To-Shin Do compared to Bujinkan compared to Shadows of Iga

Discussion in 'SKH/Quest/Toshindo/Shadows of Iga' started by Bob Hubbard, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Staff Member

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    This is not a 'who is better' thread, but a comparison of the 2.

    What are the differences/modifications/adaptations that SKH used in developing To-Shin Do that diferenciate it from his Bujinkan roots and his Shadows program.

    Please, keep this polite. I'm looking to understand how these 3 relate and differ.

    Thank you.

    :asian:
     
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  2. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master Black Belt

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    I just want to say that since the Bujinkan is so loosely controlled, you can literally find all sorts of training. Saying something like "this is the way it's done in Bujinkan" is simply not possible.

    As for the existing FAQ differentiating the -kans and Toshindo, defense against shoots, round kicks (both low and high), boxing jabs, hooks, hammerfists and whatnot has been a natural part of my training for as long as I can remember. I see no reason to create a new style to teach these types of attacks within the Bujinkan.
     
  3. jibran

    jibran Guest

    The Shadows of Iga Ninja Society was an organization that taught the martial arts taught by Hatsumi Sensei.. The modern-day Shadows of Iga is now the name of the Bujinkan courses offered at the Quest Centers. Mr. Hayes mantained the same techniques essentially in creating To-Shin-Do, yet he teaches more henka for the techniques (like more groundfighting). Defense is taught against modern style attacks; legal considerations are also taught. To-Shin-Do students can elect to recieve Bujinkan rankings (as I have) because the techniques are the same; it is the teaching style that differs. Mr. Hayes' serious students usually move on to studying budo taijutsu because To-Shin-Do is like an introductory program of sorts. All of Mr. Hayes' To-Shin-Do godan (and above) have passed the Bujinkan godan sakki test.
    So, summed up, Shadows of Iga= Hayes' Bujinkan program; Shadows of Iga Ninja Society (no longer exists)= an organization to spread and teach authentic ninpo in the west; To-Shin-Do= the basics of budo taijutsu in a western format, senior students move on to Bujinkan.
    Hope this helps,
    Jibran Khan
     
  4. Satt

    Satt Black Belt

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    Hey that's interesting Jibran. Maybe I will start doing both To-Shin Do AND what you are doing then.
     
  5. Deaf

    Deaf Green Belt

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    Okl I'm going to bite on this one. I have trained in both (currently in bujinkan). I started within the Toshindo during it's infancy and later made the switch to Bujinkan.

    Not to start a flame war but Jibran, you are not correct in the following:
    Sorry but that is not the case. What I remember is that Toshindo has a set cirriculum that requires the student to learn 2 to 4 techniques per rank. From my experience, there were very few henka offered during the training. The only time you really were taught henka or variations to the techniques was when you attended the Black Belt Club classes or seminars.

    Although these techniques are similar yes, the core principles behind those techniques vary greatly between Toshindo and Bujinkan. For example, take a simple omote gyaku. The concept of any gyaku is to create a joint lock and displace the person's "flow" from which a throw or similar movement is created. Within Toshindo, I remember it strictly being about the joint lock iteself, nothing about moving your body or your uke's body to distrupt their flow and then "BOOM'.

    Ok this is just not possible! Yes the teaching style is completely different and there is nothing wrong with that. Hayes has choosed to try to incorporate a "more modern" approach to teaching by trying to teach the cirriculum much like a college course Now if you took kempo, would you except to be able to receive rank in kung fu as well? The logic of that is just messed up.

    That is incorrect. If you, as a serious student of Toshindo, were to make the move to Bujinkan, then you would find that things are very very different. And the only way you can receive Godan rank within the Bujinkan is if you are currently in the Bujinkan and have the recommendation of a Bujinkan Shidoshi or Shihan. Yes there are several high ranking Toshindo people who have taken the Bujinkan Sakki Test however you have to know that they taken the test and received (if they passed) their rank AS STUDENTS of the Bujinkan and NOT Toshindo. Heck, many of them taken the test before Toshindo was even developed!

    I don't mean to put you down with this but I believe that it is very important that people realize that the rank in Toshindo is NOT recognized in the Bujinkan and they are NOT the same. I just wished that the Quest Centers would emphasize this instead of letting mis-information proprogate.

    Now on to the thread....

    These are my observations from my experiences within Toshindo and Bujinkan so take them for what they are worth.

