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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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"This statement goes against what Daniels shihan, Martin shihan and others in the USA state on their forums."

Ralph, when you make a statement like that you do need to show where you get it from. To just "throw it out there" is not good enough. I have found that many times misunderstandings occur because of the terms being used and people's own definitions of those terms.
We each create our "history" in this art and that tends not to be forgotten. So now I will make very clear my stand on this. It IS important for people to have the skills commenserate with their rank, but that does not need to be proved in a fighting contest or a "ring". That is merely an ego gratification and for many of us is not something we care to do. There is no way I want to risk part of my body and then live the rest of my life in pain, why should I? To prove to someone like you that I know what I'm doing??? What is the "life" of these "ultimate fighters", two to five years MAX! Sean, how does your body feel after haveing joints broken? Was it worth it? There is NO ONE who is invulnerable, ANYONE can be gotten, so what are you saying here? That we should all be out there "competing" in fighting contests? What would that prove? Now I can give you many names of persons who have trained with me that have used what they learned to save their lives. That is what we do SURVIVE! Challlenge someone to a fight??? Whatever for!!! Deal with an attack, you bet your a**!! One of the reasons we came out with the manual we now have is to help students have a broader level of knowlege when they test for rank. BTW you can lump me in with Charles at any time and I will feel honored. I will immediately say that he is far more skilled than I. Here's something to consider also, as we get older it becomes obvious that the physical skills are not as they were, but the energy work, the maturity, and the "smarts" should more than compensate. I'd take the "sneeky old man" over the "young talented" one any time!!!
Ed Martin aka Papa-san

Posted on: 2005/5/7 22:29
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Posted on: 2005/5/7 23:38
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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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Hello Again,

Man oh man can this internet stuff get frustrating. I just spent 45 minutes writing a response to this thread and when I clicked submit I was told I did not have the right to post and everything I wrote was lost. Boy oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Well I will write everything in a word document and copy/paste from now on.

Lane,

You are correct. The art is not about training to beat everyone. But the facts are that all martial arts were born out of the need for survival or self defense. Long before they were brought to China (Shaolin) and the spiritual dimension was added. The main purpose for the martial arts is offense / defense. Therefore I am of the opinion that this must come first and my training reflects this.

Sensei Severe!

Good to hear from you. I miss the good old days when you would beat me to a pulp. I watch the videos we made together often.
What I feel I gained from the other arts I studied (not just Shooto 修斗) was a sense of true timing, distance and power. Not to mention the all to often overlooked ground fighting. I get a kick out of all the excuses people make to not train on the ground. Everyone must learn this or how will they get up after being tackled??? Oh I forget Bujinkan people will never get taken to the ground! J
The other thing I learned was how to handle opponents who resist. It is easy to play with Taijustu but to really apply it is a whole other ball game.

As for Chris Nardi??? I do not know what he thinks. We have not spoken in a long time. I think he quit the Bujinkan but I am not sure. His BJJ must be awesome by now. He is a cool guy and I miss him greatly. As you know we grew up together.

Greg,

I do hope you are not getting smart with me. I wonder if you are thinking I was attacking you personally???
Yes I was knocked out many times and my joints were dislocated a few times. It is not your business as to how many. And yes I am fine. I am so sorry to make you worry.

Being knocked out is not the traumatic experience you make it out to be. Nor is a joint being broken or dislocated. I will live with it. Of course they get sore from time to time but without the hard training I have been through I would not have survived the real life/death situations I have encountered. I would have died when the attempts on my life were made. Please don’t ask me about those experiences. Some of them are well known, some are not, but this is not the place for me to discuss them.

Papa San,

I do respect you greatly. You are one who is well deserving of their rank and I think everyone knows that. But I do think you missed my point.
Of course the ring or competition is not needed, nor is it about proving myself to anyone, nor is it about feeding my ego.
It was about being honest with myself. I did not want to become an instructor until I knew my abilities 100%.
I would not let someone who has never defended their life in a real situation or at least gone through some very realistic training teach me. So why would I want to offer anything less to those who study with me?
The ring taught me many things but the biggest lesson it taught me was how to carry myself after a win or loss. In Japan the fighting is not so much about the money. It is about each individual’s progress in actual ability. A sword is pounded many times in the fire before it is ready. In Japan the honor you bring to your dojo or gym is not dependent upon winning or losing your fights. It is about how we took our wins and losses and if we came back trying again.

It is easy to say that individuals compete for ego gratification, but I believe this is just an excuse for people to avoid challenging themselves. It is not fair to say that all competitors are looking to gratify their ego.
Some are actually just trying to make sure that what they have learned works. If people decide that competition is not for them, that’s fine, but why try to stop others who want to??? Taijutsu is about freedom. Freedom of movement and freedom of spirit.
Sensei did not try to stop me from fighting in fact he encouraged me to do it. He only asked that I do not bring shame to the Bujinkan name by not carrying myself properly.

This thread was not meant to debate the positive or negative aspects of competition and sparring. What I was trying to say is that all too many talk about things they have no idea about. Especially Americans.
Does anyone see Nagato Shihan discussing the meaning of Kukan or Koku?
Or how about Noguchi Shihan trying to teach the Gikan Ryu???

