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View Full Version : I know kung f00! Martial Arts in Japan.



Rustweaver
May 8th, 2004, 02:06
Neo: Jujitsu? I'm going to learn Jujitsu?... Holy sh**.
Tank: Hey Mikey, I think he likes it. How about some more?
Neo: Hell yes. Hell yeah.

Morpheus: How is he?
Tank: Ten hours straight. He's a machine.

Neo: I know Kung Fu.
Morpheus: Show me.


What martial arts do you plan on doing in Japan?

What are your expectations?

Have you studied this before? How long? Where?

Anything else that you want to say about your experience?

I did kendo for a year in Hong Kong. The dojo was pretty lax, so I'm expecting a better atmosphere and stronger members. The language barrier could be troublesome tho. It's pretty easy to find english speakers in Hong Kong, so I'm spoiled.

<giggles> Sword fighting is just so damn cool. :P

Dynamis
May 8th, 2004, 03:44
I'm up for trying anything, though I dont intend to become hugely focused on martial arts.

I guess i'll toddle along to the school clubs and see what its all about...

MAtt

othius
May 8th, 2004, 04:04
I'd like to learn something, but I guess it will depend upon where I'm placed. And sword fighting would be cool.

Shinikenshi
May 8th, 2004, 08:33
My boss has been trying to convince me to get into the sword arts. He's a yon dan in kenjitsu and a ni dan in iaido among the myriad of martial arts he knows. When bored at work, he tends to demonstrate some stuff on me. x_x

I'd be interested in taking up Shorinji Kempo when I am over there. I've been taking a class on it this year and I think it'd be great to continue studying it when I am overseas.

Chris

morikyd
May 8th, 2004, 15:25
I am definately interested in studying something while in Japan.
But I am a lazy dog. And I am afraid of joining and then shaming myself and my family and all of America by quiting....
However, I will likely go for it in spite of these fears...
After all, its a great opportunity to make friends, gain a skill and break the cycle of being a lazy dog.
I tried kendo a bit when I was there before, but I think judo is pretty awesome. I don't really know. I guess I will just see what my options are when I get there.

downonrodeo
May 8th, 2004, 15:29
Well this sounds lame by comparison to the martial arts but the only 'Japanese art' I'd probably consider spending much time on is Shodo (Calligraphy). They make it look so easy but I tried it and can't do it for shit.

But hey, Shodo, Judo, Sado, Kendo... They all end in '~do' anyway. :P

Shotokai
May 8th, 2004, 18:04
well I studied Wado Ryu style Karate before i came to uni, got to blue belt in that and then took up Shotokai as an alternative. I hope to perhaps take up some karate or martial art but i also want to try my hand at other sports in Japan, money and time are limiting factors for me here. and lack of people to go with. so, when we're in Japan, anyone for organising a snowboarding expedition? I'd love to have a go.

Shoto

Dynamis
May 8th, 2004, 20:07
I'll be there.

Learning to ski/snowboard are high up my list of things to do. Its the major plus to being placed in Hokkaido right?

Matt

Raist
May 8th, 2004, 20:47
I want to do a sword based martial art in Japan as I did I little sword fighting (not fencing!!! :twisted: )this year at uni and had great fun with it and have become hooked on it and so would be interested to see how the techniques of an oriental martial art differ from that of a western one.

May 8th, 2004, 21:48
hey

i studied kung fu in Taiwan for 3 years. i also studied taichi.

i plan on practicing Aikido in japan. I also want to study something else. maybe karate, although i would not mind something a bit more fluid
Any suggestions

one of the reason i am eager to find out where im placed is so i can research the dojos in the area

kell

WuTAN
May 8th, 2004, 22:02
I definately want to take up martial arts when i'm in japan. most probably a form of budo (kenjitsu/kendo), i will also give kyudo a try. i studied tae kwon do when i was younger (gained a black belt), but i feel that i was too young to appreciate and benefit from studying it. calligraphy looks very interesting... i may give that a try too!

Thanh.

yabighoor
May 8th, 2004, 22:10
I'd quite like to do judo but the language barrier could be a bad thing? Maybe swimming the way to go.... :mrgreen:

Rustweaver
May 9th, 2004, 00:30
sounds lame by comparison to the martial arts but the only 'Japanese art' I'd probably consider spending much time on is Shodo (Calligraphy)

Well, you know what they say...

