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Re: Disturbing trend...
Village Old Timer
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Duncan,

I agree with you and that sums up the way Budo ought to be taught. Making recommendations without that connection might be the source of the problem. And, a problem not easily fixed.

Posted on: 2010/6/8 13:19
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Re: Disturbing trend...
Permanent Village Fixture
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Quote:

jibran wrote:
What frightens me is that an unknowing student might join a dojo led by students who learned from a video. Sure, the "American Bujinkan Dojo" patch would be a clear warning sign but
a) There may be video students who stop the official ABD affiliation after godan.
b) I'm sure that many new students will mistakenly assume that ABD is some sort of official US administration for Bujinkan (sort of like national federations for Judo, karatedo etc) and not see the warning.

I just saw an ABD instructor boasting about his connections with Frank Dux ( http://manabi-masho.com/ShihanMarkMurdock.html )

Ending up with this sort of instructor is what makes many people regret their time spent in the Bujinkan.


Ironically this ABD instructor Mark Murdock (http://manabi-masho.com/ShihanMarkMurdock.html ) is also a student of "Papa-san".
Not saying its good or bad necessarily. Just stating a fact.
From his website :

Quote:
We are now an affiliate of Ed Martin "Papasan" 15th Dan in the Bujinkan. All Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo Bujinkan ranking will now go through Ed Martin and/or Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi




Posted on: 2010/6/8 13:22
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Re: Disturbing trend...
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Hello,

Sorry for butting in, but...

Agreed: The idea (and practice) of ranking outside of direct transmission is saddening... and embarrassing.

For example, my wife remains too embarrassed to mention the Bujinkan to friends and family: a cursory, ill-informed 'Google' search plus a few "whacky ninja's" is a scary thing (the 'N' word still sends shivers down my spine).

In contrast, talking about Judo seems to be more than OK.

Kutaki no Mura has proven its worth over the years in bringing to light innapropriate transmission of the Bujinkan arts (this is my amateur opinion, though I do have a little personal experience in this regard ).

Thank-you.




Posted on: 2010/6/8 14:04
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Re: Disturbing trend...
Villager
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Quote:

I understand from reading from MAP, you yourself Ed may have graded him 6th, 7th & 8th within a 9th month period, is this so? if so why???



Ed, i've just highlight this as some people would like to know what criteria you used to grade him so highly so quickly?

Posted on: 2010/6/8 23:53
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Re: Disturbing trend...
Village Old Timer
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Here is a list:
http://www.ninjutsu.com/rank.shtml

The Murdock guy is listed as a Shidoshi-ho under Von Donk. It sounds more like it is his problem than Ed's. Regardless, perhaps people ought to stop recommending people for rank that they just met with out at least being their uke once or twice.

However, one should note that not everyone on this list was a home study student, some were actually in his Von Donk's dojo.

You'll notice a few people that are members here on that sight and I'd like them to explain what they did for the rank and how it worked to get a better picture of what Van Donk is doing.




Posted on: 2010/6/9 10:21
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Re: Disturbing trend...
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I would point out that the last rank I gave Mark Murdock was a 4th dan some years back. I did test him for that rank and part of the test is that he had to handle four people attacking at the same time. He did and so I awarded that rank. He has not trained with me for a long time and really didn't train with me much at all. In short a person can claim to be my student when I say I will work with them, but if they don't come to train then are they really my student? I haven't seen Mark or done a seminar for him in a number of years. I do wish him well but take no credit or responsibility for where he is now.

Posted on: 2010/6/10 5:04
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Re: Disturbing trend...
Village Old Timer
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The video of that test used to be on the web. And it did cause some controversy. But, what doesn't on the net.

Why did you feel compelled to give or test him for rank in the first place if you only knew him in passing and he hadn't trained with you much?

Because, it does seem like you just handed out (tested) for a rank for someone you didn't really know and prior to that had all the nonsense on his website already.

Giving out rank freely without knowing the person very well or without training with them often is being "a part of the problem" in my opinion.

This is another reason why isshi shoden is important.


Posted on: 2010/6/10 9:38
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Re: Disturbing trend...
Village Old Timer
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Quote:
Papa-san wrote:

The final bottom line Robert, is that each person is responsible for the choices they make. Take time to educate yourself on an art before just accepting something as 'gospel'. This art must be felt, and from someone who really knows what he/she is doing.


Wouldn't that go for teachers as well.

I would say you probably had good intentions of helping this guy out. You also should feel responsible for his non-sense since you did test and give him 4th dan. But, I don't think you are blameworthy.

You thought one thing about the guy and it merely turns out you were wrong. We can't fault you for not knowing, despite the tell-tale signs.

Yet, this guy didn't and hasn't done anything different than when you gave him the test 3 years ago. All he has now is the go-ahead rank for the godan test.

Posted on: 2010/6/10 10:03
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Re: Disturbing trend...
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
He has not trained with me for a long time and really didn't train with me much at all. In short a person can claim to be my student when I say I will work with them, but if they don't come to train then are they really my student?


So you gave him rank despite him not being your student?

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
I haven't seen Mark or done a seminar for him in a number of years. I do wish him well but take no credit or responsibility for where he is now.


You don't think that giving rank comes with some form of responsibility?


Posted on: 2010/6/10 10:28
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Re: Disturbing trend...
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Quote:

RJHIII wrote:
I'm not sure how to discuss this in a non-inflammatory way, but I will give it a go. I've notice an increase in people wanting to train in the Bujinkan, but don't have a regular connection to a dojo or a teacher. Often, people have teachers that are a great distance away, yet often don't make regular trips or attend very often. Instead of working on what they have been taught and getting better at what they have seen, the try to learn "new" skills from books and video and rely on them as their teachers.

And, in their absence from a dojo and with a teacher they pass down what little they think they get from a video or book. Yet, doing so is a disservice to their students and themselves. With silly websites like Richard "I don't know how to open a door" Van Donk's and other video ranking systems. There are a growing amount of sites that give out memberships to the Bujinkan without ever stepping into a dojo or having a teacher. They often can receive rank without ever entering the dojo or actually being seen.

I seriously think that this kind of thing out to be stopped. Richard's is providing anyone who wants to be called a martial artist the paper work to validate themselves without having spent the time under direct supervision of a teacher.

But, this trend isn't just about the video's or books, it is also about the distance and seeking "new" things to teach. "New" isn't something that needs to be taught, what is actually known should be taught.

The same goes for what was just seen. Hatsumi sensei has said one should train on something for several years before teaching it, and this seems like sound advice to me.



So how do you propose to stop this kind of thing? This kind of thing is part and parcel of virtually every organization, and has been a facet of the Bujinkan for years. Why all of a sudden are you or anyone else interested in stopping it?

When a substantial portion of so-called "high ranking" individuals in the Bujinkan( fwiw: I REFUSE to refer to any gaijin as "shihan" ) see fit to hand out shidoshi-kai memberships as if they are pizza delivery coupons then I'd say that this "kind of thing" won't be stopped any time soon.

When a substantial portion of so-called "shidoshi-ho" I run into went from a nothing kyu rank to fourth dan in the time it takes me to type this simply because they're "friends" with a shidoshi who lives in Japan then I'd say that "this kind of thing" will continue to be a major facet of the Bujinkan organization for quite some time.

The notion of policing yourselves isn't an altogether unintelligent one, just a naive one.

Yes, what Hatsumi sensei said was good advice. The problem is that, even if he were to radically change the nature and stucture of the current ranking system in such a way as to make the requirements for promotion incredibly stringent, most people still wouldn't listen to him.


- Mark Spada


Posted on: 2010/6/11 1:45
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