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Re: Short image film about our dojo and our art
Kutaki Postmaster
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p.s.

I’ve jumped in and out of kutaki over the years. I do enjoy the forum and thank Shawn for providing a reasonable place for discussion of Bujinkan topics. Even so I feel that I’ve done my run and having to read these sorts of things just makes me angry and depressed.

Enjoy …

Posted on: 2011/9/29 0:03
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Re: Short image film about our dojo and our art
Kutaki Postmaster
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To clarify the difference in opinion …

I see the budo Hatsumi-sensei demonstrates from the late 1950’s till today as one. There is no dumbed down version for the masses or some secret version for the select few. The Hatsumi-sensei I know takes in all students and teaches them equally. The budo you see Hatsumi-sensei demonstrate today is the same as he is transmitting from Takamatsu-sensei.

One teacher said to me Hatsumi-sensei thinks about Takamatsu-sensei every day so it is as if his teaching was just yesterday. The experience is as fresh in his mind.

Of course the training of years gone by was different, but the progression from then till now is organic. As on teacher told me, when he saw Takamatsu-sensei’s training he thought it was very different – but when he looks at Hatsumi-sensei now they are frightenly similar.

As another teacher told me at the end of last year when enquiring about the “old days”. Those days are unimportant because Hatsumi-sensei was still learning himself. It is the training we do now which is real.

Some old shihan were criticised for teaching directly from densho things they had just read but were never taught by soke. I heard this from him personally.

Of course different teachers have different approaches …

In Japan I have trained (in some sort of order) with Taguchi-sensei, Nagato-sensei, Shiraishi-sensei, Noguchi-sensei, Manaka-sensei, Seno-sensei, Nakadai-sensei, Yoshida-sensei, Oguri-sensei, Hosoda-sensei and Sakuma-sensei.

But as Marty said the similarities despite the difference in approach which are interesting.

Of course, although I enjoy training with different teachers the person I really call sensei is Shiraishi-sensei. Sure he is funny and eccentric but his piercing insight into the foundation of taijutsu rings true with me.

Of course I wouldn’t say that Shiraishi-sensei’s approach is good for everyone or that he has any insight or approach, which is better than other teachers. To have to talk down others to justify your own choices is a bit weak in my opinion. My dojo is helped by a friend who lived in Japan for about 14 years and has only trained with Nagato-sensei. Sure, Nagato-sensei and Shiraishi-sensei don’t get along but problems between them is not my problem. If anything I think the two of us (students) blend well and I think open more opportunities in understanding to our students (or rather dojo mates).

Yes I know Ishizuka-sensei but I am not really interested in his training. What would be nice is to hear his students say “I train with Ishizuka-sensei and get a lot out of his classes” rather than having to talk others down, post lots of one liner passive aggressive shit or do a bit of historical revisionism.

I see Hatsumi-sensei talked down so much on the internet that I don’t think people even register anymore. To acknowledge the time he gives to everyone as just some dumbed down budo for the gaijin masses – to spin a few bucks is far more insulting than poking a bit of fun at someones dorky hobbies. Maybe only I see it?

So, the opinion of those involving themselves in shihan-politics are of little interest to me. The opinion is to clouded with the fanboy effect clouding their judgement by rationalising their decisions to protect their own sense of self. I think if those wrote about what is good about or what they get out of training with Ishizuka-sensei then they would further their own cause more than the casual snipping at everyone else for being shit.

Again … my opinion only.

Posted on: 2011/9/28 23:50
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Re: Short image film about our dojo and our art
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Quote:

Gorang wrote:
Does any of the newer Japanese Shihans have menkyo kaiden in any schools like the original students, or have they only the dan-grades?
That is, are they graded in the respective Ryu's or just Budo Taijutsu?


I know of one of the young Japanese shihan being given a school “Menkyo Kaiden” as late as 2003. Nothing was announced – I only knew about because I was in the carpark of the hombu at the time. I have asked two shihan about their Menkyo Kaiden and was told by both that it involved no additional training in the ryuha given to them. They hadn’t been shown all of the kata in the ryuha they have received Menkyo Kaiden in and that it held no particular significance to them.