    In Toshindo, I actually think that the cirriculum taught is a bit more restrictive than that of the Bujinkan. Less mat time, less playing and exploring. Where in the Bujinkan, it is not unusual to work on 4 or 5 variations or henka of one technique because the emphasis is not the actual technique itself but the core dynamics that are taking place that enables the technique to work in various settings or situations.

    Ukemi is not emphasize all that much but that is a small difference because that can be said of such and such instructor within the Bujinkan as well. Most people think of ukemi being rolling and leaping but it is more than that. It is about safely moving your body out of danger. That is ukemi! :)

    In Toshindo weapons were taught only in the Black Belt Club/Shadow of Iga club and/or special seminars. Now whether this is the case today, I don't know so someone from Toshindo will have to verify that one. Bujinkan...weapons are a big part of the cirriculum and it varies how much of a part from instructor to instructor.

    Any thing else? Any specific area that you are questioning that you might want to know the differences between Toshindo vs. Bujinkan? This is really a very broad question. Maybe trying to narrow it down a bit would help some.

    Toshindo is a totally seperate art than the Bujinkan. It has it's own philosophies, ways of showing techniques and "flow". Even though the "roots" of Toshindo were based off Hayes' early Bujinkan training...it has turned into something all of it's own accord. Unfortunately a LOT of people just don't realize this or choose to ignore that fact and keep insisting Toshindo and Bujinkan is one and the same, etc.

    HTH,

    ~Deaf~
     
  6. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Staff Member

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    Now, 1 question I have to ask is could things have changed between the time periods you both have direct knowledge of?

    (hopefully I read everything right...:) )

    Thank you for all the info though...please, I realize there can be some heat so keep it professional. :)
     
  7. Deaf

    Deaf Green Belt

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    Sure there are changes. The Bujinkan is changing constantly and I know that Hayes has revised his cirriculum since I have last been with him. He adds or takes out particular kata/gata waza etc. Based on how well people are picking them up and I'm sure he will say "their effectiveness in the modern world".

    I run into Toshindo people coming to our dojo from time to time because they are looking for something different etc. So I see what they have learned and we discuss the changes that I see and know are different from how I learned from the Quest Centers when I was there in the past. Most notable of the changes are mainly within the basics, ukemi and weapons. And if compared to the basics, ukemi and weapons taught within many Bujinkan dojos, you can really tell the differences by ease of movement, posture and execution.

    The thread is interesting and I'm hoping that with this thread people can hopfully begin to realize that Toshindo and Bujinkan are in no way the same etc.

    ~Deaf~
     
  8. still learning

    still learning Senior Master

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    Hello, Sounds like every other martial art styles. Is change good? or not changing is better? Every instructor has their own perception of what their arts should be. Your background also influence your thoughts. Trying to compare two arts is like comparing two people, even twins are different if you look. Which is right? which is better? which one is changing? ....Aloha
     
  9. jibran

    jibran Guest

    Sir,
    When I said that students take the Sakki test; I meant that they take it as Bujinkan members (such as Mark Russo, John Poliquin, etc.). Mr. Hayes encourages senior students to start training Bujinkan. At present time, in To-Shin-Do, you can take weapons training as soon as you would like. The training (at least now) teaches the concept and then teaches several possibilities of doing it. What I was saying about rank was not To-Shin-Do rank= Hombu Dojo recognized Bujinkan rank; that is completely incorrect, you are right. What I was stating is that To-Shin-Do students can elect to recieve Bujinkan ranking from Hatsumi Sensei versus To-Shin-Do ranking from Mr. Hayes. For ukemi, we are taught to escape out of danger and are taught possible dangers that can happen durin the roll/fall and how to avoid them. I am sure that you are 100% correct, Sir but To-Shin-Do has changed a bit since its beginnings.

    Personally, If I had a choice between a Quest Center and a Bujinkan Dojo, I would take the Bujinkan Dojo; however, I do not yet have that choice. My choice is based on the one with better multimedia materials. I may elect to (seriously considering this) stop the HSC and just keep practicing San Shin No Kata and Kihon Happo. In mid-2007, when I move back to the US, I will train with Christopher Davy Shihan; I hope to train with you someday.

