YouTube: My "Oldest Surviving Student"

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Dale Seago, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Wow, the things that turn up on YouTube. . .

    A couple of my students mentioned in class last night that they'd just run across a clip of Michael Simien, their own first teacher and my "oldest surviving student" (in the sense that I trained him from beginner past godan and he still trains actively in the Bujinkan today).

    Michael moved to Brazil 3 or 4 years ago and is currently the senior Bujinkan instructor in the country. This clip was posted by someone in Brazil; however, the footage was NOT shot in Brazil: I recognize the people he's with as students of his from his dojo in Oakland. This footage was actually shot about six years ago.

    Any of you Japan residents reading this may have seen him there during the last couple of weeks or so.

    As you'll see he was a bit. . .flamboyant. . .back then. :p
  2. shadow_ronin

    shadow_ronin Banned Banned

    That wasn't bad although i have to wonder about the safety of training with metal blades, the pointy bits could still take out someones eye :p
  3. hendry

    hendry Valued Member

    Why's he refer to himself as Shihan?
  4. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    He doesn't.

    As I said, that montage was put together by someone in Brazil. It's not something he posted himself.

    Also, when that was shot six years ago he was a brand-new 10th dan (if you're in the Bujinkan you'll recognize the "Electric Persimmon" uniform patch), and it was common in those days for people to refer to anyone at judan or higher as Shihan. That was before the official Hombu pronouncement that it really applies to those at 15th dan (there weren't any of those in existence back when this was filmed), and it seems to still be common practice in some countries to use the term that way.

    Michael keeps driving me crazy by emailing me pictures of the women down there. So help me, I'm about ready to pay him to bring me down to teach a seminar. . .
  5. hendry

    hendry Valued Member

    Sorry. My mistake.

    To be honest, I've never had a problem with 10th dans being called shihan. Just so long as it is someone else who is using the word to refer to them.

    What I DO hate is people who use the title of shihan (or sensei) to refer to themselves.
  6. jules

    jules lurking bacteria

    LOL does this mean he fails to get the hendry stamp of quality control??
    im sure if you find a problem,he will turn in his badge and tabi. im glad we have somone to take care of the details!
  7. llong

    llong Valued Member

    I've never seen people self-identify as Shihan.

    Is there anything wrong with self-identifying as Sensei?
  8. llong

    llong Valued Member

    That must be very gratifying, huh Dale?
  9. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    It's an honorific title. In Japanese culture -- which is where the word comes from, after all -- it would be inconceivable that anyone could be so monumentally rude and arrogant as to refer to himself as "sensei", or to ask or require of others that they use the term.
  10. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Oh good grief. . .I just went to the website linked at the end of the video and there's a pic of Michael with me, from around '93-'94 I think. It was part of a photo shoot we did for an article I wrote on armored combat for a now-defunct martial arts magazine:

    Yes, styles of armor change, but things otherwise remain pretty much the same. ;) You can't really see them in the pic, but we were wearing pistols and combat knives along with the Kevlar armor.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
  11. Hissatsu

    Hissatsu End of the Road: Moved On

    There are plenty of people who do this...


  12. saitamagnome

    saitamagnome 平等

    American Ninja in Brazil :)

    nice title for a book?

    From experience,they do go little over the top in some countries with titles and strict japanese etiquette.

    I recollect one particular shihan at honbu training, react to being called one by a green belt with; "..just call me Jack" .Some instructors fall into the limelight, others do not ;)
    Some are just lucky, if I decide to come out of retirement and start doing the seminar circuit again
    I shall be investigating if there is Bujinkan in the Bahamas :D

  13. Crow

    Crow Valued Member

    So this was The Good and Real Taijutsu what was shown in the clip?

    Nuff said... I am out of here.
  14. kouryuu

    kouryuu Kouryuu

  15. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Hmm. . .I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that the only thing I said that might possibly pertain to his taijutsu was. . .oh, what could it have been?. . .Ah got it!

    If you can find anything else I said about it, pro or con, then by all means feel free to refresh my memory.

    Ah, well then. All for the best. What you just did is set up a "straw man": Imply that someone made some claim about something someone was doing, then make a show of disagreeing with or disapproving of the claim you yourself manufactured in the first place.

    BTW, I know a bit more about what his "shinken taijutsu" (as distinct from having fun on-camera) is actually like than most people do. Some have been criticized for "playing the Nagato card" and saying "If you think this stuff doesn't work just go to Japan and try to take Nagato sensei", when they have no idea whether Nagato would like or approve of their saying something like that on his behalf or not. And that's a valid criticism. Even though I train with Nagato sensei as much as I can whenever I'm in Japan, I wouldn't presume to do that.

    On the other hand, I feel perfectly comfortable playing the Simien card. 'Course you'd have to go to Brazil. And of course none of those macho Brazilians in the last 3 or 4 years have ever tried him out to see what he's made of. . . ;)
  16. bouli

    bouli Valued Member

    Well I know I had fun training with Mike when he was over here :D
  17. Sparx

    Sparx Valued Member

    That guy kicks ass! Nice vid btw ;)
  18. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Aye, I'll bet you did. :)

    BTW, I'll be back December 1-8 in case you're coming in from Yamagata.

    I really liked the sound track, too. :D
  19. bouli

    bouli Valued Member

    I'll be there Dale, might even bring the pipes.
  20. kouryuu

    kouryuu Kouryuu

    Oh god, you're not smoking again are you? :p

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