By Yossi Sheriff
It’s still unknown in which direction the posts in this blog will go, most probably in many different ones, similar to the difference between students in Budo Ninjutsu groups.
I wanted to write posts on the students as well, what appeared in the old website as â€œstudent profileâ€. We have many students whose appearance does not disclose their past, an unusual military service, esteemed academic achievements or a rare profession. One person, whose looks reveal him instantly, is Dr. Gendun Dhargay.
Even the veterans, trained to not even blink at atomic blasts, find it difficult not to stare as Dr. Gendun removes his heavy blue jacket revealing an orange Tibetan monk robe and prayer beads. Soon after, the black Ninjutsu outfit make him part of the group, one of us.
Dr. Gendun studied Tibetan medicine for many years, and is considered an expert in the field. His studies were conducted in a number of world centers: Tibet, where the medical center is sponsored by the Chinese government and in India. Dr. Gendun has a wide Western education and is fluent in languages to an extent that made it possible for me to invite him over for tea and cake at my favorite coffee shop at the Hungarian confectionery “Garden of Eden”.
So, as we sit and eat in the garden of Eden (I’m having burekas and Dr. Gendun a Linzer tort), I hear stories of a childhood of poverty and deprivation, of many years of academic qualification required of a Tibetan monk and of Dr. Gendun’s friends in Israel.
Upon receiving a few tips on my meditation practices, we compared Bon (the more common religion in Tibet before Buddhism) and Shugendo (the mountain religion forming the base of Ninjutsu in Japan). We spoke of the meeting of different cultures: Judaism and Buddhism, and of the melting pot of the Ninjutsu groups.
When I finished my tea I thought: “I am lucky, to teach and train with so many fascinating people is not a given thing”. It seems as though not all of us come from exotic places, this is but an illusion, there is nothing more exotic than our profession, a martial art over a thousand years old, from Japan in an era of wars to Israel in an era of wars. We discussed this as well. There is nothing more to add now. It’s fun sitting the Garden of Eden.