Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman, Shodai Soke
An interview with Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman, by Hanshi Frank Dux
I attended Grandmaster Irving Soto’s Live Martial Arts Masters event in New York City on May 19, 2012. It was an amazing gathering of true masters in the martial arts. I have been around the world many times and have met just about everyone of merit in the arts; no need to mention names, you all know who I am and the validity of my reputation. However, I was not, in any way, shape or form prepared for meeting with Hanshi Stephen Kaufman.
To say that this man is “special” is without question. For those of you who are not aware of his contribution to the arts, I can say with all due respect and reverence that Hanshi Kaufman is truly responsible for the inordinate consciousness raising of all of us, whether you want to admit it or not.
I first learned of Hanshi Kaufman when some time back a friend handed me a copy of The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings – The Definitive Interpretation, and said, “Check this out, somebody may actually know what they’re talking about.” Of course, I looked at it and said, “Yeah, right, another master.” I started to read it, considering the source who had given it to me and it blew me away! This was not another martial arts book or Japanese business reference. This could only have been written by someone who lives the life and doesn’t just practice punches, kicks, and clever little self-defense techniques. What he knows, and the manner in which he teaches, is nothing short of astonishing. Since that time, I have come to read most of the books written by this legitimately great master; each one seeming to be more and more profound.
Hanshi had asked myself and Grandmaster Soto if we would be so kind as to permit him to interview us for his Hanshi’s World™ cable tv show. He wanted us to just talk about our experiences and to do it in an informal setting so the world at large would see us as real people aside from our martial arts reputations. We did it and had a lot of fun talking candidly about what we had been through and how we began our careers. We chatted about our beginnings and how, we, Grandmaster Soto and myself, had come to know each other. The entire interview was impromptu, but Hanshi Kaufman knew how to get us to speak about things that we would normally have kept close to our chests.
While all of this was going on, it occurred to me that I might want to do the same thing with Hanshi as the interviewee. When we finished, we all retired to one of New York’s best kosher delis and had, if I say so myself, one of the best pastrami sandwiches on the planet. During lunch, I asked Hanshi if anyone had ever interviewed him and he immediately replied, “No, and as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t mind that, but it would have to be straight ahead without me knowing what questions you would ask so I can offend as many people as possible.” We all had a good laugh when he said that, and I thought that to get him to be completely relaxed, I wouldn’t video the interview. I would tape it at different times during the weekend and wondered about how many different moods he would express. I recorded over three hours of Hanshi just talking, as he called it, straight ahead. He talked to me about his original involvement with the martial universe (Hanshi doesn’t like the word “martial arts,” as art to him implies a form of entertainment), preferring to speak in terms of “martialism,” a word he coined to define exactly what it is that he does. I listened to him with rapt attention as he talked about his experiences “in the field,” and most of the books he has written, including my favorite, The Sword in the Boardroom – Conversations with Sun Tzu and Musashi on Winning for the Benefit of All Concerned that is becoming a full-blown classic on the mat and in the corporate world. It is unbelievable that anyone could put something like this together and at the same time it reads like a major orchestral work.
He has also founded and developed Self-Revealization Acceptance™ – Your Divine Right to Live in Joy and Freedom. Notice the spelling of revealization, not to be confused with realization. This book is probably one of the most profound reality self-help works in history and Hanshi tells you step-by-step how to ascend to the highest realms of consciousness conceivable. I can go on and on, but let’s get to the meat of the matter.
Here is the interview with very little editing, and I would suggest you get yourselves ready to be blown away!
To read the interview in full, please go to http://www.worldwidedojo.com/traditional-based/interview-hanshi-kaufman/
For more info on Hanshi Stephen F. Kaufman, visit http://www.hanshi.com