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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Hey guys,
I used to have the first two tapes of the "home study course" and I thought they were great.
The only thing about them is they are NOT a home study course. They are, as has been said before, step by step demonstration of one schools shodan cirriculum. you most certainly cannot (in my 'humble' oppinion) get to shodan level with only these tapes and a friend.
But again, as long as you keep that in mind I think that they are very useful tapes. In fact if I ever have that much cash lying around (which I probably won't, they are overpriced and Daikonyosai DVDs are cheap now) I could definitley see buying them.

Oh, one last thing. The way ichimonji no kamae and some of the san shin ae taught in the videos IS different, but I don't think that it is wrong. Some schools train with different versions. I am specifically thinking of the san shin as taught by Arnaud Shihan(spelling?) and by Prather Shihan. But again this goes back to what I was saying... you cannot learn BBT by ANYONES tapes, only supplement what you learn in class.

"shut up and train"- Hatsumi Soke
Courtney Kolb

Posted on: 2006/3/26 7:08
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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I have mixed feelings about the course and the tapes. I started training in the Bujinkan at Lifeskills Martial Arts in Irvin, California under Shihan Chuck Corey for about eight months. I moved to Utah and trained with an instructor named Bret Boyack. He was part of Bill Atkins Tenchijin organisation of dojos. I trained for years, but rank testing wasn't a focus for us because Bret was a Shodan and we had to wait for Bill Atkins to come and do a seminar to test for rank. I passed my 9th kyu test with Bill. I was told that normally most guys in our area passed ranks with larger jumps, like most people trained for years with no rank, then tested for shodan and passed. I wanted to make sure I was on the right path so I tested early on when Bill came. A couple years later I moved to Idaho and there isn't a teacher of any kind here, I was faced with a dilemma: not continue my progress in the martial art I loved so much, or buy the home study course and continue training.

Well, I bought the course and it isn't nearly as good as training in a dojo with a class and instructor, and many of the techniques aren't explained that well. So, for someone who has never had experience in the Bujinkan, or even just very little, the tapes would be of little worth. For someone like me, it's a way to stay connected to the art and still pass rank advancements. You still have to pass gokyu and shodan in person with RVD or one of his instructors. My wife is going to train with me and I have a friend who is going to also. It's a last ditch resort and I hope it pays off in the long run. Hopefully after a while I can get some more people to form a bigger group and we can pitch together and pay to get a shidoshi to come up and do a seminar and keep us on the right track.

Posted on: 2010/11/2 10:27
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Quote:

YoruKage wrote:
I have mixed feelings about the course and the tapes. I started training in the Bujinkan at Lifeskills Martial Arts in Irvin, California under Shihan Chuck Corey for about eight months. I moved to Utah and trained with an instructor named Bret Boyack. He was part of Bill Atkins Tenchijin organisation of dojos. I trained for years, but rank testing wasn't a focus for us because Bret was a Shodan and we had to wait for Bill Atkins to come and do a seminar to test for rank. I passed my 9th kyu test with Bill. I was told that normally most guys in our area passed ranks with larger jumps, like most people trained for years with no rank, then tested for shodan and passed. I wanted to make sure I was on the right path so I tested early on when Bill came. A couple years later I moved to Idaho and there isn't a teacher of any kind here, I was faced with a dilemma: not continue my progress in the martial art I loved so much, or buy the home study course and continue training.

Well, I bought the course and it isn't nearly as good as training in a dojo with a class and instructor, and many of the techniques aren't explained that well. So, for someone who has never had experience in the Bujinkan, or even just very little, the tapes would be of little worth. For someone like me, it's a way to stay connected to the art and still pass rank advancements. You still have to pass gokyu and shodan in person with RVD or one of his instructors. My wife is going to train with me and I have a friend who is going to also. It's a last ditch resort and I hope it pays off in the long run. Hopefully after a while I can get some more people to form a bigger group and we can pitch together and pay to get a shidoshi to come up and do a seminar and keep us on the right track.


Please send it back and ask for a full refund.
Find a teacher near you. I think there is one in Boise. Seriously, please... please don't do it.

