Bujinkan/TSD: Compare/Contrast

Michael Stinson

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Bob Hubbard said:
As I read this, to me, it seems as if both schools have many of the same concepts, techniques, etc.

They just teach them in different orders, spend differing amounts of time on them, and have gone in different directions since they started.
Heh,

Actually you could say this from Bujinkan group to Bujinkan group :)
 
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Gary Arthur

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We seem to be talking a lot about "This is Shoden and is therefore a basic technique and this is Chuden and therefore more advanced technique" but really I dont think we should think about it like that.
The schools of the Bujinkan, Genbukan, Jinenkan and TO-SHIN DO developed during a period of warfare that is termed the Sengoku Jidai (period of the warring states) that persisted for approx 250 years. These school or more correctly 'family traditions' were evolving even before that, but I guess the Sengoku Jidai was the real tester.
Now in those days there probably was no Shoden, Chuden, Okuden etc but simply a collection of techniques that were passed down from father to son or teacher to student.
What techniques were taught varied greatly on the political situation at the time. If a period of war then sword and spear became the principal weapons taught, if peace then weapons like the staff or maybe unarmed combat. I understand from Paul Richardsons 'Inroductory history to the schools of the Bujinkan' for example that the Kukishinden has gone through several changes to its sylabus during the many hundreds of years of its existence.
I believe that many schools only really had their techniques laid down on paper when it was a period of peace. There was no time during warfare to do this as either fighting or training.
So at the end of the Sengoku Jidai, although there were the occasional uprising and skirmish, when Japan became relatively peaceful we have the beginning of written techniques in scroll or makimono form, hence why we see a lot of schools emerging in the 17th century. They were in existence before but there was no documentary record of them. Some probably never even had a name as such.
In Reinhard Kammers' The Way of the Sword he states that in about 1604-1651 "The old schools of the art split up, new schools arose and their numbers became legion"
Now in this he is talking about Sword schools but as many sword schools also had unarmed combat, Spear etc, and some even practiced the entire Bugei Juhappan of which there were several variations, one could say martial arts schools in general.
So If you as a martial arts master living in a period of peace you had to lay down your schools techniques on paper, (or in other words write a sylabus)what techniques would you include first?
Well its a period of peace, the sword and especially the spear are now no where near as important any more, it might just make sense to have the Unarmed combat as the starting point.
So the once secret teachings of Taijutsu, Jujutsu, Yawara etc become the beginning techniques and the sword is now taught much latter on.
In the Bujinkan the Hanbo for example is taught to beginning students, but this was a once secret weapon. On the battle field the hanbo only came of use if your naginata, yari etc was cut in half and you could use the broken section for defence until you could grab another weapon. Hence it made sense in those time to teach yari etc first and hanbo latter. Today it is all reversed as we are not on the battlefield but we do carry umbrellas, golf clubs etc.
Now if we talk about Shoden, Shodan etc, I was under the impression that the word Sho meant 'First' as opposed to 'beginner'. And although yes in most cases we begin with the Shoden level there is nothing stopping us starting with the Okuden level, as the techniques here are not really more advanced but simply less likely to be of use today in our relatively peaceful society.
In my dojo a few years ago, I never really looked at handgun defences but today with terrorism growing I tend to spend a lot more time looking a firearms defences and how to take guns off people. Like in the past the martial arts change depending on the political climate.
Now if we are talking about TO-SHIN DO as a system of martial arts then anyone looking at it can see that the beginning techniques i.e the Kyu Grades are designed (if thats the right word) for the 21st century warrior.
Unlike a lot of schools not only are techniques taught that work, but also there is a warrior code that students must learn to gain black belt and aspects of what is legally and morally right.
After all this is 21st Century Western World, Not 13th century Japan.
In some organisations they may choose to start somewhere else. In the Bujinkan the Kihon Happo and Sanshin is emphasised at the beginning levels, In Genbukan it is the Taisabaki and striking techniques that are emphasised, Mushadori etc is much latter in the sylabus possibly 1st Kyu level.
In Jinenkan (and I apologise if I have got this wrong as unlike the other two I have no direct experience) it seems that there is very little at kyu grade level but the kata from the schools are taught almost as basics. In TO-SHIN DO we teach from the aspect of Chi, Sui, Ka, Fu and Ku. The beginning techniques (Earth Level) are really a to get the student to defend them selves against a variety of attacks i.e hook punch, straight punch, wrestler leg lift, lifting arm capture, choke etc. In itself it is a basic self defence course. Earth is also taught first, as from experience I have found that if I get a student to start by learning say Jodan tsuki followed by and Ura Shuto, many get frustrated because there is too much going on, Arm movements, striking, distancing, moving the legs etc. If I teach Sanshin on the other hand, those people that walk into the dojo and want to learn self defence see no relevance in the movement. Therefore in the earth we concentrate more on more arm movement, and less on taisabaki. and get the students to defend against a variety of attacks. This means that the student gains confidence, and have even after one lesson learnt something that could work for them. And once they have learnt the hand and arm movements we can concentrate on the leg movements and introduce the Sui No Kata (water level).
Also at every level we add pressure to the student to get them to successfully handle a real attack. We do not just do techniques but work with pads for knock down power, armour up for rougher training and more importantly work at situational self defence where the uke is saying things to you as in a real situation.
I have found that language on the street can be the weapon that unless you are trained to ignore, is what can overwhelf the competent martial artist.
At the end of the day, as i have said many times, it really is horses for courses. Some people enjoy a more classical approach to training whilst others enjoy a different approach.
And if your wondering about the Kihon Happo, Sanshin and the Kata, well yes they are in the TO-SHIN DO sylabus too, just not at the places found in other organisations.
In essence all organisations and teachers within those organisations have different sylabuses or if not certainly emphasise different aspects, it does not mean that one is right and one is wrong. Lets stop this silly idea that just because SHIHAN (Master Instructor) Stephen K Hayes, the man who introduced the art to the western world, The man that was given by Dr Hatsumi the title KINRYU (A name title that few have) and a man that still has close ties with Dr Hatsumi and is still a student of him, and a man that has spent so much time training with the master instructors in Japan and was there in the early days, before most of us had ever even heard about the art, has a sylabus that might differ from yours, and is therefore not teaching the Takamatsuden arts. This is ludicrous. Most people who state things like this have never visited a TO-SHIN DO Quest Centre let alone done any training in one.
In the 70s or early 80s Hatsumi Sensei urged his students to go out into the world and make, what was being refered to a the time Ninjutsu, relevant to their society. Well An Shu Hayes has done exactly this, and now, become the Quest Centres and TO-SHIN DO have become successful he is critisised.
 

