Interview at Swedish Taikai
1. Give me your name, age, grade and dojo plus what year you sarted training.
I am Oliver Münstedt, 26 years old, and my grade is Bujinkan Shodan. Now on
single training with another shodan, due to the fact that I had to part
from my present teachers. The Bujinkan is an art where it is essential to
follow your heart to accomplish freedom and justice for every human beeing.
So these people chose an other path and I had to quit but I am associated
with Shihan Richard van Donk 10. DAN in the American Bujinkan Dojo and I am
getting much help from other Shihans worldwide. Summing up all my training
in the different arts I will make the 20 years complete next year. Among
these I trained the following arts the longest: Judo, Pentjak Silat, Wado
Ryu Karate, Wing Tsun (under Kernspecht, yes) and Escrima.
2. Why Ninjutsu among the other martial arts?
For technical reasons I chose this art simply because it is pure and true
Budo not found anywhere else on the planet. It is complete since it covers
all imaginable weapons, aspects of strategical warfare, combines all
tactics how to use the body. We have kicks, punches, throws and locks etc.
Most other arts or I better should say sports have mainly one ore two
sections trained in, for instance Karate mostly kicks and punches and Judo
throws and locks. But the main reason for me was the spiritual approach
this art offers. Other arts are on constant war. With other martial arts
styles, with other human beeings their collegues, their kids or
relationships or the most worst they try to destroy themselves. The most
are simply unhappy with their lives, so they chose to fight anybody and
anything. The Bujinkan on the other has the essence to make this world a
better place to live in for everyone and everything. This is achieved
through the betterment of oneself. To protect freedom, happyness, justice
and love under any circumstances for all creatures. So we train in an
athmosphere of friendship (at least it should be so) with the feeling of
one big family with Soke as the leader or the father so to say. We train
the katas not to learn how to kill or destroy someone, but to be aware how
nature functions, how to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This fact
should be constantly carried in our minds since in training we see how fast
bones can crush and how fast a human beeing can be killed a human beeing
that took so many years to grow up.
3. What is your impression of Hatsumi Sensei and the Tai kai in Stockholm?
The Taikai was great in any sense, as was sensei in his teachings. The
Taikai are a special events because there is the possibility to get in
contact with new friends, get new ideas for your training and a whole new
understanding of the art itself with every meeting. Furthermore the people
can see Soke and receive his teaching without spending so much money to go
to Japan. Most simply can not afford it.
Sensei is one of the best teachers I ever come to now, although I dont
know him personally... He is a genius in Budo. What makes him special is
that he not teaches mere katas or wazas but he fills them with life. The
most fascinating aspect is when he teaches a kata e.g. called fog he uses
everything to show how to fight in fog as well as to make your enemy
believe that he is fighing against fog. So the names of the katas are no
labels but they have a true meaning. Sensei has the ability to show and
teach these things. He makes the unseen things seen. There is is a lot
philospophy in his teaching. I think the only thing he wants to understand
us is how to make our hearts strong and to fill it with love. So it is my
opinion that everyone joining the Bujinkan has to attend the Taikais to
receive that essence he teaches. You can see the difference in the eyes of
the attendees after the training with Soke. It is like most of the people
are growing up in martial arts now.
4. Describe the Bujinkan organisation in germany, list over the masters,
The toughest question! There are many good teachers as well as there are
bad ones. We have many good black belts and teachers godan-level and above.
Many tiny organizations as well as big ones. I join now an association
called Bujinkan Ninpo Association. This is not an organization in common
sense. In there we try to build a strong network between the members to
exchange information and to follow the path of training as sensei wants us
to get it done. There is no bureaucracy neither membership fees. All
attendees simply need to follow the guiding lines of the Bujinkan and say
that they want to join. Many people realize now this is the right thing and
Dojos from every country are now joining in. I donŐt want to say more about
the situation in Germany because it is all about politics. Sensei has its
one plans with this country and I feel an earthquake coming to this country
to clean up the art from the black sheep. All lists about teachers a
little bit incomplete. I think you will find something good in the
Oliver Münstedt, is 26 yrs. old, and a bujinkan-shodan, who has been training for
over 20 yrs. He has been training in the Bujinkan for three years, is a member of the ABD
under Shihan Richard van Donk. He is now training with the assistance of some Shihan teachers and
visits as many seminars and Taikais as possible. He may be reached via e-mail at: