Hidden Gems of the Bujinkan

As a service to the online Bujinkan community, I have decided to provide a list of the “hidden gems” of the Bujinkan. These individuals are, in general, relatively or completely unknown to the larger Bujinkan community. Some individuals that I thought everyone would know got me blank stares when I mentioned their names in conversations. Thus the list….

Despite their lack of “brand name,” they hold some of the largest pieces of the Bujinkan puzzle within them, in my opinion.

Note: This list *ONLY* contains individuals whose budo I, bencole, *PERSONALLY* have assessed. I shall continue to add names to the list as I come across individuals who bring something special to the table. This list most certainly is incomplete, but it will only include the “best of the best.”

This list will never become “politicized”; it will remain blunt and honest. As evidence, I have even included a few people who I personally do not like. Whether I like them or not does not change the fact that their budo is good, and that they understand Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu as Hatsumi-sensei teaches.

I highly recommend that people seek these individuals out, either by visiting their dojo or by inviting them out for a seminar.

compiled by Benjamin Cole

• Michael Asuncion – Michigan – Moves identically to Nagase-sensei. Best timing that I’ve ever seen!
• Bill Atkins – Northern California – Frighteningly good!
• Chris Carbonaro – New Jersey – Started his training in Japan with Kamioka-sensei, then went on to train with Nagato-sensei and Hatsumi-sensei. Very solid movement.
• Dale Seago – Northern California – Spooky movement! His job is to keep others alive, not just himself.
• Aric Keith – Washington/Oregon border– Solid, solid Budo.
• Oliver Martin – New York City – Moves identically to Nagato-sensei. Uncanny!!! Solid budo.
• Luke Molitor – Texas – The only Shidoshi qualified to teach Bujinkan sword in the U.S., in my opinion. Personal student of three Shihan : Nagato-sensei, Nagase-sensei, and Someya-sensei.
• Jeff Mueller – Maryland – Hands down, best ukemi in the United States! Wow!
• Daniel Weidman – Southern California – Solid Budo and a superb athlete!

• Bruce Appleby – Japan/UK – Small and light, but very solid Budo. Extensive translation experience at Hombu.
• Robin Doenicke – Japan/Australia – Tall, but light. Great footwork/legwork!
• Shawn Gray – Japan/Canada – Movement looking more and more like Shiraishi-sensei every day.
• Larry Hamilton – Japan/US – Deep knowledge of both Budo and Japanese.
• Rod Hodgkins – Japan/Australia – Big as a bear; light as a feather.
• Paul Masse – Japan/US – Wow!!! Best foreigner in Japan, imo.
• Craig Olson – Japan/Canada – Solid budo. Extensive translation experience at Hombu.
• Rob Renner – Japan/US – Really unique insights not normally explored by other instructors.
• Doug Wilson – Japan/US – Solid budo. Extensive translation experience at Hombu.
• Pete Reynolds – Japan/US – Everyone should take Pete’s basics seminar. Terrific insights into Soke’s movement.

• Andrew Young – Scandinavia somewhere – “If it is frustrating, it is because you are learning something new.” Extensive translation experience at Hombu.
• Renan Perpina – Spain – Light as a feather, but packs a big punch!
• Sveneric Bogsater – Sweden – Frighteningly good!
• Arnaud Cousergue – France – Frighteningly good!
• Lubos Pokorny – Czech Republic – Frighteningly good!

• Greg Alcorn – Australia – Solid Budo.
• Tim Bathurst – Australia – Solid Budo. Extensive translation experience at Hombu.
• Ed Lomax – Australia – Solid Budo.

• Rafael Franco – Venezuela – One of the best practitioners in the world, imo. Wonderful combination of creativity and “realness” without introducing holes into his movement.

You would be wise to train with any of these individuals…and then *PRACTICE* what they teach you, rather than going back to what you do normally.

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