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  • Origins of nito ryu in modern kendo

    Hello all;
    I have just finishied watching kendo DVD's which i bought at tournament and Nito ryu disc was with the set of four -the questions i have after watching them are these,
    1)Why is there no nito ryu kata in our kata?
    2)Is there a difference in this version than the ryu-ha of old in terms of tech's and concepts?
    3)Do you have to have a certian rank to practice it?
    4)Why is it not very well accepted in kendo circle today i see very few actually doing it and know body know's who teaches it as a specialty.
    5)Who is the highest ranked Nito ryu kendoka and where?
    6)In judgeing nito kendoka should they have there own rules and if so what are they as to the rest of use in shiai.
    7)Can you score with shoto or is it just a defensive weapon used only to parry which i have seen in most cases at tournaments,and if testing and your )uke-uchidachi)has nito how do you compencate for it to pass test.
    hope to hear from you guys soon.
    Herb
    Last edited by herb mowery; 10th May 2007, 10:51 PM. Reason: spellimg

  • #2
    Originally posted by herb mowery View Post
    1)Why is there no nito ryu kata in our kata?
    2)Is there a difference in this version than the ryu-ha of old in terms of tech's and concepts?
    3)Do you have to have a certian rank to practice it?
    4)Why is it not very well accepted in kendo circle today i see very few actually doing it and know body know's who teaches it as a specialty.
    5)Who is the highest ranked Nito ryu kendoka and where?
    6)In judgeing nito kendoka should they have there own rules and if so what are they as to the rest of use in shiai.
    7)Can you score with shoto or is it just a defensive weapon used only to parry which i have seen in most cases at tournaments,and if testing and your )uke-uchidachi)has nito how do you compencate for it to pass test.
    hope to hear from you guys soon.
    Herb
    1) Because kendo is based in the one-sword style. Even niten ichi ryu (Musashi's school) has mostly itto kata.
    2) Yes. My feeling is that nito (not nito ryu) is very much a competition-oriented style. That's just my personal opinion.
    3) No, but many people feel you should have a solid grounding in itto before beginning.
    4) See 1) and 2).
    5) I think there's a hachidan guy around, other people could probably quote a name or three. In Japan, of course. Highest ranked guy in North America is probably Kato-sensei in NYC.
    6) Same rules, but since most shimpan don't have a lot of experience with it it is often misjudged.
    7) a. By all accounts the shoto is impossible or extremely difficult to score with.
    b. Do your best straight kendo, and try not to let the other guy screw you up too much.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
      1) 2) Yes. My feeling is that nito (not nito ryu) is very much a competition-oriented style. That's just my personal opinion.

      Two questions, Neil:

      1. Why not "nito-ryu"? That's what it's called in the AJKF English dictionary.

      2. If nito-ryu is so competition-oriented, why don't nito players do better, by, for example, frequently winning individual championships? As you yourself have noted, it is not often judged well, and this is probably more to the disadvantage of the nito player.

      Thanks,

      Brian

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Black Knight View Post
        Two questions, Neil:

        1. Why not "nito-ryu"? That's what it's called in the AJKF English dictionary.

        2. If nito-ryu is so competition-oriented, why don't nito players do better, by, for example, frequently winning individual championships? As you yourself have noted, it is not often judged well, and this is probably more to the disadvantage of the nito player.
        1. Well, I bow to the ZNKR if that's their terminology. But it's not really a ryu, there's no lineage of people teaching it like regular koryu. We don't say we do "itto-ryu" kendo, we may say we have heritage there, but that's not what we're doing.
        2. You answered your own question.

        Comment


        • #5
          2. No, I haven't answered my own question. I have offered evidence to contradict your statement.

          By saying that nito (or nito-ryu or those two-sword wierdos) is competition-oriented, you are implying that the purpose of the style is to win tournaments.

