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  • Florida Samurai

    I found this group on Facebook. Some interesting video and application of self-made "iaido" and "kenjutsu" kata rolled into sparring.
    Would this be considered a hybrid of Chanbara and the "kenjutsu" that AK is doing?
    I just can't figure out how places like this get soooo many members.....
    http://www.facebook.com/southfloridasamurai

  • #2
    Yeah, I saw it too. Took a look at some of their waza and sparring videos as well. Looks like they are having fun.

    The number of "likes" on Facebook doesn't really mean anything. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them came from some variation of "Hey swords, I like swords, clicky!" From the quick look through I gave their group, the biggest class photo had 11 people, most of them look really young. Regardless of the demographic, it does make sense that something like this would be popular: there are more people that want to play than work. Even that aside, a lot of people will just go with whatever is most convenient for them. They'll pick the dojo that's closest or has the cheapest posted tuition, or the one their friend is at, whatever.

    Chanbara I'm familiar with. The "AK" part doesn't ring any bells, what is that?

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    • #3
      sigh.....

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      • #4
        I just can't figure out how places like this get soooo many members.....
        Not hard to understand at all. It is difficult to find a knowledgeable instructor and learn how to properly learn to use a Japanese sword. Many people would much rather play at what they think it should be. Much easier and more fun that way.

        No skin off of my nose and I really don't care, unless they come trying to tell me that what they've invented equates to what my koryu is teaching me. In that case, I would try my best to explain it to them, but they'll deny that there's any difference.

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        • #5
          I just can't figure out how places like this get soooo many members.....
          Because it looks fun.

          Had a friend the other day comment to me that Iaido is the only way he could possibly think of making samurai swords boring. It makes sense that a lot of people would look at it that way.

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          • #6
            personally I can't see their purpose is to having fun or something light only. They use the term "sensei", "waza", etc. And they charge money for that, groups lessons start at $10 per hour session, private lessons start at $25 per half hour. These kind of things could give a false confidence to the students if they have to engage any fight.

            I watch their 38th waza https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=381292215240684, on 0:49 it's clear that he's off balance for a moment.

            but perhaps I'm just too much..

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FastKendo View Post
              These kind of things could give a false confidence to the students if they have to engage any fight.
              I totally agree. However, there a lot of things related to Japanese sword work that has little to nothing to do with sword fighting. How many times has someone on this board been ridiculed because they wanted to learn how to "really" fight with a sword? If your intent was really to learn how to win in a swordfight (that will probably never happen), most places would show you to the door.

              Heck, there's debate about whether sword fights even happened to a large extent. Scholarly papers tell us more people were done in with rocks or arrows on a battlefield, and the times of peace probably weren't exactly the Wild West in terms of duels. I bet the vast majority of people in history who carried swords only ever managed to cut wara, bamboo, or themselves.

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              • #8
                Actually I was talking about McDojo in general. Never seen or knew any real swordfight during my life time, not sure if I'll see any, lol.
                But it's just not right.

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                • #9
                  Heck, there's debate about whether sword fights even happened to a large extent.
                  I've heard of no debates on this. The old Japanese had a bit of an anal society, so there are a great number of accounts of duels with swords.
                  Scholarly papers tell us more people were done in with rocks or arrows on a battlefield, and the times of peace probably weren't exactly the Wild West in terms of duels.
                  The wild west wasn't exactly like the wild west of story as in there were actually very few duels. In contrast, there were quite a number of sword fights in Edo Japan as there were a very large number of bandits and very many out of work and starving samurai who knew how to use a sword. Swords were never considered a primary weapon on the battlefield.
                  I bet the vast majority of people in history who carried swords only ever managed to cut wara, bamboo, or themselves.
                  A great many of the samurai from the latter days of the Edo period did not actually know how to use their weapons. However, the 900 years or so prior to that are filled with accounts of sword duels and fighting amongst the various samurai families. While they have been somewhat over-romanticized, there's no denying that the samurai were the only warrior caste for over a thousand years.
                  For the most part, cutting wara or bamboo is pretty much a modern activity. There are a couple of accounts that I've heard of regarding suemonogiri, but it was not a common occurance.

                  Actually I was talking about McDojo in general. Never seen or knew any real swordfight during my life time, not sure if I'll see any, lol.
                  But it's just not right.
                  It's not something that I like as I think anyone "inventing" a sword art these days is likely to be seriously wrong unless they've already got a lifetime of training in a valid sword art. However, I don't see how it could be considered 'not right'. 'Not useful' maybe, or 'silly looking' are phrases that come to mind.

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                  • #10
                    Excellent points. By "debate" I was referring to some interesting arguments both in favor and against the actual use of a swords as a weapon against a similarly armed opponent - whether that context was on a literal battlefield, arranged duel, or what not- on this and other fora. There are a lot of threads out there to pad out a boring work day There's been a great deal of exaggerating both the frequency and the rarity, depending on what angle someone is promoting.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pgsmith View Post
                      ..

