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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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There are no ´good´ martial arts, or ´bad´ martial arts, the greatness of any style is directly tied to it´s head teacher. If his guidance came from thousand year old scrolls or from outer space, what does it matter
But, fortunately for us in the Bujinkan there is enough historical information to back up much of our lineage, why doubt what can´t be proven. It´s a matter of character, and both Takamatsu Sensei and Soke Hatsumi have led exemplary lives, far more that any of their detractor can claim to! No one throws stones at an unfruitfull tree, human vanity truly stinks!

Posted on: 2010/12/31 5:08
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John Holladay
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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Quote:

johntah wrote:
There are no ´good´ martial arts, or ´bad´ martial arts, the greatness of any style is directly tied to it´s head teacher. If his guidance came from thousand year old scrolls or from outer space, what does it matter
But, fortunately for us in the Bujinkan there is enough historical information to back up much of our lineage, why doubt what can´t be proven. It´s a matter of character, and both Takamatsu Sensei and Soke Hatsumi have led exemplary lives, far more that any of their detractor can claim to! No one throws stones at an unfruitfull tree, human vanity truly stinks!


I wonder what you mean be exemplary.

Posted on: 2010/12/31 8:32
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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By exemplary is that they lived in accordance with what they claimed to be. What a terrifying discovery: a ninja who manipulates circumstances!

Posted on: 2011/1/1 0:54
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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Actualy, more should be said on this.
What I mean by exemplary is that they lived in accordance with what they claimed to be. Soke is a constant example of the art he is claiming to be head master of in everything he does.
What a terrifying discovery: ninjas manipulating circumstances and playing with peoples perceptions of truth and falsehood, hold on to your socks cause it´s the end of the world!
I think it´s realy entertaining to see adults using kindergaten morals and claiming to be students of the black arts. These people should stay in church. The complexities of the spiritual traditions that were guarded by ninjutsu and that form the basis for our philosophy go way beyong dualistic thinking. To expect a master in deception and manipulation to behave like a boyscout is to take foolishness to the extreme.
The ninja´s loyalty and sincerity was towards his own concience, the principles of the art and his clan. Ninjutsu became infamous for it´s ability to elude everyone as to what it realy was and who their practitioners were, in other words, their uncany ability to survive. Transparancy is the last thing one should expect in the dealings of a Ninja. Everything that is said on that video only strengthens the argument for Takamatsu sensei´s extraordinary ability. Afterall, he pissed all these "important" people of and they did nothing about it. Soke is in his 80's alive and in a physical condition shamefull to most youngster due to his adherance to the principles of this "fake" art. And even if none of the documents are authentic and Takamatsu made it all up, what a genious he was! He should be elevated to whole ´nother category of masters, those who created a style.
Everything that can be said against the Bujinkan as an organization is only confirmation of Soke´s ability in art of Ninpo and the value of the teachings he recieved from Takamatsu Sensei. Menkyo, scrols, toilet papper, I guess all have their use, but the dead letter means nothing, the true word is action. True Menkyo is printed in ones spirit and expressed in ones example.

Posted on: 2011/1/1 1:40
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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Darren wrote:


Just a question... What if you trained under a guy claiming to teach Bujinkan arts, but found out after several years (and dollars spent) that he didn't teach you anything Bujinkan and, in fact, the legitimacy of his Bujinkan rank/shidoshi status was questionable. Yet, what he was teaching you appeared to you to be effective and fun.

Would it matter to you that what you were being sold was not valid? Would you continue to train with him? Would you tell others you train or have trained in the Bujinkan, knowing what you have been taught really wasn't Bujinkan?

I think there is some validity to making sure what and who you train with has legitimacy beyond "working" and being "fun".


Good food for thought.

When I started training in this art, there was no validity to be had. I found my teacher by the word of mouth of some guy with a Shadows of Iga jacket that had walked into the gas station in which I worked. I called the number he gave me and met the man who was to become my first teacher. He was a man of small stature and I could tell that I was much taller and stronger than he. In the ignorance of my youth I wondered what he could possibly teach me. I really only knew about him what he had told me about himself. Back then there was no internet as we know it and only a handful of instructors in the US. Papa-san was a godan back then. My teacher had introduced me to the group that trained at Papa-san's farm, and although I liked them all, I had no proof what so ever of what they were teaching me. As far as I knew, perhaps they had just read the same Stephen K. Hayes book that I had read.

