Instructing in the Koryu arts, from a different thread ...

puunui

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Which is just another case of you trying to make it all about you. The detail that Wayne is in Hawaii, and therefore in his talking about his personal experiences references Hawaiian locales, really means nothing. You didn't understand what he was talking about, you just recognized some places. Wayne is very experienced in Koryu, which is a major aspect of his blog, and in that regard, you are a lost foreigner here, whether you know the local cafe Wayne goes to or not.

ok.
 

puunui

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The training has been much more important than the relationships, at least so far. I have greatly enjoyed the time that I've been able to spend with my seniors, both here and in Japan. However, the training has always been paramount to the personal relationships.

And it should be that way. But I think there comes a point where the type of training that you received will depend, at least in part, on your personal relationship with your direct teacher, your seniors and the head of your ryu. I think you may be getting to that point, if you aren't already there. i don't think this process is limited to koryu; I do believe that it may be much more pronounced and more intense given the nature of koryu, as well as its small size. With arts like taekwondo, the approach is more like johnny appleseed, or the bible parable about spreading seeds, so if one or more seeds fall by the wayside, then you still have lots of others to carry on. In koryu, the selection process for future seed bearers is subject to much more scrutiny, and probably rightfully so.


That is a very true statement that anyone with an understanding of Japanese culture will agree with. You've made me think about it more, and I am beginning to agree that an understanding of modern Japanese culture is necessary after a certain point. This fickleness is their way of avoiding public scenes and ugliness.

That is certainly part of it. I think that the higher one goes it becomes a trust issue as well. If someone is very capable, but if they constantly do things that irk you, or otherwise do things that make you think he/she does not think like you do, do you trust them with the keys to the kingdom? Oftentimes, what builds trust is comfortableness. How comfortable are you with another person? Some subjective things that go along with this idea are things like, do we like the same foods, see things the same way, react to situations in the same manner? If you are attempting to build this level of trust with someone who is born and raised in japan, then I would think that at least part of your effort should go to doing things that make that person comfortable with you. Speaking the language would be one such way. Being comfortable yourself while in Japan is another. Seems like all of the menkyo level practitioners all can speak japanese and/or spent considerable time living in japan. There is a good reason for that I think.


I can clearly remember the dismay of one Japanese senior because one of his senior students from the U.S. didn't understand this. There was a banquet in Japan, and the American student refused to sit at the same table as one of his Japanese equals because the Japanese fellow had made disparaging remarks about him to others. It caused quite a scene and shuffling of places, which embarrassed the senior Japanese instructor. However, the American was eventually awarded Menkyo Kaiden, and I don't know what happened to the Japanese student as I never saw him again. So, I've just argued myself in a circle, and come back to the point that I'm not for sure just how important modern Japanese culture is to the koryu. :)

Well, sometimes you have to do that, make a scene, to make a point. But if it happens too often, if it starts happening with seniors, then I believe it becomes a problem. I would have been more concerned it he acted that way towards a senior, rather than an equal, or even a junior.


Sorry about the ramble, I decided to put my musings into the post as I still think they're relative to our discussion.

No need to apologize. Sometimes we need to ramble, even if it is only in our head, so we can work things out.
 

Chris Parker

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And it should be that way. But I think there comes a point where the type of training that you received will depend, at least in part, on your personal relationship with your direct teacher, your seniors and the head of your ryu. I think you may be getting to that point, if you aren't already there. i don't think this process is limited to koryu; I do believe that it may be much more pronounced and more intense given the nature of koryu, as well as its small size. With arts like taekwondo, the approach is more like johnny appleseed, or the bible parable about spreading seeds, so if one or more seeds fall by the wayside, then you still have lots of others to carry on. In koryu, the selection process for future seed bearers is subject to much more scrutiny, and probably rightfully so.

(From myself) "As you rise through the levels, yep, absolutely. But it's not really so much to do with the training with the seniors (although that certainly is part of it), it's more to do with being a part of the greater "family" of the Ryu itself. It's often said that you don't train in a Koryu, you join it. And, being something that you join, there are others who have also joined it (other members), and if you don't fit in with them, again, forget it."

That is certainly part of it. I think that the higher one goes it becomes a trust issue as well. If someone is very capable, but if they constantly do things that irk you, or otherwise do things that make you think he/she does not think like you do, do you trust them with the keys to the kingdom? Oftentimes, what builds trust is comfortableness. How comfortable are you with another person? Some subjective things that go along with this idea are things like, do we like the same foods, see things the same way, react to situations in the same manner? If you are attempting to build this level of trust with someone who is born and raised in japan, then I would think that at least part of your effort should go to doing things that make that person comfortable with you. Speaking the language would be one such way. Being comfortable yourself while in Japan is another. Seems like all of the menkyo level practitioners all can speak japanese and/or spent considerable time living in japan. There is a good reason for that I think.

Well, as the heads of almost every one of these systems is in Japan, the dojo of said headmasters is in Japan, and Menkyo Kaiden is representative of the highest (or one of the highest) levels within the Ryu, that's to be expected, surely?

But, for the record, your list of similarities don't really have much to do with anything here. The similarities are relative to the Ryu itself. But you would have been weeded out long before you got to that level, if there was a real clash between you and the Ryu (not between you and the members of the dojo... although that can sometimes be the same thing).

Well, sometimes you have to do that, make a scene, to make a point. But if it happens too often, if it starts happening with seniors, then I believe it becomes a problem. I would have been more concerned it he acted that way towards a senior, rather than an equal, or even a junior.

Hang on, are you suggesting that the scene (in which the senior Japanese instructor was embarrassed) was something that was done to make a point? Seriously? I really don't think that was what Paul was talking about, or that it would be something that he'd agree with. The idea of not making a scene is far more important... and frankly, the only thing that would have saved the guy who made the error was that he would have been considered an "ignorant foreigner".

I'm going to suggest something here. Stop thinking of what you think should be, what makes sense to you, or what you believe, because it's getting in the way of you actually understanding the answers you're being given. That's very friendly advice, by the way.
 

puunui

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Which is just another case of you trying to make it all about you. The detail that Wayne is in Hawaii, and therefore in his talking about his personal experiences references Hawaiian locales, really means nothing. You didn't understand what he was talking about, you just recognized some places. Wayne is very experienced in Koryu, which is a major aspect of his blog, and in that regard, you are a lost foreigner here, whether you know the local cafe Wayne goes to or not.

It was a sushiya, not a cafe. And to me, he is first and foremost a local boy from wailua, and many of his views, including but not limited to those regarding koryu, are a reflection of that.

Here's another story for you. In his blog, he mentions a long time aikido practitioner here who lived for a long time in Japan. I met that practitioner at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce's new year's festival. He was in the calligraphy booth, and stopped by. I recognized his face, from his books, but didn't mention it at first and we discussed calligraphy, his time in Japan, and so forth. As we were about to leave, I politely asked him if I could purchase one of his calligraphy for my house. He said his calligraphy was not for sale. I responded politely that I understood. As we were about to leave, I did say that I purchased a lot of his books, that I learned a lot from them and that I hope he continued to write more. As I was saying that, his eyes got very sparkling, he smiled and told me I "said the magic words". He then took out a blank sheet of paper, looked at me, then made a calligraphy, put his stamp on it, and presented it to me. I thanked him, wished him "omedetogozaimasu" and we parted ways. He never told me what the actual magic words were, so to this day I still do not know.

The point? The seniors like me. Certainly in the korean martial arts but from other arts as well, as demonstrated by the above story. I also notice that the seniors and I, we tend to like and dislike the same people. Or in the alternative, we are generally disliked by the same people.

In my opinion, there is a reason why you have dabbled in so many different arts, but have not gone very far in them. In the one art that we know you have studied for about 20 years, ninjutsu, you said you have 3rd Dan, an art whose dan scale goes up to 15th dan. I think you can go to seminars, and perhaps even join a ryu. But then I think you hit walls. I think that frustrates you because I do believe that you believe that you know more than others who may have more experience and may have higher certification and license than you.

I believe you think that having all that different experience in all these different arts, formal and informal, is a strength. I personally think it is a weakness. If a job applicant submitted his resume to me and I saw 50 different jobs over the course of 30 years, coupled with one job for 20 years at a relatively low level, I may think this person might be suited for an entry level position, but will probably not last long, and will move along, when the next better opportunity, or what looks like the next better opportunity come along.

