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#210348 - 12/01/05 05:41 PM Mr Nishiyama
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
I believe there are many gifted non-Japanese masters and teachers in the western world, but they are often overlooked or not given the credibility they deserve because they are non-Japanese. The colour of a persons skin, or the land of their forefathers does not make them wise or skilful, these fine qualities can be obtained by any individual with hard work, determination, and an open mind.

In evidence of this, I once asked a Japanese friend of mine to go along with me to an event in London. He was at the time an art importer and knew nothing much of the martial arts. I asked him if he would help me prove a point and not blow the cover of what was about to occur, and also for the rest of the day only speak to me in Nihongo (Japanese), and I would do the same (although limited in dialogue at that time - I got by).

We arrived at the event, and from the time we both entered the door everyone we passed bowed deeply to my friend and naturally assumed him to be a senior ranking martial arts master. Several instructors at the event hurried to make the acquaintance of the apparent master who had consented to attend the event (albeit they had no idea who he was). Sensei, allow me to introduce myself, I am, said one instructor, and at this point my friend said in Japanese, you speak. To which I said, This is Mr Nishiyama (I made the name up - it was not his real name), he speaks no English, but wishes to watch the event. Within fifteen minutes, he had a crowd around him as if he were a member of the Royal household. I continued to indulge his chit-chat and odd words for nearly an hour. We then left and made our way home with him chewing me out the whole journey back saying he would kill me if I ever did that to him again.

The next day I telephoned many of the people who had believed him to be a senior martial arts master as I had their telephone numbers, and explained who he really was and why I felt I had to prove the point that they had only behaved as they did because they assumed, he was an important master from Japan/Okinawa...

Needless to say - I am now very careful as I teach and travel around England as there are a few seniors here who owe me one...

Respectfully
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210349 - 12/01/05 11:06 PM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Did you tell others that he was a martial artist, or no?

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#210350 - 12/02/05 07:49 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
BuDoc Offline
The doctor will see you now

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: USA and Abroad
So you intentionally tried to make your colleagues look foolish to prove your point. Impressive.

Page
_________________________
Medical Advisor for the Somolian National Sumo Team

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#210351 - 12/04/05 09:43 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: JoelM]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
Quote:

Did you tell others that he was a martial artist, or no?




Sorry for the delay in replay - I've been away. No, not once did 'I' claim he was a senior martial artist - or martial artists - it was all assumption based on the fact that he was Japanese....

Respectfully,
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210352 - 12/04/05 09:46 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: BuDoc]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
Quote:

So you intentionally tried to make your colleagues look foolish to prove your point. Impressive.

Page





Sorry for the delay in replay - I've been away. No, that was not the intention or the outcome - but as I state above - it was what others 'assumed' that was the interesting part... If I walked in with an American or Englishmen - I doubt it would have drawn the same interest - that was the point I was making.

Respectfully,
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210353 - 12/05/05 12:09 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Maybe the fact that you make it a habit to routinely bring Japanese Martial Artists to England and the fact that you were at a Martial Arts event they made a not-so unreasonable assumption of the circumstance at hand.

Maybe these people trusted you to correct them if they made such a false assumption of a person. Well, I guess you really showed them what's what.

BTW-I do understand the point you were trying to make, but I think you went about it a very poorly concocted and somewhat rude way. My opinion, nothing more.
_________________________
We should all take ourselves seriously...and then crumple that image up and toss it out the window.

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#210354 - 12/05/05 12:49 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
your point is simple. There is cultural bias in the U.K. .....and?

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#210355 - 12/05/05 01:55 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: JoelM]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
Quote:

Maybe the fact that you make it a habit to routinely bring Japanese Martial Artists to England and the fact that you were at a Martial Arts event they made a not-so unreasonable assumption of the circumstance at hand.




Excactly my point....

Quote:

Maybe these people trusted you to correct them if they made such a false assumption of a person. Well, I guess you really showed them what's what.




That's true enough - and I explained the next day and all found it amusing - I didn't do it with any ill intent - purely to explain the point that was made.

