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Period Japanese texts on swordfighting?

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  • hexslinger
    Konnichiwa, tomodachi! I just got back from the Calafian rapier/unarmored combat practice*. The Don who gave us the lesson told me that we are welcome to use
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 24, 2012
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      Konnichiwa, tomodachi!

      I just got back from the Calafian rapier/unarmored combat practice*. The Don who gave us the lesson told me that we are welcome to use and study Japanese technique as part of unarmored combat, as long as we can provide a period Japanese text to work from.

      Five Rings is not period. I believe there is a period text, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was, and my Google-jutsu is failing me. Can anyone provide me with information on such a thing?

      Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!

      --Sou

      * Unarmored combat is currently unique to Caid; it began as an A&S study of period combat techniques from period style manuals, and is done with rapier-level protection using synthetic nylon swords and a light touch. It is mostly practice but there is now some free sparring. Don Avenel Kellough is teaching the Marazzo text at the Calafian unarmored combat practice.
    • JL Badgley
      So I would love to know more about these restrictions and how they are applying them to European arts. That said, I believe there are *some* pre-1600 scrolls
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 25, 2012
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        So I would love to know more about these restrictions and how they are
        applying them to European arts. That said, I believe there are *some*
        pre-1600 scrolls extant, but due to their nature, many haven't survived and
        even when they do they might be nothing more than a list of technique
        names, possibly with pictures of people in kamae. On top of this we have
        extant arts that are still taught, but how much have they changed?
        Nonetheless, there is a book out there on Katori Shinto Ryu that might
        help. Shimabukuro sensei's book, "Flashing Blade", describes the
        techniques of MJER, including those they believe were handed down by
        Hayashizaki Jinsuke. There are books in Japanese about Kasumi Shinto Ryu
        (now taught as part of SMR Jodo, though jodo is 17th century). I think
        there may be a set of Yagyu scrolls extant with various positions, and
        there is a style of kenjutsu that seems pre-1600 embedded within Mugai Ryu
        (another 17th century art).

        To me, though, this sounds like an attempt to keep people from playing non
        European stuff. I wonder if Karl Friday's "Legacies of the Sword" would
        be enough?

        -Ii
        On Jun 25, 2012 12:25 AM, "hexslinger" <haruko@...> wrote:

        > Konnichiwa, tomodachi!
        >
        > I just got back from the Calafian rapier/unarmored combat practice*. The
        > Don who gave us the lesson told me that we are welcome to use and study
        > Japanese technique as part of unarmored combat, as long as we can provide a
        > period Japanese text to work from.
        >
        > Five Rings is not period. I believe there is a period text, but for the
        > life of me, I can't remember what it was, and my Google-jutsu is failing
        > me. Can anyone provide me with information on such a thing?
        >
        > Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!
        >
        > --Sou
        >
        > * Unarmored combat is currently unique to Caid; it began as an A&S study
        > of period combat techniques from period style manuals, and is done with
        > rapier-level protection using synthetic nylon swords and a light touch. It
        > is mostly practice but there is now some free sparring. Don Avenel Kellough
        > is teaching the Marazzo text at the Calafian unarmored combat practice.
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail sca-jml-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.comYahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • lorik_gryphon
        Sou-dono, I would tend to agree with Ii dono in regards to attempts to keep people from playing with non-WMA/HEMA techniques. I do not know how helpful this
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 25, 2012
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          Sou-dono,

          I would tend to agree with Ii dono in regards to attempts to keep people from playing with non-WMA/HEMA techniques.

          I do not know how helpful this will be, but this (minus the spaces):

          http: // www. koryu. com/ guide/ katorishinto. html

          references Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu, founded ca. 1447; it is the earliest Japanese sword fighting school I have found that incorporates nitōjutsu, the 2-sword style often attributed to Musashi exclusively.

          I believe the hardest part of studying Japanese pre-1600 swordsmanship is the fact that, unlike historic European martial arts, the Japanese continued teach and evolve the surviving techniques and schools. It is exceedingly difficult to find books that separate techniques based on our artificial end date (meaning I haven't found any yet.)

          I would *hope* your Don would accept techniques from a ryu founded before 1600, with a continued modern tradition.

          An option for further research is:
          Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan - 3-volume set by Diane Skoss (Koryu Books - same web site):
          Koryu Bujutsu: Classical Warrior Traditions Of Japan
          ISBN 1-890536-04-0
          Sword & Spirit: Classical Warrior Traditions Of Japan, Volume 2
          ISBN 1-890536-05-9
          Keiko Shokon: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan, Volume 3
          ISBN 1-890536-06-7

          Your humble servant,
          Koga Takashiro Kagehiro,
          called TakaGo
          Kingdom of Atenveldt


          ***returns to lurking...***


          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "hexslinger" <haruko@...> wrote:
          >
          > Konnichiwa, tomodachi!
          >
          > I just got back from the Calafian rapier/unarmored combat practice*. The Don who gave us the lesson told me that we are welcome to use and study Japanese technique as part of unarmored combat, as long as we can provide a period Japanese text to work from.
          >
          > Five Rings is not period. I believe there is a period text, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was, and my Google-jutsu is failing me. Can anyone provide me with information on such a thing?
          >
          > Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!
          >
          > --Sou
          >
          > * Unarmored combat is currently unique to Caid; it began as an A&S study of period combat techniques from period style manuals, and is done with rapier-level protection using synthetic nylon swords and a light touch. It is mostly practice but there is now some free sparring. Don Avenel Kellough is teaching the Marazzo text at the Calafian unarmored combat practice.
          >
        • Sō Haruko
          Ii-dono and Koga-dono, My Don has been very accomodating and helpful, and everyone we met at practice was very nice and friendly. No one that talked with us
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 25, 2012
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            Ii-dono and Koga-dono,

