Questions and Answers – Part 4
Two young men in Texas – Patrick Tow and Rayford Outland – decided to do a History Fair high school project about ninjutsu training and my work. If you might be interested in some minor points about my life and how I ended up where I did, check previous questions 1-4 and questions 5-8 and questions 9-11.
12. We realize this may be a touchy subject, but we heard you were expelled from the Bujinkan’s list of authorized judan 10th Degrees. We would love to hear your personal take on what happened.
A few of my senior students did not want me to comment on this. They feel that to address no-name keyboard snipers makes me look defensive and gives them credibility. On the other hand, other students and friends feel that because there is so much pernicious false information and cowardly character slander on the internet, it might be time to address the issue.
My skill as a practitioner and teacher – regardless of what rank degree I earned as a student – is on display all over the world through my personal appearances and DVD courses. My years of training with my teacher Masaaki Hatsumi have been documented in 19 books. You can look up what Black Belt Magazine says about my impact on the martial arts world. Nonetheless a few people still peck away at promoting this pointless gossip on the internet, so here is my take on it since you asked.
All this talk of my being “expelled” comes from a few of Masaaki Hatsumi’s newer foreign students (people enrolled after I made the art famous in the 1980s). Some of those newer black belts feel hard pressed to compete with my impact, and believe that if my influence were out of the picture, it would be easier for them to appear more powerful and important.
Based on observation, it is my opinion that a few of those foreigners are envious of the role that I played in Masaaki Hatsumi’s life. I escorted him from the shadows to full visibility. I propelled him to international fame through my books. I made it possible for thousands of students all over the world to study his art even though he had only two dozen students when I was living there. I established the foundation that took him to enormously rich prosperity. Some of Hatsumi Sensei’is newer students crave a sense of being that important too, but apparently they feel their roles are overshadowed by my influence in Masaaki Hatsumi’s life history.
These people seem to be nervous about what I teach, and are discouraged by the attention my words command in the greater martial arts world. Apparently a few of these students kept nagging for my name to be taken off the rank wall now that I am focused on teaching To-Shin Do. I guess they figured that if they could not beat me, they could at least cheat me.
I heard that some pestered Hatsumi Sensei to the point where he dismissed it all by saying they could do whatever they wanted. Reportedly, one of the students strutted over and took my name plank down himself. I really do not know the true story. There seems to be a lot of confusion in the Bujinkan organization right now, as a few ambitious people try to edge each other out in hopes of taking over when Hatsumi Sensei chooses to retire. That is what my friends in the Bujinkan tell me they witness all too often.
All this silliness began in 2006, but Masaaki Hatsumi himself has never acknowledged to me in any personal conversations or letters any word of “firing” me. My most recent letter from Hatsumi Sensei arrived three weeks ago (as of this writing), and he still has never acknowledged banning me from his life.
Why would Hatsumi Sensei avoid committing to an answer when asked? Why would he deliberately take an ambiguous fog-shrouded position? Maybe he is a ninja? Maybe he likes keeping people off balance? Maybe he is testing his students? “How much of what you see is really just what you want to believe?” he might ask.
So then what is true?
I did most of my learning under Masaaki Hatsumi’s guidance in the 1970s and 1980s, when I was in my 20s and 30s. I lived in Japan for some years and traveled back and forth each spring and fall for some years. I earned a 10th Degree Black Belt in Nin-po Taijutsu. I enjoyed my training. All of my books proudly acknowledge Masaaki Hatsumi as the source of my martial inspiration. My critics today were not there in the 1970s when Hatsumi Sensei was teaching ninjutsu. I was. Therefore, it is impossible for them to know what I know about what Masaaki Hatsumi taught in his ninjutsu days, and how it is different from the budo taijutsu they practice in the Bujinkan today.
Those are all indisputable facts.
Now in the 2000s, I very much enjoy teaching and sharing my insights into practical self protection and self perfection. My teaching approach is called To-Shin Do, and it is based on what I studied alongside Japanese friends in Masaaki Hatsumi’s dojo in the 1970s and 1980s
Perhaps the best way to view the situation is to understand that what I teach is extremely relevant to the kinds of danger that routinely arise in Western life. My job is to teach my fellow Westerners urgently needed spiritual tools in this current age of cultural degeneracy and financial confusion. At age 60 with way over 40 years of practice and application behind my belt knot, I serve far more people better by sharing To-Shin Do applied ninjutsu philosophies and tactics around the world as a teacher, than I would by just studying Japanese forms in Noda City as a student as I did half a lifetime ago.
