Tanuki Bujinkan Dojo Back From Japan Seminar Review

We had our second Back From Japan Seminar this year on May 3, 2008. The energy for this seminar was very high. One of the main reasons for this, is because we had so many high level Bujinkan practicioners participate in this event.

Shihan Manolo and Shihan Estelle from Canada, Shihan Gustavo from Mexico, 8th dan Danny Parks from SC, 8th dan Anthony Lucas from N.Y., Shihan Oliver Martin from N.Y. and Shihan Chris Carbonaro from N.J. all attended and participated in this event. Shihan Martin taught the first class, and he showed an impecable control of his uke as well as all of the weapons that were used. Shihan Martin paid special attention to the detail of were to hold the weapon so he was safe. He also made sure to be at the right distance when being attacked with a weapon. These are very good key points in training. Oftentimes we forget that we are training with real weapons, because we often use very soft weapons while training. Shihan Martin also showed great control when faced with multiple attackers.

The format for this seminar was exactly like they are doing in Japan at this time. We asked one of the high ranking individuals above to show a technique. From there, Shihan Martin expanded upon those techniques. This is also an important part of training. When we go to Japan, Soke also gives respect to those who are traveling to Japan. By asking someone to show a technique, he is giving them respect and recognizing their taijutsu ability. Because we had so many high level practicioners attending, we were able to learn from each other. These individuals all had good taijutsu, and although everyone’s taijutsu was slightly different, you can see that everyone had been training regulary in Japan.

During my session of the seminar, I started off with some of the kihon done Noguchi style. It is important to practice what you are taught in Japan. During this trip, Noguchi Sensei took every technique, and found the kihon in all of them. I shared this with everyone. I then continued my session, Noguchi style. After asking one of the Shihan above to show a technique, I would then do it the way Noguchi sensei would. The emphasis was not on techniques, but rather the feeling I was exposed to while I was in Japan.

Hatsumi Sensei talked about the Gojyo (the five teachings):

  1. Fumetsu no Fuse (Always be giving of yourself)
  2. Mamichi no Jikai (Stay on the right path)
  3. Shizen no Ninniku (Naturally Perservere)
  4. Shizen no Choestu (Naturally Trancend)
  5. Komyo no Satori (Reach Enlightenment)

 I spoke to Craig olson about this, and he told me that they will be in the new book.

We had about 15 minutes of class left, so I asked the Shidoshi and Shihan to show a technique. This time I asked them to show it at their level, and to show it a couple of times. This was great, because everyone could see good taijutsu, and the continuity of everyones training. Although many of us never trained together before, we all had the same continuity. This continuity in training, seems to be lost between Japan and everyones home country. It was a great way for everyone watching to see and be apart of this experience.

I used Shihan Manolo as my uke a couple of times during my training. I had to say that everytime he came up to punch, it was a scary experience. Shihan Manolo really knows how to attack, and in his mind he wants to connect. I thank Shihan Manolo for keeping me on my toes. Because he made me realize where the level of my taijutsu is at. All of us from time to time fall into a trap, where we think that we have learned something. It is at that moment that we have the biggest openings. Soke often talks about this during training. Therefore, you have to get rid of all your thoughts, habits, etc. Then from that point foward, you can begin to learn, as well as act quickly when the time comes. If not, you are always stuck on trying to make your favorite technique work. We all know that this thinking will eventually get you killed. The idea of Henka or adaptation is very important in this case. Shihan Manolo is both tall and strong. Shihan Manolo has a very long reach, and a very fast punch. Your timing and distance has to be spot on, or you will definately feel the power of his attack.

Thanks again to everyone who attended this great event. I am happy to see that more and more people are starting to value Back From Japan Training. I see more people doing seminars, however, the same people often do not go to Japan and are teaching things they learned many years ago. Even if you can not get to Japan until the end of the year, these seminars are very helpful to recieve the feeling as well as Soke’s teaching. Many of us are sacrificing and going to Japan once, twice or even three times a year. The value of these types of events can not be compared to the small entrance fee that is charged to train. These seminars are helpful to any person of any rank.

We hope to see more people attend our grand seminar event (Bujinkan Keiko-Kai N.J.)2008 during the Fourth of July weekend, please see details below:

We have the following instructors confirmed for this event:

  1. Shihan Jay Zimmerman
  2. Shihan Oliver Martin
  3. Shihan Chris Carbonaro
  4. Shidoshi Anthony Lucas

More instructors to be confirmed!

We also have a special guest coming for this seminar. This event will be held at our Cliffside Park Dojo, in Cliffside Park N.J. The Cliffside park dojo has over 40 tatami mats; more than enough room for everyone to train comfortably. You can find the address of the dojo below. The cost of the seminar will be $100 for one day, and $150 for two days. Training will be from 12-6pm on Saturday, and 10-4pm on Sunday. Do not miss this special fourth of July weekend event.

Spartan Dojo Cliffside Park N.J. (North Bergen)
Spartan School of Self Defense
112 Palisade Ave
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010
(201) 943-0090

See you all during our Fourth of July Event!


Chris Carboaro

Bujinkan Shihan



%d bloggers like this: