My Dojo Is Becoming Infected

Daniel Sullivan

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I agree: like I said, it depends on the religious doctrines in question. But my main point generalised was that most religions out there do promote (from 'divine sources')
certain discipline/asceticism. It's the selective memory of most followers that I find hypocritical - remembering all of the good things that the doctrine will bring to them (a utopic heaven and immortality), and quietly forgetting or extremely toning down all of uncomfortable elements (be it abstinence from drinking, drugs & materialism; philanthropy, etc.).
Ah. I see where you are coming from. And yes, I agree. I was thinking of asceticism more in the way that monks are ascetic.

Agreed again - my point is that asceticism should be practised if the doctrine is fully believed (for most of the doctrines do promote this, to some degree - which is disproportionately followed by most "followers").
Again, I see where you are coming from.

But personally speaking I think religion is based on such flimsy and subjective evidence, that there's no concrete and objective point of reference to discuss anything - it seems that as a result, the participants in most religious debates, despite apparently polar-opposite views, are actually 'violently agreeing'. Consequently, religious debate universally heads nowhere.
Lol. One of the reasons that I withdrew from participation on a religion forum. Lack of productivity.

For the record, I think a lot of the lifestyle tenets promoted by the various religions are most noble. If religion lacked this unprovable 'divine' stuff, I think I would quite certainly subscribe.
Too many people try to prove or disprove. I just figure that a person believes as they do and leave it at that.

Most lifestyle tenets are fairly universal across religions and are, divine aspects excepted, fairly universal with those who espouse no religion; nobody wants to be stolen from, murdered, cheated, or have an unfaithful spouse, and the idea of charitable work is generally well received.

Daniel
 

Bruno@MT

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Most lifestyle tenets are fairly universal across religions and are, divine aspects excepted, fairly universal with those who espouse no religion; nobody wants to be stolen from, murdered, cheated, or have an unfaithful spouse, and the idea of charitable work is generally well received.

Daniel

The biggest differences seem to have to do with the 'afterlife' option.
Will you have it, and if so, in what way, shape or form?

Personally I'd like to go to Valhalla. :)
 

Kacey

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But when it comes to forcing such intermingling onto others - that's when I seriously disagree. How irresponsible of the sensei.

If the instructor is open and up-front that the instructor's personal religious beliefs are being taught in addition to or as part of the curriculum, I have no problem with it - it's only when those beliefs are hidden within the curriculum and not identified by source that I have a problem.
 

Yondanchris

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If the instructor is open and up-front that the instructor's personal religious beliefs are being taught in addition to or as part of the curriculum, I have no problem with it - it's only when those beliefs are hidden within the curriculum and not identified by source that I have a problem.


The former (or first) is my policy, and is blatant in execution and emphasis in my Dojo!
 

Kacey

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If the instructor is open and up-front that the instructor's personal religious beliefs are being taught in addition to or as part of the curriculum, I have no problem with it - it's only when those beliefs are hidden within the curriculum and not identified by source that I have a problem.

The former (or first) is my policy, and is blatant in execution and emphasis in my Dojo!

As long as your students are aware from the beginning; then they are making an informed choice that that will be part of expectations. It's the people who try to sneak it in that I have problems with.
 

Chris Parker

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A few things stand out to me here.

I'm not really going to go too much into the "how much religion should be in a Martial Arts class thing, but there are a few questions I would have about exactly what it is you feel is being taught there (or not).

I can't stress enough again that he was never a part of the Bujinkan org, when he started training we had already started taking the steps to seperate from the Bujinkan. So some of your arguments about him being dis-heartend or feeling rippped off because of the tranistion is a mute point. Please also take to heart that Soke Hatsumi gave us his blessing to take the steps to move away from the Bujinkan. Also remember that the Bujinkan is a recognized religion.

As noted, the Bujinkan has become a Religious Organisation, not a religion itself. The concept of religion is rather different to the Western concept (this contrast between the Japanese approach and a more Westeren one will come into most of this post, by the way), but if you want a Western equivalent to compare it to, think of things like the Salvation Army, they are a charity organisation based around Christian ideals, but they are not a branch of Christianity itself.

