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Thread: japanese versus nonjapanese MA students

  1. #1
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    Dear Obata Sensei,

    thank you very much for joining us.

    I was wondering if you could give us your view on the differences between Japanese and Non-Japanese martial art students. As there are cultural and mentality differences it effects their training and attitudes in the dojo, how would you compare them??? What are some of the negative and positve differences??? Also, what would you recommend each group to learn from the other???

    Domo arrigato goazimashita

    Sincerely,
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  2. #2
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    Hello Obata Sensei,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to join us here on E-Budo.

    Mr. Brecht has posed a very interesting question (Thank you for putting into words what I couldn't). If I might be allowed to dovetail on his question; what differences do you see in training (in general) between Japan and the United States? What do you perceive as some of the benefits/disadvantages of each? I am speaking more of differences on a global scale rather thanon an individual scale.

    Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to your response.

    Yoroshiku Onegaeshimasu

    Respectfully,


  3. #3
    Obata T Guest

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    Even if you say that it is a Japanese martial art, the period of times include the Edo Era when the Emperor ruled Japan, as well as after World War II.

    But, when the times change, the idea, philosophy, and people change with it. After WWII, the Japanese are mostly business men/woman. There are a few that teach TRADITIONAL Japanese martial arts, but they are not quite as popular as the more recent ones. Judo has a history of 100 years, empty hand Karate and Aikido have a history of about 60 years [since it has become popular] and all three do not teach with a weapon much if at all, but are quite popular now.

    Shinkendo was made in the modern times, but it comes from a history of 1200 years from the Kamakura to the Muromachi to the Edo Era.

    What I think is a Japanese martial art... is when Bushido and the samurai spirit is clearly left in the Budo. The Budo must have good philosophy as well as a good structure [methods and techniques].

    For example...Shinkendo has a philosophy of what we call "Kuyo Junikun" and "Hachido". Additionally, the sword techniques are strong, including Suburi, Battoho, Tanrengata, Tachiuchi, and Tameshigiri.

    Shinkendo is not a type of personal [family/house] ryu-ha, but instead has a strong history behind the founding of it's philosphy and structure, and as such I [classify it] as one type of what was a Samurai's main martial art.

    [in other words, not a small, regional family system, but a classification in and of itself. This viewpoint is based on the unique structure of Shinkendo, and can perhaps be thought of as a similar evolution/modification to that of Jujutsu to Judo as a new type or art, or Aikijujutsu to Aikido. NS.]

    Japan has many martial arts and it is nice that foreign students of Japanese arts go to visit Japan. But I would warn that if you study one type of martial art, there is a chance that you will not be able to learn any other arts.

    Even if you go to Japan to learn martial arts, Japan is as modern as America now and you may or may not be able to find that old, ancient feeling in Japan if you did spend the time and money to go. It is something that is becoming lost very quickly in Japan.


    International Shinkendo Federation,


    [Edited by Obata T on 08-21-2000 at 04:09 PM]

  4. #4
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    Default addendum

    Hi all,

    By now I hope you've caught on that the stuff in brackets [] are supporting comments or transliteration in order to facilitate clarity. I also might include additional comments in brackets as well, should it help.

    I believe one question that was at least alluded to was rather a non-Japanese can learn traditional Budo. The fact that Obata Soke has chosen to move to America 20 years ago, found his art and set up the Honbu dojo in America I think strongly indicates that he does not agree that study in Japan is mandatory, though I'm sure he would acknowledge his situation as somewhat unique in this context.

    Obata Soke's students will have to prove themselves over time to see if this is true!

    BTW, feel free to ask for further clarification on a question if you don't quite understand the answer.

    Regards,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  5. #5
    Obata T Guest

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    Dear Obata Sensei,

    thank you very much for joining us.

    I was wondering if you could give us your view on the differences between Japanese and Non-Japanese martial art students. As there are cultural and mentality differences it effects their training and attitudes in the dojo, how would you compare them??? What are some of the negative and positive differences??? Also, what would you recommend each group to learn from the other???

    In general, Euope has a history of Kings, queens, and knights.

    Japan was built up over the centuries by Shoguns, Emperors, and Samurai. A samurai's leader was a Shogun, and the Shogun ruled Japan during the Kamakura, Muromachi, and Edo periods.

    A Samurai was always under strict control and things were a matter of honor or dishonor. These manners were kind of handed down to present day Japanese martial arts students.

    Samurai manner has a deep background from Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, Strategy Sansu, Shingaku, and Zen. [Elements of these teachings have been] handed down to many of the martial artists nowadays.

    A samurai also learned many different kinds of martial arts. But during the meiji period when the samurai [class was abolished], these martial arts were separated into individual martial arts. These martial arts have modernized since WWII and are still changing. Slowly, the samurai spirit is disappearing.

    Since every martial art is different, and since every training style [method/teaching structure] is different, I cannot really give you an answer on this one. There are serious students of martial arts all around the world, as well as those that study because they see it as a hobby. I try to teach those that are honorable and of good character.


    International Shinkendo Federation,

    [Edited by Obata T on 08-21-2000 at 04:27 PM]

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