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Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
村長 :: Sonchou
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I am starting this thread after receiving a complaint from Joji Ohashi about what I wrote in this thread. What I had said was:

Quote:

Anyone in the Bujinkan is free to host a seminar by whomever they chose. The instructor doesn't have to be a certain dan grade - that idea is ridiculous.


Mr. Ohashi pointed out that, according to the Bujinkan Guidelines:

Quote:

(ii) The Shidoshi-kai Membership card applies to those of Fifth Dan and above (called Shidoshi), and those from First to Fourth Dan (called Shidoshi-ho). Members who are teaching should posess one of these cards. Non Shidoshi-kai members are not recognized as teachers and can not grade students.


With the above in mind, especially "Members who are teaching should possess one of these cards." it appears that anyone who is teaching should be a card-holding Shidoshikai member. Mr. Ohashi is complaining to people here in Japan that not only am I using my website to post something contrary to the Bujinkan rules, I also accepted money in the form of a $10 donation for advertising a seminar hosted by a Jinenkan member. I would like to clarify the following points with regards to this:

1) It is my understanding that the majority of foreigners who live in Japan who are 5th dan and over do *not* pay Shidoshikai membership and thus do not have their membership cards. (I am one of the few who does, from what I understand.) One reason for this could be because they do not teach in Japan on a regular basis, do not have students that they rank, etc. However, many of these people do hold training seminars when they go to visit overseas. This would mean that the majority of seminars taught overseas by foreigners living in Japan are not being taught by people holding valid Shidoshikai licenses and are thus in violation of Mr. Ohashi's interpretation of the above Honbu rule.

2) When I posted what I said above about anyone being able to host and teach a seminar, I did so with the meaning that anyone should be able to bring in anyone they choose, and it is simply a matter of the host taking the financial risk of generating enough interest to pay for it. The person's rank should not matter.

For example, I know of one occaision where a person who has been living in Japan for aeons was invited to a seminar in another country. Preparation started, and advertising was being prepared when the person was finally asked his rank. When he told them, they replied, "Sorry, we only host seminars with Judans and above." Although this person had been living in Japan for a long, long time, and training regularly all that time, the seminar was cancelled simply because he didn't have the right "number." This, in my opinion, is completely stupid, and this is the kind of thinking that I was referring to in my post above.

3) I know of a number of Bujinkan dojo who bring in instructors from other martial arts to teach seminars on Gracie Jujutsu or Systema, for example, as a means of exposing their students to these other systems. Obviously the instructors from these other systems are not card-carrying Shidoshikai members. Dojos who do this are also then in violation of Mr. Ohashi's interpretation of the Bujinkan guidelines.

4) I would like to point out that at the time the particular seminar in question was advertised, I had no idea that the host was a Jinenkan member. Otherwise I would never have allowed it to be posted. I think it was about a month later that I found out, but to be honest, I don't remember. When I did find out, my response was along the lines of "Since it is being taught by a Bujinkan person, its ok, but don't let it happen again." I have utmost respect for Kacem, no matter what rank he is. Its his knowledge and ability that should count, not his rank. People that are making a big deal out of this are doing so out of petty jealousy and for purely political reasons, in my own personal opinion.

So what we are talking about here is the interpretation of the above quoted section of the Bujinkan Guidelines. My interpretation of it is that this refers to teachers who have a normal, regular dojo where they teach, rank students, etc. and that it is not really meant to apply to people teaching seminars. A seminar is a special, irregular training event and most often the visiting instructor does not rank people - from my own knowledge and experience anyway, I'm sure there are exceptions.

If, however, the Bujinkan Guidelines are to be interpreted as Mr. Ohashi states, then:

* All foreigners who live in Japan and do seminars overseas should be paid-up card-carrying Shidoshikai members.
* Seminars hosted by Bujinkan dojo which are being taught by non-Bujinkan instructors are in violation of the rules and are therefore either not allowed or else some official provision should be made for them.

