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Re: New student requesting some information.
Permanent Village Fixture
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Okay Kuma, the real name is or was at one time a rule of the forum. I feel that I must again remind you that my signature is not posted to make any specific point toward you... it just goes at the bottom of my posts.

Your last post: Ad hominem, non sequitur, straw man, three straw men in a row, more mysterious stuff about some general grudge against the United States, and then you bragged about your wife a bit. None of it has anything to do with me. If you just want to talk about your feelings go ahead.

I wasn't being smarmy with either my comment that you're likely a good person or about training with you. I just doubt that you could be so pugnacious in person as you have been here. Again, just relax. I won't respond to you again. You're a bit mean spirited for my taste.

To the original poster, yes oni kudaki is a technique that ends or can end with a dislocation of the shoulder. If you have done BJJ in MMA, think of it as a standing Americana.

A word of advice about turning off the previous training: I competed in Tae Kwon Do for about nine years pretty regularly and sparred full contact three times a week for that whole time before switching to ninjutsu. It was extremely difficult to break some of those habits. It is worth noting that I have kept a good bit of technique that I still consider valid. I still want to spar all the time, and I have encountered a few techniques that I simply cannot do because old habits die hard, and I've been in the Bujinkan for ten years. I imagine that I will still be fond of the round house when I'm 20 years in as well.

The only thing that will really help with that aspect is to train more. Try to keep an open mind, but don't stop asking those questions. One additional piece of advice is to ask that things be demonstrated on you as often as possible. That is where you will learn the most -by having it done to you.

Good luck in your training!

Posted on: 2014/1/2 13:25
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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Re: New student requesting some information.
Permanent Village Fixture
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Hello again. The quote in my signature has been the same for years, and the fact that you used it and then saw it does not amount to irony.

I had not read the other thread when I posted in this one, and upon reading it the only thing I can recommend is that you relax a little bit. Marty and I have met a few times at seminars, and trained together in a few randori classes, but it could have been anyone and I would have called BS. My post was about your ham fisted overstatements about the global necessity of avoiding multiple teachers...and about your willingness to say "I don't know Mr. X, but Mr. X trains the wrong way and thinks the wrong things."

My post was to deter students from taking your advice and being satisfied with only one source of information. I'm sure you're a good person. You're just wrong about the harm in seeking multiple sources. That's okay.

My invitation to you was not to see Dr. Dunsky; it was too see me. We are not part of the same dojo. I just want to be exposed to all of the experience and skill that would give you the confidence to speak so authoritatively about what makes good training.

Good luck in 2014, anonymous poster Kuma.

Posted on: 2014/1/1 15:48
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
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Re: New documentary featuring Dr. Kacem Zoughari
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I just saw this film a couple weeks ago, having not seen this thread until today. I loved the film, and I am grateful to have access to the opinions of anyone more experienced or more capable than myself. I don't know if everything Kacem says is correct in the video, but I applaud his skepticism and his desire to explore his own assumptions and those of his peers and teachers as well. My own experience has been that I am often mistaken when I believe a technique not to work. It is usually the case that I did not correctly understand the technique at the time.

I think it likely that at least some of Kacem's criticisms fall under this category. Others seem totally on point. All things considered, I wish there were a hundred videos of this quality, rather than some of the other material out there when you just search 'Bujinkan' on YouTube. Many practitioners and teachers are far too casual about their training, and Kacem's general call for skepticism and serious study is a worthy message in my opinion because of this.

Posted on: 2013/12/31 21:45
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Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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Re: New student requesting some information.
Permanent Village Fixture
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Quote:

kuma9 wrote:
...You have absolutely no proof that this “learn from everybody”/”fifty shades of gray” philosophy actual produces anything other than mediocre results....
As I said, virtually no successful apprenticeship or educational model adheres to your “learn from everybody” philosophy.


