Monday, June 15, 2015

Who am I?

This is going to be an interesting & extremely honest blog beginning with a simple question of "Who am I?" I will answer that question simply, I am me. I don't go running around saying I am master, guru, shogun, jonin, soke or what have you. Even the infamous "Sensei Ron Collins" label was used by my previous publisher Dojo Press (aka Ashida Kim) who felt just calling myself "Ron Collins" was a bit to low key. I've even told people I am a "White-Trash-Red-Neck-Trailer-Park-Hillbilly" (and I will start marking other on the US census and filling that in the blanks lol). Apparently, I didn't know this but Ashida Kim did, there are several Ron Collins in the World...

Ron Collins the who writes fantasy books... Ron Collins who is football coach (calls himself Coach Collins)... Ron Collins who is a boxer (24 & 5 record, born in 1963 from Texas)... There is a Ron Collins in aviation... and lastly there is even a Drink called a Ron Collins (2 oz. light rum, lime juice, 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, soda water/carbonated water & an optional cherry as a garnish) very similar to his cousin Tom Collins.

So here we are back to "Who am I?" I often have so much trouble defining myself because I "wear so many different hats" and play so many different roles in my life. I am a very emotionally unattached person and without that emotional attachment I am more analytical, I am more Spock then Kirk in another words. Without that emotional string to pull me into believing or acting on feelings, I deal with rationalizing, analyzing and hard logic. More so, the emotions are there but tightly controlled, in those moments I do "lose control" I tend to seem a bit extreme. More so, I make cold and calculated decisions... it is vitally important you understand this, I do nothing without a purpose & many times to achieve multiple purposes with a single action. The "good or bad" of that purpose is debatable but, regardless there is a purpose.

Its vital you understand that I am an analytical person because, I look at things without emotional attachment or with less emotion then others. Many times, especially online people who's opinions are colored by their beliefs, desires and what they choose to believe say am I "acting like a grandmaster and treating them like a bunch of white belts" because I analyze and develop my opinion based on the information presented... Now I don't sugar coat things, I am very direct in my statements.

More so, I find the internet culture of online experts and exponents amusing, especially the emotional attachment of some people to an idea or their idea. You see ideas often illicit emotional responses and if you don't control those emotional responses, you are controlled by those emotional responses. This is the basis of Ashida Kim's "ninja mind control" & psychological manipulation in general. There is a reason for the phrase "Looking through rose colored glasses." Emotions alter the way our perception of the world works and cold hard unemotional (this is ultimately impossible but you can reduce the degree of how much your emotions effect you with unattached logic). Very simply, if you are near sighted and wear corrective glasses, you can now see things at a greater distance in more detail. If you are wearing sun glasses, things appear grayer. Sun glasses with a pink, violet, blue or whatever colored hue will effect how things appear to you. The florescent lights of a store (a very light blue in nature) actually alters the appearance of the colors of clothing, a service industry trick to make things look more appealing. Those same cloths will look different in Sun Light.

Your emotions and what you already believe, have that effect on your perceptions of new information as well... Quite simply, I don't believe anyone has a legitimate claim to a Ninjutsu tradition to date. I believe that everyone in the Ninjutsu world either "made up" or learned from someone who made up their traditions. To someone who holds the belief they are learning from a "legitimate Soke" or "Master" I am wrong. If I start stating cold hard facts, I have an "agenda" or "I am attacking someone" because someone doesn't want to believe as I do, they make it a point to "attack" the sources of these facts or me to discredit those who oppose their beliefs. For no other reason then they are defending what they want to believe. And I find some small amusement in aggravating these people, yes I have troll-ish tendencies...

