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MeleeECI

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This forum is fantastic!
I would like to give you a very short history of who I am and let you know I am going to be hanging around possibly lurking in the background for a long time now.
I have been in Martial Arts off and on since about 15 (I am 34 now). I have done Straight Karate (at 15 I didn't bother with history so I forget which kind of school it was) Then I went to EPAK Kenpo, then took a good size greak, then my son and I started Tae Kwon Do together. I currently do TKD and Hapkido but my business has fallen on some slow times and I can no longer afford to take the arts that I have been. I didn't want to quit but with no money they don't seem to want to train me ... go figure LOL.
So I figured at least I can train at home with some sort of video course. I spent at least 10-12 hours searching the internet for all kinds of programs. There are alot of absurdly ridiculous programs like the "Chief" Roman Kenpo crap where you get your diploma as soon as you sign up, I found a North Shaolin arts rank advancement program ...also a South Shaolin one, also Hapkido, TKD, about a billion different Kenpo ones, a couple Ninjutsu derivitaves (Van Donk and SKH), Hwa Rang Do "Chief" Romans hokey Indian system, Ju Jutsu and a couple others.
Out of all those courses I have come under the impression that SKH has the best quality program and the best quality life experiences to teach a program such as this. He seems to take attention to detail very seriously and he appears to have a good grip on the "why" of things. Per the reasons stated above I would like to continue training but cannot in a conventional way. I live in Portland Oregon and Jef Burgus has a TCJ Bujinkan here locally but still the cost is more than I can handle at this time. I suppose I am just looking for moral support in my decision to purchase the SKH program. After all the research and multiple hours (6-10 in last 2 days) on this forum reading posts from the traditional and SKH folks I still don't know what to think. I like to research an art and a teacher before I do anything but for my situation my options are very limited and I feel that I may have lucked out in that SKH is possibly one of the best and he has a course to suit my needs as they are at the moment.

After reading so darn many posts on this board I feel like I know what most of you are going to say but any advice would be read with an open mind.
1. What would you do in my situation? (always good to hear from someone with different life experience)
2. How legitimate is my education via my home study ninja kit
3. Is it better to do this rather than nothing, in your opinion?

p.s.... my son and I are going to take it together he is 9, also my family is going to start having a "Ninja" hour (90 minutes actually) every friday and Sunday where we all trian together. Only my son and I are interested in ranking at this point though. My son and I are going to train 5-6 days a week. ( yes I realize TSD is not Ninjutsu and that Ninja has a bad connotation to anyone but REAL ninjutsu trained folks .. but oh well)

thank you in advance
Brian
 

Flatlander

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Brian, welcome to Martial Talk! I encourage you to participate in any way you like, that's what the board is here for. In terms of answering your questions, I cannot help much as I am not a To-Shin Do practitioner, but I expect you'll find a few folks who would be more than happy to help you out here.

At any rate, enjoy your stay, and happy posting.
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Kreth

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Brian,
It looks to me like you're mainly concerned with an activity that you can share with your family. Go for it. If you're serious about the training down the road, you can look into dojo training.

Jeff
 

Kizaru

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MeleeECI said:
After reading so darn many posts on this board I feel like I know what most of you are going to say but any advice would be read with an open mind.
1. What would you do in my situation? (always good to hear from someone with different life experience)
2. How legitimate is my education via my home study ninja kit
3. Is it better to do this rather than nothing, in your opinion?
1. I would continue to practice the skills I had already learned in person from a qualified teacher. If I had a son, I would teach him what I'd already learned to avoid possibly teaching him something that I didn't totally understand.
2. How legitimate is education in brain surgery via video kit? Have you ever boxed, played football or baseball before? Could you learn the basics without actually being there with other players or boxers?
3. In my opinion, it would be better to get some yoga tapes and work on those as well as continuing with the Hapikido et al. you've already learned on your own. Doing yoga will help condition your body more towards taijutsu (in my opinion). Invest some more energy into work, and when things level out, go to a recognized dojo. If you were asking about buying Hatsumi sensei's videos and doing some training at home, I'd say the same thing. Establish "life stability", get some yoga tapes, continue polishing what you know, find a good dojo (when things have leveled out), then if you still need the tapes, buy them as a reference to the training your getting "man to man".

