Regler i Hombu Dojo

Mark Lithgow fick i uppdrag att berätta lite om etikett för dojos i allmänhet, men Hombu Dojo i synnerhet.
Läs och begrunda!

Länken till Facebook där detta är kopierat:

https://www.facebook.com/mlithgow/posts/10153313662984044?fref=nf

 

“To all my Bujinkan friends:

I had a chat with Soke at his house last week regarding ‘dojo manners’, and he said that these things were important to pass on to all Bujinkan Dojo members. Today (Sunday May 10th, 2015), he had me stand up in front of the class to pass them on to the people present.

Dojo etiquette can vary from school to school, and even from dojo to dojo within one school such as the Bujinkan. It is often learned by simply watching other people who know better. Unfortunately, these days we have so many people coming through the new Honbu Dojo, and because most people are new to the place, they don’t have many good examples to watch in order to know how things should be done. I myself have often felt the need to intervene, and play ‘manners police’. I sometimes feel a little bad doing it, but on the other hand, this my home dojo. I am a member of this dojo, not a visitor, and I have been now for close to 3 decades. It is actually my ‘duty’ to instruct visitors in how to behave in my dojo.

When discussing this with Sensei, it soon became evident that he feels very strongly about etiquette. He may seem easy-going, but on the inside, he expects it and respects people that have good manners. He righty feels that it is not his place to teach or enforce etiquette. As the Soke, he should be able to just turn up at his dojo, teach, and leave. The general running of the dojo and the cleaning and maintenance should be done by others. That goes for things such as correct etiquette too. He said that the ’Shihan should handle this, and that because of my experience with dojo of other arts, I know how dojo SHOULD be treated’. Apparently, for that reason, I am the ‘perfect person to transmit it’. Smiley smile Something he said today, incidentally, when I went back to his house after training, was “How can we expect to be taken seriously by the Japanese martial arts world if our basic dojo etiquette is so lax?”

I spoke about three points in the dojo today on Soke’s request. More will probably come up, but I think that this is a good start. I also feel that I may have to repeat the announcement once in a while, until it reaches the point where there are enough examples for new visitors to learn from, and so that it grows into a real part of our dojo culture. They may seem very basic…. Indeed, they are common sense to many people. But from what I have seen in the dojo recently, they are not known by everyone, and they need to be addressed.

1) Bowing in and out of the dojo.
Bowing in and out of any dojo in Japan is just ‘common sense’. You’ll even see the custom practiced outside the dojo, in such places as supermarkets and department stores. Staff members, as they leave the shop floor on break or at the end of their shift, at the ‘staff only’ door, will often turn around and bow to the shop before walking through the door. I have to admit that I myself sometimes became a little lazy in the old Honbu Dojo, sometimes neglecting to bow. With the new dojo under construction, I mentioned this to Soke, telling him that although I had sometimes been lazy, I had made it a new rule for myself after the new dojo was opened. We had a long discussion about it then, which continued last week. For him, bowing as you enter the dojo is essential to showing respect to the dojo. To Sensei, even bowing twice would not be bad: once at the entrance to the building, and once more when walking into the dojo proper… onto the mats. After some discussion, however, he conceded that the main entrance one is optional, but bowing as one enters the main training area is essential. As you cross over the threshold, stop, pause, bow, pause again… then walk into the dojo. At that moment, you are leaving the outside world behind you, and getting into ‘training mode’. The same when leaving.. Stop and bow. Take a moment to reflect on the fact that you came out of there safely, and are about to go back out into the real world.

It is only necessary to do this once when entering and once when leaving. If you have to go out to your bag, or to use the restroom, you don’t need to bow each time. Just when switching between training mode and outside mode.

