Nice Bud Malmstrom Interview Clip

Fu_Bag

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There's a nice Bud Malmstrom interview clip over on youtube.com if anyone's interested. Here's the link:

I loved the "shotgun" comment. He even mentions "alive training". :)

Enjoy

:D
 
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Don Roley

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I find some of his outlook a little strange.

In the interview he states that we do not do things like practice with a bow and arrow and swords but instead use things like shotguns. Well, I have never used a bow in my Bujinkan training, but no swords? :confused:

Today I trained in both drawing a sword and drawing a pistol. I find a lot of lessons from working out with a sword. There is a lot to be learned. Instead of trying to learn from our mistakes, we can learn from other people's mistakes if we look at what they did, taught and go to the heart of the lesson to find new applications of it.

There are arts here in Japan that teach the sword as some sort of exercise to keep a cultural artifact alive. They make it quite clear that their skill has no bearing on modern combat. It can improve you as a person, but it is a rare sword art that seems to care if you will ever have to face real violence and use the skills they train you in. And I do not train with them for that reason.

The Bujinkan tries to learn from history, not be a slave to it. But the typical person watching this clip would think that the Bujinkan has turned its back on all the old weapons because they were useless. I could not disagree more. I do not expect to use a spear in combat, but a lot of what I have learned from spear, stick and sword training has allowed me to figure out the best way to use a shovel and things like that.

I suspect that a better editing of this might give another impression since I know that Malmstrom had a few swords lying around his dojo.
 
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Fu_Bag

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I find some of his outlook a little strange.

In the interview he states that we do not do things like practice with a bow and arrow and swords but instead use things like shotguns. Well, I have never used a bow in my Bujinkan training, but no swords? :confused:

Today I trained in both drawing a sword and drawing a pistol. I find a lot of lessons from working out with a sword. There is a lot to be learned. Instead of trying to learn from our mistakes, we can learn from other people's mistakes if we look at what they did, taught and go to the heart of the lesson to find new applications of it.

There are arts here in Japan that teach the sword as some sort of exercise to keep a cultural artifact alive. They make it quite clear that their skill has no bearing on modern combat. It can improve you as a person, but it is a rare sword art that seems to care if you will ever have to face real violence and use the skills they train you in. And I do not train with them for that reason.

The Bujinkan tries to learn from history, not be a slave to it. But the typical person watching this clip would think that the Bujinkan has turned its back on all the old weapons because they were useless. I could not disagree more. I do not expect to use a spear in combat, but a lot of what I have learned from spear, stick and sword training has allowed me to figure out the best way to use a shovel and things like that.

I suspect that a better editing of this might give another impression since I know that Malmstrom had a few swords lying around his dojo.



Thanks, Brian. :)


Don,

I agree with what you're saying. I suspect that Mr. Malmstrom would too if you were to have the same conversation with him. Good call on pointing out context and video editing. My impression of the Bujinkan is that it's very much interested in interoperable taijutsu skills which can be applied/translated to any weapon from either past, or present.

I think it was the 1996 Daikomyosai video where Hatsumi-sensei was showing how sword taijutsu and awareness can be applied to gun taijutsu and awareness. With Hatsumi-sensei's last book on the sword, it would be strange to comment that the Bujinkan has turned its back on "outdated" weaponry. I get the impression that Hatsumi-sensei is trying to teach people more of a DNA-type taijutsu mindset and awareness so that the art will continue to live and grow no matter what external circumstances and weaponry become.

It seems like people have reported great training since Hatsumi-sensei integrated training in armour into the mix. Some people would say that's outdated but that very topic, martial art/style applicability and effectiveness in full combat gear and body armour, has been discussed recently in another part of the MT boards. History can be a great thing as long as you use it to keep going instead of fossilizing. It's definitely interesting to see the differences between how things are portrayed outside of Japan and from inside of Japan.........

Good call.

Fu Bag :)
 

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Thanks for finding the video, Fu_bag. Don, I agree about the video editing. I don't know much about Bud, other than I have read his book on warriorship, which I thought was a good book.

However, I disagree with the statement about not training with bows and swords because they don't apply to today's combat (my interpretation of what he said). It could have been the video editing or the way the question was asked, I do not know, but, I firmly believe that these 'old' weapons have very valuable lessons for us at any point in time, the lessons are universal and timeless. when I hear someone say what he said, my initial impression of someone is that they don't see beyond technique and kata. I feel confident Bud does NOT fall into that category, so I am inclined to think that editing is responsible for the misrepresentation.
 
