Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

General discussions on Wado Ryu karate and associated martial arts.
Gary
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by Gary »

Gusei21 wrote:Gary,

We know you are involved in koryu now so could you give us the benefit of your insight into what you are seeing?
Education is a good thing and it might help others see more clearly. No sarcasm intended at all. Genuine interest.
Its on youtube and he was doing a demo so i suppose it is fair game.
I personally have never done a Wado tachi tori in my life because It is beyond my abilities. I only do the sword defense from Shindo Yoshin Ryu but that is a different animal and I suck at it.
Bob,

Regarding Koryu bujutsu - I'm still a newb at it, and my expertise is limited to the particular tradition that I practice.

That said - what stood out to me was the swordsmanship (or lack of it) tbh.

I know this is a demo - so I apologise if I sound harsh, but I also know that when I have done paired Kata work involving swords with Steve (both in the dojo and at embu) - he beasts me about getting the detail right.

Not least of which is the accuracy of the draw / cut, the commitment behind it and Zanshin.

I didn't see a lot of it here I am afraid.

Like you, I've never done Wado-ryu Tachi-dori, so I can't comment on what Sensei Wicks is doing as part of the defence - apart from to say that if the attack looks poor to me, then I wonder how this affects the defence.

Regards
Gary Needham
Walton Wado Karate Club

清漣館双水執流英国稽古会
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Gusei21
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by Gusei21 »

Hi Gary,

I have never done Wado tachi tori but I have partnered with Mr Ajari and have attacked him with a sword.
I only did it once and I will never do it again.
I almost seriously injured him and it shook me up.
We were doing a public demo. Since I had some experience with iaido(Muso Shinden) I figured ok...I will do my best.
So I attacked. He sort of stumbled and as I went to cut at the last second I broke my wrist to pull the sword back as the blade sort of came to a stop on his neck.
I almost had to change my shorts.
I decided it was not worth it. Ajari's response was 'what are you doing?'. Mine - 'er, trying to kill you?'.
I was done forever.
Never using a shinken again for something like that. Pointless unless you are willing to kill or be killed.
Which is what made Teruo Hayashi's stuff really exciting and impressive. He was willing to put his life on the line each time he went up there.
Bob Nash
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by Kogusoku »

Re: Tachi-dori.

Tachi-dori (Or muto-dori) in koryu jujutsu of the unarmed vs. armed variety is a rarity*, but it does exist. Within the ryuha that do train tachi-dori unarmed in their various ways, it is usually the zenith of their repertoire of skills. Some ryuha during demonstrations have "watered" things down to make it more theatric and more understandable for neophyte audiences.

One of the main requirements of doing tachi-dori is having an uke/teki that knows what he is doing with a sword. The uke/teki needs to know proper drawing methods, cutting methods, kamae, the whole nine yards. Proper hasuji (angular alignment and trajectory of the blade) is essential when cutting. Improper hasuji in cutting leads to all sorts of mishaps, such as a chipped or bent blade. A swordsman uses his weapon as a surgical tool, not as a bludgeon. It's in the swordsman's interest to have a serviceable weapon after an altercation just in case as a potential combative precaution. (Before people retort to this, it's in the mindset imbued in training in some ryuha to have this superior attitude.) It's very telling when you see improper balance and cutting technique. All that over commitment of the hip and shoulder, it's like someone swinging a rubber hose.

Each attack should be polished and precise and shouldn't be telegraphic. Some of the attacks in the embu were akin to someone throwing a wild haymaker; It's easily spotted, evaluated and easily countered. If it was a trained swordsman, with proper footwork and cutting ability and killing intent, the person doing tachi-dori has his work cut out for him in terms of gauging timing, distance and tempo.

Proper sashi-gata (inserting the sword into the obi) is another very important part of swordsmanship. You don't just fumble around looking for where to insert the kojiri of the saya into your obi like a teenager fumbling on a girl's bra strap. It looks unprofessional and slovenly. The movement has got to be second nature and smooth. It should be practiced and practiced until it's second nature - No looking and no fumbling.
The same can be said for after an embu; You take the sword out of the obi before leaving the embujo, in the same smooth, practiced way that it was inserted. You don't just saunter off the embujo with the weapon in the belt like that as it's terribly disrespectful.

It's something to be trained together until second nature as with everything in budo. Sorry if I come off as a bit caustic, but as someone who teaches and trains classical Japanese swordsmanship and jujutsu, I say it as I see it.

*For some ryuha, tachi-dori means using a short weapon like a kodachi in conjunction with jujutsu. In arts like Tenjin Shinyo-ryu, there aren't really any unarmed defences against a long sword. Defences against a long sword in Tenjin Shinyo-ryu are almost always done with a kodachi in conjunction with jujutsu.