Gassho.
 

Shizen Shigoku

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First of all, Melee, I think it's wonderful that you can share in your MA journey with your family. "Ninja Hour" - I love it!

"1. What would you do in my situation? (always good to hear from someone with different life experience)"

If training by video is all you can do right now, go for it. Some may not agree that it is better than nothing, and I'm a little on the fence about that too. If there is any way you can save up for the occasional dojo session of seminar, it would be a good idea to practice under the supervision of a qualified expert whenever possible to make sure any bad habits can be corrected, and to receive other forms of feedback and motivation. Especially with a karate / taekwondo background, you have to be careful and make sure that you approach the new style with a fresh perspective, and suppress the influences of your previous training.

I purchased a home-study course before I started training in a dojo, and I'm glad to have the tapes. At the time, I had plenty of money to be able to spend on such things, but now I'm in a similar situation of having very little money. If I were to consider a similar decision now, I think I would save the money for the tapes and instead spend it on classes.

I don't know how much the TSD tapes/dvd's cost, but for the price I spent on the HSC I purchased, I could have afforded half a year of continuous bi-weekly training, and to me, the experience of having qualified guidance and a variety of warm bodies to throw around is much more valuable - even if only for a short duration.

If a HSC is the most economical way to go for you right now, then do it.

"2. How legitimate is my education via my home study ninja kit"

Only as legitimate as its producers say it is. Whatever rank you receive will only have significance in the particular art that you study whether it be by home study or dojo instruction. That goes for all martial arts.

As for legitimacy of skill/effectiveness - it won't be as good as you would get in a dojo environment, but at least it's something (some may say that that something is detrimental, and there's some truth to that, so be careful).

"3. Is it better to do this rather than nothing, in your opinion?"

In my opinion, yes it is better, but not by much.

"p.s.... my son and I are going to take it together he is 9, also my family is going to start having a "Ninja" hour (90 minutes actually) every friday and Sunday where we all trian together. Only my son and I are interested in ranking at this point though."

Like I said, I think it's wonderful to have the support and involvement of your family. It should be a great bonding experience for you.

"My son and I are going to train 5-6 days a week."

I recommend starting slowly, so you don't rush in and then get burnt out. Somethings like stretching, basic forms, ukemi, etc. can be practiced everyday, but give yourselves time to rest between training sessions to recover physically and mentally - that should help to better absorb the material. In addition to the bi-weekly "Ninja Hour" (which isn't necessarily ninjutsu, and isn't really an hour :D), maybe have one other day for an hour or two to work on material, and then every other day, just set aside about a half hour to study / review previous material or to work out with some basics (stretching, posture, etc.).

"( yes I realize TSD is not Ninjutsu and that Ninja has a bad connotation to anyone but REAL ninjutsu trained folks .. but oh well)"

Don't worry about it, as long as you know the difference, and are using the word "ninja" in a fun sense, it's no big deal.
 
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MeleeECI

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As to the cost of the DVD series, with a second person (Uke) signed up too it is around $450. but I can't even afford that LOL. So I am buying the DVD's individually and selling my PDA and my son is selling his Gameboy Advance SP both on Ebay. That will get us hopefully the $89 for the first 3 DVD's and the $125 one time fee for an add-on trianing buddy. Then all I need to do is come up with $45 per belt test and each of the other 3 video sets are also $89 each. Then there are seminars and such that I hope to attend when we get out of this winter slump in business.
 

DWeidman

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MeleeECI said:
This forum is fantastic!

I live in Portland Oregon and Jef Burgus has a TCJ Bujinkan here locally but still the cost is more than I can handle at this time.

thank you in advance
Brian
Brian -

Portland / Vancouver is chaulk full of good Bujinkan Dojos... And I suspect if you approached them you could work something out (if you are really interested in learning)...

If you are just looking for a family exercise - and aren't looking to really delve into the art - then I am sure the DVDs are fantastic.

