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Lawton/Ft. Sill Dojo/Shibu?
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hey all,

I find myself in the Lawton/Ft. Sill (Oklahoma) area. Is there any Bujinkan training to be found in this area? I did the requisite google search, but the closest I could find was Tulsa -- which is not close enough.

Then again, maybe my Google-Jutsu just neeeds some work.

Thanks,

Posted on: 2013/2/21 6:27
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Re: Intensive Rolling
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I'm still a bit confused as to what "exactly" you're doing that is causing these issues. I understand that it's "intermediate and advanced Ukemi" stuff, but ... what does that mean? How long are you doing this? How intense? What do you consider to be "intermediate"/"advanced"? How much of a "leap" is it from beginner classes to this?

In a (probably vain lol) attempt to add to the conversation, let me ask have you tried rolling from Kamae to Kamae? Do they ever go through ... err, "Feldenkrais-like" exercises where they explore (and become comfortable with) their edges of balance? (If that last one makes no sense I'll try to explain ... but I hope it does LOL)

Posted on: 2011/12/9 6:06
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Re: thoughts on Bujinkan from 1977
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In the "for what it's worth" category, this post couldn't possibly be from 1977 -- the Genbukan and Jinenkan didn't exist at that point, nor was the term "Takamatsu-Den" in existence. The original meeting with Sensei might have been in 1977, but that's a different story.

I vaguely recall this post from the 90s (memory alert), and as I recall this was one of the "context is everything" posts. In other words, it made perfect sense in the context that it was written and I recall it being respectful in that context. Without the original thread, it may be easily misinterpreted.

Caveat Emptor.

Posted on: 2011/12/8 6:34
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Re: Anyone tried Rosetta Stone?
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I would rate it as "Perfectionists need not apply".

It uses a "direct learning metaphor" (which you can see described above) that is not appropriate for everybody. It works for those that can sit through the whole thing; feedback isn't very clear at first, which is why I don't like it.

I much prefer Pimsleur (q.v.), but YMMV.

Even if you don't have access to it through your government channels, you can get a "sampler" from the company (free IIRC). I would suggest you try it for yourself.

Posted on: 2010/12/29 2:51
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Re: My thoughts to help beginners
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Quote:

Sir Donsalot wrote:
You'll have to excuse my poor memory - what is the kukan?


(very) roughly, "knowing how to use space".

Quote:

Surely I don't go to the only dojo in the world which uses elements to change the feeling of the technique? If nobody else is doing it then it seems to me that they're missing out on something quite significant.


On the off chance that some of the responders actually don't know:

Decades ago, when Stephen Hayes brought Ninjutsu from Japan, he decided to teach it using a method that focuses on abstract elements to teach the emotional component of combat. There are still people in the Bujinkan that teach using an elemental method, either the original or something only roughly related, but it is not considered "standard" Bujinakan.

Not that there actually is such a thing ...

I believe that this is what Dale was referring to -- not everyone in the Bujinkan teaches it that way, so many people won't know what you're referring to. And when you go to Japan, don't expect to see things presented this way.

Posted on: 2009/4/24 9:59
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Re: High/Low Probability Techniques
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Quote:

JeffMueller wrote:
Sorry man but you are way off... the body will do what it wants. The body is not aware of success or failure persay as you stated above, hence why people instinctively do things all the time that put them in a worse position than they started in.

...

Anyway Ed, and many others, often talk about technique/movement/etc... in regards to being blindsided with something. That sudden attack out of nowhere if you will. In that moment your body is going to react sans thought. It will react how it is trained (or untrained) with no conscious input.

...

You continue to try and gain that skill you are speaking of without learning technique. Let me know how that works out for you.


Hmmm ... I don't think ... Well, let me try it this way ... a completely different tact: How long does it take you to tell the difference between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer? If you're like most people it's effectively instantaneous. How did you learn that?

Well, according to one theory anyway, what happened is that as a child you were shown examples of "motorcycle" and of "tractor-trailer". You learned what a "perfect tractor-trailer" looked like by these examples and how much variation was acceptable before it becomes something else. You also learned what "sorta is" and "definitely is not". Blue paint vs. red paint doesn't matter; detachable trailer does. So, what does this have to do with Budo?

Okay, say you go to Soke's class (or Ed's, or Dale's, or ...). You will be shown a technique, and then about a zillion variations. Why?

Because this is how the brain works.

You will eventually learn to recognize a "technique", but that is not the point -- the point is to recognize the important principles: Where the attackers energy is, where his focus is, "gee I have an arm in front of me, what can I do from here?", and on ad nauseum. And you need to be able to recognize this instantaneously; otherwise the body cannot react appropriately.

When you get into a real situation, what will your brain recognize? If the answer is "probability" then you are in trouble -- you are gambling with your life. If it's "technique", well that is one level (a basic level) of training. If it's "dynamics", "energy", "tactics", and other advanced words only then are you getting anywhere.

When I say "developing awareness", I'm not talking about "conscious awareness"; rather I'm talking about all levels of awareness.

An automobile connoisseur can tell at a glance the difference between two years of a particular car. A good budoka can tell what's appropriate without a thought. Why? Exposure. They've trained in all the different variations, starting at the basic levels and working their way upwards. "This is a 'sports car', so's this." "Okay, now that you know what a sports car is this is a Ferrari Testarosa ..."

It's not about probability. It's about ... building a good "database" ... covering all the bases ... I'm running out of cliche's.

I guess my sound byte would be "Coverage, not Probability; Depth, not Number of Moves".

This make more sense?

(Hmmm ... would this be a "B-Tree" or a "Breadth first search ...? )

Posted on: 2007/10/31 10:43
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Re: High/Low Probability Techniques
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Quote:

JeffMueller wrote:
Because your body is going to do what you spend time on practicing on it's own ...


