Goin to J-pan

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Aiki Lee

Aiki Lee

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Look, no training is so advanced that a person can't pick something up out of what they see. I'm not saying that I'd instantly get all the little subtle secrects going on within a technique being presented. That would be arrogant.

I respect Hatsumi and the Bujinkan, that's why I wanted to see if I could try it out in Japan. I don't know if i'll ever be able to go back to japan again, so I thought this might be my only chance to see the honbu.

As for the kukishin, Takamatsu helped them with the recreation of the scrolls, but the teachings were still passed on through the family. I can't prove this, but my teacher said that that's where he got the kukishin's teachnings (he has learned the Takamatsu version as well), and I have no reason not to believe him.

If it were up to me, no dojo would have to worry about money. If a person wants to make that his full time job though, it shouldn't somehow make his art less "authentic" after all that's how musashi and other old timey warriors went about earning a living. Martial arts was their JOB. There's nothing wrong with making a profit off of a service (teaching MA) that is being provided.

I'm feeling slightly offended by some of these responses. If I came off sounding like an *** at some point I apologize, but to me it sounds like you are all infering that I'm incapable of understanding the teachings of the bujinkan (which I don't understand since half of my schools lineage stems from the bujinkan), or that I think a dojo's focus should be on making money (it shouldn't). Please don't make assumptions about me when you have never met me. If you don't understand something I talk about or question something I say, then just ask. I'll do my best to clairify.

After talking with you guys, I can understand why the Bujinkan wouldn't want just any old schmuck to waltz in the door for an introductory lesson at the honbu, i thought at first that the honbu would be like any other dojo and have beginners classes, which was all that I was loking for over there. If it is only for higher ranks bujinkan members then, I see how it would be improper of me to be there.

One last question: Do all bujinkan dojos in japan require you be recommended by someone before being allowed to train? Or are there some places where you can walk in and sign up?
 

lost_in_translation

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Look, no training is so advanced that a person can't pick something up out of what they see. I'm not saying that I'd instantly get all the little subtle secrects going on within a technique being presented. That would be arrogant.




Dude, you are so wrong here, I have seen blackbelts from withing the Bujinkan, that have been training for years, still not have a clue what's going on at a class!



As for the kukishin, Takamatsu helped them with the recreation of the scrolls, but the teachings were still passed on through the family. I can't prove this, but my teacher said that that's where he got the kukishin's teachnings (he has learned the Takamatsu version as well), and I have no reason not to believe him.


Who is your teachers teacher?


in japan require you be recommended by someone before being allowed to train? Or are there some places where you can walk in and sign up?

Don't know about other dojos but the one I train at requires
www.freewebs.com/bujinkannafiannadojoyamagata/

a) a letter of introduction from your teacher if you are from another Bujinkan dojo
or
b) an interview with the sensei before you will be allowed in the door.

If you make up this way, think about looking us up ;)
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Don't know about other dojos but the one I train at requires
www.freewebs.com/bujinkannafiannadojoyamagata/

a) a letter of introduction from your teacher if you are from another Bujinkan dojo
or
b) an interview with the sensei before you will be allowed in the door.

If you make up this way, think about looking us up ;)

Thanks for stopping by and I will say that I like your dojo's website. The DVD video clips are nice as well.
icon14.gif
 

Chris Parker

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As for the kukishin, Takamatsu helped them with the recreation of the scrolls, but the teachings were still passed on through the family. I can't prove this, but my teacher said that that's where he got the kukishin's teachnings (he has learned the Takamatsu version as well), and I have no reason not to believe him.


Hi,

The Kuki family lost their Martial Art in the Tokugawa period, apparently when a Shihan of the group got involved in a duel and killed a person who had ties to the Shogun's family. As a result, they were banned from training their Martial Art, but were allowed to maintain their personnal expression of Shintoism, known as Nakatomi Shinto. Fortunately, the Kukishin Ryu was big and prominent enough to have had established offshoots, a number of which found their way to Takamatsu Sensei, who eventually made contact with the then current head of the Kuki family, Kuki Takahara. He then assisted the Kuki's in re-discovering their Martial traditions.

One last question: Do all bujinkan dojos in japan require you be recommended by someone before being allowed to train? Or are there some places where you can walk in and sign up?

This is not, as has been infered, unique to the Bujinkan. I have personnally gone through interview procedures to simply establish if I was serious enough in my interest in a koryu being taught here in Melbourne to simply watch a class. Not join in, but watch. And, if I behaved myself, acted with respect towards the practitioners and art, I would be allowed to ask some questions. And then, based on my questions and how I recieved the answers, I may or may not be offered to take up a probationary membership. So simply being asked who you're instructor is is quite non-invasive here.
 
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Aiki Lee

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My teacher's teacher is Thomas Maienza. He is the one who claims to have trained with a higher ranked kukishin student who is of a branch different from the bujinkan and was somehow connected to the original family either through direct lineage or marriage (i can't remember the details). Maienza was also in the bujinkan and studied kukishinden under that, and he has told me that while the core remains the same there are some variations.

What I meant when I said that no lessons are so advanced that you can't get anything out of it did not imply that I could see it once and then instantly know the secrets. Even if I miss the "point" of the technique or the principle of it or the subtlety, what I meant was I could at least probably find something new in the lesson that I hadn't thought of before. But to say I'm "totally wrong" means you didn't really understand what I was trying to say. Those upper level black belts that scratch their heads should at least be able to think to themselves that "oh, I could use something like this technique if I applied it this way." or something like that.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi Himura,

From what I understand, the Kukishin(den) Ryu was passed on in a number of forms (variations) to a number of people. He also did this with other schools, such as Takagi Ryu, giving each variation a different name (Takagi Yoshin Ryu/Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu/Kukishin Ryu/Kijin Chosui Ryu etc). In fact, the Kukishinden Ryu as taught in the Bujinkan seems to me to be made up of up to 11 seperate branches of the school...