"The pen is mighter than the sword!"

Personally, I think that calligraphy is pretty cool, but kendo is better. But to each their own.

As long as you don't get the quote messed up, you'll be ok.

"The penis mighter..."

heh. Banging locals is not an art.

Yakaji
May 9th, 2004, 01:39
Rustweaver: Yeah, missing that space is a bad thing. That's how I read your message the first time through.

Anyway, I've done a few arts off and on, never for enough time to even get a yellow belt (yes, I'm aware of how sad this is, but I have these horrible problems with having cars break down immediately after enrolling, etc, like the world doesn't want me to learn how to defend myself). Some karate, which honestly doesn't interest me much, some judo which I like only a little better, some aikido (my favorite of the Japanese empty-handed arts), and some ba gua zhang (a soft style from northern China that I quite liked).

I'm hoping I can learn some aikido and some sword art or other while I'm in Japan. Kyudo would also be fun, especially given my name. Ba gua would be truly fantastic, but I don't think that's going to happen, unfortunately.

Basashi
May 9th, 2004, 04:37
I hate to poop on anybody's parade but I had trouble getting into kendo in my old town.

The class didn't have those suit things big enough for a 6ft guy. They could order one but I would have had to pay for it. Normal sizes were 50,000-60,000 yen, my size was estimated to be another 20,000 yen atleast(rough total about $700usd). A little much for trying out a new hobby that had little practical purpose.

But, thats just my little piece of Japan, ESID if I can once again use an acronym which should just be assumed on these boards.

Dulcinea
May 9th, 2004, 04:39
I'd like to learn something while there.

Maybe kendo, what ones do they have there?

Rustweaver
May 9th, 2004, 04:58
Personally, I'd pay for the suit. Perhaps having your own armor would make lessons cheaper there or when you go back to your own country. Heck, $700 for equipment is alot, but not much more than any other sport.

Squash: good rackets(2-3), shoes, goggles, balls, and maintenence. $300-$600 a year
Downhill Skiing: skiis, boots, winter wear, and googles. $300-$2000
Crosscountry Skiing: similiar gear: $200-$1000
Biking: bike, clothing, and helmet: $50-$6,000 (nice bike)
Not sure about the comparison between martial arts.

It's really how you look at it. If you want to be serious with a sport or martial art, you pay more. Even in karate and sports with little equipment, you pay in the form of injuries along the way. These can be expensive. I haven't heard of too many injuries in kendo. (unless your real good)

When I started kendo, they started me out in street clothes and slowly worked me up in equipment. Sword, uniform, then armor. I assume they do something similiar in Japan, but I'm not sure.

How much did it cost for the lessons in kendo?

Dulcinea
May 9th, 2004, 05:00
i hope it's not too expensive.

kellicopter
May 9th, 2004, 07:10
hey
i studied kung fu and tai chi for 3 years in taiwan

i am planning on practicing aikido in jpn and also maybe karete, although i would not mind something abit more fluid, any suggestions

kell

cottamg
May 9th, 2004, 14:02
I've done several martial arts over the years, taking something from each one. But I have to say the one I enjoyed the most was Aikido. Very fluid and non-agressive - while highly effective. :)

I'd like to study more Aikido in Japan.

morikyd
May 9th, 2004, 16:46
Would someone mind explaining to me the difference between akido and judo? I thought judo was all about using your adversarys strength/momentum against them, but really, that probably comes into play with most martial arts. I dont know anything about akido.
Oshiete kudasai!

Yakaji
May 9th, 2004, 23:21
You're absolutely right about Judo using your opponent's strength against them. The running theme in Aikido is rather to neutralize all of your opponent's strength and momentum.

For example, say someone grabs your gi. In judo, you would be expected to use the opponent's rotational inertia and change it into a throw of some sort. In aikido, you would basically just move off the line of attack, forcing your opponent off-balance and putting his movements under your control. Then you would neutralize his energy by leading him into a position where he couldn't harm you (such as face-down on the ground, or even just standing, facing the opposite direction).

I prefer aikido myself. It's much more elegant. It's essentially an art of nonaction. The goal is to deny your opponent a target and let their aggressive actions defeat them. In judo, you can still throw someone who isn't doing much to attack you. In aikido, you actually cannot do anything unless your opponent attacks you. And when you do something, the only action you're actually taking is to redirect your opponent's force.

Think of it as orthogonal force and torque vectors. If your opponent comes towards you with a punch, you exert a force to the right on his wrist, displacing your opponent's attack. When he exerts more force to correct, you rotate your force to stay orthogonal. He winds up losing control of his own movements, circling you until he either abandons the attack or falls to the ground. Judo actually meets force with force. In aikido, you should never directly confront your opponent's attack.

As an interesting sidenote, in one of my aikido classes, I saw a high level instructor actually throw uke without ever touching him. He was fast enough to avoid the attack entirely, and uke's momentum was such that, when he encountered absolutely no resistance, he just literally toppled into the mat. That's the final goal of aikido, to be able to defeat an attacker without even touching him.

Bron
May 10th, 2004, 00:34
Yakaji: thnx for the detail. I'm keen to take up some form of martial arts but wouldn't know where to start. Anyone care to give a run down of the main types? what's the scope of doing martial arts in inaka?? cheers.

May 10th, 2004, 01:40
bron: i'm going to venture out on a ledge here and say "esid." get there and find out what's available in your inaka.

i think the first thing you have to ask yourself is: what kind of martial art are you interested in learning? the sport type, the self-defense type, or the street fight type? (i'm actually not sure exactly where i'd place aikido in there) from there, it's easier to figure out where you should go.

does anybody else find it highly annoying that kung fu is misspelled, or am i the only anal person here?

cottamg
May 10th, 2004, 01:40
yeah.. I much prefer Aikido as well..

www.roleystoneaiki.com

heh.. if you're interested this is the website of my humble local dojo.

with a short video as well... :) (pity I'm not in it.. not that it would matter..seeing as I'm crap.. :))

Yakaji
May 10th, 2004, 01:57
i think the first thing you have to ask yourself is: what kind of martial art are you interested in learning? the sport type, the self-defense type, or the street fight type? (i'm actually not sure exactly where i'd place aikido in there) from there, it's easier to figure out where you should go.

does anybody else find it highly annoying that kung fu is misspelled, or am i the only anal person here?

Depends on the aikido you're practicing, as to where it falls. A lot of randori aikido is very sport-like, since that's what randori usually is. The randori I was doing (fugakukai) is more self-defensey (I'd says treet fight, except that as I mentioned, it's not particularly good for attacking people). The dojo I was working in was very dedicated to testing the techniques against real attacks and making sure they were maximally effective, not just philosophically sound.

Though I'll admit I wouldn't be too adverse to learning a street fighting type of martial arts, just on general principle.

And yes, I'm frequently annoyed about kung fu. And the fact that "kung fu" even when spelled correctly refers simply to a level of mastery in any art (martial or not) where one's skill is so great that it isn't immediately apparent. The term doesn't even mean a style of MA. (At least according to all my Chinese friends from high school who did Wu Shu)

May 10th, 2004, 02:07
Depends on the aikido you're practicing, as to where it falls. A lot of randori aikido is very sport-like, since that's what randori usually is. The randori I was doing (fugakukai) is more self-defensey (I'd says treet fight, except that as I mentioned, it's not particularly good for attacking people). The dojo I was working in was very dedicated to testing the techniques against real attacks and making sure they were maximally effective, not just philosophically sound.

Though I'll admit I wouldn't be too adverse to learning a street fighting type of martial arts, just on general principle.

And yes, I'm frequently annoyed about kung fu. And the fact that "kung fu" even when spelled correctly refers simply to a level of mastery in any art (martial or not) where one's skill is so great that it isn't immediately apparent. The term doesn't even mean a style of MA. (At least according to all my Chinese friends from high school who did Wu Shu)

yeah, tai chi and aikido sort of fall into those inbetween nether-regions of the universe.

any idea how relative kenpo is to the streets? i'm still more interested in the rather hypothetically useless kenjutsu, but just in case that's not available where i go...

that's why purists would call what americans name kung fu as shaolin boxing. traditionally, wu shu technically doesn't refer to a style either, but rather evolved into what it is known for today from northern shaolin.