... or else some people are simply making much too big a deal out of this and its really not such an important issue.

What do you think?

Shawn

Posted on: 2006/5/16 13:45
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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I think on point number 3 you are doing the apples and oranges thing big time.They are not teaching Bujinkan , now are they ?

On you last point of people making to big a deal out of all this I think you are certainly right. You have made far to much of a big deal of it Kouryuu.

Play the tune pay the piper!

Posted on: 2006/5/16 14:18
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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As I am not only old, but also B&W (and mean, too )...

Quote:
Anyone in the Bujinkan is free to host a seminar by whomever they chose. The instructor doesn't have to be a certain dan grade - that idea is ridiculous.

We cannot force anyone to do anything, now can we? People do as they will, as they see fit for themselves. Though... there might be... consequences

If there are "guidelines" and one decides to... do otherwise anyway, then one should understand that.

Quote:
Members who are teaching should posess one of these cards. Non Shidoshi-kai members are not recognized as teachers and can not grade students.


To my B&W view - this rule from the Honbu Dôjô is quite clear. But, that's just me, and my take. I know people... take things in various way, for various reasons. And these might not mix&match with other's views (have been engaged in a long discussion of such a thing lately).

Quote:
It is my understanding that the majority of foreigners who live in Japan who are 5th dan and over do *not* pay Shidoshikai membership and thus do not have their membership cards.


Again, in my B&W, they are not teachers, and should not be teaching. Naturally they can be learned from - a lot!!!! - but they do this "passing of knowledge" as Sempai, not as Sensei...

Quote:
However, many of these people do hold training seminars when they go to visit overseas.


Again something that I personally don't... "sponsor" But maybe these are not seminars where they teach, but where they simply train with other likeminded people....

Quote:
...anyone should be able to bring in anyone they choose, and it is simply a matter of the host taking the financial risk of generating enough interest to pay for it. The person's rank should not matter.


Again, how could they be stopped? Really. They are not "bound" by laws to this that will throw them to jail if acting against... It's their choise. But as there are these guidelines - sometimes I've heard referred to as "Bujinkan honour" - and they decide to act not quite so...

If you are to belong to a society, then you should play by it's rules, right?

Quote:
Obviously the instructors from these other systems are not card-carrying Shidoshikai members. Dojos who do this are also then in violation of Mr. Ohashi's interpretation of the Bujinkan guidelines.


firesteel pointed this out already - how could they have a teaching permit for BBT as they are from another MA? I don't see this the same thing at all.... The rules for the Bujinkan teachers applies to the teachers of Bujinkan, right? What if they bring in an paramedic to teach about first aid? No Shidôshi there

The only outside no-no that I know of are the Genbukan and Jinenkan. Though, on the other side, I know that Bujinkan members are not allowed to train in Hontaiyôshin-ryû Jûjutsu, and am guessin their teachers aren't allowed to visit Bujinkan Dôjôs either....

Quote:
I would like to point out that at the time the particular seminar in question was advertised, I had no idea that the host was a Jinenkan member.


The "mistake" here was not from your end, to begin with, but the way I see it from the teacher's - he should not have accepted the invitation. Or atleast run it through his own teacher...

Ah! I got to the chain of command again

Quote:
* All foreigners who live in Japan and do seminars overseas should be paid-up card-carrying Shidoshikai members.

If they are to teach, I agree.

Quote:
* Seminars hosted by Bujinkan dojo which are being taught by non-Bujinkan instructors are in violation of the rules and are therefore either not allowed or else some official provision should be made for them.

Seminar done with certain organizations are a big no-no, as this has been stated by the Honbu/Sôke. Naturally, running each outside teacher seminar through one's own teacher is a good idea to me....

Well, my takes, B&W, gambatte!

Posted on: 2006/5/16 16:12
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
村長 :: Sonchou
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I am not a even a Shidoshi-ho, but I saw examples for many variations regarding this question, so I thought I'd "bark" into the business of the elder and wise ...