In other words, my real rank is “Stephen K. Hayes.” Name plank or not, I serve the world with my budo to the best of my capability. Such a life is exactly what my teacher Masaaki Hatsumi has demonstrated to me since I began studying with him in 1975, and I am proud to follow his example.
Wow, thank you so much, An-Shu! I never would have expected our project to get this kind of impact. Very cool. Also to everyone, I’d like to say I’m not the only one working on the project, so is my friend Rayford Outland. And the project, a documentary, could end up on http://www.martialartstrainingvideos.net/index.php someday, after we smooth things out and add about 20 more minutes to it after the fair is over.It’s around 10 mniutes now, since history fair regulations say it can’t be longer than that.
Also, thanks a ton for the answers. We’ll definitely make sure to use them in the project! I’m still amazed to actually get input from the subject of our project himself.
I am shocked to find this on the web even though it is 5 yrs old. What empty lives those must have who try to minimize what SKH has accomplished and done for Hatsumi Sensei. I’m fortunate to have been there since ’76 and know my foundations are rock solid. Ninpo Ikkan!
This is a wonderful project, can’t wait for the next series. I know I’ve often thought about #6 and how it reminds me of the power one individual has to not only create change in their own lives, but truly on a much larger scale. Thank you Patrick and Rayford, and thank you An-Shu !
Thank you for the encouragement, Vance.
I urge all readers to check out Vance West’s blog entries on his experiences as a 1980s Shadows of Iga NY Budo (one of our best dojos in the ’80s and ’90s) ninjutsu practitioner “coming home” to To-Shin Do 20 years later in 2007.
Find Vance at http://www.vancewest.com/content/lost
Nice work Patrick!
Vance, good blog!
AN-Shu, it amazes me how the burning questions I’d like to ask you, or have about the art of Ninjutsu is often revealed in the scheme of things before I ask. I’m happy to continue learning! Enough gushing on my part, back to practice. 🙂
There are some intriguing questions on this list, especially number 11! Of course, many of my students hadn’t heard anything about the supposed “expelling” until it came up here, so now they’re asking me. And, I know nothing. We’ll enjoy your comment on that topic!
The questions about the role of the ninja in American society, past and future, are also intriguing. What have we contributed as a cultural force? What could we contribute in the future? I have lots of ideas, but I look forward to yours.
As someone who has practiced in both ninpo taijutsu and To Shin Do, I appreciate these questions and answers very much. Can’t wait for the next eight! 🙂
This series of questions and answers is indicative of the forthcoming nature of To-Shin Do. I’m learning that with persistence and an open heart, I can find the answers that I seek. The beautiful thing about what we do is that we have a direct physical metaphor that can open our eyes to the method for uncovering hidden truths.
Thank you, An-Shu.
I recommend that anyone confused by this ‘situation’ purchase, read, and re-read SECRETS FROM THE NINJA GRANDMASTER: Revised and Updated Edition by Stephen K. Hayes and Masaki Hatsumi before engaging in any speculation or discussion. (Of course, if you have been blessed to have studied with the Grandmaster, then you could also chime in with knowledge).
I’ve been awaiting the Densho post for this question, and have read SECRETS during this time. The insights, wisdom, and anecdotes related by Dr. Hatsumi are thought provoking and powerful. How blessed we are to live in an age when just about anyone can go online and purchase such a personal discussion with the current Grandmaster of Ninjutsu!
Mr. Hayes, wow. Kudos to you for such a direct answer. I give props.
I imagine it won’t bring peace to the fearful and confused – nothing ever does – but it might ease the nagging doubts of those whose hearts tell them that To-Shin Do is their home, but whose brains wonder.
First let me say that what I am about to write is my own opinion based on my limited experience. Take it or leave it ultimately it will not affect my personal quest. I am a low ranking bujinkan member who began training in 1987 having met Hatsumi Sensei here in the States and have trained with Mr. Hayes many a moon ago. I hope to make my first ever visit to Japan in September as a completion to a life long on and off again study of Ninjutsu. A personal journey. For me I thank Mr. Hayes for all that he did to introduce the art in the 80’s and wish him all the best in introducing and solidifing To Shin Do in the world. If it wasnt for him and my persuit of wanting to find this art obviously my life would have taken a different direction.
