13th August 2007, 06:08 PM
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?
You’ve 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, you’ve 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 can’t 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 I’m ‘controversial.’ But, I’m 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 didn’t 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 isn’t it can’t 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 Sinclair’s dojo, a while ago. !
And Clive described me as, “A good mentor.” (I’ll 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 hasn’t 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 wasn’t backed up by shinai. Even more bizarre, my dojo wasn’t 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. Hazelbum’s 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 club’s 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 that’s bad. What’s 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 I’ve received a receipt for my BKA membership for 2007 but I’m still waiting to receive the same for my BKA dojo registration. It isn’t going to arrive, because the BKA coaching faction has made a rule, that a dojo can’t exist in the BKA unless it has a coach. Is therefore, ultimately politically governed by the BKA’s 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 I’m expected to believe the ruse… That I’ve expelled my own dojo from the BKA, by not surrendering to the latest dabblings with BKA registrations, and fees?
But, that’s 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 don’t create problems. And being awed by the personal progress I’ve made, due to my faith in Kendo, it suits me to keep out of the way of the guys who believe in world conquest. I’ve conquered myself, which was enough, for me. ! I don’t mind the BKA’s 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 you’re 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.
If you evaluate all the writings you’ve 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. (You’ll be studying them every day during our week’s seminar in Cornwall in 5 weeks time.) But:
Have you noticed, that the coachy people, don’t 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, isn’t interesting?
13th August 2007, 07:35 PM
Pirate of the Kendo Paean