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Thread: Martial Artist solo titles & their meaning

  1. #1

    Martial Artist solo titles & their meaning

    I'm sure not everyone kept up with the development thread regarding our titles, so I figured I'd make an 'easier to find' reference thread in our forums for inquiring minds.

    Our titles are largely based on the classical Japanese menkyo-kaiden system used during Japan's feudal era. This system of licensure predates the modern kyu/dan system of -do schools, but is still used in genuine -jutsu schools today. For further historical background on the menkyo-kaiden system see here.

    One example using the menkyo system is known as Jujutsu (or Jujitsu), which means flexible, supple, or gentle art. This highly developed grappling style of fighting, which employs throws, chokes, strikes, and joint manipulations, was originally used by samurai who found themselves either unarmed, or otherwise unable to use their weapons against their armed & armored opponents. This is a familiar scenario for Rubi-Ka martial artists, who often prefer to face their armed & armored adversaries empty handed. Modern jujutsu schools such as this one, continue to use the menkyo system to this day.

    Another martial art which uses the menkyo system is known as Jojutsu, which means "stick art", or "art of the four foot stick". The primary weapon used in this fighting style is the jo staff, which is a short, hard wood staff (shorter than a bo) ranging in length from around 3-5 feet long (although the modern jo is fixed at 128 cm; 4.2 feet). It is used for slashing, thrusting or blocking your opponent. After Shintō Musō-ryū (the traditional founding school of jojutsu) was established, the art continued to evolve, eventually incorporating even shorter stick weapons, such as the han-bo and the tanjo, into its forms. These short weapons, which are around 90cm (~3ft) long, are especially effective at trapping an opponents weapon or limb, or pressing a joint lock. Jojutsu weaponry, as well as the uses for those weapons, are very similar to the Shen Sticks which have become so popular among the martial artists of Rubi-Ka.

    Still another martial art relevant to Rubi-Ka MA's, which commonly used the menkyo system, is the ancient Japanese art of Kyujutsu (Kyudo), or "way of the bow". In the early days of the Samurai, it was the bow, rather than the sword that served as their primary weapon. Samurai were renowned for the extraodinary accuracy & precision of their archery skills, even while mounted on a horse.

    "Kyudo, which literally means The Way of the Bow, is considered by many to be the purest of all the martial ways. In the past, the Japanese bow was used for hunting, war, court ceremonies, games, and contests of skill. The original word for Japanese archery was kyujutsu (bow technique) which encompassed the skills and techniques of the warrior archer. Some of the ancient schools, known as ryu, survive today, along with the ancient ceremonies and games, but the days where the Japanese bow was used as a weapon are long past. Modern kyudo is practiced primarily as a method of physical, moral, and spiritual development."
    1) Ashigaru - literally means 'light foot'; infantry; this was the very lowest samurai rank in feudal Japan composed of foot soldiers. They were originially peasant farmers. These conscripts, whose strength rested in their large numbers, often had little to no training. Later, their status evolved from being the top of the peasant class, bonge, to the bottom level of the samurai class, buke. Over time, they specialized into being pikemen, archers, and arquebusiers, ie. gunmen.
    An excellent, in-depth history of the Ashigaru can be found here.

    2) Mudansha - means individuals without rank. These are initiates without black belt rank, and depending on the ryu, aren't necessarily considered 'official' students yet; the kyu classes

    3) Okuiri - entrance to secrets; oku = secrets; iri = to enter; represents the initiate/inductee rank of a school; license of formal recognition from the instructor that you are accepted as a student, and ready to learn the okuden - the hidden teachings or secret techniques of that school.

    4) Mokuroku - catalog [of techniques]; the student is now formally recognized (i.e. catalogued) by their school as being in the official rolls, and as having attained a competent level of proficiency in the techniques of the ryu.

    5) Menkyo - license; authorized to teach

    6) Kaiden - everything passed; total transmission; the student has learned all that the school has to teach, and is qualified to pass it down. This is not meant to infer that the student has learned all there is to know about martial arts - the student never stops learning and developing their art.
    Another good description of the menkyo-kaiden can be found here & here.