Yakaji
May 10th, 2004, 02:10
Damn, I think I sent my martial arts encyclopedia home. Otherwise I'd look up kenpo and kenjutsu for you. Honestly, I'm not particularly sure.

Me, figure if I had my way, I'd like to learn Aikido, a couple weapon arts (kyudo and one of the sword arts, probably), and a northern Chinese style. Maybe more Ba Gua, I really enjoyed that, but I'd probably go for most any of the soft styles.

May 10th, 2004, 02:32
Damn, I think I sent my martial arts encyclopedia home. Otherwise I'd look up kenpo and kenjutsu for you. Honestly, I'm not particularly sure.

Me, figure if I had my way, I'd like to learn Aikido, a couple weapon arts (kyudo and one of the sword arts, probably), and a northern Chinese style. Maybe more Ba Gua, I really enjoyed that, but I'd probably go for most any of the soft styles.

from what i understand, kenpo is like karate but places a little more emphasis on taekwondo style kicks and, while there are certainly kenpo tourneys, it is regarded as more useful on the streets than either. kenjutsu is sword play, but not necessarily the drawing art that iaido is.

i realized i left out the traditional arts category that are neither sports, nor self defense, nor street fighting arts. i'd box up aikido, tai chi, kyudo, and kenjutsu all into that one =)

if you find the time to learn all of those AND be an ALT, let me know how you did it.

john_n2000
May 10th, 2004, 02:44
Hi folks, well i've done jiu jitsu for about five years now and am i blue belt in it. My sensei recently went over there to try some jitsu but there wasn't much available. Its pretty similar to aikido but its been updated a bit to make it relevent to everyday situations which make it really useful.
If people want to get a aikido/jitsu gi (big white pyjamas) you can get them in loads of places in the UK with the going rate about £30.

John

Rustweaver
May 10th, 2004, 04:24
Peronally, I couldn't care less how it is spelled. foo sounds the same as fu. The actual correct spelling is in chinese characters. The only reason people use kung fu as the agreed term is because some person who was writing a dictionary spelled it that way. Say I make a dictionary, I'd spell it kung foo. Who knows, 50 years from now it could be the agreed spelling. I changed it to something even more grotesque for your viewing pleasure.

And yes, kung f00=kung foo=kung fu by my dictionary so they both mean the same thing. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

May 10th, 2004, 05:03
Peronally, I couldn't care less how it is spelled. foo sounds the same as fu. The actual correct spelling is in chinese characters. The only reason people use kung fu as the agreed term is because some person who was writing a dictionary spelled it that way. Say I make a dictionary, I'd spell it kung foo. Who knows, 50 years from now it could be the agreed spelling. I changed it to something even more grotesque for your viewing pleasure.

And yes, kung f00=kung foo=kung fu by my dictionary so they both mean the same thing. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

semantics is semantics, but be aware that some might see a political incorrectness when one isn't present or meant.

Rustweaver
May 10th, 2004, 05:23
I really don't see how the word kung f00 is politically correct. I know that some people are more sensitive to stuff than others, but I can't make everyone happy. I think people should have fun with words. As long as you know that the other individual is not saying it to offend you, why let it?

Say I start talking in 1337 (a damned computer nerd langauge). I bet people would be all over me.

j00 n33d to h@v3 f@n w[]+ d@ w3rdz.
"you need to have fun with the words."

If I learned one thing from my linguistics class, it was to appreciate the differences, not hate them. Relax and enjoy the props :)

If it pisses you off, put that aggression into your martial arts! Just don't hurt anyone :P

May 10th, 2004, 08:43
Thanks Yakaji. That was a great explanation.
They both sound cool. Call me vengeful, but I like the sound of using my opponant's force against them rather than simply neutralizing it...but I bet akido is more graceful...I'll just have to wait and see.[/i]

morikyd
May 10th, 2004, 08:47
oops, forgot to sign in. Using my laptop for the first time so I didnt sign in automatically...Oh the sweet bliss of this laptop!!!

Yakaji
May 10th, 2004, 09:43
Peronally, I couldn't care less how it is spelled. foo sounds the same as fu. The actual correct spelling is in chinese characters. The only reason people use kung fu as the agreed term is because some person who was writing a dictionary spelled it that way. Say I make a dictionary, I'd spell it kung foo. Who knows, 50 years from now it could be the agreed spelling. I changed it to something even more grotesque for your viewing pleasure.

And yes, kung f00=kung foo=kung fu by my dictionary so they both mean the same thing. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Actually, when I talked about being annoyed at the spelling, I was referring to the fact that it's "gong fu", not "kung fu". Most of the world switched to Pinyin years ago (thus Beijing and Mao Zedong), but some things refuse to change to the accepted (and more accurate) transliteration system.

Rustweaver
May 10th, 2004, 11:04
Heh. Different languages, different pronunciations.

In cantonese, Kendo is (very) roughly Geemdo. To each their own.

May 10th, 2004, 11:14
Heh. Different languages, different pronunciations.

In cantonese, Kendo is (very) roughly Geemdo. To each their own.

and if i'm not mistaken, gung fu is a cantonese phrase :wink:

May 10th, 2004, 13:22
I really don't see how kung f00 is politically [in]correct. I know that some people are more sensitive to stuff than others, but I can't make everyone happy. I think people should have fun with words. As long as you know that the other individual is not saying it to offend you, why let it?

It may not be politically incorrect, but neither may it be appropriate.

1) Consider the forum: JET Program in Japan. Of all non-Asian people, I would expect those who voluntarily move to Asia to be aware of the cultural (and political) issues of Asia and Asians (including Asian-Americans, since you are from the States). This includes resentment of the mass media stereotype of a kung fu bad-ass.

2) Consider the title: "I know kung 'f00.' Martial arts in Japan." If you know anything about kung fu you know that it is a generic term for Chinese arts, and therefore has nothing to do with Japan. Further, you should realize that Japan has been at odds (if in no other respect than psychologically) with China (and most other East Asian countries) since World War II. Second, an integral part of any martial art is respect for tradition. Would you walk into your school sporting a shirt saying "I know kung f00?" I dare say you'd be likely to get a beat down from your master.

3) Consider your logic: "As long as you know that the other individual is not saying it to offend you, why let it?" I would hardly expect you to walk onto a Teach in Africa forum spouting "the N word," whether you meant it to offend people or not. A humorous misspelling can easily turn into a "two wongs make a right" Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt (2002). It could also turn into an Ellis Island immigration officer creating random surnames for new Asian American citizens just for fun in the 1920's.

I'm not saying you meant it to be spiteful. I'm simply saying it could easily be read that way.

Rustweaver
May 10th, 2004, 14:13
Well, we're talking about two different things. I was talking about the spelling. You're talking about using kung fu in context with Japan. To that extent I won't bother to address your points as there are not in the same context. I realize that I forgot to add "the word"(kung fu) to my first sentence, sorry about that. (typing under exhaustion...)

It's kinda stupid for us to be arguing about things that don't even correspond to each other :oops:

Anyway, we all should know it's a matrix quote and it's used to draw interest to this thread. If you read the quote closely, you'll see that he is initially refering to Jujitsu. However, the "I know kung fu" quote is the most famous and recognised part. Saying "Jujitsu? I'm going to learn Jujitsu?", just doesn't have the right ring.

Look at it from a different angle:
Although many japanese martial arts may not have originated in China, history suggest that most were influenced by China. (like the writing system) Whether we want to admit it or not, the Chinese and Japanese martial arts are related to a degree.

lorenzokenzo
May 10th, 2004, 15:42
looks like aikido is the way forward..my doctor mentioned it to me while giving me the medical..

also a friend recommended a book called the way of the five rings..

i'm not sure if this is the right title, so if anyone can confirm ?????

WuTAN
May 10th, 2004, 16:30
i would recommend that you guys read Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai by Yamato Tsunemoto, translated by William Scott Wilson. It is an amazing book. the film Ghost Dog - the Way of the Samurai (with Forest Whittaker) uses quotes from the book.

Thanh.

Yakaji
May 11th, 2004, 01:20
Hagakure can be fun, but I have a hard time taking it seriously. It's one of those after-the-fact creations, samurai trying to define themselves when their way of life was on the way out and they felt an identity crisis. Tsunetomo spends half that book ranting about loyalty, and loyalty wasn't even considered a samurai trait until something like 150 years before the book was written, during the Momoyama. Kamakura and Ashikaga basically had nothing to do with that.

