GN #20 Aug 2008 Pt I
Newsletter for the advancement of Bujinkan studies - Takamatsu den
August 2008, Volume # 20
No Dojo Politics...No Hype...No Bull
'I I . 1 1
.-. ~~ ~~1Z~
.. J ' ':.it",
1had kind of an unusual request over the last
week or two. One of our junior subscribers was
wondering if 1would allow access to this
newsletter to members of the Genbukan. 1will
comment on this request in the article following
I'm still waiting on interviews from various
Shihans and as such don't have an interview
prepared at the moment, soooo... 1will share
some of my own experiences with you as many
of you have been gracious enough to share your
insights with the rest of us.
BTW: If anyone would like to be featured in
expose please contact me and I'll send you a list
of questions. Shidoshi or higher please (I know
I'm breaking this rule right now).
Nevin Zeljko Broz
Bujinkan Seishin RoDinDojo
nindja [email protected]
In this section we will introduce you to many of
the Bujinkan's top (and a few of the lower
ranked - me) instructors. Sensei you might not
have heard about and individuals you might want
to know a little more about, as well as historical
figures from our different ryu.
Nevin Z. Broz
GN: How long have you practiced the martial
arts? What was your early training like?
Nevin: My early training was kind of nontraditional, really non-traditional to speak o£ As
a small child 1 saw Bruce Lee on TV and fell in
love with the Asian arts. 1was about 6 years old.
1begged my parents to let me train in the martial
arts. They refused, thinking it would be too
dangerous, that was that as far as they were
concerned. They signed me up for soccer, and 1
played all the typical games and sports with the
other kids on the streets, but 1couldn't forget
what 1saw Bruce do.
Every week 1would get a weekend newspaper to
get the TV listings, then 1would look through
the weeks movie listings to see if there were any
"kung-fu movies" (as we called them) on. They
always ran these movies late at night around
3am. 1made note of when they were playing and
would sneak downstairs and watch them; at this
time VCR's didn't exist. Because 1was only 6
you can well guess what my father would have
done to me if he caught me up at that time
watching TV. My preparation was to put a
blanket under their bedroom door so that they
couldn't see any light from the TV downstairs,
as well as sneak out of my bedroom which 1
shared with my middle brother, who thought it
was all crap at the time. 1tried to learn whatever
1could from the movies and actually had success
with a number of the techniques in fights. 1
actually beat up a few people with Movie-fu
techniques, a few people who were 3-5 years
older than me. This went on for 10 years!
1eventually signed up in a real dojo when 1
started working at 16 years of age. It was at the
oldest school around, a Kempo school. Big
mistake. My first night 1went into class and was
so pumped. 1was finally in a real martial arts
dojo!!! Our class was kind of strange. Our
instructor was a second degree that night. We
ran around and did exercises pretty much all
night, not being taught any techniques, then we
were told to sit down so we could spar (white
belt class). We sparred against the instructor.
When my turn came around I squared off with
him, bowed and unleashed the movie-fu. My
first kick, a roundhouse caught him square in the
head. Down he went. The next day found me in
the class again. Movie-fu took a first Dan down
as well. I started to question the school as I
knew movie-fu just wasn't that good.. .maybe it
From there I also trained a few years in
Taekwondo. I learned about Bujinkan ftom a
mend in High school who had a magazine
Nevin: I started training because of one movie
and a desire to be able to defend myself and
anyone who needs it (family, mends, etc...)
Soke's art... wouldn't you want to train in what
seems to be the most effective art available?
GN: What is your approach to teaching?
Nevin: This changes ftom time to time. I teach
and train the same way I was taught, the same
way it's carried out in Japan.
GN: What do you think are the most important
attributes of a Sensei?
Nevin: Honesty, Integrity, Ability (to teach as
well as demonstrate), Loyalty, to be Cultured,
Open-minded and Open-hearted.
