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"Grass is always greener..."
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I didn't know if this would fit in "Training" or "Soapbox", but here is an observation I hope hits with some of you:

"The grass is always greener over the next hill" is a funny quote to describe one of our human faults - dissatisfaction. We have to have the next thing that comes along, or pursue the next relationship, or drive the newest car, and so on. We think that what we don't have is somehow better than what we do have.

I see this with Bujinkan folks all the time. Here we have 9 traditions, each with layers and layers of things to learn. We have only ONE Soke, not several, from which to draw our learning from. And, our Soke has put together a nice package for us to study, called the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki, which covers fundamentals that exist in several of the traditions in a nice balanced body of knowledge.

But, still that's not enough.

We have great forums like Kutaki, where great Bujinkan shidoshi willfully share their knowledge and experience to those who simply ask for it. A gathering place for folks from all over the global Bujinkan (and non-Bujinkan at times) community to share their experiences, insights and opinions.

But, still that's not enough.

The training and strategies that come from our Bujinkan traditions have been battle tested and survived because those who learned those skills also survived real combat - not in some tournament, UFC bout, or other competitive venue.

But, still that's not enough.

I am constantly amazed how people seem to think that they need something else, all the time. Whatever fad is happening in the MA world is somehow better than what they have already. Whatever thinking is being pushed in the limelight is somehow more relevant, more powerful, more efficient than what is already available to them to learn.

A wonderful American author said it best with her take on the beginning quote:

"The grass is always greener - over the septic tank". This is so true when it comes to this topic. All you really end up with is a bunch of BS.

Posted on: 2006/1/24 3:20
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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Darren,
I wanted to touch on a few points from my own personal experience.
You are correct with the statement that the Bujinkan arts have been tested in combat and these concepts have worked… or at lease we have been told. But in 2006 many people do not have sparring, fighting or even real time experience in combat and this might be the reason many wish to have knowledge of their abilities.
For one I do not live my life on faith or by someone else’s word that something is real or not or can be useful or effective. I rather get out and do it myself and find the cause of my own arrogance.
Finding this arrogance is NOT a fad with me and I feel not with many others as well because of the quality of the post here and other forums on the web regarding the need for truth.
As you stated we are learning.. this is a process.. research and development of our own true self.
Winning pays off.
Pretty simple.
The way to win is to experiment and test our abilities in competitive venues like sparring, matches, fighting and at times combat to the death.
Being a winner the only method I can understand is to win.

The Bujinkan arts were born from fighting.. so why not keep going?

ralph severe, kamiyama

Posted on: 2006/1/24 7:31
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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Quote:

r.severe wrote:
The Bujinkan arts were born from fighting.. so why not keep going?

ralph severe, kamiyama


Actually, the Bujinkan Arts were born from killing, kinda different.

Markk Bush

Posted on: 2006/1/24 9:21
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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"the literal translation of the word budo is 'not to use spear' or 'stop fighting'. the Way of budo is not to be concerned with winning....winning, sport and the competitive spirit are not the way to understand budo."

- Gogen Yamaguchi


"i have nothing against sports, they train the body and develop stamina and endurance. but the spirit of competition and power that presides over them is not good, it reflects a distorted vision of life. the root of the martial arts is not there....in the spirit of zen and budo everday life becomes the contest. there must be awareness at every moment; getting up in the morning, working, eating, going to bed. that is the place for mastery of self."

- Taisen Deshimaru


"don't fight. don't be in the fight."

- Masaaki Hatsumi


sorry, Ralph. you left yourself wide open there, bud. i couldn't resist.

mark spada

Posted on: 2006/1/24 10:16
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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Darren,

i understand where you're coming from, as i have encountered this so many times from so many people.

in fact, there are two guys in town who just got back from Japan and who are apparently claiming to teach "ninjutsu" without shidoshi licencing. one of these guys used to tell me things like "Oh, the sanshin no kata is just an exercise. It's not important." and "The ground skills in the Bujinkan suck."

well, these days i simply don't have time to indulge the young and stupid( or even the old and ignorant ). my humble opinion is that if someone isn't satisfied with what Hatsumi sensei and the Bujinkan has to offer, then they are more than welcome to go somewhere else.