Don Roley

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Gary,
I am all for complete, if long, explinations. But what you just wrote is difficult to respond to. To be blunt, a lot of what you believe and speculated about in terms of Japanese history and the ways and reasons for training is just plain wrong. When you build on these mistakes, going on for paragraphs, it makes it difficult to deal with what you write on a point by point basis. I would like to correct what you wrote, but there is just so much to deal with that it would take a heck of a lot of time.

Do you maybe want to break down what you wrote into smaller chunks for discussion? I would be a lot more willing to point out where there are errors in what you believe if I had a lot less to deal with and later errors where not built on earlier ones.

First of all, I do not think you should be talking about history or traditional ways of training based on your experience. To be blunt, you really do not show a lot of familiarity with the subject matter from what I can see. What you write seems again to be a way of making other forms of training sound less in order to make your own system sound better by comparison. This may lead to trouble with some folks. I think it better if you do not talk about such things AS FACT in order to try to build your case unless you get a bit more knowlegeable about the subject matter.
 

Kizaru

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I agree with Don Roley. Maybe we should just go line by line over the next few days and state where our perspectives differ.

Gary Arthur said:
We seem to be talking a lot about "This is Shoden and is therefore a basic technique and this is Chuden and therefore more advanced technique" but really I dont think we should think about it like that..
"Sho" means "start" or beginning". "Chu" means "middle". Usually the "start" comes before the "middle".

Gary Arthur said:
termed the Sengoku Jidai (period of the warring states) that persisted for approx 250 years. These school or more correctly 'family traditions' were evolving even before that,
Seeing that these traditions were passed on in villages, castles, temples and shrines, not just "within the family", I think the term "school" or "tradition" fits better.

Gary Arthur said:
Now in those days there probably was no Shoden, Chuden, Okuden etc but simply a collection of techniques.... I believe that many schools only really had their techniques laid down on paper when it was a period of peace.
Traditions like Takenouchi ryu, Katori Shinto ryu, Shinkage ryu, Nen ryu, Kage ryu and Kashimashin ryu all had written scrolls back then, some with sections entitled "shoden, chuden, okuden".

