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Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
Kutaki Postmaster
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Back in the hijacked thread, I was complaining about all the complaining without offering any solutions. The thread became about what was wrong with the Bujinkan as an organization that caused others to view it with skepticism and disrespect. I posted two suggestions but no one responded to those suggestions. Is it that you (malcontents) just want a shoulder to cry on? I would say to get a shrink or a girlfriend, but I'll just learn to stay out of your sob sessions if that is the case. The suggestions were:
Quote:
...

I'm suggesting that you make YOUR Bujinkan something you are proud of, and enjoy the kyojutsu afforded by the wide spectrum of the public Bujinkan.

Maybe if we stopped paying attention to all those ranks and thought instead: Kyu, Dan, and Shidoshi, then some of the bickering and whining would be avoided. I know, you (meaning the bitchers - i didn't say bitches!) have complained about shidoshi who shouldn't be, and being somewhere between 5th and 10th Dan myself I can't speak to the (misused) term shihan, but I think that GENERALLY kyu, dan and shidoshi are pretty good indicators of skill in Budo Taijutsu.

Posted on: 2008/5/30 23:30
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
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Quote:

sschmidt wrote:
Back in the hijacked thread, I was complaining about all the complaining without offering any solutions. The thread became about what was wrong with the Bujinkan as an organization that caused others to view it with skepticism and disrespect. I posted two suggestions but no one responded to those suggestions.

Is it that you (malcontents) just want a shoulder to cry on? I would say to get a shrink or a girlfriend, but I'll just learn to stay out of your sob sessions if that is the case.

The suggestions were:

I'm suggesting that you make YOUR Bujinkan something you are proud of, and enjoy the kyojutsu afforded by the wide spectrum of the public Bujinkan.

Maybe if we stopped paying attention to all those ranks and thought instead: Kyu, Dan, and Shidoshi, then some of the bickering and whining would be avoided. I know, you (meaning the bitchers - i didn't say bitches!) have complained about shidoshi who shouldn't be, and being somewhere between 5th and 10th Dan myself I can't speak to the (misused) term shihan, but I think that GENERALLY kyu, dan and shidoshi are pretty good indicators of skill in Budo Taijutsu.
[/quote]

It is because your suggestions are crap for *fixing* the problem.

For the first - your "My Bujinkan" version - it does nothing to address the large audience perception. Also, it is akin to gun laws - the only people it applies to are people who abide by laws to start with (which isn't the group that needs to be targeted).

Your second suggestion of blurring definitions around common words is just new packaging on an old problem. You can shine sht (or you can't polish a turd). Deciding to just ignore rank doesn't make the general populace wonder why we have Judans (10th) with seven years of MA experience total (by the way - the example I am thinking of was Godan in 2 yrs).

More to the point - when you have something that is fairly common in language, like say, college degrees - and then tell people that PhD for Molecular Biology in your college just means 2 yrs completed. Pretending we don't have a problem with Judan under the age of 30 is ignoring the cancer.

Anyway - if you want to know why I don't propose solutions is because there is no reason to. My vote doesn't count. Neither does yours. That's because... no one is polling us for votes. There is no Voting.

But I can still talk about it, if I want. Just like you can bitch about me talking about it.

-Daniel

Posted on: 2008/5/31 2:02
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
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Ok, so if I understand you correctly, you are complaining bitching whining about it because it is what it is and you can't change it. You wish that people in other martial arts could respect Bujinkan, but it isn't going to happen. [ADD-moment] You enjoy stripping down to spandex skivvies mixing it up with your fellow man [/ADD-moment] - wait, I don't want to go there.

I take it that you share the lack of respect for the Bujinkan, as an organization, as the others whose respect you seek. What I am still confused about is this - Why are you a member of the Bujinkan? If my suggestions are crap and there is no way out of this situation, why are you here? I don't mean why are you here on Kutaki, I mean why are you a card carrying member of the Bujinkan?

Do you have Bujinkan students? If so, would the people who call you the exception consider your students to also be exceptions? It seems to me that if enough people created that type of exception, then the 2 year shidoshi and 5 year judan would start to be seen as the exception. So, in my vision with my crappy ideas, we are not powerless to effect change.

Posted on: 2008/5/31 2:37
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
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I wonder if this ambiguous thing called Bujinkan has become an attempt to be all things to all people...

Seriously, I remember when the TenChiJin Ryaku no Maki was the Bujinkan Bible. As a student, the only one I knew was the one my teacher provided to me. It wasn't until later that I learned there were other versions, some which contained different information.

But, during my trek to shodan, the only version that mattered was the one my teacher gave me - because that's what I needed to learn.

Then, people started talking about how there shouldn't be a curriculum. Soke was quoted in several sources as putting down the idea of curriculum, saying that a beginner will do an Omote Gyaku as a beginner and an advanced student will do it as an advanced student (same technique, different level of understanding/performance).

Now, we have all this irregularity, inconsistency, variance on the expectations of students (and teachers).

Now, we have Soke producing a new book which is supposed to "stop the kata collectors". Is this the new TenChiJin Ryaku no Maki? Is this a defining moment in Bujinkan evolution?

Recently, in his New Year's message, Soke mentioned how the Bujinkan belongs to the Jugodans around the world. Is he slowly letting go of the Bujinkan and making it an org ran by the Jugodans?

I'm not complaining or trying to be critical. But, I certainly can understand the frustrations of people who are looking for clear direction, clear meaning, solidity in what they have devoted (and continue to devote) so much time, energy and resources into. For some people, they do define themselves by their budo - and the Bujinkan is an important element in that.

I believe the Bujinkan is Soke's gift to us, just like all the kata of all the ryuha. It is our job to accept the gift, then honor our gift giver by doing something productive with it.

