusive use of Kata would claim to be passing on more than just ancient techniques but also a great deal more in terms of mental attitudes, emotional reactions etc.

And I know of a small number of people who have trained in Koryu in the East but now teach in the West and whilst retaining the syllabus and core training have dispensed with some of the outward trappings such as Keiko-gi and use of Japanese terms such as Dojo or Sensei.

3) The question of Lineage is relevant to all students of martial arts for the same reason that while a Politicians sex life is of not interest to me and presumably doesn't affect their ability to do their job the fact that they have lied and misled people does raise questions about their honesty. I would not train under someone who lied about their training regardless of how technically able they were or appeared and I'm amazed anyone would.
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Postby Urban Fisherman » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:18 pm | #38

New Jitsu wrote:Do you think that's the danger with Martial Arts these days - that everyone's 'into' MMA? So many new people have come to lessons where I train and start asking about MMA, BJJ, UFC... and lots of other initials, no doubt. SHI... well, you get my drift.

Is there a danger of sensei's bending to the populus's wishes and changing some of the tradition behind Ju Jitsu? Are the 'old ways' not deemed cool enough to attract new blood? etc etc

I think that way a martial art trains and hence how it generates new information will affect the way it's praticised. As I spend more time watching clips of capoeira than ju jitsu, this is easier to demonstrate for me to demonstrate with capoeira (and less controversial in this forum). If you contrast these two videos of capoeira angola ("traditional" capoeira): 1940s and 1980s, you'll note that there are several differences. Perhaps the most obvious ones are the differences in the positions that the players move between when they ginga, the 1940s players are much more upright, and the 1980s players tend to lower their body as they move to the parallel stance part of their ginga. I'm sure this reflects in part the somewhat ritualised nature of  angola, being underneath someone is considered a strong position which I feel is due to nature of the game played in the roda, e.g. the takedowns in angola are predominately work by taking your opponents balance backwards, and clinch work is almost totally absent from modern angola, and angola has many attacks from underneath, such as driving a headbutt up into your opponent.

In short, martial arts will be changed by the way they're practicised. It's upto the practitioners to decide how to practice their art, but it's naive to hope that tradition arts can be preserved unaltered.
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Postby Splinter » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:26 pm | #39

Robw wrote:I..... indeed a modern martial art which is based on ryu specifically regarding fighting with bayonets (Jukendo ?)...

thats correct.
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Postby cullion » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:36 pm | #40

Urban Fisherman wrote:I've read that prior to the boxer rebellion, the boxers demonstrated that they could stop single bullets with "iron shirt" techniques; in part as the guns widely available in China at the time were pretty crude and had limited stopping power. Hoever against the massed ranks of infanty, iron shirts" didn't work. Is this apocryphal?


I don't think they were ever demonstrated as working against guns (even badly made ones), but some boxers did think that they could make themselves immune to european firearms using 'Iron Shirt'. Of course they couldn't, and died in droves.
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tony bebbington

Postby tony bebbington » Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:54 am | #41

Hi everyone, just thought I would introduce myself. My name is Anthony Bebbington and I am a full time ju-jitsu instructor in Liverpool. It has gracefully been pointed out that my martial arts lineage is dubious and that maybe I have underlying motives to my claims. Lets clear a few things up. Firstly my club has not been associated with rod sachornoski for many years. The details I produced for my website were taken from paper work I received when I inherited Norris Green Ju-Jitsu club. I was interested in finding were my ju-jitsu had come from. After many years of training I now know my Ju-Jitsu comes from within. I have been taught a system of ju-jitsu from William Parker (6th Dan) who I believe to be one of the most genuine people I have ever met and I plan to spend the rest of my life dedicated to perfecting what I have learned. I make no claims of being anything that I am not and would ask any person to come and train with me before they make any assumptions about my own cred ability. I am now a 5th Dan in ju-jitsu and look to train with any instructor I believe can improve my martial arts. Some of these people you may of heard, Geof Thompson, Peter Constantine, Mo Teague, Royce Gracie, Rolker Gracie, Robyn Gracie, Freddie Sukata, Mario Sukata. I am a blue belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu under Royce Gracie and a purple belt under Mario Sukata. I am also employed by Liverpool city council as a ju jitsu instructor. I have noticed that many people who were gladly talking about me don't even leave their full names in their profile. I believe if you have something to say be proud and let yourself be known. Anybody in the Liverpool area wanting to make their own mind up , please feel free to come and have a free lesson. Anybody else who believer's they can enlighten my ju jitsu path please get in touch. Thanks Anthony Bebbington.
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Postby kempo-kid » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:55 pm | #42

thanks for the great offer.  I may just take you up on that :)

If you want to make links there is no better place than the seminar i am hosting next month at my place :)

KK :twisted:
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more info

Postby tony bebbington » Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:58 pm | #43

Could you leave more info on your seminar best wishes anthony bebbington
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Postby twoshots » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:06 pm | #44

That would be this.

It's on the main page as well. He keeps on telling us about  :wink:
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Postby Ronin » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:43 pm | #45

HI Tony,
Very pleased that you would come along and share.  My concern was not about you for example but about your lineage which is advertised.  Personally, if he was an instructor in my lineage I would either, a) not make a deal out of my lineage or make it clear (as you have done) your connections to it.  The reality is these days that very few people have only one instructor and the list you gave us would be more impressive than the one on the website.  
THe on question I would ask is what capacity do Liverpool council employ you as an instructor?  What I mean to say is, who do they employ you to teach?
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