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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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I've never been with ANY group who demanded that the students follow a religion of any kind. Our art is NOT about religion or religious practices. If you misinterpret the intial "bow in" at the beginning of class, that is YOUR misinterpretation! Respect is not just in our martial art, it is critical for our HUMAN condition so why would you object to showing respect by a slight bow, or nod, or smile, or any other way??? Frankly I don't CARE what religion you choose to follow as long as you keep it to yourself and don't seek to impose it on anyone else! You want to train? Show the proper respect to your teacher and fellow students and I seriously doubt that any one will be even interested in your religion. We are BUYU, I get the feeling that you have been very vocal in your objections instead of just quietly following you own consciousness. Getting vocal is tatamount to telling all the others how THEY should be doing, and they have as much right to follow their consciousness as you do.

Posted on: 2007/12/30 3:35
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
Permanent Village Fixture
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Mr. Musa Ibn Aadam,
You haven't even begun training and you are already concerned that your personal beliefs will be in conflict. Furthermore, it seems like you are looking for ways to make your Bujinkan training accomodate your personal beliefs and practices. This last point is common amongst almost everyone who drifts away from training after a short time, by the way (cue winking happy face...).


Ironically, you state that you would make a good student even though you clearly state that you are open to this new experience only under the constraints of your own personal beliefs. Here's your answer: Bujinkan training is probably not for you because everything else in your post directly and indirectly contradicts what any good student of any thing should be: open to being taught. Sorry.

I mentor a devout (and I do mean devout) muslim scientist who actually found a way to be open headed and hearted enough to be an excellent student. If she has to make any accomodations, she (and I do mean she, too) makes them in a very personal way befitting an actual adult. Based on your comments, this is an area of yours that could use refinement.

The best of luck to you!

Posted on: 2007/12/30 6:46
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Pete Lohstroh
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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Quote:

mujinzou wrote:
Quote:

Boggs wrote:

For those that are giving this guy a hard time, and saying that bowing and the other stuff is not religious in nature just get off it. If God tells this guy not to do something, then he should not do it.


Um, how is trying to clear up a potential misconception "giving him a hard time"? I agree with your last sentence as long as theres no misunderstanding between him and God. That situation has led to lots of bad things to be carried out quite zealosly. The underlying uncertainty of the original posters dilemma will affect him and how he conducts himself in far more situations than merely the dojo. This seems like a great opportunity for him to develop the eyes that see beyond just the surface, for one way or the other. Do you mean that the bowing and stuff IS religious and the people that said otherwise are ignorant/misinformed/maliciously misguiding him?Thanks.

~ju an

Z a zueta


PS. Musa-Shi, way to go for having the wherewithall to ask about this sort of thing. A lot of people would see it as compromising their faith, instead of fortifying it. Having info to act on is usually better than just feelings. Thanks.


What I mean is if his holy text tells him not to bow/chant or whatever else, then he should not be forced to do it. I don't claim to be an expert on the Muslim religion, but if he thinks bowing is against God's will he should not be forced to do it.

This is particularly true when you are talking about bowing to a bunch of non-Japanese guys. It's not even their culture to bow, so it's not like you are offending them.

Posted on: 2007/12/30 18:06
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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Mr. Musa Ibn Aadam,

Good people here gave you already a lot of good advice.

You stated your problem clearly and I have a lot of respect for what you said. Out of that respect, let me express my personal opinion. I am a religious person. I am not a Muslim, but this does not matter for the purpose of what I want to say. It may help you or may not help you. I hope it will give you another point to think about.

1) For the reasons that Mr. Pete Lohstroh just stated, I also believe that this art is probably not be for you at your current stage in life. Really.

2) I will also add that you have to be aware that once you understand some of the concepts of the bujinkan art you may come to the point where your way of looking at the world will evolve. As such, your faith may also evolve not necessarily in a way you would anticipate right now. I can say that my faith evolved as a result of training and going to Japan. I do not regret it but it was not what I anticipated (and I was already 30-something years strong n my faith).
On one hand, what Ercan stated is a very deep truth as I see the parallel to my faith - once you have God in your heart it is so close that nothing can really touch it. On the other hand, if your faith is very "young", the experience of bujinkan training will probably create many feelings that will seem to you like dissonances with your faith and will be far from comfortable.

3) Some more food for thought. My understanding is that the tradition of bujinkan art is connected with something that in English language is called spirituality (for a lack of better word IMHO). The atheists can ignore it happily and keep training, no harm done. However, this spiritual ideas are universal IMHO and present in any major religion. People of many different religions do train together in the bujinkan with no problem.
I would suggest that, before you really decide to join bujinkan training, you read slowly and carefully and ponder the ideas expressed in the following book:
Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, "The Grandmaster's Book of Ninja Training"

4) If I understand correctly Hatsumi Sensei is a Buddhist... and... he got a special recognition form the late Pope John-Paul II. It is like the head of the Catholic Church said "it is OK to train with Dr. Hatsumi". This suggests to me some extended "ecumenism" . Perhaps the same is possible for the Muslim religion? I am not an expert here.

5) And BTW: "Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo" is a Buddhist Prayer referring to enlightenment and Satori etc... and we say it at the beginning and end of each keiko. This prayer can be probably be translated into any faith (i.e. into "Our Father..." in Christianity). If somebody is of an atheist faith (I mean he BELIEVES that there is no God) he can translate it into something meaningful too. If your faith is such that you cannot do it then you lack flexibility required for the bujinkan training (not to mention ninjutsu training).

And out of curiosity, if I may ask a question: what is the goal for you in the "ninjutsu trainng" that you talk about? What would you like to achieve? For example, I joined bujikan because i met a great teacher with skills worth learning and great people, most of the skills that we learn are more general; ninjutsu is maybe several % of training (to be increased this year though...).

peace

Mariusz

Posted on: 2007/12/30 18:32
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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ehhhh, this got me thinking even more... so..

Quote:

musa-shi wrote:


are there any authentic ninjutsu classes
(...)
jeapordising my religous practises in other ways such as grappling with or touching females in the class (a very disliked thing in my religion)?


wow, thank you for the earning experience. I did not realize that this might be a religious problem.
I suggest talk to some religious elders/leaders to check if you really cannot train with a woman. If so, I would advise find some other art. Maybe you are just misinterpreting something and want to be too careful? I would suggest Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, truly great art - and I hear that they do not train with woman too eagerly. I heard that actually from a woman who is a Black belt in BJJ and who went trough hell because the guys did not want to train with her.

Let me explain why i think that "not training with women" does not fit bujinkan training and culture... there are so many facets on which this seems to be wrong, I will touch only ones that stay far away from the statements that would lead to culture clashes or religious disputes. Again, I do not mean any disrespect but your comment made me think and out of respect for all the gals I trained with (will be more than 100 for sure in my 30 years of martial arts) I wanted to say a few words:

1) I am puzzled how can you have "authentic ninjutsu" without training with women? If you do not know what they are capable of then any woman will trick you. (anyway I am not sure if we understand the same thing by ninjutsu )

2) Some times, when we train, we switch partners every 5-10 minutes. We rotate let say clockwise to the next person so that everybody has an experience of different body types, skills etc. So... how do you go about such rotation when you get paired up with a woman? You say "I cannot train with that person because she is a woman". You would have to spend a lot of energy not to screw up the harmony of a dojo IMHO. Not impossible but difficult. Without your detailed explanations, to the other people, this would look like a disrespect for women! I do not care if you refuse to bow, refuse say some ceremonial phrases etc. this is fine BUT: at all the dojos I trained at (more than 20 in several different countries) women are respected as equal partners!!!

3) Also, I remember many times that I was able to understand some aspect of the art better because i was lucky to train with a woman and she had different energy, different sensitivity than a guy would have. There are many precious lesson I got this way.

