Black Dragon Ninjitsu Blog Spot Interview with Ashida Kim
6 years ago
6 years ago
Jeremy Talbott Thanks for posting the interview. I know I am either going to get a lot crap for this or banned from here, but here it goes....There are several issues I have with this. When questioned about lineage: "My answer would have to be, "on the fly." Never really had a specific Ninja Dojo per se, just a lot of good teachers that I met along the Way."
How can anyone be a grand master by this type of study? I learned here and there? Really? I personally learned under some great teachers one be the legendary Fumio Demura. However, I have stuck with two teachers who I still learn from today and after 34+ years, I would never claim to be a grand master.
Next issue...lineage to ninjitsu: "My understanding of the history of the system I was taught, is that the Kimitake clan". When you research clans of Japan, there was never a Kimitake clan. The only reference to Kimitake is to a pen name of a famous author who committed sepeku. (I recommend reading up on him, very interesting person and life).
"These made their way to the feudal cities and joined forces with the local Yakuza for protection and to fight back against the warlords."
This "sword hunt" that was mentioned which drove the Kimitake clan to Yakuza, took place under the orders of Hideyoshi in 1588. The Yakuza's earliest history can be found in around 1612 (Read Yakuza: Japan's Criminal Underworld by Kaplan. Good book with detailed history). Even in 1612 they were not called Yakuza but were called Tekiya. These were peddlers and were considered a very low caste group. They banned together, but mostly to take over commerce, not over throw the government.
"Their special skill was invisibility. Some say this was because they were trained in Chinese Pa-Kua Chang"
Again, this could not happen with the time frames that were mentioned earlier. Baqua was founded roughly in the 19th century, so it is VERY doubtful that ninjas were taught Baqua.
It seems he was lied to about his own history or he did not research the history he is making up, if that is the case. I just find it hard to accept a person as a grand master with sketchy history and really no lineage except learning here and there from different instructors (per his own words).
One question that should have been asked....Why does he call himself Ashida Kim (Japanese first name Korean last) when he is A) Caucasian and B) Real name of Radford Davis?
July 10 at 9:26am Â· Like
Ron Collins Well Kim is short for Kimitake, Ashida Kim is psuedonym, also the "Sword Hunt" under Nobunaga to end the threat of Ikko-Ikki rebels, then there was Toyotomi Hideyoshi's that lasted from 1588 to 1590 and the Meiji Restoration "Sword Hunts" against Samurai who refused to give up power and the abolishment of the caste system in the 1871. The most famous of which is the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. So you have three "sword hunts" to choose from and one of which falls within's your own timeline.
As for leaning from different people, well why not..? Guchin Funakoshi, Jigaro Kano and most other notable martial arts masters. Believe as you will, you will anyway...
July 10 at 4:31pm Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott Pick which hunt you would like but a hunt was not about killing clans but about taking swords away from the masses. Plus....again....there has been no records of a Kimitake clan. Even if we were to go and the assumption that this mysterious clan were involved in the rebellion and wiped out there would still be records of their existence. Funny how his pen name is based off the same pen name that I mentioned earlier.
Comparing him Funakoshi in terms of multiple instructors is not a good analogy. Funakoshi studied under two instructors who knew each and he was their student for many years.
Yes i will believe what i will based on facts not hear say of mystical wiped out clans and last dragon story lines.
July 10 at 5:01pm Â· Like
Ron Collins Well you didn't do much research into the Kimitake name unless you're point is to try to challenge Ashida Kim's interview with half assed research. If you looked into random Kimitake named individuals you come across the name Yukio Mishima, which is the pen name of a famious author & actor Hiraoka Kimitake or properly in Japanese Kimitake Hiraoka. Who was also of a samurai lineage by blood through the Kawabata clan & a renowned martial artist.
Whats funny is that Kimitake is the real name and not the pen of writer you referenced but incorrectly claimed Kimitake as his pen name. More so, Kimitake Hiraoka attempted to stage a Coup Detat at Ichigaya Camp (headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japanâ€™s Self-Defense Forces in Tokyo) and failed. Having failed he commited Seppuku the same day November 25, 1970. Like I said believe what you will you will anyway but at least get your information correct...
