Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 21 1 2 3 4 5 11 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 312

Thread: The authenticenty of the Bujinkan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    London
    Posts
    174
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default The authenticenty of the Bujinkan

    One of the old school members of the Bujinkan has been claiming for years that Hatsumi has been, to put it mildly, overembeleshing on the truth about Takamatsu and the Bujinkan. I am talking about Kosta "Chuck" Dervenis most of the older members here should know him or of him. Anyway here are clips of what he has been writing on a Greek forum about the Bujinkan and related subjects. Can any of the older members here bring evidence to contraqdict or affirm what Mr.Dervenis is saying?????


    Δημοσιεύθηκε: Δευ Αύγ 21, 2006 9:18 am Θέμα δημοσίευσης:



    Λοιπόν έχω κάποια πράγματα να πω ακόμη για αυτό το θέμα, προτιμώ να τα πω στα Αγγλικά, για να μπορεί να συμμετάσχει και ο Στεφαν ή/και όποιος από το Bujinkan στο εξωτερικό θέλει να το διαβάσει και να επέμβει.

    Rant: “The Secret History of the Bujinkan, and how it relates to Pammachon”

    This rant has to do with what is taught in the Pammachon system, and how it relates to what is today called Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. The composition is not meant to be a complete analysis, but rather an overview – a complete analysis would require several chapters. To make it easy for those who will copy it and post it elsewhere, this rant was generated in response to a thread at allforums.gr, whose originator stated that there is no difference between what I taught in 1992 while in the Bujinkan, and what I am teaching today. Here is my position on that.

    I began training in the Bujinkan in 1981 in the US, and became a member in 1982. In 1983, Stephen Hayes actually visited Greece and gave a series of seminars here at my request. In 1984, while in Atlanta I became a student first of Bud Malmstrom (that didn’t last very long) and then of Charles Daniel. In 1985 I first began training with Hatsumi Sensei while he was in the States, and in 1986 I spent the summer in Japan for the first time. I remained a member of the Bujinkan until 1994, training in the States, in Japan, and in Israel with the top practitioners of the art, often arranging my business affairs so that I could engage in further training. I resigned in 1994 because of the many problems in the organization.

    The thing that remains uppermost in my mind from this period regarding Hatsumi Sensei is that he is an extraordinary businessman and psychologist, roughly 15 years ahead of his time as far as being sensitive to the precise pulse of the era. Whether or not his chosen business model (and the effect of others like him) is positive for society as a whole is a matter open for speculation.

    As is well known, Hatsumi Sensei, already a high-ranking practitioner of other martial arts, became a student of Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Now, Takamatsu was notorious in Japan for claiming to be the lineage holder of several ninja ryu-ha, a claim that he, unfortunately, was never able to prove. He was also, verifiably, a shihan-ke of the Kukishin ryu, which gave him a measure of prestige, and the background to base his other claims on. He was, for the record, an extraordinary martial artist that had lived in China for a decade. As for the rest, his assertions do not really have bearing on this essay, except to say that they have never been proven, and that I personally do not believe them.

    Δημοσιεύθηκε: Δευ Αύγ 21, 2006 9:18 am Θέμα δημοσίευσης:



    Λοιπόν έχω κάποια πράγματα να πω ακόμη για αυτό το θέμα, προτιμώ να τα πω στα Αγγλικά, για να μπορεί να συμμετάσχει και ο Στεφαν ή/και όποιος από το Bujinkan στο εξωτερικό θέλει να το διαβάσει και να επέμβει.

    Rant: “The Secret History of the Bujinkan, and how it relates to Pammachon”

    This rant has to do with what is taught in the Pammachon system, and how it relates to what is today called Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. The composition is not meant to be a complete analysis, but rather an overview – a complete analysis would require several chapters. To make it easy for those who will copy it and post it elsewhere, this rant was generated in response to a thread at allforums.gr, whose originator stated that there is no difference between what I taught in 1992 while in the Bujinkan, and what I am teaching today. Here is my position on that.

    I began training in the Bujinkan in 1981 in the US, and became a member in 1982. In 1983, Stephen Hayes actually visited Greece and gave a series of seminars here at my request. In 1984, while in Atlanta I became a student first of Bud Malmstrom (that didn’t last very long) and then of Charles Daniel. In 1985 I first began training with Hatsumi Sensei while he was in the States, and in 1986 I spent the summer in Japan for the first time. I remained a member of the Bujinkan until 1994, training in the States, in Japan, and in Israel with the top practitioners of the art, often arranging my business affairs so that I could engage in further training. I resigned in 1994 because of the many problems in the organization.

