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Re: thoughts on Bujinkan from 1977
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I fail to find the original thread at budoseek. It would have been interesting to see the context. Anyone else has better luck? Someone else reposted the material at MAP. The style sure sounds like a work of Amdur's pen, though.

Posted on: 2011/11/20 19:11
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Hanna Bjork

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Re: First class design?
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Quote:

Shimajiro wrote:
I see your point, Hanna, and agree except for one critical thing. My feeling is that people with experience are going to bring their past training with them regardless. It's human nature. 'Putting it aside' is pretty much out of the question in my very limited experience. Re-appraising some of our fundamental assumptions and experiences takes time.

To my thinking, it's just about getting a conversation started, which can be hard to do with very limited time. If, though, you have a bunch of people from different MA backgrounds, I think I would agree that it's best just to bring something of your own for everyone to work on.


Yes, we do bring our past training with us. But to learn something new we sometimes have to accept doing things terribly crappy at first - which might be more difficult if I have to assume the identity of "a black belt from the style such and such". If I have to choose between kicking badly and kicking well but slightly different from what the teacher shows. Do I manage to put my ego away and do really, really badly? just as an example. My personal main example is ukemi.

I read a forum post somewhere on the net by a jujutsu guy (in a Western amalgamation style) whose teacher, when black belts from other styles join class, always ask them to show a technique from their system and take that as a starting point for the class. And then he said that some of these black belts from others styles, when training with the dojo's (other) beginners, taught them his stuff instead of doing what was taught... some people will do this anyway, but if you start off by putting them in teaching position IMHO you are unknowingly setting up a trap for them to fall into.

If I was asked to show a technique, then I'd have to show that I'm somewhat good, wouldn't I? And after that I would be asked to try to perform all these weird Bujinkan ukemi forms which make my body scream "this is impossible, I CAN'T DO THIS". And the temptation to just roll in my old ways instead is huge, because the humiliation of being a black belt and not being able to roll in ways that obviously is very basic to these people is... well... yeah. If I never had to show I'm any good at anything I wouldn't have anything to live up to, and it's easier to allow myself to be a the real clutz that I am as soon as you move me out of my old patterns of movement.

But this is the stage where the student already has decided to stay. A class focussed on "how do I make these students interested in the style as such, and in me as a teacher" will probably be geared differently. So I guess the question "how do you teach the first class" partly depends on how much weight you put on either aspect. In a way, you don't learn that much in your first classes anyway so in the long run it doesn't matter. But if you learn bad habits - like doing your old style ukemi rather than what the teacher is showing - that can be terribly difficult to delearn. I don't know how typical I am but I very much prefer not having to live up to anything.

Regarding "getting a conversation started" I don't really understand why you want to do this? What a teacher I study for understands about my old style or not is IMHO not important. If I show my old stuff, I don't expect the teacher to understand what he is seeing. I don't think that his misunderstandings of what and how I do things in my old style is the optimal meeting spot. If we were having a chat over a coffee table, well that's something different and I can take ten minutes to explain why he got it all wrong. But his class in his dojo is the wrong place for this. If I think he says weird things it is unwise to protest too much. I have been to "first classes" (not in the Bujinkan, no use start guessing what dojo/teachers) where the teacher spent so much time explaining the difference between his style and mine, sometimes based on what he see in me and sometimes based on his prior information which IMNSHO was not so correct. I took the class, listened to the lecture, said "thank you" and went to the next place on my list of dojos to check out. Still, having prejudice towards my old style is not a criterion for a bad teacher, is it? It is just a terrible place to start.

Posted on: 2011/11/5 21:09
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Hanna Bjork

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Re: First class design?
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Quote:

Shimajiro wrote:
For the group with prior training but no Bujinkan, it might be an interesting idea to have them demonstrate a technique or two from their own training and then use that as a springboard to show some Bujinkan techniques.


Actually, I disagree with that since one if the hardest thing for someone with "prior training" is to put what you already know on the side. Asking me to demonstrate technique from my old background is to ask me to focus on everything I think I know about posture, kamae, position, distance, how to kick/punch/throw. It will probably make me cling to my old models of how stuff work.

I understand the point, though. It does confirm that the students bring something useful with them, so it is very polite to the students. But in the long run I think the strategy might make the transition harder for them.




Posted on: 2011/10/29 22:35
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Hanna Bjork

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Re: Did Ueshiba Sensei train Kukishinden Ryu?
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JonHaas, did you find any major differences in the book compared with the old Aikido Journal articles? I've had the book on my shelf for a couple of weeks, but not begun reading it yet.