    Domo Arigato Gozaimas,
    Jibran Khan
     
  10. Mr. Khan,

    With all due respect, I think it may be best for you to allow someone who has had a bit more experience in these areas handle these questions. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but when you post on a subject, many people take it as fact, and, to be honest, that is how you present it. Just as on Kutaki, discretion should be used when posting.

    That said, I do not have time at this moment to go through a point by point analysis, but when I do find a moment, I will. I have regularly trained with Mr. Hayes, and many other Bujinkan Shihan and Shidoshi for some years now, and I have a fairly developed perspective on the matter.
     
  11. Having re-read my last post, I think it may come across as a little overbearing... but my point is still important.
     
  12. Shogun

    Shogun Master Black Belt

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    True. Bujinkan training only needs to contain the "general idea" of a particular technique, the rest is up to the instrcutor. You can go from one Dojo to the next and find a very different curriculum, practically a different martial art, and different skil levels. on the flip side, this may not allow you to pass tests to the higher ranks. also, I think the different skill levels is what SKH was straying away from, unintentionally maybe. all his students are learning all the same techniques. since most testing is done with Hayes at the Hombu, or with a Shihan who trains under hayes.
     
  13. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    I think I have to step in to underline the last sentence for clarity. People not involved in the training might not know that it indeeed does vary a great deal from instructor to instructor.

    I know some teachers that do not teach swords at all, only firearms , knives, etc. Some do not teach firearms or knives at all. Some don't teach any weapons. Most teach a little from an early stage. My Japanese instructor really does not teach all that much except short sticks and knives to beggining students.

    However, I have recently heard of an individual in the Bujinkan that I believe is mainly in it for the money. He does not teach weapons in class, but they are required for the belt tests he gives. To learn the techniques, you have to go to seminars that cost extra. Ka-ching! If you do not pony up the extra money to go to the seminars, you can't advance in rank. And certain things are held back until you reach a certain rank- like katas from certain schools. Thus the student has an incentive to stay with the instructor on a regular basis, go to the extra seminars, buy approved weapons from him, etc all in the name of lerning the complete art.

    But most dojos I am aware of do not follow this pattern and merely try to present the information when it is best suited for the students. Considering the wide variety of levels in a typical class, this is not easy.
     
  14. Mountain Kusa

    Mountain Kusa Orange Belt

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    There has always been a curriculum in the bujinkan and it is the Ten Chi Jen. Many instructors choose to leave it out or just concentrate on the "feeling", or just work constantly on Sanshin and kihon IE. parts. This is ok so long as a person is taught that it is O.K. to explore and find what works for them. Ten Chi Jen was given to help guide those who train in the Bujinkan onto better things.

    Furthermore, each instructor has a different flavor. Hatsumi Sensei has been telling people for years that we need to train with as many as possible. Nobody's body style is the same nor are their way of thinking. As i look back on my training years, i realize i am a mixture of all my instructors input.

    As for Kata, Kihon, Sanshin & etc. These are what has been written down or not, and is the basis of this and many other arts. These are what needs to be passed on. Some choose to do it exactly this way every time and therefor preserve the art. Some choose to find what it is teaching and find their own flavor. The Kata are the sanshin and Kihon, and the kihon is the kata and sanshin. It must be experienced through training to truly see it.

    The bujinkan is what we make of it. We either take what we have been given, and work for ourselves to make ourselves better and help others along the way, or we make a mess of things.

    There is now out there a bujinkan training curriculum guide, it has all the TCJ in it. As for Toshindo, Hayes has not trained with Hatsumi Sensei in years, and no matter what others may say, the scource is with Dr. Hatsumi. None of the others posess Kumigakure Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, or Gikan Ryu, so therefor, if we are to learn we must learn from Sensei, it is his art, it is not a democracy, and since he is Grandmaster, he may do with it as he feels. Like it or not, there is only one Grandmaster in this art, and he is it.

    Chris Sanders
     
  15. Shizen Shigoku

    Shizen Shigoku Purple Belt

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    Well, actually the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki [check spelling vs. ten chi jen] hasn't been around forever, so no there hasn't always been a curriculum for the Bujinkan. The Tenchijin may have at one time been considered an official curriculum, but many no longer use it as such. I think it's a handy list of good basic taijutsu kata, and I hope every Bujinkan member gets exposed to the majority of its contents by shodan, or at least by yondan - in addition to all the weapons and auxillary skills.

    In case there are some who are not familiar with the document, there are outlines of the book online, and some shidoshi have put out video CD's or DVD's showing the techniques contained therein.