July 11 at 6:34am Â· Like
Joe Rider If one may be so bold, might we inquire at which university Mr. Talbot teaches Japanese history? He seems such an expert. Perhaps he was there, LOL
July 11 at 7:14pm Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott Ron Collins...you are correct, I did mix that up. However, my point is still valid. Kimitake is was the person's first name not his last name. I have read about Kimitake's situation...please note that I mentioned before that it was a very interesting read. Yes there were 3 major "sword hunts" as you mentioned. If we look at the Meji period, which would be the more practical period in which "ninjas" would be utilized, if there was a Kimitake clan, they would not have hidden out with Yakuza, simple because Yakuza was not out to overthrow governments. In fact they just started getting involved in politics and was working with governments to earn favor. To hide an "outlaw" clan would not have been a good move on their part.
Next, people think that I am attacking AK, but understand this, any person that tells me that they studied here and there with unknown teachers and then proclaimed to be part of a long lost clan of ninjas I would question every word they said.
Joe Rider....I see, so I have to show you a document showing that I graduated from a university with a major in Japanese history for you to believe me, but you will take the word of some person with no real documentation of his past studies. You do recognize the irony in that right?
No I wasn't there, but then again, I wasn't there when my instructor got his black belt, but he has documented proof of his studies. So let me set the record straight, so there is no confusion. I have no PhD in Japanese or Korea history. In fact I have no college degree at all. I do not proclaim to know this or that, but I will question people's credentials when they seem far fetched (in other words when they claim to come from a lost forgot clan of ninjas). I do study Korean history both actual history and martial art history. I have, been over there over 10 times and will return again in September, to pursue my own studies. During this time I have had to study some Japanese history in order to fill in gaps of Korean history. I have contacted people over in Japan for such help. So Mr. Rider, feel free to question me an my credentials all you want. Why you are at it please let me know how my credentials are significant in my questioning of someone else's background. That is only smoke and mirrors to take away from the fact that the person that's in question still has questionable history.
I welcome any and all actual proof of lineage, and/or existence of the Kimitake clan. If you are interested in actually learning some history, I would start by contacting Hata, Ikuhiko. A very nice older gentleman, but you will need a translator, as his English is very limited. He is an expert in Japanese war history. Good luck in your research, I mean if you are actually interested in truth and not blind obedience.
July 11 at 8:34pm Â· Like
Joe Rider You just like to argue. You are repeating history from things you have been told or read and state them as facts absolutely. But, when anyone else relates what they were told or found in their own research, you, because of your prejudice, automatically call it a lie. For instance, you say that Pa-Kua was not invented until the 19th century. That is absurd! In the old days, hundreds of years ago, people had to learn Hsing-i AND Pa-Kua BEFORE they learned Tai Chi. Because one is circular, the other is linear and the principles of both are combined in Tai Chi. There is a video clip of Master Sin The (ever heard of him?) discussing Pa-Kua as the "disappearing art" because the system is based on the principle of "turning the enemy's corner" to get behind him; thereby becoming invisible. Don't you think a Ninja would be interested in that type of technique? Isn't it just possible that some Japanese, maybe even one named Kimitake, COULD have studied in China, or met a Pa-Kua master from whom he could learn? In all the history of mankind there have been pioneers and people who trained in secret arts. But, according to YOUR reality, they must all conform to YOUR interpretation of history and there can be no other. No one knows everything absolutely, not even you. But, the bigger issue is that you are missing the point. We are trying to HELP people, with our Anti-Bully campaign, with our healing arts, charity and many other ways. What good have you done for your fellow man? Or, do you just sit in your lonely little room trashing people on the internet all day?
July 11 at 8:58pm Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott I am repeating history? Yes, but I am not repeating history from just one source. I am studying several different sources to determine fact from fiction. Unlike many people who just want to blindly follow one person's version that, again, as no real documented proof to back up. I apologize as I didn't know that this group was the blind masses who will just swallow what is spoon fed to them and do it with a smile. I didn't know we were not allowed to debate. Got it. Thanks for letting me know.
What have I done? Hmmm..Should we start with my recent charity work? Ok. I just finished hosting my first tournament where I raised $650 for the Wounded Warrior Project and, in the same tournament, I raised money $300.00 for Inspire A Generation Fund organization (both which Mst. Lassiter can verify since he helped judge at the event). I have actually raised more money for IAG prior to that, but again, I am going with just recent fund raising. BTW.. I will be doing another tournament next year for WWP again, you are more than welcome to come out and support. To add to that I did the ice challenge with my school and raised $500.00 for that. .Prior to that I have done multiple free women's self defense/self awareness seminars, not to mention done several anti-bully programs, again free. I have donated time and money to local LEO's teaching H2H as well support families of fallen officers. Not to mention I have mentored several "at-risk" individuals been part of the support team for Sideswipe Performance team which entertains troops around the world.
