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Roy Dean
08-03-2007, 12:07 PM
Years ago, I put together a short book detailing my year as an uchideshi, or live in student, under the Jujutsu and Aikido master Julio Toribio. I felt it necessary to compress those experiences, lest I forget some of what happened in that magical year of dedication. After completing the manuscript in 1999, I sent it to Dr. Glenn Morris and asked him to write a forward, as his book “Path Notes of an American Ninja Master” was a tremendous influence on me (his next two books, Shadow Strategies and Martial Madness were even better). Dr. Morris was kind enough to write a concise forward, and I then shipped it to several publishing houses for review. Tuttle Publishing wanted to see more, but after further examination, decided to pass. So, with UCSD as my main priority, I put the manuscript away and focused on my martial and academic education.

I feel it’s time to let it out. I will be unveiling the entire book, one chapter at a time, in the Articles section of my website. You may find it of interest!

http://www.roydeanacademy.com/articles/an_uchideshi_experience_introduction

Sincerely,

Roy Dean

Keith Larman
08-03-2007, 01:04 PM
FWIW might I suggest you look into http://lulu.com ? They allow you to "publish" your own book. And do a really nice job of it if you put it together well yourself.

Roy Dean
08-04-2007, 11:35 AM
Thank you for the tip, Keith! I will explore that...

Chapter one is now posted. Here's a small excerpt;

"Despite the reduction in my standard of living, sometimes living in the dojo was magic. After the last people had left and lights flipped off, only I was there to break the silence with soft steps on the mat. The movements and exertions of the day were long past, but something else still dusted the air. It wasn’t like entering a barren warehouse or abandoned building, where the sense of vacant space can overwhelm you. Even without anybody in it, the dojo was never empty; it was simply still, like some kind of martial cathedral. I’d put Jewel in the stereo, sit back, and listen as her voice reverberated off the cavernous angles. Or, if there were other uchideshi there, I’d put in U2 and we’d do midnight training in the dark. Or maybe we’d dance. It didn’t matter; the playground was ours to do what we wished."

http://www.roydeanacademy.com/articles/an_uchideshi_experience_chapter_one

Roy Dean
08-08-2007, 11:02 AM
Chapters 1-5 have been uploaded.

Chapter 5 may be of particular interest. It discusses how I got involved with Aikido, disillusionment, and eventual acceptance of the art for what it is. This chapter had also been featured as a blog on Aikido Journal.

http://www.roydeanacademy.com/articles/an_uchideshi_experience_chapter_five

satriani
08-11-2007, 02:20 PM
great articles! such true and honest experience and opinion:) thanks :)

Jeff Sodeman
08-12-2007, 04:21 AM
Hi Roy. I hope the new dojo is going well and thanks for sharing the chapters of the book. I only read 5 so far since it was the most recent post.

Did I ever talk about the fights I'd been in? I can't recall and the story made me think of that. There's always lots of talk about aikido and does it work, and having used it in the real world I have my own opinions on it. Maybe over a beer if we're in the same town again at some point.

In reading through chapter 5 it sounds like your disappointment with aikido isn't as much a complaint with the techniques of aikido as it's a problem with the educational structure and the way it's taught in some schools. Your last post mentions "acceptance of the art for what it is" and so I'm wondering if you mean "acceptance of the art as it's taught"?

If I didn't get that wrong, what changes to the typical aikido teaching method / strcuture would you make based on what you've found in your other MA experience?

darin
08-12-2007, 05:09 AM
Very nice website Roy. I enjoyed your shodan grading video.

Roy Dean
08-14-2007, 05:35 PM
The entire book is posted and can be found here:

www.roydeanacademy.com/articles

Originally written in 1999, here's a brief overview for those interested:

Part One: Daily Life

Chapter One: Luggage to Loft

The life of an uchideshi

Chapter Two: Mailboxes, Et Al

Characters from my day job

Chapter Three: Christmas Kamikazes

Vacations and distractions

Part Two: Classical

Chapter Four: On Seibukan Jujutsu

Japanese Jujutsu for the modern warrior

Chapter Five: Leaving this Box

Aikido and unrealistic expectations

Chapter Six: Iaido

The quiet discipline of drawing the sword

Part Three: New School

Chapter Seven: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Losing Toward Humility

My first experiences with this gendai budo

Chapter Eight: Sports and the Religious Experience of the UFC

Watching the birth of a new sport and martial revolution

Chapter Nine: The Uninvited

On challenge matches

Part Four: Secrets and Lies

Chapter Ten: Martial Artists, Bare Bones, and the Big Lie

Misconceptions regarding strength and skill

Chapter Eleven: Martial Arts, Wholesale Frauds, and Occasional Shams

Cons, big and small

Chapter Twelve: The English Patient

Portrait of a grifter


Part Five: Transpersonal

Chapter Thirteen: Ki, Chris, and Kundalini

Energetic experiences

Chapter Fourteen: Instructors, Brothers, and Blackbelts

Another reason for training

Chapter Fifteen: Someone Watching Over

How does this all work out?

