Bujinkan

Soke

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since blogged. I have been developing programs that would eventually balance out my life’s purpose with training, studying and teaching. Anyway, here is an article below that is as relevant as it was written back in 1998 by Richard Ray.

I just wanted to write about something that I feel is a bit of a problem in the Bujinkan today. That is, lack of identity. I wonder how many people really know what the Bujinkan is… I do know that many people have had their opinions shaped by the influence of the Genbukan, and that many of those same people look to the Genbukan to get what they think is Bujinkan Information, that is not being taught in the Bujinkan.

While it is true that both the Bujinkan and the Genbukan teach information that came from Takamatsu O Sensei, the way that each Head Master goes about teaching it is VERY different. The Genbukan teaches the different ryu as ryu… You may even receive Menkyo Kaiden in a ryu! The integrity of the ryu is maintained, and attention is given to passing down a tradition.

The Bujinkan is VERY different. For one thing, one can look at Tanemura Shoto as the Kancho of the Genbukan. This is correct. But Hatsumi Masaaki is NOT just Kancho of the Bujinkan, he is Soke of the Bujinkan. The Bujinkan is an organization, but also the Bujinkan is a ryu!

In the Bujinkan the 9 Ryu are not taught as 9 separate ryu, they are seen as examples only.. Tools for us the living practicioner. NOT as masterpieces to be maintained in a museum fasion. Each ryu is looked at in the sense of trying to understand it’s purpose and concept. The kata and such, are seen as physical models of greater concepts that took specific form in a certain ryu, due to the external conditioning factors, of time and place, environment etc. These “examples” then are seen as pointers of truth.. The bones of the dead, that can be studied to teach us about the underlying “grander” concepts that for that time and place took that specific shape.

By studying the kata, and the ryu in this way, we can learn much about the people and society that spawned these ryu. It truly is an anthropological study. Just as we study the ancient civilizations, and learn more about who we are and where we are going, it is the same with the ryu of the Bujinkan. They are important, but there is something more important. The 20th century ryu of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

In this country, (U.S.A.) you can see that in the 80’s when Soke Hatsumi was teaching us all, he would always tell us not to worry about which ryu a certain technique came from, JUST DO IT! He would say.. And people would. Everything was called Togakure ryu Ninpo Taijutsu. All 9 plus schools. The Idea was that if new knowledge came into your ryu, you would adopt it as your own. For example the story of Doron Navon showing Soke a technique, and asking if that was in Togakure ryu. To which Soke was to reply It is now! That sums up the whole Philosophy of the Bujinkan.

In the Bujinkan concepts are taught through a study of distance and environment, “correctness of ryu is not as important. Let me explain..

Lets take Ichimonji kihon no Kata. Now from a ryu standpoint, this is a gyokko ryu technique period! It has a specific stance way of moving etc. But from a Bujinkan standpoint Ichimonji kihon no Kata is a concept! In the early to late 80’s this kata was done from seigan no kamae. Now, seigan isn’t even in Gyokko ryu, so what was going on here? I know personally, people who still do this kata from seigan. And I also know other People who talk about these people as if they don’t know what they’re doing.

It was during the late 80’s that the Genbukan influence on the Bujinkan started to become a “player”. Bujinkan people started to become more interested in kata, and how does this ryu do it? And how does that ryu do it? This was the beginning of the “kata generation” This “kata generation” is actually more in line with the teachings, and “path” of the Genbukan, NOT the Bujinkan. It is these people that see the “old timers” and say “see this guy doesn’t know what he’s doin” Meanwhile The “old timers” know EXACTLY what they’re doing!

I would like to give an example, again of Ichimonji no kata, to show how these two schools of thought arrive at these different conclusions.. In the Bujinkan as I have said these are taught in relation to distance. If you are to preform Ichimonji no Kata, start by looking at distance. This will get you your Kamae. If you are at a distance the forces you to lunge at your opponant, then your kamae will be Seigan. The reason is that you need to keep that arm out there to keep your opponant at bay, like a spear. Now if you try to do seigan at a closer range, it actually creates openings in your defense, in close you need to bring that front arm across like a shield.

