Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Kobudo, Jul 14, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    We've seen on here a number of times discussions about why people feel the need to break off and do their own thing.

    This is usually accompanied with assumptions that they didn't get what was being taught, but let's face it some high ranking people have gone it alone, Tanemura sensei and Manaka to name the extreme. If Hatsumi hadn't been named the next Soke would he have been content as an instructor in someone elses org?

    I'm interested to hear from these guys.

    What are the basic principles of your training?
    What is your background? Grade? Previous org?
    Why did you decide to go it alone?

    Garth had provided info on Hikendo in another thread,
    I know Peter Brown has been fairly successful in his Shinobi Kai spin off, Sandstorm:RS has just introduced MCNS, any others?

    I think it's worth pointing out that this isn't intended as an opportunity to flame these people, it's about learning a bit more.

    If anyone disagrees so strongly with branching off on your own that they can't post anything constructive please go to another thread!
  2. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Just to re-enforce the point made above, if you can't contribute to this thread without getting nasty, personal or hurling insults then don't post here. Anyone who ignores this warning will get a ban.
  3. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Just to clarify, historically once a licensed student attained menkyo kaiden in an art, branching off to start their own branch or style was common and accepted. It is very different from someone who has not reached this level breaking off and starting their own school for whatever reason. It's apples and oranges.

    It would be nice to hear the responses though. Good thread idea.
  4. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member


    I agree, but only to an extent.

    Mankyo kaiden only denotes that you have learned a system. many people have real life experience that actually makes them more qualified to teach fighting skills than someone with MK.

    If you have an MK holder with no experience outside of a dojo, or a Gendai instructor who had a fair share of street brawls, joined the military, went on operations right into hostile territory, got themselves and their colleagues out of these situations alive, had hand to hand encounters, then joined the police force and had to arrest resisting criminals, and deal with being attacked. Who would you rather learn fighting skills from? Who's more qualified?

    I see no issue with people branching off because their life experince gives them insights that they want to pass on to their students, as long as they're honest about what they're teaching.

    It can be frustrating at times within koryu, when you do see a more efficient, or more effective way of doing something, that you can't teach because it's not true to the style.

    I think we in the koryu world sometimes view traditional arts as perfect, and that they hold all of the answers. But in actual fact, these arts have evolved over time, to a point where we've decided to stop, and keep it as a snapshot.

    Of course, there are going to be waza that can be improved upon, this is what's been happening for years, punching methods have evolved, while koryu arts can deal with these, that doesn't mean it's always the best way.

    I'm speaking as a lover of koryu, but I think we also have to be realistic, I've trained in some gendai clubs in the past and learned some great things from instructors who've never had MK, I've trained in some combatives and learned great skills that are very practical from people who have never gained any sort of martial art grade.

    The idea of Menkyo Kaiden, is Japanese, people in West train in Japanese arts, but are not Japanese in nature. If you wish to learn to fight as your primary motivation, a gendai club has as much weight (as long as it's good) as any koryu, or MK holder.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  5. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    Also, nowadays, MK is usually more a result of circumstance rather than skill.

    In the past people have gained MK after short periods of time, some practitioners nowadays have more 'time in' and more skill than MK holders had at the time they received their MK's, does their lack of MK mean they are less able?

    In the BJK, Hatsumi used to award MK, so original members may hold a license, he no longer awards these, so a new member will probably not have the opportunity to gain a license, does this mean they are any less skilled?

    Some instructors will give MK out fairly easily, others will not.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  6. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    As we all know too well, a foreigner practicing in the Bujinkan for 18 years in his home country, even if he holds an 8th dan, hasn't necessarily(and more probably hasn't) learned or mastered any of the arts that make up the organization.

  7. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    Reality Please,

    I think we're in agreement, it just may not have come across that way.

    What I'm getting at are that there are different things in play here.

    You made the point regarding people historically acheiving MK, then branching off being different. I'm just saying that depending on what you're looking for people who haven't acheived MK may be just as legitimate in going it alone as those with MK, if they have other life skills or experience, and they are honest in what they are now teaching.

    I agree, these people shouldn't claim to know what there is/isn't within the art, as if they don't hold MK then how can they know, as it may be they just haven't been shown this yet, for this reason as I said they should not be claiming to teach that style any longer, or claim that they have improved the style as how can you improve something if you haven't studied all aspects of it.

    There are always going to be things that can be improved upon, punching has evolved, no I don't think feudal japanese sqaured off as you say, but I also don't think they jabbed, crossed, hooked, etc, like a boxer today would, as I said the principals will be there to deal with this if you have studied in depth, but that doesn't mean there isn't a better way to do it outside of the system.

    If you wish to learn to fight as your primary motivation, a gendai club has as much weight (as long as it's good) as any koryu, or MK holder.

    Of course. However, that isn't what we were discussing was it?

    I thought it was? as it was in response to your point about MK holders branching off being apples and oranges to non MK holders branching off?

    The idea of Menkyo Kaiden, is Japanese, people in West train in Japanese arts, but are not Japanese in nature.

