February 24, 2012

10 Questions with Shidoshi Jeff Patchin

Jeff Patchin started training with me in the early days, just after my return from Japan. He had been a hard-core student of Shotokan Karate for 10 years and moved that way when I met him. In fact, if I recall, he tried to knock my block off the first time he showed up for training, but in a nice way. I survived and it so impressed him, he stuck around long enough to impress me with his character.

Jeff is probably the most genuine guy I know - his handshake, his word, is his bond - and he upholds this ideal in his family, his work, and certainly his training. He runs his own dojo now out of his hometown of Rockford, Illinois: Bujinkan Shingitai-Ichi Dojo, Rockford 

I asked him these questions recently.


What is your personal martial arts biography?

I studied Shotokan Karate throughout my adolescent years. I have been a devoted student of the Bujinkan Divine Warrior Arts for the last 10 years. In 2005, I passed the godan test and was awarded the rank of Shidoshi and teach a small group in Rockford, Illinois.

Why do you train?

I am a warrior, warriors train. A warrior protects and defends life. A warrior brings peace, a peace found through the training itself. To reconcile the duality of life and death and perceive the potential and purpose of life is the path of the Divine Warrior. This takes training. This is why I train.

What do you think is/are the core values of martial arts training?

Protecting and defending life.

Can you explain your method of training and teaching?

I train to be effective now, today. Training this way clarifies one's understanding of “Natural Laws” and their universal application. Efficiency is the process of refining our effectiveness.

Is there a secret to training?

Experience is what the serious student of Budo is looking for. Ironically “the” experience cannot be taught, only experienced.

What would you recommend others do, to improve their training?

Be open to the experience of “now.” Consistency in training or as Soke admonishes us, “Keep Going,” is the vehicle for our own experience. Immerse yourself into training completely, the rewards are immeasurable.

What are the biggest differences today, than when you first began training?

My perspective is the best answer I can give. Perspective is continually challenged, what the training appears to be today is different tomorrow. This I believe is natural and an integral part of the “living arts of the Bujinkan.”

What is the role a martial artist plays in our world?

Protectors and defenders of life - the ones who bring peace to our world.

What one thing would you contribute to a “Book of Knowledge”?

We are all students.

Do you have any great hope for the future of martial training?

Yes, to bring peace.

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