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Phil Wright Sensei CONT.

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  • Phil Wright Sensei CONT.

    After letting sensei know that I had posted his last correspondence up on these boards, he was eager to see what had been replied. I showed him, there were some names he remembered, some stories were told and fun was had by all. He then sent me another piece, this time with the intention of publication. So, here for your viewing pleasure is another piece by my awe-inspiring sensei.

    "You seem to have published my notes in an Internet Kendo chat room. But, thank you for being honest, giving me replies to the them. I told you there was alot of sad, domineering politics around. They erupt, like boils.
    You can publish the following notes. Truth, is not a problem.

    Why do you think I gave you those notes?
    Youve got some replies, in various modes of emotional format.
    But what emotional format are you in, nowadays? Since finding Kendo?
    You went out tonight, drinking and fighting. How terrible you are! Ha!
    But, you did your fighting, before you did your drinking. There was no social irrational, in that. The pub, is the chat room, of after Kendo.
    The coaching dojo chat room of Kendo does not allow for one man to speak to another, after the man (or woman) who is lesser (with sword) has been elevated by inspiration of the spirit & sword, experienced and seen.
    You have found something so great, Kendo, which you thought so new, and so enlightening that you wished to share it with the whole world. And so, you did. If I could still envy (and know the sad confusion of enmity) I would envy you. But, I am not so jaded that I cannot share the egotism of the newness of Kendo. To the true Sensei, all things are new, in the day of the evolution of life that is, a life of Kendo. But, youve received some adverse comments, to my notes
    Does that matter, Damien? The screaming of the lambs?
    Shall we eat the rude? With the rather fine chianti, and strange beans?
    It would be interesting. But, alas, this time, I think not

    You received a few comments, confirming the accuracy of my notes:
    You gave me a reply from someone named Phil McLaughlin, one of my old time 1980s kyu grade students, known affectionately in my club as, MacGonkalot. My club was large, in those days. And I cant remember ever actually fencing with him. But he was around, doing the crazy things we all do, going on our adventure seminars, gobbing off a load of rubbish and generally being a drunken pain. However, I noted he was someone different, who might achieve something, one day. So, I was kind to him.
    People think Im controversial. But, Im only honest. And so, I know I owe MacGonkalot an apology. He disappeared, into a uni; had questions; he came to my house one day and spoke to me. But, then, I didnt know enough to advise him. He has run a kagami shin dojo for many years; the spirit of mirrors and jewels. To me, of the three sacred objects, the mirror jewel and sword, only the sword is sacred. So, he renounced his loyalty to my dojo. Then it was his problem. Not mine. My dojo is not a cult prison.
    (Every Kendo dojo must be autocratic. If it isnt it cant be called a dojo.)

    Second item of interest, I learnt tonight
    One of my students, (who do wander about in the BKA, and have even managed the BKA team in a Kendo world championship) has been doing his own thing. And told me he visited Clive Sinclairs dojo, a while ago. !
    And Clive described me as, A good mentor. (Ill think on that, kindly.)
    The replies you got, Damien, were from people who had read my funny replies and comments, to a situation I and my dojo were in, that was grim, to the point of being horrific! And it hasnt changed that much, in years. Same style of manure, different year. Even different decade(s)!
    There was a fat bloke called Keith Hazelwood. He wormed his way into British Kendo life, as a politician. He joined Kenseikai, after I had parted company from Fujii Sensei to promote my own dojo. And eventually, he wormed his way into becoming Membership Secretary of the BKA.
    He was taking money at the Lidstone Taikai, as temp BKA membership, but not offering renewal of membership. I thought that ploy was Kensekai politics, his Hazelwood Set having more BKA registered members than my Hatamoto dojo. Therefore his Set, which was not really in the spirit of the Kenseikai, having more political BKA power, than my dojo.
    There was a big time hate Phil Wright campaign. Which I thought was funny, because it wasnt backed up by shinai. Even more bizarre, my dojo wasnt a Kenseikai dojo because Fujii Sensei had formally released me from loyalty to him, to pursue my own dojo and ideals.
    In the end, I wrote to John Howell, and told him I was going to sort that lot out, with my shinai. And at a KK social function, I told Hazelbum that I was going to beat the crap out of him and the rest of his ilk. Hazelbums reply was, that if I did that, he would use all his influence in the BKA to get John Howell to expel me and my dojo from the BKA.
    So, before Trevor Jones went back to Japan, we wrote to John Howell, BKA Chairman, requesting a personal interview. I would put a complaint to him, about thefts of BKA funds. My students were complaining to me, about paying to be in the BKA, but not being in the BKA.
    For some years, sending off my BKA membership and dojo registration, I scribbled this simple message: Dear Keefy, Do your thing. I enclosed two, signed, blank cheques. One for the BKA. And one for his bit. But, the requested interview with John Howell never happened.
    Just after that, Hazelbum set me up, with a fake letter to John Howell, to get me thrown out of the BKA. Hazelbum had got to John, before we did. All I could do was request a highly respectable, genuine senior Kenseikai Sensei, to negotiate on my clubs behalf, which at least kept my dojo in the BKA. And I had to write to John asking for time, and his forbearance. Which he gave me. And I kept out of the way And in time, Hazelbum got nicked, for stealing 40,000 in BKA membership registration fees.

    If anyone thinks thats bad. Whats the difference, now? The replies you got, to the notes I gave you, demonstrated the difference between the real Kendo people, and the Kendo politicians
    At present Ive received a receipt for my BKA membership for 2007 but Im still waiting to receive the same for my BKA dojo registration. It isnt going to arrive, because the BKA coaching faction has made a rule, that a dojo cant exist in the BKA unless it has a coach. Is therefore, ultimately politically governed by the BKAs coaching faction. (Not by the ZNKR.)
    The BKA has not returned my dojo registration fee. And has not stated that my dojo has been expelled from the BKA. A rule was created at the last AGM, for the BKA not to write to any of its members, anymore. So, the BKA need not write, expressing any opinions, about anything, at all! And in the absence of any BKA Kendo authority (writing being the basis of all authority, as authorship) I think Im expected to believe the ruse That Ive expelled my own dojo from the BKA, by not surrendering to the latest dabblings with BKA registrations, and fees?
    But, thats not a new problem, is it? Send off money, get nothing back. Facing constant threat of my dojo being expelled from the BKA. But in reality, what did I do, to deserve that? Deserve that, this time, that is.
    If you look at the simplicity of the real situation from my point of view, you can find that humility is the best Way of the Waza of Wisdom:
    I just run a Kendo dojo. I dont create problems. And being awed by the personal progress Ive made, due to my faith in Kendo, it suits me to keep out of the way of the guys who believe in world conquest. Ive conquered myself, which was enough, for me. ! I dont mind the BKAs politicians playing games. Because, in the end, their games never achieve anything. And by their very unworkable absurdity, eventually dispel themselves. As for, Feeling threatened by the political coaching faction Ha! Why try to conquer humble old me, by creating new petty rules and nonsense?
    All that does is, remove one of the professed excuses for implementing a totalitarian coaching regime. In that, how can coaching increase numbers of BKA dojo, if it negates real Kendo, and expels all the original, genuine British dojo, by nonconformity to the pettiness of present BKA rulings?
    Is it not the proven case, that by my writing, and the adverse replies you have received, the coaching crowd feel threatened, merely by my words? Objecting even to interesting, independent written opinion, about Kendo?
    But, do not forget the good comments you received, from real Kendoka. Always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. The forum youre writing in, (or I seem to be) can publish any comments. But it will be interesting to see if the forum is censored into a sterile politico-silence, as is usually the case. The silencing of the lambs. The BKA membership?
    Phil Wright. Hatamoto Dojo.

    Post script:
    If you evaluate all the writings youve received, from myself and others (and the study of Kendo, is a panthesis; you can study anything you like) you might find a difference: When I write, I make the text as interesting and as amusing as I can. I try to entertain the reader. Things happen in my writing. Maybe you sent my notes to a forum, because you thought they would interest the readers. Fine! I hope they did. And in the dojo, I teach you the basic 240 waza my dojo is based upon. (Youll be studying them every day during our weeks seminar in Cornwall in 5 weeks time.) But:
    Have you noticed, that the coachy people, dont actually write anything, of any interest, or style, or content? So what are they teaching of Kendo, if even their creed of talking about Kendo, isnt interesting?

  • #2
    Lol !

    A very individual person :-)

    I think i lost faith when phil asked me to provide proof that he was the second messiah. I kid you not. And i denied him my postal address when I started getting the very odd letters hes famous for (the postings just don't do justice to the gothic script, and coloured lettering :-)

    I did indeed start kendo with Phil Wright & i thank him for that, but my knowledge of real kendo stems from two very special sensei & he's not one of them

    Those who know me, know me. those who dont, well who knows what they think. it doesnt really matter. Judge me in the dojo or the pub not over the internet :-)

    to damien lucifer

    you are in a very dodgy situation & you have choices to make

    i suggest you travel & experience kendo in other places

    make your own mind up on what you see

    yes theres politics in kendo - theres politics in every aspect of human life & the martial arts are not exempt - in fact because of the type of people that are attracted to them, the martial arts are chock full of odd people.

    In general Kendo is an exception because you can sort things out in keiko and in the pub. those who hang around long enough discover a path that works for them

    as a beginner youre not in the best place you could be, especially as that dojo is out of compliance with national policy. The coaching policy has been put in for good reasons & this stuff is a good example of why beginners need to be protected. I suggest you pick a couple of dojo at random from the club list & go visit & see how kendo is done outside of gillingham. (tip , its very consistent)

    send phil my regards


    • #3
      Damien, what exactly is your point of posting this stuff? This time you were told to?

      I dont know Phil W. personally and know nothing about him except what has been written here. I know Phil M. though and hes not a bad chap.

      I live in Japan but am a BKA member, so stuff like this (though im gladly nothing to do with it) catches my interest.

      I suggest - like Phil M. does - that you have a look at some other dojo and make your own mind up either way.

