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don't send your students to Soke!
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please don't send your students to Soke. They might have a relevation about training, could even be inspired to train more, smarter AND harder and surpass their instructors (poor strugglers like me!).

Horror of all horrors would be that they had some real undiscovered talent come forwards and end up after 15 years of training with Soke become the next Soke! Could you imagine the horror of them getting back at you for abusing their basics!!!

No much better to limit the number of people that can train with Soke so we protect our position in the hierachy and keep those pesky students where they belong.


Posted on: 2005/7/16 23:32
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Re: Making the right connection
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Quote:

DCWeidman wrote:
Just to clarify - I never said you wouldn't get something from Soke's classes. Just that Soke isn't teaching the vast majority of the people in the room...

-Daniel Weidman
Bujinkan TenChiJin Guy...


ok, and agree. I think that most times he is teaching at the level he wants the western shihan to try to understand. The next step for them to take home and practice.

That is why I think he drags them out to be his uke too. Then they try and explain it as best they can but do you try and explain what you have just experienced and don't really understand? or explain what you think the people there will understand?
Are you telling Soke what you got from it, or helping others work towards that experience?

Sometimes it is good just to see the uke be dumbfounded in offering an explanation - tells us all there is something there they don't get even at their level of training. If you are the uke it can be damn frustrating, and maybe this is why some people, lacking persistance feel more comfortable to quit than keeping on going.

Posted on: 2005/7/11 1:32
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Re: Making the right connection
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Shane can probably add a lot more but from my memory Roy Wilkins has a very spotted history and has been kicked out of nearly every club he has joined.

Posted on: 2005/7/10 11:32
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Re: Making the right connection
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I think Duncan explained it real well shu/ha/ri is a spiral of learning not distinct levels. Half the time Soke is in class doing variations he is trying to teach people how to do sanshin properly. Everybody there thinks they know sanshin because they can do a basic version of it but that is just level one of the basic not level 15 or whatever Soke is on.

To that end this discussion is VERY important in regards to ex-kans, and indeed all teachers other than Soke. None are on the same level and so none can teach even the basics with his level of understanding. Choosing to train with someone who is not chasing Soke's tail is just foolish, why train with someone who is second best (if that) and thinks they are number one just by starting their own org? I see it largely as a problem of ego, some people just can't handle being the student forever which is stupid because that is exactly what Soke has done.

All shidoshi must spend time with Soke as well as a shihan. All shihan must spend time with Soke - how often have we heard this? No shihan has all tyhe picture, hence why they need to train with Soke, and why all shidoshi who train with them must go to Soke too - to avoid absorbing the errors of their own shihans technique/understanding aswell as the good points.

In this aspect I have to disagree with Daniel Weidman. You don't have to understand Soke's classes to get something from it. You learn that you are still crap, you learn that you and all the other shidoshi/shihan have miles to go yet, you get a vision of where you are meant to be going, if you get to be uke you get to feel it (and that is priceless). All this even if not understood now may oneday start little sparks of understanding later. That is when that lesson will start to affect your budo, Soke's classes are a long term investment for your skills, not an instant dollar for technique download.

Posted on: 2005/7/9 12:37
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Re: Specifics around training with the Jinenkan
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on the Shu/Ha/Ri bit. It is typical arrogance on the part of the student to think that they are good enough (any of us) to be able to understand "ri" level teachings or that Soke thinks that much of us that he is actually demonstrating such.

In fact I discussed this very thing with Soke last year, and he stated outright that he was still trying to get us to understand "shu".

There is a big difference between the analogy of scales in music and "Shu" level budo. I think it is actually a poor analogy too as it insults many jazz pro's who still practice scales. You never really understand your basics until you can mix them up and adapt them freely to the situation. What "ha" and "ri" level budo is according to Soke we can only guess at (incorrectly too I bet).

Posted on: 2005/7/9 0:31
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Re: Respect - a resident's perspective
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Good onya Liz. I am glad to see someone say this with such a strong feeling for what it means in the eyes of a Japanese.

What annoys me about it is that it is not just the visitors but many of the ex-pats over there too! Worst case I saw was only seven people staying for an Ayase class that Senno Shihan was taking for Soke, normally there would be 50+ people there. I even found out that some people called around to tell them Soke wasn't coming so they would not go, as it "would not be worth their time". It was a great class and I learnt loads - not least being how Senno Sensei teaches himself to look for where he and his opponent are weak or strong. He is always trying to cover the next step. Great for learning where your holes are.

Seen loads of people just turn and walk out when they see Soke is not going to be there. You know the funny thing is that when you look at these peoples taijutsu they are the ones that needed to stay the most! For example, those that left Senno Sensei's class that day I noticed later have poor skills when it comes to covering their weaknesses or opponents strengths. Those that leave Noguchi Sensei's classes that he takes for Soke have the worst flow (and doesn't Noguchi have that down perfect!), Those that leave Oguri Sensei's class have poor understanding of subleties - be his uke a few times! Those that leave Nagato Sensei's classes when Soke can not come on a Sunday morning seem to have the largest openings and the most muscle in their taijutsu.

My point is that, IF you are tempted to leave one of these people's classes then you don't really understand what you can learn from them. In fact that is why you have the corresponding weakness in your technique, your understanding of each of these people's strengths is so poor you can not see what they are doing well enough to pay them any respect.

Posted on: 2005/6/25 18:11
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Re: New Soke?
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in defence of Jibran, who of you asks your grandparents or parents who they are gifting things to in their will? I agree that it is rude - maybe not in America?

Don't think Hatsumi Soke takes his eventual retirement lightly. Given the people I have seen in Japan over the years I think the Bujinkan is indeed "doing ok" but a next Soke? What a tough question - who here would like to have the finger pointed at them? Feel up to it?