Gary Arthur said:
If a period of war then sword and spear became the principal weapons taught, if peace then weapons like the staff or maybe unarmed combat. (Skipping a few lines)Now in this he is talking about Sword schools but as many sword schools also had unarmed combat, Spear etc, and some even practiced the entire Bugei Juhappan of which there were several variations, one could say martial arts schools in general.
So If you as a martial arts master living in a period of peace you had to lay down your schools techniques on paper, (or in other words write a sylabus)what techniques would you include first?
Well its a period of peace, the sword and especially the spear are now no where near as important any more, it might just make sense to have the Unarmed combat as the starting point.
So the once secret teachings of Taijutsu, Jujutsu, Yawara etc become the beginning techniques and the sword is now taught much latter on.
I don't want to sound rude, but you completely missed what I had said in my previous post. Some schools are taijutsu based. Some schools are sword based. The base doesn't change, it's the underlying teaching philosophy of the school. All schools from that time at the very least taught spear, sword and taijutsu. Take some non-Bujinkan schools for example. New students to Takenouchi ryu began with taijutsu 300 years ago, and they begin with taijutsu today, then move on to bo and sword. Shinkage ryu began teaching kenjutsu (sword techniques) 300 years ago, and new students to that ryu ha still learn sword from day one before going on to stickfighting and empty hands. The schools in the Bujinkan are all taijutsu based schools.

Gary Arthur said:
Lets stop this silly idea that just because SHIHAN (Master Instructor) Stephen K Hayes, ...has a sylabus that might differ from yours, and is therefore not teaching the Takamatsuden arts.
I don't think I ever said SKH "is not teaching Takamatsuden arts". He's teaching his version of it that he learned from Hatsumi sensei, flavored with his own personal experience, as are all the other shihan. I thought we were comparing those versions here.
 
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Gary Arthur

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In response to Don Roley.

I am in no way saying that one form of training is any better than any other. As I have stated, its horses for courses. TO-SHIN DO trains one way, Other organisations train another way. What I am saying is that as Ninjutsu practitioners we should try to get on together, have respect for each other, and learn from each other. This is all I have ever done. Please see my other posts.

Secondly you state that I should not be talking about history based on my experience. Firstly I ask, do you know what experience I have in this art, and what training I have had in historical studies, and even so what makes you think that your view of history is any better than mine or anyone elses. As Napoleon said "History is a pack of lies agreed upon"

Kizaru
Reading your post I actually think we are mostly agreeing with each other, and in reference to what you have stated about the different Ryu Ha, you are of course correct, but it is not as simple as that. However as this subject will go off track if we continue on about schools, lets end this here, or contact me via e mail. I think it is true to say that some schools remain teaching what for them has become the back bone of their art either sword or spear or Taijutsu and we can do so as we are at peace. And this is true of course in the Bujinkan. TO-SHIN DO however realises that today the primary weapons are the knife, gun and club as well as unarmed combat, which is why at the Kyu grade level there are no techniques with the sword, spear etc. This is not to say they are not taught to more advanced students or at special training sessions. In fact at these sessions An Shu Hayes teaches the techniques as laid down in the Densho and as taught to him by Dr Hatsumi.

Imagine if you will, if tomorrow for some bizarre reason we were plunged again into a war and the naginata became the primary weapon on the battlefield and in the street, would these arts, Bujinkan or otherwise start to bring naginata training to the forefront of their training or would they continue on the path they are taking at present?

Just a hypothetical situation, but worth a thought.
 

Don Roley

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Gary Arthur said:
you state that I should not be talking about history based on my experience. Firstly I ask, do you know what experience I have in this art, and what training I have had in historical studies, and even so what makes you think that your view of history is any better than mine or anyone elses.

Oh dear. Is this going to be one of those types of debates?

I never said I knew anything about your experience. I said what I did after seeing what you wrote. And what kind of impression do you think you make when you write the above just after Kizaru showed how your language was off and you missed the boat about historical methods of training?

I really think that you should stop trying to portray Toshindo as being closer to what the samurai during wartime trained in unless you know what you are talking about. You do not seem to be.

If you want to try to push your version of history, then please do so with exact quotes with page numbers, etc. Saying, "I think XXX said," generalizing and wild *** guesses are not what I am talking about.

But all to often I have seen people not list their sources like that and instead try to impress everyone just how they do not need to because they are soooo much of an expert in the subject matter. :rolleyes: But anyone who tries that here will be have no mercy shown them as people like Kizaru and I list our years of Japan experience, our experiences in Japanese universities, our language abilities, our extensive collections of history texts, our years of training in the Bujinkan under Japanese shihan, etc. Trust me, you do not want that to happen to you.

So, again- list your sources for history or preferebaly just stop trying to push your theory that somehow Toshindo trains like the samurai from the age of war more than Hatsumi.

And I find the following a little strange.

TO-SHIN DO however realises that today the primary weapons are the knife, gun and club as well as unarmed combat, which is why at the Kyu grade level there are no techniques with the sword, spear etc.