I have had students like you. There is usually not enough room on the student information sheet under the topic: "Prior martial arts experience". They come in for a short time, then leave. Sometimes I see them outside and I always ask them "what are you studying now?" and invariably it is some new art or new teacher, different from the last one they told me they studied with. Or someone will tell me they saw so and so and now they are doing this or that art.

So personally, I don't think you are a menkyo candidate type. I hope I am wrong, for all of our sakes. Otherwise you could end up like tai lung in kung fu panda.

That's very friendly advice, by the way.
 

jks9199

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In my opinion, there is a reason why you have dabbled in so many different arts, but have not gone very far in them. In the one art that we know you have studied for about 20 years, ninjutsu, you said you have 3rd Dan, an art whose dan scale goes up to 15th dan. I think you can go to seminars, and perhaps even join a ryu. But then I think you hit walls. I think that frustrates you because I do believe that you believe that you know more than others who may have more experience and may have higher certification and license than you.
Chris isn't training under the auspices of the Bujinkan. He's posted previously that in the branch of ninjutsu he studies, 5th dan is the highest rank. Which would tend to suggest that a 3rd dan there is a rather significant rank. It's dangerous to make assumptions solely by ranking, without looking into details like that. For example, in many taekwondo programs, someone with equivalent training time to a first level black belt in Bando might be 2nd or 3rd dan. (5 to 7 years on average...)]
 

puunui

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Chris isn't training under the auspices of the Bujinkan.

But it's obvious that Bujinkan is where his and his school's background lies.


He's posted previously that in the branch of ninjutsu he studies, 5th dan is the highest rank. Which would tend to suggest that a 3rd dan there is a rather significant rank.

Within that school yes. But in many schools, 5th Dan is the highest rank only because that is the instructor's rank, which in this case is he teacher's rank, before he broke off and did his own thing. Or perhaps his instructor did not get to the 5th Dan level until Hatsumi Sensei.
 

Chris Parker

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Seriously, you don't have any idea what you're talking about. At all.

It was a sushiya, not a cafe. And to me, he is first and foremost a local boy from wailua, and many of his views, including but not limited to those regarding koryu, are a reflection of that.

Yes, that's what's called dramatic licence... you commented that you knew the areas Wayne was talking about, as both he and you are "local boys", so I said "cafe" to mean "a local area specific and frequented", not literally meaning an actual establishment mentioned in the blog (just the gist of one). Surely you can follow basic argument, yeah?

And Wayne's views on Koryu are informed primarily by being actually involved in Koryu, not because of the high school he went to. You're grasping at straws and missing them.

Here's another story for you. In his blog, he mentions a long time aikido practitioner here who lived for a long time in Japan. I met that practitioner at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce's new year's festival. He was in the calligraphy booth, and stopped by. I recognized his face, from his books, but didn't mention it at first and we discussed calligraphy, his time in Japan, and so forth. As we were about to leave, I politely asked him if I could purchase one of his calligraphy for my house. He said his calligraphy was not for sale. I responded politely that I understood. As we were about to leave, I did say that I purchased a lot of his books, that I learned a lot from them and that I hope he continued to write more. As I was saying that, his eyes got very sparkling, he smiled and told me I "said the magic words". He then took out a blank sheet of paper, looked at me, then made a calligraphy, put his stamp on it, and presented it to me. I thanked him, wished him "omedetogozaimasu" and we parted ways. He never told me what the actual magic words were, so to this day I still do not know.

And again you make it all about you... Frankly, this means nothing. The fact that the individual was an Aikido practitioner doesn't enter into it, whether or not you are a martial artist doesn't enter into it, the fact that you treated another human being with respect (remarkably) does... but has nothing to do with you having a clue about Koryu or what Wayne is referring to in his blogs. At best, this individual would have thought you a junior Aikido practitioner... but really, this story means absolutely nothing.

The point? The seniors like me. Certainly in the korean martial arts but from other arts as well, as demonstrated by the above story. I also notice that the seniors and I, we tend to like and dislike the same people. Or in the alternative, we are generally disliked by the same people.

No, I wouldn't take that out of your story at all. I'd say that your ego is trying to make that claim, though. And what does any of this have to do with you understanding what you're being told about Koryu? (Oh, but the implication that I'm not liked by my seniors, or other martial artists is frankly ludicrous, you know... even the idea that you're more liked than I am is firstly baseless, and secondly not supported by anything I've seen...)