      I do strongly suggest that you do not practise in any dojo that is not - via the BKA - a FIK/IKF (International Kendo Federation) affiliate. To do so will severly hamper the future path of your kendo, whatever it may be (dont let anyone tell you otherwise).
      Last edited by Kenshi; 13th August 2007, 10:52 PM.


      • #4
        I'm really not sure what this is supposed to achieve or mean, apart from playing to the gallery it's rambling, petulant and somewhat paranoid. The BKA, or any organisaiton for that matter, initiating a coaching path has to be a good thing doesn't it? It may be in its infancy and therefore not without fault, but it's an attempt to maintain standards and improve teaching throughout the country. It's also the way of the world, along with health & safety and insurance! What it isn't is an attempt to single out any one person or dojo, or stifle individual ways of instructing and learning. And I say that as someone who has no interest in the politics of the BKA.

        I don't know this guy, but infantile name calling in a public domain is not worthy of a budo sensei. I'm not defending Keith Hazelwood or what he did at all, but he has now passed away and is no longer able to defend or explain himself. Mr Wright must know this, and his use of that episode to make himself appear a beacon of virtue has exactly the opposite effect in my eyes.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Martch View Post
          I'm really not sure what this is supposed to achieve or mean
          I agree. We all know the politics of any organisation end up murky and there is always somebody who will feel misrepresented, rightly or wrongly. Either way I don't feel qualified to comment directly on the situation which should have been your stand point from the beginning Damien_lucifer.

          I recall you stated this whole thing was in direct relation to some remarks about your sensei of, what is it, five months now? Clearly opinions will not be changed based on these posts. I think you've done all you can to provide a platform for that but I think in the end you will learn far more here by engaging in constructive discussions to help improve your kendo and just going to practice at any dojo. Take on board everything [including opinions] your sensei has to say if that is your wish but if that's all you want to discuss here it seems a waste of such a resource.

          I don't even get a + for my post count for responding to this so it truly is pointless.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Damien_lucifer View Post
            A rule was created at the last AGM, for the BKA not to write to any of its members, anymore.
            2 things:

            1. If such a rule was created at the AGM (it wasn't), then it would have been at the wish at the membership that turned up to exercise their democratic rights.

            2. What was really decided was that the newsletter would from next year, only be sent out to the members who opted in on their renewal forms. This was both due to cost (It costs thousands of pounds to print and mail) and now that a very large majority of the have access to the internet, it makes sense to implement it that way.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Damien_lucifer View Post
              . . . Why do you think I gave you those notes?. . .
              Ummm, because you are his bitch and dumb enough to post it?


              • #8
                Ha! You speak the truth. I would be interested, if not entertained, by a reply from Damien.


                • #9
                  An even keel

                  Damien I hate to say it but... I think your Sensei maybe truly insane.
                  Now I'm not saying that's a bad thing, most of my favourite historical figures are insane. but It worries me that you espouse his feelings as your own, this man (thanks to who ever linked to the old BKA news letter stuff v.funny) is obviously a troublemaker of the first order and I think much of what he says scores a theoretical point and may not directly match any opinion he himself follows.

                  Remember to always make your own mind up, your Sensei is most certainly a independent thinker and while I know not enough about him to judge in any other sense I do think it to be a sterling idea for you to follow him in that.

                  As a note to the other posters (is that correct or should it be posties?). lighten up since when has discussion, frivolous or not been a bad thing.

                  Kind Regards


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thoughtless_act View Post
                    Damien I hate to say it but... I think your Sensei maybe truly insane.
                    Literally, the word "Senile" came racing to my mind.

                    I don't know this person, or his Kendo, so I hope I'm not offending any famous British Kendo legend, but from the writings, this person seriously may be suffering from either senility or a mental distress.

                    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought so.


                    • #11
                      I just wanna hear from Damien. Not to jump on him at all. I also agree its a strange thing to post, and I'd like to know his reasoning. Is it a revenge statement, for the controversy in the original thread, or something more simple, and understandable?


                      • #12
                        I am not taking part in the discussion as I know little about it and have nothing to do with it (none of my business really), this comments are only for Damien:

                        I think getting involved in this is not a good idea, this is something where the parties involved belong to a much earlier Kendo generation than you, and you are still very new to it yourself (as I).

                        It may better to express your agreement with your sensei and friends in private and be a bit more diplomatic outside that circle, whether or not you like it the reality is that if you are lucky to have a long kendo career you will have to work with people outside your current environment

                        What I am trying to say is: Be your own voice and don't burn any bridges.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JCM View Post
                          What I am trying to say is: Be your own voice and don't burn any bridges.
                          Spoilsport! It's funny when people step in it up to their hips like this and don't even realize what they've done.

                          Damien, please do continue to amuse us.


                          • #14

                            Originally posted by Paikea View Post
                            Spoilsport! It's funny when people step in it up to their hips like this and don't even realize what they've done.

                            Damien, please do continue to amuse us.
                            I second this motion and propose others to join the carnage and tell tales of the old days when Ignatz was young, Paikea beautiful and me young and beautiful.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fonsz View Post
                              I second this motion and propose others to join the carnage and tell tales of the old days when Ignatz was young, Paikea beautiful and me young and beautiful.
                              You had hair then, too.