As far as demon worship goes, anyone who trains in the 9 ryu of the Bujinkan are well aware of the fact that channeling demonic entities is a foundimental part of the higher techniques. In fact in most of Hatsumi's teachings, books, videos ect he openly discusses how he invites demons in to him to perform certain techniques and infact encourages and teaches us to do the same. Keep in mind I have trained at the Hombu dojo in Japan and seen this first hand as has anyone else who frequents there.

This entire section tells me that you have very little understanding of Japanese religious concepts, and are looking more at the idea that anything not fitting exactly the concepts put forth by your form of Christianity is considered "evil", or "heretical". Now, while that is fine, you may realise that this exact form of rhetoric may be exactly what Shinobi Teikatsu was railing against.

To begin with, if you are teaching a Japanese martial art, expect it to have Japanese concepts, not Western ones. And in order to teach the art itself, those aspects are there as part of the transmission of the art. Now, that doesn't mean that you need to believe in them, or attribute them any form of value, but they give context to a large number of other aspects. For instance, you teach Gyokko Ryu, yeah? You may or may not be aware, but the reason the thumbs are extended upwards in Shito Ken/Boshi Ken in that school (and carried over into aspects of Koto Ryu and Togakure Ryu) is because it is a way of ensuring your spiritual energy (your Ki) is being transmitted to Heaven (note: NOT a Christian Heaven concept here), creating a direct link between the Earth (that you're standing on), Man (yourself), and Heaven (where the energy, taken from the Earth [the world around you, to put it in Shinto terms], it sent through yourself, to Heaven). This is part of why the school was recategorised as Ten Chi Jin 10 years ago by Hatsumi Sensei.

Now, are you going to continue teaching Gyokko Ryu kamae with that Shinto aspect inherrent in the actual forms themselves (as that gives the reason and context for the kamae), or are you going to change the art to remove that aspect (which would mean you are no longer teaching Gyokko Ryu)? There is no way to really teach the Japanese arts without understanding the Japanese context itself. When I teach Gyokko Ryu, for instance, I can point out why the Shito Ken is a major aspect of the Kamae of the Ryu... that doesn't mean that I necessarily believe it, just that I understand the context. Whether or not I believe it doesn't matter.

I haven't seen a single reference to Hatsumi "inviting Demons" to inhabit himself, what I have come across is him discussing the spirit of the schools themselves, closer to ancestor worship than demon worship there. You really seem to have missed the cultural aspects of such things, and being an Evangelistic Christian group, I'm not really that surprised, honestly. But you should realise that such a definate, black and white way of seeing things is far from the way many others would, and to try for a moment to see how someone else may read your words there.

Oh, and there's a major issue with your understanding of the Kukishin name as well, by the way. The second character is not necessarily "Demon", the "Ki" pronunciation can also be "Kami", making some branches Kukamishin Ryu, and that refers to "Spirits", or "powerful beings" rather than the Western concept of Demons. The character of "Oni" is actually a mis-use, so you know.

I have not nor have we ever had any short comings or a falling out with the Bujinkan org since the break. We are permitted by Soke to teach the 9 ryu of Budo Taijutsu. We are an open dojo and encourage all to check us out and invite all to consider training. We DO NOT descriminate others in their religious beliefs or followings, we simply replaced Shinto and Buddhism with Christian values. We are a highly accredited school with students world wide and in several law enforcement agencies, special ops and so on...

Out of interest, you make a few references to having permission to teach the 9 Ryu... really? That's quite different to having permission to continue teaching Budo Taijutsu, you know. And all 9? Including Gyokushin Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, and Gikan Ryu? That would put you in a unique postion there....

Simply replacing Shinto and Buddhist aspects with Christian ones doesn't really work, as the very ideas are quite different, and give very different contexts. And I'm not sure how the organisations and personnel you instruct outside of the dojo reflects on what happens inside the dojo. I'm rarely impressed by such resumes, honestly, I know how easy it can be to put such a list together.
 

