The rant thread

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Don Roley, May 3, 2006.

  1. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    I am not known for keeping my opinions to myself. Here we go folks. Feel free to add some of your own.

    First of all, I was recently made aware of some folks trying to get together and share their Shinden Fudo ryu notes in an internet forum so that they could all have a better idea of what they were teaching.

    :eek:

    Excuse me... Did any of these guys ever hear Hatsumi warn against the use of the internet or that even video tapes could not capture the important parts of the art? Yet they are going to collect their notes together, compare them and then turn around and teach what they learned?!?!?

    Folks, that is like the story of the blind men trying to describe an elephant. And they are passing along that flawed knowledge to their students. Instead of sticking to things they may know through personal instruction, they are using the notes of somene else to teach.

    Here is another rant....

    Ever since Hatsumi stopped going overseas the amount of people showing up to Japan has risen a lot. I can understand that. But a lot of folks just do not seem to have any sort of understanding of the art at all. And a lot of them are morons.

    We don't even use bokkens anymore at Hatsumi training. It was not too long ago that people were using mugito and such based on Hatsumi's specifications and now we have to use soft sticks for sword training. There are just too many idiots doing whatever the hell they want with little regard for safety of others. Hatsumi seems to want to make training idiot proof, but the idiots are pretty determined. And the size of the classes are such that they can't be controlled. A person trying some of the things I have seen at Hatsumi training at my teacher's class would get slapped down pretty quick. You can't do that with all the folks at Hatsumi training in time to stop a serious injury.:btg:

    Oh, and could some of these guys at least try to do what the teacher is doing? Pretty please! Honest to god, so many folks see Hatsumi toss someone to the ground and think that as long as the guy hits the ground then any way is fine. Take a look at the Daikomyosai tapes. Watch as Hatsumi demonstrates something and then look at the footage of people practicing. Sometimes you have to wonder if they are even in the same room as Hatsumi. :soapbox:

    I have heard people say things like we are all trying to make our own art instead of just being copies or Hatsumi and nonsense like that. I will call it as it is and say that they are just covering up for the fact that they can't do what is being shown and don't want to try. Maybe it makes them look bad to try what Hatsumi is doing and fail to take the guy to the ground. So instead of doing that and figuring out how Hatsumi made it work through trial and error and asking they do things like just pick the guy up and toss him through brute strength.

    Hey folks, if you are going to do your own thing save yourself some cash and me some space on the mat and stay home!!!!

    Gee, do you think that maybe Hatsumi is showing you these exact moves for a reason? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, he thinks that if you do them you would get better? But instead of trying to do what he is doing, you are going to say that you know better and do your own thing. Hey, there's no wrong way to eat a Reeses, eh?

    Oh, and what are people being taught before they show up to Japan? I see a lot of green belts and even white belts in training now. It seems a waste of time and money to show up when you might not even know something that is required in the classes like Yume Makura. But hell, last night I worked out with a black belt that never seems to have heard of it. Oh yeah, there was a lot of people at training and it is a pretty dangerous move, so the teacher only showed the set up for it. But this guy tried to make me fall backwards with it. (For those of you outside the art, Yume Makura is basically where you grab the guy in a hold and fall backward, driving his face into the ground from a fall.)

    I remember Brian Tricticio (sp?) asking me to translate his request to Someya to take him through all the basics since he was not sure of them and he did not want to damage his students progress through his own ignorance. It stands out because so few people seem to even consider that their basics need review. I respect Brian for doing that. I sneer at those that won't challenge their assumptions about their abilities. They don't know the stuff and the stuff they know is not up to snuff IMO. But they show up without knowing and never, never ask for some advice on how to stand and such.

    Oh yeah, and what is up with all these guys that can't bother to show up for any training other than Hatsumi's? Do these guys honestly believe they can't learn something from someone like Noguchi, Kan, Someya, etc? I actually don't show up to training with Hatsumi all that much because I find that the smaller classes of the Japanese shihan gets me more corrections and attention from them. So it always used to make my jaw drop when I would see tons of people pack things up and leave after Hatsumi's Sunday morning class before Nagato would start teaching. Now that the class times are reversed, I hear that tons of people just can't get out of bed in time to make it to Nagato's class.

    Let me be blunt, most of those folks that don't show up to the shihan's training need it the most. Not that some of those that do actually are trying to do what the teacher showed, but hey......