In my opinion, there is a reason why you have dabbled in so many different arts, but have not gone very far in them. In the one art that we know you have studied for about 20 years, ninjutsu, you said you have 3rd Dan, an art whose dan scale goes up to 15th dan. I think you can go to seminars, and perhaps even join a ryu. But then I think you hit walls. I think that frustrates you because I do believe that you believe that you know more than others who may have more experience and may have higher certification and license than you.

"Dabbled", son? Really? For one thing, when you saw a list of disparate disciplines that I have experience in, did you not pick up that 90% of them are found in one place? I don't "dabble", I haven't hit any walls (other than becoming thoroughly bored with TKD when I was younger, it frankly wasn't challenging enough, nor was there the depth that I was looking for... happily, I've found that since), and the only thing frustrating me here is the way you ask questions, but refuse to actually listen to the answers you're given.

With regard to ranking, I'll deal with my personal situation at the end, but you really don't have a clue about "more experience... higher certification and licence..." whatsoever. Nor about what I believe I know in comparison to those who genuinely are above me (and I'm quite aware of who to listen to, and who not to).

I believe you think that having all that different experience in all these different arts, formal and informal, is a strength. I personally think it is a weakness. If a job applicant submitted his resume to me and I saw 50 different jobs over the course of 30 years, coupled with one job for 20 years at a relatively low level, I may think this person might be suited for an entry level position, but will probably not last long, and will move along, when the next better opportunity, or what looks like the next better opportunity come along.

You really don't have a clue, then.

I have had students like you. There is usually not enough room on the student information sheet under the topic: "Prior martial arts experience". They come in for a short time, then leave. Sometimes I see them outside and I always ask them "what are you studying now?" and invariably it is some new art or new teacher, different from the last one they told me they studied with. Or someone will tell me they saw so and so and now they are doing this or that art.

Trust me, you haven't had a student like me.

So personally, I don't think you are a menkyo candidate type. I hope I am wrong, for all of our sakes. Otherwise you could end up like tai lung in kung fu panda.

Considering you don't have any idea what is entailed in a "menkyo candidate type", I don't think your assessment carries any weight.

That's very friendly advice, by the way.

Okay, I'll stop with the friendly then.

Glenn, grow up. In this field, as I said, you are the ignorant foreigner, with no knowledge, no reference, no experience, and no sense of just how badly you're getting things wrong. Now, that's fine, but don't expect to be given much quarter when you don't listen to the answers you're given which are really just there to help you get some clue.

Here, you're my junior. In a huge number of ways.

Chris isn't training under the auspices of the Bujinkan. He's posted previously that in the branch of ninjutsu he studies, 5th dan is the highest rank. Which would tend to suggest that a 3rd dan there is a rather significant rank. It's dangerous to make assumptions solely by ranking, without looking into details like that. For example, in many taekwondo programs, someone with equivalent training time to a first level black belt in Bando might be 2nd or 3rd dan. (5 to 7 years on average...)]

But it's obvious that Bujinkan is where his and his school's background lies.

That is, frankly, a completely inaccurate, and flawed way of looking at things, you realise. By the same token, are you going to say that members of the Jinenkan, who so far only go up to 5th Dan (but also come from the Bujinkan as an organisation, in fact under the longest-serving student of Hatsumi's) should be rated against the Bujinkan's 15-Dan scale? Or the Genbukan, who have 8th as their current highest?

Honestly, all that's obvious here is that you don't have any idea of the ranking methods/structures of the various organisations (ours, as well as the larger ones). And that you're trying to find anything you can to discredit my point of view against yours, despite the fact that it's literally decades deeper and more experienced than yours in this arena.

He's posted previously that in the branch of ninjutsu he studies, 5th dan is the highest rank. Which would tend to suggest that a 3rd dan there is a rather significant rank.

Within that school yes. But in many schools, 5th Dan is the highest rank only because that is the instructor's rank, which in this case is he teacher's rank, before he broke off and did his own thing. Or perhaps his instructor did not get to the 5th Dan level until Hatsumi Sensei.

My Chief Instructor was ranked to 6th Dan (well before the advent of large numbers of 10th Dans, and over a decade before there even was the listing up to 15th), and chose to focus on a range of aspects which meant that promotions (of rank) weren't in the mix. Instead of deciding to up his own rank, we split from the Bujinkan over a decade ago, and have maintained our own ranking policy in-house. But, so you know, the ranking test for 5th Dan in the Bujinkan we use as part of our assessment for Shodan (if you want to make a comparison), and another instructor, upon seeing me both teach and train, and hearing of our ranking system, says that in his scale, that makes me about 7th or 8th Dan (out of 10).

