The Reutlingen Bujinkan Dojo is passionately led by Holger Kunzmann. Leading a busy life, Holger manages to support his own training and students with constant trips to Japan to continue his study. A main interest of Holgers is the attainment of correct fundamental waza in order to progress with true skill. This should be the same for everyone, but sadly in the Bujinkan, it isn’t.
Holger has committed himself to pursuing strict training to obtain solid kihon from Someya Sensei. He then returns to his dojo and passess on to his students a feeling of structure that is welcomed by his students. In combination with kihon practise, Holger also balances the training with allowing stduents to more freely express themselves with henka as more commonly seen and practise in Japan with the various Shihan and Soke.
Balance is the key. So many people around the world study the martial arts without balance. The Bujinkan is expanding, but the quality isn’t. Quality training is the road to true growth and understanding of Bujinkan Budo. Progressing honestly, correctly and slowly, is the only way to develop proficient skills to enable one to “play” safely with henka.
If we do not teach our body through structured waza, we will be unable to see or feel the truth behind the principles of taijutsu, history, tradition, and the overall mechanics of the body to perform effective movements of self protection. It is only once we have the waza inbedded in our bones, that we can move more freely and neutrally. There is always a process to learning. Budo is no exception.
I was invited to pass on to Holgers dojo, current training that I’d been recieving in Japan. To me, this is constantly a challenge, and a time for self reflection and honest evaluation of my current training ability. We thought about and attempted to integrate with our minimal understanding the concept of Saino Kon KI and also the theme of Nawa no Kankaku.
Holgers students are wonderful and very approachable people who study the arts of the Bujinkan with enthusiasm and a real sense of determination. The structure of Holgers classes has given his students the ability “to see” and more clearly perform the henka/waza shown during instruction.
From developing and concentrating ( in the early parts of training ) essential form and correct posture, I see that his students have control over their bodies, and are much more aware of their positions, distance, and overall concept of training. It is very encouraging to watch.
Many people believe that you don’t need waza or need to concentrate on the forms. Basically, these people say this because they can’t do them, or, they feel that at their level, it’s unecessary. For the Shidoshi and Shihan around the world, we have been given a serious, but enjoyable task of passing on the cultural arts of the Bujinkan. This responsibility should not be taken lightly.
The Bujinkan will either get weaker or stronger, depending on the quality of instruction. If shidoshi instruct without this in mind, and without constantly re-evaluating their actual ability, the next generation will be plagued with bad habits and poor structure. If this happens, the Bujinkan arts that Soke has tried so hard to pass on to the world, will eventually just become bastardised and fade away.
Reutlingen Dojo Buyu.
I would like to pass on my special thanks to Holger. Firstly, for being a good friend, and secondly, believing that I had something good enough within me to teach his students. Holger is an earnest man who pursues all he puts his mind to with conviction. He is a future generation leader by naturally just following his own nature. This has become evident with his dojo increasing rapidly day by day and the support from surrounding European dojos who ask him for seminars.
My warmest regards to him and his family.