Australian bujinkan

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by unitedwestand, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. unitedwestand

    unitedwestand White Belt

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    Hi all,

    I have to say, with the little bits I actually know of this art, and in particular throughout Australia, I am indeed impressed.

    I have seen (footage of) the following:

    Tim Bathurst
    Greg Hinks
    Andrew Netes
    Andrew Jarvis
    Duncan Mitchell
    Duncan Stewart
    John Cantor
    Ed Lomax
    Jamie Mac Aninch
    Darren Horvath

    All of the above are actually quite different, yet all excellent.

    Can anybody tie a story together about when and where the Bujinkan originated in Australia and who actually trained with each other to begin with?

    Coincidently, I think all of the above, are probably ranked the highest (although to me this means very little as there would surely be lower ranked guys superior to them and vice versa) in Bujinkan Australia with the exception of S. Jarvis, Steve Revnac, Lindsay Hawke, Craig Guest, Scott Shulze, Robin Doenicke and Gillian Booth????

    I do not know the story behind Andrew MacDonald, Beattie, Greg Alcorn, Gary Bailey, Chris West etc.

    An unbelievable line-up of folk within Australia?!!! You don't 'have to' go outside the country to train with elite craftspeople. Of course, each country would have a great line-up but I am most impressed at the shape of the Australian Bujinkan climate at the moment.

    Respectfully yours,
     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Yes, I can. Not sure how well it would be recieved, though...
     
  3. dbell

    dbell Blue Belt

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    Tease! ;)
     
  4. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Fire away Chris!
     
  5. savagek

    savagek Yellow Belt

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    Mr. Parker,

    People need to here the history yours and others so they can begin to put the picture together much like me building puzzles with my kids.

    Once enough of the pieces are turned over common threads appear and folks can assemble the puzzle. History so profoundly effects the present and the future of a subject.

    So yes please let us know. Much like the history here in the USA most dont really know it...

    Be well and Gassho,

    Ken Savage
    Bujinkan Shidoshi
    Winchendon MA. USA
    www.winmartialarts.com
     
  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm. Okay. But this is only because you all asked, right? I have tried to keep my time as agenda free as possible, and keep my feelings and opinions of other practitioners to myself, and will endeavour to do the same here, but certain things may spill out simply as a matter of telling the story. Remember, this is my take on how things happened, and are in no way definitive or representative of the feelings or opinions of others. With that said, here we go.

    Can anybody tie a story together about when and where the Bujinkan originated in Australia and who actually trained with each other to begin with?

    While the list in the OP does include a few of the earliest students, it is not the beginning of the Bujinkan in Australia (or New Zealand, or Papua New Guinea). Your list misses the man who actually did start things here.

    In the mid-to-late 70's a young Wayne Lee Roy read a book by Andrew Adams on Ninjutsu, and was intrigued. His father was a boxer, and he had trained in a number of arts since his early teens, including a form of karate, boxing, and Tong Long Kung Fu (Praying Mantis). He began a correspondance with Japan, addressing his letters to Hatsumi Sensei, who passed them on to the most experienced English speaking senior, Toshiro Nagato. Wayne Roy and Nagato Sensei exchanged letters for about a year, with Sensei Roy making his first trip to Japan in 1979. Due to a slight misunderstanding and cultural confusion, as well as a bit of serendipity, Sensei Roy actually spent the first few months living with Nagato Sensei, as well as having him as a teacher.

    He later got a job, moved out on his own, and continued to attend the classes. During this first year in Japan, he met Hatsumi Sensei once, at a group meeting which had a number of Westerners involved.

    When he returned to Australia, he set about creating the first Bujinkan schools in Brisbane, his home city. Initially, it was basically in a backyard, but soon grew. People came from around the country to learn the art, and Sensei Roy also spent time visiting other cities to give demonstrations and generate interest.

    In 1983 he went back to Japan for a year again, this time training directly under Hatsumi Sensei. This included the time when Tanemura Sensei left to form the Genbukan. He was awarded Rokudan as he left.

