PDA

View Full Version : Shihan Dean Rostohar - Bujinkan Instructor Passing Kali off as Bujinkan



Pages : [1] 2

DerAuslander
1/22/2015 2:28am,
This video was brought to the attention by a friend of mine who wanted to know if this was legitimate ninjutsu, because he felt it had a lot of Kali-feel to it. I've had the opportunity to train in a bit of Jinenkan and Bujinkan tantojutsu and tantodori, as well as teaching JKD Kali and trained in Inayan, Marcaida Kali, Pekiti Tersia, & Serrada Escrima.

Here's the video he sent me.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvn3Zgctc2A&feature=youtu.be

For comparison, here is what the Takamatsuden kata that Bujinkan tantojutsu is based on look like:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XVVsN6GEkI&feature=youtu.be

Evidently, the instructor in this video, Shihan Dean Rostohar, maintains that all this material is Bujinkan, and doesn't have any Kali or FMA influence. He has evidently become the "Bujinkan Knife Guy", authorized by Hatsumi to teach Bujinkan knife fighting around the world.

Here is another video of Shihan Rostohar teaching knife.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ElC1eKlJcI&feature=youtu.be

And here is another video of orthodox Takamatsuden tantojutsu kata.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEtz6nFHkGk&feature=youtu.be

The following video is the video that shows the clearest FMA. It's all Hubud. Hubud is an essential FMA drill, found in countless forms of FMA...and nowhere in the Japanese arts.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdE40sag9I8&feature=youtu.be

If Shihan Rostohar has modified Bujinkan tantojutsu with FMA concepts, that would be one issue, and one Bullshido would not have a problem with.

However, if he is actually covering up that this material is highly based (almost entirely) on FMA...

Fuzzy
1/22/2015 4:29am,
For what its worth I'll go ahead and confirm that that's definitely FMA.

plasma
1/22/2015 5:43am,
And I'll confirm that those movement do not exist in any of the Takamatsu-den Ryu-Ha.

I have trained and sparred with many Kali & JKD knife people over the years and my Japanese Tantojutsu has a few similar movements but overall very different than what is taught in FMA.

Chili Pepper
1/22/2015 9:15am,
The first video has at least a little Booj movement to it, but otherwise, yeah, all FMA.

Who wants to just be a guro, when you can be a 15th-dan ninja spec ops warrior?

DerAuslander
1/22/2015 1:42pm,
The first video has at least a little Booj movement to it, but otherwise, yeah, all FMA.

Who wants to just be a guro, when you can be a 15th-dan ninja spec ops warrior?

The issue is not so much that he's trained in Kali and also Bujinkan, but that he and his followers are saying this is all Bujinkan.

jspeedy
1/22/2015 3:25pm,
Saw this thread on that other ma forum, lots of turds there. The issue is, where does the guy claim it's all ninjutsu? That's debatable. The other forum idiots (other thread, other site) have read too much Bruce Lee. The whole "if it's effective, who cares where it came from" is beside the point if the instructor is misleading students to think they'll learn that in ninjutsu.

Styygens
1/23/2015 2:15pm,
Let's talk about this video as background:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1421914688&feature=player_embedded&v=fEtz6nFHkGk&x-yt-cl=84503534

This is Jinen Ryu Tantojutsu from the Jinenkan headed by Manaka. In this X-Kan, techniques are named Jinen Ryu when they are derived from the original Takamatsuden ryuha, but not part of them, or draw on his other martial arts training. This website provides an essay specifically about tantojutsu in Jinen Ryu:
http://www.jinenkan-ottawa.com/tantojutsu.html

Here's the paragraph I find most relevant:

When Manaka Sensei created the Jinen Ryu, he faced the challenge of understanding the principles of the weapon, but needing a syllabus of formal kata to teach from. Realizing that moving the whole body, and not focusing solely on the knife, was the key, he drew on Koto Ryu Koppojutsu and Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu (in which he has menkyo-kaiden license) for the body movement. Striking with the knife involves essentially the same movements as unarmed strikes. Manaka Sensei placed the highest importance on muto (“no sword”); since using a short knife to intercept an opponent’s weapon is almost impossible, moving the body as if unarmed is a better approach. The result is Jinen Ryu Tantojutsu.

