If I could get some insights

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by DocWard, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. DocWard

    DocWard Purple Belt

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    Hi, as my post count indicates, I am quite new here. I posted a thread in the Meet & Greet forum that can be found here, for those who are interested:

    http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66490

    Since writing that, I have done a fair amount of lurking and reading, trying to gather information. Sadly, in a sense, some of what I have read has confirmed my suspicions and ended some dreams I have had for a number of years. Specifically, I had long wanted to learn ninjutsu, and Stephen K. Hayes was always about 40-45 minutes away, when time and money made that a possibility. I even stopped by the dojo a few months before my deployment, hoping to take lessons when I returned.

    Since that visit, something didn't sit quite right, although I couldn't put my finger on it. In reading all that I could on the subject, it seems to me that the concern there is to be a commercial success, first and foremost. I walked away feeling not impressed with what I saw. I mean no disprespect toward Mr. Hayes, his art, or his dojo, but that visit, along with everything I have read, leads me to the conclusion that I wouldn't be a good fit there, and I would feel as though I am clearly not getting my money's worth in return.

    Now (deep breath) with that out of the way, and hopefully having not offended the To-Shin Do practitioners too badly, I am still very interested in ninjutsu. Whether I will go straight into it, or finish my Kenpo black belt first, I am unsure. I was mildly, yet pleasantly surprised to find an actual Bujinkan dojo in Dayton. It costs far less and is even about 10 minutes closer to me!

    http://www.daytonbujinkan.com/index.html

    Now, for the insights I am asking for. Even though it is a licensed Bujinkan school, I realize that not all schools and instructors are top notch. So, has anyone had any experience here? Are any of the instructors familiar to other practitioners? I know that, Hatsumi Soke aside, at least a couple of the names they list as "Budo Mentors" under the adult training heading popped up favorably when I was viewing threads, but I don't know that those automatically translate to a good instructor staff.

    Any thoughts, opinions and insights are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. cypher

    cypher Yellow Belt

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    Make time to visit with them, take a class (and watch one to see how people interact with the instructors and get the Feeling of the class) and look around the dojo. If you see certificates with the Bujinkan seal, then you're good. They should also be able to answer your questions. Tell them outright what you're looking for. If they don't have credentials on display, ask to see them. Explain why. You want to insure that you are a fit for the school and that they are a fit for you. And above all NEVER doubt your gut it is usually right.
    Ninpo Ik-kan! and good luck!
    Cypher
     
  3. DWeidman

    DWeidman Blue Belt

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    Larry is out there as well. Ask Marty about his contact information as well - gives you another place to stop by to add to the list of possibilities.

    -Daniel
     
  4. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    I've trained with Jeff Ochester a few times. He knows his stuff.
     
  5. DocWard

    DocWard Purple Belt

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    You need to be patient with me. Who are Larry and Marty?

    Thanks, that is good to know. I hope I don't get too impatient to get home and check it out over the next few months! I am already impatient to be home with my wife and daughters!
     
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not believe I have trained with Jeff though we may have been at a few places at the same time. Still for what it is worth I have only heard positive things about him. [​IMG]
     
  7. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    Just noticed your location. Thanks for your service!
     
  8. nitflegal

    nitflegal Green Belt

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    If he's the one I'm thinking of I think I went down there for seminars a few times and it was a solid school. Too much of a hike from Michigan to do for a normal class schedule so I've no clue on those. FWIW, and not to derail the thread, I did bop down to Hayes-sensei a few times as well and though it seemed more regimented than I preferred I learned a lot and the taijutsu was good.

    All in all, I'm glad to be back on the East Coast though.

    Matt
     
  9. DocWard

    DocWard Purple Belt

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    Thank you.
     
  10. Kichigai-no-Okami

    Kichigai-no-Okami Orange Belt

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    Trained with both Jeff and Marty. Dayton Bujinkan Dojo will be well woth your time. Hope you stop by. :ultracool
     
  11. rutherford

    rutherford Master Black Belt

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    I believe he's referring to Larry Turner.

    Marty Dunsky is one of the owners and instructors at the Dayton Bujinkan Dojo.

    I haven't met any of these gentlemen and so cannot advise you other than to encourage you to check them out for yourself.
     
  12. DocWard

    DocWard Purple Belt

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    I thought that might be who the Marty is, but wasn't sure from the context, especially since I didn't know the Larry.

    It sounds like it might make a great choice. I am certainly going to stop in and consider it, after figuring the finances out with my wife!
     
  13. DWeidman

    DWeidman Blue Belt

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    Yep. Larry is a 20+'er

    Correct again.

    Best of luck.

    -Daniel
     
  14. DocWard

    DocWard Purple Belt

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    You're going to have to bear with me, yet again. I assume you mean he has been at it for over twenty years. I hate to sound too dense, but what is Larry Turner's relationship to the Dayton Bujinkan? I can't seem to find his name mentioned?

    Thanks, and thanks for the well wishes.
     