2) Shoes in the doorway.
This is based on a simple idea that ‘Inside is inside and outside is outside… and those two places are kept seperate’. When we are training in the dojo, we are wearing indoor footwear… usually tabi. Indoor tabi can have cloth or leather soles. Rubber-soled tabi, known as ‘jika tabi’ are for outdoor wear, and should never be worn in the dojo! Indoor footwear is for indoors, and outdoor footwear is for outdoors ONLY. The border is the wooden boards on the floor on the ‘genkan’ (entrance). The wooden boards are INDOORS. A few weeks ago, I arrived to find a bunch of shoes actually ON the boards! If you are wearing (indoor) tabi, don’t dirty the soles by going outside, and then tread that dirt back inside. If you want to sneak outside for a quick smoke, please put your shoes on! Again, once your tabi have been outside, please do not tread the dirt back in the dojo! And don’t step out of your shoes onto the (outside) floor, then step up. Step up directly from your shoes! The doorway in the new dojo is a little small, and sometimes you might have no choice but to take one step on the outside floor. It can’t be helped sometimes, but please try your best to avoid it.

3) The Shômen wall
The shômen (front) wall of the dojo contains the ‘kamiza’. The kamiza is regarded as a sacred part of the dojo and should be treated with respect. It is not a place for putting any personal effects. Nothing except the things that actually belong on it should be placed on the shelf. Under the kamiza in the new dojo is a kind of wooden-floored alcove. It is used as a little display area for statues etc., but it should be treated in the same way as the actual shelf on which the shrine sits. It is not a place for bags, drinks… and certainly not for people to walk, stand or sit in. Actually, the entire front wall is treated in the same way. In the new dojo, apart from the areas mentioned above, the remainder of the shômen wall is actually taken up with the training weapon storage closets, but even in the old dojo, where there was some space either side, the rule was that no personal effects should rest against the front wall. The side walls OK, but not on the front wall, which is regarded as an extension of the kamiza itself.

The above points were the ones mentioned today, but I would like to add a couple more – some things that I noticed today, which I feel warrant a mention.

Firstly, when a technique is being shown in the middle of the dojo, please be aware of your surroundings, and show some consideration to others who are also trying to see what is being shown. If you are right by the wall or there is nobody behind you, by all means remain standing. But if you take a little look over your shoulder and realise that people behind you may not be able to see properly, please duck down a little or kneel so they can see over you. Today, I was translating, so I usually try to get a little closer to Sensei. I am never standing at the back, but am usually kneeling at the front. Even so, I still had people standing right in front of me. A little consideration, please!

Secondly, if you’ve used dojo training weapons during training; rokushakubo, hanbo/fukuro shinai etc., please put them back where you got them after training. Someone always vacuums the floor after training (any volunteers to do that are always appreciated, by the way!). It is not their job but put away your weapons after training!

Anyway… I just wanted to let Facebook-land know the details of what was said in the Honbu Dojo today. Hopefully this also will help general etiquette awareness to people who may be visiting the Dojo in the future.”

Things that make you go ‘Hmmmm’…

Då är jag här igen med en intressant text.
Den här är också från Facebook.

Denna gång är författaren Mark Lithgow.
Mark är känd inom Bujinkan och är den person som bott längst i Noda.
Mark är inte så dokumenterad på nätet, så det blir inte så många länkar.

Fråga gärna mig eller Mats i dojon.

Det är en text med en massa kommentarer.
Som jag skre på Fejjan: “Orkar ni inte hela tråden jag delat här, läs Mark Lithgows inlägg”.

Just det, jag kan inte hitta var originaltråden ligger. Det här är kopierat från en dansk Bujinkankille.

Mark Lithgow:

Things that make you go ‘Hmmmm’….

A couple of seminar posters were brought to my attention the last couple of days. Wow! It really looks like people sit down and think about how to word these things as eloquently as possible to justify that they will basically just be ‘making stuff up’!!! People can be so quick to quote Hatsumi sensei on how important it is to be able to move freely… But where were they the many times that he’s said “Don’t teach what you’ve never been taught!” and “Until 15th dan, it’s important to work on getting strong technique!” What I get from that is that if you want to play at the old ‘free-movement dance’, do it among 15th dans. But to teach to lower ranks at seminars, teach them good strong technique as a base for them to build on!