    The thing that remains uppermost in my mind from this period regarding Hatsumi Sensei is that he is an extraordinary businessman and psychologist, roughly 15 years ahead of his time as far as being sensitive to the precise pulse of the era. Whether or not his chosen business model (and the effect of others like him) is positive for society as a whole is a matter open for speculation.

    As is well known, Hatsumi Sensei, already a high-ranking practitioner of other martial arts, became a student of Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Now, Takamatsu was notorious in Japan for claiming to be the lineage holder of several ninja ryu-ha, a claim that he, unfortunately, was never able to prove. He was also, verifiably, a shihan-ke of the Kukishin ryu, which gave him a measure of prestige, and the background to base his other claims on. He was, for the record, an extraordinary martial artist that had lived in China for a decade. As for the rest, his assertions do not really have bearing on this essay, except to say that they have never been proven, and that I personally do not believe them.

    Before I get to the main point of this rant, however, let me say one thing in Takamatsu’s defense: historical verification is a tricky thing at best and actual support of a claim by a designated authority does not necessarily mean that said claim is true or false. I have seen subjects analyzed to death beginning with a false thesis. You can prove 1=2 using conventional algebra, if you just change some of the ground rules. For example, there are several essays written on the Western origins of karate by very serious people, based on a claim by Morio Higaonna Sensei that there is an Okinawan legend that karate originated in the West. Several articles were published in prestigious magazines, analyzing the hows and whys of the case. Except that it’s not true. A friend of mine, a very high ranking instructor in Okinawan karate and Okinawan kobudo, who lived in Okinawa for 18 years studying directly under the last masters, implicitly stated in private correspondence to me that (in summary) “There is no legend in Okinawa that karate originated in the West; I have never heard such a thing discussed or whispered anywhere in Okinawa. Higaonna Sensei made that up because he had a falling out with his own teacher, and had to somehow appease his western students.” In the same vein, I have seen an online article by an American PhD in History, extraordinarily well-written, supporting the thesis that pankration influenced Eastern martial arts – except that he ends with a paragraph on how pankration never really died out in Greece, but how his own teacher Jim Arvanitis inherited a lineage of pankration and brought it to the States:
    Παράθεση:
    …….. However, pankration cannot be described as a "lost" martial art, with its methods confined to references in historical writings and artistic representations of the system. Its techniques continued to be handed down through the ages from one Greek generation to the next, kept alive in Greek communities both in Greece -- particularly in Athens and Delphi -- and abroad. It never entirely died out, and a limited form of the classical art continues to be practiced today….
    The most famous pankratist of modern times is James Arvanitis, a Greek-American who was taught pankration as a child. Since that time he has reformulated the system, incorporating aspects of other combative arts into a highly- eclectic cognate form he has named mu tau, from the Greek acronym for "martial truth."…..


    Beep! Next contestant, sorry. Everyone in Greece that practices martial arts or has studied history knows that this is nonsense – no pankration exists in Greece as a lineage, period, and Arvanitis was never taught pankration as a child by anyone, period. He was, and probably is even at his age today, an exceptional athlete who saw a business opportunity and sought to re-invent pankration (admirable of its own merit). His claims for a pankration lineage are false, however, and very reminiscent of Takamatsu, which is why I bring him up as an example (sadly, try as I might, I cannot get the letters “mu” and “tau” to generate an acronym for “martial truth” in Greek, and I am fluent in Greek and good at ancient Greek).

    So while the question of the ninja and Takamatsu is still open, the odds are against him. There exists a letter from Takamatsu to the Headmaster of the Kukishin ryu in which Takamatsu requests permission to open his own school, by adding in elements of karate to make it more marketable. This hardly indicates a separate ryu-ha history. I personally believe that Takamatsu created the whole thing, based on martial arts that he witnessed (rather than trained in) in China. But again, you can never know. In any case, the point is made.