    I am sure I am going to add to this later. And I am sure that some folks on both sides of the issue will chime in. I don't want to name the names of the many morons I could, because I would rather urge others to do better than cause a flame war. Are you being considerate of those around you during training? Are you trying to do what Hatsumi shows? Are you challenging your basics, your very basics and seeing if there is some way of improving them? Think on this.:asian:
     
  2. Sam

    Sam Senior Master

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    this should be in general so we can all rant, about everything.

    as its in ninjutsu I dont feel it would be appropriate to rant about blackbelt sparring partners who have no control
     
  3. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    Sam, actually there is a lot of sensitive politics surrounding Hatsumi and the study of ninjutsu outside of his dojo as well as people taking a hanful of lessons from Hatsumi and then bringing their notes to the US and elsewhere to teach it themselves, so this forum is appropriate for this particular rant.

    If you'd like to start a thread in General for all-around rants, feel free.:)
     
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  4. saru1968

    saru1968 Green Belt

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    I'd like to disagree with Don but after my first visit to Honbu last September i was surprised by some actions of some practioners.

    For me i tried to emulate what was being shown abd being correct on numerous occasions but i'd rather do that than carry on regardless and do my own thing.

    I do wonder whether people are the same as home as they are Honbu. The issue of rubbish is beyond belief, going because Soke is not teaching although a Shihan is taking the lesson, videoing Someya's lesson without permission then just standing and watching whilst the whole Dojo except the 'video visitors' cleaned the Dojo.

    AS for level of training, i came away realising how little i know in the great scheme of things and how important the basics are.

    Someone asked me whether it was worth going over before Shodan. Now this is my opinion only based on my experiences, I myself will return once i feel my basics are alot better, the experience was great apart from the various 'non thinking, common sense removed brigade'. I remember one guy who i explained about not putting rubbish in the bin near honbu, who just gave me a stupid look and did it. Then he was 'jumped on' verbally by some students for doing so, the words 'I told you so' never sounded so good!.

    Back to the question about training at Honbu before shodan, if you basics are good then fine although i personally feel 4th Dan should be the entry level.

    And anyone who can be bothered to travel to Shihan's own Dojos are really narrow minded and need to treat their minds like parachutes on a rapid descent.

    Again only my thoughts on my experience.


    Gary

    :)
     
  5. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    You know, I am not certain that is good or not.

    Lets face it folks, the Gaijin Bujinkan kind of sucks. I am not talking about the Japanese shihan or Hatsumi. I am talking about the general level of knowledge out there. The guys that were talking about collecting their notes and teaching correctly :erg: are probably pretty much the standard. You may be teaching things as you know them as best you can, and your teacher may be teaching as best he can from who he learned from. But somewhere along the line there was possibly someone who added a few things and kind of went off on a slight course deviation.

    When I hear Hatsumi talking about teaching to tenth dans and above or similar comments, I think he mainly means that he is going to teach the stuff only he can teach and leave the basics to others. There was a certain shihan looking out over folks training at kihon happo at the beggining of class who said, "lots of different ways to do the kihon, eh?" He then taught the class the way he wanted people to do it.

    How many folks are learning bad kihon from folks that do not know it themselves? It scares me to think about it. The responsibility is on each student to learn this art. The teacher can lead us to water, but they can't make us drink. And if people do not show up to shihan's classes where they could learn the basics, or only want to learn the years theme or what have you, or they don't bother to really try to do what the teacher is showing... then how can they be expected to teach proper basics when they get home.

    Folks, I am egotistical enough to think that I am better than most folks in the Bujinkan. But I think I suck. I am not being humble- that is not possible for me. I honestly think I am terrible. I get drilled by one of the Japanese senior students whenever we work out together. He will not let me get away with even small mistakes. I see others in the room doing the same things I am getting corrected on, but they sail on in ignorance. If they don't bother to try what the teacher is showing, why should they try to correct what they are doing seems to be the way of thinking.

    Maybe instead of staying away from Japan, you should come back after you have trained in what you have learned to the best of your abilities. You mentioned Someya. Ask him to teach you the basics next time you are here. At least ask him for advice while you do the kihon in class. Then take that home and work on it. Repeat as needed.

    We can't take responsibility for the Bujinkan as a whole, but we can work to improve ourselves. And the first thing we need to start off with is to question if what we think we know is correct or not.
     