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Fu_Bag

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I've seen plenty of video of Mr. Malmstrom and have read over some of his "Bud'isms". Considering the original source of the video clip, I am definitely skeptical over how the questions were asked and how his answers were presented. It's not a bad clip but I'm not sure it'd necessarily be a true representation of how Mr. Malmstrom would speak about the Bujinkan if he was making the video on his own. It may be that the proper context of the video is that Mr. Malmstrom is helping out his friend, Mr. Hayes, to make a video documentary.

I'm really not all that sure that the intent of the original video was to give an accurate sense of what the Bujinkan is all about. Sorry for not including a disclaimer. This, like most things you can find online, is probably one of those "grain of salf" kind of things. I thought a couple of things he said were interesting or funny. People's mileage may vary. :)

I wouldn't consider the video clip to be a hot topic for debate. I guess you get what you pay for. :)
 

jks9199

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It seems like people have reported great training since Hatsumi-sensei integrated training in armour into the mix. Some people would say that's outdated but that very topic, martial art/style applicability and effectiveness in full combat gear and body armour, has been discussed recently in another part of the MT boards. History can be a great thing as long as you use it to keep going instead of fossilizing. It's definitely interesting to see the differences between how things are portrayed outside of Japan and from inside of Japan.........

Good call.

Anyone who's worn body armor knows it changes how you move and what you can do. I currently wear my armor in what's called a "tactical cover", meaning the armor is outside my uniform with all sorts of stuff attached to it. (More like the body armor you see on soldiers or SWAT units than "typical" police body armor.) There are things I can't do and places that I can't squeeze through with that stuff on! When I was in patrol, and wearing my body armor concealed, I learned quickly that I wasn't bending over to pick something up the same way. Throw a gunbelt into the mix, and there's even more changes.

In fact -- when I look at a martial arts book or video purporting to be for law enforcement, the first thing I do is look for gun belts. If they aren't training in them or showing them in pictures, I figure they don't know what they're talking about. 'Cause that gun belt adds a whole new set of concerns and limits, not the least is the whole issue of weapon retention!

I'm curious; what sort of armor does Hatsumi have people training in, and what sort of things are they doing in it?
 

Blotan Hunka

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A stick can translate into any swung object, a spear..maybe a shovel like Don said. A sword, well theres not many two handed cutting instruments out there today and bows dont translate to firearms. I do have to agree with Mr. Malstrom, many of the people with the ancient weapon fetishes are more into historical recreation or LARPing than they are living in the modern age.
 

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A sword, well theres not many two handed cutting instruments out there today

I believe that is rather short sighted. IMO, that is getting caught up in the particulars of the sword rather than seeing the underlying priniciples of distance, space, and timing. With that in mind, there can be a myriad of two handed weapons that may or may not have a sharp edge that could be used in the same fashion.

and bows dont translate to firearms.

Aside from the speed factor, in fundamental principles what are the differences between a gunshot and tsuki, and a straight punch?


IMO, they break down to timing, space, and distance. It seems to me in a very fundamental way, they are very similar and dealing with them would be similar (not in technique, but in tactics).

Yes, I know the bullet and fist doesn't have a sharp edge, each has it's own physical characteristics.

These are just my thoughts on the matter.
 

Don Roley

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A stick can translate into any swung object, a spear..maybe a shovel like Don said. A sword, well theres not many two handed cutting instruments out there today and bows dont translate to firearms.

Well, I can say that my use of the sword has helped me to understand things like edge control of things larger than a knife. And when you use a shovel, it is much better to hit with the edge than the flat.

When I lived in America, I used to keep a East German shovel behind the seat of my truck. It was most helpful when I got stuck in mud or snow. But being the type of person I am, I realized that the shovel was the same type that the Germans used in WWII. And at that time it was the most popular non- firearm close quarter weapon they had. I did a lot of fooling around with the thing when I was out camping and I can say that a lot of what I learned from sword work carried over to the shovel that I could carry openly in my car.

That is the thing about weapons like this and the Bujinkan way of teaching them. You learn the principles of the weapon (if you learn it correctly) and then when you see the same type of thing that you can use those principles you are not bound up by the exact form.

I hope this made sense.
 

Blotan Hunka

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I think it all has to do with mindset and proportion. If weapons are being taught as concept tools and understood as such by the student-vs. them living out some fantasy of running around the streets fighting evil with their swords and bows-thats one thing. And any art touting "modernness" should be spending more time with "modern" tools, techniques and environments-in our environment, law would be one of those things-than ancient ones.

As to the bow/gun thing. I stand by my argument, the mechanics, ballistics, range, techniques and tactics of firearms are entirely different from a bow. Cover/concealment, firing positions, engagement ranges, penetration and lethality of the projectile (to name a few) are very different animals. A "master" of the bow who never handled a gun would be worthless in a firefight.