I know, I know you were so hoping I would say I don't do anything to help my community and that I am some gutless keyboard warrior trying to stir shit. So I apologize if I disappoint. I will be at the gathering to help support Mst. Lassiter so you are more than welcome and say hi to me in person if you so wish. If I look out of sorts it will be because I am getting back from Korea the week before the event so I may still be jet lagged. BTW..can you tell me what does any of this have to do with me doubting someone's credentials?
July 11 at 9:55pm Â· Like
Ron Collins Jeremy here is an interesting thought... I been talkin to some "old timers" in Karate & Jujutsu and as we finding out do to all the historical research into ninjutsu, ninjutsu isn't so much a stand alone subject but a minor area of study in martial arts from the Sengoku period. Meaning there was never such a thing as a "Ninja Ryu" or "Ninjutsu schools." Even the Japanese histories from that period note the use of the term "Shinobi" (ninja) to mean "someone who is sneaking in" or just "sneaking in" and it was used rather freely with Ashigaru (who were mostly low level bushi and conscripted soldiers) being sent out to "Shinobi into enemy territory on scouting missions." More so, Ashigau didn't become members of the samurai class (nor were the classes locked) until the following Tokugawa period following the Sengoku. So "ninjutsu" was a skill set taught in many samurai ryu throughout Japan. More so, many samurai during the Meiji period did in fact have dealings with criminals and the Yakuza, something the Yakuza propaganda is keen on to declare themselves as carrying on the Samurai traditions.
More so, the Yakuza evolved from the Tekiya who were peddlers and who involved in politics as Tekiya from the get go of the Tokugawa period. Not to mention Yakuza members of the Koyosha founded by ex-samurai & who was involved in various Samurai uprisings until the Satsuma Rebellion. When it became the Genyosha (both mean Black Ocean BTW). The Genyosha was most noted as attracting Yakuza membership and from its association with the Jiyu Minken Undo or Freedom and People's Rights Movement.
So it is completely possible for "ninjutsu" to have been apart of the Bujutsu study of samurai ryu studied by members of the Koyosha/Genyosha and within the Yakuza. Even as Tekiya they were involved in politics during the Tokugawa period and I'd suspect the Yakuza would have better use for the ninjutsu arts. More so, its entirely possible for a samurai family to be involved in groups like the Koyosha/Genyosha and their associated Yakuza connections. Its also just as possible that the surviving members the family to changed their name if they were going into hiding.
Why wouldn't the Yakuza hide a wanted criminal (I mean they do it all the time anyway with their own members), especially one who make them more powerful with said knowledge of warfare and strategy? Regardless my point is a great deal of your statement directed at me is actually rather in the opposite direction of established history.
July 11 at 10:33pm Â· Like
Joe Rider Jeremy, Good for you! An honor to know that you are more than just a keyboard commando. As for credentials, or lineage, it doesn't matter who you trained with, the question is, did you learn anything?
July 12 at 8:44am Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott Ron Collins...I believe we are getting closer on agreement on some issues. I agree that there were no ninja schools and that what we now know today as "ninja" were, at one time subset of classes within the samuari clan. With my very limited correspondence with Professor Hata, we have discussed this and it is along the lines of what you stated. Some people would say that they were the "special forces" for the samurai, but I believe, similar to you, that while trained in bujutsu and other Japanese martial arts of the time, they were more or less, scouts.
The funny thing, at least to me, is when I was introduced to Korean dramas by my wife some 20 years ago, I would love to watch the historical dramas. In them there was always a story line of yangban trying to overthrow the government. At some point they do a nightly sneak attack. The first time I saw this played out in the drama they were dressed as what we would consider ninjas. I laughed and said I didn't know Koreans used ninjas. My wife, who is big on Korean history said, no those were just regular soldiers concealing their identity. My point to that little story is, that we as westerners have imagined this mystical creature that is ninja, when history pretty much points to them being nothing more than foot soldiers.
Now with that said, I hope you can understand my skepticism when I hear about these stories about people who studied from someone who learned the art from clan of ninjas who no longer exist.
