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    #46
    Originally posted by Spunky
    How often do we see videos of an "attacker" making some pathetic slow-motion punch and the "defender" flips out and starts cranking on locks and frantically slapping him up and down, magically gets the attacker to the ground who is completely compliant, then kneels down and continues to chain punch the head of the attacker's limp body?
    You see all sorts of things. That doesn't make my point any less relevant. The reason why those videos look so good is because the attackers weren't trying to resist and went along with everything. I was there and saw it. And I was at other Taikai too and saw the same things. That's not only how Hatsumi demonstrated techniques, but that's how everyone else did too. Also you'll see where he stops a lot during the technique to look around and talk. Yeah sure you can say he's instructing, but he's also killing the flow of things.

    You don't honestly expect me to believe that a man in his 70's is just tossing around guys half his age without even breathing hard? Either he's super-human or the attackers just aren't trying.

    It would look less pretty. It might look more realistic. But why is that any more useful to the students? Do you need to see blood drawn to understand a point about balance?
    No you don't need to see blood, but you need something better than compliant attackers throwing lumbering lunge punches and lunge kicks which is what was going on there. There's a reason why those techniques look so good and it isnt' because he has their balance, it's because the attackers weren't resisting at all.

    I wasn't even going to say anything, but the whole hitting Hatsumi is like "fighting a ghost" comment was a bit much. Hatsumi is a mortal man just like anyone else and he isn't magical. I've fought with guys who are much better than I am and are amateur/semi-pro kickboxers and MMA fighters and even I can hit them even if I do get beat myself. If you can't hit a 70+ year old man when you're half his age it isn't because he's ghost-like, it's because you aren't trying very hard.
    Last edited by katana; 9/12/2004 2:52pm, .

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      #47
      I wasn't even going to say anything, but the whole hitting Hatsumi is like "fighting a ghost" comment was a bit much. Hatsumi is a mortal man just like anyone else and he isn't magical.
      I knew I shouldn't have made that comment, I was afraid it would provoke you specifially :) But really now, no one said he is magical, and those aren't my words. I'm sure you could nail him just fine.

      it isnt' because he has their balance, it's because the attackers weren't trying.
      Meh. Some people here see how he keeps them disbalanced and checked from the video clips. You can't?

      You don't honestly expect me to believe that a man in his 70's is just tossing around guys half his age without even breathing hard? Either he's super-human or the attackers just aren't trying.
      You see all sorts of things. That doesn't make my point any less relevant. The reason why those videos look so good is because the attackers weren't trying to resist and went along with everything.
      Okay, guess that wasn't clear. My point was that in those videos the 'defender' is already moving at his physical limits but maybe "pulling his punches." It's absurd because the attacker isn't moving at all and the defender is in fast forward. At least when Hatsumi or the shihan demonstrate, they are able to move very slowly and precisely while the "attacker" must move faster just to keep up. You could speed things up and lash out during the demo, but what difference would it really make? How would it invalidate the points being made?

      If you were concerned about it at the time, what did you do about it?

      Did you ever ask to uke for Hatsumi or any of the shihan? If not at a tai kai, somewhere else?

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        #48
        Originally posted by Spunky
        I knew I shouldn't have made that comment, I was afraid it would provoke you specifially :) But really now, no one said he is magical, and those aren't my words. I'm sure you could nail him just fine.
        It's neither here nor there. If you like what you're doing that's fine. I just thought the Hatsumi love fest needed some perspective on someone who saw the unedited techniques first hand.

        it isnt' because he has their balance, it's because the attackers weren't trying.
        Meh. Some people here see how he keeps them disbalanced and checked from the video clips. You can't?
        All I see are a bunch of guys who threw a pre-determind lunge punch or lunge kick and stood there while they were beat about the body and did nothing back.

        Did you ever ask to uke for Hatsumi or any of the shihan? If not at a tai kai, somewhere else?
        Hatsumi only uke's with people he knows at a Taikai. He would never just bring up some random black belt at a Taikai to be his uke. I've never seen it happen and I've been to several of them.

        You see, when you feel like you need to make a good impression on people in an organization you don't do things to make them look bad. Which is exactly what is going on here in this video. So when it was clear that I was going to get out of the Bujinkan and train in something else I did in fact ask hard questions and do things non-Bujinkan because I didn't care. There were several incidents so I'll only pick a couple as I'm sure you've heard them already:

        1) Asked about groundfighting at one school to a "9th Dan". He tried to do some poor takedown defenses and some poor mount escapes. I simply sat on his chest while he flailed about. I could have rained punches down on his face at will. When he got up (winded) he stated (paraphrasing): "I don't like grappling because it is too hard and Taijutsu should be effortless!" He then ragged on sport-fighting as not being for "the street"

        2) At another school I visited I was asked to throw a punch at the (high ranking) instructor's face. Instead of doing the standard Bujinkan lunge punch I throw a jab/cross combo which clearly would have connected and sent him backwards unexpectedly. He was stunned and then reprimanded me for not punching "correctly." Which is to say, I needed to do the Bujinkan you-can-see-it-coming-from-the-South-Pole lunge punch.

