BUJINKAN HOMBU DOJO FOREIGN RESIDENT STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE REAL NINJUTSU ON JAPANESE TELEVISION
What an experience. Being invited by Peter King and attending as an instructor at his Taikai was an honor. After growing up and seeing Peter in old footage from Taikai and Daikomyosai from Japan, I never thought I would be given the absolute privilege to stand and teach beside him.
It was very heart warming to sit numerous times and discuss the Bujinkan and get an understanding of Peters tremendous experience. It was nice to also sit and chat with buyu such as Andy Whalley, Gillian Booth, Francis Haynes, Alex Meehan, Simon Yeo, Norman Smithers, Chris Rowarth, Duncan Olby and many more. It really reminded me of the thanks we should give to Soke for these great experiences.
It was also a great moment for me to be reunited with my first teacher and friend, Richard Jones. It was actually difficult to hold back the tears at times during our conversations while reminiscing about our times together in Tasmania. It was Richard who enlightened to this life. It is him who gave me a path to follow from the age of 14. My experiences are all indebted to him.
I strongly believe that the relationship of the teacher and student is the most important. I came to really feel and appreciate this when being with him for a week here in London. It had been 10 years since our last meeting.
The Taikai boasted more than 70 participants from Ireland, Portugal, Germany, France, Australia and around the United Kingdom. We all came together with the single purpose of celebrating Peters accomplishment of maintaining and inspiring a ( worldwide ) dojo full of students for over 25 years. Peter has travelled extensively and has been training in martial arts for decades. His first trip ( I believe ) to Japan was in 1981 to train in a traditional Jujutsu school.
After some technical issues, we were able to present a message from Soke that was organised by Mark Lithgow. Soke was very complimentary of Peter and his efforts over the last 25 years. It was a very nice moment to have this personal message to Peter shared to all people attending.
Peter King, Mark Lithgow, Norman Smithers and myself worked together to present the training. It was a very rewarding experience.
I felt like I was the convict that had been given a royal pardon to return to the mother land to perform for the King. Lol. It was also nice to spend some time with Peter in his Clinic and also be given some physical therapy from him. He truly understands his trade and it was very easy to relax. Even though he said I needed to remove the apprehensive face I had as he begun. lol.
Actually, I was chosen ( so I am told ) because of my connection to his dojo through Richard. Richard was one of the founding students of the dojo and then in 1988 moved to Tasmania. I then became a founding member of the Tasmanian Bujinkan Dojo as established by Richard. That is the connection. And, in the spirit of ” maintaining the connection”, we came together to celebrate the efforts of an individual and the human relations created as a result.
Soke often says ” don`t sever the connection “. He also explains the concept of tsunagaru or ” connections “. This is often believed to be physical, but it is more spiritual I believe. Together as buyu, we come together with a common bond – the love of budo. Through this love, we learn the arts of tolerance,fortitude,acceptance, etc. We are learning to discover what it takes to develop relationships and therefore to develop communities. So, in a greater sence. We are learning how to develop life and sustain life for everyone. This is the goal of budo – survival.
There are those around the world that do not attend seminars, Taikai, or the like. Some people have weaknesses in character that alienate themselves through fear of having to work at developing a larger heart. These people often feel they are correct and do not need others. It`s all about making things transparent. As a result, we learn about how to live within the kukan and move freely in life with no enemies. It is about developing ones Saino Kon KI.
Gillian Booth, Norman Smithers and Jake Sharpstone
People with utsuwa that are small will try to develop their own kingdom and build walls around them. These people try to gain territory and do so without truly understanding freedom. When people build high walls around them, they cannot see past them. They then retreat to their own minds for answers. This is where people become caught in their own world and cannot separate the devils and angels within. They become sick and end up disappearing into their own monologue.
The two days went quickly and without any concern. I`m sure everyone will agree that it was a celebration worth celebrating.Training naturally evolved as we fed from each other during the training.
On saturday evening we congregated at a hotel for a dinner buffet. Peter was presented with a gift of appreciation for his 25 years for strongly contributing to the establishment the Bujinkan in Britain. Peter was also presented a gift from the Irish contingent for his support and influence in their training for many years.
We all had a wonderful time. Thank you Peter and your dojo for this great event. We look forward to the 5oth Anniversary!
Shugyo Training times during the Daikomyosai are as follow:
Tuesday 23rd November
Monday 29th November
7pm – 9pm
Tuesday 7th December
3pm – 5pm
Hombu Dojo ( only if the Japanese Shitennou are not using it at this time )
Sunday 21st November
Sunday 28th November
4pm – 6pm
Sunday 5th December
4pm – 6pm
Last nights training at Steffen Frohlichs Dojo in Frankfurt was very enjoyable.
The Dojo is well established. It had a wonderful atmosphere and the people were very approachable and open to learning and training.
The training moved quickly.
We stopped for tea and relaxed and talked, just like in Japan.
I felt very comfortable and the training flowed very well, I thought. At the end, I was surprised to be asked to come to teach a seminar by Steffen.
This was a very humble experience for me, as will be teaching alongside Peter King on the weekend at his 25th Dojo Anniversary Taikai.
These people I am talking to now are people I only used to read about and see in books and magazines. The Bujinkan is wonderful. Now I am able to sit next to and talk to these people who were training when I was just beginning in the Bujinkan. And, when you talk to them, they are very accepting and relaxed people. I really feel ” the heart of a three year child ” in many of these people.
They ( to me ) have really captured the ” kokoro ” of Sokes Bujinkan Dojo and teachings. It is fantastic to be a part of this isn`t it!
Steffen and Sabine have been in the Bujinkan for many, many years. They are very nice and successful people in society and are wonderful ambassadors of the Bujinkan Dojo.
As are his students. In his words he said, ” there are only good people in my dojo, the bad are wiped out.”
After class I was asked by Sabine to sign a guest book. I looked through it and found that Soke,Noguchi Sensei,Sveneric Bogsater,Jack Hoban, Kevin Millis and many more, have visited the dojo over the years.
It was a great honor to be given the same chance. It was then ( at the point of seeing the guest book ) that I understood the ” feeling ” I recieved when entering the dojo. It was the years of wonderful Bujinkan Sensei projecting the Bujinkan Heart.
I was given the privelage of demonstrating Bujinkan Budo on Japanese Television. From the beginning, I knew that whatever I did, it would be difficult to give a good example. This was because we were at the mercy of the Director and the editorial department, not to mention my own nerves. Also, the television show we were to be on was a very light hearted “variety show” aimed a comedic entertainment.
Regardless, I took the opportunity to learn first hand what Soke often talks about in regards to public demonstrations for the mass media.
Alongside Dimitri and Daniel, I demonstrated many aspects of budo.However, due to time constraints, they only recorded us performing senban nage and kyoketsu shoge.
This was dissapointing. However, I knew this would happen.
Soke advised me on this type of thing before I went to the studio. However, like most things in life, you never understand the words of wisdom you recieve from your teachers/parents until you experience them directly.
This was one of the main reasons for exploring this avenue of training.
Public demonstrations are very different to normal training. This was something that Senouh Sensei mentioned to me. It has also been mentioned many times by Soke before various Embu.
Many people just perform in front of the camera with no thought of this. They stand and just train as they normally would in the dojo. This is not the idea.Unless, this is what is asked.
Soke, when the camera is running, has often said ” sit or stand like martial artists. When you train, train hard and make it look good!”
So, this is the way I went into the filming. We all did our best and hopefully for those that saw the show, our small part was not too embarrassing. It was a fun show and we flowed with the feeling the best we could.
The footage that was used to introduce Ninjutsu was from Russia. Unfortunately, the Dojo filmed was not Bujinkan, and did not give a good feeling.
It was ( as I said ) unfortunate that we were not given enough time to show the public more of ” true Bujinkan/Ninjutsu ” training from Japan to visually put the wrongs, right.
But, that`s showbiz!
Soke entered the Hombu Dojo with a black and white layout of his new book. We were able to see every page briefly.
The book boasts wonderful photos. Many were taken by Sheila Haddad, Soke said.
Soke also commented that more photos, etc were going to be added later.
We will have to wait until March 2011 for it`s release.
So, until then, keep training and strive for the Essence of the the Martial Arts – The Gokui.