    Hatsumi sensei first took a shot at a ninjutsu empire in Japan back in the 60s and 70s during the ninja boom there. He affiliated himself at first with Yumio Nawa Sensei and there are indications that he was, for a time, a student of Nawa Sensei. Things did not work out exactly as planned as far as numbers were concerned, but the Bujinkan was born. For a time, Hatsumi let the ninja image go, and concentrated on serious training based on the bujutsu he had been taught by Takamatsu. In the 70s, this small school had an extraordinary reputation in martial arts circles in Japan – the students there were tough! (I witnessed perhaps the last vestiges of that reputation in 1986). The training was severe! I have no doubt that for a long time, Hatsumi Sensei personally believed Takamatsu Sensei’s claims. However, it is a matter of record that in the late 70s he asked Shoto Tanemura, then a policeman, to investigate his teacher’s claims, and Tanemura was unable to verify their validity, including the existence of the Grandmaster cited as previous to Takamatsu! Therefore, there is no question that, at least by the 80s, Hatsumi Sensei knew exactly what was going on regarding the lineage he was holding.

    Now, let me make something clear. Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei is a highly talented individual with extraordinary martial and esoteric knowledge. Let it be known that I respect his abilities greatly, and always have – they are undeniable. This article of mine however has to do with the question of his intent and method rather than his abilities, and that is another matter entirely.

    Stephen Hayes, son of Ira (hence the marketing background), was the first in the US to option the legendary ninja business plan. He did it extraordinarily well. In 1981, Stephen was giving seminars all over the US, bringing in at least six figures back then, and more power to him. He came up with the business plan, packaged it, sold it (with a little help from Ira’s connections), and the public bought it. I was one of the buyees. While what Steve was teaching was not specifically representative of the Bujinkan dojo, one could say that this really didn’t matter in the end, because as we will see, there has been no teaching regime specific to the Bujinkan dojo since 1985 or thereabouts.

    In the 60s and 70s, as I mentioned, the Bujinkan practitioners became well-rounded martial artists. This was a result of severe training. This training revolved around endless repetition, makiwara striking, randori, and violent application of technique; it should be noted as well that all the practitioners had a background in other martial arts and martial sports, some being very high ranking in same. However, the referenced training method did not sell very well to the general public, and circa 1980 Hatsumi Sensei was debating closing shop.

    Then Stephen brought him to the States in 1982; from a financial standpoint, it was a tactical error on Steve’s part. He was well-intentioned in doing so. In fact, in private conversation with me (Steve and I were friends, and I was young and inexperienced enough to have had that friendship manipulated and destroyed), Steve mentioned that he was worried about bringing Hatsumi Sensei over to the States, that he would see what Steve had done with the art, disagree with it, etc. But he thought it would be better for everyone in the long run to meet the Master, so he went ahead with the trip. In fact, Hatsumi could not have cared less what Steve was doing with the art – the abundance of high ranks given to people he has never met or remembers is clear proof of this. But he was indeed interested in the numbers.

    Hatsumi Sensei came, he saw, he conquered, 1982. One of the people he conquered was me. What he himself saw was the potential to make some serious cash, because Steve had a large group of people there, and Hatsumi Sensei’s appetite was wetted at the thought of what the Bujinkan could become.

    However, Steve had no intention of sharing the business he had sweated and fought (literally) to set up and develop, and kept the doors to the American paradise closed. (To be quite honest, why should Hayes share a business he himself developed from zero?) Dr. Hatsumi kept pushing. He first got down to setting things “right” in Japan. Shoto Tanemura had also set up a very promising school at the police academy and had several subsidiary dojos of this school in the region. Those students should be Hatsumi’s; after all, was he not Soke? (Hatsumi Sensei didn’t even have a school at the time - he used Tetsuji Ishizuka Sensei’s.) Tanemura and Hatsumi were cousins; that put a damper on things, per Japanese ethos. But Hatsumi kept pushing, attacking the cash. Things erupted when Hatsumi’s mother died, and Tanemura finally felt free of the giri he had towards her (for whatever personal reasons known only to them), resulting in the documented cussing-out and falling apart at her funeral. Tanemura went his own way. Hatsumi seized a portion of the students (but many stayed with Tanemura).

    The weapon Hatsumi used to crack open the US pot of students formerly held by Stephen Hayes, was me.

    I spent the summer of ‘86 in Noda, alone with only two other foreigners. I can definitively attest to the fact that we were very seriously trained at the time, at Hatsumi Sensei’s behest. Bear in mind also that the Bujinkan was still a very genuine esoteric (almost religious) school in the mid-80s, and that Hatsumi had specific abilities that can best be described as approaching the paranormal. Also, few other Americans had visited Hatsumi’s dojo back then that were “outside of Steve’s inner circle” (Shadows of Iga). So I, as the only American then, was in particular cultivated and trained (Innocently enough, I thought it was because of me! No small egos here.) The weapon was forged, fired, and unleashed with one command: “Steve has strayed, Steve is trying to teach people the wrong thing and prevent people from coming to the real source of knowledge”.