GN: Taijutsu (kihon happo) or Kobudo? What
do you believe to be the proper training ratio
(what percent of each)?
Pope John Paul II, President Tudjman of
Croatia with author onfar right of photo.
Presidential Palace, Croatia.
Nevin: I ask this question and don't know what
a good answer would be. I think Kilion happo is
vital. You can't build a house without a decent,
solid foundation can you? Kobudo helps add
new dimensions and helps break up the boredom
as well. I guess 50% of both. I mean when you
went/go to war you utilize weapons don't you?
Empty-handed techniques come in when your
weapon get's broken or you run out of
GN: How do you feel that training in Budo
Taijutsu has changed you, if at all?
Nevin: Budo taijutsu has helped me quite a bit.
It has taught me many things, specifically
patience. The other huge benefit for me was it
helped me with a medical problem. As I
mentioned before I played soccer for about 10
years. I believe that this contributed to me
having bad knees, sometimes it got so bad I
would need a cane to walk to deal with the pain
( I was still in my early 20's). I went to a
Chiropractor for over three years for therapy and
didn't get any relief at all. When I began in
Budo taijutsu one of the first things I had to get
used to was sitting in seiza no kamae. My knees
slowly got better and I haven't had any trouble in
GN: Why did you ever start martial arts training,
and why train in Sokes' art?
GN: Do you believe it is necessary to engage in
ftee fighting (Kumite) to achieve good fighting
skills in the street?
Nevin: You know at one time I would have said
yes. However, now I would say maybe. Let me
make one thing clear the kind of tree fighting
I'm thinking about is not the same as sparring in
a dojo with gloves and protection. See following
article on sparring.
are respectfully, Shihan Dean Rostohar and
Shihan Davor Gasparovic of Croatia. They have
also treated me like no else has and still go out of
their ways to help me. Man I couldn't do better.
The rest of my lineage would be through the
Ishizuka, Shiraishi lines (more indirectly).
GN: Where do you see the Bujinkan going in the
Nevin: It all depends. Many of our Shihans are
very capable and talented individuals, yet there
are a number of people Shidoshi rank or higher
who really suck, both skill wise and personality
wise. To put it in layman's tenns, enough think
that their shit doesn't stink the same as the rest of
us. Hope noone is offended by my colourful use
of words. I think Soke has it worked out and the
Buj is in good hands, we just need a good purge
to get rid of some dead wood.
GN: What was it like on your first trip to Japan?
Nevin: In many ways awesome. In a few ways
disappointing as well as eye opening. My
original instructor was a let down while in Japan.
It made me open my eyes and not follow along
an incorrect path. The awesome parts were
many, drinking Sake with Ishizuka at home,
going to a 700-year-old hot spa in the mountains
with him as well. Here we all sat naked in hot
water on the side of a mountain then got out
rolled around in the snow then jumped back in
the hot water again (sounds crazy but it cleans
your pours in the skin - I still shower this way).
Training with lshizuka and Shiraishi as well as
Soke. Shiraishi was really cool as well. Very
cool. Would advise everyone who hasn't gone
to Japan to do it at least once.
GN: Would you share your lineage (who you
trained with in Japan) with us?
Nevin: Sort of. I will only mention those
instructors who I feel really tried to help me with
my path. One of them was Mel Pyke of
Cornwall Ontario. He took me in like a son and
showed me anything I wanted to know, and
made sure it was well understood. The other
instructor (s) who really helped me like no other
I showed your e-zine to a few colleagues of mine
here at RIM, and they like your work. Do you
mind if! forward to them monthly as you send to
me? One apparently has been practicing martial
arts for about 5 or so years, another is seriously
thinking of starting Ninjutsu, but there is no
Bujinkan dojo here in Waterloo, he may be
going to I can't remember what it's
called. Regardless, the grandmaster is a fonner
senior student of Soke Masaki Hatsumi, as
are all the other groups not in Bujinkan.
Anyway, I just wanted to get your
pennission before offering it anyone.