          My argument is that nito doesn't win tournaments very often, and in fact it is probably harder to do well in a tournament due to inherent itto bias and shimpan unfamiliarity with what constitutes yuko-datotsu from a nito player.

          So, I ask again, in what way is nito competition-oriented? Oriented to lose?

          Let me make an alternative suggestions as to why people do nito:

          -to try something different and interesting.
          -just because it's fun or it "feels natural".
          -nito has a somewhat more "free" spirit to it, such as allowing the player his or her choice of which hands to hold the daito and shoto in and which foot to put forward.

          I think anyone who gets into nito because they want to win competitions is fooling themselves...obviously folks like Matthew Raymond are highly competitive, but I think they are the exception rather than the rule.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Black Knight View Post
            2. If nito-ryu is so competition-oriented, why don't nito players do better, by, for example, frequently winning individual championships?
            I think it's also an issue of brute numbers. There aren't that many nito players around.

            Comment


            • #7
              People get into nito for a variety of reasons. But to me, it's competition oriented because the two swords give a competitive advantage (attack and defence simultaneously) and also because it's even less cutting-oriented than itto kendo.

              As to why it fails in competition, as Paul points out there's not that many players out there. Also it requires a high level of ability and also a physical strength and dexterity that most don't have. A lot of people who try nito aren't all that good at it.

              People who are good at it, like Raymond and Itokazu, have quite a lot of success however it seems to me like they face an uphill battle with the judges at times.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                1. Well, I bow to the ZNKR if that's their terminology. But it's not really a ryu, there's no lineage of people teaching it like regular koryu. We don't say we do "itto-ryu" kendo, we may say we have heritage there, but that's not what we're doing.
                Not to derail the thread, but 'ryu' in Japanese doesn't always refer to a ryuha. It can simply mean 'style,' so you can have such words as アメリカ流 (Amerika-ryu) to mean 'American style.' In the case of kendo I think nito-ryu might just mean 'two sword style.'

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Oroshi View Post
                  In the case of kendo I think nito-ryu might just mean 'two sword style.'
                  That's what I keep hearing..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Oroshi again.
                    Just for being sickeningly informative!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I buy that, but I still don't like it because it leads to confusion between nito kendo and HNIR.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                        People get into nito for a variety of reasons. But to me, it's competition oriented because the two swords give a competitive advantage (attack and defence simultaneously) and also because it's even less cutting-oriented than itto kendo
                        I disagree with both these thesis. As you pointed out, most judges have no idea how to score nito and therefore it is always an uphill battle. I am by no means "highly skilled", but I have gone to competitions and not been awarded a single point and last month I won 6 bouts in a row (finishing 2nd in the > 40). I hardly think that my kendo underwent some kind of epiphany.

                        Historically, swords have been used with one hand. Sometimes with shields and sometimes with daggers. I believe there less clubbing when the sword is in one hand and more cutting motion, not less. This is particularly true because there is less force than can be generated by one hand than two and it is considerably more difficult to maintain proper striking form with one hand.
                        Last edited by Neil Gendzwill; 11th May 2007, 02:11 AM. Reason: Fix quote

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by herb mowery View Post
                          6)In judgeing nito kendoka should they have there own rules and if so what are they as to the rest of use in shiai.
                          In a tournament last year, I remember a bout being stopped for quite some time due to shimpan discussion about the relative position of the shoto and daito while in tsubazeriai. The nito player, who held the shoto in his right hand, would keep his shoto held above the daito while in tsubazeriai. I think they were thinking there was an unfair trapping advantage.

                          Can anyone clarify what the official rules say?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm pretty sure the rules don't say a damned thing about it.

                            However, if you watch the ebogu nito-ryu video, M. Raymond shows that "trapping" thing and a big X appears on the screen with a really annoying buzzing sound. This has conditioned me never to do it, for fear of hearing the buzzer again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Old Warrior View Post
                              I disagree with both these thesis.
                              You disagree that being able to simultaneously attack and defend is an advantage?

                              Comment

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