Again, you don't have a clue what anything you've posted actually means. You've decided what you want it all to mean without actually bothering to learn what it really means in the first place. And what that means is that you simply won't learn.

If you have questions, I'll answer them, if I can add to the conversation (yes, even when not directly addressed to me). Especially when dealing with Japanese systems, and Koryu in particular. If you don't listen and learn, that's up to you. But I tried.
 

jks9199

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But it's obvious that Bujinkan is where his and his school's background lies.
His art is derived from the Bujinkan, but he has, on numerous occasions, made it clear that it is not part of the Bujinkan. You can't make the assumption that something in one organization holds true to another. Or should I return to the assumption that all taekwondo is like the barely credible kiddie crap taught in the most blatantly commercial day care programs I've seen? After all, it's still from taekwondo...

Within that school yes. But in many schools, 5th Dan is the highest rank only because that is the instructor's rank, which in this case is he teacher's rank, before he broke off and did his own thing. Or perhaps his instructor did not get to the 5th Dan level until Hatsumi Sensei.

Again, you're making a leap and an assumption, with little to base it upon.
 

puunui

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You can't make the assumption that something in one organization holds true to another. Or should I return to the assumption that all taekwondo is like the barely credible kiddie crap taught in the most blatantly commercial day care programs I've seen? After all, it's still from taekwondo...

If you wish to say all taekwondo is like the barely credible kiddie crap taught in the most blatantly commerical day care programs you've seen, go for it. I can't control either your thinking or your actions. Only you can do that.
 

Chris Parker

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Are you kidding? You have no experience, no contact, no understanding, no history, no knowledge, no way whatsoever to make anything like such a comment. Questioning my ability or potential is frankly a petty and baseless snipe from you. Hell, the OP has two paragraphs starting with "As Chris said", I'm on quite good terms with quite a number of Koryu practitioners of all levels, and you have shown no real willingness to learn what that means at all. Here's a clue for you, it's not about being "nice" and "accommodating" of those who waste our time.

Now, you can play nice and learn (or at least try to), or you can stop playing. But remember that in this field what I say holds a lot more weight than anything you have ever said.
 

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Seriously, I don't think you are going to make it. At all. I hope you prove me wrong.
From what I gather here is that you don't have Japanese Martial Arts background, but a Korean Martial Art background.

I noticed where you said that you had students like Chris.

The issue here is you don't understand how a Koryu is ran or Japanese martial arts.
It takes a completely different type of person to train in a Koryu.
The type of people in TaeKwonDo/Hapkido/etc, will not have the same mindset as someone who trains in a Koryu.
Most people who train in TaeKwonDo/Hapkido/etc would have no reason to train in Koryu because its not what they want and the training and mindset would be absurd to them.

I am not saying it is "better" I am just saying that it's like earthling going to an alien culture.
 

puunui

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From what I gather here is that you don't have Japanese Martial Arts background, but a Korean Martial Art background.

I do have a japanese martial arts background.
 

puunui

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Are you kidding? You have no experience, no contact, no understanding, no history, no knowledge, no way whatsoever to make anything like such a comment.

Here's something from the classic budoka blog:

*

Unless you count one conjecture one of my koryu sensei had, that the whole of the samurai class were originally Korean in origin, having brought Continental Asian technology such as horseriding, metalworking, leatherworking (which later became a trade only for the burakumin), and so on. The Korean connection is not stressed, of course, by the Japanese government, but the Hata and Mononobe clans, who were the guilds of craftspeople associated with the imperial court, were wholesale Korean, settled in the Yamato area and given ranks and property in return for their production.

*

Any comments about that?
 

puunui

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Here's a clue for you, it's not about being "nice" and "accommodating" of those who waste our time.

Yes, it's about avoiding public scenes and ugliness, which is why I don't think you are going to make it.
 

puunui

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Oh, and cultivating scenes and ugliness on an internet forum is soooo much better....:rolleyes: :lfao:

I write what I write. If people wish to make an ugly public scene in response, especially if they misinterpret what I write because they have something else in their head, then that is their choice.
 
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