    Maybe that is why they have such a problem learning ninjutsu. Who knows. The idea of black belts, dogi, training barefoot, and many other things is also from Asia. I am missing your point.

    I agree, I think people want to be spoonfed and find the time taken to learn things difficult to deal with. The point I was making though was that while it was traditional to achieve MK before branching off in Japanese history, the people now doing it aren't Japanese, the culture is different so we can't always compare like for like.

    With regards to MK being dependant on circumstance, the BJK was used as an example because Hatsumi stopped issuing MK, I don't know of any westerner better than the Japanese Shihan, however as a hypothetical point someone could join today, who grows to be better, but because MK isn't offered, may not be awarded it, this doesn't mean however that they are less skilled. This makes the attainment based on a circumstance. It's not to say the Japanese Shihan aren't skilled either, they just had an opportunity someone new doesn't. But having the MK also doesn't prove that the Japanese Shihan actually know how to fight, only experience with them will tell you that, not a license they hold.

    My over arching point, is that I don't think people should disregarded if they don't hold MK, as they may be just as/or more qualified to go it alone than someone with a MK, given the circumstance.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  8. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Yeah we pretty much agree. Except that if someone doesn't know ninjutsu, and how could they really if they never learned it from the source like the shihan did from Hatsumi sensei, then they shouldn't be claiming it on their signboards and the like. So yes, I would say disregard what they are teaching as related to a traditional Japanese martial art. I would not say disregard it as a fighting system. However, with all the official military based training styles to choose from out there, if that is what one was looking for there would be better options.

  9. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Kind of interesting that no ninjapendents(TM) have weighed in on the issue. Too bad.
  10. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Valued Member

    Give it time. Maybe when things cool down a little bit, they'll feel more receptive to the idea of posting around here (or at least within this protected thread).

  11. bujingodai

    bujingodai Active teacher now. Supporter

    I'm watching it.
    I have taken a bit of a break from this board for a bit while I deal with some family health issues.
    This sort of topic, has never really gone to well. Sometimes seems like you want an answer more so you can debate it not just accept an answer.

    That and the thumbs down symbol right off the bat may sway someone to stay away. That would be my guess.

    I know for no matter how reasonable I may want to come across, the opinion here as a whole is I have no right doing what I do. That if I state I am not lying, there will be a reason why or how I am deceiving people. if I state I left for a reason, it will be translated as I didn't understand or couldn't hack it. Or wanted to start an empire of my own as have been stated here.

    I show my vids, as I believe I should. It will be microscoped, when the vast majority of Bujinkan video have less than average performance themselves.

    So, as my history has been delved here a few times, and misconstrued. I will wait and see if some others post, or the reaction to this statement.
  12. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    I think that's fair enough, thanks for the honesty
  13. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    By the way, the thumb down isn't something I've put on here.
    Or if it was it must have been my club fingers on my phone!!!

    Will try to remove it now
  14. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    Does anyone know how to edit the thread heading? All I can seem to do is edit the text
  15. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I've taken it off for you Kobudo. PM me if you want anything else instead.

  16. Sandstorm:RS

    Sandstorm:RS Valued Member


    First let me thank you for this thread and if I may, I would like to reply to your posed question in my usual polite and honest manner, but before I do (and for the purpose of clarification), I think it would be respectfull to all concerned to address a few matters first.

    Firstly, I would like to point out that it was and never has been my intention to discredit the teachings of the BJK, GBK, JEK or their members in anyway. I was a member of the BJK for eighteen years (although not always active) and in that time was fortunate enough to have trained with many of the BJK high ranking instructors and Japanese Shihan. I do not (in any shape form or manner) consider myself to teach traditional/authentic/historical skills which are taught within the BJK or any of the Takamatsuden organisations. Over the years (2001-present) I have had numerous people ask me, "do you teach BJK ninpo taijutsu" and my answer has always been absolutelly not. Whenever somebody comes to me looking for BJK, I direct them in the direction of the BJK, or GBK, JEK. I have had the privilege of speaking personally with Tanemura Sensie, but have not had the privilege of training with the GBK. (time did not permit this)

    So, with that said, why did I leave the BJK?

    Ok, as mentioned above I was a member for eighteen years and held a Hatchi-dan. Do I/Did I consider myself to be worthy of that grade? With respect NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
    Why? because I don't/didn't have what I considered to be enough knowledge regarding the nine schools and their associated Ryu-Ha. I was awarded the grade by Soke Hatsumi because of what I did in another part of my life and not for my knowledge or lack of prowess regarding the kuden. Now I am not prepared to question or argue Soke Hatsumi's reasons for awarding me this grade back in 2001 as I respect his decision as the "Soke" of the BJK. However, (with respect to the BJK), during my time with the organisation I had witnessed Dan grades being given out like "Smarties" (Childrens sweets) to people who I personally didn't think deserved them, and just for the record that included me for the reasons I have mentiond above. NOTE: (Explained with the height of respect to ALL BJK members past and present). Bewildered, I asked senior instructors/teachers why this was the case and was told not to question Soke's decisions as he will have a good reason. Sorry, not a good enough reason for me I'm affraid! (Again with respect).