Are you saying that kyu level ranks in the Bujinkan learn naginata and such to any great extent? I beg to differ. The lower ranks I see mainly train in sticks and maybe knives. Some schools teach gun and some teach basic attacks with swords so that people can serve as ukes for taisabaki drills. Heck, in the dojo I train in now we deal mainly with those areas and I pick up a spear maybe three times a year on my own to keep up some skills.

But I think you miss the point of some of the principles and methods involved in the way things are taught the way they are in the Bujinkan. The way I have learned ancient weapons have been very helpfull to me in understanding certain principles and concepts. Last weekend I was off in the mountains and got to pick up an axe. Since no one was around, and I am a budo geek, I took some time to practice with it as a weapon. I have never taken axe fighting lessons, but I think I did a bit better than your typical axe murderer would. Most people use the thing with the strong hand above the weak hand and either strike straight down or from the strong side to the weak. But I switched hands like you do with a naginata and reversed directions as well as from below.

It is not just axes. I have a shovel that I work out with in my yard that relies a lot on the sword and spear stuff I have learned. I use an ASP baton mainly based on wakazashi moves. There are many examples I could list, but I think you get the point that by concentrating on the principles of the ancient weapons, I have found wasy of using common tools and weapons we find today.

But of course, I believe that taijutsu skills must precede trying to use a weapon, so begginers must spend a lot of time just getting their unarmed skills down just like you seem to say Toshindo does.
 

DWeidman

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Gary Arthur said:
We seem to be talking a lot about "This is Shoden and is therefore a basic technique and this is Chuden and therefore more advanced technique" but really I dont think we should think about it like that.
Really? You sure about this? Perhaps you should provide some evidence to support this idea...

You have one idea and 10 paragraphs of speculation. Unless you have some unknown facts to support your GUESSING - the rest of what you said is irrelevant (interesting - but irrelevant).

There is nothing to stop me from claiming that the scrolls are meant to be read under the moonlight in order to see magic runes ... except common sense and "BURDEN OF PROOF"...

Waiting....

-Daniel
 

Grey Eyed Bandit

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Schools like Koto ryu were developed for hit-and-run types of self defense and guerilla warfare, where you had to knock down your opponent(s) quickly and get the hell away. There were many such systems even during the Sengoku Jidai that emphasized unarmed hitting more than grappling and weapons.

First, Toshindo is a modern adaptation of the traditional martial arts of war-time Japan. Then, somehow it's closer in spirit to what the samurai trained in than the Bujinkan. Explanation, please.
 
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Gary Arthur

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Daniel

No I have not replied to this thread for a little while as I kind of find it sad that when I honestly express my personal opinion of Bujinkan from what I have seen from attending Hatsumi Seminars, watching Videos and having Bujinkan members, including black belts visit my dojo, it is ridiculed as though I really don't know what I am talking about.

I started this post with my explaination of what I perceive TO-SHIN DO to be, and its difference to Bujinkan.

Now whilst I appreciate that all Bujinkan teachers teach slightly differently, some dwelling on some of what i would term classical stuff, whilst others practice more modern style self defence forms of the art. There is what I would call a Bujinkan approach to training. Which from my point of view differs somewhat to the TO-SHIN DO approach.

This does not mean that TO-SHIN DO is a completely new martial art. Some people it seems have this bizarre idea that Stephen K Hayes has sold out and created a new martial arts system, totally devoid of any of the teaching he has learnt from Dr Hatsumi.

On the contrary, I think that actually Stephen Hayes got the original teachings of Ninjutsu and what is taught today in Bujinkan is mostly a shadow of the true ninja warrior arts. Therefore what is taught in TO-SHIN DO is what mr Hayes learnt all those years ago in Japan when there were only a few people actually training.

On one of mr Hayes DVDs he says that the way he is teaching now is exactly how he learnt it in Japan so many years ago (Go listen to the DVD, its on mountains of strength).

My personal opinion on Bujinkan and the way it is taught today.
OK imagine this. You are the 34 generation grandmaster of a secret sword school that began in the 11th century. This school that you are the grandmaster of came into existence during the crusades. Your great, great, great, etc grandfather was the founder of this western martial art.
You have a few students sworn to secrecy never to teach or reveal this art of the Knights Templar.
Then one day a foreign person turns up and trains. After a few years they write a book on the secret techniques of the Knights Templar.
Suddenly your once secret school is not secret anymore. You are launched into the limelight and in the country where your foreign student comes from you are famous. Everyone wants to study with you, because up until the writing of this book they had never heard of the Knight Templar.
But in your own country, well you are seen as some kind of fraud, or crazy person. Of course the Knight Templar don't exist they died out in the 13th century the critics state.

