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Re: Ranking
Village Old Timer
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It is threads like this and peoples obsession on there being only one way, one reason, and a right way to train that illustrates our myopic view of our art.

Talk with the shihan and Soke about what rank means. It is not a hard and fast thing - much like our art. Different people struggle with different aspect of the skills needed in our art. At different times in our training we are working on different things that we need. We all bring different life experiences and skills. We work to overcome different limitations and experiences. We train hard for a while, then work on being soft, we develop our feeling and then rediscover physicality. We meet and work with different teachers which affect our own perspective and training. Throughout the whole thing we are moving forward, learning and hopefully growing. We have seen examples of people who feel they have no more to learn from Soke and "Graduate" - and what stagnation means.

It is this obcession with what we think rank is that gives the Japanese the feeling that if they give us rank - it will make us happy. Sometimes they give us rank to see if we will go away. We talk of the self deprecating people who "refuse' to take rank from Soke and others because we feel "we are not worthy". How foolish we are to think that rank is a thing of "worth". Thus there is the dichotomy of a Japanese rank, and the Western rank.

In short, watch others and decide if they are someone you want to work with or learn more from - or if you want to use them as examples to avoid. Make your art your art. Let Soke worry about rank and what it means. He has given us great leeway to decide how to teach our art, this freedom is part of what makes it Soke's art.

Marty

Posted on: 2010/6/12 1:20
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Re: Ranking
Kutaki Postmaster
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Well, if I were to sign my name, in addition to x-dan or shihan, then it would mean something, would it not? Otherwise why put it there? And if you put it there, it is naturally going to be measured, compared and questioned...
If you market yourself with a label, you will naturally have to stand up to that label.

Posted on: 2010/6/12 1:33
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Re: Ranking
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I kind of wanted to get a perspective on how one should attempt to rank in their own dojo.

Not that rank has some grand meaning if everyone trains long enough they will get to the upper levels on there own time or on others.
Rank probably means whatever it means to the individual that has it.


Posted on: 2010/6/12 14:20
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Re: Ranking
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That is correct Goran, and I neither asked or wanted that rank at that time. I felt forced to grow into it.
Marti, I very much agree with your post. Westerners are way to hung up on this rank thing, Your rank is not the certificate or the belt around your waist, it is the skill in your movement and the energy in your heart. That skill is determined by how well you can avoid an attack, prevent one from coming, or end it in your favor if it does. Sensei has given us all the freedom to develop this art into our own, we are not asked to mimic anyone but to "catch" Dr. Hatsumi's "feeling". This art must adapt to the individual or it has no value for them, it does if you keep your mind open and train for your own reasons. If you don't think someone has anything to offer your training, don't train with them. If your choice is wrong only you loose. Don't think you know or have it all, I will guarantee that you don't and that you do have more to learn. There is so much within this art that it is impossible to "learn it all". It is unlike so many other "martial arts" where in a year you can learn all they have to teach.

Posted on: 2010/6/12 22:00
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Re: Ranking
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"we are not asked to mimic anyone" in Mr. Martin's message reminded me of something from the Honbu a couple of years back; every master has started by copying previous masters, but to become a master of one's own one has to go beyond that.

Posted on: 2010/6/13 0:14
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Re: Ranking
Kutaki Postmaster
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Quote:
Your rank is not the certificate or the belt around your waist, it is the skill in your movement and the energy in your heart. That skill is determined by how well you can avoid an attack, prevent one from coming, or end it in your favor if it does.

I think most agree on this, however, it is the obvious lack of exactly that, yet having a high grade, that is the question.
I am sorry, but we can not just stick our head in the sand and hope it will all go away - we are way overgraded and way underskilled.

And then there is more problem when we all want to go around to teach all this stuff we do not really know... It is the soup of the soup... kind of thing right?

Posted on: 2010/6/13 2:09
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Re: Ranking
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We can only make certain that what we do and teach works Goran, we can't make the determination for someone else. I have had enough feed back to know what I do works, When a swat team from Croatia came to my seminar in Montenegro last year where I was teaching responses when someone is holding you hostage with a knife. Even when they knew exactly what I would do they couldn't stop the movement. They came back again this year for more. These gents (and one lady) face the real world all the time and they don't buy into B/S. They train normally in Jujitsu. I only show what I do know works. Each of us is responsible for that and sniping at anyone else is really not helpful. Way too many people are quick to denigate someone else when they really don't know what they do. We will never be carbon copies of anyone, this art is way too individual for that,

Posted on: 2010/6/13 12:19
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Re: Ranking
Permanent Village Fixture
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
We can only make certain that what we do and teach works Goran, we can't make the determination for someone else..... I only show what I do know works.


And how exactly do you know that what you do works?
Are you sure ?
EVERYTHING that you show "works" ? Everything?
And works against who, exactly?

Its quite a broad statement that implies quite a bit.

Posted on: 2010/6/13 12:54
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Re: Ranking
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Quote:
Gorang wrote:
I think most agree on this, however, it is the obvious lack of exactly that, yet having a high grade, that is the question.
I am sorry, but we can not just stick our head in the sand and hope it will all go away - we are way overgraded and way underskilled.

And then there is more problem when we all want to go around to teach all this stuff we do not really know... It is the soup of the soup... kind of thing right?


Preach my brother, Preach!!!

Quote:
D_cecc wrote: And how exactly do you know that what you do works?


Sounds like a fair question to me.



Since I am usually the thread killer. I'll say this.

It seems we have one side who would like to really evaluate the art that they study and its efficacy in these modern times.

The other side seems to be more interest in the lifestyle or the culture of the art. (Seminar circuit, being well known, etc....)

I would also guess that these same two groups can be just as easily separated into the same factions by age and actual capability.

Posted on: 2010/6/13 18:11
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Re: Ranking
Kutaki Postmaster
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Papsan wrote:
Quote:
I only show what I do know works. Each of us is responsible for that and sniping at anyone else is really not helpful. Way too many people are quick to denigate someone else when they really don't know what they do. We will never be carbon copies of anyone, this art is way too individual for that

Ok, just to clear things out. I have been to your seminar so I know what you are showing. And I also see what your demands for ranking your students are. I have been in this art for about the same time as you, although I am far away from your rank (yet I am over-ranked). And I am 38 and have family and all, so I am no prat.
Now that being said - this is not about putting the heat on you Ed, I am not out to GET anyone. I am talking about the sad state of our skills. I am talking about us not knowing the basics of our art. Can you honestly, hand on heart, say you know the basics of our art, the basics of sword, of staff etc etc...? And if you do not know the basics, then what are your criteria for giving rank? How can you teach what you do not know?
Because this is what is lacking. Knowledge of our own art. And you can not say it is because it is individual, because this is before making the art individual. I am sorry, but the art of Bujinkan still remain hidden from most of us.







Posted on: 2010/6/13 19:32
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