  6. ManOfVirtues

    ManOfVirtues Yellow Belt

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    Only being a part of the Bujinkan community for just short of a year or so now I can say that this thread has left me with more questions then answers.

    I have already planned a trip to Japan for January of next year, and no offense Don I have a great amount of respect for you, but you make it sound like you dont want me there. My reasoning behind it is that I want to learn what is the right way. You speak about people bringing back notes and teaching thier own adaptations of a technique instead of what Hatsumi had taught. Then wouldnt it seem more logical to have the white and green belts given priority with Hatsumi, get them on the right track early?

    I have 5 days to train while im there, and besides a small list of places I would like to see in Japan, i plan on spending those 5 days training. It doesnt matter who it is with Nagato, Naguchi, Hatsumi. I am traveling to Japan to learn from the best and thats it.
     
  7. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    That would be like having Einstein teach basic math. If you get here, train with someone like Someya as much as you can. I know folks that do the opposite of the guys I ranted about. In other words, if they have to take a day off for a trip or job interview, they scheduale it for when Hatsumi is teaching and go to the smaller shihan's classes as much as possible.

    Think of it this way, with only a few years left to him Hatsumi needs to get certain things out to those that can pick it up. Do you think he should drop everything and teach omote gyaku every time someone that does not know it shows up? There are people like that almost all the time now in training. It is their loss. Others can't be concerned with their lack of preperation.
     
  8. ManOfVirtues

    ManOfVirtues Yellow Belt

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    Don I think you have sparked an idea for a conversation that I will need to have with Phil, Thank you.
     
  9. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    On another subject for a rant....

    In the Bujinkan, we are overranked as compared to other arts. Hell, I don't care what others think one way or another.

    Hatsumi has said that he gives out rank sometimes earlier than maybe the person deserves it. They have to then grow into it.

    So why do so many people make a point of letting others know their rank? Are they so certain that they are one of the ones that don't have to grow into their rank?

    Hey, if I got a rank that I thought I was not worthy of, I would work my tail off to live up to it by training. But the standard line of thinking now seems to be, "hey, I must be better than I thought!":banghead:

    You have folks that not only wear a badge that identifies them as a person who passed the godan test, but they also wear stars so that no one would think that they were a mere godan. You have folks that make sure you know in on- line conversations what rank they are. Do you know how many times I have had people try to counter what I write about history by saying, 'well according to X-dan Joe Schmoe....':whip: What does a dan rank have to do with knowledge of history and language?

    Honestly, I hear everyone say 'rank means nothing' because that is what is expected for people to say. But their actions scream, "except for me."

    The folks I respect are those that either tell their rank to show how low they are on the totem pole- like ManofVirtues, or those that won't talk or reveal it at all if they can- like Tamayoke. Really, rank is a distraction. It is a gift, a compliment, a pat on the back and encouragement to keep going. When I get complimented at work, I don't rush out to tell everyone I know. Why make a big deal about making sure everyone knows what rank you are? :idunno:
     
  10. ManOfVirtues

    ManOfVirtues Yellow Belt

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    I would agree.

    The only reason I post my name, rank, and school on the forums so people like you Don can look at it and say "Ok, 8th Kyu, hes relatively new to this", or "Hey I trained with someone from that school way back in the day".

    And belive me no one knows better about "are you sure im ready, man I better work harder and stop messing up so much" then me.



    .... back to the distraction of work from my forum time :( ...
     
  11. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    Because pimping that lofty rank is a great way to advance and expand your personal Ninja Empire (tm)...
     
  12. ManOfVirtues

    ManOfVirtues Yellow Belt

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    but like they say "Pimping aint easy."
     
  13. Shinkengata

    Shinkengata Green Belt

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    Also a great way to meet chicks. :p
     
  14. ManOfVirtues

    ManOfVirtues Yellow Belt

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    I can see it now. A guy walks into a bar Tabi and all. "Hey, how you doin? What ? yea Im a ninja. Yea its a sweet job."


    And thus because of this guy we have just validated eveything seen in an 80's ninja movie.
     
  15. Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

    Kembudo-Kai Kempoka Senior Master

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    This rant is directly related to problems with legacy transferral in any art, methinks. I've sat and watched a room full of kenpo black belts NOT do what Parker was doing, despite frequent admonitions and corrections, until he finally gives up and moves on to the next item. I'm seeing it now in BJJ; the quality of finer details of execution getting dropped off the plate in favor of the cooler looking stuff so and so did on the UFC a couple times back.