Quote:

BTW-I do understand the point you were trying to make, but I think you went about it a very poorly concocted and somewhat rude way. My opinion, nothing more.




Well, to this day I still have your mixed feelings about it - but then it made a point - and it was thought-up as we arrived because of a various articles I had read where the writer claimed it was pointless to learn under a westerner....

Respectfully,
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210356 - 12/05/05 01:56 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Ed_Morris]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
Quote:

your point is simple. There is cultural bias in the U.K. .....and?




This is so true, here more than the USA there is a feeling that a Asian teacher will have more to offer than a westerner.

Respectfully,
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210357 - 12/05/05 02:01 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: JoelM]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

your point is simple. There is cultural bias in the U.K. .....and?




T R U E ?

Quote:

you make it a habit to routinely bring Japanese Martial Artists to England




T R U E ?

Quote:

Maybe these people trusted you to correct them if they made such a false assumption of a person




T R U E ?

Quote:

I think you went about it a very poorly concocted and somewhat rude way




T R U E ?

Bad Soke!
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#210358 - 12/05/05 02:17 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
perhaps its because there is a growing trend for Westerners to call themselves 'Soke'?

what I'm confused about is if you feel that way about getting an unfair rap of being a non-asian sensei...then why bother going thru all of the trouble of trying to convince people that your lineage is good since it comes from Okinawa or Japan? I'm refferring to the website. you have Japanese language and names splashed around the site like you are all authentic budo or something...but then you want people to assume that when standing side-by-side with an Asian they will automatically know whos the master?

Go to japan and stand side-by-side with a professional japanese football (soccer) player...the people will treat you like gold and assume you taught the japanese professional everything he knows.

your website doesn't help to dispel this bias. If an org was really sensitive to this issue, they wouldn't try to be 'authentic' japanese. why even create a style with a japanese name? maybe if you had an English name 'Ryu', people would be able to pick the Soke out of a crowd.

just some things to think about.

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#210359 - 12/05/05 02:17 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: BrianS]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK

Quote:

Bad Soke!




I did laugh I NEVER use that title as it really should not be used by anyone other than the son (or inheritor) of a system/ryu when the founder passes. I further never use 'Grandmaster' as I don't play chess

I use 'Soushisha' as it means 'Originator' - but hate many of the ways Shogo is used to elevate the user to a God-like position... I realise of course that the head of the organisation should appear higher than his/her peers - but some take it to the extreme....

Respectfully,
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210360 - 12/05/05 05:15 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Can I play devil's advocate here? (I'll assume you've said ,'yes').

Mr Grayston seems to be getting some hypothetical stick in a few threads about his status, his ryu and his 'Japanese-ness'.

Questions from the DA (Devil's advocate),

If Mr Grayston has a dubious position as a founder of a system etc with (allegedly) questionable authenticity, then why are so many Okinawan and Japanese masters happy to come to UK at his invitation and to be associated with him. Surely they don't need the street-cred and surely it isn't just for the sponds.

What was the reaction of Mr Grayston's own Sensei when he told him he was founding his own ryu?

The DA rests for the moment?
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#210361 - 12/05/05 05:23 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: trevek]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
Quote:

Mr Grayston seems to be getting some hypothetical stick in a few threads about his status, his ryu and his 'Japanese-ness'.

If Mr Grayston has a dubious position as a founder of a system etc with (allegedly) questionable authenticity, then why are so many Okinawan and Japanese masters happy to come to UK at his invitation and to be associated with him. Surely they don't need the street-cred and surely it isn't just for the sponds.

What was the reaction of Mr Grayston's own Sensei when he told him he was founding his own ryu?




As you can see by the above threads - replies and comments to me are not just rude - but many are vicious, highly provocative and aggressive. You see - by virtue of the fact that I have my own ryu and do not play by the same rules that the mainstream styles and arts do - this can really offend some people and they want to vent that anger (and in many cases jealousy) at me in any way they can. This is not the first time and no doubt not the last....

One of the benefits of putting together my own ryu in 1984 was that we did not have to 'exactly' emulate the Japanese and Okinawan systems - and along with changes in techniques to suit westerners better - I removed many of the 'old' rules and myths that were only there for a political reason, or because it suited one system to do things in that manner. This makes me 'highly' controversial and I attract a lot of criticism because of this.

I really do not have to bother as my ryu is recognised in Japan and Okinawa - I toured Japan last year giving demonstrations of my style in Japan Karate-Do Federation dojo right across the country, and in 2003 I received a special commendation from the Embassy of Japan (UK) for 40 years training in Karate-Do. So in respect of legitimacy, many of their comments are laughable - but that will not stop them posting abuse... As I say, much is jealousy and there is little anyone can do to combat that...

This is intended to be my last comment on the subject as I certainly will not discuss my ryu on open forum with people I do not even know, whose sole intent is to be offensive.

Respectfully,
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210362 - 12/05/05 06:25 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I assure you it's not jealousy at all. usually when someone uses that argument the common response, I believe, would be: "I know you are, but what am I." lol

Using words like 'rude', 'vicious', 'jealousy', 'highly provocative' and 'aggressive' to describe open critism which everyone is subject to at one time or another, is not a defense for immunity....nor is anyones perceived rank. I do agree that insults are not necessary. Aggresive inquiry and challenges to someones 'authority' are not insults.

On an online forum, I'm afraid, a person stands up with his/her words alone. After people meet in person, it becomes something of a different relationship, understandably more personal and loyalties form.

The topic at hand (in this thread) was started about cultural bias.... I was merely trying to make the point that cultural bias depends on from where you are standing.

If that is no longer the debate, then it is off-topic and I appologize.
-Ed

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#210363 - 12/05/05 07:01 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Ed_Morris]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
Quote:

Using words like 'rude', 'vicious', 'jealousy', 'highly provocative' and 'aggressive' to describe open criticism which everyone is subject to at one time or another, is not a defense for immunity....nor is anyones perceived rank. I do agree that insults are not necessary. Aggressive inquiry and challenges to someones 'authority' are not insults.




I have not 'once' mentioned my rank - which is totally irrelevant - anyone who knows me knows full well that I give respect to anyone who trains, and tolerate those who do not as they may get involved one day Read the threads again, why were Razerfoot and Cord so outraged then????

Quote:

On an online forum, I'm afraid, a person stands up with his/her words alone. After people meet in person, it becomes something of a different relationship, understandably more personal and loyalties form.




I agree - yet I have attracted hostility on these forums for 'being different'... Hardly grounds for some of the abuse I've received.... And, further, I totally refuse to discuss my methods, ways, and 'why' with strangers and those who know nothing about me.

What I did in 1984, I did for reason, but then why should I answer for what I did - we each decide on the path we walk and there are many who criticise what I do - but that doesn't mean they can become judge and jury giving their almighty verdict - does it?

Shall I be judged by those only training for a few years and Bruce Lee fans? I think not...

If my methods are so 'odd' and 'off-the-wall' why do so many Okinawans and Japanese do courses with me (I don't pay them a penny). Why was I asked to tour JKF dojo across Japan demonstrating my ryu? Why did I get a Special Commendation from the Embassy of Japan? I have only ever had comments of praise from Okinawan and Japanese masters who accept what I do - and more importantly 'why' I do it...

Quote:

The topic at hand (in this thread) was started about cultural bias.... I was merely trying to make the point that cultural bias depends on from where you are standing.




Which you did admirably, but others used the opportunity for further abuse...

Quote:

If that is no longer the debate, then it is off-topic and I apologize.
-Ed




Again, I am trying to make this my last comment on the subject.

Respectfully,
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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#210364 - 12/05/05 07:47 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Grayston]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
ok. Live and let live then.

-Ed

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#210365 - 12/05/05 08:02 AM Re: Mr Nishiyama [Re: Ed_Morris]
Grayston Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Essex, UK
Quote:

ok. Live and let live then.

-Ed




My respects to you.
_________________________
Grayston "Not all Karate is the same."

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