Just a couple of days ago at the Honbu Dojo, Sensei said “Ato wa renshû dayo!” (Now it’s just a case of practicing it!). Why aren’t comments about ‘practicing’ ever quoted, but quotes that justify making stuff up ARE? I know a little about Japanese martial history too, and seeing some of the ‘history’ on some of these seminar posters is embarrassing! As I said… Hmmmm!!!!

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Du, Sveneric Bogsäter, Elias Krzywacki, Oliver Piskurek og 77 andre synes godt om dette.
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Billy Ristuccia Like, Like, Like, Like, Like… oh sorry just hitting the Like button a few hundred times!

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Nick Armsworthy Well said Mark, well said.

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Stu Klemm Well said Mark, I am sorely tempted to attempt some joke about some esoteric something that we are studying this week. But, I’m sorry, we’re just practicing ukemi gata taihenjutsu and kihon happou, with a bit of zan shin thrown in for good measure… “Yawn….” Aren’t we wonderful? Our excellence is only exceeded by our humility. LOL

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Paul Richardson Brilliant post

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Jan Peter Tanja *applause*

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Rich Maloof Thank you.

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Steve Delaney (スティーブン・デレイーニ) Kihon, kihon, kihon!

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Roger Andersson in general I’m guessing people want to ‘be good’… ‘becoming skilled’ takes too much time and study… but I’m just guessing here

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Norman Victor Meldrew Smithers Or partly because they believe they are as good as the grade they have?, as Steve said, Kihon, Kihon, Kihon.

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Billy Ristuccia I suddenly feel the need to cancel all my Gikan Ryu seminars. ;p

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Ashley Curtis Egos and the Bujinkan go hand in hand unfortunately.

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Norman Victor Meldrew Smithers These egos are sometimes fed from those in Japan unfortunately

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Steven Hesterman very well put

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Martin Faulks Question for Mark Lithgow and Michael Pearce. Where did the whole “make your own martial arts” idea come from in ninjutsu ?

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Mark Lithgow Maybe that’s a good test of character Norman…. Having your ego fed, but keeping your feet on the ground!

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Norman Victor Meldrew Smithers Totally agree Mark

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Mark Lithgow: That’s an interesting question Martin. When I first came to Japan, we simply did basic techniques. We’d line up in the dojo and march up and down like in a karate dojo, punches, blocks, shutô, kicks, etc. We’d work on having strong movement and strong technique… on having a strong structure to our body. THAT’S what we used to call ‘Taijutsu’. Then we’d run through the Sanshin no Kata, and then we’d work a lot on Kihon Happô, with no henka. After that the teacher would go to the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki and we’d work on a few techniques from there. We’d work on the ‘textbook version’, and maybe a couple of ‘henka’. The henka would often be textbook henka too… working from a different side, or from a different attack… but usually closely based on the original kata. Over the years, Hatsumi sensei and some of the others got bored teaching the basics, assuming that people who came here for a couple of weeks a year were spending the other 50 weeks of the year at home practicing the basics and practicing what they’d learned over here the time before. Little by little they started stressing the henka more and more. Stressing the importance of being able to adapt to the situation. Unfortunately, people took that the wrong way. When they were here, they saw Sensei doing henka… making stuff up… and they felt that they should just go with that, and felt that they were qualified to make their own stuff up too. The 50 weeks a year that they are not in Japan, rather than working on their own technical base as Sensei intends them to be, I think many (though, of course, not all!) are just taking the easy way out by making their own stuff. As far as seminars go, I think that it probably comes from this idea that many people have that ‘people attend seminars to be impressed’ attitude (Personally I don’t agree! I think they go there to LEARN! …To take something home that will add to their own training!). They want to show students things that they’ve never seen before. There are so many seminars these days that many teachers feel that they have to outdo others by showing ‘new’ things. To show new things, they feel the need to make stuff up.

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Jeff Christian Thanks for the history, Mark.

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Michael Pearce Don’t get me started. Great post. I remember those days. God they were hard but great.

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Christopher Davy Thanks Mark! Great post!

