The use of the word 'Traditional'?

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The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby nry » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:51 am | #1

Random from a Facebook comment - many Ju Jitsu schools/clubs describe themselves as teaching traditional Ju Jitsu...

I'm possibly getting a little pedantic, as the word 'traditional' has no specific age - most of the UK JJ schools teach stuff more akin to Kano's Judo, with very little (if any) similarity to what is taught within Koryu styles.

Do you feel your style/club etc. is traditional, and if so, why?
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby thauma » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:04 pm | #2

Krav Maga, BJJ. MMA are 'new' to my mind, and derived from other (multiple) arts

Judo, Aikido are derivations from something else (jitsu), as are many traditional martial arts  and personally I'd be happy to include judo and aikido in the category of 'traditional'.

As you point out many of the later / newer jitsu schools are a 'recombination' of some old stuff but largely 'judo'.

It's a circular argument based on perspective, and can we say what is traditional and what is new - does it depend on a certain time, a length of lineage, or is it arbitrary?

Personally it's an interesting discussion, but one which ultimately we (as a group) possibly would never agree upon (which is why it's interesting) - so now someone can prove me wrong
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby Hirsty » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:08 pm | #3

From discussions over the past few years with fellow MAists, I've tended to find those who are practicing anything other than Ju Jitsu (including BJJ practicioners) refer to the styles we practice on this forum as "traditional Ju Jitsu" or "stand-up Ju Jitsu"
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby nry » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:27 pm | #4

The Wikipedia entry is a relevant read, it suggests that traditional Ju Jutsu is what most current styles are derived from, and that few true 'traditional' schools of Ju Jutsu now exist...do you agree?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jujutsu
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby Genghis » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:43 pm | #5

All I really know is that my style isn't traditional - but clearly had its roots somewhere.

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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby OneDragons » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:49 pm | #6

Personally I see 'traditional' Ju Jitsu as Koryu.
Modern Ju Jitsu (most of what is out there) is a modern style but it was originally 'sold' by using the imagery of Samurai and their methods and philosophy, making it a 'traditional' martial art. I suppose in reality it is a modern take on a traditional style, using the traditional aspect as its selling point. Times have changed and the traditional aspect is less important in giving a style credence.
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby nry » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:58 am | #7

Don't disagree, it doesn't have to be 'old school' to be worth while, however my 'issue' is that many take up what they think is a martial art that the Samurai used to do in the 1600's, a 'traditional' martial art...I'll admit, it didn't cross my mind until a recent Facebook post made me think on it a little.
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby Urban Fisherman » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:51 pm | #8

nry wrote:Don't disagree, it doesn't have to be 'old school' to be worth while, however my 'issue' is that many take up what they think is a martial art that the Samurai used to do in the 1600's, a 'traditional' martial art...I'll admit, it didn't cross my mind until a recent Facebook post made me think on it a little.

No one's practicising a martial art that the Samurai used to do in the 1600's, the laws of physics prevent it: http://www.jimloy.com/physics/2ndlaw.htm Information will inevitably be lost. The solution to copy the trick that life uses to escape this: this is create new information to replace the information that was lost. A huge amount of information about BJJ was lost with the death of Helio Gracie, but BJJ continues to evolve and develop as everytime people train there's the potential for new information to be created.
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby nry » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:42 pm | #9

Even when a school has recorded links back to the 1600's, with documentation of the techniques taught?  He says, playing Devil's Advocate as usual ;)
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby OneDragons » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:15 pm | #10

I think Koryu arts do preserve the past very well, they have documentation and strong lineage lines to maintain the techniques as closely to the original founder as possible.

But they do loose some of the essence in the process. The Samurai would live a certain way and that influenced his Art including fighting, he would also adapt to the prevailing situation he faced. Just like any other soldier he would use what worked and come up with new techniques to face his needs. So if the daily application and adaptations of the techniques are lost (not many Samurai wandering round serving feudal lords these days) then a true duplication is impossible.

In other words as soon as you 'freeze' something in time you take its original spirit from it. I personally view Koryu in a similar way to how I view western historic re-enactment, can be very cool and fun but the driving point of the practitioners is not the same as the driving point of those who developed and trained those techniques first time round.
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby nry » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:47 pm | #11

True, some Koryu practitioners do loose focus on the actual application of the techniques, however not all do.  Self defence, actual practical stuff, does exist, even if not always easily visible.
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby rne02 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:13 pm | #12

My Instructor describes his club as Traditional even though the syllabus we train with was put together in the 19540 by the founder.  The reason he does this is mainly to distinguish us from being a BJJ club as that is what most people seem to think now when they see the words Ju-jitsu advertised.

The other reason is that obviously the techniques have to come for somewhere, and there are influences of Tenshin within the style, in fact once you get past 1st Dan the rest of the syllabus is all Tenshin (I am told).

As people have said, the word Traditional is ambiguous as best.
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby BrassMan » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:50 pm | #14

nry wrote:Futuristic Jitsu! :)

Heliconian Twisting?

My chaps seem to have changed terminology recently. Until a few months ago everything but BJJ, Aikido and Judo were referred to as traditional. A month or two ago, we adopted "modern ju jitsu" (the spelling being largely irrelevant to us).

I'd probably split such things into three categories of modern, traditional and sport. Where sport is anything competitive (judo, boxing, BJJ and so on). Traditional is anything done for it's own sake (akido, some koryu schools (from the descriptions on here)). Modern is anything aiming at a real world application (krav maga as the latest development).
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Re: The use of the word 'Traditional'?

Postby nry » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:25 pm | #15

I've seen more useful application in Koryu than in any modern style...it is not all about preserving tradition just for the sake of it...
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