4) Here is one of the basics about the training methodology. When you train you do scenario/role playing. This is one of the meanings of the bow that you are supposed to give to your training partner: you say "now the play it is on!". When you play, you play with another human being and you remove form the present real-life relationship. So, unless specifically scripted that way, it DOES NOT MATTER in training what the uke's sex is and many other rules also do not matter! Let me put it this way: if you are an attacker, you are playing the bad guy, right? It is against religion to but a bad guy! right? So, you should never attack if you follow your strict rules... The same applies to hitting a woman. For example, in my culture, in Poland where I grew up, hitting a woman is very, very big taboo. You are the lowest scum if you do it. However, in the role playing during training, I do this and my heart is pure. In fact, first time I did it it felt like a big sacrifice for the sake for my training partner and shi noticed that and I had to explain because that was in the US and she felt a bit disrespected (she was a shodan and could take a hit and she did not understand my cultural limitation).

Well, (and this is a joke) most of the girls you cannot train with would eat any of us for breakfast if they wanted to, so maybe it is wise to think hard about it...
hahahaha

'nuff said!

minna-san bujinkan no kunoichi: please accept my humble bow!

Mariusz

Posted on: 2007/12/30 20:03
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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Dear Musa-Shi,
I see no problem with being a Muslim and training Bujinkan. I also know that there are different approaches in Islam (I do not want to get in too deep as this will be a religious talk and here is not the place for it)but please try to stay away for any fundemantalist currents, please stay in the middle road as our prophet (S.A.V.) said. He also said that it is a sunnet (better if you do it) that Muslims learn martial arts sothat they can defend them selves. Ofcourse I have respect to your friends and etc. but please try to learn our religion from Holly Kuran-i Kerim (and our prophet's sunnet and Hadis) and not by other people as there is no holly people class (like a priests )in Islam, we are all equal do not forget.
I also never asked a Bujinkan member or any body else about his/her religion or nobody asked mine. That is sth. between you and God only so who can say anything about it.
I also have many advise for you as I found some great approaches in Islam to be suited for 6th sense trainings, if you are interested. Please pm me for that as I do not want to take it here cause it is religion oriented. I also understand and admire your excitement as you have freely made your own choice.
Gambatte

Posted on: 2007/12/30 20:45
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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Quote:

mariusz wrote:
Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, truly great art - and I hear that they do not train with woman too eagerly.



This is completly false.

Posted on: 2007/12/31 5:13
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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Quote:

Toruko-jin wrote:
Dear Musa-Shi,
I see no problem with being a Muslim and training Bujinkan. I also know that there are different approaches in Islam (I do not want to get in too deep as this will be a religious talk and here is not the place for it)but please try to stay away for any fundemantalist currents, please stay in the middle road as our prophet (S.A.V.) said.


This is an important point.
There are some truly un-healthy and downright frightening fundamentalist groups in London.

Something any smart BJK instructor would/should want to distance themselves from, IMO.

Posted on: 2007/12/31 5:20
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
Cant Stay Offline
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Quote:

D_Cecc wrote:
Quote:

mariusz wrote:
Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, truly great art - and I hear that they do not train with woman too eagerly.



This is completly false.


OffTopic, but... isn't BJJ a competetive MA? They thus most likely have different competitions for men and women, and hence might concentrate on the "most likely opponent" thus men vs. men, women vs. women?

Just a thought....

Posted on: 2007/12/31 5:36
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Ari Julku
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Re: a question that concerns any muslim who wishes to join a martial arts school
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Quote:

Ôari wrote:
Quote:

D_Cecc wrote:
Quote:

mariusz wrote:
Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, truly great art - and I hear that they do not train with woman too eagerly.



This is completly false.


OffTopic, but... isn't BJJ a competetive MA? They thus most likely have different competitions for men and women, and hence might concentrate on the "most likely opponent" thus men vs. men, women vs. women?

Just a thought....



[Offtopic] .....

Firstly, not everyone competes.

The competitions may sometimes be divided between men and women...but the practice/training is not.


[/offtopic]

Posted on: 2007/12/31 5:49
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