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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
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Quote:

Yamazu wrote:

Good points, we'd need data to be able to make a justifiable decision.

As for letting a student in... good question! If we allow him to train and the "blocking" teacher finds out about this it might be even worse for the trainee, having gone behind the teachers back

When it comes to visiting another Dōjō I'd say the proper way would be to ask one's own teacher if it is ok to visit the other teacher, and then contact the target teacher asking permission to come and train.

But, if the first teacher is of the blocking kind... and the trainee knows this... will he even be considering visiting other teachers as he knows there's trouble ahead?

And if he is aware of this ruling, and decides to go along with it, sticking to "just this one source" ideology... that speaks about his own point of view, too, doesn't it?



Yes, there are many points in this. And it starts with us teachers, right?


Yup, you and I are on the same page with all this. I always go by the old quote "birds of a feather flock together" anyway, so if the instructor is either unethical or a control freak, then those students he attracts who stick with him even after knowing all that - well, they deserve what they get. Personally, I am not an 'open dojo' where I don't care who the students are or how they conduct themselves outside my class. I am old fashioned and believe having an ethical standard is primary to being a budoka. I also believe, like you, that respect should be given between teachers and permissions need to be obtained before taking on somebody's student. That's not a control freak thing, but more of a mutual respect and to make sure you are picking up somebody's "problem student", too, who is just looking for greener grasses to pollute.

At the end of the day, we're all adults who are capable of knowing what's healthy and what's toxic as far as who to train with and why. At the same time, it's our role as leaders to provide the best possible examples and guide those who may unknowingly be wandering into a trap. Martial arts cults can really screw up someone who may not realize that's what they are getting in to. But, we also have a responsibility to our own students to protect the sanctity of our training by not allowing any problems - or future problems - to enter into the dojo.

Just my .02, of course...

Posted on: 2013/9/26 4:37
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
Kutaki Postmaster
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I spent around 8 years in a cult-like training group where outside training was not allowed. Should you choose to do so, the punishment was banishment from the group or the threat of physical damage to encourage the others not to do so as it was an insult 'to the Japanese' and the group itself from not trusting in the instructor's role of leadership.

At the time of my training with the said circle, information was not available about different ryu, terminology, membership cards, etc. which are found within the Bujinkan. Everything was taught as Togakure ryu and the Kihon Happo consisted of I think around 5 kata. Having questions and being kicked out was the best thing to ever happen to me and my training.

Posted on: 2013/9/26 6:00
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
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Quote:

LightDancer wrote:
I spent around 8 years in a cult-like training group where outside training was not allowed. Should you choose to do so, the punishment was banishment from the group or the threat of physical damage to encourage the others not to do so as it was an insult 'to the Japanese' and the group itself from not trusting in the instructor's role of leadership.

At the time of my training with the said circle, information was not available about different ryu, terminology, membership cards, etc. which are found within the Bujinkan. Everything was taught as Togakure ryu and the Kihon Happo consisted of I think around 5 kata. Having questions and being kicked out was the best thing to ever happen to me and my training.


Were they really a Bujinkan Dojo... or just
"masquerading" as one?

I mean, no membership... might imply that
there was no connection to Japan... or to
a certified teacher who would be, right?

No diplomas for ranks... not ranked in
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, thus they would
have been wearing white belts at seminars.

Again, if other teachers hear about such
an organization, shouldn't they do atleast
something about it... like talk to the
leader of the club, ask if they could maybe
help him...

If the said leader refuses... well, that
speaks it's own dark tale

Me... seen that happening, tried that to
point to correct direction, had next to
no success

Posted on: 2013/9/26 15:15
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
Cant Stay Offline
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For me it is important to lead by example, no we are not perfect, none of us are, but we need to admit our failures and learn from them. When it was posted here about being humble while visiting another group, that was excellent advice, a full cup can take in no more. Leadership can't be done from the rear, it must be done from the front.
That said, we all learn about those who do not "let" students train with anyone else, and if I know this I will tell the student it is their choice but to really "watch their back". We are all responsible for the choices we make and choosing a teacher is a major choice. Pick someone with close ties to Japan or who's teacher has close ties and who has an open mind on training. All of us are still students and we never have it all. The way we help our students is to teach them the best we can and expose them to other good teachers. It IS in this community of teachers that we grow the fastest. Isolation only stunts learning.

Posted on: 2013/9/26 23:25
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Ed Martin aka Papa-san
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
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One thing about Japanese culture I have learned is that they seldom will confront you directly. They will infer, make suggestions, etc. This is not limited to just "teachers" who are bad, but it also goes for a student who may be training with a "teacher" who is a problem. Those of us who have been around a bit have seen our share of problem teachers and how it may seem to be either ignored or even allowed because either Soke or one of the senior Japanese teachers never stepped in.

Yet, if anybody trains closely with a Japanese Shihan, they will *know* how that teacher feels about such a person or group.

My thought is that, again, it's about 'reading the air', of knowing what's crossing the line from a legitimate, mature presentation of this art to something that's a perversion or complete misrepresentation. It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. For instance, if the 'cult like' mentality was the norm for the Bujinkan in Japan, you wouldn't have so many variances and freedoms at the Shidoshi level. Soke would have a hard line approach to how all representatives (i.e. Shihan/Shidoshi) are to operate around the world, with himself in a position of demanding the fealty or 100% committed loyalty of those shihan/shidoshi. Yet, he is quite the opposite, isn't he?

So, 'leading by example' shows that if someone is trying to do something kin to a cult, or tries to forbid people from training with anybody else but him (I don't know ANY female shidoshi who actually do this, btw), doesn't fall into any sort of commonality with the mainstream Bujinkan, and obviously doesn't have a solid connection to a jugodan or judan who is also solidly connected to Japan - well, you can bet he isn't following any example that is provided to us by Soke and the Japanese Shihan.

We can suggest, infer, provide our own example, etc, but to directly confront really isn't going to come out well anyway. It's not worth the trouble, believe me. The students themselves will see the difference eventually and those who are seriously seeking a legitimate, 'grown up' martial art will migrate away from such groups. It's all part of learning.

Otherwise, if you go around pointing fingers and confronting, aren't you showing that you are no better than the "teacher" who tells his students to only train with him? Is that going to 'win over' anybody or just make you look judgmental and pious?

Posted on: 2013/9/27 1:22
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
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Quote:

Yamazu wrote:
Quote:

LightDancer wrote:
I spent around 8 years in a cult-like training group where outside training was not allowed. Should you choose to do so, the punishment was banishment from the group or the threat of physical damage to encourage the others not to do so as it was an insult 'to the Japanese' and the group itself from not trusting in the instructor's role of leadership.

At the time of my training with the said circle, information was not available about different ryu, terminology, membership cards, etc. which are found within the Bujinkan. Everything was taught as Togakure ryu and the Kihon Happo consisted of I think around 5 kata. Having questions and being kicked out was the best thing to ever happen to me and my training.


Were they really a Bujinkan Dojo... or just
"masquerading" as one?

I mean, no membership... might imply that
there was no connection to Japan... or to
a certified teacher who would be, right?

No diplomas for ranks... not ranked in
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, thus they would
have been wearing white belts at seminars.
...



Michael (aka LightDancer) and I actually trained at the aforementioned group for the 8 years that he was there. Unfortunately, the instructor at this group is one of the two to whom I referred in my first post.

I believe that Yamazu's categorization is correct, this was not a bujinkan school; there was no membership. In all of the years in which I trained there, so far as I am aware - the teacher, not once attended a Tai Kai or went to Japan for any reason other than his business ventures. There was little-to-no connection with Japan.

As far as rank is concerned, we were always assured by the instructor in the class that we would be considered as black belts in whatever school we happened to venture (not that we were told that we could actually venture out) due to our skill because of his training methods. I became leery of this claim as time went on.