Interesting that you should say this. I would argue that every single academic field of study operates exactly in the way you say it doesn't. Example: Robert Sapolsky is a primatologist who teaches a course on human behavioral biology at Stanford (available for free viewing online). A major part of the course is him explaining the various schools of thought that have contributed to the body of knowledge and their varied methodologies. He explains that any given piece of information from a school of thought has to be looked at in the context of how the information was found in the first place, and then carefully examined to see if it is a valid resource in the context for which it is being currently applied. To have the most complete and most correct picture of human behavior, you are forced to accept what is true from all of the approaches, while noting their shortcomings. This is just one extremely typical example of multiple sources converging in a teaching environment where doing so is demonstrably better for the student than learning from a single source.

This brings me to an important point. There is no such thing as a global expert on any subject. One teacher, bluntly put, is woefully insufficient to convey everything a student needs to know. To get a degree in any subject in academia, students are exposed to the teaching of dozens of teachers who are specialized for a very small subsection of the larger material. The same should be true for any responsible martial arts student.

"Learn from everybody" does not mean "every teacher is right." Proper training calls for as much information as is available, and relentless scrutiny of that information. Your criticisms of Dr. Dunsky and his relationship with Hatsumi are not well founded, as you admit in saying that you don't know anything about him. You're all over the place talking about "your(Dr. Dunsky's) approach" and the obvious shortcomings it would have, along with other wild assumptions about persons you don't train with and don't know. You have a serious problem with the strawman style of argumentation (babies teaching babies as a description of 'The American Way' and any idea that you think opposes your paradigm).

I'm also not sure how you fail to see the irony in attempting to discredit a person based admittedly on no information in a discussion about properly sourcing information. Furthermore, none of this helps answer the question that is central to the thread. He wanted to know if there are multiple acceptable versions of ichimonji and the answer is yes - no matter how you feel about it. There are not infinite correct versions, but there are multiple and others in this thread have already given the good advice about it: he should keep training and he'll likely see what his teacher is getting at.

Maybe if you're ever in Dayton Ohio, you should come to a class or two. That way you could decide in person if the results are as mediocre as you assume them to be.

Posted on: 2013/12/31 20:38
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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Re: Where to get an o-tsuchi.
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Thank you for your reply. I have seen his website and he makes fantastic gear but it appears as though he no longer makes items for sale. Some of my buyu and I tried to get one from that site several years ago without result.

If he still makes items for sale, I would gladly order from him.

Posted on: 2012/3/10 8:39
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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Where to get an o-tsuchi.
Permanent Village Fixture
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Hello villagers,

Could anyone help me find a good place to purchase an o-tsuchi (Japanese war-hammer) similar to the one at the hombu dojo? I've found at least two sites that would seem to make them for sale, neither of which are still in operation.

I am also in the market for other training weapons, like training shuko with plastic or rubber parts instead of metal. Any recommendations?

Posted on: 2012/3/9 8:21
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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Re: Short image film about our dojo and our art
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Mr. Spada,

I should start by saying that I don't know you personally and cannot therefore judge your character accurately. I can say that your content in this thread has been foolish.

1-You do not make yourself seem any smarter by knowing the word "semiotics." The fact that you think that knowing a rare word entitles you to lob invective at others with any sense of superiority shows just how little contact you have with intelligent people (if they're around, you don't listen to them). Most educated people come into contact with things they don't know all the time and are accustomed to the fact that the knowledge THEY value is not necessarily the knowledge everyone values. You've called a medical doctor uneducated in this thread by saying "you really had to look that up?." Let me know where I can send your trophy.

2-Perhaps you think it wise to discourage women from learning? There are too many problems in your logic to address them here. First, the video showed that her attitude is what prevented the aggressive behavior. Note that it is simply aggressive behavior, NOT a brutal beating and rape in progress prevented with green belt Bujinkan technical prowess. Are you saying that without training the hypothetical woman would have been better off? You appear to imply that she's doomed no matter what, and how dare anyone say otherwise. Everyone knows that a smaller person, woman or not, will have a more difficult time against a larger person. I'll find it necessary to point out here that in a world of conceal-carry licenses, you're barely better off than the woman in the video is. Maybe her training enabled her to feel confident enough and have just enough skill to make time to reach for her Keltech PF9? Perhaps your attitude would have gotten you into trouble where hers did not?

3-If you don't like the video, make a superior video of your own that addresses the scenario that you've just seen. Not all of us walk around with an entourage like we're in West Side Story, and as a consequence most of us walk alone somewhere at some time. You can't possibly know how silly you sound when you ask why she was walking alone in broad daylight.