    Text outline: http://starbuck.virtualave.net/main/ninpo/tenchijin.htm

    Mats Hjelm's video CD: http://www.kesshi.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Shugyou_videos;action=display;num=1073347464

    Kevin Millis' DVD: http://www.budosupply.com/video/millis/ds1019.html
     
  16. Mountain Kusa

    Mountain Kusa Orange Belt

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    In the very early days it was provided to Charles Daniels by some of the Japanese Shihan. But because in the early days, many of those who were getting the knowledge saw a cash cow they did not share it in its entirity. Even Charles admitted that he had it all those years ago.

    Chris Sanders
     
  17. MrFunnieman

    MrFunnieman Yellow Belt

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    Hi fellas,

    I am deeply interested in the tread, but relatively new to the forum. I have trained and taught at the Quest Center in Dayton. However, I have been on hiatus for a few years.

    I have viewed the To Shin Do curriculum as a base of movements that, in the future can be configured in a traditional manner. It is true that deep postures are not emphasized in To Shin Do. The movements selected by Mr. Hayes are applicable in a variety of situations. Each level (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind) builds off the next. There is not a lot of footwork in the earth level. Hand and arm coordination are emphasized at that level and the techniques are chosen for their simplicity and effectiveness. The water level adds footwork and because the intial reaction for many people is to back a way doko and ichimonji no kamae are emphasized. Stepping back also provided the defender with some time to recognize he is being attacked. Fire level the defender is aware, connected, in tune with the fact someone is trying to punch them in the face and the defender is able to stall the attack just before the point of release. The wind level is more tricky to describe over this medium, but there is a benevolence to the movement and it is more cyclical. The same basic attacks are addressed at each level, but the method of response becomes more sophisticated, as the practitioner gains confidence and experience. There was a curriculum modification, but the dan ranks practiced materials from the scrolls.

    Shadows of Iga is a program at the Quest Center in Dayton that teachs actual kata from "the scrolls" the kata are described in historical context and practiced in a traditional manner. When I took my leave of absence, it was this program that allowed you to seek licensure through the Bujinkan.

    Groundfighting, weapons, etc. were practiced in the Black Belt Club, although were a part of the core To Shin Do curriculum at one time. Black belts are expected to bring all their equipment to class. There is a structured curriculum, but sometimes instructors mix it up. BTW the second or third degree (it changed in the last couple years) material all comes from Kukishinden Ryu and Gyokko Ryu.

    It is my impression that the To Shin Do curriculum added consistantcy. This my be Hayes rhetoric, but he described his frustration and student frustration with never knowing what you would learn next, or what you might be tested on. Developing the To Shin Do curriculum solved that problem.

    My current impression of a Bujinkan dojo (mostly what I have read in these posts) is that you don't know what your getting until you go there and train for a while. I have the impression that each dojo is unique and what you learn depends on the instructor. At least with a Quest Center you know there is a route to the particular knowledge that you are looking for: contemporary self-defense, historical scroll material, weapons, groundfighting, etc. It is there and available, especially at the Hombu dojo.

    The criticisms of the Quest Centers can be applied to any dojo. To me it is a matter of preference. With the lack of any real standards,personally I would hesitate going to "the closest" Bujinkan dojo to my house. A thorough researce process would be intiated.

    It is interesting for me to read about the evolutionary quality of "Ninjutsu" or Budo Taijutsu, or whatever you what to call it, and the deep conviction that you should make the art "your own" and then, when people do that, there is a wave of criticism that they have gone too far and forgotten their roots. Come on. Really. To Shin Do does not directly translate to Budo Taijutsu, but I truly believe that a Quest Center student could easliy fall into step with someone studying under the Bujinkan. I've done it, I've seen others do it.

    I am sorry for the lengthy post, I hope what's here is appropriate and I am willing to clarify anything that I have written. I am not completely familiar with the format so I didn't quote any one specifically.

    Your friend in budo,

    MrFunnieman
     
  18. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Staff Member

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    Thank you :)
     
  19. Shizen Shigoku

    Shizen Shigoku Purple Belt

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    Very informative, Mr Funnieman, thank you.

    I always wondered what the Toshindoka (would that be the proper term for a practicioner of the style?) were talking about with the "earth level" or "water level" of training.

