The Anatomy of a Martial Arts Ryu

The ranking and license structure will be explored in greater detail later. Briefly stated, the Tamanegi Do rank structure is predicated upon the programs of martial study, the arts and assigned curriculum. Variations within each ryu are based upon martial focus. Certain courses grant no individual rank, but graded performance physically, mentally and spiritually provides an aggregate to fulfill specific objectives. It’s here that acquired points apply to associated ranking requirements at evaluation.

Grafted throughout the ryu of Tamanegi Do are criteria upon which evaluation becomes standardized and tested for quality commensurate with or above the accepted norm thereby meeting the challenges imposed by peer perceived standards.

Licensure within the Tamanegi Do Martial Arts is governed to ensure stellar quality at all levels of instruction and leadership performance. License criteria is based upon the strict guidelines established at Honbu level for system-wide standardization.

Exploring the ryu concept found within classical as well as modern day Japan, you see that the ryu represents a singular style or systematic practice in the arts. Referring to the arts in general. Arts like kabuki, flower arranging, tea ceremony, geisha, shodo (calligraphy), manga, sculpture, kirigami, origami, etc.

Here on the Mainland you witness the same thing, just labeled differently. Relating to what you may already understand about education and the school that form the skeletal framework of broader knowledge, let’s look at the Schools of Law and the analogous parallels one may draw.

(The concept of law was chosen, as broad as it is, not only to see more clearly the Taijitsu arts of the Tamanegi Do culture, but to lay a cornerstone to a related foundation for future discussion of Classical Bushido and the American Samurai.)

Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Read more

Merriam-Webster*  defines law as: “…a binding custom or practice of a community; a rule or mode of conduct or action that is prescribed or formally recognized as binding by a supreme controlling authority or is made obligatory by a sanction (as an edict, decree, re-script, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, rule, judicial decision, or usage) made, recognized, or enforced by the controlling authority.  *[Third New International Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts.]

The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner’s in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: “A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, and complex mode of regulating human conduct. At the same time it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are also of great importance.” [ Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Editor Philip P. Weiner, 1973.]

Ryu are recognized by established systemic rules and guidelines governing inherent behaviors. Broadly speaking, academically (curriculum), physically (reigi, waza, etc.), social hierarchy (internal ranks) and quality assurance (licensing).

As in martial training, there exists countless schools of Law that focus on general and specific aspects of law philosophy, interpretation and application. A few notable examples would be the University of Hawaii–Manoa (Richardson), Indiana University–Indianapolis (McKinney) and let’s say Lewis & Clark College (Northwestern).

This is, in many ways, the conceptual structure of an art as seen through the lenses of traditional culture.

There are numerous independently named systems of taijitsu (un-armed martial arts) just as there are named institutions of learning for the practice of Law. Several examples chosen refer to teaching the practice of law.

For instance, major systems of taijutsu would broadly include judo, karate, jujitsu, kempo, etc.

Major colleges and universities are like martial arts systems. Take for example University of Hawaii, Indiana University, Purdue University, Appalachian School of Law, Mississippi College and Lewis & Clark College where you’ll find that each places a different emphasis on law instruction and practice.

The William S. Richardson School of Law at University of Hawaii–Manoa focuses on environmental law, Native Hawaiian law, Hawai’i Elder Law, and Pacific-Asian legal studies. Networking, the UBC-UH Joint Program – The University of British Columbia Faculty of Law (UBC Law) (link is external) and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law Joint Legal Education Program is the result of an agreement entered into by UBC Law and the Law School in 2009. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a JD degree from UBC and a JD degree from the Law School.

The Indiana University—Indianapolis Robert H. McKinney School of Law has a high law school ranking in legal writing.

In addition to a standard curriculum, J.D. students take electives, allowing them to explore areas of interest including aviation law, sports law, and First Amendment law. Students interested in completing a joint degree have a variety of options, including a J.D./M.B.A. offered in conjunction with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, a J.D./M.D. through the Indiana University—Indianapolis School of Medicine, and a J.D./Master of Public Affairs through the Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Interestingly, through the Indiana University Law Clinics, students can get hands-on training counseling on matters related to immigration, health and human rights and more. The law school also operates the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health and the Center for International and Comparative Law, and has several law reviews, including the Indiana Law Review; the Indiana Health Law Review; and the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review. For time away from Indianapolis, students can consider the Chinese Law Summer Program, held in Beijing.

(Keep these points in mind for later exploration into the academic culture of the Tamanegi Do’s development of it’s American Samurai.)

The Lewis & Clark College Northwestern School of Law is an institution where the students may get involved in clinical opportunities, including the Animal Law Clinic and the International Environmental Law Project, as well as through externships and clerkships. Northwestern Law school operates several centers that also offer research and training opportunities for law students, including the Center for Animal Law Studies, the National Crime Victim Law Institute, and the Natural Resources Law Institute.

Law Schools, though they teach Law, are in and of themselves unique in such that they have separate focuses beyond the basics. Such is the realm of any school of arts, be it the law, medicine, journalism, pottery, blacksmithing, business, kabuki, tea ceremony and the martial arts.

Each school is akin to Japanese ryu in that there are uniquely different focuses for the numerous subjects of law study. Referring to Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, IN houses the bulk of the schools degree programs, much as that of a traditional budokan. You could compare these Degree Programs ( College of Agriculture, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, Krannert School of Management, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, College of Science, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine) to specific arts

High-level practitioners of an established system or style may splinter off and form their own derivative styles based on their personal experience or interpretation. Parent styles, like the TDMA, encourage their black belts to branch out and open their own schools. Sometimes an ideological schism between senior members creates the necessity to branch out into separate ryus. ‘Marketing’ reasons encourage ryu expansion. Many cases separate ryu are created to adjust a system to modern times or local environments. [ I will be exploring later the differences between a system and a style as the essence of a ryu in the context of this cultural explanation is a moot point.]

For hundreds of years, Japanese ryu-ha have existed. Many have been created in modern times. The concept of standardization and organization of a system is not exclusive to the Japanese though Tamanegi Do Martial Arts legitimacy is substantiated in format simply as a way to show respect to our roots and background.

Knowledge contained in the classical styles is presently coming to light for many serious martial artists in today’s digital world. Evidentiary knowledge of the sciences readily available via the sharing by people of differing cultures, the internet, libraries and other irrefutable sources, the true nature of the ancient Eastern arts are slowly emerging.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.

Serving as a touchstone, the Tamanegi Do Martial Arts site is established in preserving the warrior spirit (originally combative), classical and functional nature of the Ceballos Family of martial arts which were built upon proven sciences and culturally traditional healing arts. Knowing that the therapeutic benefits to health provide vast rewards through martial arts training. It is irrefutable that science now substantiates many of the traditional teachings found throughout Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. Tamanegi Do Martial Arts is becoming sought after due to their continuing research and development in the field of holistic Igaku.

Tamanegi Do is internationally recognized, whether accepted or not and yet the very denial and disdain for the combat capabilities of the system by default lays a sanctioned credence at the very doorstep to all Tamanegi Do thresholds. Kumu Koa Keali’i Ceballos, third in a four generation line of American Samurai, has enjoyed active and accredited memberships among numerous government and non-governmental organizations. He is not alone in representing all the Ceballos Ohana Arts on the Mainland over the past seven decades showcasing America’s cultured diversity.

This entry was posted in Tamanegi Do Martial Arts, The Ryu and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *