Tetsuya Higuchi's Iaido

Bokkenbuckeye

White Belt
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone, new JSA-ist here. I had left my dojo when I started college, but I will be able to possibly rejoin the dojo this summer. I am just hesitant about doing so for a few reasons. One is that I am also thinking about starting fresh in an "empty hand" art.

Also, when I first started, I didn't put much effort into checking my sensei's lineage, credentials, etc. so I decided to look into it, since I was doing the same with several other MA schools in my area. My sensei's website,

Kiraly Fencing AcademyEuropean & Japanese Fencing mentions that he studied kendo and iaido under Tetsuya Higuchi and is a member of Bujinkan Fellowship International. I of course unearthed the controversy surrounding Higuchi in ninjutsu circles and with the "official" Bujinkan. My sensei never brought any of this up during my time with him, and his website doesn't specifically say he studied NINJUTSU under Higuchi, only that he is a member of Higuchi's organization. I remember one post, I believe on this forum, saying that Higuchi's iaido was very good, but only his ninjutsu activities were rather "shady."

I intend to visit with my sensei sometime soon and talk about some of this (with as much tact as I can manage) and I would appreciate what perspectives anyone here may have.

Thanks in advance. :asian:
 
OP
B

Bokkenbuckeye

White Belt
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
hmm... seems like I didn't write down any actual questions. I guess I'm trying to figure out how Higuchi's alleged "indiscretions" involving ninjutsu reflect on his iaido and kendo. I'm also wondering what this might suggest about one of his students (my sensei).
 

theletch1

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
8,073
Reaction score
170
Location
79 Wistful Vista
I'm not a ninjutsu practitioner and certainly know little of the politics of the art. I'll give you this from personal experience... if you are getting what you want from your instructor, really, really happy with the instructor then the lineage shouldn't matter. OTOH, if you are digging because there is a certain tickle in the back of your head that something isn't right then I'm certain that someone here will be able to point you in the right direction. If the instructor is better known as a ninjutsu instructor with the iado as something of a sideline then you'd have better luck asking this question in the ninjutsu forum. The mods can move it if you'd like. Just drop one of us a line via PM.
 
OP
B

Bokkenbuckeye

White Belt
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I'm not a ninjutsu practitioner and certainly know little of the politics of the art. I'll give you this from personal experience... if you are getting what you want from your instructor, really, really happy with the instructor then the lineage shouldn't matter. OTOH, if you are digging because there is a certain tickle in the back of your head that something isn't right then I'm certain that someone here will be able to point you in the right direction. If the instructor is better known as a ninjutsu instructor with the iado as something of a sideline then you'd have better luck asking this question in the ninjutsu forum. The mods can move it if you'd like. Just drop one of us a line via PM.

Thanks for the advice. I'd say it's mostly a combination of me trying to decide whether to continue where I left off or to start fresh elsewhere, and me being a little paranoid. The time I spent under my instructor was pretty positive, overall. I bet talking to him will set my mind at ease. I'll take you up on moving the thread if I'm still curious afterward.
 

pgsmith

Master of Arts
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
1,589
Reaction score
483
Location
Texas
I'd say it's mostly a combination of me trying to decide whether to continue where I left off or to start fresh elsewhere, and me being a little paranoid.
It's a very good question and a tough decision really as there are several good and bad points about your situation as I see it. FIrst, as far as I have heard, Tetsuya Higuchi only had a rank of sandan in iaido. This is generally not considered a high enough rank to teach without supervision. However, his skills and understanding may have been very good, and you can learn that from his student, your instructor. The downside being that there will be no connection with a hombu dojo. This means no connection with higher level instructors to continue your own instructor's training, and give you additional insights into your own training. You'll be isolated within your own dojo. Additionally, you cannot be sure that what you're told has not merely been invented, since that was basically what happened between him and the Bujinkan.

On the other side of the coin, that was very far in the past, and your instructor may be a really good teacher with a lot for you to learn. Combine that with the fact that he may very well be the only one teaching iaido in your area, and it can make a very good case for continuing. Ultimately, the decision is one you'll have to make after discussing the matter with your potential instructor, and thinking hard about it.

Good luck!
 

Latest Discussions

Top