Cirdan

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I haven't seen a single reference to Hatsumi "inviting Demons" to inhabit himself, what I have come across is him discussing the spirit of the schools themselves, closer to ancestor worship than demon worship there. You really seem to have missed the cultural aspects of such things, and being an Evangelistic Christian group, I'm not really that surprised, honestly. But you should realise that such a definate, black and white way of seeing things is far from the way many others would, and to try for a moment to see how someone else may read your words there.

So no actual demon worship or students growing bat wings and breathing fire? Bah, got my hopes up there. Spirit of the schools my... can`t even call it black magic, not even gray magic. Guess I am a demon worshipper myself too then since I bow to the room when entering the Dojo. :(
 

Ken Morgan

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So no actual demon worship or students growing bat wings and breathing fire? Bah, got my hopes up there. Spirit of the schools my... can`t even call it black magic, not even gray magic. Guess I am a demon worshipper myself too then since I bow to the room when entering the Dojo. :(

In the military we had to stand to attention before entering the enlisted mess, take off head wear and then enter.
Bowing, standing at attention shows respect, not worship of any kind.
 

Bruno@MT

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So no actual demon worship or students growing bat wings and breathing fire? Bah, got my hopes up there. Spirit of the schools my... can`t even call it black magic, not even gray magic. Guess I am a demon worshipper myself too then since I bow to the room when entering the Dojo. :(

Genbukan is probably among the more 'religious' organizations, and even with us it remains on the background. We bow to the kamidana, and sometimes recite the ninja seishin before class.

Bowing to the kamidana is simply part of the expected etiquette. Noone is forced to believe in shintoism. To me it is no more special than the Christmas diorama which my youngest daughter made in school. The one she insists features the baby Jesus with his parents Maria and Elizabeth (it surprised me too :)). But if Soke says it is part of the etiquette, that is how it is. And the ninja seishin is nothing more than an inspirational poem.

I guess if you want to feel offended, you'll easily find something to object to. Otoh if you are secure in your beliefs and willing to understand that following etiquette for the sake of harmony does not make you a heathen, then there is room enough to get along.

It is in the eye of the beholder.
 

Yondanchris

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I guess if you want to feel offended, you'll easily find something to object to. Otoh if you are secure in your beliefs and willing to understand that following etiquette for the sake of harmony does not make you a heathen, then there is room enough to get along.

It is in the eye of the beholder.


Amen,

Americans especially are offended at anything, and at the drop of a hat.
In philosophy and developing a philosophical mindset you are asked to analyze and
think through your paradigm or belief system. Most people of any belief rarely do this,
especially Christians...and it drives me nuts!!

Thanks,

Chris
 

Cirdan

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In the military we had to stand to attention before entering the enlisted mess, take off head wear and then enter.
Bowing, standing at attention shows respect, not worship of any kind.

Didn`t quite catch my irony? I was just thinking if someone calls talking about "the spirit of the school" demon worship, you can probably equate bowing to a room to idolatory too. There are people who refuse to bow to anything because in their mind it is religious or subservient, I am not one of those.

Other than that I am just disappointed I can`t go learn some infernal powers.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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probably equate bowing to a room to idolatory too. There are people who refuse to bow to anything because in their mind it is religious or subservient
And yet, those same people would think nothing of the conductor taking a bow at the end of a symphony and would not somehow misconstrue it as 'audience worship.'

Daniel
 

Bruno@MT

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And yet, those same people would think nothing of the conductor taking a bow at the end of a symphony and would not somehow misconstrue it as 'audience worship.'

Daniel

Actually, sex was sometimes an integral part of pagan ceremonies around these parts, a long time ago. Yet I am willing to bet that that doesn't prevent them from getting frisky with their spouses. :)

Maybe we should tell them, ans ask if this means that they'll stop having sex. If they don't, then I'd want to know why they willingly engage in pagan rituals.
 

Tez3

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And yet, those same people would think nothing of the conductor taking a bow at the end of a symphony and would not somehow misconstrue it as 'audience worship.'