            My Don has been very accomodating and helpful, and everyone we met at practice was very nice and friendly. No one that talked with us batted an eye at the Japanese personae. It was very much a question of "just find a text you want to study, and you can work with it". I think they simply hadn't had to deal with any non-Western personae at the practice before; there are very few non-Westerners in Caid. Being willing to learn other forms helps too, I think. (;

            In fact, I just got an email from him that recommended _The Sword and the Mind_, by Hiroaki Sato. He agrees that it is difficult to find in-period texts, and it sounds like we will be OK with this one and with Five Rings, which is not very post-period. I am also going to pick up a copy of _The Life-Giving Sword_ through ILL to see if it is suitable.

            In fact, he even went so far as to recommend dojo work alongside SCA work because of the unbroken transmission, with the commentary that he understands there was a philosophical change in the fighting arts between the Momoyama and the Edo periods.

            I will have to discuss with him about schools that have unbroken transmission but no period texts in English. I have an admittedly dusty 7th kyu in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, and a copy of _Flashing Steel_ although it is packed away while we are moving, and I know there is a dojo here. MJER is great, but hard on the knees if doing the kata from seiza. (Short explanation: I am trying to rehab my knees from chondromalacia patella incurred by being a hockey goalie in modern life, and thought rapier might be enough exercise without being problematic. I am still trying to figure out if it is safe enough for the rehab, but it's way more fun than swimming and walking. (: )

            Thank you for the book recommendations; I'll check them out!

            --Sou

            On Jun 25, 2012, at 10:51 AM, lorik_gryphon wrote:

            > Sou-dono,
            >
            > I would tend to agree with Ii dono in regards to attempts to keep people from playing with non-WMA/HEMA techniques.
            >
            > I do not know how helpful this will be, but this (minus the spaces):
            >
            > http: // www. koryu. com/ guide/ katorishinto. html
            >
            > references Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu, founded ca. 1447; it is the earliest Japanese sword fighting school I have found that incorporates nitōjutsu, the 2-sword style often attributed to Musashi exclusively.
            >
            > I believe the hardest part of studying Japanese pre-1600 swordsmanship is the fact that, unlike historic European martial arts, the Japanese continued teach and evolve the surviving techniques and schools. It is exceedingly difficult to find books that separate techniques based on our artificial end date (meaning I haven't found any yet.)
            >
            > I would *hope* your Don would accept techniques from a ryu founded before 1600, with a continued modern tradition.
            >
            > An option for further research is:
            > Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan - 3-volume set by Diane Skoss (Koryu Books - same web site):
            > Koryu Bujutsu: Classical Warrior Traditions Of Japan
            > ISBN 1-890536-04-0
            > Sword & Spirit: Classical Warrior Traditions Of Japan, Volume 2
            > ISBN 1-890536-05-9
            > Keiko Shokon: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan, Volume 3
            > ISBN 1-890536-06-7
            >
            > Your humble servant,
            > Koga Takashiro Kagehiro,
            > called TakaGo
            > Kingdom of Atenveldt
            >
            > ***returns to lurking...***
            >
            > --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "hexslinger" <haruko@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Konnichiwa, tomodachi!
            > >
            > > I just got back from the Calafian rapier/unarmored combat practice*. The Don who gave us the lesson told me that we are welcome to use and study Japanese technique as part of unarmored combat, as long as we can provide a period Japanese text to work from.
            > >
            > > Five Rings is not period. I believe there is a period text, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was, and my Google-jutsu is failing me. Can anyone provide me with information on such a thing?
            > >
            > > Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!
            > >
            > > --Sou
            > >
            > > * Unarmored combat is currently unique to Caid; it began as an A&S study of period combat techniques from period style manuals, and is done with rapier-level protection using synthetic nylon swords and a light touch. It is mostly practice but there is now some free sparring. Don Avenel Kellough is teaching the Marazzo text at the Calafian unarmored combat practice.
            > >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Sir Koredono
            It depends on what you mean by combat text ; the only one that I m aware of, that to any degree actually describes techniques, and is certifiably period, is
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 25, 2012
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              It depends on what you mean by "combat text"; the only one that I'm aware
              of, that to any degree actually describes techniques, and is certifiably
              period, is Heiho Okugisho, written by Yamamoto Kansuke, who was one of
              Takeda Shingen's generals, and died in 1561. The copy that I have is an
              exact copy of a post-period printing (mid-Edo), where the facing pages have
              the original Japanese on one side and English translations line by line on
              the other, with all of the illustrations on both pages.

              I got my from Bugei when it was first (re-)published, it's now out of print
              (Amazon says you can get used copies for $150+), but Shinkendo says a new
              edition is 'coming soon', for what that's worth.


              There are other Japanese budo treatises out there which have roots in
              period, but, between the secretive nature of Japanese swordsmanship
              schools, and the fact that most of them probably evolved over the course of
              the centuries, especially as kendo sprouted from the roots of kenjutsu,
              it's harder to prove which of their techniques are actually old enough;
              even the Yagyu books were written in the late 17th century, and while may
              well have been preserved accurately since the beginning of Edo, they just
              as well may have not. I actually think Go Rin No Sho is more likely to be
              period in its essence that those others, since Musashi actually fought in
              wars in period, even though he didn't write it down until a few decades
              into Edo (which, BTW, would be good enough period documentation for most
              arts, including dance and music), he was in fact a primary source for his
              own techniques.



              Sir Koredono


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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