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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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Syd says, Quote:
I agree, completely. Fortunately, Soke has trained some people in the kata very thoroughly who have in turn trained people in the kata very thoroughly. If you want to learn the kata thoroughly, you would need to get develop a relationship with one of these people.


What Syd says.

On the topic of translated books, "All translations are lies." Some of us are urged to translate from Japanese to English by our teachers. In the act of translation, I know that what I say looses some of its meaning and power. This book is apparently a translation of a German book on our Japanese budo. You'd do better to spend your money traveling to train with one of those people Syd describes.

What's worse, the writer misuses the concept of 伝 den in the title of the book, then you can't trust anything written between the covers.

Posted on: 2011/6/16 8:33
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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Perhaps looking at the book first and then pointing out the errors in the depictions of the kata would be more useful. The point of the book is to put the written descriptions of the kata into visual form to facilitate memory when training. It is not intended as a replacement to being actually taught the kata by a qualified instructor, as the guy states in the book. No written or pictorial representation of the kata could adequately convey the movement anyway, even watching live, most people don't get it. Who is teaching the matter of fact, actual kata and not some personal interpretation of them? Where can I find a list of said instructors ( I really would like to see one). For Gyokko Ryu I have four different versions written down by respected teachers, all differ. Some in small ways and some quite a bit different. Which one is correct? And how much does it matter? This year is Kihon happo, how many different versions of these have you seen over the years? If these books are used for their intended purpose, they are fine, like buying some one's personal notebook. If you are trying to learn the kata from these books you will miss the mark.

Posted on: 2011/6/18 1:41
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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Who is teaching the matter of fact, actual kata and not some personal interpretation of them? Where can I find a list of said instructors ( I really would like to see one).


The list of names is on the chalkboard in Hombu. They usually train once or twice a week. They may be the only people holding menkyo in the individual ryuha. After them, there are maybe half a dozen people in Japan, Japanese and resident non-Japanese, who can teach you orthodox waza from densho.

There are perhaps a dozen British, a dozen Americans, and lots of Europeans I've met here in Japan that have good foundation in the waza and kihon. Some South Americans and Africans, too.

I've been living and training in Chiba Pref. since 2003. I have trained with the people listed on the chalkboard, and 100s of buyu from abroad who are skilled and knowledgeable about the orthodox waza. Many of them teach.

I recommend spending your money on seminars, building relationships, learning from a variety of people, rather than buying books and videos. You'll develop your own list of people to go to with time and training.

Posted on: 2011/6/18 9:49
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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If there is one thing I have gleaned from my years on the forums it is that apparently none of the Shihanke/MenkyoKaiden teach ALL the same kata/waza the same way, giving rise to several versions of what is correct, depending upon which of these teachers is in your own link to them and to Soke.

The people who are strcictly loyal to one (or rarely two) of the Shihanke, are almost always the ones who have the most to say about what is correct and have the holier-than-thou attitude which deters novice and intermediate students from even posting on certain forums for fear of ridicule.

I personally seem to get a feeling of a more balanced viewpoint coming across from those people who train with as many of the Shihanke as possibe without getting involved in politics etc.

But my reason for posting in this thread is to ask whether people are really qualified to criticise wholesale the correctness of the content of books such as the ones being mentioned here. For example I bought Simon Yeo's book and have been taught to do most of the things in that book very differently from how Simon depicts them, and by someone with far more history in the art than Simon, but I do not turn this into a reason to criticise his book, because I know that he has lots of Japan-time and contact with many other high ranking teachers who may simply have shown him a different version of something than my own teacher was shown. There is also the very real possibility that being shown the same kata by X-Sensei in 1980 and someone else being shown the same thing by the same teacher in 2010 that there will be some difference based on improved understanding or further interpretation.

And you only have to look at the Quest DVDs to SEE different Shihan doing the same techniques differently, and to see Soke correcting them, which must mean that anything taught by them prior to them being corrected on that occasion may be viewed as incorrect. (?)

And we have all seen dozens of quotes where X-Sensei has said that something is rubbish or that people shouldn't train with so-and-so, and as has been said, Soke himself has moved far beyond the basics.

So who out there is actually qualified to look at these admittedly mis-labelled 'densho' and say for absolute certain which techniques/kata/principles/translations do not correspond with a version taught by ANY of the Shihanke or Menkyo holders?

Posted on: 2011/6/19 6:55
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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Quote:
If there is one thing I have gleaned from my years on the forums it is that apparently none of the Shihanke/MenkyoKaiden teach ALL the same kata/waza the same way, giving rise to several versions of what is correct, depending upon which of these teachers is in your own link to them and to Soke.


One of the Shitenno impressed upon us this month the concept of "living tradition". He said we should preserve tradition and at the same time, research what works, and where the waza is vital and effective. The result is nuance and variation in "correct" waza.

If it were simple and rigidly orthodox, budo taijutsu would run the risk of being a museum piece. Or it would be a kind of "basic training", the way some fighting arts started out, meant to develop an easily-learned and limited range of fighting stances, defences and attacks that can be learned quickly.

Instead, as it is, it appears that each of the shitenno has found advantages in different places and moments in the waza.

