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  • Yanagi-ryu in U.S

    in a year or so, i plan to travel the U.S and Japan to study different ryu. i wanted to start with the Yanagi-ryu but i heard from one of it's former members that its Soke, Don Angier, had retired and forbid any other members from teachng in the area he lived in. i mainly just want to start with a ryuha that includes Naginata in its curriculum, so if don't know where i could find Yanagi-ryu then another ryuha with naginata in America would be fine. thanks in advance for your help.

  • #2
    Were you just going to fly back and forth with a bag of martial arts supplies?

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    • #3
      Perhaps it would be better to

      Pick one art and stick with it until such a time as circumstances mean you can no longer practise, or until you've spent enough years training that you can pick up an additional art without it affecting your study of the first.

      Otherwise you'll probably just piss off a lot of teachers and end up sucking at lots of different arts. No teacher wants a student who wastes their time by refusing to commit. It's been suggested to me that this one of the reasons why some koryu are so hard to find.

      If you want to study naginata look here and contact a dojo near you to see if they practise koryu naginata. If you're already at a kendo or other dojo you could talk to your sensei and see if they have any contacts who might be willing to teach you koryu.

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      • #4
        Ermmm...

        I think you're probably unlikely to get a lot of bites on the whole traveling around and sampling different ryuha plan. It's important to remember that when you're joining a koryu, the teacher will probably expect you to stick around. Unless you can commit seriously to the study of the art, meaning several years of training at the minimum, then many teachers probably won't except you. The reason is that it takes a lot of time for them to teach you. They expect that their efforts will result in a student who studies the ryu in depth and is thus able to contribute to the overall strength of the ryu in the future. So, while I have heard of some exceptions, it is unlikely that you will be able to find a teacher who would be willing to teach you for a small amount of time.

        Moreover, what do you hope to gain from the experience? These arts are incredibly sophisticated. What do you hope to learn in a brief period of time that would be of any value? Even if you were accepted or somehow gained access into a variety of ryuha, at best you only be able to superficially imitate basic movements.

        I don't mean to discourage your interest in these arts, in fact quite the opposite. But these are important questions that you will need to answer. I don't know if you've done this or not, but I'd definitely recommend that you look at the articles on koryu.com if you haven't already and that you buy the "Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan Series". Definitely check out Dave Lowry's article in that series titled "Promise and Peril".

        Also, are there any dojo in your area? There may not be a need to travel.

        My opinions, fwtw.

        EDIT: Started writing this post before Oroshi's post. He has made a lot of the above redundant.

        Kind regards.
        Last edited by drosera99; 29th September 2009, 01:08 PM.

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        • #5
          What Richard and Jeffery said. Study deeply what you have available to you now. Move, if you don't have a good teacher. Or wait. Don't attempt to waste people's time by dabbling.

          A koryu doesn't accept you because of what it can do for you.

          If you want to study naginata, I don't think you can go wrong with atarashii. It's the most plentiful type in both Japan and the US, and though it's rather vanilla (IMHO), its principles are solid and have diverged less from older styles than kendo has from kenjutsu. Kata practice is still the core of its training.

          -Beth

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          • #6
            Originally posted by drosera99 View Post

            Also, are there any dojo in your area? There may not be a need to travel.

            I only have one dojo in my area but they don't teach Naginata

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Onitora View Post
              I only have one dojo in my area but they don't teach Naginata
              Look, the U.S. is a BIG place. You don't have to post your personal address here, but at least give us the name of a major city that you live near, and maybe a rough idea of how far you are willing to travel.

              Hey Beth-I like vanilla!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bruce Mitchell View Post
                Look, the U.S. is a BIG place. You don't have to post your personal address here, but at least give us the name of a major city that you live near, and maybe a rough idea of how far you are willing to travel.
                Agreedsome of the dojo are a bit under the radar, like the group I practice atarashii with. They were here for at least a couple of years before I knew about them, and they're not listed on the USNF website. We can't refer if we don't have a geographical location to work from.