Quote:

Gorang wrote:
That could be one explanation for the difference of movement, if the orginal were taught the ryu, while the newer were taught budo taijutsu...


The “difference in movement” is only the view of Syd Sked whose opinion is worthless – in my opinion. He should stick to playing with his toy robots.


Posted on: 2011/9/28 15:03
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Re: Short image film about our dojo and our art
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Quote:

mrdunsky wrote:
Well I learned a new word. Semiotics! Not being a linguist I don't know that I'll ever use it again but it is new to me!


I’m glad I’m not the only one who had to look it up. I certainly don’t want to be seen as anti-semiotic !!

Quote:

mrdunsky wrote:
I used to think that they all moved completely different from one another. Last year when I was forced to sit and watch class in Japan, I noticed for the first time that really they all had the same movement. It just looked different because they were all such different people. I have been trying to work toward that similar movement that I thought they were doing since then. It changed my approach.


I agree. I don’t just think it’s about being different people but different approaches. For example Seno-sensei almost never trains in kata at his classes while another teacher might use kata as the foundation of his own. But when I step back and look at these different teachers with their very different approaches I still see a core foundation of movement (or more than that) which is the same. I then see others from around the world that may have just as great, if not more, technical knowledge of kata and waza but lack that which I see in the Japanese shihan I admire.

For that matter I look at my own performance and find it less than satisfactory in this regard.

I think there is a big cultural difference here. In Japan sushi is a simple, beautiful thing blending the finest ingredients and techniques. In the West sushi is sold with things like the “California Roll” – large complicated mixtures of imperfect quality.

In Judo in the West I see things like “European Style” and “Russian Belt grip style” and large studies of complex gripping strategies, defensive techniques and increasingly innovative manoeuvres designed around the rules of competition. Japanese Judo is still viewed as basic technique expertly executed based on thousands of hours of training these basics.

So I’m with you Marty on it taking me a lot of years to understand what I am looking at, and with a change in approach, it will be many many more before I can approximate it myself.

I hope all those who are about to add mayonnaise and avocado to their sushi stop and think about the essence of what they liked about it in the first place too.

Quote:

mrdunsky wrote:
BTW, I really like the video as an intro to the art.


So did I

Posted on: 2011/9/27 12:23
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Re: Short image film about our dojo and our art
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Quote:

markspada wrote:
The only experience I need to back up what I’m saying is the training I did at the dojo of a shihan* when I lived in Japan. I recall it very vividly; the only training that was conducted was kata training. No self-defense techniques. No meditation sessions. No discourses on ethics. Just good old fashioned hard work.


But Ishizuka-sensei’s approach is different from other teachers (even of the same vintage).

Regardless I agree that real transmission is isshi soden and that the correct approach is to try to teach / coach in what you are given to study in your teacher’s dojo and to be careful in bringing in too many of your own ideas.

As I wrote in my blog a while ago

http://budodoukoukai.blogspot.com/2011/02/fundamentals.html

In previous ages there was a shortage of food and material possessions so people could take whatever was available. Today these things are in abundance and what has become important is to restrain yourself in only taking what you need to sustain yourself comfortably.

Similarly in our kobudo, now we are in the information age, I see us consuming techniques, kata, weapons and ideas from everywhere. The nutritional value of budo becomes that of junk food. I feel success can be found not in taking or adding on all that is available but having the discipline to restrain ourselves and concentrate on the fundamentals.


Posted on: 2011/9/27 9:10
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Re: Classes in Western Australia
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Quote:

Greebly wrote:
I have sent emails to Chris West and Gary Bailey, but not sure the email addresses from their website are still active as they came back as undeliverable.


Maybe try Brad Daw then (he trains with both)

... sent in PM


Posted on: 2011/9/26 6:20
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Re: Short image film about our dojo and our art
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In my opinion...

In reality, Kakutogi is more effective and / or immediately useful in fighting than Budo.

As for asking why would you choose Budo over Kakutogi sounds to me like asking "Why would you paint a picture of that when you could just take a photograph?"

Posted on: 2011/9/23 16:05
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Re: Classes in Western Australia
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Alan,

I'm an old West Australian myself. Most people work "fly in fly out" up north over there.

