Chicagoland Ninjutsu

Bigwill

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Hey all.

First off, this is my first post here. I've been lurking for about a week.

I'm 34 years old, and have never studied any traditional Japanese Martial Arts.

I studied Taekwondo for six years when I was younger, but stopped when I went away to college. I never gave it much thought again until recently, when my six year old son said he wanted to study martial arts.

We found a Taekwondo studio in town that he likes, and I've gotten the itch again.

I've been reading up on Ninjutstu for the past several months and am intrigued.

There is a Bujinkan dojo about 15 minutes from my house (which is remarkable--I live in the middle of nowhere, 60 miles northwest of Chicago), but the instructor there also teaches once a week at the Taekwondo studio in town.

That said, I've read quite a bit on this forum and on another one about a wide range of quality amongst the instructors in the Bujinkan. As such, I wanted to know if anyone has an opinion about or any information on Sensei Anthony Brooks, of the Bushigokoro Dojo (crystallakeninja.com)?

Any help or info would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Will
 

Chris Parker

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Hi Will,

I'm going to preface this by saying the only way you can make your decision is to head over, and see what you think. However, vising Antony's site, I went through the video, and quite a few things jumped out at me. These ranged from rather dangerous approaches to edged weapon (knife) defence and firearm defence to not-entirely impressive displays of technique and training, to a huge number of issues in the photos of Antony himself when it came to things like sword (oh, don't get me started on the issues with his sword work... even just the grip!), but honestly the thing that would put me off completely is the amount of baseless invented material in the intro vid itself. Most glaringly is the use of Bo in a way that is completely at odds with the material taught in the Bujinkan (coming from the Kukishin lineages), odd use of a fan (open is not a Japanese trait for tessenjutsu), and more. Personally, I'd give him a miss.

I might, though, check out these guys:http://www.sho-indojo.com/media.html They are a satellite dojo of another one in the area, and may be a bit more grounded. I would suggest not getting blinded by Antony's Judan (10th Dan), but probably to attend both classes and see which instructor you think is better suited to yourself... because in the end, that will matter far more.
 
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Bigwill

Bigwill

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Thank you Mr. Parker.

I've been to two of his classes, but am completely ignorant when it comes to ninjutsu (really, the only thing I've got going for me is that I recognize my ignorance). And so I wanted to seek the advice of some folks here.I'll check out the link you provided. But, I will say, with a wife and four kids at home, the amount of time I can devote to training is severely limited. As such, the fact that Sensei Brooks offers a weekly class two minutes from my house is a huge plus for me.

I would really appreciate others weighing in as well. Especially if they have an opinion that presages their viewing of Sensei Brooks' website.
 
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Bigwill

Bigwill

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Two things:

1. I checked out the other website. I'm amazed to learn that there's another ninjutsu studio out here in the boondocks! (And this one has lower fees too--bonus.)

2. Why don't my spaces between paragraphs show up in my posts before editing them?
 

MMcGuirk

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Hi Will,

Too bad you didn't see the sites a few weeks ago. Anthony hosted the 2011 Midwest Taikai with instructors from obviously all over the Midwest. I wouldn't go by the videos to judge. Anthony keeps contact with Japan and like the rest of us working to learn our fundamentals. If you have any questions I recommend stopping by and speaking with him. He's a nice guy.

If you are looking at the Sho-In dojo you may be out of luck if it's the people I'm thinking it is. They only have so much space available so they limit the number of students.

Good luck!
 
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Bigwill

Bigwill

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I knew that he hosted the Midwest Tai Kai. Actually, my TKD instructor took part in the Tai Kai, and I've been to two classes with Sensei Brooks.

I was just looking for some direct info if anybody had any. I as pretty turned off by a couple of the 'quality control in the Bujinkan' threads here and elsewhere and wanted to get some opinions. Thanks, btw.

Did you attend the Tai Kai? What was your impression of Sensei Brooks? (If you don't mind me asking.)
 

MMcGuirk

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Couldn't go to the Tai Kai as I couldn't get out of my turn on the 24 emergency rotation where I work.
I wouldn't get too uptight about the "quality control" threads. I find it amusing those who mostly argue in those don't even train in the Bujinkan or complain because it's the not the world as they see it. The problem with the argument is the uninitiated assume one size fits all. There is a place where you should be and it's case by case to the person and their teacher. It's up to Y-O-U. You can be shown correctly but it's still up to you to follow through. No one else. Not saying there aren't bad teachers, it's still your responsibility to figure it out. Mean? Yeah. Real life? Yes!

Since you are rather new I suggest training with as many teachers in the Chicago Land area and you make your own decision.

I'm not going to comment on Anthony because I like him and I think he has a good heart so anything I say will be considered biased. I'll let him speak for himself. I will endorse him because he is learning and fixing items we in the U.S. did not learn at the beginning. He keeps in contact with Japan and helps his people go to Japan on their own. A lot of instructors in the early days would not do this as it challenged their control on information.

There is a seminar in Madison Wisconsin. A Japan resident will be teaching there on October 16th I believe. You can p.m. if you want more details. Most of the area Bujinkan instructors will be there from Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois.

Right, I wrote more than I intended. Good luck!

I think I probably trained with your TKD teacher!
 
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Bigwill

Bigwill

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Thank you, MMcGuirk! I appreciate the input. Truly.

I do have a high respect for my TKD instructor, and he trains with Sensei Brooks. As such, my impression of Tony is largely favorable. But I am still seeking input from those more knowledgeable than me.

And you're 100% right about the responsibility lying with me alone. Obviously I'd rather train with an excellent instructor than a terrible one. But, regardless, I need to own it.
 
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Bigwill

Bigwill

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Thanks, EWBell. (Actually, I'm just about as close to his Sensei's school in Milwaukee as I am to his in Chicago.)
 
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Bigwill

Bigwill

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Chris, I'm attending class at the Dojo you identified tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to starting my training.
 
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Bigwill

Bigwill

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Also, out of respect for my TKD instructor (who cross trains in the Bujinkan with Sensei Brooks), I asked his permission to attend the other Dojo (which might best be described as a home-based training group), and he was very supportive.
 

Cryozombie

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That Sam guy who runs the Sho-in dojo is a poopy head.

:)
 

Cryozombie

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I gotta get over there and train with you guys sometime... or Sam needs to bring you guys back to our Dojo again... good times!
 

stephen

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Also, quick note: There are two students (12 + years each) of James Morganelli who teach west of Chicago. One in Rockford (Jeff) and one in Schaumburg (Joe). I can recommend them both. If you're anywhere close I think you should take a look before you make any long term training decisions.

http://www.sgtidojo.com/links.htm

To give you an idea of the sort of training in James' Shingitai-Ichi dojo you can read his blog here: http://sgtidojo.blogspot.com/
 
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