Interesting read concerning Bujinkan

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by lalom, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. lalom

    lalom Green Belt

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    I stumbled into this over on E-Budo and thought it interesting enough to share. What are you thoughts on this?


     
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  2. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

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    As far as the historical validity goes, at times it seems as if the originator is pontificating from ignorance. I'll leave it at that. But in regards to all this talk of Hatsumi as a businessman first and foremost: they day I see or hear about him rocking shine, sipping Cris and cruising around the streets of Noda in a chromed-out Benz with ******* in da front and ******* in da back, that's the day I'll say he's handling his money in an irresponsible manner.
     
  3. DWeidman

    DWeidman Blue Belt

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    I think this has been talked about on Kutaki as well as E-budo. Do some more searching -- if you think something has been missed - pipe up.

    -Daniel Weidman
    Bujinkan TenChiJin Guy...
     
  4. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    Indeed it has, and it's ridiculous as far as I'm concerned. Soke is wealthy. But he has no need whatsoever for the Bujinkan. He comes from a well-to-do family and to my understanding has increased his financial standing primarily through real estate investments.
     
  5. Rubber Tanto

    Rubber Tanto Orange Belt

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    OMG! Stop the press! that article has me in complete shock! I mean what the hell...a business man...interested in developing his business!!!! I mean WTF??

    Jesus and here are all the other martial art instructors in the world teaching students for free without the slightest dream of one day running a successful martial art school for capital gain!!

    I know I go to work for free and come home and feed my family on the sheer love of my job....sigh.

    Honestly, why do so many people get caught up in this stuff I'll never know. I mean who cares? If you want to learn bujinkan budo taijutsu, go to a class. If you like it, train in it, if you don't like it, train in something different. It's pretty much THAT simple.

    I go to class and I train. I try to make my taijutsu solid. I test my taijutsu against other fighters to make sure that which I feel is becoming solid remains solid and that is good enough for me. How much money hatsumi makes or how he made it is the smallest of my concerns...I wish others could think like this.
     
  6. JasonASmith

    JasonASmith Black Belt

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    Honestly, why do so many people get caught up in this stuff I'll never know. I mean who cares? If you want to learn bujinkan budo taijutsu, go to a class. If you like it, train in it, if you don't like it, train in something different. It's pretty much THAT simple.

    I go to class and I train. I try to make my taijutsu solid. I test my taijutsu against other fighters to make sure that which I feel is becoming solid remains solid and that is good enough for me. How much money hatsumi makes or how he made it is the smallest of my concerns...I wish others could think like this.[/quote]

    I throughly agree with this statement...
    Nice Job...
     
  7. lalom

    lalom Green Belt

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    So who, exactly, is this guy who wrote this? Is this a disgruntled ex-bujinkan practictioner? I mean, he is really coming open with some disturbing accusations about Soke that doesn't make him look like the upstanding, peaceful man we know him to be.

    Is this a great cover-up exposed? I'd like to hear some other explanations besides my perceived "let's just not talk about it" or "why do people get involved in this politics stuff." What is the truth regarding this matter? Is there anyone on MT that personally knows what happened? I mean, personally - not the usual "unconfirmed sources around Japan are saying", but is there someone who really knows the truth behind this story?
     
  8. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    Your question is not written coherently enough for a speaker of English to understand. (At least I'm guessing that this is the case, as I've spoken it all my life and I can't understand what you're asking.) Does it have anything to do with this particular thread?
     
  9. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    I don't think so Dale. The post first appeared in a post in the Women Martial Artist forum in the middle about a thread about doing TKD while pregnant.

    Confused mate? So am I. And GOOD to "see" you again! :asian:
     
  10. Rubber Tanto

    Rubber Tanto Orange Belt

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    Well that's where we fall down, neh? I mean...I don't know hatsumi at all. When I joined the bujinkan, I didn't walk up to the sensei of the dojo I decided to join and say "so what's the head of this system like? I mean is he a nice guy? Would my mother think he's sweet?" nope...sorry...I just went to the dojo and looked to see if the instructor knew his stuff. Then I sparred with him to make sure he could practice what he preached then I watched the whole class to make sure I was impressed by the style of fighting. How peacefull hatsumi was or how he built the system were things I never factored in...if you do, then that's something you must deal with.