As for Yakuza, we have to look deeply into their history (which is why I recommended the book by Kaplan. This was a very detailed writing on the origins and development of the Yakuza. Now you mentioned Tekiya. This was only one of two groups that spawned the origins of yakuza. After reviewing my notes, there were also the Bakuto as well, which were the gamblers. They were the ones that were more of the criminal minded than the Tekiya. Keep in mind that the Edo government not only recognized the Tekiya organizations, but allowed the leader to carry a short sword. So it is unlikely that they would be a group to harbor the criminal element at this time. The Bakuto may well have been this group, but they were not a politically active as the Tekiya. In the interview he said the Kimitake clan fled to the cities to join forces with Yakuza to fight back against the government. He did not say they fled to the Yakuza to hide themselves, two totally different perspectives here.
Also, nothing is directed at you. It is directed at the answers given by the person you interviewed. What I wrote is based on my studies and correspondents on Japanese history, as limited as it is. So I am not going against the history of Japan, I am simply questioning the history that is being told by one person since it doesn't quite sink up to that of Japanese history. I will say this again, if there can be some sort of actual proof, be it documentation, certification, an address to a teacher or fellow classmates that studied on the that teacher....something that could help prove what is being told I would be glad to accept it. Right now I see nothing but word of mouth from a person who capitalized on the ninja craze of the 80's.
Please don't get me wrong. I like the fact that you are taking the time to contact some of pioneers, and seniors of the arts. It is good to hear some of the stories of their lives in the martial arts and the history that has been made. I have had the honor of sitting down with my wife's uncle who is 2nd generation Jidokwan, and got to hear the stories of its development and training that he did, prior to, during and after the Korean War. I have sat with GM Demura and picked his brain on history of the arts as well as working people like Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, etc. These are stories that need to be told or they will be lost. BUT, we must be careful too. There are many people still out there spinning fabricated tales of mysticism in order to feed their own egos and profit off of our romanticism of the martial arts.
Yesterday at 1:00pm Â· Edited Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott Joe Rider...It does matter who you train with. If someone is conning and teaching crap, then you will continue to teach crap. There are a lot of people out there that just took a lesson got to a intermediate rank then made up their own system and proclaimed themselves 10th dans.
Plus the issue here is that there were no mention of any names of the teachers, outside of Shendai. So who was this person? What was his last name? Does he still have a school? What were AK's fellow class mate's names? He learned "on the fly" so I learn a bit here and a bit there and now I too can be a grand master? Sorry but it does matter who you learn from. I am not saying they have to be big names, but they do have to be qualified.
Yesterday at 9:45am Â· Like
Joe Rider No amount of proof or documentation is sufficient to satisfy a critic with a closed mind. This argument is meaningless. Besides, ALL criticism is merely jealousy disguised. I am glad you are proud of your art. Why is it so difficult for you to let me be proud of mine? Can't we all just be martial artists together, instead of constantly trying to discredit or put other people down? If that is the "way" you learned, then you missed the point of the entire exercise. Have a nice day!
Yesterday at 9:54am Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott Joe Rider...how does my questioning of one person's credentials take away from YOUR art? I never said ninjutsu was crap. I never said it did not exist or you should not be proud of your art. Are you a student of AK? If so then your opening statement flows both ways. The "way" I learned martial arts has nothing to do with the "way" I learned about trying to discover facts and separate them from fiction. Integrity....is something I have learned. So when I have questions about someone's integrity I raise them. I guess that is where we differ.
Yesterday at 12:58pm Â· Edited Â· Like
Joe Rider See, this is what I mean. In an earlier post you go to great lengths to say that Ninja did not exist in Korea, only soldiers concealing their identity; and similar criticisms of the system. Now you come out and say you are only interested in harassing me personally. You act like everything in the interview is a lie, and yet we caught you misrepresenting the truth about Yukio Mishima's real name being Kimitake and you even admitted it. But, it never ends. All of this is nothing more than attention seeking behavior. I'm sorry you are so lonely that you must fill your days with hate and meaningless internet trash. I hope that you will find the true Way of peace and harmony someday.Know this and keep it in your heart, God loves you anyway.
Yesterday at 10:35am Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott ~sigh~ Yes, they did not exist in Korea. They were soldiers, plain soldiers, nothing more nothing less. I would be more than happy to debate you about Korean history especially 13th-19th century if you would like to get into it. What other criticis...See More
Yesterday at 11:26am Â· Like
Joe Rider http://www.hwarangdo.com/Magazines/sulsa.htm
Hwa Rang Do: The Invincible Sulsa Warriors
Jeong doAm jaJeong doway of the true swordAm...