    Blammo. Shots fired, officer down.

    This is how Ben Cole, a senior Bujinkan member today, described the situation:
    Παράθεση:
    When I was living in Japan, I met someone who had moved there a few months after SKH returned from Japan. Although he does not train any longer, he still has all of his old materials and some really great stories. His recollection of training merely months after Mr. Hayes departed Japan was extremely similar to the training I was receiving in the 1990s. Hmm....
    One day, I also came across this article:
    http://www.pammachon.gr/Training%20with%20Hatsumi's%20Best.htm
    Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this had been written during the time when SKH was publishing all his books about Godai and so on! Hmm....
    The Dervenis article portrays training and the "feeling" of training almost IDENTICAL to that experienced in recent years. In fact, it reminded me very much of the types of things I had been keeping in my journal only a few years ago!
    When Mr. Dervenis' portrayal of Japan emerged--a portrayal that differed substantially from that portrayed by Mr. Hayes--Mr. Hayes was none too pleased. How would I know this? Direct communication with witnesses to the fallout.
    One must wonder why Mr. Hayes would be SOOOOOO upset that another individual published a description of training in Japan? The publication of Mr. Dervenis' article started bringing more and more people to Japan to train. Strange, seeing how Hatsumi-sensei was supposedly not taking any students, according to Mr. Hayes. One must wonder...
    As Duncan pointed out, I don't think Mr. Hayes ever thought that people would be able to verify his statements and writings. I guess it is easy for some people to set aside guilt for material misrepresentation once the checks start rolling in....
    It wasn't until the Internet first started playing a role in the Bujinkan (back in the days of Ninpo-L) that many people had even heard of Mr. Navon. I was still meeting Hayes students in Japan as late as 1994 who believed that Hayes had been the first non-Japanese to train with Hatsumi-sensei. Again, I wonder where they got that idea?


    (Note: for the record, the first Westerner to train with Hatsumi Sensei was Terry Dobson (with a young Ellis Amdur in tow), followed by Quentin Chambers, then Doron Navon and Danny Waxman.)

    (Note 2: Ben writes: “I guess it is easy for some people to set aside guilt for material misrepresentation once the checks start rolling in....” That would be true, Ben, if the Bujinkan was not, at the same time Stephen was teaching, also a case of material misrepresentation, with checks rolling in…)

    (Note 3: Steve, for the record, if you ever read this (and I will try to make sure you do), I was wrong, you were right, but I was manipulated to believe you were the Devil. As I approach 50 myself today, I can see how easy it is for a 50 something to manipulate a 20 something, especially an individual as charismatic as Hatsumi Sensei. Consider this an apology then, twenty years too late; I don’t know if you will derive any satisfaction from its receipt at this stage in the game, but here it is.)

    So. I took down Steve’s initial empire of schools at Hatsumi Sensei’s bequest. I was the perfect choice. I had considerable experience in modern budo, had no problem whatsoever beginning and ending a fight, and was a student of Charles Daniel. The latter was important for a number of reasons. Charles was (and is) a serious martial artist that had access to the “Japanese” Bujinkan teachings before anyone else as an apostate from Steve’s organization (I will elaborate on this). In addition, he was a student of the Western martial arts and historical hoplology long before this became popular, and combined all the above with a serious personal esoteric quest. Charles was/is a driven and difficult man, as all driven men typically are (my own hate club far outweighs my fan club).
    Charles was also the only American who had access to the original Bujinkan material outside of Steve, through another source. When Hatsumi Sensei had visited the US in 1982, he had gifted Steve with a copy of his personal contribution to the Bujinkan school – this was a document called the TenChiJin ryaku no maki. Today it has lost its significance, but back then it was precious. The second person who had a copy of this text in the States was the “official translator” of the Bujinkan at the time, Taro Yoshikawa, a man haunted by his own demons. There were no copies in Europe at all then. Charles and I received a copy of this text from Taro. Charles, Ken Brooks, and I paid for the text to be translated into English for the first time. The purpose of the text and its methods were explained to us by Fumio Manaka Sensei during a brief visit to the States – this was circa 1984, and it was a big deal back then.
    The TenChiJin was Hatsumi’s dedicated and talented side at work. He saw the similarities between the different ryu-ha he was told he had inherited from early on, and set about documenting them. The TenChiJin was a training methodology based on the common chord of these ryu-ha, and it is a very effective, if not fully structured document. The problem was, it had to be followed to be effective, and that was seriously hard work, the potential of which is shown in the Bujinkan of the 70s. For a few years, Charles and I were the only people outside Japan training per the TenChiJin. In 1985 I gave a copy to Doron Navon, and from there it went around the world, with better and better translations appearing.
    So then, back to the training. Circa the early 80s, people in the Bujinkan in the West had no idea what method to use and how to train, so everyone kept coming up with their own. I spent a year in Israel in 1988-89, for example; at Doron’s school, the training methodology was based on his judo background, lots of hard sparring with bare fisticuffs, Feldenkreis to heal the wounds, and so on; after 1985, he added in the TenChiJin he had received from me (I was grateful to have been told by the boys back then that I was the only foreigner who had visited Israel who was accepted as a Shidoshi there – they were all tough and war veterans, and that comment was highly flattering, because the Bujinkan rank criteria were already out of control by 1989).

