From What to Bujinkan?

Zeno

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Hey there,

I'm sure a number of MT members have surely changed from one style to another and for certain reasons. So, hopefully this thread is somewhat unique in content.

Did you change from any style(s) to join the Bujinkan? Why did you? What's your experience with the Bujinkan versus the style you changed from so far?

As for me, I grew up in an area where there were Karate/Kenpo dojos all at very convenient locations. So, when I was around 9 or so, I joined a Karate dojo. Now, I've always been rather tall for my age, so I was, for size reasons, put in with the teenagers, who were all significantly more experienced. Needless to say, MY experience was a poor one, so my parents ended up pulling me out.

Now I'm 20 years old, and had been looking for something new. I saw how many Karate/Kenpo/TKD dojos were around, and was considering TKD for a while, but wanted to do some more research.

My top choices were Ninjutsu, Hapkido, or Judo. Also Crab Kung Fu would've been great, had it not died out. It just always intrigued me.

Then I discover a "Bujinkan" dojo that opened in Winchendon, MA, which is only the next town over from me. I ask myself, "What's Bujinkan?" Needless to say, after doing a bit of quality research and speaking with Ken Savage, the instructor there, I was ready to give martial arts another shot.

I've been there for nearly 4 months, and I'm happy to say that this is, by far, one of the best experiences of my life. I attend just about every single class, 5 days a week. If they're open, chances are I'm there.

But what about you? Tell us your story.
 

NW_Tengu

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Whew. Over 18 years I have flitted from one art to another for various reasons. Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Arnis, Wrestling, Boxing, Thai Style Kick Boxing, Okinawan Kenpo, Shotokan and Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Most heavy emphasis was on Boxing, Kickboxing, and Hapkido. I never was at one place long enough to get a high degree of skill, I did learn how to move, what to expect from different styles and few tricks from hear and there. I feel that I can defend myself well from most people I am likely to encounter if they are unarmed and on a single basis. That being said, its time to start focusing and getting depth. I have decided on Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. I realy like the technical aspects, the free flowing philosophy, and the historical depth and diversity. It will be a great art to get my sons involved in when they are old enough. Hopefully save them years of "searching" that I went thru if they decide on a Martial Journey. Now to unlearn all the rigid stances and techniques I have picked up!
 
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Zeno

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How was your experience with Hapkido versus Bujinkan?
 

NW_Tengu

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How was your experience with Hapkido versus Bujinkan?


Their were many similarities. I trained at two differnet schools for Hapkido. The first was from a Korean on an student visa. This was a more traditional version and IMO much more effective that the "American" Hapkido. Emphasis was on smaller circles and joint manipulation. Also, the American Hapkido was also a judo school which tended to overlap too much into Hapkido training. Toss in that the instrcutor was a UFC/MMA fan and you can see the problems. The first time in defense training that my uke went to gaurd, I promplty simulated a testical smash/grab/rip. He lost me when he said I wasnt "allowed" to do that.

As far as a comparison to Bujinkan. Both are very comprehensive in my opinion with techniques for all ranges of combat. Both use angling and circular movements and tend to be "soft" with the option to be hard when needed. Hapkido has a much wider range of kicking techniques, some which can be quite devestation. That being said, being older with a bad hip, I find the basic Bujinkan foot stamp kick to be just as effective (if not more so), much simpler, more diverse, and more likely to succeed in a RL encounter. Most flashy Hapkido kick are just for show, or as a final decisive blow when an opponent is unsuspecting or dioriented from a previous technique. Hand stikes tended to be similar in the traditional Hapkido school, while American Hapkido tended to be more boxing orientated. Grappling I give the edge to Hapkido for 2 reasons. 1. grappling in Bujinkan tends to be limited to locks and escapes. 2. I am still VERY inexperienced when it comes to Bujinkan grappling :) Both emphasize not wrestling around and getting stomped by buddies or gutted by that box cutterr you didnt see tho. 2 things that IMO make Bujinkan superior are the weapons, and what I call the "tricks". Hapkido traditionaly did not have any weapons. Various instrcutors and orginizations have added weapons, but you never know what you will get. Typical is Staff, cane, rope, and sword. The "tricks" like eye gouges, finger cranks, skin pinches, nerve strikes ect in Bujinkan are a favorite for me. Its something I always added to my previoyus training, but its nice to find actual training curriculum utilizing these vs the ocassional passing remark you might find in other arts. One other note to mention. When you walk into train in a Bujinkan Dojo, you know what your gonna get. It all looks basicaly the same, idealy they will all lead you to the same end goal. In Hapkido this is just the opposite. Depending on the school, you can go from one to another and be almost lost.
 

allenjp

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Hello,

Please do not take this the wrong way as I mean no offense, but it sounds to me that you think the guard is not a good technique to use when one is taken down, am I correct?

If that is the case, do you have experience with anything that works better? Please believe that I ask this question with all sincerity, and with the true purpose of finding out if there is something better.