To me the 9 traditions that Hatsumi Sensei is now the current Soke of have been given to him by his teacher because there was a connection there that no one will understand. These traditions were handed down by a process which Hatsumi knows and will only pass on to one individual. The next Soke. To study Hatsumi senseis movements now and attempt to copy these to me is not as important as to understand and learn about the process that got him to where he is today knowing that you will not get the whole picture. Again this is I believe reserved for one individual. And I know that some believe this is already happening. I am not Hatsumi Sensei and do not know.
With that said I think training in ninjutsu is and should always be a lifetime filled with personal study and search for truth not rumour or conjecture. Unless you can speak fluent Japanese (and by fluent I dont just mean modern) and are a personal student of Hatsumi sensei one can not pretend to know why Mr. Hayes’ Plank was removed from the Hombu wall. More important to a student of ninjutsu or To Shin Do should be how this affects your study and training or more to the point how do you let it affect your study and training.
You can believe anything that flies around the world of Bujinkan, To Shin Do or the internet. How does it affect your training? You could believe the rumor that there is a Book on old budo traditions in Japan (and one of the authors is reported to have trained with Takamatsu Sensei)where one of the authors claims that Takamatsu Sensei created his ninja budo from “ninja games” that he played as a child.(by and by the book does exsist however you must be able to translate it) Again how does this affect your training?
So where do we go from here?
In my limited opinion I think Mr. Hayes should continue to focus his attention on spreading the value he feels in sharing To Shin Do. I think that he should (again in my opinion) instruct those individuals that think they will find more value in the Bujinkan to go merrily down that path. I do think that Mr. Hayes should stress to people that To Shin Do is not Bujinkan but that it is a culmination of Mr. Hayes life long persuit and dedication to sharing what he got from his teacher those years in Japan and that he has modernized it for todays westerner. So this wont be the same as what is taught in Japan. Perhaps he already does this I dont know I have not attended a To Shin Do course.
I think (again in my opinion) that those who do study in the Bujinkan should focus on their training and searching for that process that makes Hatsumi well…Hatsumi. But know in their hearts that they will not get the whole picture. I think that they should realize that there is enough room for all.
Continue to do what you do Mr. Hayes, train, study, share. It should only matter to you. Nothing changes history, but we all have the opportunity to create it. Mr. Hayes has created a good one. Again in my limited opinion.
Be well everyone and value your training.
Thank you for giving us your view on this.
You stand or fall on your own efforts. True, your teacher can endorse you publicly to help you out, especially when you’re getting started, but ultimately, whether you make it or break it is entirely up to you.
The true value of a teacher is that they can keep teaching you. I would think a reversal of the current situation would be far, far worse – where Hatsumi sensei publicly lauds you but privately refuses to answer your questions or train with you in any way, because that would be truly cutting you off from the lineage and legacy.
A fine answer, made me smile, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Hatsumi sensei last year and also train with Anshu Hayes at a seminar previously here in the UK. I can honestly say I am priviledged to have done so and I have a small understanding perhaps of some of the name-trampling and one-upmanship which tends to show it’s ugly head. I try to look at a person, not what they say, but how they live their lives and how they treat their fellow man and the world around them – I usually get a fair appraisal.
Thanks for sharing with us – it’s truly appreciated.
I especially appreciated your statement, “my real rank is ‘Stephen K. Hayes.'” I really needed to hear this today.
Thank you for this response An Shu. I personally never chose to get involved with the whole business of slams and defenses. I’ve purchased and read your books, and videos. I’ve read articles in Black Belt too numerous to mention. I’ve trained with people who have trained and been graded by you personally and/or through your senior instructors. Your reputation is, as far as anyone should be concerned, above reproach. Your credentials are undeniable as are your skills. We here in To Shin Do and Ninjutsu are forever in your debt. Without Stephen K. Hayes we would never have found this path. My sincere thanks.
To Shin Do Enthusiast
Stephen K. Hayes Fan (and proud of it)
Mr. Hayes although I knew most of what was said here, I still must say as a friend and a student, “I respect and commend your strength and courage.” You are truly an inspiration to me in my life.
Very eloquently put sir.
Thank you for remaining a source of inspiration and strength.
Truth is never hard to find except when it is not being searched for.