                      It's not something that I like as I think anyone "inventing" a sword art these days is likely to be seriously wrong unless they've already got a lifetime of training in a valid sword art. However, I don't see how it could be considered 'not right'. 'Not useful' maybe, or 'silly looking' are phrases that come to mind.
                      It's not right, because they charge money from their participants while what they sell is bogus skill. I can't confirm if they told fake stories about their background or not, but I'm not surprised if they did.

                      So charging money on that and making their participants think they learn the real sword art are something that I can't consider it right. Yeah, perhaps it just me..

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jonathan View Post
                        Yeah, I saw it too. Took a look at some of their waza and sparring videos as well. Looks like they are having fun.

                        The number of "likes" on Facebook doesn't really mean anything. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them came from some variation of "Hey swords, I like swords, clicky!" From the quick look through I gave their group, the biggest class photo had 11 people, most of them look really young. Regardless of the demographic, it does make sense that something like this would be popular: there are more people that want to play than work. Even that aside, a lot of people will just go with whatever is most convenient for them. They'll pick the dojo that's closest or has the cheapest posted tuition, or the one their friend is at, whatever.

                        Chanbara I'm familiar with. The "AK" part doesn't ring any bells, what is that?
                        Aren't you a member of the same Facebook group this was posted in?

                        I got invited by someone to join the group but left it rapidly as it seemed to be exemplified by this group and self-taught members.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FastKendo View Post
                          It's not right, because they charge money from their participants while what they sell is bogus skill. I can't confirm if they told fake stories about their background or not, but I'm not surprised if they did.

                          So charging money on that and making their participants think they learn the real sword art are something that I can't consider it right. Yeah, perhaps it just me..
                          Knowingly telling lies to students about an art's background is awful. Presenting stuff someone just made up as historical or classical or whatever language is just as bad as presenting things you learned from someone else as your own invention. I got suckered once, and it's a pretty awful realization to discover that you not only believed something that wasn't true but to stick up for your friends and ultimately discover the reality... nothing good comes of it. Assuming you care about silly things like truth. Made up or not, let the material stand on it's own relative merit.

                          Now if you outright tell someone you have no historical basis, you just think X works because of whatever reason, and they go ahead and sign up for whatever reason, it isn't hurting anyone or anything. If you don't care about new stuff, ignore it safely. If you're curious about whether it works or not, hook up with someone and try it out.

                          Maro:

                          Yes. There's some silly stuff there, but that Cipriano fellow seems like a nice enough guy. There is some decent material presented in there - I don't recall the group and can't look it up right now but someone put together a progression of all the tameshigiri patterns in sequential order. That was cool, as I've seen the list on a Toyama website but never saw them all performed. There's a few more examples, but a lot of time is does kind of degenerate into passive-aggressive slapfights.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jonathan View Post
                            Knowingly telling lies to students about an art's background is awful. Presenting stuff someone just made up as historical or classical or whatever language is just as bad as presenting things you learned from someone else as your own invention. I got suckered once, and it's a pretty awful realization to discover that you not only believed something that wasn't true but to stick up for your friends and ultimately discover the reality... nothing good comes of it. Assuming you care about silly things like truth. Made up or not, let the material stand on it's own relative merit.

                            Now if you outright tell someone you have no historical basis, you just think X works because of whatever reason, and they go ahead and sign up for whatever reason, it isn't hurting anyone or anything. If you don't care about new stuff, ignore it safely. If you're curious about whether it works or not, hook up with someone and try it out.

                            Maro:

                            Yes. There's some silly stuff there, but that Cipriano fellow seems like a nice enough guy. There is some decent material presented in there - I don't recall the group and can't look it up right now but someone put together a progression of all the tameshigiri patterns in sequential order. That was cool, as I've seen the list on a Toyama website but never saw them all performed. There's a few more examples, but a lot of time is does kind of degenerate into passive-aggressive slapfights.
                            Not sure with what do you mean, but hard to believe you really feel suckered for once if you still call truth as silly..
                            Hopefully he's honest, so none will be hurt, even if it may have nothing to do with me. If there's something like that exist around my place, they open for anybody and the environment is fun, I'd like to try it out. I won't reveal my intention though as it's just for myself, and I don't want to add another problem on my list, lol.

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                            • #15
                              Why all the good stuff is coming from Florida ?? Orange, Gator, Beach and Samurai...

                              Originally posted by Nukitsuke View Post
                              I found this group on Facebook. Some interesting video and application of self-made "iaido" and "kenjutsu" kata rolled into sparring.
                              Would this be considered a hybrid of Chanbara and the "kenjutsu" that AK is doing?
                              I just can't figure out how places like this get soooo many members.....
                              http://www.facebook.com/southfloridasamurai

                              Comment

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