Sean Askew's BKR Newsletter - "Oni Men Kai"

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by saru1968, May 13, 2005.

  1. saru1968

    saru1968 New Member

  2. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    Read the rest of what Sean's been posting on Kutaki. He pretty much explains it all, but I think it's kinda spread out over 4 different topics.Unless you want to be "endorsed" by the BKR, which frankly I have no idea what that is, then don't worry about it. I have my rank, awarded by my teacher (who must have been feeling sorry for me) and my certificate from Soke. That's good enough for me.
  3. Peaceful Tiger

    Peaceful Tiger Happy Member

    I think it just concerns his dojo and his students
  4. saru1968

    saru1968 New Member


    Thats the point, what is BKR, I noticed Ben Cole is on the list.

    Now would a judan with BKR endorsement be regarded higher than a judan without?

    it may be some way of addressing the issue of 'state of bujinkan in USA' thread but i really don't know, i was just hoping someone on MAP would have more info( looks at the USA ninja :) ) and its seems 'bigger' than just a local dojo 'thingy' (could'nt think of the word).


  5. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba


    Basically, because no 2 instructors grade the same way, Sean is trying to introduce standardization into the Bujinkan. Commendable idea, but when one's training ideals are different than the person you train under and who you trust, is it worth it? In the end, rank is a personal thing between you and your instructor and Soke. If you;re worth your rank, you'll work hard to be worthy of that rank. If not, that's your problem, not mine.

    My 2 yen.
  6. Grimjack

    Grimjack Dangerous but not serious

    Wait a minute, is Sean saying that his approval means more than Soke's approval???????
  7. Keikai

    Keikai Banned Banned

    I have heard its nothing to be bothered about, its a newsletter for his own organisation and anyone else who wants it.

    I have gone for it, may as well have a look!!
    Last edited: May 13, 2005
  8. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    BKR thoughts

    Is this your way of asking me what I think about BKR? :)

    Not at all. And Sean would agree that there are many Shidoshi WITHOUT such endorsement who are quite talented.

    From my understanding, BKR is an "organizing principal" regarding training. Those who are exposed to these ideas and embody them in their training can be "endorsed" (to use Sean's words).

    Sean knows his stuff and has very high expectations for his students. He wants people to have good taijutsu and continue to grow. He feels that he can play a part in ensuring that the Bujinkan name goes hand in hand with quality Budo. That vehicle is the BKR endorsement.

    Of course not. I believe Sean wants the BKR endorsement to be an additional seal of approval regarding "training." And this is not limited solely to Bujinkan training, imo....

    Among the three endorsed parties in Sean's Japan list on Kutaki, for example, is Enson Inoue, who has never even trained in the Bujinkan!! :) Enson is an incredible martial artist in his own right and is a former professional UFC/Pride fighter ( He runs a dojo in Japan with Anthony Netzler, and both of these men share similar outlooks as Sean with respect to training. Because they all share the same view of training, they are all endorsed under BKR. It's that simple.

    As everyone knows, the quality of practitioners in the Bujinkan varies widely and cannot be traced directly to rank levels. I believe Sean wants people to know that if you meet someone who is a "Shihan" or "Shidoshi" in BKR, that they have certain quality level and have a certain outlook regarding training.

    If this outlook is appealing to you, then Sean is more than willing to share his ideas with you. If this outlook is not appealing to you, then go your own way. Sean could care less, so long as you are challenging yourself and keeping up the high standards that are expected of you by Soke.

    Hope that helps clarify.

  9. saru1968

    saru1968 New Member

    Thanks Ben

    Is there a site with more information with how and what methology these standards would be achieved or is that the point of the newsletter?



  10. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    BKR continued

    Here is the official info from the site Sean put up with help from Jeff Ochester before he moved from Ohio to Kentucky:


    What is the BKR?
    The B.K.R. is Shihan Sean Askew's International Association of Bujinkan schools whose concepts in training philosophy are the same. Each dojo represents the B.K.R. by utilizing the same training curriculum, testing for rank under the same standards, and abiding by the rules of the Bujinkan, as set by Masaaki Hatsumi, Soke of the Bujinkan in Noda-shi, Japan.

    By training in the B.K.R., a student makes the decision to not only have the heart and spirit of the Bujinkan, but to meet strict technical aptitude standards for the Kihon Happo and San Shin no Kamae of the Bujinkan as well.