See any similarities with the art of Ninjutsu. Theres Dr Hatsumi teaching his students Ninjutsu in a back room of his clinic when Stephen K Hayes (and others) publish a book on this once secret art. Suddenly he is made a superstar in the USA, UK and other countries but in Japan, the ninja are a myth made famous by comic books, where they are involved in assasination, theft and sorcery. In effect they are the enemies of the samurai, the enemies of the ruling class.
Can you imagine if your doctor suddenly came out and said 'Im skilled in the arts of assasination'
Not good for business and not good for your character which is Oh so important in Japan.

And if you think this is a bit far fetched, then ask yourself why Takamatsu Sensei and Hatsumi Sensei never mentioned they studied Ninjutsu, and trained in white gis. Why did Takamatsu sensei never mention he taught ninjutsu until his neighbours found out from his obituary. Why did he say he was teaching Happo Biken instead?

Ok many will say, well this is not Ninjutsu this is Bujinkan Taijutsu, or Budo Taijutsu, and only one of our schools Togakure Ryu is actually Ninjutsu.
Really, Think again. It might have been prudent for Dr Hatsumi to call his arts Bujinkan and Budo Taijutsu to take some of the heat off of what he was doing in the early days.
Please guys also remember this. These Japanese Martial arts are a Japanese treasure, do you really think the Japanese are going to give you everything that relates to this art. Thats like the English selling a castle to the USA. The locals would be in uproar.

I have heard that in the early days when Hatsumi Sensei started to become famous the students had to take a pledge not to reveal certain aspects of the art to the masses.

Now I've probably said too much in this post, and I await what i know is going to be a barrage of abuse and defensive writing.

But ill leave you with this. Back at the 1995 Hatsumi Seminar Hatsumi Sensei began by addressing the crowd with the subject of lies, deception and falsehood. Following this we moved onto Naginata. First he demonstrated a technique with one naginata, followed by a technique with two naginata. He then picked up a third and started to demonstrate with these.
I looked around and could see people nodding in agreement and some were even taking notes. As he had already stated that the Ninja must see the truth from falsehood I thought to myself, Hatsumi Sensei must be doing this to see who will actually get what he has just said. I wonder how many did. But then maybe there is a technique where one will use 3 naginatas in unison against an attacker. What do i know, What do any of us know. This is Ninjutsu after all.
 

Don Roley

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Gary Arthur said:
On the contrary, I think that actually Stephen Hayes got the original teachings of Ninjutsu and what is taught today in Bujinkan is mostly a shadow of the true ninja warrior arts.

And taking that attitude, without being able to back it up with anything even close to a reliable source, is why you are angering so many people.

You experience with the Bujinkan is extremely limited. You were not there when Hayes got his training. You have been corrected on language and history use by other members of the board. In short, you really do not know all that much.

The quote above shows that it is you who have launched an attack. And it is up to you to back it up with facts and not wild conjecture.
 

Kizaru

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Gary Arthur said:
On the contrary, I think that actually Stephen Hayes got the original teachings of Ninjutsu and what is taught today in Bujinkan is mostly a shadow of the true ninja warrior arts.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What I understand from what is written above is, "Real ninjutsu is taught only in America and NOT in Japan".

So, at some point after Stephen Hayes left Japan, Hatsumi sensei decides to start teaching "poorly" and he's been doing that for the past 20 years or so? That doesn't make sense to me. There are young Japanese people training with Hatsumi sensei and the shihan, are you implying that they are willingly going to class, knowingly spending their time and money to learn garbage in order to "fool the foreigners"? I've been in plenty of classes where I was the only non Japanese, the class size was about 6 people, and class was conducted more or less as it always was, except that I wasn't translating. In the "Knights Templar" example below, is it implied that the Japanese students aren't being taught "the real thing" either? Why do the Japanese shihan who have been training for 30 years plus still show up to training?

My opinion is you'll get out of it what you put into it. If you train with the right motivation, demonstrate that you're trustworthy and ask intelligent questions at the right time, you'll have plenty put on your plate.


Gary Arthur said:
Suddenly he is made a superstar in the USA, UK and other countries but in Japan, the ninja are a myth made famous by comic books, where they are involved in assasination, theft and sorcery. In effect they are the enemies of the samurai, the enemies of the ruling class.
I though they were "a myth made famous by comic books" in the US and the UK too. As far as being the "enemies of the Samurai", I've read comic books and fairy tales in Japanese where the samurai was someone who had studied ninjutsu...