They just don’t do it.

This is just one example of the things I am trying to say. Rather than talking about MU and other advanced concepts should we not just ponder on what Soke says about these things and keep going?

Instead we have all kinds of magical talk and very few skilled instructors no matter what their rank is.


Train Hard, Train Safe!
Shikin Haramitsu Daikoumyo


Sean Askew








Posted on: 2005/5/8 0:41
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Sean Askew
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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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First of all it`s been a while since I posted here and second due the fact that I left the Bujinkan at the end of last year after training in it for 20 years I might not have the right anymore to get my point across on a bujinkan forum -
I just wanted to say that I agree completely with Sean (Sean; I was the teacher of the Antwerp guys...just for your information) speaking of the Bujinkan particulary in Europe: I still think it`s a great art but the path that it has taken is close to ridicoulus..
Do some sparring, train against resisting oponents etc...wrestle with your dog..

Randori, Sparring etc.. doesnt have to be brutal and shouldnt hurt your body, but it should destroy your ego ! I remember Doron Navon back in the 80ies using the picture of two kittens playing with each other as a form of preparation for "real life"...
"The brutality-getting hurt argument" or the "too deadly fact" are both put in line by bujinkan shidoshi etc...in my opinion its just an excuse; because working with non resisting oponents kind of harms the god status, that I ve seen many many Bojoo black belts celebrating in their dojo.....

please dont take my post as an offense against your art, just an conclusion drawn out of many years of training in different dojos in europe, the US and also Japan.....

Respectfully and all the best in your training

Stefan Marcec

Posted on: 2005/5/8 2:08
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Stefan Marcec

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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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Quote:

Greg,

I do hope you are not getting smart with me. I wonder if you are thinking I was attacking you personally???
Yes I was knocked out many times and my joints were dislocated a few times. It is not your business as to how many. And yes I am fine. I am so sorry to make you worry.

Being knocked out is not the traumatic experience you make it out to be.


I'm not just getting smart with you Sean, though my reply had a certain amount of scepticism in it. I believe what you say though.

You are certainly free to live the way you wish to live, however you are mistaken, suffering any level of a brain injury *can* be a big deal. Getting knocked out denotes suffering a concussion, a blow to the brain temporarily short-circuiting it i.e. rendering it unconscious.

Low level brain damage is only one of many problems young NHB fighters will suffer throughout their lives, as we have seen with professional boxers, but hey, live free, die free.

Back in the early 90's I trained with a guy who was an MD and a 23 yr. Green Beret, just winding up his career with the CIA. He said something to me back then that stuck with me. During a discussion regarding MA and killing, he looked at me (with that look he had) and he said "seriously Greg, if I can't kill you in three seconds, I'll turn and run away".

There's a difference between professionals who depend on their training to survive, and those who wish to be "fighters" who train and fight just to train and fight.

It's a big difference.

Posted on: 2005/5/8 2:57
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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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Sean!

Loooong time no speak. Glad to see you are still alive and kicking; Kentucky eh?

Anyway, not that it really matters as your point is extremely valid but I think he was just a Judan.

Quote:
In fact not too long ago when I was teaching a seminar in Maryland one of my 6th Kyu Green Belts easily submitted a 12th Dan in the Bujinkan in less than 20 seconds.


Now to put on my moderator hat: Discussion so far has been good, but I can see where this topic can go south quickly so let's please keep this civil.

Posted on: 2005/5/8 3:45
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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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Greg,

Thanks for your clarification. It is really hard to tell what people are trying to say with just typed words. I was not looking to get in to arguments.

Your point on brain damage is valid. But one thing that is different from the mixed martial arts fights and boxing is that with boxing, due to the thickness of the gloves, one will receive many blows to the head before being knocked out. This compounds your injuries. With the gloves we used one good shot will generally knock you out. Maybe a few more may be required but we take no where near as many blows to the head as a boxer. When I was fighting I regularly was checked for damage and I find that the dislocations of joints are much more serious to the mixed martial artist than the knock outs or choke outs. Also, just for more clarification I am a strong believer in not allowing any striking to the head while on the ground. Most matches in Japan follow this rule except for the major professional matches such as Pride and Vale Tudo Japan.

I am glad to see that this post is getting out. I really feel from the bottom of my heart that we as the USA Bujinkan members desperately need to get better. As you can see by other posts on this forum and other forums that many have come to think of the Bujinkan as a joke.

When I taught in Europe I found that many people were much more open to cross training with other Bujinkan members and even other arts. This has lead to the average European Bujinkan member becoming more skilled in the art than our USA counterparts. Of course this is just a generality and it does not fit everyone but since we are facing a world in the USA that is growing more and more dangerous I feel it is important to focus more on skill and less on ranks. The threats to students that they can not train with other Bujinkan dojo or even other arts has to stop. It must stop. This is not just me that believes this. Hatsumi Sensei has said on several occasions that since the ranks are meaningless the only way for us to know who is a good instructor is to cross train with each other.

