last few months, with a masochistic drive, characteristic only of the human
kind, we did some great damage to the Bujinkan Dojo. Without getting into the
goals of each of us, as individuals, I would like to ask: Where is the Bujinkan
headed and where is our responsibility to that which we grew up with, matured
with and got old with?
of becoming stronger as an organization, each year we lose outstanding members
and attract clowns who have only one need – self-advertisement. We became a
circus, a reality show, which the facebook community is eager to follow in
front of their computer’s monitors and mock our greed, malice and selfishness.
speak against dictatorship, we want democracy. And where is this democracy if
you don’t even think of asking the other side to say something in their defense?
Where is the democracy, if we allow to be blamed and sentenced before a trial
even begins, with one or two false witnesses, like in the worst communist
times? What democracy are we talking about, if someone just slanders you in
public over the internet, thus ruining your reputation – just because you
(maybe) did something wrong?
friends. We cannot have a strong organization without a strong leadership. In
our organizations, students that slander their teachers find more support than
the teachers themselves. It is only required for some dissatisfied member, who
visits your dojo maybe ten times a year, broke the rules of the Bujinkan and
because of some excuse left your dojo – to raise their voice and his story and
lies to be accepted by some other teacher in hopes of material gain through it.
Afterwards, the troublesome student will immediately fabricate a story of you
being a dictator and with the support of his new teacher, it will reach Japan in
a matter of seconds – as a result of which, you are found guilty by the
administration over there. Your years-long work to spread the art in your
country, your training venue earned by your own blood, your media appearances
with the goal of spreading the Japanese Budo culture, your trainings for the
police, military forces and other organizations, go down the drain in a second.
And all this, without even bothering to get the facts. All that just to say
that there isn’t a “dictator”, who runs his Dojo in an orderly fashion. Should
we encourage chaos?
are talking about bans from the teacher for his student to go to a seminar in
another country and train with a different instructor? I agree, that can be
called dictatorship. But does that mean that we, members of the Bujinkan, can
at any time train with Fumio Manaka (Jinenkan) or with Shoto Tanemura
(Genbukan)? When I asked about this, they answered that such thing isn’t
allowed. “Of course, I thought, they do know what’s good for me”. So, in that
case, it isn’t a matter of dictatorship, but our own good. And we should trust
our teachers. Of course, they do always know what’s good for us. But do we know
what’s good for our students?
friends, as a man who professionally works as an ethnologist and
anthropologist, also as a person who takes immense interest in the history of
the warrior arts of Japan, I can tell You that democracy isn’t a characteristic
of the Bujutsu, or one of a Koryu Dojo, for that matter. On the contrary, order,
hierarchy and the respect of the elders (by rang in this context) is exactly
the thing that makes us different from the modern Budo Arts. Do we intend to
destroy those relations? Do we want to turn the Bujinkan into Gendai Budo? Even
if we do, it’s too late for that. The Kodokan and the Aikikai are already a
synonym of healthy budo organizations. Therefore, we can keep our image only as
an organization which works toward keeping the traditions of the nine schools
that Dr. Hatsumi selflessly opened to us.
am convinced that Soke Hatsumi isn’t even acquainted with these bad events,
wars and this “out-talking” which takes place over the internet. But I deeply
believe that he would be very unhappy seeing his students “train” atemi no
tanren on their keyboards, slandering others. Where did this behavior bring us?
The great Shihans writing about everything that takes place during the day on
facebook. “Off to lunch”. “Off to sleep”. “Off to the store with my wife”.
“Making lunch”. “My child is very sick”. And even other, more intimate matters.
Perhaps it’s a question of addiction to facebook? That is easy to find out –
try not logging in to facebook for a month. If you succeed in that, it does
mean you aren’t addicted, and you can be considered a real ninja. In any other
case, it would be wise to sit and think about ourselves.
most honestly believe and hope, that all of us together will make sure that
these kind of things don’t happen in the future. Every situation can be solved
in a simple manner. Someone was wrong about something? Through mail or phone,
make them know that. Tell them that directly, face to face, privately. And they
will change their behavior. If required, punish them. But don’t lynch them in
public. Do not ruin their reputation that they built for years. Do not allow
the slanderers in the Bujinkan, who often compete amongst themselves which of
them will agree more on a certain issue with George Ohashi, just to make
themselves “closer” to him, to gloat and destroy the image that the Bujinkan
is time to introduce order. Time to make a strong organization which will
support it’s instructors who worked hard for the decent representation of the
Japanese Budo culture in their countries. Time for the greed to go away. To
respect the training, instead of sitting in front of a monitor and writing lies
and slander on the internet. To understand that martial arts require loyalty
towards your teacher, loyalty towards your dojo, honest relations towards your
closest and your country. On this path, there is no place for those of weak
spirit and will, those that keep on complaining and have an excuse for anything
and everything. One who would walk the path of the warrior, should be pure of
heart, with no place for malice, envy or selfishness in it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am just a small and
insignificant dojo cho, who comes from a small but very beautiful country. An
instructor who has never been to Japan. An instructor who will provoke the
anger of the slanderers, with a single cause in mind – to cease the animosity
in the Bujinkan. I have nothing special to brag about. And I do have a lot to
risk. But, no matter how this reflects on my carrier, the names of Hatsumi and
Bujinkan will forever be carved into my heart. Let those two names remain pure
and without dirt upon them. Please.
cho Bujinkan Macedonia
and anthropologist on the State University in Skopje, Macedonia