Older systems such as Takenouchi-ryu have muto-dori but it is not exactly clear as to when they were created in the history of the ryuha. Some of the older kata show short weapons against a long weapon in conjunction with jujutsu.

Some kata in Sosuishi-ryu could be considered to be muto-dori, but they are all techniques where the defender is armed with a kodachi and uses (You guessed it!) jujutsu against the enemy with a longsword.
Kind Regards,

S.Delaney

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Gusei21
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by Gusei21 »

Yeah but being critical of the swordsmanship in a Wado tachi tori is like complaining about the popcorn at the movies. The sword is not the showcase. It is not our thing. Our thing is the guy at the wrong end of the sword.
Bob Nash
kyudo
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by kyudo »

Gusei21 wrote:Yeah but being critical of the swordsmanship in a Wado tachi tori is like complaining about the popcorn at the movies. The sword is not the showcase. It is not our thing. Our thing is the guy at the wrong end of the sword.
Then again, if the popcorn is awful, are you able to enjoy the movie?

There's another analogy closer to your home: if your computer sucks, is the hardware or the software to blame? Hardly relevant when you're unable to fix it and you throw it out the window...

However, no need to get hung up over some footage of a poor demo. I'm sure Jon Wicks has more to offer...
Igor Asselbergs
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Gusei21
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by Gusei21 »

Igor,

Your logic insults swordsmen.
What I am saying is that sword work is beyond the scope of what we do.
The art of handling a sword is just that, an art.
It takes years of experience.
So to comment on the sword aspect of a Wado tachi tori demo is kind of like my clients muttering about some feature of code done by some other programmer that is outside the scope of the project.
What we learn in Wado is movement. How does he move in relationship to the cut. Does he move in one?
Does he telegraph? Is his distance correct? As he moves does he expose his limbs? Is the atemi effective?
Was he able to establish effective kuzushi?
Those are the things we should be evaluating if anything. So when I asked Gary for his valued insight I was asking because I know that there are some koryu that have defenses against a sword. And apparently neither Gary nor I do Wado tachi tori but I think we both do the tachi tori of the koryu that we practice.
So Gary can give an educated opinion unlike the others who do not practice this sort of thing. And I am sure Steve Delaney also has valuable insight since he teaches this stuff.
If you are going to do a demo then you had better have your act together because people will judge you on your performance and you are representing your art in a public domain.
Bob Nash
Gary
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by Gary »

Well tbh actually - I am not at that level where I have done the equivalent of tachi-dori in the Koryu I study either - and as Steve mentioned, in the older traditions (like Sosuishi-ryu), it’s also done with Kodachi anyway (so not quite the same thing).

That said, I appreciate demos are demos (and I've done many that I'd love to forget, cos they haunt me), but when it comes to it, kata (solo or paired) is a vital part of budo...

So therefore surely, without an authentic attack – there is no authentic defence?
Gary Needham
Walton Wado Karate Club

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Gusei21
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by Gusei21 »

In that case then a case can be made for the futillity of most Wado tachi tori demos.
Oh wait... Maybe that's why most of us don't bother?
Bob Nash
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by TSYR »

Boy,

I agree with everything my friend Steve Delaney said but I must add that evaluating Wado ryu's Shinken Shiraha Dori from the view point of a koryu budoka is rather unfair. Its similar to a koryu kenjutsu practitioner evaluating aikido's aiki ken. Apples and oranges.....

Wado ryu Shinken Shiraha Dori is not supposed to be authentic sword defense. Ohtsuka's version was a demonstration of timing and entry angles. I was never supposed to represent more than that. Now, as for Mr Wickes demo, he's adding a theatrical element and that makes this a different ball of wax. My only problem with this sort of demo is that the observers are led to believe it represents authentic defense against a sword without knowing what they're looking at, hence the strong reaction of a guy like Steve Delany. who does know what he's talking about.

I hate demonstrations......
Tobin E Threadgill
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AG1
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Re: Excited about Sensei Wicks' clinic

Post by AG1 »

TSYR wrote:Wado ryu Shinken Shiraha Dori is not supposed to be authentic sword defense. Ohtsuka's version was a demonstration of timing and entry angles. I was never supposed to represent more than that. Now, as for Mr Wickes demo, he's adding a theatrical element and that makes this a different ball of wax. My only problem with this sort of demo is that the observers are led to believe it represents authentic defense against a sword without knowing what they're looking at, hence the strong reaction of a guy like Steve Delany. who does know what he's talking about.
Thank you for that clear and eloquent statement. I was preparing a response to previous comments in this thread but yours says it all. I may add that tanto dori is also about timing and entry angles: application of Wado principles rather than real knife defense. Anyone who has seen portuguese a/o phillipine knife fighters (or in my case, an occassional practice with the marine detachment here in Guatemala) can appreciate the difference.
Arturo Girona
Wado Kokusai KarateDo Renmei
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