    Sorry man if you disliked my reply but hey....what do you expect...the topic is useless...sure there is alot of things in it that ring true, there is also a few things in it that ring of BS and others that just sound like sour grapes. But I would bet you a dollar that find a cluster of "ex" participants of any martial art and you will find a post that rants on the head of the system. So what...even if much of it is true...so what...my instructor can fight, can successfully defend himself and teaches this system in a way that I find effective and useful. That should be the bujinkan crusdae you should embark on: finding such bujinkan instructors...everything else is a waste of bandwidth...

    Sorry if I sound harsh...but hey...that's me.
    ~Nick
     
  11. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    Disgruntled ex-Bujinkan member- yes. That does not mean we should not listen to what he says. Some people have said that he is misleading people about the time he trained and other things, and I don't know who to believe.

    I took part in that discussion and my main point was that his dislike of Hatsumi colored his views of the situation and caused him to think that he acted with certain intentions.

    As I said in that thread, there is evidence that the founder of the Togakure ryu was a real person and that the tradition existed long before Takamatsu. Exactly how long and in what form is not clear, nor will it ever I think. And the evidence, while quite strong IMO, is circumstancial and not in the form of a notarized document from the 12th century or anything like that.

    But even so, his main contention that Takamatsu made up the art and Hatsumi knows it and is knowingly spreading a lie is not valid IMO. There has been no evidence to disprove the claims by Takamatsu. Hatsumi has had a historian tell him that proof that the founder was a real person was found in an historical document and helped fill in many details of Takamatsu's story about a decade after he died. Some people may require a notarized document from the founder and every soke since then before they will treat the claims as vaild, but from Hatsumi's point of view there is no reason to doubt his teacher's word. That is not something you do in Japanese society.

    I see nothing to make me believe that Hatsumi is doing anything other than passing along what he learned as best he can. So I can consider him an honorable person even if I have my doubts that every little detail passed down by word of mouth is 100 percent correct. For that reason I get along with a lot of people that think that the art is not 800 years old, but rip apart just about every fake that tries to cover up their own lies by trying to paint Hatsumi as one.

    If you go to Hatsumi he will lay out all the proof he had with Takamatsu and be totally honest about his training experiences. He is just passing along what he was told, just like I think Takamatsu was. Of course, I can't ask Takamatsu because he is dead. So when someone makes a claim of being taught by a secret ninja master, but won't show any proof of it, they get treated like a fraud. Hatsumi does not come even close to that situation.
     
  12. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Based on what I have read, heard and personally observed in Japan I am totally confident in Soke's authenticity. I think that he is doing exactly what Don said above ie: passing on what was taught to him by Takamatsu. Matter of fact we now have DVD footage of Takamatsu doing just that, teaching Hatsumi! Takamatsu was the Kukishinden Soke or person holding the knowledge for a future Soke as well as the Soke of Takagi Yoshin Ryu. This is a fact. We also know that the origional founder of Togakure Ryu was indeed a real live breathing person. We also know that one of Hatsumi's students who is also a Grandmaster and Soke in his own right (Genbukan) has had several of the lines of Budo Taijutsu classified as Koryu. (Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu being one) Mind you these are the lines that were taught by Hatsumi but later Tanemura went to a former Takamatsu student and received Sokeship from them. How much more authenticity do you want?

    As to the Devernis article. Well, he seems disgruntled and upset possibly because of his personal involvement in discrediting Stephen Hayes. (that had to upset lots and lots of people and he had to take a lot of heat for it) His article also seems as a measure to prop up himself and make himself look better. (to those he upset when exposing Hayes)

    Those are my thought on this matter. Really having been to Japan and observed Soke as well at Tai Kai there is no question in my mind on his abilities or his authenticity. Other people I know who are closer to the source also feel exactly this way.
     
  13. kuoshu

    kuoshu White Belt

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    I'm always cautious when I read stuff by former members of a martial art especially when they are now running their own new system. Often they are pushing an agenda of their own.

    However, I do think the questions Dervenis raises about the history are important ones.