Roy Dean
08-14-2007, 06:04 PM
In reading through chapter 5 it sounds like your disappointment with aikido isn't as much a complaint with the techniques of aikido as it's a problem with the educational structure and the way it's taught in some schools. Your last post mentions "acceptance of the art for what it is" and so I'm wondering if you mean "acceptance of the art as it's taught"?

If I didn't get that wrong, what changes to the typical aikido teaching method / strcuture would you make based on what you've found in your other MA experience?

Hey Jeff!

You may have mentioned your fight experience in the past, but never got into detail. I would definitely love to hear your experiences over a beer next time I'm in San Diego.

In regards to acceptance of Aikido as it is vs. as it's taught, I think it's a little of both. The techniques of Aikido are good. They are as good as any other techniques in other systems. The technical syllabus is not what I take issue with. It's the training methods.

I don't think you can completely separate the technical aspects of an art from what it is. Many arts have the same techniques as Aikido. The technical content, plus the training methods, plus the philosophy, and the culture of acceptance towards new information and adaptation are also powerful factors in shaping what an art is. I think I've accepted Aikido for what it is, but I've definitely let go of what I would like it to be.

The way it is taught appeals to many, but I think the ranking structure in the organization I was in creates some very interesting attitudes. At least there is structure. I have also seen some unstructured gradings and they definitely made me re-evaluate the merits of more technical freedom and floating standards.

I think healthy additional training methods would be regular randori at 50% resistance, more drills, and more acceptance of failure with honest but ugly techniques. A skilled BJJ player may attack 10 times and fail before securing the submission. It should be OK to totally screw up an honest and alive attack more often than not. Better attacks would also be helpful. I think that's the essential jump start people need to reinvigorate training.

DonMagee
08-15-2007, 06:35 AM
It was a great read, thank you for posting that.

VLeigh
06-08-2011, 09:44 PM
I'm really resurrecting this thread, huh?

Just taking a shot in the dark that anyone out there has a saved copy of "An Uchideshi Experience."

I read it years back, it really meant a lot to me and touched me personally. It got me off a bad road and back into the martial arts.

In coming across a few life challenges recently I wanted to "go back to the well" where I had once gotten so much inspiration and genuineness ....only to find that that particular well has been moved/removed. (It is no longer on Dean-sensei's site and is no longer carried by Amazon.)

I am wondering if some kind soul out there may have a pdf or some saved copy.

If so, I would love to hear from you.

arigato,

~~rei~~

ninjaqutie
06-08-2011, 11:41 PM
I would love to read this as well!!!!

Richard Stevens
06-09-2011, 11:04 AM
He must have taken it off of his website in the past year or so. I remember reading it last year during breaks at work.

Janet Rosen
06-09-2011, 11:51 AM
Is there not a contact link on his website to ask him directly?

Michael Hackett
06-09-2011, 01:30 PM
Yes, there is and I just did so. I'll let you know what I hear.

andi
06-09-2011, 01:48 PM
I found the content at the wayback machine:

http://web.archive.org/web/20090421102906/http://roydeanacademy.com/articles

-- andreas

ninjaqutie
06-10-2011, 05:54 PM
Thanks!

Michael Hackett
06-11-2011, 12:09 AM
I did receive a reply from Dean Sensei. He took down the book and has no intention of putting it back up again. He said he's working on another project which covers some of the same time frame and discusses the journey to BB in BJJ. It will be worth waiting for.

Many thanks to Andi for finding a way of retrieving the book! I've read a couple of chapters and think it is well worth reading. Again, thanks, Andi.

Michael Hackett
06-12-2011, 08:10 PM
OK, I've now read the entire book and it is quite different than I expected. I fully expected something more along the lines of "Angry White Pajamas", a loose journal of the uchideshi experience. Instead Dean Sensei writes of his views of the martial arts in general and actually very little is devoted directly to the uchideshi experience. On one hand that was a disappointment to me. On the other, his thoughts and musings are well-written and well-considered. I think it is a very worthwhile read and I recommend it.

crbateman
06-12-2011, 11:32 PM
OK, I've now read the entire book and it is quite different than I expected. I fully expected something more along the lines of "Angry White Pajamas", a loose journal of the uchideshi experience. Instead Dean Sensei writes of his views of the martial arts in general and actually very little is devoted directly to the uchideshi experience. On one hand that was a disappointment to me. On the other, his thoughts and musings are well-written and well-considered. I think it is a very worthwhile read and I recommend it.
I too enjoyed the book, but felt the title was a bit misleading. A thought-provoking read, nonetheless.

lbb
06-13-2011, 07:26 AM
Maybe it would be better titled, "The experiences (some) and ruminations (rather more) of someone who was once an uchideshi". But, that's a bit cumbersome.

kurtfinlayson
06-13-2011, 05:25 PM
I was not able to get the wayback to work. Can anyone post it here?

crbateman
06-13-2011, 05:58 PM
I was not able to get the wayback to work. Can anyone post it here?
The above wayback link still works fine for me... There's a lot of material (15 chapters plus an intro). It takes a few seconds once you get to wayback for the material to appear.