Something wrong in the Genbukan?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Noehnongwi, May 23, 2021.

  1. Noehnongwi

    Noehnongwi New Member

    I noticed the Genbukan is changed since 10 years ago and not for the better. For example:

    Taikais feel different. They used to be more enjoyable, we’d do one Ryuha in four days and test in it on the last day. There were demonstrations of other techniques, sometimes by Soke’s old Sensei. Nowadays Taikais are just cramming in the Ryuha as quickly as possible, sometimes two or three Ryuha in one Taikai and nothing else is demonstrated. We spend an entire day doing all the tests and things are often pretty disorganised.

    There used to be half a dozen Shihan at Taikais. They’d demonstrate techniques and walk around helping while we practiced them. For the last 5 years the only Shihan I seen at Taikais is Soke’s own son Kotaro Shihan. I’ve heard that all the other Shihan have left the Genbukan.

    Entire dojos who were at every Taikai aren’t there anymore, no students from that school at all or their Sensei. No one talks about it but I’ve heard that several dojos have been kicked out and that their Senseis have no idea why. Or if there was a known problem they have no idea how it couldn’t be solved.

    It all feels very wrong. I’m sad that Taikais have changed, that dojos have been kicked out, and that Soke has lost all his top-level students, that can’t be a good sign. I want to keep doing this martial art for all my life, but I’m worried about the Genbukan and where I stand in it. I don’t want to start over with another school after all this time or spend decades training, perhaps even become a Sensei myself one day, only then be kicked out for no reason and lose what I’ve invested.

    Anyone know what’s going on in the Genbukan? Anyone have similar experiences or advice to share?
  2. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    All organisations change over time, Tanemura has started focusing on teaching the ryu-ha much more widely in the last 15 or so years, so the extra focus on this may be why, in the States they have had quite a few people break away and start there own ninja organisations, so that may be why honbu are being so strict with people, and why his son is spending so much time with him, it's also a good chance to introduce him to everyone and get him ready for taking over the day to day teaching and taikai.

    Anyone who gets "kicked out" always has a home with the bujinkan and jinenkan anyway, so I wouldn't worry about that.

    What matters is do you enjoy the training, and is the training good for you.
  3. Noehnongwi

    Noehnongwi New Member

    It's not the same though if you walk into one of the other *kans you can't just keep your rank can you? I enjoy the training but its not a nice feeling thinking you or your friends could be kicked out any minute now. I could understand some people leaving but all the Shihan? Something must be wrong I think...
  4. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    It's generally case by case, but anything under 5th Dan would be transferable to the bujinkan pretty easily.

    You don't lose your rank if your kicked out, your still a x dan, you just can't rank any higher in that system.

    Rank really doesn't matter anyway, it's your ability that matters.
  5. Noehnongwi

    Noehnongwi New Member

    But I've read that when your kicked out you have to give back certificates. Rank does kind of matter, I wouldn't want to have to do all the Kyu grades again just in a different system. But you say people can keep dan grades if they transfer, that's interesting I didn't know. All of this anyway what I want to know if anyone knows what might be wrong in the Genbukan to have so many kicked out and lose all the Shihan. If you were looking for a new school and you found out the teacher had lost all of his top students, that's a bad sign right?
  6. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Yes I think one of the key signs of a great teacher is that many of their long term students are still with them
    It means the teacher is still progressing themselves and giving high level students what they need to progress too
  7. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    It depends why the people left really, there's previously been big breakaways in the us, because people wanted to make more of a business out of it, whereas the genbukan is more focused on being only what Tanemura wants it to be.

    The bujinkan doesn't have this problem, because people can do pretty much what they like, shodan is viewed as a low grade, and is often given out for two or three years training, often without testing.

    You dont have to give your certificates out, you just leave the org, that is it.

    If you really don't like what your doing any more, stop and try something else. But if you enjoy the training, keep going, and if the worst happens, you'll still have a good foundation for anything else you do, whether it be bujinkan/jinenkan or something else.

    Both judo and BJJ are very practical, have good standards worldwide, and the grades transfer easily everywhere.
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
  8. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    One thing I think doesn't get stressed enough is "ownership" of your own training (in many styles, clubs and places). Probably because many places want their students to feel that they are the only avenue for knowledge?
    What would happen if your club/teacher/style ceased tomorrow? That's something people should ask themselves.
    Because your current skill remains unchanged. How much you've made martial arts part of your life remains unchanged. Your ability to fight doesn't change. Your certificates and grades remain (unless they ninja into your house and steal them?).
    So what has changed really? Not much IMHO. Or shouldn't be too much rather.

    If I ran a club I'd want people to have something to take away in their first week if they never came back again.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  9. Noehnongwi

    Noehnongwi New Member

    Wait, the Bujinkan give out Shodan without a test? That's crazy, my Genbukan Shodan test in front of Soke was one the most awesome experences I ever had. All the preparing, training, looking forward for months before, then on the spot and in the moment giving everything and doing ones absolute best. I wouldn't want anyone to miss out that experience.

    I can understand some people leave to focus more on business. But Shihan are people who moved to Japan to spend their lives training with Soke, that kind of person isn't more interested in business than training with Soke, surely? Dead_pool, I appreciate your comments but I don't think you have the answer to my question, something must be wrong if all the Shihan leave. :-/
  10. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    For me, now that's spot on, however.......

    The classic styles (which genbukan is either patterned on, or is, depending on your viewpoint) have top down control (like the guild system used to be), to stop people who leave, also claiming to be ninjer masters and taking some of their student base.

    You see it a tiny bit in the judo organisations in the UK, I think it's much more prevalent in groups without an active competition component, and the main reason for existence isn't skill in their students (although they can be very skillful) but more continuation of the brand.
  11. EWBell

    EWBell Valued Member

    I know of two shihan who no longer train with Tanemura Soke. As far as Kotaroh Shihan, I believe he will inherit everything anyway, so perhaps that is why you see him so much. I know Okayasu Shihan is still training.
  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Active Member

    Who can force you to give certificates back? Is there a branch of the police that I am unaware of, whose job it is to go around and collect martial arts certificates and see to it that they are destroyed and all the “disgraced” ex-members are buried in oblivion? Just keep them.

    In my opinion, you would have an obligation moving forward to be honest about your standing with the organization, particularly if you are teaching others. This could be as simple as saying, “I trained for X years with this group and reached Y rank, but I have since left/been kicked out of the group and am no longer connected to them.” Your certificates would document the accuracy of that history. That honesty is important. But nobody can take away your skill and knowledge, even if they no longer recognize your rank or status within the group.

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