I train BJJ, and I train it for self defense, not for competition. Believe me I would not be a person to tell you that "you can't do that", because I train for as realistic situations as I can. But I have never seen nor heard of any technique that even comes close to being better than the guard to defend yourself once you are taken down.

This question may seem to be off topic, but it is actually related to the OP because I plan to switch from BJJ to BJK in the future, once I get a solid ground game down, and this information is helpful to my plans for transition.

I would appreciate a sincere and honest answer, not trying to start a flame war here.

Thank you
 

NW_Tengu

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Hello,

Please do not take this the wrong way as I mean no offense, but it sounds to me that you think the guard is not a good technique to use when one is taken down, am I correct?

If that is the case, do you have experience with anything that works better? Please believe that I ask this question with all sincerity, and with the true purpose of finding out if there is something better.

I train BJJ, and I train it for self defense, not for competition. Believe me I would not be a person to tell you that "you can't do that", because I train for as realistic situations as I can. But I have never seen nor heard of any technique that even comes close to being better than the guard to defend yourself once you are taken down.

This question may seem to be off topic, but it is actually related to the OP because I plan to switch from BJJ to BJK in the future, once I get a solid ground game down, and this information is helpful to my plans for transition.

I would appreciate a sincere and honest answer, not trying to start a flame war here.

Thank you

No offense taken, and none was intended. The problem i had wasn't that my uke pulled guard, it was the phrase "that isnt allowed". In self defense, there is no such thing as not allowed.

As far as my opinion on the guard, while it does have some limited uses, I think MMA has overblown its effectiveness. Its is very effective in the ring, but in self defense, there are some glaring "holes". Undersand that in a no rules scenario, it leaves your groin and a couple of pressure points wide open. In Bujinkan, its been my experience that we try never to go to the ground, and if we find ourselves there, to try to get back to our feet as quick as possible. There are many pressure points and soft areas very vulnerable to attack when close in grappling, that will change an assailants mind quickly. If for some reason you find yourself on the ground, guard can be usefull as long as you keep in mind its limitations. Its the ones that try to grapple and get to guard that are risking alot in a real self defense situation. This is all my personal opinion of course..
 

allenjp

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Thank you for the sincere and well thought out answer.

I agree with much of what you said and I always try to keep in mind during my training what will work for SD as opposed to competitions, not only with questions such as the guard, but also for techniques that involve using the Gi. Many of the things that we train for with the Gi simply won't work when someone is wearing a tee shirt, but some will, and many more will work with say, a sweatshirt.

Of course I agree that in a real SD situation the best thing is not to get on the ground at all, and to try to get up as soon as possible if you do. However, there are some people that can make it very difficult for you to do that, and if one of those people is determined to take you down, chances are they are going to do it. And if that happens you had better know what you are doing down there.

I know that many vulnerable points are exposed when grappling in certain positions, but believe me, someone who is skilled in ground fighting can make it very difficult for you to attack those points, in fact my first thought when you said that you were able to simulate an attack to that person's groin was that that person apparently was not very good with his guard, because the guard is not meant to be a neutral or sedentary position, it is an offensive position if used correctly, and should be very active.

The point of my post was that if you find yourself with someone on top of you and you can't get up you simply need some way to keep that person off of you so that they can't choke you or pummel you into oblivion, and the guard is the best way to do that, or at least the best way I know of. Once you achieve that, the guard gives you very nice options for chokes, sweeps that give you a chance to get up, or joint locks which you can use to break your attacker's joints if that's what you decide to do. Once you get your attacker in your guard you really should be so active attacking him that he he doesn't have a chance to go for your groin because he is too busy defending your attacks.

But I definitely agree that when training for real SD the only thing that "isn't allowed" is the phrase: "that isn't allowed".

Anyway thanks again...

P.S. BTW what part of Oregon do you live in?
 

Grey Eyed Bandit

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When you walk into train in a Bujinkan Dojo, you know what your gonna get. It all looks basicaly the same, idealy they will all lead you to the same end goal. In Hapkido this is just the opposite. Depending on the school, you can go from one to another and be almost lost.

You do not have much experience within various Bujinkan dojos if you honestly believe this to be true.
 

NW_Tengu

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No. They. Will. Not.
I find that a very interesting opinion Bandit, having felt some of theses my self. Of course, I would by no means call myself a grappler. Are you infering that a trained grappler can protect themselves better, or that in a high paced dynamic encounter that cant be applied?
 

NW_Tengu

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You do not have much experience within various Bujinkan dojos if you honestly believe this to be true.

My experience is limited to 3 training halls across 2 states. I found them all to be very similar. I submit though that this could be very much because I am only a beginner in Bujinkan. I might have been lucky too. OF course, until I make it to Japan to see it at its source, I cant compare the quality.

If you say there is a vast differance in Bujinkan Dojo's, I humbly bow to your experience. I find this a little confusing though since evryone is under Hatsumi-Soke unlike Hapkido where there are many Grand masters with alot of different styles.
 

NW_Tengu

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Thank you for the sincere and well thought out answer.........