Gary Arthur said:
Please guys also remember this. These Japanese Martial arts are a Japanese treasure, do you really think the Japanese are going to give you everything that relates to this art. Thats like the English selling a castle to the USA. The locals would be in uproar.
Reading the above "Knights Templar" example you say that the "secret sword style teacher" is looked upon kind of like a fraud...so the locals are going to be in an uproar over a crazy fraud giving away fool's gold? Forgeting that for a moment, are you saying that even though it's a Japanese treasure, they bent the rules for SKH (and all the other non Japanese that trained there before him) and then decided that was it? If they didn't want to teach non Japanese, why didn't they just say, "sorry folks, no non Japanese allowed anymore"? There are PLENTY of places I've tried to get into here and I've been told "sorry pal, not Japanese enough for access", so it's not like that isn't culturally acceptable...

Gary Arthur said:
What do i know, What do any of us know. This is Ninjutsu after all.
Or is it?
 
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Gary Arthur

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I am not saying it is being taught poorly, just differently. My feeling is that what is taught today i.e Budo Taijutsu has a different slant than what was taught in the 1970s and 80s in the back of Hatsumis clinic.

However as most of us have come on board later, we think that what is being taught now is the same as it has always been. This is clearly not so. We all know that the way that Hatsumi Sensei teaches is very soft in comparison with what was taught years ago.

It could be therefore that Mr Hayes is teaching the way that he was originally taught in the 70s and 80s, but because so many of us have come on board much later, and have no experience of training in the 70s and 80s, what we perceive is that Hatsumi sensei is teaching the way it has always been taught and Mr Hayes has sold out.

I remember back in about 1994 training in a black belt class with Tanemura Sensei, he explained that what he would teach that night how Takamatsu taught. It was so different from the Bujinkan way of doing things. there were no punches held at the hip and in fact I believe I remember him mention that if Takamatsu sensei came back from the grave that he would be appalled at this kind of punching style. Another Genbukan Dojo Leader stated that if Takamatsu Sensei saw this he would be spinning in his grave.

Is this punching style wrong. No of course not, it was an old way of fighting in armour and of course is part of the Sanshin, but maybe even Takamatsu realised that this type of punch was good for beginners but if one wanted to really protect themselves then this was simply no good even in his day.

And Mr Roley, Unfortunately you were not there in the early days either, and if we are talking about angering people, Well I only anger those who are so closed minded and not open enough to ponder what I have put. And I seem to remember a post where you angered so many people with your reply to a post from a person so new to the art, so none of us are perfect.
 

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Gary Arthur said:
I am not saying it is being taught poorly, just differently. My feeling is that what is taught today i.e Budo Taijutsu has a different slant than what was taught in the 1970s and 80s in the back of Hatsumis clinic.

And you think that Hayes teaches closer to that than Hatsumi or the Japanese shihan. But how on earth can you tell that without having been there yourself?

Here is the thing, the training in those days was with a small group of people that knew each others limitations very well. As such, they were able to do things that were a bit closer to the edge than you can with a larger group of people that have been in town only a short while. So if Hatusmi is teaching in a different manner, then it is to prevent the pair of white belts from killing each other. And the same dynamic has to apply to Hayes as well.

And there are other teachers in the Bujinkan from those days like Nagato, Noguchi, Oguri, etc. Are they part of this conspiracy too? Or have you considered that when there is only a few students who can be trusted to not kill each other the level goes up again? This type of training is not something that Hayes can do in North America under his circumstances at all without being sued silly.

And if you are talking about the godai element theory or something, then you had better provide some proof that there was ever an "earth feeling" while training.

Gary Arthur said:
It was so different from the Bujinkan way of doing things. there were no punches held at the hip

I dealt with this already. Aside from the sanshin (an extreme solo form), I do not see these punches from the hip you keep saying the Bujinkan does. No other Bujinkan member has stepped forward and said they have seen it either. If this is the way you kept punching while in the Bujinkan, then you learned wrong and no one really bothered to point out your mistakes. Take a look at any Hatsumi tape from a Daikomyosai or such and see if you can find people practicing that type of punch.

Gary Arthur said:
Well I only anger those who are so closed minded and not open enough to ponder what I have put.

Calling people close minded if they don't agree with you is not going to make you friends. And as Kizaru pointed out so well, your arguments make no logical sense, you have no evidence to back up what you say and your experience with the subject matter is extremely limited. So, who do you think appears to me to be unwilling to open up his mind to other ideas?
 