    God forbid we make a concerted effort to actually practice at replicating the details present in the perofmrance of those who know how.

    Good rant; sorry the quality has declined so much in one generation, but it seems to represent a trend...something about the distance of apples from trees, and all that.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  16. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Don,

    You are right on when you say that everyone should attend as many of the Shihan's classes as possible! Training with Nagato, Noguchi, Senno, Oguri as well as Someya, Shiraishi, etc. is a real treat! : ) Definately they help to prepare you for training with Soke. (which everyone needs)

    Brian R. VanCise
    www.instinctiveresponsetraining.com
     
  17. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    This thread is about things in the Bujinkan and I really do not want it sidetracked with problems you don't find in the Bujinkan like the polotics of judging tournaments.

    But..... I found what you wrote to be amazing. I thought that the idea of just ignoring those that don't seem to want to do what is being shown was a Japanese thing. It sounds like Parker took more time to try to point out and correct them than the Japanese would. But they still went on with their own thing and finally moved on. Wow!

    I really can't force people to do anything here. But if people read this, maybe they can start asking themselves if they are the ones doing their own thing instead of what the teacher is showing. I wonder if some of them even know that they are so different from the teacher. I know I have made big mistakes- but I try to look out for them as best I can. Maybe if folks just tried to be a little paranoid about not being so sure that what they are doing and constantly questioned themselves thing would be better.

    But there would still be plenty of morons who would not be willing to fail in front of others and stick to their own thing. A good teacher does not make you do things inside your comfort zone. If you fail, you get a chance to figure out why you did so and work at it until you find the key that insures success. I expect to fall on my face a few times while learning. But there are a lot of folks that can't afford that loss of face. Not only do they not try what the teacher is showing, they sometimes walk around and try to teach others instead of working out themselves.

    But that is a rant for another time.........
     
  18. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

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    You can do it backwards too. It won't be strictly speaking a yume/te makura any more, but the principle can be applied even like that.:asian:

    In any case, I believe a lot of these problems stem from the type of people who see all this as a pastime and nothing else. They're not interested in learning ryuha kata, they're not interested in self defense, they're not interested in historical facts, they're not interested in becoming good and they could care less about the way other people train - they just want to move around a little and feel better about themselves from doing it.

    Stay tuned, because I intend to follow through with a personal analysis of the general Bujinkan clientele. With a vengeance.
     
  19. Bujingodai

    Bujingodai Brown Belt

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    Definatly a good rant. I am going to sit in on 3 Hatsumi sensei classes, because I am there, but I am also coming to all the Shihans classes with the exception of Nagouchi as his class conflicts with incoming and outgoing flight times.

    I always ***** about the videos of tai kai etc where everyone does their own thing. It does seem a silly. I will try my best to mimic the movement, I'll do it badly but I will do it. I think.

    I am very comfortable with my suckedness. I am coming in Sept and imagine I will go back more confused than I came, and expect nothing but critique along with some beats. which is exactly what I am paying for.
     
  20. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    And that is a good thing!!!!!

    Another rant I have is about how some people seem to think that unless you can tell people how to get better, present it on a silver platter and give it to them, you have no right to say that what they are doing is wrong.

    The first thing in getting better is knowing that what you have been doing is not right. From there you can probably figure out how to do better. But if you don't know what you are doing is wrong, then you will just continue on your merry way.

    I honestly respect those that come back saying they are confused and need time to work on things than those that come back to their countries and immediatly give seminars in what they learned in Japan. In fact, my first flame fest on ninpo-l was because I raised the idea that people should wait a while and work on the material from the Daikomyosai instead of turing around and teaching it.

    Ugh!!!!!! Do people learn ballet from people who have just seen the moves for the first time? Or do they wait until there has been some time for growth and practice in the student? So, why do people think it is different in the Bujinkan?

    Why can't people accept that folks can say that something is not right and wait to find out the correct answers instead of demanding that those that may know teach them? I have been learning this art in Japan for a long time and I can't tell folks how to do things over the internet. Teaching stuff can only be done in person. But I can hear about some things and tell you it is deifferent from what I see and hear in Japan. So why do people think I owe them a lesson? Do they expect me to jump on a plane and come see them? But if I don't, then I have heard some folks say they will continue on with what they are doing because they are teachers and I am merely a student (who has been training longer than them in many cases.):mp5:123
     

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