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Worth Defending our Reputation???
Kutaki Postmaster
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I have received some mail to my personal address and some posts on my thread about the Bujinkan's reputation. Mainly stating that it is not important to defend our reputation because it is not important, there is nothing to prove, we are ninja (sorry no way), etc.

Well I personally think that Takamatsu Sensei must be rolling in his grave. Remember that a Karate Champion once said that Takamatsu Soke was old and weak in a local newspaper. Soke then issued a response in that same paper stating that if the Karate champion did not take back his statement within 3 days time that he would beat the Karate champion senseless with his hands tied behind his back or was it kill him? I forgot. Needless to say, the Karate champion took back his statement in the next day's issue and personally apologized in a letter sent to Soke's home.

Not to mention the many challenges at Toda Soke's Dojo, his many tournaments in China, etc. I wonder if Takamatsu Sensei was just a martial genius or if he had some real mat time in sparring???

So if pride, reputation and tradition are not worth defending I wonder what our GRANDmaster was doing???

I for one am willing to take all challenges, win or lose, not for my ego's sake but to defend 1,000 years of tradition and personal growth. I personally think we owe that to all of the previous Grandmasters of all nine Ryu. It was their blood and sacrifice that led to the culmination of the teachings we now talk to light heartedly about.

Wow, sometimes I just can't stop.

I hope I have given some beginners some food for thought.

Train Hard, Train Safe!

Shikin Haramitsu Daikoumyo
Sean Askew






Posted on: 2005/5/10 12:32
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Sean Askew
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Re: Worth Defending our Reputation???
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Hi Sean,

I think we are going to disagree here. We live in a very different world than Takamatsu Sensei did. Soke has said several times that we do not need to train the way he did because of the times being very different.

Don't get me wrong, I have pride in what I do and I feel we should all try to represent our art better than what you described in the previous string - But we cannot expect to drop to the Jerry Springer level of other arts coming in to "Challenge" us to a Duel.

This is different than protecting the ones we love from danger. You know I would protect them with my life. In this world of very varied tastes - we cannot expect to meet other peoples standards that they set for themselves - and we don't care about.

I'll pick my fights more carefully.

Marty

PS - I bet this gets to be a flamer soon!

Posted on: 2005/5/10 13:04
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Re: Worth Defending our Reputation???
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Is it worth defending our art and organization?

No.

In the case of Hatsumi, someone insulted his master, that is a different story. I'd be pissed too if someone said something bad about my teacher.

But about people critising the way we do things, or denying the effectiveness of the art? Let 'em underestimate a Bujinkan budoka. Laugh off the silly remarks.

If someone challenged me to prove my art's effectiveness? I'd accept . . . If I knew I would win, else I'd don my meek and weak disguise and slink away to find a champion to defend me.

Posted on: 2005/5/10 13:23
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Posted on: 2005/5/10 14:03
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Re: Worth Defending our Reputation???
Kutaki Postmaster
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Those who speak negatively of the Bujinkan will do so no matter what. In fact, much of what they complain about is not first hand knowledge anyway. If you standardize the Bujinkan they will still be complaining of our 15 Dan rank system, the fact that we dont wear enough patches on our uniforms, that we wear our Obi on top of our Hakama (which we apparently tie incorrectly... ).

The Chevy people couldnt make enough changes to make the Ford people drive them, and vice versa. Besides, when people crucify you, you must be doing something right.

Markk Bush

Posted on: 2005/5/10 14:24
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Re: Worth Defending our Reputation???
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I don't understand what the point Soke is trying to make in that quote.
Is he talking about offensive AND defensive positioning?

Is it that we should take the moral high ground when someone walks into our dojo and challenges the instructor in front of all of the students or is it that we should not walk into other's dojos and call them out as being inferior.

I see the word "try" and think we have influences around us that will force us to stoop to a lower level. Otherwise the challenger will simply cut us off at our knees.

If the reputation is destroyed how can you expect to get good people to come and train? How can we expect someone who wants to improve his life through budo to simply give us the benefit of the doubt? I don't think it is through self deprecation, I think it is through affecting your environment positively and having a good reputation.

I do agree there are other ways to accomplish this than challenge matches but to outright give up to me does no justice to this art's history.

Posted on: 2005/5/10 14:27
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James Lenz
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Posted on: 2005/5/10 14:44
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Re: Worth Defending our Reputation???
Kutaki Postmaster
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I am very sad to read these articles. Hatsumi sensei once told me that we should not fight at street or etc.

"I am not teaching fighting but how to kill. The object is different, not for the street fight, not for competitions. If somebody does not understand this, then he will die in real situations or he will be arrested. Even Takamatsu sensei had been arrested in China."


Posted on: 2005/5/10 15:04
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Re: Worth Defending our Reputation???
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Sean, in the 21 years I've been training I've been tempted many times to go on a crusade of one sort or another on behalf of the Bujinkan. More than once I've succumbed to that temptation, despite being counseled by Hatsumi sensei to let it go, and let things work themselves out in their own time.

I've finally seen his wisdom in this. . .well, at least until the next time anyway.

I do what I can, for myself, my students, and my colleagues, and pay attention to my own training; and I feel that if I do that, things will ultimately work out for the best.

I hope that Harada sensei's post has given some food for thought.

Posted on: 2005/5/10 15:48
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Dale Seago
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Re: Worth Defending our Reputation???
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We train in this martial art called the Bujinkan from choice. When it comes down to fighting,it is you alone who stands or falls, not the art that you belief you need to defend or represent.There is no superior martial art, only a superior martial artist. The martial superiority comes from the exponents wholistic understanding of the art of survival. This is far more than just getting on the mat and going for it.The art is aimed at developing a higher level of sensitivity to danger.This is what the 5th dan represents. Able to demonstrate greater awareness and the use of kyojutsu is far more superior than hand to hand fighting. A basic teaching of the Togakure Ryu and an interesting point regarding living life is where you can rise above pettiness as a gentleman and walk away from conflict. If you beleive you are defending the reputation of the Bujnkan, noone cares. It` your choice. If you fail, It was your choice. Soke states we are alone to do as we please. Do what you feel is right, but remember, this isn`t necessarily right for the Bujinkan. The Bujinkan doesn`t need to be defended, it`s already stood the tests of time with enough people dying. in the flurry of a fight, all philosophical concepts disapear as one moves the best they can to survive and see another day. Fighting is not about accepting challenges, but to end the conflict before it occurs. Budou is not about fighting it`s about killing. Ones outlook to a challenge should therefore be quite different if one truly reflects on the Bujinkan ways.One person falling is not going to truly affect the history or development surrounding the Bujinkan arts.

Duncan Stewart

Posted on: 2005/5/10 16:01
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