oneya wrote:Hi Tobin,
All generalisations are false of course but these are interesting all the same. Tim has a nice balanced approach that shows his ability to knit smoke while leaving no footprints in the sandpit and I could easily follow this elegant lead but once we enter this ‘general’ world we become as politicians in that we tend to tilt and spin the falsehood to achieve an outcome that, while vaguely satisfying, may not hold a skerrick of truth in its fabric and we’re all seekers of truth right?
Without some clarification of the differences that only koryu eyes are capable of seeing some might argue that it is not inconceivable for a man capable of devising wado ryu kihon kumite for his inspirational work might well also have considered a new set of idori that reflected a more meathead ‘karate’ approach for his new art of the future, to help them sleep better at night.
Some may argue, as I do and as Rob is also saying, that the road is long and viewing sites along it route will vary according to the seasons of a man’s travel and so we should enjoy the variances in the journey because it is the only one we have inherited. To that I can only add that any and all variances in my view are entirely mine and I continue to own sole responsibility for them.
Obviously in making this statement you have considered one truth that some will lay at your door in that: you personally cannot possibly have met or watched ‘all wado ryu students’ at their idori play so we need to narrow the field down a bit as to which top students you are referring to and – given your conviction and not without some note for your courage in your lion’s den statement - can you add a little meat to the bones and explain the missing SYR principles from wado idori
thanks for the chaw,
I thought I just posed some historical questions for Wado ryu people to ponder... Silly me.
As for Ohtsuka creating a new set of idori reflecting a more "meathead" karate approach, I’m not sure informed people would buy it. That conclusion doesn’t make rational sense. Why would Ohtsuka include something as "old school" as idori kata and then purposely neuter them of their principles? The sophistication of the kumitegata and kihon kumite reflect significant influence from SYR principles? If, as many propose, Ohtsuka’s purpose for including the SYR teaching forms into his Wado ryu was to "japanify" his newly birthed budo, wouldn't it be logical for him to have left the original principles intact to further convince those stodgy men in the Butokukai of his new arts koryu heritage? I personally think something else happened but any speculation is rather futile unless a guy like Toru Arakawa drops a bomb. Regardless, the mystery is no big deal to me beyond the fact that I get asked about it all the time at seminars. I never know how to answer..
As for clarification surrounding the individual principles involved, it would take my writing a novel to explain them without hands on feedback to convey the nuances involved. I have students in TSYR from all three lines of Wado ryu. Guys like Bob Nash, Robbie Smith, Shingo Ohgami, and others can confirm that what I was taught as the SYR idori/tantodori, and what they were taught as Wado idori/tantodori bear little similarity under the surface. Even if the outward form were exactly the same, subtle effects on the uchite's structure reveal to the trained eye higher level SYR dynamics at work. As far as I’m aware, the principles of ten,chi, jin, anteho/fuanteho, zenshin, ju no musubi, go no musubi, and others are not comprehensively employed in the Wado idori/tantodori. Could I be wrong and someone somewhere is applying these principles like we do in SYR? Sure, but I haven’t exactly been hanging with a bunch of Wado ryu slackers for the last 12-15 years, consequently I have a pretty informed idea of what constitutes orthodoxy in relation to their execution in all three Wado branches.
For the record, I’m not critical of the Wado idori, tantodori or shinkendori. They are what they are and serve a different purpose in Wado than they do in SYR. As I stated earlier in relation to the shinkendori, the Wado and SYR kata are simply apples and oranges in my mind. To paraphrase Rob Kear, all the Wado paired kata are part of the greater Wado landscape, and if you are happy with that landscape, why not enjoy the show? I agree completely.
The mystery of why the idori and tantodori evolved the way they did remains, but in the end most people studying Wado probably don’t care about the historical or technical nuances involved in this story. They're busy learning what the Wado ryu paired forms have to teach. That’s great. If people do care to delve more deeply into the origins of their Wado ryu idori and tanto dori, there is a venue for historical/technical comparison, and that’s fine by me too. I like hanging with Wado ryu people.
Shindo Yoshin ryu and Wado ryu are not twins, but they are family.