I would contact Chris West or Gary Bailey in Perth. I doubt that there is anyone running something up there but they might no someone who flies up there for work.

There are a few guys I know there who train in Perth when they fly back. As for actually LIVING in Karratha - pretty rough.

http://www.bujinkanperth.com.au/#contact

Posted on: 2011/9/21 23:09
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Re: Women & violence
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Some very interesting posts on the topic, and sounds like quite a well thought out course.

To give an example of my concern, the University Judo club of which I am secretary held a stall at the University Open day of which they had interest from many female uni students but who thought it looked to rough and they didn’t want to train with guys. So the solution is to run a separate “Women’s Self Defence Course” run by a 70-something year old judoka teaching – I assume – the usual sort of wrist escapes and shoulder grab from behind stuff.

I hear the suggestion all the time for my Bujinkan club - “you should run a women’s self defence class” - which always seems based on the idea that it is as easy as showing a few basic, watered down self defence moves. In fact to be honest I’m not really in favour of the promotion of martial arts training in general as “self defence classes” which to my mind always simplifies the issue to learning more kung fu than your potential attackers.

Of course it is a much more complex issue than this. The “worst case” of being dragged off the street and beaten / raped / killed does happen but it is far less likely than the myriad of other dangers we face from health, transport, etc. and therefore makes it hard to justify the amount of initial training and continued conditioning for the pure purpose of dealing with this one possibility.

Quote:

Fnord325 wrote:
This is where the difficulty lies. Teaching physical methodology is fairly simple. Overcoming social psychological values, beliefs, biases, and expectations is the tough part and requires the most time. Without that, all the physical teaching will come to naught, because it is the decision making skills in the interactions with other people that allow predators to capitalize on a targeted victim, whether it is a stranger based attack or the far more prevalent friend, family member, or acquaintance.

If you can circumvent the tendencies that most people have, then you can teach them to stay clear of the trap, leaving physical defense as the emergency plan and not the primary plan.


And this is where I think you are correct in your thinking. Doesn’t the subject become “personal protection” more than “self defence”? I think it is an important topic but in the case of a personal protection course for women I would think the person running it be, preferably, female themselves, with some relevant experience such as a serving or former police officer and with the research and training to back up their course.

As was stated in the other thread our training in Budo isn’t designed for modern self defence situation but for soldier doing a job (to kill, capture or escape). Of course, there are areas which are applicable.

I am interested in the views of others ……….


Posted on: 2011/9/15 13:47
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Re: First class design?
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Quote:

g'inger wrote:
I was asked back in 09 to teach a short course to "disadvantaged" kids. These were about 6 x 14-17 years old lads who had dropped out of secondary education for various reasons. In took it on out of curiosity and to gain experience in handling an out-of-my-comfort-zone situation. The classes were monitored by social workers as these were failry unruly kids. The first few classes were rather undiciplined (as these kids "tested" my position)

So I did a lot of ukemi which they loved - about 75%. The rest was large gyaku movements - osote, o-gyaku etc and throws. It became a balance breaking/ukemi class with a lot of paired-interaction. One fella was into boxing and had a fantastic fighting spirit but wasn't great at ukemi but stuck with it. He was always throwing sneaky jabs at me but I showed him how our sabaki and kamae helps against that.

The results were far better than I expected and I received a letter of high praise for producing a course that allowed the kids to work together and de-emphasised the "martial" side of things. I was told that these kids showed a lot more interest in the other activities that they did at the centre, knowing they had "ninjutsu" coming up that day. So i can say that a short bujinkan-inspired course definitely helped with their personal development, at least to a temporary degree.


A friend here ran kids classes for a short time based on some help / advice from a couple of Japanese shihan who had done it previously themselves. The big advantage I saw over other martial arts programs (especially in the parents eyes) was that by calling it ninjutsu it meant the emphasis could go more on the Taihenjutsu aspects and it wasn’t completely based on punching and kicking. The teacher had a good background in sports education so did a pretty good job. The content sounds similar to what you described above.

But I think not everyone can do it. I used to catch the end of Noguchi-sensei’s kids class years ago before we went on the mat and always admired his skill in handling and working the class – not something I could do.

Nice to hear you had some success with your course for older kids.

Posted on: 2011/9/15 9:50
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