I removed myself from the group last year, due to a disagreement with the instructor. At that point I had been "promoted" to "nidan" - but I see now (just as I felt then) that I am not nearly at this level of rank. The training had become stagnated during the last 3-4 years I was there (actually it likely had been for some time before that, but I really started to become aware of it at that time). As Darren indicated, eventually, (for most students) the flaws in groups such as these will become apparent and the student will move on.

While I gained SOME insight and usefulness out of my 11 years of training at that group, I now see that I wasted A LOT of time, perhaps years, by remaining in there. I am currently trying to pick up the pieces and move on with my training. It's not a pretty thing and I am still reeling from the events/realizations that I've dealt with over the past few years.


Posted on: 2013/9/27 2:36
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
Kutaki Postmaster
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Ari, the said instructor was ex-Bujinkan. As in, his instructor dismissed him from his group. The beginning years of my enrollment however, that was not known to me. What was known was that he and his instructor had a falling out. To my young and excited mind and lack of knowledge of the art, that was no big deal. In my head, I think I remember believing it was because my instructor at the time had surpassed and was threatening to his own instructor.

Eventually there was a lot of talk about the Bujinkan becoming a cash-crop and taking money for membership cards and rank and you could only wear a red shirt to class if you were a godan. If you didn't leave class limping or bruised, you didn't train correctly. That's when a lot of red flags popped up and information started coming out on the net which made me get a lot of questions. Started asking those questions and threats were made so the questions stopped. Then more stupid rules followed like, from what I vaguely recall: 21+ pullups and 10 vertical push-ups in order to train, if someone shows up that said instructor didn't care for, an 'enforcer' was to damage them to the point of them not returning, and running a 14min 3 mile run for shodan.

During my dismissal scolding, instructor said it was his duty to physically injure me in front of the group as an example and that he then had to remove my name from the Bujinkan wall. ;) The wall we weren't a part of. It was cool.

Posted on: 2013/9/27 6:47
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
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Michael, I remember you telling me about your bad experiences with this fraud (that is what he is, after all). I am SO happy you and others have got away from him. But, it took you taking an honest look at what was going on and questioning it, that no matter what the 'teacher' said, none of it seemed right.

Any 'teacher' who advocates purposely injuring a student is pure vomit, as far as I'm concerned, and misrepresents whatever legitimate martial art they propose to represent. This guy showed a repeated pattern of doing things that go against common sense of how professional, mature martial artists should treat each other.

What is sad is when peer pressure, intimidation and fear is used to block one's common sense.

A martial arts teacher should be a positive mentor, someone who builds you up and provides a healthy example. Not the other way around. Those guys are predatory abusers and criminals in my book (yes, purposely inflicting real injury is an assault).

Good for you for questioning it and, when it finally revealed the vitriolic nature of that clown, you just simply walked away.

Posted on: 2013/9/27 7:11
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
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Darren your assessment of what happened with Michael and myself in that group was spot-on. Our group was given a very militaristic attitude and, as indicated, any questioning was dealt with in severe fashion. We wanted to be "good little soldiers" so we let our common sense be overridden. But as Michael stated, earlier on in our training, we had no idea what was happening.

Michael has been more than helpful during this difficult time in my training path - offering insight and guidance throughout. He is a credit to the budo community.

Posted on: 2013/9/27 15:00
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Re: Instrictor attitudes on students training with other instructors.
Cant Stay Offline
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Darren, you are spot on as far as I'm concerned! It is abhorant for an instructor to deliberately injure a student and this is especially true if it is you uke! It is possible to gain the skills that will be effective WITHOUT such stupidity! Gents, with what you have learned via your experience seek out good instruction. I'm certain you will. Most people in the Bujinkan have good hearts and a person's reputation very quickly gets known. Those who have been to Japan know exactly how Sensei conducts his class AND himself which means they won't be suceptible to BS about that. Good luck and good training gents.

Posted on: 2013/9/27 23:23
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Ed Martin aka Papa-san
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