    My original goals regarding the martial arts were and have always been Personal Protection which as a young kid I refered to as "Self-Defence". Having gaind Black Belt status in JKD, BJK and instructor status in CQC, I decided to develop my own system of combat methods as I found that JKD, BJK and CQC had gapping holes in thier training methods. (Again with respect). This lead me to work as a bouncer and to develop my skills in real combat by working closely with full contact fighters in varing no holds barred fights. Over two decades the knowledge that I have gained has seen me in the role of personal bodyguard, personal protection advisor and instructor to civilians and police, and instructor to certain military units within certain regiments which for security purposes I cannot reveal.

    Could I have accomplished this while remaining with the BJK, JKD? NO! it is a very different type of training but YES large segments of Ninpo Taijutsu/JKD techniques/CQC techniques have been rearranged, Modernised, pressure tested and developed in order to produce a pragmatic combat system which not only teaches the physical aspects but teaces life skills associated with personal protection both foreign and domestic.

    I hope this serves as a reasonable answer to your question Kobudo?

    For those of you who might feel the urge to swipe out and critisize what I have written, you would be best to ignor it if you feel that strongly, so that others who would like to put their views accross can have a chance to do so without having to get moderators involved.

    The man asked the question and I gave the man an honest and truthful answer!

    Thank you again Kobudo.

    with respect and kind regards

  17. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    Thanks for this Sandstorm:RS, a very straight forward, honest reply.

    Can I ask, why you decided to include Ninjutsu in the name for the system, as from what you've written Gung Fu or JKD to be specific seems to have had a large influence. I'm also assuming that the 'no holds barred' fighting you mentioned will also have exposed you to various Jujutsu methods, and also possibly Muay Thai or an equivilent striking art.

    With the griping between practitioners, and negative ninja image in the media, if I was in your position I'd have probably shied away from including any reference to Ninjutsu.
  18. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member



    I like this bit! It's good to see and I think more independents need to view their training this way.

    Far too many people out there who break away and just carry on teaching what amounts to really bad BBT.
  19. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    That was a nice, honest post. Just a quick question if you will. As you seem to be concerned with honor and being honest, I wonder why you didn't chose not to accept the 8dan(or any other dan you didn't think you deserved) when it was offered to you? In work, most people would have an issue with accepting money for a job they didn't do, yet I often hear people say that oh, you should just accept any promotion from Hatsumi sensei or whomever, as to decline would be rude. I wonder what they would say if some customer just walked up and gave them money for no work. Would they say it would be rude to decline that? The logic behind that is that it is better to accept something you don't deserve in order to preserve some kind of Eastern morality (that other foreigners are claiming you should mind you), over maintaining your own integrity and beliefs even at the chance that it might offend someone you respect. As if the Japanese wouldn't understand if you refused something you didn't feel you had earned. If they did indeed have a problem with the refusal, then it could be dealt with or you could leave(again with a clear conscience).

    However, it you look at the alternative(in your case at least), of leaving because you don't feel you deserve the rank, why not show the integrity of your beliefs and say "No Thank You." If you get kicked out or if there are any negative reprecussions from declining promotion, at least you can stand proud in the knowledge that you stuck to your guns.

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  20. Sandstorm:RS

    Sandstorm:RS Valued Member

    Another very good question Kobudo.

    I had this same conversation with my most senior student who has been with me for over 18yrs now. Originally, i was going to call the system "MCS" (Modern combat System) and the reason for that was exactly for the reasons that you have mentioned. However, it was pointed out to me by my senior student and other martial artists from different styles that you can clearly see the kamae being moved through very quickly in response to the attack. Evaision techniques such as kaiten are clearly evident, as are techniques such as Omote-kote giyaku, ura-kote-giyaku, oni-kudak, muso-dori, musha-dori, tai-giyaku, goja-dori, the use of fudo-ken, boshi-ken, shuto etc,etc,etc.

    Let me explain this in more detail if I may?

    In and around 1995 I attended a seminar with Dave Heald. I was Roku-dan at that time and still BJK. As the seminar opened with basic techniques taken and adapted (Henka if you like) from the kihon-Happo i was chatting in between training sessions with my uke (partner) explaining that I found that this or that technique worked better this way (my adapted way) than how it was being shown. This obviously annoyed my first partner as after a short break any subsequent partner I had came at me as if to launch me into orbit. Having fought my way through the seminar and futher aggrivated more people, to my surprise Dave stopped the class and asked me to demonstrate what I was doing.

    When I had finished he addresed the class and said "what did you just witness"!!


    Dave went on to say that if you watch what he is doing, you will find that although the techniques have obviously been adapted he is moving through each individual school without being conscious of it. Yes it looks different but it's still ninpo.

    I Like Dave!!!!!! A LOT!!

    With regard to JKD, JKD is a concept (Not an art) the same as the teachings of ninpo, in that the ninja had to alter and adapt their techniques accoring to the times and changes that have taken place in Japanese history. I include a lot of JKD but it has been adapted. Just for the record I don't claim to be a JKD instructor either although a good friend of mine advised me not so long ago that I should register as one?!


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page