I bolded the two most interesting statements. He needed a syllabus of formal kata, and he based the movements on Koto Ryu and Gyokko Ryu. This sounds like formal kata for tanto did not already exist within the Takamatsuden; and specifically not within Koto or Gyokko Ryu.

About ten years ago, I started looking for tantojutsu within the Bujinkan, and ultimately came to the conclusion then that no coherent system of tantojutsu existed.

Let's start with the source, Hatsumi, and his Knife and Pistol book

http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mDLeEjQ7_F-vT9oppkYGYxg.jpg

In this book, Hatsumi shows a series of knife versus knife techniques. The English translation says they are based on Koto Ryu movement. I can't imagine why Hatsumi would choose to demonstrate techniques "based on" a ryu if he had a formal syllabus available in some ryu. I'm not aware of any video in which Hatsumi demonstrates tanto kata -- if someone else is, please let me know.

Stephen Hayes drops knife techniques into many of his early books. To my knowledge, none of them are attributed to a specific ryu, although this was during the period in which everything was related back to Togakure Ryu. I briefly looked through the books and none of his techniques resemble Rostohar's. The Hayes techniques tend to be drawn out and angular (in fact, what you might expect from Koto Ryu or Kukishin Ryu movement).

Jack Hoban's book on tantojutsu form the 1980's...
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51eYd9FHteL.jpg
was really about unarmed knife defense and the psychology of dealing with the knife. No in-depth, tantojutsu, knife-on-knife technique here...

Bud Malmstrom wrote a Black Belt Magazine article on the same topic of unarmed knife defense which was collected in The Ultimate Guide to Knife Combat:

http://store.blackbeltmag.com/imagesproc/L2ltYWdlcy9wcm9kdWN0LzQ4Ny1LbmlmZS1Db21iYXQuanBn_H _SW215.jpg

I have taken several seminars with Malmstrom regarding the use of the knife and asked him many questions about knife technique. As I understand it, he developed his knife fighting method after sparring with opponents versed in FMA. Malmstrom's method uses what is best described as a modified Ichimonji kamae that blades the body and puts your own knife between you and the opponent. The movement is consistent with what's already been described above: angular and circular, Koto and Gyokko Ryuha, and very much in the Japanese style. The strategy of using the knife, however, borrows from Defanging the Snake and involves intercepting the opponent's attacking limb.

Shoto Tanemura's book Ninpo Secrets includes a Genbukan view of tantojutsu...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AH844RGTL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The few included techniques are substantially the same as the Bujinkan techniques and characteristically JMA movement. Plasma is the Genbukan expert and may know more, but this book didn't challenge my growing belief that there simply was no coherent system of specific tantojutsu in the Takamatsuden. In fact, after reading this book, I came away with the conviction that knife technique in the Takamatsuden probably borrowed heavily from short sword technique and muto dori. Koto Ryu and Gyokko Ryu, in fact, include short sword muto dori techniques in their later sections.

As I was still interested in tantojutsu, and fast running out of potential [legit] sources, I ordered the Tantojutsu VHS (yes, it was awhile ago...) from Bugei Trading Company which showcased Don Angier and Yanagi Ryu technique. I liked this video, although it's a little dated now. Generally speaking, the demonstrated techniques showed recognizably JMA movement and I could easily follow them. The techniques tend to be short and pretty direct, and drawing the tanto, redirecting the attack, and then targetting some vital spot. For the most part, the target would've been valid whether or not the opponent was wearing armor.

I have also watched James Williams demonstrate his related Nami Ryu tanto techniques and they are very similar and recognizably Japanese in movement.