that's why i enjoy training outdoors: the EXIT sign is all around you. you don't like it? you don't want to be here? then pick a direction and get lost.


mark spada

Posted on: 2006/1/24 10:29
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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Well said Darren ! There are also to many people that are to insecure about what they are being taught and their ability to use it when their life is on the line.
I have never started nor entered into a fight willingly simply because real fighting is not fun (sport) and anyone who claims it is has never been in a real fight in their lives for their life. Fighting for my life is the only reason I train and having been put in position many times in my life I am happy to be still here typing this. While all types of fighting are dangerous,sport or otherwise 99% are just Ego contest over trivial matters that can be avoided and this is the course of action that should always be priority #1.

A person I know is one of the nastiest and most dangerous untrained people I have ever met and will fight with no remorse at the drop of a hat (or just beat people to a pulp because he can) I have known him for 20 odd years.
He once said to me that he was not scared of my Martial arts skills as he was not scared of death and I know this to be true. I however replied to him that it was nice of him to tell me that. With a strange look on his face he ask me Why ! I said if I ever have to fight you I will make sure to put you in a wheelchair for the rest of your life so someone has to spoon feed you and wipe you rear end for you the rest of your life. He was shocked and went a shade paler and said , You would wouldn't you ! He knows me and I scare him because he knows how little interest I have in fighting and how calm I am compared to him . The moral to this story is he was not scared by death but was scared by life This is very much what Soke and the Shihan are teaching us, to use things other than just our bodies to survive use everything to use nothing, to fight without fighting even when in a fight for your life or death smile !

Posted on: 2006/1/24 11:12
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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"But, still that's not enough." x 3

You make some great points about what's so good about this organization.

For me, the grass is pretty darn green under my feet! :)

Could it be that the "other thing" these people want could be competativeness? From my observations, being competative in bujinkan class gets you a sore ego, nothing more.

Grant Williams.

Posted on: 2006/1/24 11:15
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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Thank you to all who have responded thus far. Ralph, thank you for your different perspective, too. Even dissenting opinions have their place...

This concept of wanting to prove everything, to test it, with competition, resisting uke and the like is quite interesting - even if I don't agree. To go through life not trusting the advice and direction of those who have gone before you, however, is rooted in mistrust.

Why do we have to recreate the wheel? No, we don't live in Feudal Period Japan. No, we aren't "tested" with life and death combat. But, others have and I trust what they have taught us. The fact that we are able to enjoy what we learn in the Bujinkan is because those who lived passed on what worked and those who died took their theories to the grave.

How can you truly test your abilities, anyway? Either you are doing sports, which is a false security under limited conditions, or you willfully put yourself in dangerous situations where failure could mean death to you and others.

Trust has to play the most realistic and life-supporting choice here, in my opinion.

Quote:
The way to win is to experiment and test our abilities in competitive venues like sparring, matches, fighting and at times combat to the death.


"To win"... What does this mean? Win what? Peace? Weren't you already at peace before putting yourself in danger? If you are living a life of peace, happiness and fulfillment, arene't you "winning"?

Aren't there circumstances when "losing" would actually be "winning"? Think about this.

Quote:
The Bujinkan arts were born from fighting.. so why not keep going?


Keep what - fighting? Why? Wouldn't the purpose of budo be to simply live? How long can you keep living in a state of fighting, of competitiveness, of constant disbelief unless proven in combat?

Quote:
I rather get out and do it myself and find the cause of my own arrogance.


Now THAT'S something I understand. Arrogance is actually an over reaction to hide a deeply rooted fear of the self - a thorn in the side that says "you'll never be good enough". So, maybe the "fighting" is really a contest within one's self? Maybe the real enemy is what one sees in the mirror?

Thanks guys for your thoughts, support and alternative views.

Gambatte!

Posted on: 2006/1/24 13:48
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Perhaps with some people it is a reward issue. A feedback, if you will.

