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past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
Honorary Villager
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From Blaine, MN
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Since I have left the service I have thought off and on about taking up BBT again. However, I was and still am fairly frustrated with my inconsistent and overall lack of progress.

I used to spend about 10 hours a wekk INSIDE the dojo training and about 3-4 hours outside training. I was and currently am a 7th kyu. In the time it took me to make 3 kyu grades (about 1 1/2 - 2 years... yup years)I watched other get to do the sort of stuff I had taken the art up for... but yet was not ready to do.

I know others go through frustrations and all so I thought maybe i should post this here. Truth is I want to join... I just dont want to get into another time wasting pipe dream such as college, the military and my earlier martial arts training is.

I always hear "a ninja is a master of his environemt" from my former sensei... which is kool... but the lovely 3 year string of succesive tragic events has well.... made it hard to get up and move again and feel inspired...

so guess how do i do that again? In general i'm trying to get myself back into school, into martial arts... pick up friendships i had stalled while in the service.. but just aint feeling it... any ideas on how to get back into the swing and "keep going" ?

Posted on: 2005/8/14 17:44
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
Kutaki Postmaster
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Quote:

Sect_7 wrote:

so guess how do i do that again? In general i'm trying to get myself back into school, into martial arts... pick up friendships i had stalled while in the service.. but just aint feeling it... any ideas on how to get back into the swing and "keep going" ?


Well all I see is basically you making an excuse to not go. You seem worried about turning up to a dojo and continue your training. The only advice is for you to get out and go there. No one is stopping you from going, I am not, the webmaster here is not, and by the sounds of it, neither is the world.

So turn off your PC, and walk to a dojo and train. Tell the instructor about your reservations regarding training. Say that you want to slowly get into training again and get the feel of what it is like. So instead of making excuses, do something positive and go.

Posted on: 2005/8/14 19:24
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Will

"Sensei, all your children have guns. What shall we do?"
"Let them kill each other, that way they will learn"
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
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First please put your name with all your posts here. It is a courtesy to those reading those posts so they don't need to "look up" your profile. Next I'd refer you to a very fine bit of philosophy and advice, the Desiderata. It states, among other things, that "if you compare yourself to others you may become vain or bitter, as always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself". That is really excellent advice. Stop thinking about where those "others" have gone, and how long or short a time it took "them" to get where you want to go. As the last post said, stop making excuses (to yourself) and GO!!! As always it is YOUR choice that determines what you get from life. You can use your time productively or not, the universe doesn't care, but you always will get the results from your actions.
Ed Martin aka Papa-san

Posted on: 2005/8/14 21:23
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
Permanent Village Fixture
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Correct me if I am wrong, I get the feeling you are measuring your success by your rank. I would encourage you to not completely measure your progress by your rank. It has been my experience that progress happens in small steps. Consistency in training is important. Totally emmerse yourself, mind and body into the training. Before long, things that you thought were difficult, you will find that they now flow freely without any thought or conscious effort. These are signs of progress, not necessarily a belt, kyu, or dan. These new found abilities are very personal indications of progress and should be very encouraging to you. If you continue to compare yourself to others, you may miss these profound yet subtle signs of growth.

Like someone said, go to the dojo and get started. Also, I think you will find that your instructor and training partners will be happy to offer words of encouragement from time to time, as they are all battling with their obstacles too, sometimes a few words is all that is needed to keep going!








Posted on: 2005/8/15 1:24
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Train safely,
David Russ
Ocala Bujinkan Dojo
Florida Bujinkan Network
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
Villager
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From Greenville, MI
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If you want to train then train, otherwise don't....To get anything useful from this martial art you have to look at it as a lifestyle/ a life long pursuit. Rank is not an indicator of your personnal worth....I made shodan in 1996 and just recently was promoted to 2nd dan. Does it matter? Not in the long run...I am in it for life, wether I get ranked or not, wether I have a local instructor or not. If there is no one to train with, I use what ever inanimate objects are around. training has been there for me when everything else has gone bad... Being in military can make it inconvenient to train sometimes, but not impossible. Sometimes it moves you into areas where there are lots of training opportunities...If you know any sanshin, start practicing it right now...you don't have to wait..Just get up and train.

Posted on: 2005/8/15 2:52
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David Fletcher
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
Villager
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From Wisconsin USA
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Quote:
so guess how do i do that again?


Since your profile says Blaine MN then you have a group right there where you are. 10am every Saturday at 9260 University Ave. Jeff Schuman is in charge of that training group.
Not that my opinion is anything more than that, I trained with Jeff a couple of weekends ago and he is a real nice guy and should be a good source of info at your level for now. There are plenty of other good sources right smack in the twin cities as well.

Posted on: 2005/8/15 11:07
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W.Kent Bergstrom
"Standing on my own two feet"
bubishi.com
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
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One bit of advice. If you worry about rank in the Bujinkan, you will eventually give yourself a heart attack

I say this because when I initially trained, rank was approached with a totally different aspect than it seems to be now- I still hold that original aspect true. I have noticed a trend in many Bujinkan dojos where rank seems to take quite a long time. I have my personal feelings about rank, and as I stress to students it is a "catch 22". It is important as a progress tracking tool, something to strive for and it SHOULD, on face value, let fellow students and teachers know at about what competency level you are at. At the same time tho, rank is something that other than those listed reasons- SHOULD NOT MATTER. If you let rank go to your head, youre dead.

I personally have seen both ends of the spectrum on rank- those that made you wonder if they had even attended one class, and those that train regularly, yet were the same rank a year ago.