    My own training with Charles circa 1984-86 was simple: no matter what the weather was, we trained outside every day for 2-3 hours, on different ground each time – I mean it, snow, sleet, hail, tornado, drought, thunderstorm, etc, we were out there. Grass, rock, cement, mud, water, we were out there. We sparred and struggled, unarmed and armed – sadly and stupidly, more often than not with real weapons. We had the TenChiJin and we followed it religiously, along with Manaka Sensei’s advice on makiwara and stance training. We trained unfailingly at mutodori (with a fukuroshinai or boken) and fencing, as a direct follow-on to our European MA training (which believe it or not, was additional!!). In summary, we were insane, did not have a life, but rather trained in the martial arts instead, following the Bujinkan curriculum of the 60s and 70s – the one that was proven to have worked.

    During this period, Hatsumi Sensei had determined that hard training does not sell well, and came up with the kata-based, free-variation, no-resistance training that made his fortune and has characterized the Bujinkan since the mid-eighties. Concurrently, he hyped up the ninja image once again, because Steve had proven that it worked, and stirred in all the trappings – the patches, black uniforms, construction worker’s tabi, exotic weapons, talcum powder, etc. Circa 1988-89 Fumio Manaka gave a series of private seminars in the States, for the most part to my own students, in which he presented the individual ryu-ha kata material. It went over really big. That was the final piece of the puzzle for Hatsumi Sensei. The Bujinkan took wing. Bujinkan students did kata, non-resisting, and did continuous henka, just like “The Old Man”. The difference was, the Old Man had a lifetime of serious martial arts training behind him, and he was, well, old.

    At the same time, circa September 1986 (he even changed his warrior name to symbolize this change in intentions), Hatsumi Sensei began to indulge in selling ranks. This was centred on his advanced recognition of the new market economy. Previous martial arts businesses had been based on multi-level marketing. You had a Regional Director, most typically from the country of origin, a national director, area managers, and local teachers, with the lower levels feeding percentages all the way up the food chain. Away with MLM, Hatsumi declared! There can be only One, and He shall be Me – it’s my school after all! As early as 1986, the Japanese Shihan were complaining to me that Hatsumi Sensei was taking their students away from them. Watch how this worked: the middleman went in, set up shop, then surrendered his efforts and his students to the boss. Works great if you’re the Teacher, but sucks if you’re the middleman. And if that middleman was your own student who had devoted years of his life to you, well, that showed how much you really cared for your student, I suppose. Dog eat dog world, after all. In any case, Hatsumi Sensei followed the modern entrepreneurship franchising system. On the one hand, part of it was simple genius on Dr. Hatsumi’s part: you set up an easy method of training, cloaked it in mystique, made it cult-like in its focus, centered it on one individual. Distribute books and tapes profusely (does this remind anyone of Amway?) so that the material is superficially out there for anyone to review. Eliminate all merit based criteria – in fact, ranks are openly requested and sold freely by correspondence, without examination. (Drumroll) Instant success! Not multi-level, but bi-level marketing, with Hatsumi on one tier and everyone else on the other. The scope is simple – get the numbers out there and the rest is sure to follow. On the other hand, I personally believe the aforementioned system was conceived not only by foresight, but by two additional factors: 1) Hatsumi Sensei’s inability to trust in anyone because of his own family history, and 2) more importantly, because of his inability to handle and understand technology. His grasp of economic transaction was strictly barter; I get the cash, you get the diploma with the stamp on it. Under the circumstances, people suggesting computers and databases (such as myself) in order to insure a more merit-based, time-in-actual-training-dependent system, were met with suspicion and open hostility.

