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MARTIAL ARTS GALLERY

 

Home Introduction

History

Unshaming Open-minded
Weapons Techniques My Friend Dean Seminars To Croatian Site
 

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The victim...

...now has the attacker in complete control, having the choice of breaking the elbow, shoulder or pressing on the throat with the knee as well as simply pulling the trigger.

 

My introduction to the Asian martial arts was not much different from most other people.  I was six years old and had just seen Bruce Lee in the martial arts film classic, "Return of the Dragon".   Right then and there I vowed that someday I too would repeat those remarkable moves I had seen the late Mr. Lee perform.

 

My journey into the world of martial arts began by asking my parents if I could start learning Kung Fu.  I can still picture themselves laughing, and I might add quite heartily.  Asking didnít seem to work to well so I had to do what was deemed by my as the only alternative, I started to beg.  I begged for more than ten years that they let me start training.  Their answer was always,  "No!"

 

Most people stop when the come up against a brick wall.  Not I.  A way around it had to be found, and I wouldnít stop until it was clear which way to proceed.  It wasnít easy but Iíd do it again if I could.  I watched every possible martial arts movie that I could, even if it meant sneaking around a dark house at three a.m. to watch the "Hong Kong" movies, as my friends and I called them.  Classics such as, "The Five Deadly Venom's" or " Kid with The Golden Arm."

 

When I got my first part-time job at the age of 16 I was worried that my job would interfere with my martial arts lifestyle (meaning that I would miss watching "Blackbelt theatre", on the weekends).  I convinced the store manager that I needed my weekends off because I had an important place to be every Saturday and Sunday at one p.m. (this being home to watch).  I deemed this to be dedication at it's finest.

 

Then came the day, my day.  It was the best day in my life up to that time.  Iíd ask my parents no more.  I simply signed up for Karate lessons and told them that it wouldn't interfere with my school work and that I would pay for the lessons with the money I had earned from my part-time job.  After ten years of perfecting the best way to say "No", they were speechless.

 

I signed up at one of the oldest clubs in the city, rationalizing that they must be good and reputable if they had managed to stay in business for so long.  This was my first mistake.  At a friends urging I joined the local Tae Kwon Do club.  It was a fine place, but the teachers gave little instruction themselves leaving us to be taught by lower ranking students who didnít really know what they where teaching themselves.  The schools curriculum also centered around tournament fighting, whereas I wanted to learn self defense techniques.

 

A few years passed, then one day I noticed a magazine article advertising  a "ninja seminar".  I decided to give it a try and fell in love with it immediately.  The dojo was 450 km from where I lived, but I never found it hard to drive four hours, train two-three hours and then drive home another 450 km, all in the same day.

 

That first year I wasn't taught much and was more or less a human punching bag.  Afterwards I was told that because of the distance that I lived from the dojo it was necessary to test my resolve.  Once this initiation period had passed I was introduced to the gentleman who would become my mentor, Mel Pyke.  Sensei Mel took me under his wing after refusing to accept all other potential students.  He showed me the true art and helped me see it's essence.  To this gentleman I will always be grateful, in effect he is my martial arts father.  Once I brought my top student to met with Sensei Mel and it was as if a grandfather had met his grandson.

 

In time I received an invitation to come train in Japan. Upon arriving at Narita airport I felt as if I had come home, so to speak.  The Japanese instructors were very polite, patient and would always correct our mistakes.  As well they would explain all of the techniques thoroughly.  During the trip to Japan I had a falling out with my former instructor (non-Japanese).

 

Upon arriving home I informed all of my students of what had transpired and told them I would understand if any of them left the dojo to go train with my former instructor (reasoning that he had more overall experience).  To my bewilderment and honor not even one of them left.  Over time students from my ex-teachers camp would come train at my dojo, giving me the title of ronin (master less warrior).  These visitors told me that they came to train at my school because they liked the spirit we all shared in the dojo, that of one happy family.  Because of this as well as my personal devotion to the arts I chose to call the school "Shinden" which means "from heart to heart".  These same students as well as my own started imparting the name "Broz"  to the teachings.  I felt that I had no right to call it so and told them not to use that title.  Yet "Broz" still kept coming forth from their mouths.  After much discussion it was decided that the name would be "Shinden Broz Dojo", to honor our Japanese lineage as well as my personal interpretations (seishin) .  I don't in any way claim to have re-invented the art or improved on 900 years of knowledge.  I'm only saying that I did it my way.

 

I found myself drifting on the winds of war and went to my ancestral homeland of Croatia to help use my knowledge in the bid for freedom from the Serbian communist regime.  I worked in the Croatian Secret Service and trained the Presidential Honor  Guard in unconventional warfare tactics (ninjutsu). While serving in Croatia I had a chance meeting with a young man who would change the way I taught and presented the Bujinkan curriculum. It was Shihan Dean Rostohar. Shihan Rostohar is one of Hatsumi Sensei's top ranked students and a very capable practioner. Shihan Rostohar gave me permission to call my dojo "BUJINKAN SEISHIN DOJO (CANADA)", which is the name Hatsumi sensei told him to call his dojo.

 

I hope that perhaps I can inspire true individuals to take up the arts (whichever) and find fulfillment and enjoyment as did I.  All arts are good if taught properly by qualified and knowledgeable instructors.

No one person can have a claim on knowledge.

 

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Best of friends. Lieutenant Zeljko Selak of Croatian Presidential Special Forces and the Author

 

Home Introduction

History

Unshaming Open-minded
Weapons Techniques My Friend Dean Seminars To Croatian Site

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