  15. DocWard

    DocWard Purple Belt

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    Well, I hope people don't mind if I resurrect this thread. I am finally back in Ohio, and will hopefully be getting into a routine, and I am planning on visiting the dojo soon. So some questions from the practitioners here:

    Should I be looking for anything in particular? Any specific questions? One question I will ask them, but I will ask here as well. I don't know if I will be able to get to the dojo as often as I would like, due to kids, national guard, etc... Are there any good adjuncts to assist in training there, such as DVDs? I refuse to attempt to rely on them solely, but when I can only make it once a week, or less, I don't want to lose ground.

    Additional thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated.
     
  16. DocWard

    DocWard Purple Belt

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    It doesn't seem I can edit my previous message, so I should clarify. I meant to ask about what I should be asking about and looking for specific to Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  17. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I am in Genbukan, not Bujinkan, but you should find out if they are a legit dojo or not. That should be relatively easy to find out.

    As for training... I cannot really compare. In Genbukan, the curriculum is fairly strictly divided in kyu grades. So for 10th kyu you learn several things, for 9th you learn more, etc.
    These levels are identical within all Genbukan dojo.

    I am still a white belt, so we do a lot of basic work. In between trainings (only 1 class per week atm) I practise a lot at home. I work on the basics that we learned before. I spend a lot of time on basic kamae and kihon.

    If you do this, then you will progress more rapidly than if you had attended only the official lessons.
    It is also worth noting that o become good, you spend much more time on repeating over and over again, than on learning 'new' things.
     
  18. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hi,

    I'm not Bujinkan either, but with the prominence of bogus instructors around at times, you should be able to get information such as who the instructor trained under, as well as current Bujinkan membership cards/Shidoshi-kai membership etc.

    Other than that, watch the class, watch how the instructor interacts with the students (is it a way you would appreciate, or a way that you don't gel with...), the way the students interact with the instructor (is there a healthy degree of respect, or do they ignore the instructions), and the way the students interact with each other (friendly and helpful to each other, or more clique-y and bullying). These are standard things to look for in any school from any art, though, and are certainly not specific to Ninjutsu or the Bujinkan.

    The last thing is to watch the way everyone moves. Is the Instructor moving in a way you want to be able to move yourself? Are the beginners getting their skills in a reasonable length of time? Are the more senior students movingmore like the Instructor as they rise in rank/experience? These are all signs of a good Instructor, and a good school. If there is a definate link back to Japan, then you can be (reasonably) sure of the Instructor moving in a way that reflects the Bujinkan methods well. Essentially, there should be fluid movement, and a well-demonstrated ability to easily flow into variations from a single movement.

    Hope this helps, hopefully the Bujinkan guys here can give a bit more detail (Cryo, maybe?)...
     
  19. Hudson69

    Hudson69 Brown Belt

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    I have an EPAK background and a Budo Taijutsu background (and have been deployed as well) so this might be similar to what you will be going through.

    I would suggest getting your black belt in Kenpo, I know I wish I had and at the same time do not break off any ties with your Kenpo school as Kenpo is more of a "I really want to win/survive a street fight and need to get as close to what real unarmed combat will be like" where as the "Ninja" are more of a "No sparring allowed; this art is too dangerous (provided you have a sword and the other guy doesn't have a gun)."

    Take this with a grain of salt since I like Budo Taijutsu, it has a lot of physical skills in its curriculum that Kenpo lacks (break falls and tumbling) and the basic locks are solid (another weak point that I saw in Kenpo but I only made it to 1st Brown).

    If you are looking for "Ninjutsu" to be a "Warrior's Art" it kind.... of is, but in a very classical sense (to me). I feel that if you are looking for a system that promotes the warrior ethos and is geared toward survival just be prepared to put a significant amount of time to get to a level where you have enough practical skills to be useful. BBT really seems to be about teaching skills that are too archaic to be practical in todays society and if you are in the military and prone to deployments you might want to do some distance ed/videos first to see if this is really what you want.

    If this helps I just had a long (email) discussion with my Budo Taijutsu Instructor about my focussing on my LEO Defensive Tactics and he straight up said that there would be no sparring in his class, that he was teaching BBT the way "Soke" wants it to be and if I could not do that then I shouldn't come to his class; this is one instructor though and that is his opinion and his school.

    Sorry for the long windedness of my reply but Kenpo v. Budo Taijutsu would put Kenpo hands down as the better of the two and a strong foundation in Kenpo might save your life whereas as too much BBT might or might not help (personal opinion only).
     
  20. Hudson69

    Hudson69 Brown Belt

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    Kenpo is the same way for promotion as your Genbukan class; Bujinkan is supposed to be the same way but I have not seen it under three different instructors. In EPAK it was 10 techniques for yellow and one set (a blocking kata) and every belt after that was 24 techniques and a set or kata with weapons mixed in. There was a lot of structure and a lot of sparring. Much fun had by all; probably the funnest school I have been to outside of a DT school.123
     

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