    The situation got so bad that Bujinkan ranks had to be increased by another ten so that they could be sold further (that is to say, 15 Dan, plus another 5 variations on the 15th – the presumption that there are “only” 15 Dan in the Bujinkan is incorrect).

    In any case, it fell well with the Pulse of the Era. The bi-level method described above is well established in the new Millennium and has ingrained itself in the psyche of all younger folks, along with reality shows, pierced navels, and tattoos just above well-formed butts (which I cannot help but admire, since, as Shakira says, hips don’t lie). I believe the prevalence of this system is a deliberate ploy, by the way, a manipulation by the Powers That Be to insure the supremacy of their progeny. Once the Iron Curtain was brought down by well-intentioned bumbling idealists like yours truly, the PTB really had nothing to stand in their way, and sought to control the masses to insure favourable political outcomes. A tried and proven method, bilevel marketing – Demosthenes did it, Stalin did it, Hitler did it, etc. No one has an opinion but the Boss. Kill off the capable and intelligent middle class, and you are sure to maintain control. At what other period in history could George Bush Jr. have become President of the United States not once but twice?

    In any case, the more serious Shihan in the Bujinkan started to ask themselves… “what da f, homes?” Tanemura Sensei had already bolted out of there, establishing his own organization. Manaka Sensei followed. Several prominent teachers had also quietly resigned in the early 80s (I trained with one in 86, Kobayashi, just before he slipped away; he did not believe that the school should be opened to foreigners, but that is should be kept closed, esoteric, with the teachings only for Japanese). The continuous series of resignations, objections and quiet withdrawals by Japanese and Western students left Hatsumi Sensei in a quandary. What to do? Aha!! As it turned out, in fact Hatsumi Sensei had NOT imparted upon these instructors “the real knowledge” inherent to the Bujinkan (even though some of them had been with him for 35 years), but was in fact waiting to pass it on to the many Westerners now in the organization! Brilliant!! Hence in the last ten years we have seen, and continue to see, an onset of new material based on the secret knowledge of the nine ryu-ha.

    Give me a break. I maintain that everything Hatsumi sensei had to teach about the martial arts is enclosed in the few dozen pages of the TenChiJin. He created this methodology when he thought he was dying, and a dying man wants to create what he deems best for his legacy. The rest of the stuff? He is making it up as he goes along, year by year, and people are buying into it by the truckload. Hatsumi Sensei has a degree in Theater, let us remember, and he is playing to the audience, giving them what they want to hear. I cannot presume to know the reasons behind his actions (in fact, I have often wondered about them, since he has no children), but I can, at my age and experience, readily determine his intentions and methodology.

    I personally have nothing to do with the “new” Bujinkan. I never really got into the ryu-ha kata and all that. Didn’t think they were very important, you see. I was interested in the essence of the training. So all this “new stuff” post 1990 is a bit beyond me (my last visit to Japan was 1992). I have never been taught the “special Gyokko ryu ichimonji” and have no idea what the “secret Gikan ryu step” is. And, you know what? I couldn’t care less.

    One of the problems with a lack of an actual training curriculum in the Bujinkan, was that there were in fact some damn good martial artists involved in Bujinkan training. And what did these people do? They made up their own training programs based on other things! I was one of them.
    Keep to the way of the warrior

    Mc'pherson Lee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    London
    Posts
    174
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    And here is the link to the forum that I reffered to

    http://www.allforums.gr/phpBB2/viewt...r=asc&start=90
    Keep to the way of the warrior

    Mc'pherson Lee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Vancouver WA
    Posts
    345
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Eh.

    There are many good points in there, but the old "we trained for real in the old days and all you guys are just suckers" line is too trite.

    I've seen a couple of these suppposed old-timers and their skill didn't impress me as much as it impresses them. There's this tendency to think that there are these people from decades ago who trained 'the real way', and then left because there was no place for them. And then when you meet them you say "that's it?".

