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Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
Just Passing Through
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Hello friends,

Can I start by saying what a wealth of knowledge and experience we have here at Kutaki no Mura. I have come across a Bujinkan curriculum manual from Mukyu to Shodan on Richard Van Donk's web site.

http://www.ninjutsu.com/store/home.php?cat=95

It's called Shodan no Maki. I was wondering if anyone has read it, has an opinion on it or Van Donk as I know very little about him and this manual. Also if anyone knows of any other means of obtaining the guidelines for the ranks up to shodan that would be greatly appreciated. I would just like to gain a better understanding of what I should know now and what is to come in future.

Thanks for taking the time to read this thread, this is first post and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.



Regards,

Lee Gardner.
[SOMA Cairns Dojo]

Posted on: 2006/3/11 20:52
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Quote:

Lee Gardner wrote:
Hello friends,

Can I start by saying what a wealth of knowledge and experience we have here at Kutaki no Mura.


Welcome to the Mura.

I've not seen any of Richard Van Donk's manuals so can't comment. I'm sure someone will.

If your dojo/instructor is connected to Richard Van Donk and following his curriculum then the manual you referenced might be useful. If not, it may only confuse you. Especially if you are just starting out. If your instructor hasn't given you a curriculum outline, he/she may not use one.


Quote:

Also if anyone knows of any other means of obtaining the guidelines for the ranks up to shodan that would be greatly appreciated. I would just like to gain a better understanding of what I should know now and what is to come in future.


AFAIK, there are no official guidelines you ask for. Criteria for ranking vary from dojo to dojo. Some dojo follow a set curriculum with specific requirements for each kyu/dan rank. Some have loose expectations for kyu ranks, but tighten things up for dan grades. Some just train and appear to fly by the seat of their collective pants.

Confused? LOL Get used to it

Posted on: 2006/3/11 21:43
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Adam McColl
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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His curriculum is a decent model to follow, but really it's just a listing of material from the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki (mostly just the "Ten" and "Chi" material). This is a good resource if you are also using his "Home Study Course" videos.

Which is a VERY heated and controversial debate...

My suggestion is to find a qualified teacher and a good notebook. Make your own "Maki" by filling it with class notes on what your teacher is teaching you. Focus on what lessons your teacher is teaching you, not someone else's lesson plans.

Just my suggestion...

Posted on: 2006/3/12 3:57
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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: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
Just Passing Through
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Thanks guys,

I appreciate your speedy response. I actually have been taking notes on what I have learnt at class over the past ten months. It interests me what other Bujinkan schools have in common in respect to what is expected of each grade. As there is no doubt some sort of loose standard. I will be moving back to Brisbane at the end of the year so I guess I will see what similarities the Brisbane Dojo has with the one I train at now.

Also why is the "home study course" so contreversal?

Thanks again,
Lee Gardner
[SOMA Cairns Dojo]

Posted on: 2006/3/12 15:35
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Personally, I like Van Donk's no Maki for background notes. It can expand on things which you see in class. But that means having a live class and a teacher...

Geoff Vreeman

Posted on: 2006/3/12 20:32
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Quote:

Lee Gardner wrote:

Also why is the "home study course" so contreversal?


The Home Video courses smak of paint by numbers. To those that consider themselves "artisans", it is a less than ideal way to learn the art.

However if it adds to you knowledge and is the only port in the storm, have at it!

Marty

Posted on: 2006/3/12 20:53
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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I think it is good to use books and videos outside of my training in the dojo. I have a few of Hatsumi soke's DVDs. It helps me fill in the other blank areas (for possibilities?) when I have the time.

Having different partners of various sizes and shapes who each move uniquely is a good place for me to make internal progress on how it feels to move more correctly. I don't get that from published materials.

Even more important for my improvement is when one of my seniors points out how I could be moving to be smoother, effective or with less effort. And when I have that quizzical, clueless look on my face - I can raise my hand and someone who cares walks over to assist us.

I use my solo training time to better prepare me for when I train with the group. Plus, I smile a whole lot more when I am in the dojo training than when I train alone.

Posted on: 2006/3/13 2:11
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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Quote:
Also why is the "home study course" so contreversal?


If used as a kind of visual notebook, then nothing. What made it controversial is the idea that you can earn ranking from it all the way up to Shodan without ever having to spend any time in a dojo with a real instructor.

It's "fast food martial arts" for an art that is best learned by regularly and consistently experiencing it firsthand (especially at the receiving end).

I guess it's just a matter of whether or not you want the experience of BBT or just the menkyo. A "Home Study Course" caters to the latter. That's controversial.

Happy training!

Posted on: 2006/3/13 3:01
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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: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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I bought RVD's home study course years ago as a supplement to my regular training. At the time I was about 5th kyu and I was going to class twice per week. I wanted a lot more training and my teacher had a very off-the-cuff, unstructured teaching style that didn't really give me the pieces of the puzzle in a way that I could use to put them together to get the larger picture (given my learning style).

The course was a nice chunk of accessible material all in one place. Most of the "basics" seemed to be there and done/shown well enough for sub-shodan levels so it was a great resource at the time and along with regular classes and tonnes of seminars, it really helped to fill in some missing pieces for me.

That being said, BBT is a principle-based art not a technique-based art in my opinion but you need to know techniques as well, since they're what you use to explore and study the principles. The home study course as a supplement to regular instruction can help you acquire the base-level material/techniques. Once you move into studying the principles though, you'll outgrow the videos pretty quickly, which is ok since they're not meant for higher-level studies.

RVD's home study course often gets slagged, but (even though I've never been in RVD's organization) it helped me a lot during a certain phase of my training and I just wanted to share that.

John

Posted on: 2006/3/14 0:47
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Re: Shodan No Maki, by Van Donk?
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[quote]
Lee Gardner wrote:

Also why is the "home study course" so contreversal?

quote]

I bought the Home Study Course when I moved to an area that didn't have a known Shidoshi for 60 miles. I noticed a huge difference in the techniques themselves from what I was taught by my first instructor. The techniques and movements and very simple and wattered down. The Black Belt videos by Jack Hodan were more informative. When I tested for rank I passed, but I got feed back like when in ichimonji stance the weight should be equally place on both legs, opposite of what I have always been taught and read elsewhere. Luckily I a student of Bill Atkin's and trained with him for quite sometime and had the privlige of meeting and ranking with Mr. Atkins himself. Unfortunately I've moved again and I'm having a hard time finding an instructor. Well, I found a shidoshi, but he only trains by invite only and I'm having a difficult time gettin him to accept me, but that's off the point. The videos could be a good starting point, but you won't learn enough for what you pay for to get them.

Posted on: 2006/3/24 3:22
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