Predictably, some people on martial arts forums covering Bujinkan topics are grumbling about this post by you, Mr. Hayes. How funny that those foreign Bujinkan students that you refer to as envious of your work and resenting your reputation and jealous of all that you have done for your teacher are exactly the ones again criticising you for your words here. Don’t those poor whiners get it? Don’t they see that they are proving you aboslutely right with their embarrassing behavior?
I agree with your stance on this matter. I have a personal matter of my own and I have come to the same answer. A person knows what he truely accomplished or earned. If a person(s) have taken an issue with it, then the issue is with them themselves. How do we see the man in the mirror?
Its well known that humans will attack in one manner or another anything or anyone they feel intiminated (or what ever) by. Petty at best, well in my opinion.
Have a good day all.
I left the Bujinkan a year ago, Not just because of the politics or because of the too numerous paper ju-dans who lacked not only skill but also depth of understanding about the world and Budo Taijutsu, I spent 28 years of my life studying this art (I now do another that is more on the path I must follow,
The Bujinkan I knew and loved disappeared in the early 1990s as an example that may come as a shock to modern Bujinkan practitioners a time when if you wanted to ask a question of Soke you just asked and hot an answer directly (sometimes painful sometimes almost spiritual like a certain look, and you didn’t have to go through a wall of ju-dan to ask!, at the end of the 1992 tai-kai in London, My fellow participants and myself from our club, were loading the 15 seater bus to make the journey home, when up walked Soke, his wife and to other (famous) Shihan, to shake our hands and wish us a good trip and say bye bye until we meet again, we were going 300 miles, they had 10 times the journey home. And none of us was over 2nd Dan in the Bujinkan! It was a lot more personal then. This little gesture taught me a lot about Soke it was completely selfless, and was in keeping with the words of the person who introduced me to the art through his books way back in the early 80s. Stephen K. Hayes.
Since then many of the participants seen to have been attacking each other rather than helping each other along, this not what I joined all those years ago, To those who are still there I have some advice, to become a master you need to do this, start thinking about other people rather than yourself, get rid of hate, fear and Blame, that is a good start on the path.
I don’t care what Dan you are Stephen, you still taught me a lot, and who cares about a piece of wood? or people who think that a grade from a practical stranger is who you are?
Stephen K. Hayes Thank you!
Trevor Robinson (Geki Ryu)
As the ole’ saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Your actions are a living example of the truth of ninjutsu you continue to bring through To-Shin Do now, along with your life.
That others feel too much of their life (actions) are revealed by your light shows your accomplisments in their truth. This light shines through the fog of doubt and ignorance revealing what was there all along.
May your light continue to bring us toward that illumation we seek. Feel very thankful to have been a part of that since the early “Barn Dojo” days and continue to do so.
All the best to you !!!
WOW. Very well said. I’m sure the naysayers will have there hands full with the truth staring them in the face. See you at Fall Festival. Ninpo Ikkan!
What Stephen Hayes has done with the training he recieved from Hatsumi Soke is exactly what many on their death beds (real or figurative) will realize they should have done.
He is a ninja, pure and simple. Watch, listen and learn!
I think a little more “Japanese” than I should for a 6′ Irish/Apache, and I felt this was a terrible slight against your honor and much undeserved. Those eager to tear down a castle are never those who built it. Apparently the feudal system is alive and well…
And though my anger at this insult against you began to build, you again prove to us and the world that you, sir, are a true warrior gentleman. Your response was calm, measured and truthful. Who can deny what you’ve built and accomplished? You followed the path of the blade, then the soul, all the while tending the garden of the arts. Anyone who knows the Way knows that is the Way. You’ve set the standard for thousands of true warriors.
So thank you again, An-Shu Hayes. You continue to teach and inspire me. Today’s lesson: “Every wolf suffers fleas.” Oh yeah, and I should watch my temper.
Blessings to all on the path,
“My real rank is Stephen K. Hayes”
That says it all right there, doesn’t it?
Thanks for your candid answer and I appreciate the way and ethical/professional way you dealt with it. I have witnessed many “rumors” of things involving instructors through the years – including Japanese Shihan themselves. The bottom line is that seniors in the Bujinkan answer to Hatsumi Sensei and no one else. So no matter what circulates the doom and gloom rumor mills, it still boils down to the personal relationship with student to teacher and vice/versa.