    I knew from reading his books, that he was big into using the five elements model to describe nearly everything, but I didn't know how it was involved in forming the curriculum.

    Very interesting.

    Now for a few clarifying questions:

    "Shadows of Iga is a program at the Quest Center in Dayton that teachs actual kata from "the scrolls" the kata are described in historical context and practiced in a traditional manner. When I took my leave of absence, it was this program that allowed you to seek licensure through the Bujinkan."

    So is the Shadows of Iga still in existence, and is it still the way the Quest centers teach Bujinkan material?

    "Groundfighting, weapons, etc. were practiced in the Black Belt Club, although were a part of the core To Shin Do curriculum at one time. Black belts are expected to bring all their equipment to class."

    Does this imply that mudansha do not need to bring any equipment to class because they do not learn any weapons skills until shodan? And is groundfighting not covered at lower levels, or is it just more emphasized after black belt?

    "BTW the second or third degree (it changed in the last couple years) material all comes from Kukishinden Ryu and Gyokko Ryu."

    I've seen some Bujinkan dojo that do this as well - use material specifically from one of the nine ryu as the curriculum for yudansha grades. Not all Buj' dojo do this, and those that do, don't necessarily teach them in the same order.

    Do you know which order they are covered in TSD &/or SoI?

    "It is my impression that the To Shin Do curriculum added consistantcy. This my be Hayes rhetoric, but he described his frustration and student frustration with never knowing what you would learn next, or what you might be tested on. Developing the To Shin Do curriculum solved that problem."

    That must be a matter of perspective then. People in the Bujinkan do not see that as a problem, or if they do, they accept it as part of the challenge of training and get on with it.

    I too am sometimes frustrated by that aspect of Buj' training, but I realize that if it wasn't that way, I probably wouldn't have experienced as much growth. I've actually come to enjoy the fact that I never know what's coming next - it pushes me to be prepared for anything, to expect that I am going to be pushed past my comfort zone on some occasions and bored with old material on others.

    "I have the impression that each dojo is unique and what you learn depends on the instructor. At least with a Quest Center you know there is a route to the particular knowledge that you are looking for: contemporary self-defense, historical scroll material, weapons, groundfighting, etc. It is there and available, especially at the Hombu dojo."

    All that is available at Bujinkan dojo, but consistency as been sacrificed for freedom. Novices are often confronted with advanced material that rockets them past plateaus in their learning curve. Such a wide variety of material is covered that it would be impossible to schedule out what gets taught and when, as many things would have to be left out. Everyone is exposed to the same tactics and techniques regardless of their rank, and in essence, one is either a blackbelt or they are not, so ranking tends to be very under-emphasized. What is left, then, is a focus on developing new ways of thinking, fostering a stronger spirit, having a good heart, moving properly with flow and feeling, and not being limited in any way.

    "With the lack of any real standards,personally I would hesitate going to "the closest" Bujinkan dojo to my house. A thorough researce process would be intiated."

    Yeah, might have to actually engage in real ninjutsu then, i.e. information gathering, perservering through difficulties situations in order to reach a goal, etc.

    All the "problems" with the Bujinkan method are actually part of the training.

    "Rough Seas Make Good Sailors."

    These have just been my opinions / my feelings on Bujinkan training as I have experienced it. It is not meant to say that it is better than any art or style.

    I fully respect Mr. Hayes for all that he is done, and have no problem with the style he has created, nor his teaching methods. I am certain he and his art will continue to be successful.

    I just personally like the Bujinkan way better. :D


    Onward!

    Mountain Kusa: "In the very early days it was provided to Charles Daniels by some of the Japanese Shihan. But because in the early days, many of those who were getting the knowledge saw a cash cow they did not share it in its entirity. Even Charles admitted that he had it all those years ago."

    I'm not sure I understand you fully. Are you saying that Charles Daniels was the first shidoshi to receive a Tenchijin no Maki teaching manual?

    Are you also saying that he (or others) was/were meant to share it with others, but didn't?

    I do believe for a certain period of time, every new shidoshi got, or was recommended to get a copy of the book, to use as a resource for developing their own curriculum, but I don't know if that is still the case.
     
  20. Shogun

    Shogun Master Black Belt

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    Back in the day, SKH combined his 5 elements into the Bujinkan training. Now they are seprated. Toshindo contains the Godai. I have his classical stuff, and he only has the Gogyo no kata. he might use more at later levels.
     

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