Quote:

Quote:
It is my understanding that the majority of foreigners who live in Japan who are 5th dan and over do *not* pay Shidoshikai membership and thus do not have their membership cards.

Again, in my B&W, they are not teachers, and should not be teaching. Naturally they can be learned from - a lot!!!! - but they do this "passing of knowledge" as Sempai, not as Sensei...

Yes, it's a very good wording of the situation.
But does this mean then that they can hold a seminar - as Sempai?

Quote:

Quote:
However, many of these people do hold training seminars when they go to visit overseas.

Again something that I personally don't... "sponsor" But maybe these are not seminars where they teach, but where they simply train with other likeminded people....

That's the point here. Any grade you have, you are allowed to train together with other Boojies. Even if you are a Judan but not a Shidoshi-kai member.
Now what if:

you`re attending a seminar where you have the same rank as for example the person who is officially teaching. In case the organizer asked you too, to show some things, or teach say some henka of a kata, would you say "no, sorry, I won't teach you anything because I am not a Shidoshi-kai member"??

or a better example:

say you're a 8 Dan, living and training in Japan for years. You visit your home country and the local folks -taking advantage of the rare visit of someone "close to the fire" and with up-to-date knowledge, ask you to spend the weekend training with them (and obviously teaching them things). Will you again say "no, sorry, I am not a Shidoshi-kai member"??

Where is that fine line between (official) teaching and sharing your knowledge and experience of which you may have more, as you've been living and regularly training in Japan for many years?

Quote:

Quote:
I would like to point out that at the time the particular seminar in question was advertised, I had no idea that the host was a Jinenkan member.

The "mistake" here was not from your end, to begin with, but the way I see it from the teacher's - he should not have accepted the invitation. Or atleast run it through his own teacher...

Shawn, I think this is something that you will never be able to keep under full control. Either you allow this "deficiency" on the suject or you don't allow any seminar posts.

There is a third solution as well: every time when someone wants to post a seminar ad on Kutaki you first go to the "central administration" of Hombu and double check with them whether or not the person giving and/or hosting the seminar is a Bujinkan or Shidoshi-kai member.
However I don't think it would be a workable solution for several reasons.

That's my 2 fillers only, and take it with a grain of salt as I am not a Shidoshi-ho.

Eva

Posted on: 2006/5/16 18:14
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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By the elder Cuthalion must mean me, the wise must be the others

On teaching as a Sempai... I see this as teaching through example, through actions, not taking the centerfield and "hey! ya'll, looky here, now! I'm gonna set things rite, now, okey?"

I see the Sempai's role as that of enforcer, not a starter. He backs up the teachings of the teacher, through his actions, his example, his help to the other trainees through this. There are ways to convey lessosns other than teaching, methinks, we all should do this every training session we are a part of.

If you "hold a seminar" you will be taking the centerstage, yes? You will end up telling people what to do, how to start, go about etc. Bring out fresh new things... teach. Not just train and do it examplary.

If I was in a seminar and was asked to help with something by the teacher... that would be the teacher using me as a tool for the teaching. Did just this some weeks ago.

It's a fine line, at times, between teaching and not teaching, just training in a helpful manner

Well, again, my take, there are others.

Posted on: 2006/5/16 20:05
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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Shawn, I think way too much is being made of this. As has been already said people have a right to make their choices and will. They also have the right to experience the result of those choices. If someone has valuable information for you that you can use, will you accept it? Are you (in the general sense again) able to distinguish if the information is really helpful to you? I know we have all seen how Sensei has given the "benefit of the doubt" to people, sometimes (often) even after they misused his good nature. Should we do otherwise? You trusted this gentleman and he misled you, who is at fault? The misleader or the misled? I think the answer to that is obvious! He made a choice and it has consequences one of which would be, I think, to never trust his word again or accept other seminar postings. As for the choices people make on who teaches them, "the student is also responsible for their teacher", they vote with their feet and accept the results. You know the circunstances and only you, so since there was no intent to violate any of Sensei's rules, why accept censure for it? Honor is something that can't be taken from you only you can give it up by violating the "life-affirming" rules you have set for yourself. From what you've said, you didn't, so??????? Be easy Shawn and thanks for the work you do.
Ed Martin aka Papa-san

Posted on: 2006/5/16 22:27
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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Thanks Ed.