Now look at the feet. If you are close, you will have to have a more square stance. Why? Because you can now be grabbed! Stand close, but with your feet like seigan. Have your aite grab you, and pull on you. You will take a step or fall. Now assume a greater distance, and keep the same stance. At this distance you are more likely to encounter long weapons like a spear. At this distance, you need to present a smaller profile.

Now in the 80’s Soke was teaching a greater distance than he is today. If you look at Ichimonji no kata from those days, you will see that it is done from seigan, and a longer distance than is seen today. Now when some one punches you at this distance, to take his balance with jodan uke, you need to step back at a 45 degree angle, and keep his weight coming forward. As you complete the uke with your spine he will lose his balance, and his center line will be laying open right there for your shuto. You deliver the shuto by stepping straight in and hit more down than to the side. The reason has to do with the first step (45 angle) and the way your spine generates power at this distance.

Now if we move closer and assume ichimonji, from this distance your opponent does NOT throw a lot of weight behind his punch and is on better balance. If you step back at a 45 from this range, you will still be in firing range, and you can’t drift the energy of his punch back because there is not enough weight on it. So at this distance the taisabaki is circular, the uke is up and out, the front foot comes to the back foot because of distance, and all of this sets the spine up to deliver a circular strike.

Now most of you may recognize the second version, and say that this is the basic. This IS THE KIHON! For Gyokko ryu yes it is, but the Bujinkan is interested in the concept, and depending on when you joined the stream.. Depending on what distance Soke was teaching when you learned the concept called Ichimonji no kata. This may or may not be YOUR basic.

This is at the base of the problem of wanting a standard teaching format. The mistake lies at both ends of the spectrum. Some people say every time I train with a different teacher, they teach me a different way..Which way is right? The answer is of course, as long as the concept is intact then all of them are right!

On the other side of the coin, you have the Shidoshi that have been taught a certain way by Soke or some of the Shihan, and they think that the way that they were showed is the “correct way” because Soke showed them this way… Again wrong. The problem with both of these examples, is that these people only see the physical technique. They see contradicting physical techniques. And..They see the ryu as specific physical techniques, and not as concepts…

So as a member of the Bujinkan, please realize that the ryu are only so important, but their greatest purpose is in YOUR growth. The Genbukan and the Bujinkan are very different in this regard. So please watch the Genbukan influence, or the Jinenkan influence.. Both Schools Fine examples of what they are trying to do, but the Bujinkan is not in the same “business” so to speak. Maybe what you really want is in these other two organizations only you know…

Terror

terrorism

Terror – 1. Intense, overpowering fear (The Free Dictionary). 

The duality of terror though the word seems harsh and callous. Unfortunately terror exists in our culture as others. The one or group who acts in terror and hurt people are driven by their beliefs and actions. Although they commit these horrible acts of terror, they too are full of fear.

Those who terrorizes people, places and society, mentally are incapable of relating to compassion and disregards humanity and life. Their actions are not on the same plane as those who labor and lives to improve the quality of life and evolution.

I believe our purpose for humanity is to sustain all life and our planet. There are many ways terror exists in our society. Though the media broadcasts the worst of terror that instigates where people and groups continue acts of violence. Such hideous behavior will continue to the so-called ‘good guys’ stop.

Martial arts and self defense training can help. The majority of people don’t act till something terrible happens either to them or hits home where an alarming mechanism goes off inside of them that most of are familiar with an overwhelming and overpowering calamity of fear. The media broadcasts footage of people suffering to those responsible. What other way to get exposure?

 

Beginner Runner

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Hey everyone!

Beginner runner is exactly what the title says. Yes, I ran back in 2002 for a few years. One rule of thumb never stop running. Even if traveling abroad. Make it a priority.

Now it’s 2017 and I feel again like a beginner runner. It’s been a few days and I am taking it easy by running half miles in increments. Breathing is so important for beginner runners. The last few runs has been difficult and feels like my lungs are on fire. I focus on three things. Back straight, bent knees and slow breathing.

Right now I am running shorter runs till my breathing minimizes the feeling I get in my lungs as if there burning. Other than that its fun and helps the body and mind.

Wear comfortable clothes, good runner shoes and a forerunner GPS to measure your distance. Start with small runs and slowly build your stamina for further distances. I know for a fact it takes conditioning and consistency to fall in love and benefit from running. My schedule is pretty flexible nowadays which gives me time to run as often as I need too. As a self defense instructor running is a perfect complimentary for my overall health and wellness.

FEAR

fear Factor

Editor’s Pick – What is Fear and How to Deal with this Debilitating Mechanism.

If fear seems to trip you up often. Maybe its time to learn more about fear. This is where I’d usually pitch my self defense classes. I rather blog about it. Fear is an evolutionary program by nature. It’s purpose and function is to alert you of danger, secondly, prepare the mind and body for FIGHT or FLIGHT. Contrary to what has been taught about the fear program, fear as we know it impedes our abilities when activated. Worse is when caught off guard and the freeze response is primary. Fight, Flight, and Freeze are grouped from the sympathetic mode that controls the body’s responses to a perceived threat. Either one would put you in a disadvantageous state.

I remember 20 something years ago a friend and I were talking about an incident that happen to him. There was three of them walking home one evening at dusk. As they were walking through a park, the three was approached by a gang and got jumped. Two of the fought for their life, while one ran – my friend. Afterwards he ridiculed which contributed to his binge drinking shortly afterwards. He and I was talking one day and he as he were telling me the story, I asked him how does he feel about the situation, and his reply was the same he felt when the situation occurred like a coward. Somewhat typical, huh? Well, I told him about my theory at the time of fear being a evolutionary program by nature and that is no longer necessary to act from this fear, because we can make no sense of it. However escaping with you life is as sensible or validation needed if you feel like a coward. Anyhow I asked him if those two other guys has the chance to run as well. He said yes. Evolutionary fear is for immediate threat circumstances. Though it overrides logic, and that what make sense, nevertheless its purpose is to give the body and mind the necessary adrenaline, sugar and agents needed to prepare the body for survival.

What has to be understood, fear cannot be compromised. Tension and stress in the body along with adrenaline secretion, mentally will block out any logic or reasonable solutions. In Systema as well as our women’s self defense classes we do drills and exercises to stress the body and loaded up tension if not already present and see it all ties together and limits our abilities and functions. This is so important to know. The drills are best done slow, and with an instructor that understands how real the psychological and physiological triggers play significant roles. Breathing and movement are essential to dealing with fear.

Fear is not a feeling; it is an autonomic mechanism or process that evolved over millions of years to aid our safety and survival

Facebook Fan Page – Self Defense

Training for Life & Success

THROWING & MOVEMENT

Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset for self defense?

Having a entrepreneurial mindset in regards to studying self defense. When something comes at you, you don’t just push back against it. You can see everything that comes at you as an opportunity. Faced with a challenge, you ask, ’how can I leverage this? How can I flow with this? Where is the opportunity in this?’

Natural ability requires a lot of time and dedication to what you believe what it will take to get you to your goal. To develop competence, it’s not about constantly looking for new things. It’s about developing a deeper level of understanding of insight, of the things you already know and do.

People often think of martial arts as training for physical fitness or self defense. There’s a bigger picture in the two. It’s training for life and know yourself.

Most martial art instructors in the US have an entrepreneurial mindset. Either to grow their schools or franchise. Sort of like tiger schulman.

Aggressive Fighting

One word

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year 2017! I sure hope everyone had amazing holiday season filled with laughter, love and warm memories with family. Now it’s time to get busy. Now in the 2nd week of Jan 2017 no excuses but hard work and increasing income and most importantly your skills, whether it be self defense training, sports, mma, work, sales, etc. The point is to set your goal and get with it!