Daniel

It's not so long ago that gentlemen bowing and ladies curtseying was considered polite behaviour in the west. It wasn't deemed subservient nor having any religious connotation just the polite thing to do when meeting someone and/or being introduced.
Read Jane Austen, Dickens, Trollope, Gaskell etc etc. In Europe I believe gentlemen bowing went on until the Second World War at least.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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It's not so long ago that gentlemen bowing and ladies curtseying was considered polite behaviour in the west. It wasn't deemed subservient nor having any religious connotation just the polite thing to do when meeting someone and/or being introduced.
Read Jane Austen, Dickens, Trollope, Gaskell etc etc. In Europe I believe gentlemen bowing went on until the Second World War at least.
Indeed.

One of the problems that people run into is that they get into a myopia about certain things. People who worry about bowing in an MA studio would likewise give no thought to watching Jane Eyre curtsey to Mister Rochester, nor him bow to her. But put Jane and Mister Rochester in white pajamas and stick them in a scene with Ken and Ryu, and suddenly the same actions have religious overtones.

Generally, I find that people who worry about such trivialities are insecure in their faith on some level.

Daniel
 

Aiki Lee

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Indeed.

But put Jane and Mister Rochester in white pajamas and stick them in a scene with Ken and Ryu, and suddenly the same actions have religious overtones.
Daniel

Stick Blanka in there and it becomes demonic!

Indeed.
Generally, I find that people who worry about such trivialities are insecure in their faith on some level.

Daniel

Agreed. I had a period of time where I found myself concerned about such things so guess what, I studied religion. I compared others with my own, did my best to look at things through the right cultural and historical context and reached a conclusion after years of soul searching and I still have questions that need investigation.

On a different note, ha anyone thought about how martial arts and religion share some very similar ideas? Both require intensive study to ensure you know what you are talking about. Both need to be tested with reality to see if what is taught makes sense in real life. And like religion, martial arts of different kinds have different paths that lead to the same conclusion, for example two seperate religions may identify moral laws that are universal to everyone (like don't murder or rape), and different martial arts may all have an arm bar or wrist lock.

IMO the differences for both religion and martial arts is how the teaching are applied and why they are applied that way.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I haven't seen a single reference to Hatsumi "inviting Demons" to inhabit himself, what I have come across is him discussing the spirit of the schools themselves, closer to ancestor worship than demon worship there. You really seem to have missed the cultural aspects of such things, and being an Evangelistic Christian group, I'm not really that surprised, honestly. But you should realise that such a definate, black and white way of seeing things is far from the way many others would, and to try for a moment to see how someone else may read your words there.
I had said on one of my previous posts to Lionsroar essentially that 'if Hatsumi says that's what you're doing, then that is what it is.'

But does Hatsumi actually say that that is what he is doing? Does Hatusmi invite anything to inhabit himself? For the record, I am interested in knowing what his actual teaching is soley for being informed on the subject, not to debate it.

For the record also, from a general Christian perspective, inviting anything other than God to inhabit one's body is generally considered a no-no, and spirits not of God are generally assumed to be demons. I say generally because there may be some Christian denomination that deviates in this regard, and some Christians may also deviate from the norm in this regard as well.

Daniel
 

Yondanchris

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For the record also, from a general Christian perspective,
inviting anything other than God to inhabit one's body is generally considered a no-no,
and spirits not of God are generally assumed to be demons.
I say generally because there may be some Christian denomination that deviates in this regard,
and some Christians may also deviate from the norm in this regard as well.

Daniel

Amen,

Needless to say this is a little off topic, but asking anything to inhabit yourself other than God is DANGEROUS! The story told earlier reminds me of a story in the Bible:




(Matthew 8:28-34 NIV)
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon‑possessed men coming from the tombs met him.
They were so violent that no one could pass that way.
29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.
31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.
33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon‑possessed men.
34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.


Three quick observations:

- Men where in tombs....I wonder what they where doing?
- Demons knew who Jesus was, and obeyed his command!
- Demons knew of their future judgment!


Okay im off of my soap box now! There are many other passages we could look at but I chose this one for its simplicity!
I have personally seen people possessed and they can be dangerous and downright scary! All one needs to do is watch a
few movies or youtube videos to see how true life stories become nightmares!



Chris
 

Tez3

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We tend not to have the demon thing, it's bad enough having Jewish mothers and mother in laws, what chance would a demon stand against them?

We have the odd Golem now and again, useful but clumsy.
 
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