Cryozombie

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Gary Arthur said:
It could be therefore that Mr Hayes is teaching the way that he was originally taught in the 70s and 80s, but because so many of us have come on board much later, and have no experience of training in the 70s and 80s, what we perceive is that Hatsumi sensei is teaching the way it has always been taught and Mr Hayes has sold out.
I am REALLY confused.

I thought the Idea behind Toshindo was to make it "Modern" and applicable to the westerners studying it (ninjutsu) today...

So either he (hayes) is teaching it the way he learned it, or he modernized it.

Which is it?
 

Shizen Shigoku

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Don Roley: "I dealt with this already. Aside from the sanshin (an extreme solo form), I do not see these punches from the hip you keep saying the Bujinkan does. No other Bujinkan member has stepped forward and said they have seen it either."

Me neither, the usual kamae that I see punches thrown from is either ichimonji or doko. The only time I see punches come up and out from a low position are with "low-intention" / hidden punches that travel directly and naturally from shizen to 'get in under the radar' / come from below the peripheral sight line.

As for any other comparisons with Toshindo - I'm not qualified to say. However, I have heard Hatsumi talk about doing techniques with feeling such as "like the wind" etc. I don't know if that's a godai reference, or if he's just saying "move like the wind." :idunno:
 
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Gary Arthur

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Sorry to confuse you. You know its really hard sometimes talking about something on these forums without being taken out of context, and sometimes it really is a battle of semantics.

Of course everything we do is based on our own personal experience and I think I have enough experience over the last 19 years to know somewhat of what I am talking about, although Mr Roley might disagree with that as he seems to know so much about me.

During the last 19 years I have trained on numerous occasions with Dr Hatsumi, his students and of course in the Genbukan with Shoto Tanemura and his students. I have also trained on a number of occasions with Mr Hayes the first time being in 1986.

I guess the difference is that I am not one of these people that have run off to Japan turned up at Dr Hatsumis door and got a fifth dan.

And that I think has put me in quite a unique position, in that politically I am not only seeing things from one side of the fence. I have had the freedom to train with who i want, whether its Hatsumi, Tanemura, Tanaka, Navon, Hayes or whoever.

Ok people will say, but you are now politically involved with Stephen K Hayes and are in fact biased to his way of training, just as others are biased towards Hatsumi Sensei or Tanemura Sensei. But unlike the Genbukan and Bujinkan where people are banned from training with the other side, I am still free to train with who I want, in fact An Shu Hayes actually encourages it.

Anyway lets get back to the point about the fact that TO-SHIN DO being modern yet taught as An Shu Hayes learnt it years ago.

I think the best way of explaining this is that in the early days the techniques were based very much on 'Making them work' in todays world, which of course was the 70s and 80s. The philosophy of Ninjutsu has always been that one should move with the times, and indeed Takamatsu sensei did a lot to make the art of Ninjutsu relevant to his world. We know for example that he mastered many forms of Chinese martial art, and also a Korean one. Now some of those techniques that he learnt are probably in the system that we study today.

Now today of course the world has changed, people do not attack in the same way that they did in the 70s and 80s. OK people still throw punches and kicks but wrestling was'nt so big in the 70s. I can't walk down the street today without seeing some advert for RAW wrestling classes in my town, and of course there was also an absence of Gracie style jujutsu. So following the philosophy of Ninjutsu TO-SHIN DO now includes a section on ground fighting and defences from the grappler.

In the 70s and 80s as An Shu Hayes explains on his DVDs that they would learn something from the Grandmaster and then meet in the local park to try to get it to work. Today in that respect it is no different. An Shu Hayes is still trying to get it to work (and doing an excellent job I might add), except of course the world is constantly changing. If suddenly wrestling moved into the back ground and say a new form of fighting evolved and became popular, then TO-SHIN DO would probably move away from the ground defences and concentrate somewhat on defences from this new form of attacking.

Now am I saying that it is only TO-SHIN DO that teaches modern methods of Ninjutsu? No I am not. There are of course many people out there that have taken what they have learnt from Dr Hatsumi and others and created a method of using the Bujinkan arts in the western world of the 21st century.

What I do find strange though, as ive said all along, is that when these Bujinkan guys create a way of using the Bujinkan arts in a modern form then its fine, but when An Shu Hayes does the same thing then he is accused of selling out and not teaching the arts he was taught by his teacher Dr Hatsumi.

Finally Mr Roley says this

Here is the thing, the training in those days was with a small group of people that knew each others limitations very well. As such, they were able to do things that were a bit closer to the edge than you can with a larger group of people that have been in town only a short while. So if Hatusmi is teaching in a different manner, then it is to prevent the pair of white belts from killing each other. And the same dynamic has to apply to Hayes as well.