Hell, if you want, seriously just pay my gas/travel cost and put me up on a couch or super cheap hotel and feed me. And, I'll come out once a month. But, I think there is one in Boise.

But, you have to have someone closer to you that you could drive to with a group of people once a month. You are going to go from Bill Atkins and Chuck Corey to RVD?

Do a better search for Boise Bujinkan, there was one at one time, maybe someone is still out there training or at least better to train with than a video course by DVD I mean RVD.


Posted on: 2010/11/2 12:57
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Even if you can't find a Bujinkan instructor, return the set and use that money on some good judo or aikido.

Posted on: 2010/11/2 13:24
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Take it from an old timer who has lots of cross training and who started out when the nearest instructor was several hundred miles away. The last 2 posts are dead on. Going the route you are is going to surely give you bad habits that can take many years to undo. Seriously. Getting Bujinkan rank should never be your purpose for training, which is really what those videos are marketed on.

Protecting your family would be a far better purpose to pursue budo training, any budo training. Learning from video with no real instructor will not give you that real survival skill, I don't care who the instructor is on the video. I mean that in the most sincere way possible.

You are far better off pursuing a local martial art, one that focuses on creating solid fundamentals that will help you to protect your family and yourself - and one you will be able to attend regularly to train with quality, experienced people. Anything short of that is not only a waste of time and money, but will set you back farther than if you didn't train at all. Please, please, please listen to this advice.

Posted on: 2010/11/2 13:50
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The easy route is not always the best option!
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What RJHIII said! If you have the couch space, definitely take him up on the offer.


If Bill's approach resonated and you want more, contact Aric Keith [user: tenchijin2]. He is only 7hrs drive West of you. You would do better to visit his dojo once per month than take the DVD route.

Also, if there is anyone out that way still flying the Tenchijin Dojo banner Aric will likely know.

Pretty sure there is at least one Bujinkan Dojo in Salt Lake City [6hrs drive South] as well. So that could be another once per month type option.

Even if you do not end up visiting those Dojo, stay in touch for event info. They may hold weekend seminars, perhaps with resident-gaijin from Japan.

Driving those distances may seem a little crazy, but I guarantee you the f2f time with a teacher and other students will be well worth it. Make the drive with fellow students; share the costs and time behind the wheel. Road trips are great!


Edit:
Jibran and Darren posted while I was writing. I agree with both 100%!

If you there is no one local and you are not able to travel/bring someone to your location, forget the DVD route. Join a local Judo or BJJ club and get some solid training.


Good luck!

Posted on: 2010/11/2 13:55
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Re: The easy route is not always the best option!
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When I started there were no instructors and we had to bring someone here every few months when we could afford it. We'd video the session and then work on it till the next time. I did the same thing for the group in Arkansas and they have done very well and have a vital group now. You do need to get with a good instructor on a regular basis even if it is only every month or two. I'm certain that there is a group in Idaho as I met some people from there years ago, do some looking and if you can't find them take up the offer you were given or contact me.

Posted on: 2010/11/2 21:10
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Re: The easy route is not always the best option!
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
When I started there were no instructors and we had to bring someone here every few months when we could afford it. We'd video the session and then work on it till the next time. I did the same thing for the group in Arkansas and they have done very well and have a vital group now. You do need to get with a good instructor on a regular basis even if it is only every month or two.


That is very similar to how I was instructed the training groups should start / keep on going. Constant exposure to teaching is the only way, indeed.

When I started the closest teaching available was about 1500km West, nowadays even in Finland there are numerous Dôjôs "right next to you"

Posted on: 2010/11/2 23:06
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Re: The easy route is not always the best option!
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Quote:

radarblip wrote:
Pretty sure there is at least one Bujinkan Dojo in Salt Lake City [6hrs drive South] as well. So that could be another once per month type option.


Yes, there is. An old student of mine & Bill Atkins', Eric Martin, is there.

Posted on: 2010/11/3 0:44
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Re: The easy route is not always the best option!
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
We'd video the session and then work on it till the next time.


This is an excellent point. There is a huge difference between using video as resource for things you've been taught directly by the 'right people' and using video to learn things you've never been directly taught by the 'right' people.

Posted on: 2010/11/3 6:50
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