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Arctos1964
5/23/2008 10:46pm,
Forum Moderators: This is a slightly edited re-post originally on Newbietown. If it does not meet the standards of this forum, please feel free to delete it but I would appreciate the courtesy of knowing where I erred.

Original Post

Hi All:

Ok, even after I've stated publicly that I have enjoyed the various training I've done (including ninjitsu) and that I'm pretty neutral about various clubs, now I'm being made a liar of.

There is a school here that I would really really like to "out". I would appreciate tips from the experienced people I've read here.

This isn't a personal vendetta, so I'll post their website here along with a few facts:

http://ninpobugei.com/

Like many other suspicious clubs, they are laying claim to many hundreds of years of training.

They are running a "black belt club" that is currently running at $500.00 per month and a "minimum of 6 students". It started at $1000.00 / month PLUS another $ 500.00 a month to cover the rent of the space. This was to be paid a year up front. Then it went down to $600.00 / month, then the $500.00, payable six months in advance. Apparently they are very flexible regarding their actual monetary needs . . .

Unlike many other places, they openly solicit funds from their students for rent, supplies, trips for the staff and so on.

And so on and so on and so on . . .

To me, this is the kind of reprehensible behaviour that gives us all a bad reputation.

Pointers, please on my next steps.

hiken
5/23/2008 11:14pm,
Other than outrageous fees, what exactly are you trying to "out"?

SuperGuido
5/23/2008 11:15pm,
First off, you're treading very dangerous ground here.

1. The school sounds like a McDojo.

2. The school is NOT Bullshido...

...in the sense that it is not a "real" style, per se.

The style is Genbukan Ninpo, which is an offshoot of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

Genbukan Ninpo, as an organization and as a collection of styles, is considered "legit", as far as "Fraudulent Styles" go.

In fact...some might even say that Tanemura Sensei is a bigger badass than Hatsumi Sensei, as he's a retired police chief and holds several Menkyo Kaiden that Hatsumi does not.

So...

...if you're trying to attack this school, make sure you attack their business practices, and not necessarily their style.

Arctos1964
5/23/2008 11:50pm,
Other than outrageous fees, what exactly are you trying to "out"?

Good question, reasonably easily answered but maybe not really clear. The entire website makes me twitch, given the level and amount of deadly killer training claimed. The instructors see fit to puff up their qualifications with items like "Restricted and Unrestricted Firearms Certified" which means that he passed a $100.00 course to obtain a firearms buyer's licence (Canada) and Reiki Instructor, a truly lethal martial art.

Clever marketing, to be sure.

Arctos1964
5/23/2008 11:59pm,
First off, you're treading very dangerous ground here.

1. The school sounds like a McDojo.

2. The school is NOT Bullshido...

...in the sense that it is not a "real" style, per se.

The style is Genbukan Ninpo, which is an offshoot of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

Genbukan Ninpo, as an organization and as a collection of styles, is considered "legit", as far as "Fraudulent Styles" go.

In fact...some might even say that Tanemura Sensei is a bigger badass than Hatsumi Sensei, as he's a retired police chief and holds several Menkyo Kaiden that Hatsumi does not.

So...

...if you're trying to attack this school, make sure you attack their business practices, and not necessarily their style.

Thank you for the well thought-out reply. I might re-state here that this is not a vendetta and I am not attacking them. I believe in the 11th commandment but I have no intention of giving them my money. I posted this because this forum also states that it includes McDojos. I have a couple of questions, the easiest of which is the first one: in what manner is this "dangerous ground"?

7thSamurai
5/24/2008 12:14am,
First, I think you should reread the section on the blackbelt club carefully before being so concerned about the fees charged.

"The program's success will rely heavily on active participation of the student body. A minimum of 8 students are required for the program to officially launch. These monies will go to help Sensei and the dojo, as he will be able to commit to the dojo full time and be a much more available resource for students in all areas of their lives. We all know how much he dreams of this and we can make it a reality if we get enough involvement."

Reading this, I think it's relatively easy to see that the individual offering the classes is interested in teaching full time. I think there are others on the board who own/run schools and I think they've hashed and rehashed on numerous occassions the expense of running a school. It sounds like he would be living off the income from the school.

Then, I think you should visit the Genbukan (http://www.genbukan.org/cgi-bin/site.pl) website, click to the forum section, and post some questions there. I'm certain, actually I know, that Mr. Coleman and some of the other moderators would gladly answer any questions you have regarding their instructors.

I've met a few Genbukan practitioners and I have a good deal of respect for them. They don't strike me as Booj spooks. I'd be surprised to meet one who behaved in anything other than a professional manner.

Arctos1964
5/24/2008 1:07am,
Hello, 7th Samurai:

I usually post replies under the original but I didn't want to stretch the window too badly.

Some clarification is in order:

First, what follows is not trying to begin an argument. I truly appreciate the time taken by everyone who answers my posts/replies/questions and more so a lengthy reply as your own. Please accept my thanks in advance.

I have thoroughly read their website, having been shown it by a friend, hence my historical listing of their fees.

I believe that they are entitled to whatever fees they can obtain, the 11th commandment.

I also teach martial arts and am familiar with the costs involved in renting space at community centres, no different than what they are doing. I personally don't have the cojones to openly ask for fees, plus the rent, plus supplies, plus training space, plus donations to send me on trips.

I have been on the forums: here is an example:

Mr Manuel Goncalves wrote: "email me if yur in the Ontario, Canada region , there is genbukan that i looked into that only has classes once a week ,so email me location and we can arrange sometihng , i need a fellow ninpo pratice/sparring buddy ."