    Sorry, just my experience.
    ____________
    Aric Keith

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    275
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Sounds about right.
    Eric Baluja

    Fukai kiri teme mo motenai kaku reru daizan.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    78
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    You know, one does have to stand back in awe and see the "idol worship" and cult of personality that is the Bujinkan today. Very much like Aikido-ka flat out deify Ueshiba Morihei. Chuck Dervenis is/was a legend in the Bujinkan back in the day, this is a pretty revealing post. I would be interested in knowing which other former Japanese Shihan "moved on", and what were their reasons for doing so.
    Bill Haynes

    #1 pickup line of all time: "Hey, does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    東京&埼玉
    Posts
    220
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    I agree with the article.
    Cory Burke
    ゴゴゴ!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Groningen (NL)
    Posts
    621
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tenchijin2
    but the old "we trained for real in the old days and all you guys are just suckers" line is too trite.
    Good point, but in this case, he actually gives actual examples rather than just a blanket statement.

    Back to the subject, a fascinating article and if even half the things are true it answers a number of interesting and difficult questions.
    Michael Kelly

    Ironically neither a Niten Ichi practitioner or in fact a ninja.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    113
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Interesting post.

    A query I have though, and it should really be directed at Mr Dervenis, but I'll put it here anyway, is that a translated copy of the TCJRNM was given to my Teacher, Wayne Roy in 1980 by Nagato-sensei. And this was the basis of the traditional training in all of his schools until the very early 90s when translations of the ryu-ha scrolls started emerging (interestingly enough, via Charles Daniel). So to say that Chuck and Charles were the only one's outside of Japan to be using the TCJRNM isn't quite correct.

    Also, it's my understanding that the original TCJRNM was put together by Takamatsu-sensei. This idea has also been promulgated by at least one present-day high-ranking Bujinkan western 15th dan.

    With respect
    Dean Whittle
    Sydney, Australia
    www.ninjutsuaustralia.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    117
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    While there are good points in this article, much of it is an unfocused rambling. It is certainly true that exposure to westerners of every stripe moderated the severity of the training, as it had originally existed, one cannot necessarily draw the conclusion that all that has come out after the initail unveiling of Hatsumi's ninjutsu/bujutsu, was mere concotion. Indeed the fact that kata are being used to malign the current training, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of bujutsu, and of the modern Bujinkan, especially when the not so subtle suggestion is made that all the other ryuha are fraudulent musings based upon the Kukishin traditions.

    The first and most obvious refutation of this assertion is that the Kukishin traditions, and indeed most other know koryu and gendai budo, contain the very types of kata that this article rants against. The other more obvious fact is that traditions that are origainally secret are more likely to come out in bits and parts, and later more completely, than all at once. The other is that so called "old timers" had better (more authentic) training. While some, including, myself will freely admit that the early training of westerners, was more severe, what can be equally argued is that the imparted information was incomplete.

    Having recently been uke for both an "Old timer" Charles Daniel, at the Martin farm in summer 2005, and new western 15th Dan, Arnaud Consergue, in March 2006, I cannot agree with the above article. Indeed, I would have to say that there were many more simliarities than differences between their methods. As a point of comparison between them, I would like to use Gyokko Ryu kata as a comparison. Having both watched and been on the receiving end of technique from both men, I can say that the differences were stylistic and as likely to be from personal variances, as the later result of concoction on the part of Hatsumi Sensei. I actaully have an English translation of Gyokko Ryu densho that Charles made, which he told me he was taught by Nagato Shihan in the mid 80's, that was performed exactly the same way at the last Daikomyosai, which I attended.

    In short, while it is human nature to be discontented, and the often leads to variation and growth, this attribute is by no means indicative of the inadequacy of whom ever is the leader/inspiration, at the time. One only need look at the supposed divergences of Tanemura and Manaka, and ask themselves if similar divergences don't exist within the confines of the Bujinkan-they do! None of which demostrates the frailties of Hatsumi or anyone else, but rather the truly complex and unpredictable nature of humanity.
    Phillip T. Hevener

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    314
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default Opinion...