The validity for me came when I trained with them. I was amazed at how my 130 pound teacher could toss me across a room without breaking a sweat. I was in awe at the 50 something guy that was showing me defenses he had thought up while being on crutches from his first hip replacement.

I guess to try and make this short, you could tell me that the past 20 some years have not been Bujinkan, or ninjutsu, or even Japanese. This art works for me. It worked in the few live situations I have needed it. And, yes, I've had a fun time over the years learning about it and I continue to enjoy it.

I mean no disrespect to your question. It is nice to have a little validity to the things in which we put our trust. But are we putting our trust in a name or in an art? If we are putting our trust in a name, we are making a huge mistake. I put my trust in the art, no matter what it's called. You can try and convince me that an animal is a duck, but unless it looks, sounds, and acts like a duck, I won't be so quick to believe it.

Posted on: 2011/1/4 4:11
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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Damien, I think you may be missing the point of Darren’s post. I don’t mean to speak for Darren, as he does a good job for himself. But what the hell, here it is. Yes, if the art you are studying works for you, the efficacy, etc., then terrific. If however, you discover that the people directly teaching you either made up the their art’s background/history, made up their background of study/teaching credentials, say they are teaching one art but are actually teaching another and knowingly lied to/ deceived their students, what would you think of their character? Forget the effectiveness of what they are teaching for a moment. If you want to buy a duck from a salesman and he gives you a chicken and tells you it’s a duck, do you think he is someone to be buying from?

Posted on: 2011/1/5 3:53
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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Most of us starting asking for a duck dinner. In our head we thought it was a duck dinner but in actuality we were thinking about a goose dinner. Little by little we found out that the Goose dinner we were thinking about really doesn't exist, instead we were given pheasant and discovered it not only tasted delicious but was much more nutritious. Some people were given chicken and told it was pheasant. In the process they were well fed, and stimulated to look for the real pheasant dinner. In the long run, they were still satiated.

It doesn't matter so much where you have been. What are your dietary habits now!

Marty

Posted on: 2011/1/5 6:11
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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I can´t help to think of Captain Jack Sparrow´s response to having cheated - Pirate!

As westerners we think of everything in terms of buying and selling. Everybody knows that. So, if you are Japanese and you have the task to care for a thousand year old tradition that spans from spirituality to espionage and sudenlly you have westerners wanting to buy your sacred tradition, what would you do. Soke spent quite some time saying he never created an organization, he is also always downplaying rank, speaking of strategems and mind control, and how the essence of Ninjutsu is to predict danger and escape by whatever means available. Should a CIA agent´s caracter be questioned because he decieves and manipulates his assets. Instead of giving reason to these detractors we should be paying attention to and learning from Soke´s and Takamatsu´s actions, they speak far louder than their profound, and often times confusing words.

Posted on: 2011/1/5 9:53
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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Quote:

Damien wrote:
The validity for me came when I trained with them. I was amazed at how my 130 pound teacher could toss me across a room without breaking a sweat. I was in awe at the 50 something guy that was showing me defenses he had thought up while being on crutches from his first hip replacement.

I guess to try and make this short, you could tell me that the past 20 some years have not been Bujinkan, or ninjutsu, or even Japanese. This art works for me. It worked in the few live situations I have needed it. And, yes, I've had a fun time over the years learning about it and I continue to enjoy it.

I mean no disrespect to your question. It is nice to have a little validity to the things in which we put our trust. But are we putting our trust in a name or in an art? If we are putting our trust in a name, we are making a huge mistake. I put my trust in the art, no matter what it's called. You can try and convince me that an animal is a duck, but unless it looks, sounds, and acts like a duck, I won't be so quick to believe it.