All that are in the running are still working up to the task I imagine (probably totally daunted by it too) and they should be allowed the courtesy to keep working on it without a bunch of lesser skilled people peering and or heckling from the sidelines.

Trying to put myself in this poor buggers shoes, I would wonder why I would want to teach most of you anyway - better to bugger off with a few sensible people than put up with thousands of rabble. I imagine Soke is thinking along the same lines for what it would be like for any possible successor. He has made comments to me in the past about how centuries ago we would have killed many of our students to keep the dojo free of bad people. It was a kind of wistful comment.

I promised Butch I would attempt to smack the crap out of any successor until nobody doubted him, but I still hope Hatsumi Soke becomes a record holder for oldest living man. I will hold to my promise to Butch so don't wish a change of leadership on anybody you like.

Posted on: 2005/6/25 12:41
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Re: Bujinkan Reading List
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kind of late in the thread as I didn't see it until now - had someone point it my way. I wasn't intentionally avoiding it.

On lending out video's etc. I used to do it and stopped doing it for the exact same reason as Duncan. Soke is the "Boss" and it was his request to us as responsible members of the shidoshi-kai.

I have heard straight from the culprits mouths that they have tried to copy a dvd for a mate etc. This is illegal and Quest will be informed if you are caught at it. They will prosecute, as the boss of Quest has done so before. The entire reason that the dvd's only are available in Australia is that there was such a racket of copying going on in Europe and the US that Quest thought it unwise to continue with video sales. You may lend them with good intentions but the students is still tempted.

Just as Duncan did, I decided it was best to invite the student to view the dvd's at my place. That way the student not only gets to view the dvd but can ask questions and get them answered.

On the cost of dvd's. Well Shane I think it is bizzarre that you are asking for a breakdown on the costs - what retailer do you know that will do that for you? I will do you a huge favour here - I make less than 20%, that is not counting incidentals. When discussing prices with Tim Bathurst a few years ago we agreed (he was kind enough to give advice on the Australian mentality) that a fair price would always be whinged about and that the only way to get Australians to buy them at all, was to make them dirt cheap. - And that is what they are! less than 2 classes in Japan. Anybody who thinks these dvd's are of less value than two classes in Japan is an idiot. You don't get to rewind, watch again, or listen again when you attend. Personally I would love to have a dvd of every Soke class and that of the Shihan too, and would pay double the lesson cost for them without blinking.

In closing, if the student can't afford them, then let them view them for free at your home. If they are so poor then shout them a dinner too.

Posted on: 2005/6/5 18:21
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Re: Bujinkan Kenjutsu
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is it just me or is this topic way more complicated by people's positions than it need be?

So far on this thread we are all Bujinkan students. Most of us on the thread have some exposure to other arts and some of them are sword arts. All of us I assume agree that taijutsu is the base from which we should learn all weapon application. It also saves us many hours of training to learn each weapon as it teaches us the principles of distance and timing etc.

so to other styles.....

When you study other styles you will introduce your body to other taijutsu. Some of it will help you and some of it will not - do you have the skills and even more important, the mindset to be looking for this influence? In our own dojo with high level teachers we don't even have to think about the influence and just let it seep in and we know our taijutsu will improve. Not so when you mix it with other styles taijutsu. Some are too stiff, have stylised footwork etc, and others have less than adequate understanding of weakpoints in kamae etc. Soke's example of kendoka attacking the armour's strong points is a classic example.

On the plus side, to be good martial artists (not just stylists ourselves) we must be able to beat attackers, no? and so an understanding of other styles methods, strengths and weaknesses is important. If we were in medieval Japan it would be critical to our survival. The mindset of looking at other styles this way is also useful for how you observe an attacker mid-fight.

It is not even about loyalty to the Bujinkan methods, it is about being the best we can be personally. Soke has been teaching just this for years, look beyond the kata, look beyond the style, look to the essence, the weakpoints, the space, the timing, the intention of the opponent, the surroundings, the hidden things, the kukan (somewhat already defined by these).

Take this and is there a need for styles? Is there a need to learn ryu-ha by ryu-ha? Does that speed your becoming a better martial artist or just tickle your historical itch?

For me I have always had an active interest in other styles and have continued to train in them even as I train in the Bujinkan. I want to learn how to beat them all and to pass that onto my students. To me the Bujinkan is not a style, it is a school, a clan even. To that end it is best that we become as good as possible and help each other become "invinceable" :) or as close as we can get given each of our limitations (timewise and physical/mental).

Ninpo Ikkan....

Posted on: 2005/5/26 22:58
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Re: Bujinkan Kenjutsu
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Quote:

chrismoon wrote:
Ed,
I just wanted to bring up one point. Iaido is nothing like koryu batto or iaijutsu. Iaido is to iaijutsu what aikido is to jujutsu. A watered down system with the main emphasis on mental and spiritual development. If that is your sum exposure to other schools then I can see why you might have that opinion. The high ranking exponents that have been there and done that will most likely disagree with you.


No it is not my sumtotal exposure to sword arts, it is the one I feel most comfortable lambasting as I held rank in it. If other experts want to disagree with me that is fine, they have too much invested in their past-time to want it belittled I am sure.

I have never known of a consensus on any topic among any of the sword arts other than last year all claiming they were the real "Last Samurai", as did many other arts.

I am quite familiar with where iaido fits into the scheme of sword arts, maybe you have not heard of me or know my training history in other arts but I stand by my comment and level specific emphasis on iaido due to it being one of the worst examples of asian sword skills - it seems from the above you agree too.

If that is your only proviso/concern over my post then relax assured that your concern and comment was understood long before I posted.

Posted on: 2005/5/26 0:55
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