Without any emotional attachment or desire to agree, disagree or be accepted into the group I watched this video;

Now in the online community (Ninja Quest) myself and others, didn't like what we saw, those who claimed we didn't understand what we were seeing didn't explain it to us. They simply declared we had an agenda or already our minds up. Despite asking them with their claimed insider knowledge to explain what e were seeing. So I took it upon myself to analyze the video and here is what I felt was wrong...
Grabbing the hand right off the get, before it clears the holster is smart I even compliment Hatsumi at the point... Previous in the video he explains he is grabbing the hand and establishing a wristlock. And Hatsumi is controlling the thumb to keep from being shot/allowing the opponent to perform a trigger squeeze.
So he has a wrist-lock, the Uke still is holding the gun. So here the gun is pointed down but the Ukes arm is to the outside, away from his body.
The arm is further pulled out and the same elements are still in effect...
Now there is a serious debate on this between me and the pro-Hatsumi crowd, because it seems pretty obvious to me in the video that gun moves parallel (horizontal) to the ground (across Hatsumi's groin/stomach area) and not vertically.
More so, It appears the gun goes back across the groin/stomach area. and from the angle in the still above shows Hatsumi.
Here Hatsumi demonstrates the small-joint manipulation of the Uke's gun hand.
Hatsumi and the thumb still explaining... or if you agree with me still excusing.
And now Hatsumi attempts controlling the gun... I question why he didn't do this sooner.
Here Hatsumi continues the lesson that without a thumb someone can't pull a trigger. Which I disagree with, a smaller pistol (commonly used by criminals because they can easily be concealed) could be gripped with the remaining three fingers and possibly allow the trigger to be squeezed.
I fundamentally don't care what Hatsumi teaches and I don't think my disagreement with him will stop anyone from joining the Bujinkan or learning from him or anyone else in the Bujinkan. In fact, I give myself so little credit in this regard that I've both intentionally and unintentionally ruined my own creditability with others to various degrees. Mostly this has been done for "making fun" of online experts who are committed to "discussing" how great their style and masters are while bashing others.

In fact, if you look at the martial arts world with a bit of honest skepticism you'll find even the "creditable martial artists" are full of lies and exaggerations. In fact, creditable is an empty label because it depends on creditable to who? To those devoted to a particular style, questioning the style is the equivalent of questioning God. Many times, instructors invent answers when questioned on things they don't know. More so, many martial arts instructors make things up on the fly to fill gaps in their training. This is not a bad thing by any means, after all if you find yourself in a self-defense situation and encounter something you aren't accustomed to you have to make it up as you go along.

I once asked Omoto Sensei how to counter a technique he showed me, and his tierce reply was only "How would you counter it?" I was not what you would call friends with Kiyoshi Omoto he looked at our relationship as a duty... it was his job to teach and my job to learn, we were not friends. More so, Omoto Ryu under Kiyoshi Omoto was a job and under Sensei Martin it was not. I was friends with Reginald Martin which is why I learned this style, I even dated his daughter. Under Sensei Martin Omoto Ryu used a simple ranking system that did not have belts, where as Koshi Omoto used belts because Omoto Ryu Jujitsu & Budo was a commercial school... these ranks were simple Deshi (student), Sempai/Sensei (Senior Student/Teacher) and Shihan (Master). A student learns what he is taught, a senior student understands what he is taught and teaches it to those learning and a master understands what he isn't taught and acts without thinking. Omoto Ryu has no Soke in the traditional sense... One becomes a Shihan, as the Shihan who taught him or her no longer teaches them. You may train together but you are no longer "learning" you are "experiencing" this is somewhat like some parents who kick their kids out the house after a certain age. They haven't disowned the child and are there to help and offer advice but the child must face the world as an "adult." This is true of anyone who has to use their art in  real world, whether you are an "operator" on the battlefield or a telephone operator being mugged in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Now isn't that a long winded and pointless way to say "Sometimes in life you have to make it up as you go along?" Sadly, the fantasy of being a martial artist makes it seem like "Master" has to or should have all the answers be filled with stories and anecdotes speaking in riddles instead simple, direct and straight forward. Once you understand this, you have to deal with two facts. 1) Sometimes people make up shit and 2) sometimes others don't have an answer for your questions. Guess what that means, deal with it & go figure it out yourself... I've had to figure things out so much, I don't ask I just observe and analyze, form my opinion and go on. Sometimes I change my opinion and, most times I don't. Do I care what you believe? No... like your sexuality or religion those are things for you to deal with unless your region tells you to kill me or you want to practice your sexuality with me I don't care. Nor should you care what my opinion is, people who seem to care that I don't agree with them or think I "bash their art" forget I don't regard my own opinion very highly. People will believe what they want because they want  believe it... Who am I?

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