Nice theory, Jeff, but bad Psychology. Your body (subconscious, whatever), will do what it is aware that it can do, so long as it has a reason to believe that it will be successful. It depends on what Examples are available to it*.

This is why a friend of mine says "you take what you get", not "you do this". (Sound familiar?).

The Kata are designed to make sure that you:
a) Are aware of what can be done
b) Improve the skills to make it work, so that you have a reason to believe that you can make it work.

Of course this is strictly "physical level", and is not complete, but ...

It's not about "probability", probability is worthless for Budo. It's about awareness and skill.

Quote:
As an example: If you spend the bulk of your time practicing a complicated ura gyaku to omote gyaku locking combination you will probably not have the same level of success when muscle memory kicks in as you would if you spent the same amount of time practicing the osoto nage method of the Kukishin Ryu. Why? Because one is complicated with a lot of room for mistakes and the other is a very basic, and easily done, waza.


If you practice a complicated technique so that you can "do the technique" then you will fail; the corollary is that if you practice a simple technique so that you can "do the technique" you will fail as well -- just not quite so often.

If you practice for understanding and awareness you will only fail when your understanding and awareness are inferior to your opponents (or by an "act of unseen kharma", aka "an act of God").


1) Exemplar Theory, IIRC, Cognitive Psychology. Normally applied to vision, the ability to recognize complex patterns that come into the brain through the visual system, I hold that this brain/mind mechanism is far more reaching than just vision. Any good text on Cognitive Psychology should have it (under "Pattern Recognition" or some such ...).

Posted on: 2007/10/25 9:49
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Re: Go-Dai Then And Now
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Quote:

Onmyoji wrote:
Though the San Shin is an excellent vehicle for learning the feel of the elements as the only method for learning the elements it seems somewhat incomplete to me.

I realize that our understanding and performance of the art has become much more refined over the past twenty years. So my question is, have we evolved beyond an emphasis on the elements in training? How do you see Go-Dai being taught nowadays?


My "deliberately over-shortened" version to training with the Godai:

Step 1 -- Enter the Path:
San Shin no Kata (Introduction to the Elements).
Train the "Three phase" version that consists of "Shoshin no Kata" (physical), "Gogyo no Kata" (mental, including emotional and tactical), and "Goshin no Kata" (spirit).
Kihon Happo (Void; Technical Foundation for what follows)

Step 2 -- Enter the Elements:
Gyokko Ryu and Koto Ryu (In depth exploration of elements).
Train Gyokko Ryu (Water and Air) and Koto Ryu (Earth and Fire). Note: At this level you must give up any rigid ideas you might have as to what Godai training is.

Step 3 -- Enter the Void

Leave it all behind by training in Shinden Fudo Ryu and Kukushin Ryu.



No, I am not making this up (well, okay, I made up the step names ...). And, FWIW, none of this comes from Shidoshi Hayes. I realize that many people here will believe otherwise, but that's their problem not mine.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 12:31
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Re: The "kata collector" label
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Quote:

noname wrote:
“the kata where meant for children who started learning the schools at the age of 8 and where expect to be battle field ready at the age of 15.”


Funnily enough, I've heard Arnaud say this in person at Hombu; on the flip side I've heard Kacem Zhoughari say that the ryuha in the Bujinkan were all meant for already-experienced warriors, not for training youngsters.

hmmmmmm.....whom to believe......



Both.

The first quote is fairly common knowledge, but if you really need to see it in writing look for the book "Traditional Japanese Reiki". Usui-Sensei, the "creator" of Reiki, was trained in Aiki Jujutsu from an early age -- as was the custom at the time.

For the second part, the answer (ironically enough) lies in the Kata. In some schools, it assumes that you start knowing practically nothing (e.g. Gyokko Ryu); in others the very first Kata assumes that you already have a certain proficiency in Budo (e.g. Shinden Fudo Ryu).

There's a reason we're told to work on Gyokko Ryu *first* -- before we start Shinden Fudo Ryu ...

Posted on: 2007/7/23 14:53
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Milestones and Signposts
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Here`s the main portion of an article I wrote for Ura & Omote (remember that?) in October 1995. Talk about a long time ago ...

Milestones and Signposts

I have long thought of rank as milestones - things to check whether or not you are on the right path. Recently I have begun to pay attention to the signposts as well.

About nine months ago I moved to Philadelphia to begin graduate school at Temple University. The problem is that there is no training group within reasonable distance. So what's a lonely 6th kyu gonna do in this wilderness, no milestones in sight? Why recruit, of course!

If you want to practice your two person kata, you have to have another body to practice with. In the course of time, I have found several people to practice with. But now I have to teach them the fundamentals. Won't do having my training partners go home injured. They won't come back that way.

So, I was leading a practice and I pulled out one of my books and picked a basic Kata. I looked at it, and found out that I didn't "know" that one, so I did it once or twice to figure it out. Then I taught it to them.

The next day, I realized something. I had just passed another milestone. I actually know enough to understand basic kata myself. My teacher has successfully given me the first couple of principles, and I know how to use them.

I no longer consider ranking to be milestones - they're signposts. Milestones come at regular intervals. To recognize them you only have to be paying attention. Signposts, on the other hand come irregularly. You never know when the next one will show up. In hilly and wooded terrain there might be several signposts between milestones. In flat, unobstructed terrain there may be many milestones between signposts.

On our path, we do need to pay attention to the signposts. Just don't forget to look for the milestones.


Edit: forgot to put the article in. Obviously the Computer`s fault ...

Posted on: 2007/7/19 12:58
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