    When he returned, Sensei Roy turned his focus from teaching in a Japanese fashion to teaching in a way that reflected the Australian psychology and the types of violence that are commonly seen here. This began a move away from the Bujinkan mainstream, however he and his organisation remained members of the Bujinkan. When Hatsumi Sensei came out for the first Australian Tai Kai, around 60-65% of all attendees were from his schools. Sensei Roy had created the largest group of Ninjutsu schools in the Southern Hemisphere.

    As time went on, though, Sensei Roy's focus on teaching and training in an Australian-focussed way lead to him going to the US to teach and learn with Stephen Hayes, Charles Daniel, Robert Bussey, and more. This of course took precedence over trips to Japan, especially with texts such as the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki (which he was using to teach from back in the early 80's, well before most of the Bujinkan outside of Hatsumi Sensei, and Charles Daniel who had given Sensei Roy his copy), and the translations of the various densho and makimono (again courtesy of Charles). So he remained a Rokudan, and does to today.

    The early students included a few of the names mentioned above. Gillian Booth, for instance, was graded by Sensei Roy to be the first Australian female Ninjutsu black belt. Among the students was a young man who had trained in a sword art (Hokushin Ryu Iaido, I think...), named Ed Lomax. Sensei Roy had been shown very little sword work in Japan, with the focus being more on Hanbo, so he invited Ed to teach him what he knew. He then took Ed's swordwork and created a sword syllabus for his schools training. Ed has never really gotten over this.

    He has repeatedly criticised Sensei Roy in a number of publications over the fact that Sensei Roy wasn't shown much sword in Japan, and had to "steal" Eds, which Ed said was something he couldn't respect. Of course, this is all in hindsight now, as Ed stayed with Sensei Roy for a number of years, earning black belt grades with him. Ed later left Sensei Roy, went to Japan, and came back higher ranked and having been told by Hatsumi that he was the Australian representative (according to Ed - I have heard of Hatsumi saying similar to a number of people, basically setting them up against each other... I'm not getting into that, but there are theories about this), and set himself up against Sensei Roy.

    In 2000, after a number of his former students had been promoted (very fast) above him, and used this to tear down Sensei Roy and his schools (even though they were all Bujinkan), Sensei Roy left the Bujinkan.

    There's a lot more, obviously, but I'm not going into that here. Hopefully this is enough for now. In essence, the origins of the Bujinkan in Australia are Wayne Roy and his schools. Many (but not all) of the major guys in Australia started in his schools, and earnt at least their black belts with him. These days Sensei Roy's organisation is known as Jyukutatsu Dojo (The School of Self Mastery), which reflects his personal approach of utilising martial arts as a vehicle for personal development in all aspects of your life.
     
  7. stephen

    stephen Purple Belt

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    Do you mean Ishizuka sensei instead of Nagato sensei?
     
  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    No, I mean Nagato.
     
  9. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    That's interesting Chris. His story sounds a lot like Stephen Hayes' here in the U.S.
     
  10. unitedwestand

    unitedwestand White Belt

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    Thanks for that mate,

    I did know a bit of background on Wayne Roy (and how he was one of the, if not the prominent guy at the time in Australia). He had Mike Hammond and maybe Mike Tattoli on board who do their own things now too I think?

    I was sort of curious as to how the boys far away in WA (Jarvis boys, Mitchell, Hawke, Netes etc) got started as well as Horvath and Mac Aninch etc.

    I will assume (which is dangerous to do of course) based on what you said, that there would be a strong probability that the above trained with or under Roy, or one of his seniors.

    Cheers
     
  11. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Yeah, the Mikes were with us. As for the others, many either trained with us initially, or trained with guys who trained with us. In terms of the early days, Wayne Roy was the only source for Bujinkan in Australia. A few years later, Richard Jones (from memory) moved from the UK to Tasmania, and was the first guy with any experience who wasn't a part of our organisation at all. As the years went on, obviously, new people came to the art with no ties to Sensei Roy or his organisation.