Not meant as a bash on any system guys. Im NOT a buj practicioner, and Im unaware of exactly how you deal with such issues. Of any "art", I have always been impressed by your systems philosophy as compared to others... Just participating in an interesting discussion.
 
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Fu_Bag

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Hi All,

I found an article by Bud that goes really well with the "Shotgun and Pitbull" comment. This article is a good complement to the video clip. :)
You can read it here if you're interested:

http://www.bujinkanatl.com/articles/nofear.html


Here's a link to Cold Steel's Special Forces Shovel:

http://csstoreonline.stores.yahoo.net/92sfs.html

I wouldn't want to get konked with that. :)


jks9199 wrote:
" I'm curious; what sort of armor does Hatsumi have people training in, and what sort of things are they doing in it? "

jks,

From what I've seen, the people with tactical armour, or access to tactical armour, have incorporated it into their students' training. The context of that, I believe, was that the Ryu the Bujinkan was working on that year had a lot to do with armoured combat. Up until that point, people had been practicing the techniques from that Ryu under only the weight of their gi. The addition of the armour wasn't for costuming purposes, it was to actually add the "aliveness" that the Ryu was meant to have and to improve people's taijutsu all the way around.

This is a great example of what some people call "LARPing" actually being the "aliveness" training that people have said is lacking in the Bujinkan. As a conceptual tool, it got those who were interested to modify their training around being weighted and incumbered with the modern equivalant. One of the main complaints people have from outside of the Bujinkan is that they don't see the "proper motivation" or taijutsu that'd be appropriate for the situation that they're thinking about. Adding armour to the mix finally gave people the right context and motivation.


Blotan Hunka wrote:
" I think it all has to do with mindset and proportion. If weapons are being taught as concept tools and understood as such by the student-vs. them living out some fantasy of running around the streets fighting evil with their swords and bows-thats one thing. And any art touting "modernness" should be spending more time with "modern" tools, techniques and environments-in our environment, law would be one of those things-than ancient ones. "


Blotan,

I think you've hit it on the head with this! Thanks! OK. I'm not going to say there aren't probably some people in the Bujinkan, or people who claim to be in the Bujinkan, or some other ninjutsu organization, who have ancient weapon fetishes and see themselves as movie ninjas, or movie ninja wannabes. It is, afterall, a rather large organization and people come and go all the time. There are actually many good people in the Bujinkan who do the things you're talking about with regards to modern training. They seem to have just grown tired of posting on the internet as ambassadors of the Bujinkan.

Some of the complaints I've heard about the Bujinkan is that they don't cover combat at all ranges, levels, and angles. With all of the weapon training in the Bujinkan, it'd be highly unlikely to find a good Bujinkan teacher who isn't covering all of those things. There's everything from small blades and pointy things all the way to huge, heavy spears and such. From what I've seen on every single video I've watched, there is no way I'd say that anything is being missed, or is lacking in the training, with regards to ranges, levels, and angles.

Everything seems to be taught as being highly flexible and conceptual so that the students' mindsets and taijutsu adapt by becoming highly flexible and adaptable. I don't think Hatsumi-sensei says "keep going" for nothing. There are people who say the art is dead, or whatever, but I just don't see that being the case. When it comes to training in the Bujinkan, Hatsumi-sensei, himself, has said that you will only get out of the training what you're willing to put into it.

There's a lot there to cover any number of situations in life. For instance, take the intelligence gathering stuff. Since there weren't digital cameras when this stuff was being used long ago, agents had to be able to accurately sketch a variety of information to bring back. Developing that skill is of great use in self-defense situations. If you can, under a great deal of stress, make a police sketch of the person, or persons, who have just engaged in criminal activity, and/or get their license plate number, there's a much better chance these people are going to get caught.

That's just a tiny, tiny piece of the overall Bujinkan pie. It may seem small, but it can help give you what you need, make your life, and the lives of those around you, safer, and improve the world around you. Takamatsu-sensei wrote that this is a definite goal of ninjutsu training. Anyway, sorry for the long post. I hope there's some good stuff in there somewhere.

Have a nice day/night all,


Fu Bag :)
 
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Fu_Bag

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Thanks, Brian, and you're welcome.

I thought that article might help to give more of the proper perspective after people watch the video. Another part of the video that I liked was where he said that "...having killing techniques and being able to kill someone is no great shake. A 13 year old with a gun could still come along and kill you". The article goes further into that and, in my mind, probably gives a more accurate representation of the Bujinkan.

If anyone out there is thinking "Aaaaghhh... That's just some old guy that doesn't want to fight anymore", all I can say to that is that not wanting to fight doesn't equate to not dangerous. I'd say he's definitely someone who can "walk the walk" and has the credentials to prove it. :)
 

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