As one of my teachers directly below Hatsumi Sensei in Japan likes to say; “dogs will bark – so let them – eventually they grow tired and they will still be dogs…”
Hello, Mr. Hayes:
I have read with a fair degree of interest over the years the negative comments and barbs which have been hurled at you by others training in Ninjutsu and the associated Budo Taijutsu arts. It is empirical evidence of the aphorism “the bigger the front, the bigger the back”, isn’t it? As your popularity and martial acumen have grown, so in direct proportion have the jealousy and spite of those who do not have the energy and perseverance to accomplish that which you have.
Many have conveniently forgotten (or, perhaps more appropriately, deliberately blindered themselves to the fact) that you, like the pioneering adventurers of yore, forsake the comforts and security of home and hearth and dove into the wilderness on a quest to capture your dream. That takes a special form of courage and discipline – something in sorely short aupply today.
This is not meant to be one of the proverbial suck-ups: I, too, fell under the spell of “Ninjutsu” when it first came to light, but with age and experience I have also come to the realisation that shining a light on the (once) obscure also reveals the slimier things residing in the darkness.
You have always comported yourself with grace and dignity and have always been willing to discover more about the human condition and ways of improving and/or defining one’s self. For that alone, you deserve credit and acknowledgement. However, the higher one climbs above the pack, the more clearly one becomes a target for the sniping shots of the less-qualified whose venom spills out over the easily-accessible internet fora where those who are even more deluded feed at the trough.
I know that the snide comments will have some effect on you, however small – you are, after all, also human. But comfort yourself with the knowledge that you have many supporters, students and friends who are more than happy to keep you in their hearts as an inspiration.
Many have seem to forgotten when Hatsumi took over after Takamatsu, the negative reaction that occured when Hatsumi opened the school to foreigners.
There will always be people with negative reactions to everything we do in life. We just have to keep doing what we feel is right. Stephen Hayes, you are doing a great job, and keep it up!
I have often wondered about these rumors and even though I never felt that you owed anyone an explanation, I very much appreciate your thoughts on this subject. Thank you, An-shu.
Very good repost Stephen,
It is well worth remembering that there are still those of us in the Bujinkan more active in our Dojos than on slandering forums.
We respect people and their skills, not wood boards and cloth patches and will be fighting for the soul of the Bujinkan utill the bitter end, however near or far that may be.
All the best to you and your family.
1000 years old tradition cant be changed by one man. Traditional ninjutsu is not efective because of its moves but because of its philosophy. When you train your mind to accept every new situation, the forms of tehniques r not important.
[ Editor note: An-shu saw this and commented with a smile, “It would be a lot easier if that were true.” ]
It seems incredibly likely that I will be moving back to AZ in the near future. There I could have the opportunity to train at the Phoenix Quest Center and/or with the Arizona Bujinkan Ninpo and Budo Kai (http://www.arizonabujinkan.org). I could probably only afford and have the time to do one and don’t yet know how to decide. Any suggestions? Is anyone familiar with either of the main instructors, Peter Crocoll at ABNBK or Michael Stinson at the PQC?
[Editor note: No choice or comparison at all – you need to get to the Phoenix Quest Center where Michael Akitoshi Stinson and his staff practice the incomparable visionary martial arts of An-shu Stephen K. Hayes, based on An-shu’s years of study in the Togakure ninja martial arts and then testing those findings in the world as a bodyguard for Asian royalty. No choice at all! Phoenix Quest Center is the only answer!]
Hello, Mr. Hayes!
I want to thank you for the development of Ninjutsu in the world. It is with your books began to develop Bujinkan in Russia. Health to you and good luck!
At the risk of being boo-ed off stage as a troll, I think that you are being less than honest about the situation (the meaningless elaboration/smoke screening being a clue).
I attended one of your seminars twenty odd years ago and was impressed by the fact that you were the only teacher I’d ever encountered that looked as though he could handle a 20th century gypsy bare knuckle fighter.
The teachers we’ve been subjected to in the UK since then are quite frankly appalling…if your opponent doesn’t pee himself laughing at your moves he’ll be jumping up and down on your spine after the ninja west side story dance moves fail you.
If we assume (as we must) that the ninja and samurai have similar concepts of feudal respect (which they do) then the real course of events can be inferred quite easily.