    Cryo, yeah, there are some definate similarities to Hayes' story and his organisation (including a few that I'm not going to discuss here...), but there are also some big differences as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  12. Dean Whittle

    Dean Whittle Yellow Belt

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    Chris has done an admirable job in summarizing Wayne Roy's 20yr involvement in the Bujinkan as the first Australian to train in Japan and bring it back to Australia (although he wasn't the first Australian to train in Japan, there were two before him ... but that's another story). But I just wanted to clarify a few small things:

    Mr Roy's first trip to Japan was in 1980.

    Mr Roy returned to Japan on three occasions, roughly 1983, 1986/7 and 1990, it was at the end of this trip that he was graded to Rokudan.

    he received his copy of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki from Nagato-sensei at the end of his initial stay, not from Charles Daniel, however I understand he also received another version from Robert Bussey (who also got his from Nagato-sensei).

    Gillian Booth was not the first Australian female black belt, that was Leonie Furner, followed by a number of others. Ms Booth was graded to Shodan by her Instructor Maureen Jensen who was Mr Roy's representative in Sydney at the time.

    I don't believe Ed Lomax received any dan grades from Mr Roy, I believe he was graded by Andrew McDonald (IIRC) and left Mr Roy's Organisation thereafter.

    Michael Tattoli was one of the first homegrown New South Welshmen to be graded to Shodan by Mr Roy, along with Dean Gum (retired) and Dion Kalos, this was around early '87.

    I'm not too sure of Mike Hammond's history, I know he was part of our organisation at some stage but I don't know who he trained under in Sydney.


    By way of background, I've been training in Mr Roy's organisation since 1986 and was privy to much of went on over the years. As Chris highlighted there's much more than what is indicated above however this is a brief overview of some of the barebone facts, based on my memory.

    With respect
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  13. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    Yeah, I wasn't implying anything by it, just an observation on a couple guys who got started, changed it up for their environment and left to do their own thing eventually. Up until recently the whole politics of the art bugged the crap out of me... meaning I cared who and what you were. Now, aside from some goofy folks and some obvious frauds, I just don't give a damn.

    I might call someone to task on an obvious lie or falsehood... but the politics mostly mean nothing to me anymore: they are worthless.
     
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  14. Dean Whittle

    Dean Whittle Yellow Belt

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    Stephen,

    Hatsumi-sensei passed on Mr Roy's letters to Nagato-sensei because he indicated that he would be basing himself in Tokyo (for ease of employment) as opposed to Noda. Since Nagato teaches in that area and speaks English, he got the letters.

    With respect
     
  15. CMM

    CMM White Belt

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    Greg Alcorn was, unfortunately for him, my training partner at my very first lesson, at Ayase in 1999.

    Lessons that I remember from that day:
    1.) Mr. Alcorn was a super nice, helpful guy.
    2.) Hatsumi-sensei's class at Ayase is a terrible setting for one's first lesson.

    Sorry for the derail; seeing "Greg Alcorn" in the first post brought back a fun memory.
     
  16. Greg Alcorn

    Greg Alcorn White Belt

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    Ha ! I wondered why my ears were burning...... Perhaps Ayase is the best place to start training....and perhaps people who have not been conditioned to be compliant are the best training partners....

    I think I'm part of the third generation of the Australian Bujinkan. I have Andrew Macdonald to thank for years of authentic training here in Sydney during the 90's and encouraging many of his students including me to go to Japan. 1999 seems like so long ago now.....
     
  17. Macca59

    Macca59 White Belt

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    Hah!

    "Those that speak do not know and those that know do not speak."

    mmmm.
     
  18. unitedwestand

    unitedwestand White Belt

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    Thanks Greg,

    Can you give a bit of a synopsis if you don't mind and have time about who your prime instructors, partners and students were.

    Have you trained with many of the guys from SA and WA i.e. Ed Lomax and Andrew Netes?
     
  19. Greg Alcorn

    Greg Alcorn White Belt

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    Since you asked, my bujinkan teachers were Andrew Macdonald and Nagato sensei. There are many people much more knowlegable about the bujinkan in Australia than me, so I think I have said enough.....Good luck in your martial arts journey everyone.
     
  20. unitedwestand

    unitedwestand White Belt

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    Thanks Greg, and best of luck with yours.
     

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