Mr Wideman replies: "Mr. Concalves,To answer your questions. First off, you should be polite when speaking with a senior instructor of the organization. Never just start off a response by the persons name.
You still have not answered my question if you are a genbukan member and what is your number.
If the gentleman is a Genbukan member close to you he would be training at Sean's dojo because that is the only dojo in the area. So if he is not at Seans dojo he would not be a Canadian Genbukan member within your area.
Is it correct for you to train with another Genbukan member from another dojo, "No". Not unless you have your teachers permission. Your teacher knows you the best and when you are ready to have new skills passed on to you."

Let me be clear here: If I decided to open a school here in Canada and call it ninjitsu, ninpo, aikido-waza or oogy-boogy, that would be my concern. If I want to seek out and train with anyone I want, that is also my business. The attitude demonstrated by the above posting very nicely shows my concerns about what I see railed against over and over on Bullshido.

I have also met and trained with Genbukan gentlemen and have been variously impressed or not depending on the individual, the same as with anything else I've done in my life.

My sincere thanks for the replies and the thought taken in them

Dsimon3387
5/24/2008 2:38pm,
Genbukan is a somewhat tightly regulated family, unless things have changed considerably over the years. I am willing to bet that the organization is aware of what this school's policies are.

Its pretty amazing how much they have grown.... Seems like yesterday that Tanamura had exactly five Shodans!

Arctos1964
5/24/2008 3:10pm,
Its pretty amazing how much they have grown.... Seems like yesterday that Tanamura had exactly five Shodans![/quote]

I agree with the last, for sure. I haven't seen this kind of growth in martial arts schools since the early 80's. Then, I attributed it to all the ninja movies. What do you think it is this time?

OniSan81
5/24/2008 3:22pm,
I've met and been hit by Kyoshi Wideman. I don't want to get involved too much in this thread. I will simply say this, I've done martial arts for over twenty years, including Kyokushin, Kenpo, Submissions, MMA etc etc. Kiyoshi Wideman hit me harder than I've ever been hit in my life, and he has a very strong reputation as a tough instructor. I would be very much honored and happy to train with him. In my opinion, he is very legitimate. He is also a very kind and patient instructor, but yeah, he's tough.

As for the fees and all, that's his business. I think he can most certainly, however, make it worth a student's time and money. Best would be to train with him and see.

M-Tri
5/24/2008 3:35pm,
I did Genbukan Ninpo for a couple years, and enjoyed it thoroughly. It can definitely be considered a tantamount to LARPing for obvious reasons, but it's fun and they do a lot of cool stuff.

Not to mentioon it actually introduced me to grappling, and ultimately BJJ which has been my entire life the past couple years.


The price seems a lot more outrageous now, but it's hardly a bullshido issue IMO.

Gezere
5/24/2008 5:45pm,
I had done Genbukan Ninpo Bugei as well. I liked the structure and strict approach of the org better than the Buj but since crossing over to the "dark side" I look back at a couple of things and find I no longer agree with them. I respect Tanemura but I disagree greatly with his views on MA and how he sees ninpo bugei. Tanemura looks down on all "sport" MA practice and feels that his is the highest form of MA. Nothing wrong with that becuase if you don't believe in you art who will; however, much like the Buj I look back and see many many pple that would get slaughtered in an actual fight and someone form a lowly "sport" back ground and still a lot of LARPing. Unlike the Buj you don't really get guys who try pull rank on you by how much more they LARP than you.

OniSan81
5/24/2008 8:03pm,
Agreed in general. However, I do know that many cross train other arts, and that it seems as though cross training is promoted in the Genbukan, at least it is for me. More specifically, it seems as though martial knowledge is appreciated. My teacher also practices FMA.

I have been extremely pleasently surprised in the Genbukan. It is a place where I plan on continuing to learn from, and with an instructor whom I deeply respect.

DerAuslander
5/24/2008 8:09pm,
OP: You need to tighten up & clarify exactly what it is you're investigating here.

Arctos1964
5/24/2008 8:21pm,
Hello Everyone:

My thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to my initial thread. On re-reading everyone's replies, I would like to outline some (really obvious to everyone else, it seems) conclusions and some clarifications.

First, I have no axe to grind against Genbukan or any other style. I genuinely apologise to anyone who took that impression from my posting. I have experience with a number of styles over the years and have enjoyed them for different reasons at different times.

Second, as I have stated elsewhere, martial arts has become --at least in this city-- a purely business transaction, rather than a learning experience. People have the absolute right to spend or charge whatever they wish and my personal opinion has no bearing. They also have the right to accept the authority of whomever they wish, as free people have always been able to.

Last, I decided to make this final posting to state that I have received the information that I requested and, unless others wish to continue it, that the Forum Moderators delete it to keep this forum from becoming more cluttered. If anyone else wishes to contact me privately, please feel free.

Thanks to everyone.

Dsimon3387
5/24/2008 10:20pm,
Its pretty amazing how much they have grown.... Seems like yesterday that Tanamura had exactly five Shodans!

I agree with the last, for sure. I haven't seen this kind of growth in martial arts schools since the early 80's. Then, I attributed it to all the ninja movies. What do you think it is this time?[/quote]

Thats a good question. I mean I remember hanging out in Jessie Shanks Dojo and him telling me that Tanemura was going to be a big player in the years to come... this being in the mid eighties... and damn if he was not right.

If I had to take a guess I would say that Tanemura was kind of like "Lowe's hardware compared to Home Depot".... I mean when the Bujinkan was commercially viable the Genbukan folks could benefitt considerably as the second biggest group in that regard. Conversaly when the Buj became less fashionable the Genbukan could distinquish themselves and differentiate themselves.... the best of both words really. :icon_thum