    Who is Sean Askew?
    Sean Askew is a 10th Dan (Judan) in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu under Hatsumi Sensei. He began his training in 1984 in New York. In 1989, after meeting Hatsumi Sensei for the second time at a Tai Kai, he made the decision to move to Japan for training. He spent over ten years (1990-2001) living in Japan, where he spent most of his time training under Hatsumi Sensei and the Bujinkan Shihan. He also went to college in Japan, graduating from Sophia University with a degree in Japanese Language & History, and a minor in Japanese Religions. He trained extensively in different aspects of Budo while living in Japan, including different families of the Kukishin Ryu & Takagi Yoshin Ryu, as well as Judo & Shooto. With Hatsumi Sensei's permission, Sean also competed for two years in Shooto, Judo, NHB-style tournaments. He did this while continuing his studies of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

    Approximately two years before moving back to the United States, and with the support and guidance of Hatsumi Sensei, Sean created the Bujinkan Kokusai Renkomyo as the teaching standard he would use to instruct Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu from. The culmination of over ten years living in Japan and training with Hatsumi Sensei and his Shihan, along with his personal experiences in competition, have led to the creation of the Bujinkan Kokusai Renkomyo, of which has been endorsed by both Hatsumi Sensei and Noguchi Shihan.

    Sean currrently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. He has a small training class that meets monthly for group training. For more information, please visit the B.K.R. Classes page.


    Here is the curriculum document download:

    There is also a nice interview-style article about training in the BKR here:

    Hope that helps.

  11. kouryuu

    kouryuu Kouryuu

    Many thanks Ben, hopefully this will stop the incessant worriers AND rumour-mongerers that were just beginning to ring their hands and wipe their foreheads!. :bang:
  12. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    Corrections from Sean Askew

    In my posts regarding Sean Askew and the BKR, I explained things as I had understood them from my experiences/communications with Sean, Enson, Anthony, etc. I apologize if my explanations of the relationships between these three unimpeachable budoka were lacking.

    Sean was kind enough to clarify far more specifically than I ever could. But because he is not a member of Martial Arts Planet, he did so on Kutaki no Mura (

    Below you will find his corrections/additions to my explanations.

    Hope this helps! (And, thanks, Sean!)



    I would like to clear up a miss communication that I saw on the website called "Martial Arts Planet";

    "Among the three endorsed parties in Sean's Japan list on Kutaki, for example, is Enson Inoue, who has never even trained in the Bujinkan!! Enson is an incredible martial artist in his own right and is a former professional UFC/Pride fighter"

    Enson is not a card holding Bujinkan member, this is correct.

    But Enson has trained in the Bujinkan arts with myself and Anthony Netzler now for at least 9 years. I gave him his Yondan in the Bujinkan. He is very knowledgeable in the Bujinkan arts but prefers to remain out of the organization itself due to the lack of seriousness and commitment from other Bujinkan members. He is still currently training with Anthony Netzler on a regular basis. He seeks no rank from Soke nor does he seek any publicity from the Bujinkan.

    "He runs a dojo in Japan with Anthony Netzler, and both of these men share similar outlooks as Sean with respect to training. Because they all share the same view of training, they are all endorsed under BKR. It's that simple."

    All correct again except for that Enson does not run a dojo with Anthony. Anthony is still training under Enson at Enson's gym. Although Anthony and I have worked with Enson in regards to the Bujinkan he is in no way our student. We are all Martial Artists and friends. But I will always consider both Anthony and Enson my teachers. I have learned many things from them both.

    Lastly on that same website I also saw someone ask if my BKR endorsements are more important than Soke's ranks.

    This again is just a miss communication. My endorsements are just that. You must have attained the rank from Soke before I endorse it. I will only endorse the people I feel are skilled in Taijutsu after Soke has judged their heart!
    I promote my students up to Yondan with the BKR syllabus as a base, after that they are Soke's student.

    Sometimes I wonder if these are genuine miss communications or if they are spiteful statements trying to cause trouble.

    Soke knows what I am doing and Soke knows I endorse ranks. There is nothing hidden or sinister going on. If you have questions regarding the BKR please feel free to ask me. You can reach me at

    Thank You.

    Sean Askew

    Sean Askew
    Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
  13. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    Final point

    On a final note, I've had the pleasure of training with both Enson and Anthony. When the shiP hits the fan, you had better hope that they are on your side of the fight. :)

    It truly is insignificant who is the "teacher" and who is the "student" in the dojo. They are both FANTASTIC budoka.

    They train together to learn and grow, not play games.

  14. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    Thanks Ben. I know on mybehalf, nothing was meant out of spite or malice, just misunderstanding. I had been following Sean's posting on Kutaki, but it's nice to see it here for clarification. Thanks again.

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