............The point of my post was that if you find yourself with someone on top of you and you can't get up you simply need some way to keep that person off of you so that they can't choke you or pummel you into oblivion, and the guard is the best way to do that, or at least the best way I know of. Once you achieve that, the guard gives you very nice options for chokes, sweeps that give you a chance to get up, or joint locks which you can use to break your attacker's joints if that's what you decide to do. Once you get your attacker in your guard you really should be so active attacking him that he he doesn't have a chance to go for your groin because he is too busy defending your attacks.

But I definitely agree that when training for real SD the only thing that "isn't allowed" is the phrase: "that isn't allowed".

Anyway thanks again...

P.S. BTW what part of Oregon do you live in?


Allenjp. I will take what you say in context of one who trains in BJJ. Perhaps my low opinion of the guard is simply because every place I trained that taught it was using it as an augmented technique, and not from a true BJJ stylist. I can easily see the technique being so watered down as to be ineffective, especialy if the philosophy of the arts you are mixing are dis-similar. Still not sure what kind of attack you can pull when your back is on the ground and your legs are around your oponents waist.
 

Grey Eyed Bandit

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I find that a very interesting opinion Bandit, having felt some of theses my self. Of course, I would by no means call myself a grappler. Are you infering that a trained grappler can protect themselves better, or that in a high paced dynamic encounter that cant be applied?

As in tachi waza, pinching, biting and pressure point striking is no substitute for being able to move. Nothing interesting about it.
 

Grey Eyed Bandit

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OF course, until I make it to Japan to see it at its source, I cant compare the quality.

You go train with Hatsumi, and then I suggest you go train with Ishizuka. Boy, are you in for a change in your view of the Bujinkan.

I find this a little confusing though since evryone is under Hatsumi-Soke unlike Hapkido where there are many Grand masters with alot of different styles.

Those Grand Masters teach. Hatsumi walks around, and things happen around him at the same time.
 

allenjp

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Allenjp. I will take what you say in context of one who trains in BJJ. Perhaps my low opinion of the guard is simply because every place I trained that taught it was using it as an augmented technique, and not from a true BJJ stylist. I can easily see the technique being so watered down as to be ineffective, especialy if the philosophy of the arts you are mixing are dis-similar. Still not sure what kind of attack you can pull when your back is on the ground and your legs are around your oponents waist.


See, this is exactly what I mean. I do not mean in any way for this to be condescending, but the guard is actually considered to be a position of advantage when on the ground, even though you are on your back, because you have control of your opponents' hips, and his options are very limited. As to the attacks available with your legs wrapped around your opponents hips or back, with many of them you must open your guard at just the right moment. But it is hard to explain to someone who doesn't have experience with this position. This is one of the reasons that BJJ is so effective. You can take a position that seems to be a disadvantage and through technique make it advantageous. Go to your local BJJ dojo, and ask them to show you. Or just watch some fights that have BJJ practitioners fighting from their backs and you'll see what I mean. Many of them prefer fighting from this position, and that is why you'll see them pull guard sometimes. I wouldn't suggest getting into the guard of anyone who knows what they're doing with it until you have studied a little more about it, I can attest from experience that it can be a painful proposition.

Here is a good example of fighting from the guard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf_Nl7zJkvI&feature=related sorry about the poor quality, but Rickso Gracie, who ends up winning the fight by choke, spends almost the whole fight on his back.

I asked what part of OR. because I used to live in Grants Pass (or Grunts' Puss as we used to affectionately call it). Don't know if you know where that is but it's on th other side of the state from you.
 

allenjp

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Here is a clip of Roger Gracie (current BJJ world champ) submitting his opponent from his back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeXyFRbRmNc&feature=related

And here's one of Ryan Gracie (RIP) submitting his opponent from his back while getting punched in the face: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rSJShkQ80E&feature=related

Here's one of Royce submitting Dan Severn from the guard after spending almost 15 minutes on his back with severn on top of him...this is from the early UFC days when there were no rules...it's funny how the announcers keep saying what a dominant position Severn has over Gracie...right up until he taps out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuLDPI4o7Yo&feature=related

Sorry to kick a dead horse, but I'm gonna do it...once again Royce against Kimo Leopoldo and you guessed it, submitted him from the bottom (by the way, groin shots were legal in this fight and there were in fact several knees thrown to the groin)
 
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allenjp

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I won't keep posting videos, but Royce also submitted Keith Hackney from the guard with an armbar, after weakening him up by striking him from the guard...

Case in point, the guard is an offensive position, and there are MANY attacks available from there.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Absolutely the guard is a useful position and I am a proponent of grappling especially BJJ. However, in a street confrontation I do not want to be on my back. Definately not my first choice!
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allenjp

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Absolutely the guard is a useful position and I am a proponent of grappling especially BJJ. However, in a street confrontation I do not want to be on my back. Definately not my first choice!
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Absolutely not! I agree wholeheartedly, in fact I probably would not want to be on the ground, even on top, much less on my back, but if you find yourself on the ground and on the bottom despite your best efforts, IMO the guard is your best bet to defend, and even offers opportunities to attack.
 

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