Which is exactly why TO-SHIN DO is so structured. White and yellow belts for white and yellow belt classes, and blue belts for blue belts classes. As Takamatsu Sensei said "Black belt techniques to black belt, 5th dan to 5th dan"
In the Bujinkan at the moment there does not seem to be any structure except from the Ten Chi Jin but even then the instructors can choose whether to use it or not. A black belt in Chicago US Dojo could be completely different in skill to a black belt in Manchester England Dojo. Whereas in TO-SHIN DO my yellow belts should be learning the same techniques and be the same level of experience and skill as a yellow belt in Dayton Ohio. Although of course they might get a little more being in the presence of An Shu Hayes of course, but hopefully you know what I mean.

 

Grey Eyed Bandit

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Gary Arthur said:
But unlike the Genbukan and Bujinkan where people are banned from training with the other side, I am still free to train with who I want, in fact An Shu Hayes actually encourages it.
Training with the Bujinkan is as far as I know not disallowed in the Genbukan.

Gary Arthur said:
I think the best way of explaining this is that in the early days the techniques were based very much on 'Making them work' in todays world, which of course was the 70s and 80s.
So now that was the time people were being given the real enchilada, while nowadays there's just a whole lot of fluff being taught? Before you wrote yourself about Hayes's own disappointment with what he was taught during that time, that it was all based on what one may have had to face during the sengoku jidai with armour-clad people with swords and all. Now you say that time was the most str337 oriented time of the Bujinkan. Would you please make up your damn mind?

Gary Arthur said:
The philosophy of Ninjutsu has always been that one should move with the times, and indeed Takamatsu sensei did a lot to make the art of Ninjutsu relevant to his world.
Herbal medicine and castle infiltration methods from 16th century Japan isn't all that applicable these days. That's probably another reason Hatsumi sensei focuses on teaching taijutsu and bukiwaza rather than ninjutsu,

Gary Arthur said:
We know for example that he mastered many forms of Chinese martial art, and also a Korean one. Now some of those techniques that he learnt are probably in the system that we study today.
Read his autobiography and you might be inclined to change your opinion.

Gary Arthur said:
So following the philosophy of Ninjutsu TO-SHIN DO now includes a section on ground fighting and defences from the grappler.
Which of course is totally unlike the Bujinkan, which has no methods for ground combat at all.:rolleyes:

Gary Arthur said:
Now am I saying that it is only TO-SHIN DO that teaches modern methods of Ninjutsu? No I am not. There are of course many people out there that have taken what they have learnt from Dr Hatsumi and others and created a method of using the Bujinkan arts in the western world of the 21st century.
Created a method of...? No need to, the knowledge is already there. That's why we focus of principles instead of techniques.

Gary Arthur said:
What I do find strange though, as ive said all along, is that when these Bujinkan guys create a way of using the Bujinkan arts in a modern form then its fine, but when An Shu Hayes does the same thing then he is accused of selling out and not teaching the arts he was taught by his teacher Dr Hatsumi.
One thing that may have to do with it is that what you are describing as the shortcomings of the Bujinkan is, IMO, a constructed problem.

Gary Arthur said:
In the Bujinkan at the moment there does not seem to be any structure except from the Ten Chi Jin but even then the instructors can choose whether to use it or not.


I trust you've done your research on this by meeting high-ranking instructors from all over the world and discussing the matter.
 

Don Roley

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Gary Arthur said:
Now today of course the world has changed, people do not attack in the same way that they did in the 70s and 80s.

:rofl:
Um, first you were going on about punches from the hips since it was "historical". Now that you cannot seem to point to any examples of this, you are saying that muggers do not throw punches as they did a couple decades ago?

Do you realize you are not being very consisitent? Not only with that, but in your contention that Hayes teaches closer to what the ancient ninja did than Hatsumi. You have not provided proof for that contention either when challenged.

And you really, really missed the point when I talked about the way training used to be compared to how it is done today. I was talking about the roughness and danger in the way training was done. You are trying to say that there is a difference in the techniques that were trained back then and now. Your talking about punching from the hip again comes to mind, but again you cannot point to any examples of this. I have heard a lot of stories like the time Hatsumi grabbed someone by the tounge and threw them into an open- flamed stove to not believe that the training when there were only a few guys was different than now when there is a lot of newbies in the room trainig with each other. You seem to labor under the impression that the actual ways of punching (i.e. from the hip) have changed. I can understand why Hatsumi would not have us do things with full intent and power, but not your theory that he has changed the techniques to make them not applicable in combat anymore.
 
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