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thoughts on Bujinkan from 1977
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NOTE: this is a post from budoseek, subsequently posted on martial arts planet: I am posting the link below. This is a curious view of Bujinkan history that I would like to know if anyone else can verify. Paul W.

http://www.martialartsplanet.com/foru ... ve/index.php/t-64205.html

Ellis Amdur wrote:

I've been reading this thread with a few smiles - Meik can handle his own wolf tickets, if he wants to, so I've got nothing at all to say there. But a few things as my name came up:

1) "koryu.com" is not an organization. It's a website, and the folks "on" it are mostly people who have published articles in one of Meik and Diane's books. We are mostly friends. But we sure don't agree (in particular, people often don't agree with me). So there is no koryusnob.com to speak for. I'll just speak for me.

2) Janty wrote: "Also, in speaking with Ellis on www.swordforumbugei.com he has told me that he doesn't really have first hand knowledge of the Bujinkan. First hand means, Hatsumi-sensei to (insert name here)." I don't have the exact words, but I know I didn't say that! In posting about the known history of the bisento, I said something to the effect that I didn't want to get back into the sorry debate about the Bujinkan-koryu/gendai, proof/no proof of history etc. I do, in fact, have some first hand knowledge/contact with the Takamatsu-den. As follows:

My first significant aikido teacher, Terry Dobson, was Hatsumi-san's first non-Japanese student. He'd whip these outrageous techniques on me - I still remember being pinned face first into a wall by Terry's enormous belly, his forehead against the back of my neck, and his fingers thrust deep in my cheeks, half ripping my face off. He used to regale me with stories about his time with him (one of these stories is still floating around on some newsgroup about the time Hatsumi was showing off to Terry and took a running flip off the top of some stairs, and hitting bottom, crashed thru the wooden floor and was stuck up to his waist. His wife came out, laughing, saying, "Hah. The great ninja, caught again!")

They were roughly the same age, and had, apparently, hilarious times together. Terry had utter admiration for his skills and his character. Then in 1977, he came to Japan with a business associate and he visited H-san and brought us along. Tanemura-san, still a member of the organization was there, and several other guys whom I recognized the pictures from Q. Chamber's book. We were given, sort of, a class. A lot of it hurt - but I was already doing other stuff that hurt, so that didn't blow me away. My most significant memory, however, was H-san shoving a jutte up my nose - I was, thruout this "practice," being a good uke-student, accepting whatever happened. Anyway, that hurt too, but I figured it was just a new experience. But then, H-san, turned around, WITHOUT wiping the snot-covered jutte (and it was! I'm allergic to cats, and Hatsumi-san had about 20 of the beasts), grabbed the third guy by the throat (obviously not a budo man, by the way - a friend of Terry's who'd done a little aikido) shoved the jutte into his mouth and down his throat, smirking as he did so.

I was, at the end of the class, invited to join. I thought about it for a week, still fascinated because of Terry's stories and such, but the fundamental human disrespect for the other man really got to me. It was gratuitous; Hatsumi-san did it just because he could. (And anyone who tries to run some kind of "crazy wisdom" or "coyote teaching" rationalization is the kind of person I respect least - if your teacher is wrong or flawed, be a man and see it clear!) I was not alone in my distaste - Terry simply said to me, "He's not the same guy he used to be." So I respectfully wrote a letter declining the invitation.

I used to see Hatsumi-san and his group on variety shows on TV quite often thruout my stay in Japan. They'd do these little skits where the student, sometimes a non-Japanese would put on a really bad wig or rubber samurai hairdo, and pretend to be a priest or a musician and then do some techniques and the audience and Japanese Cathy Gifford and Regis Philbin would break into delighted applause. I'd usually see it while drinking beers with Japanese budo associates, and everyone would shake their heads, sip a beer and say, "Yup, there's Hatsumi-san." At that time, at least, they were doing something very far from the "aesthetic" of me or any of my associates, be they from judo, muay thai or koryu. (Look, for those who find this objectionable, feel free to have your own explanation - I'm just saying that it didn't leave a very favorable impression - doing dueling samurai-ninja skits on afternoon talk shows for the effete simpering hosts and their clapping audiences.)

In the 1980's, the Japan Martial Arts Society, of which I was a founding member, invited Tanemura-san to present a demo-seminar to the organization. He did a three hour presentation - he was a gentleman throughout, and really impressed me when, in the middle of the demo, he saw a couple of louts with their feet out on the tatami, leaning against the wall, and he said that if people who were members of a budo study group couldn't sit properly, he was taking his group and leaving. He was righteously furious, and they straightened up. Thus, I got to see a very detailed and diverse three hour demo, with explanations, of a number of weapons and techniques derived from, T-san said, a number of the Genbukan-associated ryu. None of it was something I wanted to do, or liked very much, but so what - the Takamatsu-den isn't a Jehovah's Witness type group that gets brownie points with God when they make a new convert, right?

Finally, a couple of years ago, I was very graciously hosted by Paul Richardson's Bujinkan group in England, and I spent a couple of days there. The members of the dojo were fine people, and I had a wonderful time. I was asked to show some of what I knew, and I did - Paul, I'm sure, could give his impression, positive or negative, from a Bujinkan perspective.

So what I know about things is this: I think that both Hatsumi-san and Tanemura-san are enormously physically talented men. Based on my personal experience, I disliked the former and liked the latter, because of the kind of men they showed themselves to be in my presence.