    My question is this: How come we never see these kinds of debates about whether Risuke Otake made up Katori Shinto Ryu or whether Junzo Sasamori made up Itto Ryu?

    There seems to be this misconception that proving a historical lineage is a really hard and almost impossible thing to do. Now if that was the case, how did Katori Shinto Ryu and Takenouchi Ryu and Araki Ryu and Yagyu Shingan Ryu and all the other koryu manage to prove their lineages? Why wasn’t it such an impossible task for them? They all had to deal with the same floods, wars, fires etc. etc. that everyone else did, but they’ve managed just fine.

    There’s also this mistaken idea that proving Mr. Toda existed would be so difficult and impossible for anyone to do. We keep hearing that it would take many people years and years to trace him and that it’s too big a task etc. etc.. The man was supposedly alive in the 20th century and allegedly taught the military. And he left no trace of his existence? Japan was not America where individuals could live and move around with impunity and without leaving any trace.

    It’s also been interesting to see how the Bujinkan response has changed over the years. When the Skoss koryu.com article first appeared, the responses were indignant statements like “Of course there’s proof! The ignorant koryu people just haven’t bothered looking for it”! Later on that changed to become “Yes there is proof, but it’s secret and Hatsumi doesn’t need to show it”! And now it has changed to become “Absence of proof isn’t proof of absence”, usually accompanied by lots of references to “trust” and “faith”.

    Just for the record, I don't doubt Mr Hatsumi DID learn from Mr Takamatsu.

    Paul
     
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Paul, I do not think that the Bujinkan response has changed that much over the years. (we are still indignant towards the small certain western Koryu group that has shown no proof of their claims that these lineages are not historically old only their conjecture) Those in the know are happy in the knowledge that the lineage is old. Clearly the Kukishinden Ryu and Takagi Yoshin Ryu lineages are without question. It has been proven that Takamatsu taught Hatsumi. It has also been proven that Daisuke Nishina of Togakure Ryu was a real person. It is also clearly obvious to anyone who sees him in person that Hatsumi is a premier world class martial artists of the highest level.

    As to Toda Sensei, well in time I imagine there will be proof. However, there is the distinct posibility that when Japan was fire bombed that papers regarding him are gone. (not uncommon during this time)

    Do not also forget that Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu (Genbukan) was found to be a Koryu art. Who taught Takagi Yoshin Ryu to Tanemura? Yes, I know he went to another Takamatsu Sensei student to get a Sokeship after the split but who taught him? ( Hatsumi did) If one lineage from Takamatsu is legit and Koryu then I imagine that the true Soke of Takamatsu Sensei lineages also could prove Koryu with Takagi Yoshin Ryu if he so choosed.

    If Hatsumi Sensei does not want to jump through other peoples hoops at this point in his life why should he? At least one other Soke of an art who took his scrolls out of his home lost them forever.

    As to Katori Shinto Ryu? Well it is just one lineage not nine. That is a significant differeance. It is just one art. (that is easier to keep everything together) Nine seperate ones that came together. Well that is I imagine challenging to keep everything together let alone perfectly straight in ones mind.

    However, I am the least qualified to argue the lineages of the Bujinkan there are so many people who have a better understanding of the history. Such as Paul Richardson, Don Roley, Richard Maloff and so on.
    These are just some of my ramblings and nothing more.
     
  15. bencole

    bencole Green Belt

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    Why don't you do us a favor and summarize Dervenis' claims and the proof he provides.... I mean literally write in your response to this request:

    CLAIM: XXXX
    PROOF: YYYY

    I think you'll find the list is a little heavy on the former and very light on the latter.

    I don't see why people are going crazy over a guy who speaks/reads no Japanese who spent about a year in Japan who says, "I saw nothing to prove things, so it must be false." Huh? Charles Daniels, his teacher and the source of some of his information, also speaks/reads zero Japanese. Why would anyone expect martial artists (however competent) to be validating historians of Japanese martial arts? I don't get it....

    Well, it was certainly easier for school with essentially "daimyo sponsorship" or "temple sponsorship" to do this. Why do you think these "well-known schools" are, well, ya know, "well known"? :rolleyes:

    The response has *ALWAYS* been the same among senior students: "The Koryu people have no real interest in ninjutsu so we shouldn't expect them to know much about such schools." If you are going to base your opinions of "the changing Bujinkan response" on what some green belt in Montana says, then your compass isn't pointing North, dude....

