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Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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I decided to start a new thread on this topic, rather than hijacking "Bujinkan reputation." I hope nobody will mind this, considering all of the new threads now.

Ulysses Beato wrote:

Quote:
Paul W wrote: I don't advocate mixing other arts with this one, like some do with Gracie jujitsu...

Ulysses wrote:
Paul, with all due respect as I don't know your background in the Bujinkan but, why not ? IMO training in other arts that won't teach you bad habits is certainly beneficial. When our dojo started around seven years ago, we shared a space with Renzo Gracie himself.


My background is below, but first I will address the issue of mixing this art with others.

IMHO: if you have to combine Budo Taijutsu with something else to make it 'work' then a) you don't know Taijutsu that well and b) you should spend more time learning it.

From my experience, everything that one needs, as to martial arts, is in Bujinkan. Sounds like a cliche, but that is the truth. Instead, many persons, particularly Americans, seek a quick fix, the simple solution and the newest fad, based upon their own assumptions. Gracie jujitsu is such a fad. Before, it was Thai boxing, "ninja", kung fu, JKD, etc. Tomorrow, it will probably be Polynesian wrestling, or something equally exotic and impressive-sounding.

For example; I trained at a Bujinkan Dojo which used Gracie jujitsu, which in turn, seems nothing more than recycled old-style Kodokan judo (I confirmed this observation with a US koryu teacher) They did so, because they assumed that Bujinkan lacked newaza. However, with some research, they would have discovered that, ironically, Kodokan derives from classical jujutsu, including ryu of the Bujinkan. So then, what people truly seek is Gracie label, or the promise of martial salvation, while being utterly blind to the origin of that art.

Why would you settle for someone else's second-hand version of this art rather than going directly to the real source? That's like saying you will only buy Thunderbird wine, which supposely has the taste and bouquet of Chateau d' Mer, 2001.

Everything that one needs or wants is within Bujinkan, for those with the eyes to recognize it and the heart to commit themselves to serious training. Solid kihon work as well in ground-fighting, as on one's feet. The principles are the same. People who train properly should understand that.

Unless I am mistaken, a Gracie got hammered in a match with Ken Shamrock, who did not oblige by coming into position for a throw and the infamous mount. Instead, Shamrock perfected his striking skills (with shooto I believe) and he beat Gracie into a bloody pulp from a standing position. After all, Gracies are not noted for their standing and striking techniques. Due to his resulting eye injury, Gracie could not resume the fight and avoided throwing in the towel.

Besides drawing assumptions, this shows that you don't prevail by fighting by another person's standards. That's how the Gracies win. Letting someone else write the rules and adhering to those rules is playing games. I don't play games. I train for reality so that I will come home alive on a daily basis, as will my family. Every day this happens is victory enough for me.

When I came to my first Bujinkan seminar in 1987, I could not roll and got slammed into the ground for two days as a result. After that, I trained my ukemi. When training kick defenses, I found a skilled kicker to train with. When I trained striking, I kicked and struck a tree. For me, reality is training outside, regardless of rain, sun or snow, or ailment, doing it until I get it right, continuing to practice it right and *never* assuming that I have it right.

From my experience, Bujinkan really works - if you train seriously, realistically and intelligently. To me, the way to learn this art, is setting your personal standards higher and never being satisfied with a real or imagined level of skill, regardless of rank.

If people "feel" that that Bujinkan is lacking, then they need to open their eyes, train seriously, and seek real answers, rather than being satisfied with mere assumptions.

Paul Wersant

Posted on: 2005/5/11 3:10
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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This art has not survived because it lacked in realism and practicality! Correct...when you get satisfied you limit yourself and get comfortable and you quit growing and learning.

Great post Paul!

Lantz

Posted on: 2005/5/11 3:41
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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Hmmm... always the same, difficult topic...
To some level, I agree... the Booj doesn't cover "it all".
Yet... there are nine ryūha in the Booj, of which we learn six... Then there are ideas and principles of other schools as well, as "Asayama Ichiden Ryū" or "Bokuden Ryū" or "Gyokushin Ryū Koppōjutsu" (not to be mistaken for "Gyokushin ryū Ninpō", as far as I know) or "Masaki Ryū" etc.
What use is it, to start training other MA's? Every single MA in our curriculum takes nearly a lifetime to master unless you are REALLY an extraordinary talent in MA's.

Are you training for more than six lives already now? Or do you deem yourself extraordinary enough to have mastered it all?

Don't get me wrong, I really don't condemn you or anything. It's everybody's right to do whatever he wants... I just don't grasp it why. There will ALWAYS be something missing, no matter what and how much you do.
You won't learn how to play a good game of basketball, for example, when training any martial art.

Posted on: 2005/5/11 4:50
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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Just two quick thoughts.

There's a difference between "need" and "want". For example I don't "need" to study Kyudo, I "want" to.

There's a difference between "supplementing" your Bujinkan training and "complementing" it. I don't study Kyudo to "supplement" my Bujinkan training but to "complement" it as do many senior Bujinkan practitioners.

I think it's important to differentiate between these terms in this kind of discussion.