The funniest thing in relation to this, I see on other forums and whatnot when a student has a choice to make on which dojo to attend. There is X instructor who is high rank, a shihan etc. but is farther away. The Y dojo is closer but the instructor is only a Shidoshi-Ho or 5th Dan. It is amazing because many post how rank is un-important etc, yet those same people ALWAYS say go to the higher ranked instructor. I simply find that CONTRADICTION a bit funny.

With saying this, I know many will disagree and that is fine. I think it is a shame to hold students back for whatever reason. My "limited" understanding is that Shodan is simply stating someone has "mastered" (using that term LOOSELY here for lack of a better one) the utter basic of most basics in regard to taijutsu- which is the Kihon Happo, sanshin, ukemi and some weapons. I do not understand why many students I have met arent receiving their Shodans till 5-8 years of regular training. On that schedule people would not technically be able to even attempt their Godan test until 20+ years into training, and I dont think theres too many godan + out there that waited 20 years to take the test :)

Again, that is my opinion and I know many will disagree with that. Also, as Papa-San stated, do not worry about others. Concentrate on your training. Also, there is nothing wrong with talking to your instructor about why youve trained for X amount of months or years and no promotion. If anyone says otherwise- along the lines of "your teacher knows best" or thats "disrepectful"- thats a load of BS. You have a vested interest of time, money, spirit etc.etc. and you have every right to wonder. This doesnt mean say something along the lines of "hey, whens my next promotion?!?!". Keep it tactful and ask whats the typical time-frame or what you need to improve in order to progress etc. If I hadnt promoted a student of mine in a while i would EXPECT them to ask me about it. It is my job as an instructor to keep a mental page of each students progress and know when they should be up for a test or not- and as I state to my students, the actual test day is not the deciding factor on rank- I test my students EVERY time they come to class. The formal rank test I hold for them is to see how they do under a bit of pressure, what they can come up with etc.

I post this not to necessarily take the side of the original poster, but unless there were some odd circumstances like bad attitude, total lack of understanding or whatever- the amount of training he listed, 10 hours a week in the dojo then outside training as well, theres NO reason you were only a 7th kyu after a few years of training. Thats more along the lines of 3rd kyu to Shodan for that much of training. Not that quantity always dictates quality, but if you train with an instructor/senior student for 10 hours a week, I dont see how one could regress or not progress at a decent rate.

Just my 2 yen ( with all that rambling its prolly more like 232 yen :)

Posted on: 2005/8/15 13:32
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Sticks and stones may break your bones but a sword will cut your head off
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
Active Kutakian
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Strongly concur with Dan. I harken back to a previous thread/discussion where the point was made that there are too many practicing buyu who are being left out in the cold and not being taken care of within their " training families". We seniors need to be aware and monitor our associated instructors and senior students better. Don't mean to start the " structured organization versus open/flexible" discussion again but... we need to foster an environment where students grow and progress at a realistic pace. If your instructor waits years and years to move you along in rank, then, I would be looking for another instructor (who is more experienced, considerate and has a recognized "instructor track record" in the Bujinkan). Best of luck.

Posted on: 2005/8/17 12:47
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"Colonel Bob" Thomas
Berlin, Maryland, USA
Bujinkan Taka Seigi Dojo of Berlin
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
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I too, have seen this tendency, of having people training a very long time before being promoted. I think that "time" in and of inself is a very poor measure of a person's skill level. The quality of instruction and the effort of the individual is what really determines what they can do. Always, I think, the rank must be based on the individual and what they can do. I agree with Bob too, it is the students responsibility, if you are not getting what you need where you are, go someplace else. Also as I said before, you can find someone most places and certainly the twin cities have some good people there, I've met both Kent and Jeff and you could learn a lot from either one. Don't forget Ethan Capers either, he's a very realistic and excellent instructor. All of these are in that area. So you have to drive a little, well do you want it in your lap?? Don't you think putting forth a little effort to find a good source a reasonable requirement to get something so very valuable? Do you have any idea how much those of us had to put forth to get training a couple of decades ago? We either had to host good instructors (of which there were only a handfull) or go to Japan and incurr that expense. Good luck in what you choose, but for your sake, make a choice.
Ed Martin aka Papa-san

Posted on: 2005/8/17 13:35
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Re: past frustration resulting in uncertainty to pick up BBT again...
Permanent Village Fixture
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
I too, have seen this tendency, of having people training a very long time before being promoted. I think that "time" in and of inself is a very poor measure of a person's skill level. The quality of instruction and the effort of the individual is what really determines what they can do. Always, I think, the rank must be based on the individual and what they can do.



Ed Martin aka Papa-san


There was something interesting I was reminded of when reading your reply Martin sensei...

I spent a loooooong time in the corporate world. One of the most important things I learned, which I am reminded of here, is that there rarely is some objective ranking/promotion process running in which one can bypass difficulties with one's instructor or manager or director, which ever the case may be.

In all my years in the corporate world I had to face that *my* idea of what I was doing right, what deserved recognition, and what really served the company best, was largely insignificant. I had to make sure I was meeting my manager's or director's needs first. In corporate more often this meant their emotional needs (yeah, that's what I meant) and by that I had to make sure I was supporting them in their roles (whether they really deserved it or not, but that's another story).

I have been very fortunate and well-taken care of in the Bujinkan in regards to ranking and I am so sincerely appreciative of that but it is due more to the company I've kept, and relationships I've treasured, certainly not because I'm "reeeel good", at least not relative to my rank.

I would say to someone who is frustrated with their rank, first examine your relationships with your teacher and with your peer students, then work out from there.

This is why I absolutely support the non-standardized and often choatic ranking in the Bujinkan. It supports people and their connections more than whether some smart-ass kid can do back flips ('cause if that was so I'd still be in the kyu ranks!)

Posted on: 2005/8/17 14:07
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