My opinion of the "Takamatsu-den" is that it is a composite of traditional knowledge and Hatsumi-san's (and his "successor's) creative innovations. Some, perhaps, has many generation lineage, some probably goes back no further than Takamatsu, another very creative man, and I think Hatsumi-san made up/improvised/altered a lot. The whole large organization(s) - Bu - Gen-Ji - teaching methodology, everything is "unkoryu," whatever it's roots might be. To me, it's like a griffon - head of a lion, body of a horse, and tail of a snake. As far as I'm concerned, that's cool - that's what i think it is.

But in sum, I could care less. I'm happy to meet anyone if/when I've got the time - hang out, tip a beer or even exchange a little knowledge. But as no ninja are apparently out to get me, no one's tried dojo yaburi on me in quite some time and they weren't from "the Booj," anyway, it makes no never mind to me what you all do. In fact, I'll make a promise. Ya got my opinion, for whatever it's worth. So other than any reply in this thread, if I need to, I'll never write about the Takamatsu-den again - I've got nothing more to say anyway. Because on a technical, organizational, historical level, you guys are as little a part of my life as the Mormons.

So that's the view from one koryucompoop (that sucks, by the way - someone's got to think of something that cuts a little deeper).

Respectfully

Ellis Amdur

Posted on: 2011/11/19 10:28
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Re: Dojo Advice From a Shihan
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Anyone who claims any combat effectiveness of BJJ - Brazilian Judo or Muy Thai appears not to understand the difference between sports and martial arts.

Brazilian Judo and MT do not train in the use of weapons or armor, or again multiple attackers or on natual terrain. A 16th century bugeisha or samurai would perform exploratory surgery on the the practicioners of MMA [mixed up martial sports], either armed or with the use of kumi-uchi.

After all, Brazilian judo is just a variation on judo, which itself is a much-watered down version of jujutsu - stripped of striking, weapons and martial application, designed as a sport. Muy Thai lacks grappling, weapons or even alternatives to standing in a ring and punching or kicking it out.

Paul


Posted on: 2011/1/31 22:29
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Re: Spartan vs ninja
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Who is Joe Klein, the 'ninja' appearing in this show?

Paul

Posted on: 2009/5/2 4:00
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Re: Important Honbu News
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侶武 wrote:
>I wouldn't put the Bujinkan in the same light though.


Shawn wrote:

>How about compared to Sokka Gakkai?

Shawn,

Precisely how are you comparing Soka Gakkai to Bujinkan?

Paul

Posted on: 2009/2/8 0:07
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Re: Two hours alone with Soke...
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I would like four hours - two for him to teach what he wished and the other two to show my appreciation for his teaching.

Your master should be someone you trust to show you what is important, knows you well enough to teach that which is important for your growth and someone who you should genuinely appreciate.

Paul

Posted on: 2008/1/15 9:57
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Re: Boken
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Posted on: 2008/1/10 11:38
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Re: Weapons of India - help needed for home assignment
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You may want to check out www.koryu.com - Donn Draeger studied/reviewed many different martial arts (hopology) including those of India. His colleagues run that website. (Diane Skoss is the webmaster) They could certainly put you in touch with reliable sources.

Paul

Posted on: 2008/1/10 11:36
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Octagonal bo - know of any for sale?
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I seek to purchase a 7ft octagonal bo - any leads appreciated.

Paul

Posted on: 2007/9/23 4:58
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Re: This Thread
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Quote:
I think people are taking Dan's comments to personally...


I think that Dan and Glenn are taking everyone's comments and challenges to their views very personally - considering their responses below.

Two months ago, I stopped posting on this thread, and this forum, because of similar behavior at that time.

Do the same standards of civility apply to all here? Just curious.

Paul Wersant

Quote:
Glenn wrote: Paul, you are babbling and hiding behind the words of others. Better get to that training...
Woops, the windbag wasn't finished yet, damn, never trust a lawyer to stick to his word.


Quote:
Glenn wrote: Is there a rule about staying on topic here at Kutaki? This bafoon has ruined other threads with his inane rantings and broken record act.


Quote:
DC Weidman wrote: You continue to lie and alter what I say. This show extremely low moral character on your part - and you should be ashamed of yourself. Your actions on this thread are embarrassing to your instructor and are a black spot on the Bujinkan Dojo. If you can't defend your position without twisting the facts and lying - then you have no honor - and should expect to be treated with contempt.

Posted on: 2005/7/23 1:44
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Re: Iaido and crosstraining
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Quote:
Fnord325 wrote:I also have to agree with Harada sensei that it is up to us to do the hard work on our own.


What Tamatora said Quote:
We all know that we have 9 tradition schools in Bujinkan. Each of the schools holds deep history, technique, philosophy and etc. Most of them require to training through your life and sometimes more than that, unless you are a genius. So, I feel those who are training both Bujinkan and other are geniuses.


So we have many geniuses here.

Jeff's earlier post sums this thread up rather well:

Quote:
Jeff wrote: I am sorry if this sounds sarcastic, but I have to ask... so your reaction was to go train another art rather then finding a qualified Bujinkan instructor who could teach you the proper way of dealing with it?

What kind of thinking is that?


Indeed.

Paul Wersant

Posted on: 2005/7/22 5:39
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