If someone has not created something or acknowledged to themselves that they have achieved something, they do not feel fulfilled or content. When they have answered a question about themselves that they did not understand that they had even asked, they continue questioning without seeing what they have done or where they have been. (Never lie to yourself, or you are lost. IMO)

When I am in the process of proving something to myself or others, I have usually traveled far past the point of balance for the situation. Especially because I have not yet understand that I have something to prove. (From the beginning.)

When I survive an extreme experience or event in my life, I find that I have more depth, reserves and resolve in what I encounter next.

Keep going? Absolutely.

In my history, I find that I do not appreciate what I have or where I am until I have survived one of my own ‘special’ mistakes.

‘Greener grass’ could also be a maturity issue. Many people assisted me in all aspects of my life to allow me to get where I am today. (Not that I am anyone of consequence.)

It took me several decades to understand what gifts I had been given by our associations of friendship.

To honor this commitment from my mentors, the appropriate response seems to be to pass on what was taught to me for some one else’s benefit. (What ever that might be.)

The strength of this particular forum is that there are so many here with so much to offer. To pass on what was taught, to those who are willing to help themselves.

Returning the favor.

Who is receiving?

I appreciate what I have learned from this forum to complement what my instructors and my friends teach me. I am not so concerned about those who want more with no effort. I feel they need more work to do or just to work more.

I am concerned with those who are willing – that they get what they need. Uke and Tori.

Darren – I appreciate that you have opened this topic. I hope that my ramblings are worth while. My thoughts here are just offered in the spirit of consideration, not in any way directed at any individual.

Ganbatte!

Posted on: 2006/1/24 14:33
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Re: "Grass is always greener..."
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You guys have some really great pointers…
Really..


Darren, false security under limited conditions...
I don't see it.. because I've been there many times..
Having someone beat you in the head is not a fantasy.. it's is real.. and if you cannot defend against a person who has rules not to harm you.. then how will you deal with someone who will harm you in a real deal?
I don’t find sparring, matches or fighting dangerous.
I find not sparring, matches and fighting to be very unhealthy to the truth of what the 9 ryu stand for..
Ponder that for a second Darren..
If you disagree.. then why train in them?
If not for the killing which leads to living then is it for.. Art.. History.. Physical exercise..?
To ‘win’ means to have the experience to win over your arrogance.. getting to the point of having happiness and peace. Arrogance is having faith and belief you ‘can’ without first having the knowledge from ‘doing’..
Aikido green grass turned out much like the Bujinkan green grass will in time with no fighters..
Fighters only come from fighting.
Fighting is testing skills either for ego or for money.. and even life.
Hum, what comes from fighting?
I wonder…
Maybe tested abilities to pass on to the next generation… hum.. maybe that is what is missing.. today in the Bujinkan..
Fighters then have to have what?
Training methodology that is progressive to what?
Winning fights.
Training methodology for fighters have healthy diet programs, power, speed, timing, flexibility, history, technique, etc. development… or what?
They don’t win and can’t pass on their tested skills to a younger generation..
Who is passing on the ‘proven’ tested fighting skills of the Bujinkan today?
Now you must understand this person(s) must have proven tested fighting experience to do so.. right.
The Bujinkan wouldn’t be a martial way if Takamatsu sensei didn’t go out and fight or kill to experience his ‘winning’ is everything state of mind.
For myself I have experienced the Bujinkan arts for about 25 years now. I really dislike saying this but…
In my opinion there is little ‘green grass’ where this organizational gathering is concerned if you are saying there are effective fighters in just 1/16th of the organization of killing arts passed down from Takamatsu sensei today in the Bujinkan Dojo.
And you cannot get around the simple fact.. this is all about killing arts... regardless how you make it flowery and sweet with cool "living" statments.
The 9 ryu are made for killing others..
Pretty simple right?
Understanding Takamatsu sensei had to ‘win’ to survive then ninpo is all about ‘winning’ or not living.
If the Bujinkan doesn’t have a soke or followers of the soke who fight then where does that leave the Bujinkan Dojo in the next generation?
Who is going to feed the ‘green grass’ of the Bujinkan students with true proven skills of fighting?



Thank you very much for giving me the chance to reply and ponder why I am on the path I'm on now..

ralph severe, kamiyama

Posted on: 2006/1/24 14:54
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