That's cool. It's good you enjoy what you are doing and are lucky to have met some good teachers. It's important to note, however, that your criteria is a dangerous vulnerability. Many frauds have flourished under such conditions. Considering how long (or short, actually) you and most others have been training, I know many people who can teach what may look very effective (in fact, it very well could be technically effective) and sell it to you as the 'real deal'.

Are you saying that it's ok to put your trust and resources into someone who has knowing lied to you from the start, just because you think it's effective and you are having fun doing it?

To each their own and I'm not trying to judge or make this about you personally, so please don't be offended. I'm just highlighting something that actually is quite common in a consumer driven martial arts market. You are not alone in your views and, if the leader/teacher is actually a fraud, it always ends badly, regardless of the seemingly high quality of teaching.

I can't tell you how much of this I see. For instance, a chap on Facebook just posted that the best home study course is Budo Ryu Ninjutsu, yet he claims to now be an 8th kyu in the Bujinkan. Really? This is the kind of mixed up perspectives people have when they simply judge things based on what 'they' think to be both visually appealing and convenient. Believe me, the frauds make themselves both of these, as they are more interested in the attention and money from you then they are about any kind of credibility.

Seriously. Credibility has to first come from legitimacy. Without that, it's a lie. A foundation of mature training is in knowing the difference and valuing honesty in what you are a part of. Otherwise, what else is there?

Posted on: 2011/1/5 10:16
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: How would you or wouldn't you handle this?
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Quote:

johntah wrote:
I can´t help to think of Captain Jack Sparrow´s response to having cheated - Pirate!

As westerners we think of everything in terms of buying and selling. Everybody knows that. So, if you are Japanese and you have the task to care for a thousand year old tradition that spans from spirituality to espionage and sudenlly you have westerners wanting to buy your sacred tradition, what would you do. Soke spent quite some time saying he never created an organization, he is also always downplaying rank, speaking of strategems and mind control, and how the essence of Ninjutsu is to predict danger and escape by whatever means available. Should a CIA agent´s caracter be questioned because he decieves and manipulates his assets. Instead of giving reason to these detractors we should be paying attention to and learning from Soke´s and Takamatsu´s actions, they speak far louder than their profound, and often times confusing words.


Interesting post, John. To add to this, I will say that a vast majority of the people who jump into the Bujinkan or who are part of the largest slice of the pie, so to speak, really are stuck in the romanticized history and fantasy of it all. They aren't looking to understand the truth. They only want to reinforce their own perception of the truth. Likewise, they don't really care about Soke. They put him on a pedestal and want to watch him dance, showering him with praise when, in reality, they really don't care about him as a person. They are attracted to the celebrity culture of the Bujinkan because, deep down inside, they either 'need' that to escape their real lives and/or they are actually jealous.

I'm stepping out a bit on this, but this is something I've been thinking about lately and I'm sure not everybody will agree. But, I've been on this apple cart long enough to see some of what I'm writing about manifest over the last 20+ years. It seems as this art gets more global and the information highway (i.e. internet) has led to an immense increase in digital information, both accurate and inaccurate, there has been a continuous dehumanization of what is at the root of this art, isshi shoden (man to man, direct teaching). People aren't seeking teachers as much, when they can go to YouTube and watch videos that, to them, appear legitimate. They can go on internet forums and educate themselves with all sorts of information, most of which is incomplete and often incorrect or misleading. Then, they flock to Japan in droves, not to try and understand this art a little better, to spend quality time and build relationships with Shihan who can teach them correctly, but rather to get a picture of themselves with various Shihan and jump at the chance to sit for the sakki test. (Sorry, I'm ranting)

Not to speak for Soke and the Japanese Shihan, but I imagine they have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. Then, to have people just assume they will have all their questions answered and be shown all the secrets, just because they show up, really is amazing to me.

Meanwhile, the constant, consistent thing we end up being told is that we need to work on our kihon more, which should never be a surprise to hear if one is honest about where they are in their training. Unfortunately, most, I'm afraid, never take this to heart because, to them, they expect to be taught some secret lesson that's not so labor intensive and unglamorous.

Whew! Where did all THAT come from???

Posted on: 2011/1/5 10:39
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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