    7) Dai-Shihan - 1st Shihan; Grandmaster; Great Master Instructor; shi = teacher; han = wise; this title is often used to designate the chief instructors amongst the Kaiden within the dojo, so it isn't always so much a 'higher rank', as it is a designation of respect (although the meaning can vary somewhat from dojo to dojo, as with all the menkyo titles in this list)

    8) Shugyosha - a skilled warrior student on his pilgrimage (Musha shugyō), searching to perfect both his fighting skills and his spirit

    9) Kengo - translates as 'great sword'; master swordsmen; an exceptionally gifted swordsman, though not quite as legendary as Kensei

    10) Kensei - an honorary title given to a warrior of legendary skill in swordsmanship. The literal translation of "kensei" is "sword saint". Thus, the term is considered by some to imply a higher degree of perfection (possibly also encompassing a moral dimension) than the more commonly used kengō or "great sword." -source

    "Ken" is the reading for a kanji symbol meaning "fist" and also for a different kanji symbol meaning "sword". "Kensai" is usually translated "sword saint", when applied to Musashi Miyamoto, but "fist saint" for various Okinawan masters." -source; Shotokan's Secret: The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins; p.57 footnote
    The term kensei was also adapted in Okinawa to literally mean "fist saint" or "sacred fists" in honoring one of Okinawa's most notable martial arts masters, Higaonna Kanryō. He is credited with formalizing & founding Naha-Te, which is one of modern Kara-te's (translated "empty hand") direct predecessors. One of Higaonna Kanryō's student's, Chojun Miyagi, who founded the Gōjū-ryū (Japanese for "hard-soft style") style of karate, is also recognized as Kensei.
    Last edited by Vlain; Jan 9th, 2010 at 07:14:33.
    o`o,,oo,,o`o mahnamahna roflmao mahnamahna o`o,,oo,,o`o

    Vlainstrike 220/30ma[S][Pics]; Jadeprakasha 220/12mp; Crashloop 167/23fx
    --------------------------------------------------
    Concept MA Attack: Attack of the Three Fates
    --------------------------------------------------
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ~Lewis Carroll

  2. #2
    The primary goal of this list was to provide a natural progression which represents a journey towards both martial mastery & spiritual enlightenment.

    I placed ashigaru first, because although they are technically samurai, they are often depicted as little more than glorified conscript soldiers of feudal Japan, with very little formal training. Following that is mudansha, and the basic menkyo kaiden ranks ranging from okuiri to dai-shihan. Although mudansha isn't technically part of the menkyo kaiden ranks I thought it was an appropriate predecessor to okuiri for our purposes, and it serves somewhat as an homage to the kyu/dan system. This is not entirely without precedent, as many modern schools still award menkyo licenses to yudansha (blackbelt/dan) students; what I've done is essentially the reverse of that, by designating mudansha (whitebelt/kyu) as a predecessor to the true menkyo ranks.

    Spirituality & enlightenment are deeply intertwined with Asian martial arts, and would have been a large part of a martial artist's training throughout their life. Thus the top ranks, namely shugyosha, kengo, and kensei, represent not only a mastery of combat, but also a mastery of the inner self. Once a samurai had learned all they could from their initial school, some would become shugyosha, embarking on their Musha shugyō (pilgrimage). During this pilgrimage, they would study the martial disciplines of multiple schools as they traveled the land, testing their skills against various masters, sometimes to the death.

    In this manner, the shugyosha were known to seek out the masters of various schools, and challenge them to duels. If their opponent won the duel, the shugyosha would often become a student at that school. If the shugyosha won, he would move on in search of greater warriors, seeing as this one obviously had little to teach him. Thus, the shugyosha who became legendary enough to be known as kengo or kensei, had a comprehensive knowledge of a wide variety of martial disciplines, including unarmed combat, and would have been skilled in the use of any number of weapons. There are very few warriors legendary enough to be regarded as kensei ('sword saint' or 'sacred fists'). These warriors would only achieve such honorary status after proving their superiority in dozens of duels against the strongest masters in the land.

    The most legendary kensei of all, Miyamoto Musashi, was known to have carved a bokken (wooden training sword w/o a cutting edge) from an oar while on the journey to his most famous duel against kodachi master, Sasaki Kojiro. Mushashi was said to have quickly dispatched the nodachi wielding Kojiro with the makeshift bokken. It is purported that Musashi became so confident in his superiority, that he sometimes used other improvised weapons such as a tree branch or rake. Musashi was also known to be skilled in dual wielding, throwing weapons, jujutsuka, and jitte techniques.
    Last edited by Vlain; Apr 10th, 2008 at 23:24:50.
    o`o,,oo,,o`o mahnamahna roflmao mahnamahna o`o,,oo,,o`o

    Vlainstrike 220/30ma[S][Pics]; Jadeprakasha 220/12mp; Crashloop 167/23fx
    --------------------------------------------------
    Concept MA Attack: Attack of the Three Fates
    --------------------------------------------------
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ~Lewis Carroll

  3. #3
    Good jobe

    wow, those sound really chinese name ! but the meanning isnt always ok with MA spirit :S



    well its better than Engis title, wth TS have to do with solo :P
    Mutsu317 Lvl 220 MA Opi
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    In progress pew pew advy soli
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  4. #4
    Actually, its Japanese.

