View Full Version : 2011 March 9th Shinto Muso Ryu Jo Omote-gata at the Obu Taikukan, Obu City, Aichi
Last Saturday the 9th we were at Obu city with Hamaji Sensei for an Embutaikai of all the martial arts that are done at the Obu City Taikukan. Great fun, great place and great people.
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Tripitaka of AA
Thanks Russ. I found it interesting, but rather frustrating. As a know-nothing spectator, I couldn't see the wood for the trees, or the throw for the jo. Too many people all at once, and the non-formation-dancing individuality made for a really distracting display. I wouldn't try to comment on any of the technical stuff other than to say it looks a lot of fun :).
You've touched on the reason we do it that way precisely...and everyone gets a go. we don't do it for spectators. The shihan do that. :)
Tripitaka of AA
After being involved with a few demos, I came to the conclusion that the biggest winners were always the participants, whether the audience were satisfied or not. We would go in hoping to raise awareness, maybe generate some interest and pick up some new members... but there were seldom any immediate newcomers. Preparing for a demo, with the apprehension and eagerness to do right, coupled with a hint of nervous tension on the day, made for a great opportunity for self-evaluation. You could really begin to see how much you'd learned (or not!). Great for uniting the group too. A good chance to break from the normal training routine. A chance to mix with the dojo members away from the usual venue, perhaps meet some of their friends and family. Maybe a chance to watch some other arts together and discuss the similarities/differences.
Not all arts are comfortable with giving demonstrations, for various reasons. Some fantastically taught, fascinating and highly practical Arts just don't make for a good show. Some arts have allowed their "show" side to overtake other elements of the training... thinking Xtreme MA. There is, I think, room for all sorts. I like to watch a good display, to say "ooh" and "aah". I also enjoy when someone can show me something great.. that maybe takes a bit more study to actually see what's going on.
That jo looks fun though doesn't it? Jolly painful too, I'd wager. :)
That's right. Demonstrations are essential. They give the student a goal, put them under pressure to perform and really gel the techniques into their minds. ABSOLUTELY.
The origin of this style of public demonstration was called a Hono-embu (one you would give to a shrine) designed to present your labors to the patron deity at their shrine(s). Usually there were no spectators and this was a very personal event between you, your group and the deity. In a way it is (and was) a way to show the deity what you were doing with your best foot forward and a prayer to ensure that what you were doing would give peace and prosperity within your family and "realm". It is also a way to commune with the spirit of the school and its ancestors, to get their blessings.
In Shinto Muso Ryu, when a person requested a demonstration (say for instance, a high ranking bushi or aristocrat) only one technique would be shown- the first of the omote series called "tachiotoshi" (it's on there). This was a great deal different from the Hono-embu, as it was for public purposes. The reason behind this was to keep the element of surprise and to hide the techniques from your enemy. A great deal different than a hono-embu, where one asks or inspiration and prosperity.
Tripitaka of AA
Now that's what I like to hear. An extra bit of detail to help get things into perspective. Perfect. Thanks Russ.
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