To those concerned with Osensei Rosen
Greetings fellow martial artists! My name is Michael Rosen and I was encouraged to join this forum due to the fact that there seemed to be quite a good discussion on the Aikiweb site, although erroneous in most accounts, about my teaching and my ryu. I do not teach Aikido, and so I am not sure why these individuals were concerned in the first place. I teach the system of Byakko Ryu Jujutsu.
I am thankful however, and surprised, to learn that the ideas and motives of an insignificant person such as myself have been contemplated by so many! However, I did feel that it would be appropriate to clarify a few things, although I doubt if any of the same people who presumed to judge me will take the time to read this.
Before I go on, let me say that my Japanese language skills are not so great as to make presumptions, however I have found that many others grossly misinterpret and over romanticize the language. I apologize in advance for any errors on my part, and welcome knowledgeable direction.
I never presumed to call myself Osensei. I was first called Osensei by a wonderful Japanese woman whose son I had been teaching for some time. When I presumed to correct her, she kindly let me know that as there were several teachers of the system which I was teaching, and all of them had been taught by me, I was the teacher of teachers, or the head teacher. She went on to state that as the founder of the system, with no other direct teachers above me, the title of Osensei was indeed correct. She continued to press the point by saying that, over the many years of our relationship, she had found that my teachings transcended the simple concepts of my art and directed students toward a truer understanding of themselves and their place in the community. This, she said, was the main reason that she addressed me as Osensei. I was both humbled and honored to receive her compliment. Other students began to address me in this way, and I would laugh it off with such remarks as "are you saying I am the fattest of teachers?" (O sensei).
In my twenty five years of the study and practice of martial arts, I have found that rank and title are thrown around like so much fertilizer within the systems. I have tried to stay true to the traditions, and according to Professor Sig Kufferath (Dan Zan Ryu), no longer with us in body, I had done a decent job of it. I knew that creating a style would open myself and my students to ridicule, but I also new that anyone who had become familiar with my methods and my system, were able to appreciate it.
There were many other errors in the conversation I read in the Aikiweb forum, but as the entire forum was based upon what was obviously a rudimentary browsing of the ChiDoKai web site, I will address those issues as seriously interested martial artists bring them directly to my attention.
I will close, however, be stating that I do appreciate those teachers who do not charge for their teachings. I myself have given away over $100,000 dollars worth of classes in the past ten years to low income children and to children who were referred to me with Autism and Downs Syndrome. I also know that in order to offer classes seven hours per day, five days per week, it is hard to find time to keep an outside source of income. As many of my students have come to me with vast martial experience as well as police officers and military special forces, I doubt that they would pay me if they did not see the value of my teachings.
I am thankful every day for the hundreds of students who have trained in our Washington State and Arizona training halls, and to those teachers who continue to teach Byakko Ryu Jujutsu. I am confident that they have received the best possible foundation in martial arts.