One of the problems is that there aren't Bujinkan
dojos everywhere. I know you drove many hours
for your training when you were younger, but
most people don't have that desire. Also at that
time, that was the only ninja style dojo, if I
remember your story correctly. Most people just
want the "ninja art" and don't really understand
(or care about) the politics; or they just want it
for physical fitness. Most people don't
understand the different between Bujinkan
(Hatsumi), Genbukan (Tanemura), Jinenkan
(Manaka), and To-Shin Do (Stephen Hayes).
All came ftom Bujinkan, but had disputes with
Hatsumi or left for whatever the reasons (reason
aren't important). Not including politics, how
different can they really be in the form of the art
I'm not defending them, I'm not trying to
question loyalties, I'm only asking because I, like
many others may not know. This is not intended
to be a facetious question. It is a true question.
My answer: Dear reader, the only reason that
this newsletter came into being was ftom my
desire to give something back to the Bujinkan
community. Mainly to students whom have less
experience and time put in. Hopefully through
this exchange and sharing of knowledge we can
expand our minds and body skills through a
genuine love and desire to expand and spread the
art. This expansion cannot truly be achieved by
giving info to non-members. Less experienced
students might think they understand a technique
in a manner but might be completely off in their
analysis. Sharing this info with those outside of
the family can only help those groups to use the
info to expand their wallets and build a
legitimacy (specifically Koga people, Robert
Law and Harunaka Hoshino types).
Even though the people you mentioned
Genbukan (Tanemura), Jinenkan (Manaka), and
To-Shin Do (Stephen Hayes), did originally train
with Hatsumi Soke and did in fact receive their
original accreditation ftom Hatsumi Soke, they
left the organization (The Buj.).
Now, it doesn't matter to me either why any of
them left, (I wish they hadn't but they did).
(Just recently Tanemura came public with the
truth about being one ofSoke's former
4. Why did Tanemura claim to be Soke of the
nine schools when Hatsumi was the only one to
get Sokeship ftom Takamatsu? Tanemura
claims he asked Takamatsu's wife for
permission after he died (She wasn't soke, this
can't be done)?
5. Hayes left as well, yet he advertises himself
in "Black belt" magazine as, "ninja
grandmasters apprentice in the 1970's and
80's". Though he's not lying, why can't he live
off of his own merits instead of using Soke's
reputation to sell his video series? Nowhere
does it say To-shin do in his adds, hmmn!
6. As well, nowhere do any of them claim to
have ''New and improved (modern) techniques",
so why then do they need access to old material
they already knowlhave?
The other thing you wrote, "One of the problems
is that there aren't Bujinkan dojos everywhere. I
know you drove many hours for your training
when you were younger, but most people don't
have that desire." Man if they don't have the
desire, what do they want? They want the easy
way out, ftee info with out the blood, sweat and
tears! My first teacher was four hours away. I'd
drive four hours, train 2 hours (more like get the
crap beat out of me) then drive home 4 hours if it
wasn't a weekend seminar. 1did this for three
years. If they don't have the desire then they
don't deserve knowledge from their own
teachers let alone us
Hope this helps.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself which
might help you find a suitable answer:
My opinions solely. So if someone doesn't like
it then shoot the messenger.
1. They must have left The Buj. because they
feel that they learned enough ftom Soke to
become grandmasters of their own schools, so
why do they want info help ftom us?
2. Why haven't the majority of Japanese Shihan
or any of the 15thdans left Soke to become
"grandmasters of their own things as well?"
3. Why did Tanemura completely deny being a
student of Soke for the last 15 or so years when
any of Hatsumi's old books clearly shows
Tanemura in techniques in a subservient role?
"When you are training, you must have a pure
heart ("magokoro", in Japanese). This heart is
like a filament in a light bulb that burns
Soke Masaaki Hatsumi
Taken from "Quotations From Soke - Part IV"
by Benjamin Cole