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Martin Faulks So basically people who should be learning scales are trying free form jazz because the the teacher does that in his performances.

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Mark Lithgow LOL…. Exactly Martin!

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Martin Faulks So thats my all the notes are wrong!

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Phillip Legare: Very well put Mark Lithgow. I think you’ve identified the problems exactly. People don’t practice building that strong base 50 weeks a year anymore. We just all want to imitate Soke. I recall not all that long ago Soke calling out a gaijin to demo the first kata from the go gyo and he did the kihon instead. Soke turned to some of the Japanese and said we don’t know our basics. For the next year he told the Japanese to just teach the basics. At the next year’s DKMYS the same result happened and Soke said basically the same thing. Noguchi Sensei then taught the Tenchijin for the next couple of years, in fact he was still teaching from his notes last November. The bottom line is we just don’t practice building our base enough. I think it’s great that whenever you or Mike teach a seminar here you ground everything on building a strong base. I recall Mike even being ordered to teach basics at least on two of his trips over too. So obviously this is something that is extremely important yet we all seem to have missed it over here. The other issue on seminars, well don’t get me started as Mike said. Suffice it to say there are too many seminars being offered way too frequently everywhere. In order to get a big turn out you have to teach sizzle. Or at least that is what many think they need to do to sell the seminar. Who wants to pay $175 for 2 days of basics and hearing, you suck, anymore? Funny thing is, people WILL attend if the instruction is good, reasonably priced and spaced out/coordinated so as not to overburden the students. But that would mean coordinating teaching events amongst the dojo leaders and limiting who and how often people come over. Coordinate between dojos? The horror of it all !! Back to the ego again. Last note. There are many gaijin who live in Japan now who never had the old line drill experiences you both have had. They may only train with Soke and may only know henka. Some of these guys are teaching seminars on the only thing they know and have zero base to support them. These guys , in my opinion, are continuing the false perception that this is what we should train on the most (and not our base). And they probably think they are doing a great job imitating Soke and giving us just what we pay for!! Okay sorry for high jacking your post Mark. I am off for a coffee!

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Martin Faulks Is it that flashing or exotic things get people to come to seminars ?

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Phillip Legare Sizzle = sexy.

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Phillip Legare Sexy = sales.

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Martin Faulks The irony is the sales are not that good for most events

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Phillip Legare Same here, but I have been lucky in these last few years after moving back. I do try to coordinate my seminars, I only have a few big name instructors come in each year (like Mark one year, Dean the next) and I have some really talented senior instructors living within a 4-5 hour drive to draw from. Our recent black belt seminar was very well attended. Karl Koch, Morten B. Østenstad, Don Schmidt, Steven Schmidt were some of the instructors. Funny, I can’t remember when the last time was that I did my own seminar here at my own dojo !! I am enjoying bringing people in like Mark Lithgow, Michael Pearce, Dean Rostohar so I can continue to learn and grow too. To me, that is the secrets to having a successful seminar. Coordinate, dont over saturate, pick great instructors that you yourself want to learn from.

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Brent Earlewine: “Quality Control” either starts from the top, or it has to be self imposed. If the top of an organization does not establish and then enforce/re-enforce baseline structure and methodology, then it falls to the individual to do so. Unfortunately, human nature finds the illusion of self importance and “look at me” too alluring to make self imposed quality control work consistently as a method for decent standards. When you add the ego trap of martial arts into this discussion, it magnifies the problem. We in the Bujinkan are our own worst enemy. By design or by accident, Soke essentially leaves us to our own devices. Senior instructors around the globe offer what they think students want. As Phil-San states – sexy/sizzle sells and each tries to outdo the other. This dynamic would stop almost instantly if each instructor that wanted to offer a seminar had to ask permission to teach it, AND had to prove they knew the subject well enough to even offer it! And to paraphrase Michael and Phil – don’t get me started on the issue of over saturation of seminars within the Bujinkan… In the meantime, my students and I are doing a several month step by step review of Kyu level material. Again. See you on the mat