I have been working more than training the last year or so. Have to admit I miss the 4 to 5 days of training weekly. The advantage is dedicating more time into working and increasing my income. It doesn’t mean making a lot of money but conditioning the mind to focus on the objective. Wealth has different meaning to everyone. For me its a combination of multiple definitions. My goal is to condition the mind and delete old beliefs that no longer serve any purpose nor make any sense.  Believe it or not this is aggressive training in one sense. On the other hand there is the martial arts training. As I get older and grow into what I love to do, my passion for movement and self defense I find less practicality in developing skill for intended purposes of fighting a waste of my time. Mainly because as you older its hard not to realize how necessary it is to limit wasting unnecessary energy on activities the yields no long term growth. Keep this in mind the harder you train and spar, fight or whatever you do tears the body, mind and psyche down. Strain that is irreversible. That’s the physical part, what about the mind and emotional components. Another blog in of itself!

 

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting” – Sun tzu

NEW YORK COLLABORATION

Stealth

Hey everyone!

I’d like to apologize for a lack of consistency with regards to updating our blog. Presently I’m responsible for managing the entire affairs of Koteki Dojo International. Not easy to say the lest.

I’ve since revised the youtube channel. There is a combination of content; Budo taijutsu and Systema (Russian martial art) uploaded. The two arts has a profound similarity of principles. Why I have incorporated the two into my life and movement. I’m a firm believer the ninja was not only skilled in the Japanese arts but other influences as well.

There were a period when a few instructors in New York would collaborated. Also I believe NY – that is the city had the most dojos in any given city or state nationally. Unfortunately a lot has changed. People are not as open-minded in general as we (society) could be. I think it goes deeper than the obvious. An individual issue. Our motto at  our women’s bootcamp is “Know Thyself”. First and foremost its imperative that people learn how to collaborate and get along for success. One of the disadvantages I believe lies in most Bujinkan circles. It’s an ancient and dominate art (lack of women) that I believe contributes to the problem.

When I lived in Europe (Budapest) there were a number of local dojos and everyone seemed a bit distance from each other. That was strange for me being a foreigner and all. So happen while teaching in Budapest, I was accused twice by two separate instructors of trying to steal their students which was far from the truth. I didn’t take it personally, though it was out of character for any instructor in the Bujinkan to behave that way. Unfortunately at the time the two instructors mentioned were not licensed from the Bujinkan to teach nor either of them ever visited Japan to train. Leadership in Hungary is absurd with regards to budo taijutsu training. The majority of the instructors were insecure and lacked the fundamentals. I believe this what made collaboration nearly impossible. For the most part they (students) were awfully loyal to the point where they didn’t investigate for themselves the art budo taijutsu.

What does this all have to do with collaboration?

I believe before you can work with someone else that may or may not be your competition (business) its imperative that you know yourself. In Systema when you see Vladimir and Mikhail working together its a collaboration. Though the two oversee’s two separate HQs. I’m not saying in budo taijutsu it is not the case. Because in budo taijutsu many buyu work together.

To collaborate its imperative to set aside differences and work together. A group of minds is ALWAYS better the one.

I personally believe instructors should make it a point regularly to train with other instructors or practitioners (budo taijutsu) of higher if not equal dan grades. Also when the opportunity presents itself, train with other people from different styles as well. However you have to be clear on the objective. If its a situation of which art is better, who is a better practitioner or stronger. Than you ought not collaborate.

Opportunities multiply as they are seized” – Sun Tzu

Adaptation

FB Photo

Hi all,

It’s way to long. I’ve been over at Koteki Dojo’s sister site – The Stealth Method.  So much going on these days. What you get here, you can get there. So in essence you really don’t miss anything, but that what you miss…

Life is about adapting and going with change and flow. It’s import to continuously empower yourself. Presently I’m working on two specific programs. One of them is a Women’s tactical self defense bootcamp…. I call it BootCampX which is a compilation of a few disciplines and self help protocols. So in other words, you take part in our 10 class program, you get to learn and develop numerous skill sets of tools to be successful in life. The beauty is the tactical training. No matter if your strong, or weak, big or small the tactics skills you learn teaches you how to move with hardly any effort or power. The moves are golden, and the outcome is incredible.

The other program I mentioned is a rare bout awesome opportunity. Doesn’t have to be for you, it could be a referral situation for someone you love. What I’m offering for a limited time is a proven method for quitting smoking with hypnosis – self hypnosis. You may object to the idea of being hypnosis. However I can assure you its smooth and easy. You do it all the time. For some reason most people aren’t aware there hypnotized.

Here’s an example. Say you drive to and from work every day – 5 days a week. Either way to or from – you pass a landmark (familiar place / gas station, church, etc) and one day you arrive to your door step or work place and can’t remember passing either landmark.. You were actually hypnotized. It’s called highway hypnosis…. You get the idea!

The smoking cessation program is going to be offered to two people for a full session (valued at $250) for free. There is a screening process though. I would send you a questionnaire consisting of four questions. Thats it!

Quit Smoking2

 

 

 

Shihan

Greetings to all,

It’s been to0 long since my last blog update. I sincerely apologize. Though my previous blog from 2004 – 2009 my entries were much more regularly than now. Unfortunately I haven’t been back to Japan since 2012. My last promotion actually. Never would I have thought that I would receive a menkyo (license) Judan (10th dan). My heart will always be grateful to Masaaki Hatsumi. His unyielding patience with many of us westerners is / had been unparalleled. Since 2012 so much has happen and so many experiences. I’m still practicing budo taijutsu. However prior before my last trip to Japan, I moved to Hungary, while being married. The last four years has been filled with opportunities and many unexpected setbacks. One can say I guess maturity has finally caught up. LOL  Maybe I caught up! Last year I decided to consolidate some of my daily tasks. Such by narrowing down whats important and focusing on doing less. Concentrating on doing small things with much more focus and incentive than multi-tasking with little to no results. Moderating a few websites, social media and teaching took a toll and prevented financial freedom. Since my return back Stateside, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many people who lacks financial independence and lives are regulated as well. A expensive lesson to learn!

I believe to reach the level of shihan (master teacher) and be responsible takes more than skill. Takes experience, sacrifice and patience with oneself. Life will confront you with challenges and lessons. It’s up to you, and what you learned during your process that would determine how you come out from the other end.

Insight of a Warrior

ANTHONY2

Greetings Buyu,

My intention is to share an insight with you all I wrote a number of years back during a trip to Japan. It’s a good read. Perhaps a lesson to be learnt!

Up until yesterday, before visiting Japan, I had a belief that was not mines originally but of a greater awareness. This awareness came to me recently. The study of budo taijutsu entails more then the average system of martial arts. Although budo taijutsu by definition is a martial art. Each and every one of us makes decisions based on our individual needs. These needs are manifestations of unconscious awareness. Cultivating the components (body, mind & spirit) is essential to nature. Sometimes I wonder if I was chosen like many of us, to live an existence in harmony as our ancestors (ninja) once lived.

The theme for the year is Kihon Happo – Year of the Rabbit. .

The focuses of training are on how to unbalance while moving and deceptively confusing the mind of your opponent. So far I’ve seen various interpretations of the TCJ and Kihon Happo. I would imagine if you go to all the shihan classes and all are teaching some aspect of the basics, it’s possible to learn an in depth level of budo.  For the past 2 years basically I studied the TCJ from Noguchi sensei. The training has shown me many lessons. Prior before my last trip, I was lost from lack of a foundation (basics). Noguchi sensei last class, he taught some elements of the TCJ that was familiar to me, yet they evolved. Shirishi sensei told me yesterday that the kihon happo is always evolving. Like a flower evolves.

A couple of years ago I decided to train with Noguchi sensei mainly because his movement and teaching I felt made sense to me. A couple of years ago when Noguchi sensei taught a basic class do to my request