This is one of those situations where it isn't easy to be a Japan resident and host a discussion forum like this at the same time. There are people, even in Japan, who don't see this as an independant BBS, but who want to make it an official Bujinkan BBS so that then they can put their own stamp on it and control it and dictate policy as they will for what goes on here. In my mind it is not an official Bujinkan website, but just one that's run by an individual who enjoys it.

Yamazu, question for you.
You often make reference to the Sempai-Kohai relationship, which is more strictly observed in other martial arts (as well as in traditional Japanese companies, etc.). However, Sensei has said on many occaisions that there is no Sempai-Kohai in the Bujinkan. How do you interpret this?

Thanks for people's response to this issue.

Ohashi-san gave me an English copy of the Bujinkan guidelines at Ayase tonight. (A different version from the one I translated - doh!) It had the section above highlighted for my reference (very kind of him). I couldn't resist pointing out the spelling mistakes in his copy... but that's just me.

Shawn

Posted on: 2006/5/16 23:15
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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Quote:
I was asked:
You often make reference to the Sempai-Kohai relationship, which is more strictly observed in other martial arts (as well as in traditional Japanese companies, etc.). However, Sensei has said on many occaisions that there is no Sempai-Kohai in the Bujinkan. How do you interpret this?


The way I've understood the Kohai is not really used elsewhere, either

It is seen, as I've been told by other Budôka of old and modern styles, more as a dismissive term... referring to someone who ain't so... well, good yet. Like "know your place". The "kohainess" comes naturally... as comes the "sempainess"; if one has started before you, has gathered knowledge that can help you along your own way, ease the steps along the path to be travelled... serve as an example, guide... a Sempai for you.

So, it's the mileage.

Does rank come into play, one might ask? In a way no, IMO. Or naturally As Sôke noted in Sanmyaku - if a Sensei wants to remain a Sensei he must work for it, must keep the pace, keep himself there, in the position where he has something to teach others. Same naturally applies to "sempainess", yes? If you "elders" start to slack, are they anymore your Sempai, serving as examples, leading the way thus?

Posted on: 2006/5/17 0:15
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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I don't really understand why someone would not pay their Shidoshikai Membership dues, but then I suppose everyone has their own reasons.

But what if someone advertises an upcoming seminar with person X. Later it comes out that person X is not current on their Shidoshikai membership. Is person X, the person hosting the seminar, or each marketing venue (eg. Kutaki.org) responsible?

The implications here could be very broad. How would the marketing outlet be able to find out 1) affiliation, 2) standing within the buj community, 3) whether shidoshikai dues are paid, etc? Would someone be just as responsible is they put a flyer for this seminar up in their dojo or announced it in class.

I think what Mr. Martin said is on the mark. There was no intention on Shawn's part to deceive or violate any rules.

However, the validity of post that anyone is free to host a seminar by whomever they choose may be a little more ambiguous. Of course they are if they are willing to pay the consequences and of course BJJ instructors aren't expected to hold a shidoshikai card, but are Bujinkan instructors expected to be current before teaching seminars or is this beyone the intent of the original guideline?

Posted on: 2006/5/17 0:38
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Re: Shidoshikai Membership and Seminars
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Quote:
There are people ... who don't see this as an independant BBS, but who want to make it an official Bujinkan BBS so that then they can put their own stamp on it and control it and dictate policy as they will for what goes on here.


To give this issue a new twist ; imho that's where the roots of this issue are.
If people really want to be heard or feel the need to clarify the rules then they can do so anyhow.

Posted on: 2006/5/17 7:15
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