Monterrey Mexico Taikai 2009


This past weekend was an amazing experience, and what Ibelieve is the future of the Bujinkan. Shidoshi Armando Cantu Reyna of the Bujinkan Nuevo Leon Dojo decided to host a Taikai in Mexico this year. I was lucky to have been chosen as one of the instructors. There were 4 teachers in total Manolo Serrano, Estelle Serrano, Jay Zimmerman, and Chris Carbonaro.

During the seminar, we each taught for 20 or 30 minutes, and just worked off of each other. I felt that the energy was great between all the instructors as well as the participants. It is a shame that more people did not show up to support the Mexican Taikai. There are many groups in Mexico, and with four instructors who train religiously in Japan it was a seminar not to be missed.

I am really happy that my good friends Lorenzo, Eduardo, Maria, and Mundo were able to make the seminar once again. These guys have shown up to everyone of my seminars in Mexico (5) and I am happy that they can learn from what I had to share.

This seminar was great for not only the students, but also the teachers. Each instructor taught for their respected time, and we (instructors) were able to learn from each other as well. This was truly spectacular. We  really got to know one another because of this experience. I have known Jay, Manolo and Estelle for quite sometime. However, I feel that we were able to form a stronger bond because of this seminar. This is the true meaning of Nawa No Kankaku.

group photo mexico

I would like to also talk about what it is like to be an instructor at this type or any type of event. Duncan Stewart made special arrangments to come to my dojo this month. Duncan flew all the way from Japan to stay in N.J. for 4 days. Think about that. He flew half way accross the world just to share Soke’s  budo. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that a sacrifice? Isn’t that enduring? Especially for the Mexico Taikai, all four instructors had to do the same. We all flew to Mexico from our respective places. We then shared living quarters in Armando’s house. Everwhere you go, the living conditions vary. In this particular case, there was no hot water, so we all had to take cold showers. I bring this up, because many people may not realize that being an instructor and teaching seminars is not the most glamorous thing. We all feel that soke has a great life, and we all like to share our time with him. However, what sacrifices does he go through to share his art with us?

I was very happy to meet many Mexicans who took 4 hour train rides, and 8 hour bus rides just to train. What type of sacrifices have these guys made? I feel that we need to think about this when we train. Many people take their training for granted. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone. However, if you want to truly learn budo, you have to make sacrifices. The drive and willingness to learn budo in Mexico is amazing. I find that the drive is starting to pick up in the states, but it is still lacking very much.

While living in Japan,  it cost me $400 a month to train on 4 Sundays a month. During the months I trained 3 or 4 times a week, you can imagine how the costs went up, as well as the 2 hour train rides to and from the dojo. I would like to challenge more people who are truly trying to learn this art, and who are using to the Bujinkan name to think about the sacrifices so many make to train in the Bujinkan. I know that each one of us have different levels of sacrifices that can be made, but I would like for you to think about your level, and your situation.

Armando’s mother hand made costumes for Jay, Estelle, Luisa, Manolo and I. How much did she sacrifice to do this? We had an amazing traditional fiesta thrown by Armando and the students of the seminar. It was the most fun I have ever had. It was also the most Tequila I have ever had (LOL).

mexican fiesta

In the end, we are who we are, and we can not change that. Those who think alike will stick together, as will those people who think differently. Thank you to all the instructors as well as the students for sacrificing so much to learn Budo.


Chris Carbonaro

Bujinkan Shihan

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