I'll end by saying that the video was great, and showed a potential success in a sketchy situation where there may not have been any without the training being in her life. As a non-novice member of the community, it should be your first instinct to help others improve and to give helpful advice. Just know precisely what your impact has been: No one is better off for your criticisms here. And if your aim wasn't to improve others through your criticism then you've committed a sin far worse; you've insulted the efforts of others to make yourself feel or look good. Perhaps you can tell me the meaning of 'hubris?'

Posted on: 2011/9/30 13:13
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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Re: Love at first sight, feeling at first sight.
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I think he would understand that it takes years of practice to become proficient with these things. His frustration is at others in the class with the similar years of experience having more success with the techniques.

The only thing I could offer him is to slow down and listen well during the demonstration and first attempts of the technique.

I will suggest that he slow down more. Knowledge changes belief and therefore behavior. I was hoping that someone may have an insight of the appropriate knowledge for "gaining the eyes of God" as I've heard it put.

How do you learn to see more clearly?

Posted on: 2010/6/5 11:48
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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Love at first sight, feeling at first sight.
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Hi all,

I haven't posted in a while but I'm looking for some advice to give a fellow training partner.

I was training with him the other day when he expressed a frustration at his seeming inability to capture the basic form of a technique on the first try. There are a couple of people in class, he argued, that seem to either "get it" on the first try or have a great degree of success on the first try. He has been training one year less than me, being six years in for him.

I told him that the key to my success was to make my movement so that the average third grader could not distinguish my movement from the demo of the technique, and then move from there. That is only partially a joke. Essentially it boils down to attempting the basic movements and discovering my options as I go and the technique usually just falls in my lap. I refine it from there. I make no attempt to analyze the movement until after I try the technique. This was a very unsatisfactory answer to him. I tried explaining that it is possible that the training simply needs more time to soak in for him but does not necessarily mean that he is learning less, or would be less capable of effective application of the training. Again, he was not persuaded.

It is possible that he is simply a slower learner than he would like to be but I doubt this. My experience leads me to believe he is lacking some crucial insight or learning paradigm that would give him the ability he desires.

At first glance one would think that the ability to intuitively recognize the important pieces in a movement would just come with time but he has almost the same amount of time in the Bujinkan as I do. I would argue that you don't need to intuitively recognize the important parts of the movement to successfully perform the technique.

With my current understanding I appear to be less than useful in guiding him to the correct fix for his problem. Any suggestions for my friend? What helps YOU to quickly identify and implement the effectiveness of a technique shown?

Posted on: 2010/6/4 19:08
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"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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100 people, 100 arts
Permanent Village Fixture
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I have a question for the population of kutaki: Could you give me one sentence that describes your idea of what it is you personally study in the Bujinkan? And then, if you wouldn't mind, an explanation. I know this is a very difficult question to answer but I'd love to hear honest, well thought out responses.

I find that my study of this art is constantly analogous to other parts of my life and is often greatly useful in my progression outside of the art as well.

Mine is this: What I study in the Bujinkan at this time in my training is 'the ability to maintain freedom for independent action, primarily as it relates to physical combat.'

Explanation: My understanding of martial things comes from amateur but dedicated reading on the subject of warfare and personal combat and taking martial arts including this one for a good while. John Boyd is best known as the designer of the F-15 and F-16 fighter planes that are in use in the United States military. He is considered in some circles to be one of the most important minds in military philosophy. He has less than a book's worth of writing on the subject but what he does have written is certainly noteworthy. There are other sources on this subject that are eloquent but I think he says it best.

I find a great deal of truth in the incredibly simple premise that much of his philosophy is founded on: All success in war is based on freedom for independent action. There are many conclusions that can be drawn from this premise but I will let people draw their own conclusions.

Anyone can feel free to discuss my view of my training if they would like but I would prefer to hear what it is that individuals would describe their own training as. "My training can be described as the study of _________." "I am learning mastery of _________."

Posted on: 2008/7/6 17:19
_________________
"The goal of opening the mind, as with opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid."
Love and punches,
Nate Hallum
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