Some people have been in this art for 25 years and have kept their true ranks silent while others have been training 7 years and openly say they are 7th Dan. This is just plain silly. It is no wonder that even Aikido practitioners and proponents of Tai Chi laugh at the Bujinkan's effectiveness. We have to put these ranks aside and save them for the future. Remember Sensei was given the title Soke long before his skill developed to a point that he felt comfortable in calling himself the Soke.

Again I would like to say it one more time. Weather a Bujinkan practioner competes or not is not the issue. Both paths have their validity. But we have to realistically look at the skill level of the Bujinkan in the USA and come to grips with where we are at.
I have seen several Godan who can not do the Kihon Happo properly by any standards. Some do not even know what it is. Yet they run a dojo.
It is easy to say "well Sensei does not even show that anymore". But when we look at all of his books on the basics the Kihon Happo is right there in front of us. If Sensei is not showing something that is in the Ten Chi Jin no Maki it is up to the student to find an instructor who can teach it to them. Do not expect Sensei to show us everything. That would be like asking Michael Jordan to show us how to dribble a basketball. Especially if you have not been training for ten years or more. To understand what Sensei is doing now requires years of training. Why not spend your time with Nagato Sensei or Someya Sensei to get the basics first. Attend Soke's classes for inspiration but don't forget to learn the basics.

"We do not need ranks in the Bujinkan because we learn from each other"
Hatsumi Soke


Train Hard, Train Safe!
Shikin Haramitsu Daikoumyo

Sean Askew








Posted on: 2005/5/8 4:16
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Sean Askew
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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
Kutaki Postmaster
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Holy Shmoley!

Jeff!!! Good to see you are still alive too.
And ah yes you are correct at the time he was just a Judan.

I will do my best to remain civil, but I don't think this will get bad. Everyone knows deep down inside if they are honest that there is something funny about the state of the Bujinkan in the USA. It needs to be aknowledged before progress can be made.

Sounds like an AA meeting doesn't it.

Sean


Posted on: 2005/5/8 4:20
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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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Hello,

I do not think Sean is advocating competing or the sports mentality to those of us training in the Bujinkan. I believe he is saying that it's time for us to be honest with ourselves and start taking responsibility for our training.

In other words, move away from being a juvenile, and start acting like young adults with our training.

Sean Askew lived in Dayton for 2.5 years, and many of us from our dojo trained with him weekly, if not more. His understanding of Bujinkan methods, and the ability to apply those methods, was superb. He taught us many things, from rokusoku randori to ne waza. Some of it was from his experiences in competition.

But the most important thing he taught us was to be responsible for ourselves. Passing the Godan test, earning a Judan - these were things made of material because Soke wants us to keep going. It doesn't reflect skill level. I have sat across senior Japanese Shihan who have told us the same thing - it's a social status, not a skill status. Just keep going.

Of course there are Bujinkan students of high rank who have exceptional skill - and they just keep training. I recently attended a seminar in Cleveland, and that teacher exemplified these concepts. They seem to inherently take responsibility for their rank and training, and continue to get better.

I think this is what Sean is asking every one of us to see. His method was through Shooto and competing using Bujinkan methods. Some of us might find other ways to do this, and that's fine.

Soke has been known to say we were like children in the 80's, teen's in the 90's, and are now beginning to become adults in this art. With this comes responsibility for our training, skillsets, and actions with each other.

Life is but a bunch of choices. We have the choice to take responsibility and bring ourselves and the Bujinkan to a new level, or keep it where it is at. If you asked Soke, I think he would tell us to keep going. Each of us has to realize what that means.

My two yen -

Jeff




Posted on: 2005/5/8 4:35
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Jeff Ochester
Dayton Bujinkan Dojo
www.daytonbujinkan.com
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Re: Bujnkan Reputation
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"Soke has been known to say we were like children in the 80's, teen's in the 90's, and are now beginning to become adults in this art. With this comes responsibility for our training, skillsets, and actions with each other. "

Well, as you may notice I am not tackling the whole of this conversation. I've been listening to Booj members, and ex-members complain about ranking in the Bujinkan as long as I've been training myself. I don't even want to go there. It doesn't effect me personally. I'm personally not out to convince any of the "righteousness" of the Bujinkan.


Soke, in my opinion, is very wise not to try and control ranking and skill level in the Booj. To do so would lead to chaos, or it would create the kind of school that only had certain kinds of students. If you think it through to it's logical conclusion, as to what it would take to test everyone, insure a standardized skill level, be *responsible* for everyone - it's not the kind of thing you can do part way. Either Soke must be totally responsible for every rank, or he does the truly wise and mature thing - let people be responsible for the ranks they get *or ask for*.

So the Booj is either one way, or the other. Totally regulated (impossible) or completely self-responsible. Soke is a very wise man, the chaos we sometimes see is no accident I believe. It's *our* fault if we get swallowed by it.

And further more, the vast difference between Booj members as well as the difference in the ranking *does* embody the true spirit of *real* budo, as opposed to sports-minded martial arts.





Posted on: 2005/5/8 5:18
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