Big News! (recap from our webinar)
Work took me to Japan in early April. My back is close to 100% now; still have hamstring and calf issues. Nerves slow to rebuild. But I am improving day by day.
New Hombu looks great. Check all the photos Mark Lithgow put up on the Taka Seigi Facebook page. More square than original – but still has a shoe storage issue. Sound travels better being square. Easier for Mark to be heard translating.
I trained in jeans that Sunday; Lightly, with Mark. Training was great. Tim Bathhurst started us off with a PPM type block and some strikes. Good energy. Soke talked about being a Shihan: a Shihan is able to use no power to apply techniques and to control the environment. You should all now train with the Shihan.
- Yusuu and Dai Shihan levels now. 15th is a Shihan, Yusuu is 1-step above, Dai is final step. Yusuu means excellent. Dai means grand.
Soke wants me to take this large wooden taka (hawk) to my house!
Mark posted about dojo etiquette. Bow in/out, don’t pile stuff on or under the Kamidana. Now that there is the alcove it’s more important to pay attention not to step into the kamidana area. Pick up your trash. George isn’t around to remind us anymore. Leave the Hombu better than you found it. Its a good rule to live by.
- Be respectful to Soke and the Shihan – don’t try for 1000’s of pictures. Just one and have everything (camera, photographer) ready when you ask Soke. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen someone ask for a picture, Soke says “Yes” and then the person looks around for someone to take the picture. Same for groups. Be ready! Soke’s time is valuable and chances are he’s got somewhere to be right after training. You are not the most important person in the dojo, he is!!
- Same for calligraphy – come with one board or small scroll for him to paint. Be mindful of his time and energy. If you are getting one as well for someone else, come back to another class. Only under extreme circumstances should you have more than one piece for him to paint! Remember scrolls have to dry so have a plan where you’ll put it after he paints it since we’ll resume training after the “tea break”. Scrolls need to lay flat to dry properly.
Kamidana in the new Honbu
Collaboration with Rory Miller
Working on having him present his Conflict Communications (ConComm) seminar to the DoD in September. Also working on a joint project with him in Australia and Japan next year. Want him to meet Soke next year. He is working a ConComm instructor course for 2016 and asked that I be a part of the development phase and provide critical analysis of the first offering.
PPM ‘Ready’ stances
Left to Right – Phil Legare, Rory Miller, & Dan Reiher.
It’s the 20th anniversary of Shinken! OOORAH!!
I started certifying instructors since 2008. Mike Pearce, Dan Reiher, and Carl H. were the first. Since then Arlando Saunders, Mike Tucker, Randy Kelley, Bill Stegner, and James Cummings in the U.S.; our first non-US instructors are: Evan Bailey, Jake Olive, Isaac Nicholson in Australia. These three men are now training the Australian 16th ALR prior to their deployment to Iraq. Mike Tucker is certified in Tony Baeur’s SPEAR system. Dan took my place for a class in Denver and Arlando has been assisting or running Shinken with Mike Tucker in and around Alabama. I taught Level 1 in November 2014 which was supposed to be my last (with all the above instructors taking over as the Level 1 instructors). I’m now doing one more in Pittsburgh (6 – 7 June), so that Brent Earlewine and Dave Fetterman can certify and Brian Fine can get close. Then in Durham, NC for the first time for Karl Koch’s group (13 – 14 June), so Brian, Bill, Todd, and others can get their assistant training in towards certification. Arlando will help in Pittsburgh and he and Dan will build up their team teaching time in NC.
- Step One – STUDENT FIRST! No exceptions
- Step Two – Assist several times (minimum: two)
- Step Three – Teach your own class with a certified instructor to assist
- Step Four – Review materials with me to verify there are no gaps
- Step Five – Certification
- Must teach a class at least every two years on your own OR team teach with another instructor OR assist a potential instructor with a class. TEACH, ASSIST, TEAM at least once every two years, these are the minimums to retain certification to teach on your own
- If you have not done any of the above in two years, instructors are not allowed to teach on their own again until they either assist a certified instructor team teach or review the material with me. Contact me about how to proceed.
- There will be refresher courses for both students and instructors coming.
This policy serves two purposes – instructors stay current and it spreads the best version of the art. My biggest care-about is ensuring my instructors are the best they can be and that they stay that way. Certification is $100. You have to pay to assist and be a student. Team teachers are free (where possible) and possibly get paid. Remember team teacher = already certified. Payment depends on number of students. Student certificates for completing Level one are $10. This is my only requirement of my instructors, that they give their students certificates when completing Level I.
I am preparing to start certifying Level I instructors in parts of Level II. Level II, briefly, is Complex Defense, Defense in Depth/Layered Defense, Offense/Layered Offense, Getting Ahead of the Attack (“Left of Boom”), Breaking your Opponent’s Kill Chain
Shinken Taijutsu/Personal Protective Measures June 6 – 7 Pittsburgh, PA (Contact Brent Earlewine)
Shinken Taijutsu/Personal Protective Measures June 13 – 14 Durham, NC (Contact Karl Koch)
July 10 – 12 BuFestivus Westminster, MD (Contact Phil Legare) Mark Lithgow and Mike Pearce will attend my last Bufestivus. We will still camp in our backyard, but there will be no sweat lodge, no sword cutting (no water jugs), no water training, and no axe throwing this time. All Bujinkan training will be with Mark, Mike and Phil this last time. May other seniors will also attend and lend us their knowledge and skills, including Karl Koch, Charles Collins, Brent Earlewine and Dave Fetterman.
I move to Japan in September, Joanne in May/June 2016. We plan to sell the house so this will be the last BuFestivus. We will miss you all every much. We will be living on Yokota Air Base and I will be traveling frequently for my new job but plan to make many, if not most Sunday trainings at Hombu with Soke. Plan to film Soke, Nagato, Noguchi, Someya, and Seno often to post to the member website.
We will create a new channel on the website just for Japan Shihan training or Japan daily training, etc. Still in development – stay tuned.
This new service will necessitate a slight membership price increase. Increased bandwidth, hosting, upload capacity means increased cost. More members will drive costs down over time; however, we have stayed at about 100 members for quite a while. Those membership fees barely pay the current bills – with an increase in costs we need more subscribers. We will offer two levels of membership in the future. One for what you get now, and a slightly more expensive one to also get the Japan Shihan daily training. Current members will NOT have to pay additional fees. You will be Grandfathered in at your current price, only new members will be charged the increased rate. So, sign up as a member now and lock in your subscription!
Enjoyed the webinar and thanks to Mark Lithgow for dialing in with us tonight. Put any questions in the comments below!