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Re: New documentary featuring Dr. Kacem Zoughari
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Hi everyone!

My name is William Ustav and I am the creator of the film, as well as a humble student of Kacem Zoughari.

First of all I want to thank the thread starter for posting the video and for the kind words, and to all others who have responded positively. A lot of work was put into the movie, and it's always nice to receive positive words.

Of course, as with any piece of work, it's very rare that there is no negative criticism. And when it comes to Kacem, it is well known that a lot of people hold grudges against him – often without even having met the man – and this leads to a tendency to search for the negative.

As the creator of this work, I feel the need to respond to the points made by Mr. Griff Lockfield:

Quote:
1. It's easy to say that he is questioning the validity of the technique due to effectiveness, it's different when you are doing something to really validate it's effectiveness.


This is an interesting point that unfortunately means nothing. Are you trying to imply that Kacem has done nothing to validate the effectiveness of the techniques? Have you met him? Or do you think that the movie is supposed to be a document on his testing the effectiveness of the art?

Quote:
2. If Ninjutsu and/or Koryu is supposed to be effective at any setting, including MMA (his words), well the proof is in the pudding: where's the pudding?


Again, does the description of the movie, or the title, or anything at all indicate that it should include a demonstration of Kacem testing himself against other arts?

It is up to the individual to do so, and anyone who has met Kacem, or who has practiced with him will know that he has indeed tested himself. Even others have witnessed this in public seminars. If you are looking for proof of Kacem's skill, the only way is the direct way. Go to him and find out by first hand experience. I know for a fact that he won't mind. If you are in Japan Mr. Lockfield, I suggest you say hello to him next time and explain your interest in seeing him prove himself.

Quote:
3. His account of ninjutsu is majorly focused on assassination. Historical documentation of ninja assassination please. I don't know (and if it did, I didn't catch it) any point in the video that he references ninjutsu as intelligence gathering, which has documentation from various sources.


If you look at the the movie I released on youtube last year, with Kacem Zoughari talking about his own training history and more about what ninjutsu is/was, you will see that he mentions intelligence gathering. This movie is not about what ninjutsu is, according to different people and different ryu (that have their own interpretations of what ninjutsu means). I suggest you look at what Hatsumi sensei and Takamatsu sensei have given as definitions of what ninja did.

As for discussing historical documentation, I am again positive of that Kacem is open for it as long as you are on par with his level of research. I assume that, since you are making bold statements on documentation, you are fluent in reading not just modern but also classical japanese?

Quote:
4. He talks too much in the class setting. His uke's tsuki sucks, instead of addressing that technical deficiency, he focuses on the higher stuff of strategy, tactics and philosophy.


Mr. Lockfield, perhaps it was my mistake in assuming that the viewer understands that the clips included in the movie from public seminars and private classes with Kacem are in fact not to be seen as representative of the entire classes. In other words, in my editing I did not chose any random parts from the classes, but actually chose bits where he says something that I wanted to include in the video. So if you think he talks too much in class based on what you see in the film, it is solely my fault.

As for the Uke in the film, in most clips it is me. As the tsuki is one of the most important basic movements in the art, I am aware of how much practice it takes to perfect it, and I know that I am very far from getting there. Luckily, so are most people in the Bujinkan (with the exception of a very small number of people) so I am not alone in that boat :) I am however curious as to which details in my tsuki "suck", so if you wouldn't mind too much, please enlighten me here.

I hope I did not come across as offensive anywhere. If I did, I apologize beforehand...

Sincerely,
William

Posted on: 2013/12/15 8:57
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Re: New student requesting some information.
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Stop thinking of ichimonji as a set posture but rather as on teaching you a principle of "how to get out of the way". Looked at this way there are quite a few example of ichimonji. The principle remains the same but the "picture" may be vastly different.

Posted on: 2013/12/15 6:33
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Re: New student requesting some information.
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For some reason it wont post my signature with my name..

Posted on: 2013/12/15 6:01
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New student at the Fort Wayne Zentai Bujjinkan Dojo
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New student requesting some information.
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Hi. I am a new student of the Bujinkan dojo in my City..

I came from a background in mma and boxing.(one heck of a switch lol)

Today was my second class and I am enjoying it.

I have some questions that Im hoping you can help me understand.

There seem to be 2 ichimonji no kamae postures. I asked about that and Sensei said that one is the classic way and the other is the way Hiorshi Nagase Sensei preferred it. (he is referenced by sensei as being more Combative)

The first, seams to be the classic way. With the weight to the rear and the rear foot pointing away at a angle.(to provide a escape route) Seams more defensive.

The one that is used the most in my dojo is the weighted forward, and the rear foot is pointing forward at a angle. IT was described as more aggressive.

I was hoping you could help me understand why there are 2 different Ichimonji kamae.

Part of understanding this is understanding Hiroshi Nagase Shihan. He was described, very briefly as being more combative. I have not yet found any other information on him online. I would like to know as much about him as I can. What previous training does he have, what about his past experience makes him more combative?

Why did he feel the need to change the classic ichimonji? Are there any advantages or disadvantages between the two?

Thank you for taking time to read my post and I look forward to any replys.

Posted on: 2013/12/15 5:58
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Training near Kansas City, MO
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Merry Christmas,

Hi, I live in the kansas city, mo area. I was looking for training partners. I have a shodan in bujinkan but I havent trained in a while. I dont have a place to train.

I was thinking maybe when spring comes we can train in a park or something.


Posted on: 2013/12/14 1:29
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Re: New documentary featuring Dr. Kacem Zoughari
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Mortschlag,

Congrats on the baby boy. Fatherhood rules!

:)


Posted on: 2013/12/13 5:46
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Re: New documentary featuring Dr. Kacem Zoughari
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Ok, finally had time to watch it, and I liked what he was saying.

Posted on: 2013/12/11 18:24
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Re: New documentary featuring Dr. Kacem Zoughari
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This board uses English as the language of communication. For many people here it is not their first language. That almost insures there will be misunderstandings at time about what was said or meant. It takes a number of questions in order to clarify what isn't understood. I would suggest that no one quickly jump to a conclusion about what a poster meant, but ask him to further explain. There are many long time practicioners of our art here and many years of experience as well as the unfortunate difficulty of "politics" which happens in all groups. Be patient, ask more questions, and be open to a different opinion.

Posted on: 2013/12/11 7:18
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Re: New documentary featuring Dr. Kacem Zoughari
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Wow! I can show anybody this documentary and be proud of the versatile art we practise and the feeling we should have within our art. (Yes, even people in the RBSD scene and yes, it does matter what other people think of our art and of us).

But then I went on and red the whole two pages of arguing of who's who, whats what. Even the poor uke in some class in the video was scolded, great for him and he's future training in the Bujinkan community! Guys come on!! I'm a bit ashamed right now. A documentary and a scholar of this caliber should be celebrated a bit more. You know, someone who has studied Japanese history a lot more than the most of us (um, in an University I didn't go). My goodness, someone who can read and write Japanese! Most of us can't, really. I can say of all the books (no,not many but together they form an "all") about Japanese Budo and Ninjutsu I've red, he's was the one with the good information. A good read. A positive thing!! Yay!! But no. Let's start a flame war!!1 :(

I have studied this art for only 12 years now. The reason I have stayed (There comes a few moments of "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" for everyone. This is a fact.) is that I can relate to my teacher, I know him. He can Fight and I like to learn from him. I have had to fight a few times in t3h r34l, just to do my job and this art of ours prepared me for these encounters. My training prepared me for the godan test and I passed last year in Honbu Dojo. This was my second trip to Japan, money don't grow from trees. I was 34 then. I am a no one, happily and I will become a father this friday. It's a boy.

I made an account here to receive information, even a tiny fraction of it. A community of sharing the knowledge and the training experiences. This standard is rarely met. Time for me to shut up and keep training. Please remove my account.

Yours Truly



Posted on: 2013/12/11 5:31
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Re: New documentary featuring Dr. Kacem Zoughari
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Quote:

Lockfield wrote:
1. It's easy to say that he is questioning the validity of the technique due to effectiveness, it's different when you are doing something to really validate it's effectiveness.

2. If Ninjutsu and/or Koryu is supposed to be effective at any setting, including MMA (his words), well the proof is in the pudding: where's the pudding?

3. His account of ninjutsu is majorly focused on assassination. Historical documentation of ninja assassination please. I don't know (and if it did, I didn't catch it) any point in the video that he references ninjutsu as intelligence gathering, which has documentation from various sources.

4. He talks too much in the class setting. His uke's tsuki sucks, instead of addressing that technical deficiency, he focuses on the higher stuff of strategy, tactics and philosophy.


MY final verdict: actions speak louder than words, and his actions don't speak much.


I don't see how the physical elements of the video (and people other than the main person in the documentary) have anything to do with what the person in the documentary is saying. If this were an instructional video you might be on to something but as it isn't what you write makes little sense.

And the irony of someone on a bujinkan message board writing things like 'the proof is in the pudding' causes my sides to hurt from laughing.

Posted on: 2013/12/10 13:10
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