I've watched a lot of tantojutsu techniques over the years -- and as you might guess, some are of dubious origin. This Ogawa Ryu video is one of those...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHvK3ri8kcU

What's interesting is that it still looks like it was derived from Japanese martial arts techniques. I may not be able to verify it as authentic, but I'm prepared to say it is a JMA-derivative of some sort.

This, on the other hand:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdE40sag9I8

Bears no relation to any of the tantojutsu -- good, bad, verified authentic, or unverified -- that I've trained or watched. It is not what was taught in the Bujinkan ten years ago as "knife technique" and more importantly, it doesn't even look like a direct evolution from the Bujinkan of ten years ago.

It does look like the FMA Hubud I've trained over the past five years or so.

W. Rabbit
1/24/2015 12:19am,
The Bujinkan philosophy has always been based on theft. They've stolen so much from other JMA, is it really that surprising they'd steal from outside?


“A good martial artist must be able to ‘steal‘ the information he/she is learning in order to adapt that ‘feeling‘ to their own taijutsu. Interpret and understand what it is all about, including all the secrets that are subtlties so small you cannot always see them!” - Hatsumi

I watched a Kacem Zhougari video recently where he talked about the importance of students "stealing technique" vs. being taught it.

I guess in some cases it's literal. "Shinobi" sometimes means "to steal" doesn't it?

Fucking ninjas. Watch your back.

Styygens
1/25/2015 12:50pm,
I've been looking for more tantojutsu videos for comparison purposes...

This is a video uploaded by a Bujinkan school in Argentina four years ago. I do not recognize all the techniques, but I have had several of the techniques taught to me by other Bujinkan teachers.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT5LCntXCNA

Here's a Bujinkan video uploaded one year ago. The first minute or so looks like someone applying typical Budo Taijutsu Kamae and tai sabaki to using a knife. That's fairly standard practice with any weapon in Bujinkan, even if the weapon has traditional kata. Just after the minute mark, however, we see a drill that bears a strong resemblance to FMA Hubud (with a hybridized JMA/FMA footwork I recognize -- because I do it too), but not a Hubud drill I've personally seen. But sure enough at about 1:20, it turns into a Hubud drill I recognize. Interesting...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH0TDl-g3GQ

How about some other JMA (or JMA-derived) tantojutsu styles to compare the kind of movement?

I mentioned Don Angier and Yanagi Ryu in my previous post, but didn't post a video. Here's a video showing the Aikijujutsu of Yanagi Ryu and the related Tantojutsu (starting around 2:25 or so)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvWiYcxTm2A

And James Williams is advertising his more modern approach to tanto for a DVD series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiLbpML16II

Here's a video from the user BUDO, who apparently is demonstrating Heian Ryu (no idea about the origin or provenance of the school) which clearly demonstrates JMA-type movement and footwork:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJCquWYfaQ0
(As an added bonus to this video, you can cringe about the instructor using what appears to be a live knife in a kydex sheath for a training tool...)

Styygens
1/25/2015 12:54pm,
If only there was a video clearly demonstrating the JMA approach to knife and then breaking down the FMA approach?
Oh, wait...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4aZ2x8P-rI
(And, of course there are Navy SEALs involved. It's always better with Navy SEALs.)

One thing I've learned is that there are a lot of really bad tantojutsu videos on YouTube, and mixing it with FMA is clearly a trend. Maybe because there is so much interest in using the knife, and so few remaining legitimate tantojutsu schools.

vaquero de las nalgas
1/25/2015 10:21pm,
WTF is legitimate Ninjutsu?

plasma
1/26/2015 6:54am,
WTF is legitimate Ninjutsu?

The reality is that legitimate Ninjutsu doesn't exist as the modern X-kans are mostly cobbled together techniques from various ninjutsu manuals mixed in with Traditional Jujutsu. However, for the sake of the thread, legitimate Ninjutsu can be viewed as the Takamatsu-den arts.