        3) My wife attended a women's self-defense seminar with an American Shihan (10th+ Dan or whatever). It was the typical "Look at how easy it is for a 100lb woman to defeat any attacker." type class. During the gun disarms section my wife was chosen to hold the weapon while this instructor disarmed her. To his surprise, when he moved to do the technique full-speed she evaded with the weapon and "shot" him multiple times. Everyone got a big laugh out of it, and he reminded her that she was holding the weapon "wrong" and should hold it in a particular way. She wasn't holding it wrong BTW. He wanted her to stand in a particular way to make sure she couldn't do the same thing twice, thereby teaching her how to incorrectly stand with a firearm while covering a person. I felt that was pretty cheesy considering that this instructor was an experienced law enforcement officer. BTW, my wife was taking BJJ at the time and thought everything being taught at the seminar was just silly and unworkable for women compared to what she was learning in grappling. I feel embarrassed that I even made her go now that I no longer do Bujinkan training.

        4) At another seminar the instructor (another high rank from Sweden) was showing some type of standing elbow lock. When I was doing it with my partner and it was obviously not working he scolded us for doing it "wrong" and then tried it on me. I resisted like any person and it didn't work on me either. He simply walked away and said we were doing it "wrong" with no other explanation.

        5) At a Taikai one of the Japanese Shihan came over to demonstrate on me a series of punches to the chest. The punches hurt, but certainly after the first one I wouldn't just stand there like he wanted to beat on me. His guard was down the entire time and I could have easily decked him in the head. I don't say this out of ego either because I suck at boxing. I say it because any schmuck would do the same thing.

        I could go on, but you get the idea. Whether consciously or not, many of the partners are cooperating with the defender. It may be because they don't want to make the person look bad, or because they want the technique to work, but they are cooperating none-the-less. I'd really like to see a lot of this stuff work against someone who doesn't owe any allegiance to the Bujinkan rank hierarchy.

        I'll ask anyone reading this thread to re-watch that video again and look at the attackers. They are young and fit guys. Why are they just throwing one punch and just standing there? Do you think that looks realistic?
        Last edited by katana; 9/12/2004 4:36pm, .

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          #49
          I'll ask anyone reading this thread to re-watch that video again and look at the attackers. They are young and fit guys. Why are they just throwing one punch and just standing there? Do you think that looks realistic?
          I think I understand that one of your biggest pet peeves is the Soke Love Cult, and I totally agree. But you still won't answer what difference it would make if they keep swinging away when he's trying to illustrate a point. When you're trying to give someone a pointer for everyone elses' benefit, jumping into a sparring match doesn't do any good.

          As for the experience you list... those are truly shameful displays for any instructor, much less people of such rank. There is especially no excuse for getting frozen up like that on the ground, because there is plenty of material on the subject. I manage to catch my teacher with unexpected attacks once in a while too, but he makes no bones that he messed up. It happens when he is anticipating a specific attack and I start throwing wrenches in. Then we start to learn some pretty juicy stuff out with the techniques, and we all benefit. If your negative experience is really that wide spread... I guess I'm just really fortunate to be in with some good people.

          As for the Japanese shihan... man, if you really could have decked him I say you should have just done it. Usually when I try to pull something like that I find out the person was waiting for it half the time anyway.

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            #50
            Originally posted by Spunky
            But you still won't answer what difference it would make if they keep swinging away when he's trying to illustrate a point. When you're trying to give someone a pointer for everyone elses' benefit, jumping into a sparring match doesn't do any good.
            I'd agree with you up to the point where you are simply demonstrating the moves. However there comes a point where you should do these things full-speed against someone really resisting and you simply never see that. Sure, you'll see a technique done and then, once it is fully locked in, they'll be asked to struggle. But what does that prove? The people in that video were falling down because they were supposed to fall down. You don't have to go through the video frame-by-frame to see that the people (again very young and fit men) were allowing themselves to get into bad positions and were going over just a little too easy. I doubt it was maliciously intended, but it's just not believable.

            I still own these tapes and I just watched a short segment again to double-check my memory. Sure enough, they're doing the lunge punching and just standing there ready to get hit a half-dozen times before getting thrown. That's not realistic no matter what speed you're going. I'd digitize a piece and put it up so people can see the full setup (lunge punch from five feet away and all) to the edited techniques in your clip, but I can't for copyright reasons.
            Last edited by katana; 9/12/2004 6:35pm, .

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              #51
              Oh, yeah they'll often recieve with ukemi rather than be taken down which isn't exactly a bad idea. Granted most people won't react this way, but usually if they don't you are in a much stronger position to beat the snot out of them instead... unfortunately many students panic when people don't recieve the way we're trained to.

              Like Asia said, he usually shows an isolated concept and has people go play with it, which would be a better time to look at how different kinds of resistance changes things. At least at my school and when my instructors teacher comes by (Kevin Schnieder), if any major issues comes up they'll address it directly. I haven't been to a tai kai myself, so I don't now how its handled in those environments.

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                #52
                Not everybody in Taijitsu is the same. I went to Richard Van Donk for a while, and it was very good.

                One of his blackbelts Ken, and Van Donk himself, I used to punch full speed, and that's the only way the techniques worked. When I pulled my punch or tried to not really hit them, they couldn't throw me.

                After that, I tried New York Budo, and it was a joke. None of them had any technique, and they sucked, so I quit after a couple of weeks.

                Don't blame the system for bad students. You'll find bad people in any martial art you go to.

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