Anyway, aside from having nothing to do with historical samurai, it's a great book and a lifestyle I wish more people would adopt. The Book/Scroll of the Five Rings/Spheres, Musashi's tract on strategy, is also good. Not as much philosophy and idealism, more "dueling for dummies", but still fun.

Books are good. Gotta read 'em all.

Alpot
May 13th, 2004, 01:18
I'd be interested in taking up Shorinji Kempo when I am over there. I've been taking a class on it this year and I think it'd be great to continue studying it when I am overseas.

Chris[/quote]

Yey, someone else who has done shorinji kempo! I did it for a year with a Japanese university club team, which was pretty hardcore, but very rewarding.
Alex.

Yakaji
May 27th, 2004, 13:47
Hey Quaggie, you said there's a fight brewing over here but I don't see it? Or did you just mean you want me to get all passive resistance on your ass?

Cantdosleepflower
May 27th, 2004, 17:42
I can't get into the more complicated sandwich boxes from the uni canteen, so I'm pretty sure any attempy to learn a martial art would be as humiliating as the time I did something else ridiculously embarrassing.


Ooh, on marial arts, this film's going to be amazing (if totally stoopid):

http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/shaolin_soccer/

Sky
May 28th, 2004, 06:39
I was in College for a Semester in Japan and studied Shorinji Kenpo. It is a form of Kenpo that was developed to really bring people together and develop the community/relationships, etc. Because of that it has certain principles, such as you always should practice with a partner, etc. etc. Our class had between 30 and 50 students in the average session and everyone was disciplined in terms of actually learning but the atmosphere felt relaxed at the same time. We all had a GREAT time and there was a ton of laughs during every lesson.

The dogi (uniform) was about 140 if I remember correctly, and that was fully embroidered with my name in Kanji. I am 6'3'' and a big guy. So if cost of a Kendo set is a problem and you're want to learn a form that will be VERY useful in practical applications but also help you develop friendships with people, I recommend Shorinji Kenpo. Just remember that every dojo is different and sometimes the greatest form will be NO fun to study, depending on the atmosphere, etc.

I want to learn Kendo, but my friend in Japan spent a full year (I was half year) studying it and bought everything and all, but could barely do anything with it, as the first 2 or 3 months were spent learning the proper basic strokes. It's REALLY cool, but you need to most likely be very disciplined to study it and get anywhere.

May 28th, 2004, 06:58
Hey Quaggie, you said there's a fight brewing over here but I don't see it? Or did you just mean you want me to get all passive resistance on your ass?

I just meant that we never really resolved my issues with this thread either. And that I'm in dire need of sparring (the real kind) partners.

About Shaolin Soccer: if you're not used to Cantonese humor, you're going to be a bit lost...

Yakaji
May 28th, 2004, 12:05
Quaggie --

I'd be more than happy to spar with you, though my skills are sadly subpar. Tell me where you are, though, and we might be able to get together for a bit of the old ultraviolence, especially after I've had a chance to get involved with a dojo. That, or you could just teach me what I need to know.

IowaJET
May 28th, 2004, 12:12
Do many women or girls take aikido in japan? Or any of the martial arts? In which do the most females participate?

May 29th, 2004, 05:56
I'd be more than happy to spar with you, though my skills are sadly subpar. Tell me where you are, though, and we might be able to get together for a bit of the old ultraviolence, especially after I've had a chance to get involved with a dojo. That, or you could just teach me what I need to know.

well that's simply enough, i'm in england. come and find me, i'll be waiting :twisted:

as for women in aikido, it sounds like it's not unusual in japan. don't know about the rest of the world. somebody i know here is one of a handful of middle eastern women ni dan aikido practitioners, and apparently the unusual background gives her the right by international rules to set up a dojo anywhere in the world that she pleases.

Sky
May 29th, 2004, 11:33
In my class of Shorinji Kenpo there were about 1/3 girls or so, maybe half. That put it around 18-25 girls in the class. It was at a college though, so perhaps the numbers are skewed a bit... not sure. Good luck though. If you really wanna be around girls, though, I recomend tea-ceremony! Sorry, but the stereotype fits the Japanese girls...

Peace
Sky