Lane
2/01/2015 2:59pm,
The Jinenkan video does not look like koryu tantojutsu (the Yanagi Ryu video, which is awesome, by the way, does). It looks like Takamatsu-den taijutsu with a knife in your hand, maybe a little chanbara choreography thrown in. I could hear the drums.

It should surprise precisely NO ONE, however, that all knife fighting, if not completely based in fantasy, looks like FMA. Knives are not super-complex weapons, and the repertoire of "effective ways to kill with a knife" is not so large that you won't see quite a bit of overlap. That aside, I can think of very few koryu ryuha that actually include tantojutsu as part of their regular syllabus, and vanishingly few of them exist in the US.

soft touch
2/01/2015 3:55pm,
The Jinenkan video does not look like koryu tantojutsu (the Yanagi Ryu video, which is awesome, by the way, does). It looks like Takamatsu-den taijutsu with a knife in your hand, maybe a little chanbara choreography thrown in. I could hear the drums.

It should surprise precisely NO ONE, however, that all knife fighting, if not completely based in fantasy, looks like FMA. Knives are not super-complex weapons, and the repertoire of "effective ways to kill with a knife" is not so large that you won't see quite a bit of overlap. That aside, I can think of very few koryu ryuha that actually include tantojutsu as part of their regular syllabus, and vanishingly few of them exist in the US.
with the disclaimer that I don't have much (read: more than a few hours) of experience in any fma other than balintawak, I'd argue that knife fighting based around stabbing/shanking as the primary tools (inmate ryu possibly) would be substantially different to fma in many ways

jwinch2
2/01/2015 5:37pm,
I have seen tantojustu from a high ranking Bujinkan practitioner, and it looked nothing like the video in the OP at all. Don Roley Sensei was kind enough to send me a video of his knife work several years ago, and it was obvious to see the differences between it and FMA. http://www.coloradospringsninjutsu.com/Instructor.html

In addition, one can look at the tantojutsu waza from Koryu and non-Koryu Japanese martial arts and see the distinct similarities with authentic Bujinkan tantojutsu and the distinct differences between that and what is shown in the video in the OP of this thread. Some arts which are known for their tantojutsu are mentioned in this article.
http://www.ustjf.us/news/tanto-jutsu.html


Mr. Rostohar has obviously studied FMA and is blending it in with whatever else he has done in the past. In fact, if you watch the first video again and only focus on the footwork, one can easily see this is not Japanese in origin. For the record, I don't have a problem with the blending thing, but one should be intellectually honest about what they are teaching as well as giving proper credit for where you got your skills and knowledge.


In addition to Mr. Roley, who I mentioned above, I would highly recommend contacting Mr. Brian VanCice, who has studied both Bujinkan and FMA for many years. He could give a great perspective on the differences between FMA knife work, and Bujinkan tantojutsu. He has also seen Don Roley's knife material and commented to me on the noticeable differences between it and FMA knife work, and that it was an excellent example of the way that Bujinkan approaches the knife.
http://www.instinctiveresponsetraini...structors.html

jspeedy
2/01/2015 8:09pm,
The Jinenkan video does not look like koryu tantojutsu (the Yanagi Ryu video, which is awesome, by the way, does). It looks like Takamatsu-den taijutsu with a knife in your hand, maybe a little chanbara choreography thrown in. I could hear the drums.

It should surprise precisely NO ONE, however, that all knife fighting, if not completely based in fantasy, looks like FMA. Knives are not super-complex weapons, and the repertoire of "effective ways to kill with a knife" is not so large that you won't see quite a bit of overlap. That aside, I can think of very few koryu ryuha that actually include tantojutsu as part of their regular syllabus, and vanishingly few of them exist in the US.
Ah yes, the old "the human body can only move in so many ways" cliche. I don't think that is the case here. If it were I'd assume there'd be other guys in the same system moving similarly. I am curious if any other blade arts that don't draw from fMA move similarly. Some combatives stuff I've seen looks similar (hock hockheim) but I believe he has an fMA background.