One thing I've learned is that I didn't "earn" my shidoshi/menkyo ranking. Rather, it was granted to me. For that, I am not proud of my status. Instead, the more accurate feeling I have is one of thankfulness. Because I am thankful for this gift, I am committed to uphold what I believe is expected of me by those who granted me this honor. And, I believe that is to train as hard as I am able, to keep going and keep growing. I honor my teachers with my example.

However, the godan test is something that further adds to the ambiguity of Bujinkan ranking. It isn't a measure of how many kata you know, how well you perform taijutsu on a technical level - it's about the "something else" that correct training is supposed to instill. So, if that's the case, then isn't the role of shidoshi to train those to achieve that level of "something else"? Does knowing a curriculum facilitate having that "something else"? Does performing a kata with technical proficiency make someone have that "something else"?

Yet, we have seasoned Bujinkan students being owned by relatively new MMA/BJJ students. Why? Is Bujinkan training lacking something foundational?

Yes, I understand why people are frustrated. I also understand "shut up and train" and "gambatte". I also trust my teachers as they have proven themselves to me in the areas of both technical proficiency and "something else".

The Bujinkan really is not on the same level as conventional martial arts and to treat them as the same is to miss something fundamentally important (in my opinion).

I'm not arguing for any sides, but I do think healthy discussion of these viewpoints should not be shut out - as these concerns do have validity when you consider the perspective of all sides.

Posted on: 2008/5/31 3:21
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
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Quote:

sschmidt wrote:
Ok, so if I understand you correctly, you are complaining bitching whining about it because it is what it is and you can't change it.


I am complaining about it because I don't like it. The fact that I can't do anything about it is a separate issue.

Really - is this hard to understand?

Quote:

sschmidt wrote:

I take it that you share the lack of respect for the Bujinkan, as an organization, as the others whose respect you seek. What I am still confused about is this - Why are you a member of the Bujinkan?


I can not like this aspect of the BJK and still be a member - or is this impossible for you to understand? This isn't a pivotal issue for me - just an annoyance. The CD player in my car skips occasionally, and I complain about it - but I am not going to buy a new car because of it.

This attitude of "say anything bad and you can find the door" is sickeningly close to cult mentality.

Quote:

sschmidt wrote:

If my suggestions are crap and there is no way out of this situation, why are you here?


Probably because my attendance *here* isn't contingent on this being... solved. Again, is this impossible to understand?

Quote:

sschmidt wrote:

It seems to me that if enough people created that type of exception...


Grassroots movements are great in theory - just as socialism is great in theory.

If history repeats itself - then the BJK is facing one of two paths: Irrelevance (as a broken system) - or a pendulum shift back to being... martial. The original group was pretty martial -- the latest batch... not so much. There is already a swing in some circles to bring "martial" back.

Anyway - just thoughts. Feel free to come back with another round of "I don't like your attitude."

-Daniel

Posted on: 2008/5/31 3:32
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
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A question that i keep asking myself concerning this particular subject is:

If we collectively disregard our usual tendancy to place expectations on one another( painting in braod strokes here ), then why will anyone, at any level, be inclined to create any sort of good or high standard?

And if a practitioner attains a shidoshi liscence with having met any expectations, doesn't that just perpetuate the cycle over and over?

Personally, i find it beneficial that anyone "bitches", if for no other reason than it draws attention to a real problem: if i bitch about a well-traveled road laden with potholes, i'm doing so not because i "think" there is a problem but because a problem actually exists.



Mark Spada

Posted on: 2008/5/31 3:34
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
Kutaki Postmaster
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Nicely said, Darren.

Posted on: 2008/5/31 3:40
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
Kutaki Postmaster
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Mark said:
Quote:
And if a practitioner attains a shidoshi liscence with having met any expectations, doesn't that just perpetuate the cycle over and over?


Yes, unfortunately it does. I think though, that will become less frequent as time goes by. I believe there are far more qualified shidoshi than unqualified ones.

(can anyone tell I have too much time on my hands today?)

Posted on: 2008/5/31 3:47
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
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Quote:

Hissatsu wrote:
...
I can not like this aspect of the BJK and still be a member - or is this impossible for you to understand? This isn't a pivotal issue for me - just an annoyance. The CD player in my car skips occasionally, and I complain about it - but I am not going to buy a new car because of it.
...

Anyway - just thoughts. Feel free to come back with another round of "I don't like your attitude."

-Daniel


Well, yes thats true, I don't like your attitude. I got the impression that it was a big deal to you, and thats what made it hard for me to understand. Also, my comments are more along the lines of having the CD player repaired rather than getting a new car. Please, continue to bitch - sorry to intrude. By the way, do you teach Bujinkan?

Posted on: 2008/5/31 3:58
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Re: Tank takes aim .... Whose Thread is this Anyway?
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Quote:

sschmidt wrote:
Also, my comments are more along the lines of having the CD player repaired rather than getting a new car.


And my comments are more along the lines of MOST Infiniti's sold have a problem with the CD skipping - so fixing mine isn't really fixing the problem. I am not bitching about MY CD player, I am bitching about the company that doesn't test their CD players and sends out sub-par workmanship.

By the way - My CD player is fine - the above is completely fictitious and only used for making a point.

-Daniel

PS. It isn't a big deal, I am not losing sleep over it. It is just annoying to me. But we are having a discussion about this annoyance - so you are hearing my thoughts on the matter. If you want to disagree, then provide evidence that you disagree with my observation. Tell me the CD player doesn't skip. Tell me I am wrong and everyone is fantastic and they all deserve every rank they have. JUST DON'T tell me that Infiniti made the CD player skip on purpose so it would mimic real life because sometimes sht happens and you can't hear everything.

Posted on: 2008/5/31 5:55
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