                Originally posted by Bruce Mitchell View Post
                Hey Beth-I like vanilla!
                Hey, I like vanilla, too. Not that crappy store-name stuff, but the good stuff where you can actually read the ingredient list, and it has real vanilla beans and stuff. That's good. It's just not what makes me really excited about ice cream, you know?

                Of course the good thing about vanilla is it's a very nice companion.

                -Beth

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Onitora View Post
                  in a year or so, i plan to travel the U.S and Japan to study different ryu. i wanted to start with the Yanagi-ryu but i heard from one of it's former members that its Soke, Don Angier, had retired and forbid any other members from teachng in the area he lived in. i mainly just want to start with a ryuha that includes Naginata in its curriculum, so if don't know where i could find Yanagi-ryu then another ryuha with naginata in America would be fine. thanks in advance for your help.
                  Hi Onitora, if you don't mind would you be willing to share the name of the individual that told you Angier sensei had retired? I believe this person may have been misinformed.

                  To the best of my knowledge, he is still teaching. We hosted a seminar with him at our Boston MA dojo back in June, and it was a phenomenal experience. We are looking to have him and Breazeale sensei with us again this summer. I'm going to be working out the specifics soon. If you find yourself in the Northeast, we'd love to have you visit us. If not, maybe I can help you find a seminar with the Yanagi Ryu folks that would be a better fit. We did not touch on naginata waza with them, but I know it is part of their system and I hope to explore more of it as opportunities arise.

                  Personally I think seminars are a great way to meet new people and get exposure to new arts. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying out different things to see where you would have the best experience. If you are going to be traveling frequently, that might be your best bet for good training if you are unable to settle in a particular area for a few years.

                  Best of luck

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jonathan View Post
                    To the best of my knowledge, he is still teaching. We hosted a seminar with him at our Boston MA dojo back in June, and it was a phenomenal experience.
                    Actually, I remember reading a post that the Boston Dojo switched from Nami Ryu to Yanagi Ryu. I was intrigued as to why.

                    Aren't they related?

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                    • #11
                      OK, putting on my Boston Samurai Arts Public Relations Hat...

                      Back in December, Walter Sensei announced his separation from the Nami Ryu system. I'd be happy to provide his contact info if anyone is interested in clarification.

                      I still maintain good relations with several members of the Nami Ryu system, there are some great people doing it and I would still encourage any one that is interested in checking out Nami Ryu to do so, I have learned a lot from these guys and am grateful for the material I was given. I consider them friends and hope to get back on a mat with them as soon as I can. The Boston Samurai Arts dojo is not part of their system though.

                      We are not part of the Yanagi Ryu. They do not want teaching of their system outside of their hombu dojo and we respect their very clearly stated position. We do want to have as many opportunities to train with them and host seminars as possible.

                      I am not comfortable going into any conversations at depth about connections between one system and another. After practicing martial arts and swordsmanship for around three years I am hardly qualified. The contact information for the Nami Ryu guys and the Yanagi Ryu guys is pretty much out there in the wild and interested parties can find it and ask any questions they feel appropriate. In the two days I worked with Angier and Breazeale, I did find a few things similar to what I had done in the past, however by and large every one of the attendees at our gathering last summer was shown new principles that we are working to integrate into our practices.

                      If anyone wants to PM me I can provide my contact info or get you in touch with Walter sensei.

                      I don't know if that helps answer your question. My primary intent on posting in this thread was to assure the original poster that Angier is in fact teaching, and it is possible to get in touch with him.

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                      • #12
                        No dramas, I was just curious.

                        Good luck with your training

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                        • #13
                          Was Yanagi-ryu ever a recognised koryu before it died out in JP?

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                          • #14
                            Ignore last post.

                            Just found loads on the koryu Yanagi-ryu - and it seems that Soke Angier's Yanagi-ryu is not seito - but to each their own, as they say.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Maro View Post
                              No dramas, I was just curious.

                              Good luck with your training
                              Absolutely, given the year we've had I can understand wanting to know. Some break-ups go smoother than others.

                              Hi Scott, yeah I'm not sure about the koryu bit. Having seen Angier Sensei do his thing, and help me became able to kinda sorta pull some of it off was really cool for me. I get that other people have different motivations, and absolutely respect that.

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