Yesterday at 12:04pm Â· Like Â· Remove Preview
Joe Rider You see, they did exist in Korea, they were called Sul Sa. You say this started when I accused you of not doing anything for your fellow man? Wrong again! It started when you began to nit-pick and dispute what was said in the interview. But see, bullies always do this. They throw the first punch and then accuse you of attacking them.
Yesterday at 12:07pm Â· Like
Joe Rider As for teachers, Buddha said, "For every three I meet, one is worthy to be my teacher." I asked if we could not all just be martial artists together, that was a gesture of peace. But, you call it confrontational. What color is the sky in your world? LOL
Yesterday at 12:09pm Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott HA!! I was waiting for you to bring that up. Tell you what, why don't you actually research Sulsa Do and TRY to find material or documentation that does not eventually link back to the World Hwarangdo Association. Good luck with that. I would ask you to speak with Professor Kim, Ja-hyun from the University of Chicago about this, but unfortunately she passed a couple of years ago. Of course you may have felt she was confrontational and a bully since she too did not believe Sulsa ever existed. I find it hillarious that you are saying your anger and hatred towards me began when I questioned information that was said,and so I am the bully.
You still haven't answered my other question. You said " Now you come out and say you are only interested in harassing me personally." Where did I say this? I call you being confrontational because you are making these wild accusations.
BTW...when exactly did Buddha say this? Can you point me to the doctrine or book (please no internet quotes, because like the picture on net once said "Don't believe all the quotes you find on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln. )
Yesterday at 12:57pm Â· Edited Â· Like
Joe Rider Please stop ranting, you are only making yourself look foolish.
Yesterday at 3:35pm Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott Ha.ha.ha....I'm not the one ranting. Whatever ~sigh~ Good luck in your research on Sulsado. Remember....there are other sources out there besides magazine articles. You take care now. Good day sir.
6 hrs Â· Edited Â· Like
Ron Collins Jeremy, I prefer to not pass judgement one way or the other... Thing about the Tekiya is that they were peddlers yes, but they were also involved in extorsion via protection rackets and selling stolen goods as well as shotty merchandise. I believe smuggling was also an element as well. So they already did many things which would be a group to harbor the criminal element. Just as much so as the gamblers of Bakuto and both groups became the Yakuza as we know them today...
As far as fighting the government well that takes many forms. The mob here in the US believed it was fighting to governmet with criminal activity. I'm far more concerned with what a person teaches as opposed to who teaches it or who taught them.
19 hrs Â· Like
Jeremy Talbott The extortion came later in the their line. It was started originally when they banned together for protection. They would hire individuals within the group to protect them during the market. As it grew so did the corruption (as most things do). They were always selling some questionable merchandise. We have to keep in mind that they were considered to be of low caste. The Bakuto were considered even lower because what they did was illegal from the start. While most people feel that both the Bakuto and the Tekiya joined to form Yakuza, this really isn't the full truth. The term Yakuza, meaning "usless people" (there is a deeper more literal meaning to the name but this was what it refers to), was given to both of them. To this day many of the Yakuza will trace their roots and claim to be Tekiya or Bakuto.
As to the last statement, I believe both are equally important. One must have a knowledgeable teacher in order to become a knowledgeable student. Even if it is more than one teacher.
It will be noted that Sensei Talbot expects us to believe there were no Sul Sa based on the testimony of a single deceased witness who refused to believe in them either. While the authors of the Black Belt magazine article on Sul Sa are well known and respected martial arts figures, their testimony is meaningless to a closed mind.
Nor did he get banned or harassed as he predicted and wanted with his attention-seeking behavior. That is just passive-aggressive manipulation.
He began the confrontation, then blamed Joe for challenging him. His excuse being that "questioning someone's credentials is not an insult." Of course it is, and that is not all he was doing. He was calling me a liar.
I forgave him, but that wasn't enough. He just kept on harping on his talking points like a typical troll. This is why we can't have nice things. This is why we can't work together. Because there is no brotherhood, no honor or spirituality, only petty jealousy and greed.
It doesn't have to be like this. We are better than this. We can make it better. Extend a hand of friendship into the darkness and help another hand into the light.
Martial artists are men of honor, let's start acting like it.
6 years ago
I think the black dragon is a clan in mortal kombat x