Posted on: 2011/4/10 5:43
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Hanna Bjork

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Re: Did Ueshiba Sensei train Kukishinden Ryu?
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For the average Bujinkan member without an aikido background the topic is probably not that vital. On that I must agree. Most aikido black belts probably don't even know about Takeda Sokaku's Daito Ryu, which is widely accepted as the main technical roots of aikido. I suppose the average Bujinkanist should be even less interested.

OTOH we spend our energy on many non vital things, such as going to the movies or reading books about ancient Egypt, just because we find it fun and interesting. I didn't start this thread... if I wish to discuss aikido I go to Aikiweb, but now the thread was here and for those who happen to be interested, for whatever reason, I recommend Ellis Amdur as a complement to what has already been posted in this thread.

Posted on: 2011/4/6 19:48
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Hanna Bjork

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Re: Did Ueshiba Sensei train Kukishinden Ryu?
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Where Ueshiba sensei got his jo techniques from is debated. Most people claim it does not come from any jo school. He often performed his exercises with a short spear (nuboko), the training version of this weapon is pretty much a jo which is sharpened in one end... Among theories of backgrounds to aiki-jo is bayonet training in the army (jukenjutsu), Hozoin Ryu (spear) and indeed Kukushin Ryu. Here's two articles by Ellis Amdur on the subject.

A Unified Field Theory — Aiki and Weapons. PART V — The Influence of Spear Technique Upon Stave and Stick (mainly on the Hozoin theory)
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1932

A Unified Field Theory — Aiki and Weapons. Part VIII — The Solo Jo Form (largely on the Kukishin theory)
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=2384


You really shouldn't expect the aikidoists you may know to be very interested in these things, or to know very much about them. An interest in the origins of technique kind of goes with training in the Bujinkan, but not so in aikido.

Posted on: 2011/4/6 9:40
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Hanna Bjork

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Re: Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo!
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Quote:

Unsubscribed wrote:

Why do we clap and bow? We clap because in Shinto this is called, Haku Shu (purification by hand clapping) which is clearing our surrounding environment of any stagnated vibrations through the intentional use of sharp sound. This spiritually clears the Dojo and "cleans" it so it is a proper place for the kami to visit. We bow once to ask the kami to be with us during training, to protect and teach us. We clap once more to again, clean our minds and hearts this time and bow again in reverence. From this point on, until we bow out at the end of class, the Dojo is like a church! This is what Dojo means, a place to follow the michi, or "way" or Tao or teachings of heaven. This is why a Dojo is not a gym. This is why we take our shoes off and why we bow before we enter and when we leave.


Which kami are involved? Is this different depending on type of kamidana, or not?

Posted on: 2011/3/21 9:43
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Hanna Bjork

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Dorothy Parker
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Re: Fabric for dogi
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Judogi tops are thick but soft, yeah. I'll be having the same fabric in top and pants - perhaps not optimal, I think my fabric is a bit too tough for pants. I bought a cheap cotton fabric, a canvas or something similar, 400 grams/square metre - you completely lost me in the conversion thing, so how many oz/area unit I have no clue. The big problem with the thickness however is that the typical seams have four layers of fabric on top of each other. Sometimes when two seams meet you end up with eight fabric layers which is simply too much for a regular household sewing machine! I'd need an industrial machine, or the type that cobblers have... trying to work my way around it...

Posted on: 2011/3/8 23:32
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Hanna Bjork

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Dorothy Parker
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Re: Fabric for dogi
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Finding a Swedish term for "duck cotton" seems impossible... but I found something in the local LARP fabtic store that I think will work well. It wasn't expensive either (it really shouldn't be, it's a simple type of fabric).

Only the work remains, then. :)

Posted on: 2011/2/28 5:25
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Hanna Bjork

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Dorothy Parker
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Re: Fabric for dogi
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Thanks Chris! Duck cotton... hm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_duck A type of canvas, yeah.

Square yards. Oh my. If a yard is 0.9144 metres, then a square yard is... 0.836 square metres, so 20 ounces/square metre equals 16-17 ounces/square yard (correct me if I'm wrong here). Your fabrics are thinner than what I have at home, but much woven in a much sturdier fashion.

I guess the elasticity of twill type fabrics is not optimal, so I really should search for canvas type fabrics.

Posted on: 2011/2/26 17:17
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Hanna Bjork

I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things.
Dorothy Parker
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