Posted on: 2005/5/11 6:05
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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Quote:

MWDAndy wrote: There's a difference between "supplementing" your Bujinkan training and "complementing" it. I don't study Kyudo to "supplement" my Bujinkan training but to "complement" it as do many senior Bujinkan practitioners.
.


What people do on their own time is their business.

My point was that people, particularly instructors, should not be mixing other arts with Bujinkan **during class*** and that it is inaccurate to assume that Bujinkan lacks this or that, *requiring* instruction in other arts.

Paul Wersant

Posted on: 2005/5/11 6:35
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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HI

Quote:

PaulW wrote:
they would have discovered that, ironically, Kodokan derives from classical jujutsu, including ryu of the Bujinkan.


Would you please care to elaborate on this please.

Kodokan Judo originates from the Kito Ryu and Tenjin Shinyo Ryu, these are not and have not been a part of the Bujinkan.

Thanks


Posted on: 2005/5/11 6:37
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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Quote:
Kotaro wrote: Quote:


PaulW wrote: they would have discovered that, ironically, Kodokan derives from classical jujutsu, including ryu of the Bujinkan.


Would you please care to elaborate on this please. Kodokan Judo originates from the Kito Ryu and Tenjin Shinyo Ryu, these are not and have not been a part of the Bujinkan.
Thanks


Actually, there are claims that Jigoro Kano 'borrowed' liberally from a variety of ryu, including the Fusen Ryu for newaza, and was personally acquainted with Takamatsu sensei, per the following links:

http://judo1.net/ju01002.htm

see paragraph (14)

http://www.bstkd.com/JudoHistory/HistoryEight.htm

see second to last paragraph.

Many also say that Takenaka Tetsunoke, a senior Kodokan student studied Shinden Fudo Ryu. It would be helpful if someone with more knowledge of this history would chime in.

Either these judo-originated claims of a connection between Jigoro Kano and Takamatsu sensei are false, or Kodokan is mighty proud of a connection with Bujinkan, (a contention shared by some Aikidoka re: KukishinDEN Ryu) and highly ironic, considering the alleged complaints that judoka and aikidoka have about Bujinkan.

Paul




Posted on: 2005/5/11 7:21
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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I actually have a friend in Europe who recently quit Bujinkan for after 5 or 6 years of study.

Even if in the beginning his Bujinkan teacher allowed and even recommended them to try different other martial arts, just to see and understand the nature of Bujinkan (I hope...), this friend of mine finally decided to move to Filipino Martial Arts for some very personal reasons: personal attachement and sympathy for Filipino MA, a more "real feeling" for the combat elements, actual and modern approach of the techniques. I have to mention that his considerations are also based on his almost 15 years experience in the martial arts teritory.

Now, I am pretty sure that he didnt even tried to supplement or complement the Bujinkan training, he simply needed a new approach of (almost) the same techniques - punches, locks, takedowns, etc, that he felt as being more closed to what he needed or espected at that time. Perhaps there was also a Bujinkan training dojo attitude that made him took this decision, and, as we dont have several lives to practice, he simply took his best decision.

Posted on: 2005/5/11 7:32
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Re: Mixing Bujinkan with Other Arts/Serious Training
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I don't think anyone needs to cross-train, because I don't feel that the Bujinkan specifically lacks in any area. Of course, it is up to the individual to maximize their training through their own study of the art.

I do advocate at least attempting to understand other arts (usually through studying with them for some time) after gaining good understanding of the fundamentals of taijutsu, so that one does not dilute their taijutsu with other arts. This is for a simple practical matter -- if I get into a fight tonight when I go out, there's no telling who it'll be with. I could have the misfortune of having some drunken karateka make untoward advances toward my girlfriend at a bar, and the best way to defend myself in the ensuing altercation would be to understand how karateka fight and how to neutralize that. My sensei once told me -- if you wish to defend against a knife, you must learn to fight with a knife. I think this is a sound principle -- if I wish to be able to defend against someone who studies a certain martial art, I need to understand the basics of how that art works. I don't need to understand all of its deeper mysteries, because an understanding of its fundamentals should provide me with the methodology for formulating a strategy against them.

It's the same thing as intelligence gathering. You have to know your enemy so that it becomes harder for him to surprise you.


Posted on: 2005/5/11 9:40
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Just something to consider;

Did Soke not tell us that he does not give ranks out in the individual Ryu because he is teaching the essence of all nine ryu??? Is this not cross training in 9 seperate styles of movement. Did the Kukishin Ryu not lose a match to the Takagi Yoshin Ryu and revamp their whole Taijutsu???
Did Takamatsu Sensei not only compete in China in over 1,000 matches (not life a death matches) in fact was he not the head chairman of the Japanese Martial Arts Society in China organizing many tournaments??? Did not Takamatsu Sensei train in over 25 forms of Chinese martial arts while in China??? I am sure he did. In fact I have read letters in his pen describing this at Soke's home.

I wonder why it was appropriate for him to cross train??? But not us???

The times must have been different back then.


Just more food for thought. AND AGAIN I AM NOT SAYING THAT THAT CROSS TRAINING OR SPARRING OR COMPETITION IS FOR EVERONE. Some can learn it all by themselves with their remote control and Quest tapes.

Sean Askew


Posted on: 2005/5/11 14:29
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