    The Koryu crowd essentially came out saying that the Bujinkan is not Koryu. I (and many others ) completely agree!!! "The Bujinkan" was completely made up as an umbrella organization in the honor of Takamatsu-sensei by Hatsumi-sensei.

    Now, just because the Bujinkan is *NOT* Koryu does *NOT* mean that none of the Bujinkan arts are Koryu. And by "Koryu," this means befitting the definition of Koryu according to that crowd. After people pointed this out to the Koryu folks, the Koryu folks essentially agreed with those assertions. There is simply no way you or they could argue that schools like Kukishin Ryu or Takagi Ryu are *NOT* Koryu....

    As for the "ninjutsu arts" under the Bujinkan umbrella, I personally told Dr. Friday (on E-Budo) that I would facilitate an opportunity for him to view Hatsumi-sensei's documents and speak with Hatsumi-sensei. Dr. Friday declined this request. Why? Because, TOGETHER NOW, "he has no interest in ninjutsu arts, and thus has little knowledge to make an assessment." End of story.

    As an aside, if you did your homework, you would also recognize that a vast number of Ryuha in Japan (across martial arts, flower arranging, tea pouring, etc.) are considered "Kuden." I'm sure the thousands of instructors of Kuden arts would be quite unhappy to hear that their arts can be completely dismissed merely because a group of 100 people who follow a different lineage vehicle say so. BOTH "Kuden" arts and "Koryu" arts are valid. Period.

    It really is tiring to have to rehash "the truth" to every individual who has access to a keyboard. Many times posters in these discussions are raising their hands to "add their two cents" when it is clear that these individuals haven't read the materials in preparation for class.

    If you would not do so in the classroom, then don't do it here on the boards.

    -ben
     
  16. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Nicely put Ben. Also Kuoshu understand that Ben Cole is a historian of the Bujinkan and its history and a noted scholar.
     
  17. Bigshadow

    Bigshadow Senior Master

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    Let me point something out about something I really know about. That is genealogy. Tracing the family lineage is most often a daunting task, depending on the family and their position in society as well as many many other influencing factors. It is often difficult to trace a family's lineage as little as 150 years. I can personally sympthasize with those tracing lineage back 300, 400, or even 800 years. Tracing the lineage of a martial art, I am sure is even more daunting than just a family lineage.

    So it is simply silly to say proving a historical lineage is easy and to think otherwise is a misconception. I would take you task on that, and ask how far back can you verify your family lineage with documentation? Try it sometime. I have verified mine back to 1635. It is no easy task.

    I know Japan is a different country but I am sure that the level of difficulty is just as high as it is here in the US.
     
  18. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Tracing family life lines can definately be challenging.
     
  19. bencole

    bencole Green Belt

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Brian, but I wouldn't consider myself a "historian of the Bujinkan" and a "noted scholar." I'm just a guy who reads and writes Japanese (so I have looked at original sources of information), who trained in Japan for a number of years, and acted as translator for Soke along the way.

    The points I raised have nothing to do with "qualifications." They have to do with whether it is appropriate to blurt out answers in class without having done the homework or read the materials prior to class. (I'm teaching at the university this term and I definitely ding students who do this. Thus the analogy.)

    Cheers!

    -ben
     
  20. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    This is very intersting. So are the nine ryu of the Bujinkan Koryu, "Kuden", or a mixture? What is the definition of a Kuden, and which of the 9 ryu fit which?

    I pulled these statements from the original post:

    These are rather pointed accusations to an organization that prides itself on legitimacy. Is there an official organization that can verify all 9 ryu of the Bujinkan? That they were taught by real people, continuously from one generation to the next and have the densho to go with them?

    I find the Bujinkan story very intersting, and have very limited experience in the training, but do have an honest interest on how these 9 shcools were passed on to one individual to the next. Can on person be counted as keeping an art alive? An art that may have sat in the books for generations, without being practiced, and then just revived? Or is that the nature of a "Kuden", that it is taught private, or in secret, to only one person?

    Thanks!123
     

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