    No doubt Mr. Dervenis post will be "discredited" by someone not in agreement with it. But I will say this much:

    1. While living in NYC I did visit two Bujinkan schools because, honestly, I was interested in training in "real" ninjutsu (at the time "ninpo" was not the word most commonly marketed for the art). I was disappointed by what I saw. Everything seemed weak; at least from my inexperienced point of view. Later I saw video of Hatsumi Masaaki and realized that the students are probably trying to imitate their grandmaster. The issue here, to me, was obvious - Hatsumi Masaaki was an accomplished master of martial arts who had undergone some serious and intensive training to get to the point where he could just glide by an attacker and "accidentally" end up tripping him and pinning him down. I once had an English teacher explain to me that some of the most revered poets of our time were known for bending and even breaking the rules of English grammar. However, she cautioned us that in order to learn to do this, those very same people mastered the grammar first.

    2. I saw many pictures of Hatsumi Masaaki from his youth and even some rare film footage. Tanemura Shoto has either written or talked about some of the harsh training as a young student. I used to wonder: "Why were these training methods good enough for them, but not 'us'?"

    3. In the end, I think Hatsumi Masaaki is brilliant. I also totally believe that in his youth, he was a very formidable martial artist - an understatement to be sure. Certainly, today, he cannot be called anything else but "master". But, if he has indeed decided to really "teach" a successor, only that one person will "receive" the art. Everyone else is just paying for the overhead and then some.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    99
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    I would say that the most interesting information in the article is regarding the organisation and the "politics" within Bujinkan. Put aside the "effectiveness" of the style or the historical claims, in all honesty it is a very fragile structure, mainly held together by our Soke. The lack of an official curriculum, in truth the lack of anything official is becomming more and more of a problem as the Bujinkan continues to grow. How many members are there now? A rough estimation is more than 250 10 dan or above, more than 3000 5 dan or above and how many blackbelts and greenbelts? Were talking at least 60000 practitioners and more likely close to 100000! And all are supposed to go to the source (ie Soke) and train in the super crowded Hombu. This makes it the ideal organisation for drop outs and such.

    Regards /

    Richard M
    Richard Maier
    Bujinkan Kasuga Dojo
    Kasuga Dojo Teaser clip

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Darasu Tekisasu
    Posts
    1,172
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    I know I got a TCJ booklet from Charles D in 1986.
    Hum.. I trained with Chuck in the years he wrote about.. as well as Charles here in Dallas.

    A lot of what Chuck said and if he said it.. is somewhat true.. but I feel his feelings are a little different from what they were in the late 80's with training us and the conversations we had.

    ralph severe, kamiyama
    Dallas Ninjutsu Academy
    www.artofcombat.com
    The best Japanese and Mexican Bugei in Dallas !

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    22
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    I would have loved to see the responses had this thread been posted on kutaki no mura forum. They are mostly all Bujinkan there and would probably be interested in seeing this. I suppose it is only a matter of time before they are aware of it here.
    Josh Kimball

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    London
    Posts
    174
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    All the points that have been raised are more or less valid but they are still very vague. Can anyone bring any kind of supporting evidence to any aspect of this discusion?

    Ralph would you be willing to let us know what the sentiments were back then?

    These question are all very selfish I know but as the younger generation in the bujinkan and such we do not have the beneffit of your experience. And to take anything at face value seems to have lost it's luster over the years.
    Keep to the way of the warrior

    Mc'pherson Lee

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Waffle Central
    Posts
    487
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    ... and the point would be?

    I'm in Japan at least once a year and have a hard time often relating to what people talk about here or on Kutaki. What I do know is that many of the people who come to Japan have a nice time and learn alot, while others come with an agenda (LOOK AT ME!!!! I'M SO GOOD!!!) and can basically ruin training.

    I also notice a lot of difference between what passes for discussion on US-based Bujinkan training and what goes on here in Europe. I haven't been training much of late, busy starting a business and all, but that's down to a dull roar and I can get back to the fun stuff.

    Rough training? Sorry, no time for that. The last thing I need is some hyped up newbie who just thinks that he's learn the Takamatsu Crushing Pinky of Death Gripple and wants to try it on me or, for that matter, some blackbelt who still doesn't know his basics trying to use me to impress Hatsumi or the other Shihan who happen to be at Hombu on a given Sunday.

    Focused, high-level training? Yup, that's for me.

    Earlier this year some clown tried to deck me, and he found himself inexplicably flying into the street where with just a wee bit more of an angle he'd have stood a good chance of doing a faceplant in front of traffic (albeit slow traffic). That was called using the environment aroud you. Dangerous enough?

    Josef Vlach

Page 1 of 21 1 2 3 4 5 11 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •