From my time in Japan I heard plenty to suggest that he was a pretty tough guy when he first started teaching. His training methods were also considered pretty extreme, lots of injuries etc. Regardless of whether the techniques are authentic/effective or not, one thing is for sure, he has changed the entire art to suit himself as he gets older. So, all of the hard striking and throwing people with force is gone in favour of taichi like movements that allow an old man to continue teaching. The problem is a lot of gullible types believe that this type of training is more effective than the old school blood and sweat way and that Hatsumi trains this way because he became enlightened to do so after a lifetime of training. If he had simply passed teaching on to a senior and able bodied student there wouldn't be so much debate about the Buj. The ninja element of the history would still be causing chuckles but more along the lines of Tamura's Genbukan which has maintained a modicum more respect because of the quality control.
Originally Posted by shmuel
Most of the original shihan came from judo and karate backgrounds and were already used to contact training. Not all of the original shihan mirror Hatsumi's new softer approach btw - some still strike hard and throw hard. As for him lasting against a Gracie or a UFC fighter goes.... even if they were exactly the same size as him... he would not have stood a chance! There is simply no substitute to day in day out grappling and sparring against different body types - that is something that was never in the Buj, even in the early days.
Sorry.... didn't read further than that post I replied to - I seem to have butted into an anal raping Spartan thread...