You have studied the art of the ninja for many years; achieved a level of mastery; and left the clan entirely to do your own thing. There is an entire genre of movies and literature that make clear what the implications of this are for you and Hatsumi. Not mentioning it and maintaining cordial formalities is classically Japanese in approach; it is not a ringing endorsement of your chosen path nor is it proof of there being no dispute. The foreign students you refer to are simply acting out what Hatsumi’s feudal code will not permit him to do. Put another way, who’s dojo is it? His or the students? The likelihood is that Hatsumi sees your To Shin Do as either a perversion of his teachings or a patronizing dig at the anachronism of the techniques you wasted your youth learning (if To Shin Do was around then would you really have opted for tai-jitsu? I doubt it). Frankly, I admire your chosen path and sincerely wish you very well with it; just have the balls to admit that you feel a little bit let down by Hatsumi, unappreciated for all you did for him and that you’ve finally grown the pair you needed to go your own way.
I am shocked to find this on the web even though it is 5 yrs old. What empty lives those must have who try to minimize what SKH has accomplished and done for Hatsumi Sensei. I’m fortunate to have been there since ’76 and know my foundations are rock solid. Ninpo Ikkan! (repeated deliberately)
I trained in the bujinkan from 1998-2003 and I was around instructors who thought less of Stephen K. Hayes. From what I have seen from him on the internet he is the real deal. My advice to those people that are bashing him is that they should show up at one of his Ninja festivals in the fall in Dayton Ohio, but the problem is a lot of those people are too coward to show there face. They are good at making false assumptions and that is a shame. Stephen K. Hayes endured training in the 1970’s that very few would be able to handle. You have to understand he trained in Japan at a time when the training was very physically challenging and the instructors were not as open as they are today. The problem is in today’s Bujinkan a lot of the younger practitioners fail to recognize the impact that he had on Ninjutsu 30 to 35 years ago in the United States.
It is likely that both sides of the story have truth to them. However, I must give credit where credit is due. Stephen K. Hayes made Ninjutsu widespread in the world, and had it not been for that fact, I would not have known the things that I know. His book (The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art :ISBN 978-0-8048-1656-4) gave me a good starting point for studying Ninjutsu. In the 2-3 years since, I have found translations of the Shoninki, Bansenshukai, Ninpiden, Yoshimori’s 100 poems regarding ninjutsu, etc. and have learned much from there. As the nearest To Shin Do dojo is a 6 hour drive away, I have been unable to attend one, but I plan on doing so in the near future. With all of this said, what happened in this incident is hardly worth making a big deal of. We should accept the facts and erase our opinionated ideas in order to get a clear understanding. I have run across such principles in my studies. I have heard other rumors of misgivings between the Bujinkan and those who practice To Shin Do, which lead me to believe the Bujinkan side, but i must remind myself and others that they are rumors, and i have not verified or dismissed them as of yet, as I have learned of the disagreement yesterday. Therefore, I encourage everyone to look past any preconceived ideas and search for the facts. -Anonymity is bliss…
I was in the Bujinkan a short While what a terrible Organization it has become.The instructors are toxic nasty individuals. I can personally attest to a lot of the things Steve said in this article. They are all arrogant and think they’re untouchable. I believe a lot of the instructors I have trained with who were former students of Steve hate their lack of progress, and take advantage of students and it is apparent they are all jealous of Steve’s success. Men Like Jeff Christian who owns the Muzosa Bujinkan Dojo in New York and a few others always go out of their way to discredit Steve to new coming students. It’s unfortunate people have to resort to character Assassination to make themselves appear more successful but such is life.
I am a Judan (10th Degree) in the Bujinkan training since 1984. if it wasn’t for Mr. Hayes, I would not be where I’m at today. I run my own dojo in North Carolina called the Yamashinkai, teaching my perspective of how I’ve trained over the years. I’m still in contact with some of my Bujinkan brethren but I pretty much do my own thing. Is that a sin? To some maybe, but they haven’t walked in my shoes either just like they haven’t walked in Mr. Hayes. Anyone that studies with Mr. Hayes is surely going to learn a lot and a different perspective all martial arts. Everyone’s perspective will be different. Mr. Hayes, as far as I’m concerned is doing nothing wrong but just sharing his perspective with others. Good Luck sir! Maybe one day I’ll get around to coming to one of your Ninja Summits. It will surely bring back memories!
If I remember correctly that was also around the same time that other, highly respected Shihans also left the Bujinkan. It seemed like people retreated Into their own training groups and there wasn’t as much cross training after that but in the end it all worked out.