Ping me privately if you want more information...

-Daniel
 
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MeleeECI

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Where can I find this article/book/letter???
I also find it odd that you would expect that a person just getting into the art would have read everything Hatsumi ever wrote searching for a single chapter/line/paragraph whatever that mentions something apparently related to home study courses. Doesn't that seem like a rather large expectation?
 
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MeleeECI

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I can't recall which post or who it was but in a different post someone brought out a good point about the video tapes. Back centuries ago people used to learn specific techniques from just scrolls. They of course knew the ebb and flow of the art prior to learning from a scroll but I have some good experience in the arts and I feel that with a well made training tape I can get the ebb and flow of this particular art as well. I also am pretty sure you have NOT seen any of the tapes. I have, however, heard from many people who HAVE seen the tapes and they all say nothing but ecstatic remarks about them and say they wouldn't do it a different way in the same circumstances.
I doubt that anyone on this board feels that a proper training in a dojo is not better than video training. I am not arguing it is. But I am saying that on circumstances such as many here have, video training is a great way to learn an art we all share a passion for. Until I am shown that my skills are lacking compared to a person of similar ranking that has trained in a dojo, I will go on thinking this is a great option for me at this time. I will be attending seminars when I can and that would be a good time to test my theory I guess.
 

Kizaru

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MeleeECI said:
Back centuries ago people used to learn specific techniques from just scrolls..
They learned techniques from teachers, training and experience.

I've seen people here in Japan that have purchased scrolls, "practiced" what was on them and then started/restartd/founded their own schools. It's not only depressing but painful to watch them, and even more disappointing to watch their students.
 

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A few people may have, but I would have to guess that the majority learned from instructors. Some may have learned by hiding and watching. This is said on I think Yang? Tai Chi, and in Modern Arnis, Remy Presas first learned by watching his Grandfather (I think) train in the family system then practicing on his own. I would equate that to the video training today.
 

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MeleeECI said:
I can't recall which post or who it was but in a different post someone brought out a good point about the video tapes. Back centuries ago people used to learn specific techniques from just scrolls.
Really? Care to cite some examples?
MeleeECI said:
They of course knew the ebb and flow of the art prior to learning from a scroll but I have some good experience in the arts and I feel that with a well made training tape I can get the ebb and flow of this particular art as well. I also am pretty sure you have NOT seen any of the tapes.
And if we had - would that change your mind?
MeleeECI said:
I have, however, heard from many people who HAVE seen the tapes and they all say nothing but ecstatic remarks about them and say they wouldn't do it a different way in the same circumstances.
And if there were people who regretted wasting their time with HSC - would that matter?
MeleeECI said:
I doubt that anyone on this board feels that a proper training in a dojo is not better than video training. I am not arguing it is. But I am saying that on circumstances such as many here have, video training is a great way to learn an art we all share a passion for.
Says you. And seeing how long you have spent in the art - it is best to keep authoritative answers to a minimum - neh?
MeleeECI said:
Until I am shown that my skills are lacking compared to a person of similar ranking that has trained in a dojo, I will go on thinking this is a great option for me at this time. I will be attending seminars when I can and that would be a good time to test my theory I guess.
Seminars are a waste of time without the proper basics. The vast majority of seminars will be way above your head - and you are just going to waste other people's time trying to bring you up to speed so you can follow along (/behind).

I would like to contrast your first post to this thread to this last:

MeleeECI said:
After reading so darn many posts on this board I feel like I know what most of you are going to say but any advice would be read with an open mind.
...and...
MeleeECI said:
Until I am shown that my skills are lacking compared to a person of similar ranking that has trained in a dojo, I will go on thinking this is a great option for me at this time.
You aren't looking for advice - you are looking for comfirmation.

Sorry - not from me...

In fact - I don't know of ANY instructor who recommends Video Courses over 3 months in a REAL dojo (which is what I would guess you could get for the same price).

With that said - I hope you get what you are looking for. I am not sure there is much more "conversation" to be had on this issue as you are pretty set in your ways.

-Daniel
 
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