So there will be similarities, and differences in the two versions. For example, the Bujinkan variant primarily uses the Dakentaijutsu/Yoroi Kumiuchi syllabus for the unarmed section, whereas the Kuki family version uses a variation of the Takagi Ryu Jutaijutsu. But none of that changes where the Kuki family rediscovered their art from.
 
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Aiki Lee

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So there will be similarities, and differences in the two versions. For example, the Bujinkan variant primarily uses the Dakentaijutsu/Yoroi Kumiuchi syllabus for the unarmed section, whereas the Kuki family version uses a variation of the Takagi Ryu Jutaijutsu. But none of that changes where the Kuki family rediscovered their art from.

All I know is that Mr. Maienza said that our line of kukishin teachings are not the same as what had been taught in the bujinkan and ours stems from a person connected to the kuki family. Your probably right in saying that Takamatsu still helped them rediscover it, but that leaves the question as to where he learned it. Wasn't it from an off shoot branch? I believe this is where our teachings come from, but I should probably check with Mr. Maienza before mentioning anything further about it, because its been so long since I talked about it with him.
 

Chris Parker

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Takamatsu Sensei recieved his lineages of Kukishin Ryu and it's variants from two main teachers; Ishitani Sensei taught him Kukishinden Ryu Happo Biken (as well as Takagi Yoshin Ryu), and Mizuta Sensei, from whom he recieved the Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu and the related Hontai Kukishin Ryu. Several of the branches of the original school had followed a 200 year round journey to end up in the hands of Ishitani Sensei, and when Takamatsu combined this knowledge with the branches of Mizuta Sensei, he was able to begin re-constructing the Ryuha. As stated, Takamatsu met with Kuki Takahara, and started a friendship/relationship with him based on the concept of buyu (martial friends). Kuki assisted Takamatsu by providing documents from his family collection, and Takamatsu repaid the kindness by helping reconnect the Kuki family with their tradition, banned since the Edo era.

When Takamatsu went to China, his documents listed him as a Master of Kukishin Ryu, as well as Jujutsu. If I recall correctly, this is before the Kuki family were reunited with the martial side of their arts, only possessing the Nakatomi Ryu Shinto religious practices.
 
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Aiki Lee

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Hey Mr. Parker,

Are there books that explain the histories of the schools in the kans that you know of? Or is most of the history lessons passed on through word of mouth? If there are books I'd like to find them.

ps. I emailed Mr. Maienza about our version of kukishin so hopefully he'll get back to me soon.
 

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Look up some of the following;

Takagi Ryu Chugokui Mokuroku : http://www.lulu.com/content/1668120

Kukishin Ryu Bujutsu (This is a reprint of the work that was re-released ten years ago, which is now super hard to find) :
http://www.budomart.com/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_SHIHAN_12.html ( I have not read the Takagi book on this site, so I will not add anything about it)

Ninpo Secrets by Tanemura Sensei

If you can read Japanese, or have extremely nice japanese friends, get yourself a copy of the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten and The Kuki Bunsha no Kenkyu
http://www.budoguten.futagotrader.com/books/ (item# KB001) This is in my opinion, the be all end all book about the Kuki Family.
 

Chris Parker

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You know, I was going to give a list, but you guys have covered most already! But, just to add to it, Serge Mol's "Classical Fighting Arts Of Japan", Wolfgang Ettig's biography of Takamatsu Toshitsugu, and trawling through any and every website/forum I could find, as well as learning from anyone I can around me. Just remember that each different account is given from a particular perspective (even mine), so do as much cross-referencing as possible, and you'll start to get a feel for the way things operate.
 

Chris Parker

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Look up some of the following;

Takagi Ryu Chugokui Mokuroku : http://www.lulu.com/content/1668120

Kukishin Ryu Bujutsu (This is a reprint of the work that was re-released ten years ago, which is now super hard to find) :
http://www.budomart.com/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_SHIHAN_12.html ( I have not read the Takagi book on this site, so I will not add anything about it)

Ninpo Secrets by Tanemura Sensei

If you can read Japanese, or have extremely nice japanese friends, get yourself a copy of the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten and The Kuki Bunsha no Kenkyu
http://www.budoguten.futagotrader.com/books/ (item# KB001) This is in my opinion, the be all end all book about the Kuki Family.


The Takagi book at the Solkan site (budomart.com) is Shihan Arnaud Cousergue's interpretation of Takagi Yoshin Ryu as taught in the Bujinkan. Little history here, but a very good technical reference. Although I don't agree with every interpretation (which is the point, really), it is still a highly respected work.
 
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Aiki Lee

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Thanks! You guys are super helpful. I chek into some of these, but sadly my japanese is still beginner level so I wouldn't get much out of a book that is not in english.
 
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Aiki Lee

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Ahem...

So I met with Mr. Maienza and asked him questions about kukishin, and it seemed I was somewhat mistaken. Here's the gist of what he told me.

The kukishin methods practiced in the Jizaikan are a combination of the different interpretations of the skills found within the Bujinkan and in the off shoot practices that stemmed from the original Kuki family. For those off-shoot variations the teachings come from a friend in Japan who teaches Kukishin to a select group of students. Every few years this friend visits America to meet with Mr. Maienza because they have known each other since high school.

so as it turns out, I was mistaken when I thought this friend was a member of the family; he isn't. He was trained in one of the off shoot branches that goes back to the original family, but this firend does not have a connection to the Bujinkan and teaches only Kukishin.
 
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