Growing up in the Bujinkan.
I’ve been around for a couple of years. Literally, its been a lot of years. The Bujinkan is one of the best organizations in the world. Not to forget to mention the martial art system. Much has changed after the millennium(2000).
The Bujinkan from what I understand is the biggest martial arts organization in the world. I don’t believe Masaaki Hatsumi (Present day Soke), imagine his organization would take off as it did in the world. What was once the image of secrecy, and ninjutsu. Today is known in just about every martial art style in the world. Perhaps it was never meant to be a martial art, as it is known today. It may have meant more to those families, and grandmasters then what many of us believe. It was kept quiet, and in the shadows (per-say). By the mid to late 20th century, that changed. Probably a hand full of foreigners arrived in Japan around the 1900s looking for the ninja. Hard to keep a tangible phenomenal a secret in the western world. All it took was a few books on the topic to pop up. Speculation, mixed with curiousity, brought the seeker filled with courage to the door of the Bujinkan present day Soke.
This widespread of interest may have been the turning point. Back in the 80s, the majority of people didn’t have a few thousand of dollars to journey to Japan. Stephen Hayes mainly is the one responsible for the widespread of ninjutsu. There were others, few and far between.
Rank (grades) seems to be an unfortunate nowadays. Many have the means to travel to Japan these days. When I was in Japan last. I was in the right place, at the right time. It was the class of a Japanese shihan. During the tea break, he spoke about the early days of training. He said how training has changed, and the behavior of many young practitioners journeying to japan to train with the last Ninja Master. That was seriously the pivotal point in my life. Growing up was eminent. The desire for advancement was no longer a priority. Nowadays, people promote others easily in exchange for being invited to do seminars. This in turn affords trips to Japan. Rank in the west seems to be far more important then character, and leadership quality. The standards has swindled. Imagine being a 10th to 15th degree, and between the ages of 20 to 35 years of age. The license itself has more character, and leadership quality, then the holder. Not to be negative. However, experience is not a factor. Experience in life not only in martial arts, requires time, dedication, knowing oneself, compassion, humility, etc. Deprivation of growth does injustice!
“The world needs demonstration more than it needs teaching” – Wallace D. Wattles
This particular Japanese shihan said people travel to Japan to learn how to mimic Hatsumi sensei, never to realize what he went through to discover himself. I would like to share something I read the other day.
This guy was offering a service. The service only took about 3 minutes. However, he charged a heft sum for his service (1000s of dollars). The guy who needed the service, asked.
” Why is your service expensive for 3 minutes”. The answer: “It took me 30 plus years to learn this service, and do it in 3 minutes”.
The point to the story is clear. It takes many years to develop skill sets, and tools. There is no other way. Even for the gifted pupils.
Was speaking to a fellow buyu the other day, via messaging. I mentioned how great it was to see change happening among those who were concern with a particular event. Especially the instructor teaching at this event. My friend response first was the credentials of the instructor. And how many years he has been training, and learning. Was great to hear!
The majority of young instructors, is more interested in rank, and how many trips to japan then experience. Experience cannot be acquired by journeying somewhere. Yes, its part of the process. Experience transform into wisdom via time. Trial and error!
Hopefully this will change one day. Maybe not. Only nature knows!