The action has been heating up in the comments section, where I have been getting a new comment almost every two months! I’ve already had several people comment on Albert Geraldi, generally agreeing with what I said and just filling in details while making it clear that Geraldi-sensei and Taika Oyata are still on good terms. Also some more detail on my inferences on George Dillman, also generally agreeing with me that his credentials may be less than accurate.
Just recently though, got a lengthy comment from Sharon Hayakawa, who is a close friend of both Taika Oyata and Sentaku-sensei. She censures me a bit and points out that alot of what I commented about Sentaku-sensei is also less than accurate. Well, most of what I said was inference and assumption anyway, since the solid facts I was basing them on were 1) Sentaku-sensei was the chief instructor at the honbu dojo for Ryu-te for several years, in addition to being the only person other that Taika himself that could teach the Shin-shu-ho. 2.) Sentaku-sensei is no longer affiliated with Ryu-te and has founded his own style called Ten Shin Ichi Ryu 天心一流.
Basically, it seems that Sentaku-sensei worked very hard for Taika for a very long time, and that his work was a little more thankless than he might have liked. Well, I guess you can’t blame someone for that. No matter how much you may enjoy the job itself, receiving little thanks/recognition/compensation could make the funnest job in the world next to drudgery. I suppose I should listen more to Jim Logue in his comment on my earlier post:
I”m not putting down any of these people, they were all talented and gifted and did much to help the organization grow. The falling out is always a two way street and I’m not going to get into any details about that. That’s a matter between each person.
Sharon also points out that my obsession with the overuse of the title “Doshu” 道主 is undeserved, since it simply means ‘founder’ in Japanese. This may just be my pet peeve then, but I feel that the martial arts culture suffers from an overuse of pretentious titles. Reading the bio page on Shintaku-sensei’s page, it still sounds overly pretentious to me, with the phrasing of Doshu this and Doshu that in 3rd person. I also feel the same about martial artists who always add titles like Shihan 師範, Kyoshi 教師, Hanshi (範師 or 範士, depending) , Master, Grand Master, or (not the most pretentious but the most annoying in my opinion) Professor after thier names.
‘Professor‘ always cracks me up, probably because I always imagine the following dialogue taking place:
Normal Person: So, you are a professor?
‘Professor’: Yes, yes I am.
Normal Person: A professor of what?
‘Professor’: Um, butt-kickology.
Maybe it’s just because of the inundation of people like “Grand Master Bill Dixon of Dixon’s Rebel Karate” and such that has given me a jaundiced view of such titles. Shouldn’t just a simple -Sensei be sufficient for any martial artist, or at least in Japanese martial arts? Granted that many of these titles are specifically bestowed titles by reputable martial arts organizations, but even as such I think I still prefer a simple “Sensei”. What titles would work for non-Japanese martial arts? Please tell me your opinion on this issue, I can always use more comments.
If you have a few minutes, check out some of the hits on a google search for martial arts Grand Masters. (Warning: the links may contain mullets)
Also, I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t gotten any comments from one of George Dillman’s students. That would be cool.