Quote:
The people who are strcictly loyal to one (or rarely two) of the Shihanke, are almost always the ones who have the most to say about what is correct and have the holier-than-thou attitude which deters novice and intermediate students from even posting on certain forums for fear of ridicule.


Budo isn't on the 'Net or in books. You've got to train with people. And it takes time. There aren't a lot of answers you could get from a forum that you couldn't get by working it out in the dojo. There is philosophy, but that topic is rarely what is discussed on the forums. People are asking about training and movement, things which are best experienced.

I'm going to go earn my bread now so that I can afford to train tomorrow. Good luck all!




Posted on: 2011/6/19 9:48
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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In lieu of a 'like' button; damn fine posts Liz!

Posted on: 2011/6/19 10:58
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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I am going to flip the script using this post as an example.

Quote:

ElfTengu wrote:
The people who are strictly loyal to one (or rarely two) of the Shihanke, are almost always the ones who have the most to say about what is correct and have the holier-than-thou attitude which deters novice and intermediate students from even posting on certain forums for fear of ridicule.


The first part of this sentence doesn't correspond to the second part. Someone can have a very firm view about what is correct without being a jerk about. On the flip side, there's plenty of holier-than-thou people who don't hold a firm view of what is correct.

The reason you will find that students of only one teacher have a strict viewpoint about what is correct is that they have been taught strictly. Someone who intends to receive instruction from many different teachers is probably getting a watered down version as a teacher may not be forthcoming with information and correction if he knows you're just going to turn around and listen to someone else the next day.

Quote:

I personally seem to get a feeling of a more balanced viewpoint coming across from those people who train with as many of the Shihanke as possibe without getting involved in politics etc.


The viewpoint may be more balanced, but that isn't necessarily a guarantee that his viewpoint is correct or even that he knows what he is talking about. Again it comes down to whether a teacher(s) is going to take responsibility for a student's learning if the student will just go somewhere else next. I personally know of an instance here in Japan where a student of one of the shihan wanted to train with another of the shihan and the answer he got from his teacher was that, yes, he could go train with the other shihan but that would mean he could no longer train with his first teacher.

Quote:


But my reason for posting in this thread is to ask whether people are really qualified to criticise wholesale the correctness of the content of books such as the ones being mentioned here.


People may not be qualified to criticize the correctness of the book, but the authors of the books being criticized are not qualified to write what they are writing about.

Quote:

For example I bought Simon Yeo's book and have been taught to do most of the things in that book very differently from how Simon depicts them, and by someone with far more history in the art than Simon, but I do not turn this into a reason to criticise his book, because I know that he has lots of Japan-time and contact with many other high ranking teachers who may simply have shown him a different version of something than my own teacher was shown.


I refer to what I wrote above about training with many teachers usually meaning you aren't the responsibility of one.

Quote:

There is also the very real possibility that being shown the same kata by X-Sensei in 1980 and someone else being shown the same thing by the same teacher in 2010 that there will be some difference based on improved understanding or further interpretation.


Naturally. But I don't think this conflicts with what people are writing about correct transmission.

Quote:

And we have all seen dozens of quotes where X-Sensei has said that something is rubbish or that people shouldn't train with so-and-so, and as has been said, Soke himself has moved far beyond the basics.


True. But this doesn't open the door for people to write books called densho.

Quote:

So who out there is actually qualified to look at these admittedly mis-labelled 'densho' and say for absolute certain which techniques/kata/principles/translations do not correspond with a version taught by ANY of the Shihanke or Menkyo holders?


To start, someone familiar with the 'real' densho. The ones the shihan were given or allowed to copy by Hatsumi are able to look at these books and know where there are instances of mistakes in the kata.

Personally, while I have a firm view on what is correct or not correct when it comes to kata (more specifically, the kata I have been taught by my teachers), my problem isn't that people are transmitting incorrect information (if they didn't write a book they would still be transmitting incorrect information simply by teaching), but rather that people feel they are somehow qualified to distribute this information and do so to whomever has 40.00 dollars, taking no real responsibility for the purchasers training.

Takamatsu sensei was very precise in his instruction to Soke about these movements and Soke was the same way with his original students. The nature of the Bujinkan has changed simply by the sheer number of people now involved. Yet the nature of the movement has not changed.

Posted on: 2011/6/19 11:41
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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All,

I agree with some stuff ehre and disagree with other stuff. It seems as if our opinions are polarizing. Perhaps it is time to move on to something else?

Leam

Posted on: 2011/6/19 12:07
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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Quote:

benkyoka wrote:
Takamatsu sensei was very precise in his instruction to Soke about these movements and Soke was the same way with his original students.


I think this is highly debatable. The problem is that a persons recollection is always clouded by their own opinion.

Posted on: 2011/6/19 17:36
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Re: Bujinkan Budo Densho by Carsten Kuhn
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Quote:

Tessen wrote:
I've been living and training in Chiba Pref. since 2003. I have trained with the people listed on the chalkboard, and 100s of buyu from abroad who are skilled and knowledgeable about the orthodox waza. Many of them teach.


I’m disappointed but not surprised by that statement.


Posted on: 2011/6/20 12:49
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