    Pretty nice Vlain
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  5. #5
    FC actually considered them? awesome, good job vlain, your efforts paid off
    Silentsnipr3 220/27/69 Martial Artist Equip
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  6. #6
    nice

    gj vlain.
    Nekrofiil: | Your smart ass thread got deleted. I feel sorry for you
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by No4Sniper View Post
    FC actually considered them? awesome, good job vlain, your efforts paid off
    Heh, believe me, I was more surprised than anybody. It's a pretty cool feeling to see something I worked on actually end up in the game.
    o`o,,oo,,o`o mahnamahna roflmao mahnamahna o`o,,oo,,o`o

    Vlainstrike 220/30ma[S][Pics]; Jadeprakasha 220/12mp; Crashloop 167/23fx
    --------------------------------------------------
    Concept MA Attack: Attack of the Three Fates
    --------------------------------------------------
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ~Lewis Carroll

  8. #8
    I have to apologize. Many of my posts contained a common mispelling of Mokuroku (mispelled Mokoroku), which I have since corrected.

    Unfortunately, I think this mispelling made it into the game. I sent FC a message about it, so hopefully they can correct it sooner or later.
    Last edited by Vlain; Mar 18th, 2008 at 19:26:04.
    o`o,,oo,,o`o mahnamahna roflmao mahnamahna o`o,,oo,,o`o

    Vlainstrike 220/30ma[S][Pics]; Jadeprakasha 220/12mp; Crashloop 167/23fx
    --------------------------------------------------
    Concept MA Attack: Attack of the Three Fates
    --------------------------------------------------
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ~Lewis Carroll

  9. #9
    Hmmmmmmmm
    So you made up these names (as gave a suggestion for such titles for MAs)? :]
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Norcox View Post
    Hmmmmmmmm
    So you made up these names (as gave a suggestion for such titles for MAs)? :]
    yeppers
    o`o,,oo,,o`o mahnamahna roflmao mahnamahna o`o,,oo,,o`o

    Vlainstrike 220/30ma[S][Pics]; Jadeprakasha 220/12mp; Crashloop 167/23fx
    --------------------------------------------------
    Concept MA Attack: Attack of the Three Fates
    --------------------------------------------------
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ~Lewis Carroll

  11. #11
    Nice
    I really like the title names and descriptions.
    Azis - 216/19 Keeper - Retired
    Norcox - 211/18/48 - Fixer
    Norco - 174/15/34 Martial Artist
    Norcz - 148 - Agent

  12. #12
    I like the titles. Good job Vlain!

  13. #13
    gj Vlain, we have something now, that's really ours. :>
    Vamzer 220/24 Martial Artist
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    You do understand that you just showed everyone that you don't have a correct perspective on the matter, right?

  14. #14
    Very interesting post Vlain, thank you for this info.
    ManiaC DivinE DeluxE
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  15. #15
    Thanks for the feedback guys, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    o`o,,oo,,o`o mahnamahna roflmao mahnamahna o`o,,oo,,o`o

    Vlainstrike 220/30ma[S][Pics]; Jadeprakasha 220/12mp; Crashloop 167/23fx
    --------------------------------------------------
    Concept MA Attack: Attack of the Three Fates
    --------------------------------------------------
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ~Lewis Carroll

  16. #16
    Nice work! Thanks for the post.
    Bolen - 220/23/70 trox ma clanner
    Proud Veteran of Synergy Factor
    www.synergyfactor.net
    Atlantean

  17. #17
    a truly good job vlain, this one is also going in the rooted guides thread. no it's not a guide, but a helpful link for those curious MAs.
    MA-Glassgoat 220/30/70 - pvm-ish//pvp-ish
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  18. #18
    thanks mate
    o`o,,oo,,o`o mahnamahna roflmao mahnamahna o`o,,oo,,o`o

    Vlainstrike 220/30ma[S][Pics]; Jadeprakasha 220/12mp; Crashloop 167/23fx
    --------------------------------------------------
    Concept MA Attack: Attack of the Three Fates
    --------------------------------------------------
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ~Lewis Carroll

  19. #19
    Bump, I wanna see a real Title right next to my name please. :-(
    Bump for Mokoroku changed to Mokuroku that's it ? :P
    Not your fault Vlain, I ain't blamin' ya but FC had time to correct it and they didn't bother change it heh, grats for cool Titles tho ! ^
    Angevil, proud 220 MA from Rimor.
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  20. #20
    so the ultimate ma is a 1/2he user?

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