View Full Version : Bushenkai Aikido

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Devon Natario
08-09-2004, 05:21 PM
Hello everyone. I have a dilemma and I am coming here to ask you all for your opinion.

I have been studying Martial Arts for about 20 years now. I bounced around a lot before actually finding a home in Shin Shin Jujitsu about five years ago.

I recently moved and tried to find the closest thing to Jujitsu that I could. I came across Bushenkai Aikido. I like the art, but I wondered how far I could take it so I asked about the lineage of the art.

Here was the response:
Shodan My instructor

Sandan (His instructor)

Founder (Les Denny)

Now usually a Shodan is not allowed to have their own school etc etc. This guy is amazing for a Shodan and he has been studying for ten years. I've learned from Green Belts in the past, I have no problems learning from anyone. Thats not the issue though.

The Sandan has lost contact with the founder of this particular art. So he has stayed a Sandan for a good 20 years. The art will not progress further than it is now. I do not forsee being able to even make Shodan because there would be no way the Shodan could promote to his own level and no way the Sandan would promote the Shodans student to equal his instructors level.

I dont see the point of being here. I am not rank happy. But I am going to open my own school. Sad to say, but most people look at rank as some type of degree. They dont care if you're good, they care if theirs rank to back it up.

I will say that I am learning a lot. I have improved my personal skills within a 6 month period, and that's what I was looking to do. But when the time comes for me to teach, I am going to have to just add the Aikido training to my Jujitsu and teach Jujitsu.

Anyways- Im sorry for venting- it's just been a real issue for me and I have thought about quitting time and time again.

What do you suggest I do?

This style is not sancitifed by Hombu, AAA or any Aiki association.

My answer: I approached my Sensei and informed him about the P.C.M.A. (Professional Combined Martial Arts). I told him that this organization has a group of panel members that are of high rank that are there for all arts, but especially arts that have lost their way. This panel votes on promotions after a certain minimum year period. Anyways- to keep this style of Aikido going, I suggested my instructor contact them and see what they could do. He took the information, but I am not sure what became of it.

08-09-2004, 06:29 PM

It's good you feel you are learning a lot. I did a web search and the name Les Denny only showed up as an instructor in isshin-ryu in 1987. Sounds like you've got a group that has been doing their own thing-discussed elsewhere on this site. What surprises me is if the instructor lost contact with the founder, why has he not tried to make a connection with another organization or group rather than remain a sandan for 20 years. Odd to me.

Geez. Every time I turn around there is another aikido "style" I have never heard about.

Chris Birke
08-09-2004, 06:34 PM
Well, I personally am not one for rank, but I understand your deliemma. If you can establish a lineage link to the PCMA maybe that's all you'll need?

Is it at all possible to get back in contact with the origional founder of the school? If not, it looks as though you are left to either make up your own rank (certainly not something new) or seek out a different school to learn under.


I wonder how many schools out there are calling themselves "Northwest Martial Arts" =) I suspect a lot.

Devon Natario
08-09-2004, 07:09 PM
Thank you both for your responses.

I hope my Sensei links up with the PCMA. This way it will give his students the opportunity to advance in rank (if they choose to want that).

I tried to find Les Denny, I came up with the same results as John. (Isshin Ryu Karate in the 80's.)

Rank really doesn't mean much to me because I can already teach Jujitsu, but in honor of what I am learning now, Id love to just pass on that art (Bushenkai Aikido) without changing it at all.

Well again, "Thank you for the responses."

08-23-2004, 02:26 PM
Hey, we are a PCMA dojo. If you have some questions...maybe we can help. Write me if need some assistance!

Devon Natario
08-24-2004, 02:20 AM
Hey thanks Jeremy. I tried to get my instructor to talk to Hanshi Brooks, but he doesnt want to break his loyalty to his instructor. So, it's either going to become a new system, or it will go nowhere. It's too bad too. Its a great system, with many things to offer.

Thanks though :)