A matter of respect.....or lack thereof

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by campsinger, Oct 5, 2016.

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  1. campsinger

    campsinger Valued Member

    I find it occasionally amusing but oftentimes iritating to read the threads on this forum. We have quite a few very knowledgeable folks about the Takamatsuden traditions on this forum that are willing to share such knowledge, and a lot of folks who have incorrect information because of either teachers who shouldn't be teaching or (in my case) receiving incorrect info way back in the 80s and 90s. Every once in a while I find a piece of info that suddenly makes so many things make sense.

    And then we have the plethora of people who don't study the Takamatsuden traditions who want to slag on those of us who do. Asking questions out of curiosity is fine, but then arguing about the answers they get is exceedingly rude. Take a recent thread for instance, "Punching correctly in the Takamatsuden". First of all, it's in the NINJUTSU forum; there's your first clue about what things pertain to. Not MMA, boxing, judo, or BJJ; they have their own forums. Second, this thread is titled " Punching correctly in the Takamatsuden", not "How to punch effectively." Therefore, arguing that Takamatsuden strikes are ineffective, inefficient, and a waste of time to study, especially after having it explained to you why we do what we do, is incredibly rude and disrespectful.

    I'm not sure what Please reality's purpose in starting this thread was. He may have been just troll-bating. If you bite on the bait, guess what that makes you?

    I get it. Most of the martial arts community doesn't like the Takamatsuden traditions for one reason or another. Fine. There are martial arts conditions but I don't like very much but I don't slag on them in their forums. I try to understand the parameters within which their tradition was formed, which helps their current practice make more sense. I have found that it is possible to understand a martial art and accept its premise even if I don't agree with its premise or even think it is a complete waste of time to study. That would be a complete waste of time FOR ME to study. Someone else may find it completely relevant and exactly what they've been searching for.
  2. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    It's a tricky one because even in searching out a question as to "how" one cannot help but frame it in own experiences, which typically are the aforementioned boxing, BJJ etc....

    The X-Kans are something of a unique breed in that they often self-destruct and eat their own in these debates....and this is from a JKD player! However, it is equally fair that those with bad experiences of their training can share that freely....and that is what RoninX did. I may agree, I may not agree with him, but that is largely irrelevant - what counts is that he was at least able to articulate his point and so at the very least is certainly not a "troll", and he may in fact offer the alternative view for someone who is unsure - which is needed as balance

    I actually found it one of the less acidic threads personally
  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I disagree. There are almost no decent sources in the Ninjutsu forum. Dunc is the exception.
  4. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    no, no one slags on you for studying your art. the slagging comes when people say stuff like "this stuff will actually work"; and, what comes with that--the hours, years, thousands of dollars of training, the traveling to japan.

    if you're having fun doing what you're doing and you think it's useful, then what do you care what people post?

    i think you should go to the judo forum and tell people osoto gari won't work.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  5. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Except that the very first post in that thread stipulated;
    "Reading recent posts in another thread, I thought this would be an interesting topic for discussion in it's own right. Not being able to punch properly(read effectively, speedily, and powerfully) has long been seen as an issue within the Bujinkan, and many people doubt the effectiveness of the various strikes found in the Takamatsuden as a result. So how do you punch correctly in the Takamatsuden?"

    So the first post mentioned the opinion of other arts, and mentioned its own criteria for "properly," which are not Takamatsuden criteria, they are objective measures of effectiveness that can be commented on by anyone.

    I'm fully sympathetic to issues of false criticism, and am happy to close down attacks on a style that are simply trolling.

    But I genuinely don't think this is such a case.

    If there is such a case, I will absolutely act on it. Dunc and others have proved that it is possible to post commentary and video, and react to posts from others, without it being an issue. I really want this to be the future of MAP. So never hesitate to post, never hesitate to show video, but please always understand that others will have their opinions if asked. How you respond to them is under your own control :)

  6. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    I think this happens when people who study modern martial arts offer opinion on traditional martial arts, and vice versa - and in this instance I will define a traditional martial art to be one that focuses on passing on an existing tradition, regardless of the objective effectiveness of that tradition, and I'll define a modern martial art as one that seeks to maximise effectiveness of techniques with limited deference paid to tradition.

    So to someone who studies a TMA like Karate or Ninjustsu in the Takamatsuden tradition, a punch is carried out in the exact way that the authority in that art has decided is the 'correct' form, but to a boxer, a punch is an umbrella term for a strike that is conducted with ones' fists, and 'correct' form is determined by some utility function encapsulating force transference, risk, energy usage etc. And so it's just not sensible to compare the two at all.

    Where this gets murky and arguments break out is when people who practice TMAs claim that their method offers greater utility as measured by modern martial arts, or where those modern martial artists try to force their measures of utility on TMAs. And the route cause of that is almost always insecurity and doubt in what you are doing. That's why the worst offenders are always relative beginners - you would never have caught Koyo bickering over the effectiveness of aikido relative to BJJ, because he had faith in his training and in the tradition that he had been taught.
  7. campsinger

    campsinger Valued Member

    I agree with both statements. I wasn't counting RoninX as a troll. Personally, I think he went a bit far in making sure everyone understood that the style of punching in the Takamatsuden is crap. State it, state why, then leave it alone.

    As you yourself said,
    I care because I have spent alot of blood, sweat, tears, and money on training, including traveling to Japan. For lack of a more polite way to say it, it upsets me when people walk into my house and urinate on the floor.

    Does this stuff work "straight out of the box, just plug-n-play? No, it doesn't. It takes alot of exploration/explanation to make it work.

    That would make me a hypocrite, so I'll pass on your suggestion.
  8. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Traditionally, Forums are public areas (not your house) for (polite in MAP's case) debate, Debate means discussion between people of opposing viewpoints, If discussion with people with opposing viewpoints isn't for you, that's not the forum or other people fault.
  9. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    i think you're being a little hyperbolic.

    like i said, if you're having fun, have at it. but when i read posts about how the art is actually going to help in a violent encounter, you can bet i'm going to question it.

    you clearly have no concept of how many times we've heard that "sport" arts won't work because of "rules" or "teh str33t". lol

    but that's ok for me. i'm prepared to defend what i do and why. heck, i'm prepared to defend aikido. and we all know that will never work.
  10. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    if i can just say, i like everyone on the ninjutsu forum. yes, even please reality. i love debating and asking questions of him. i know it's an internet forum so sometimes it seems "slag"--to use the term of the thread.

    i wish i had some time to try ninjutsu. alas, no time.
  11. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    I've got no ninjutsu training, but I would think ninjutsu practitioners need to mentally block out every possible negative impression they could possibly get off the Net. From Hatsumi's books I concluded the goal of the Ninja is to have a tranquil mind. I think if I took Ninjutsu training seriously I would log off, permanently.

    That's not possible for ordinary humans, we all react positively and negatively to material we read, is written to us, or about us online. Nobody is a 'tough guy' online, for real, no matter how much they deny it, most people are social animals and words can hurt, or make them fall in love, et cetera. OR just feed their ego and cravings..

    Trolls are a special kind of online presence, some are sadomasochistic others are attention seekers, and a few probably think they're doing some good for the world, and that's always debateable.

    Ninja vs. Troll is a great character vs character study. Who wins in a battle of wits and so on: the ancient master of Zen-like guerilla fighting, or the average computer user, regardless of wit.

    The most likely scenario online is probably: two average computer users, one of whom studies what they believe to be Ninjutsu (for better or worse).

    The chances of anybody contributing something to the body of knowledge of Ninjutsu online, is really going to depend on the specific. I have seen some really crazy people online claiming to be Ninjas, and some people who seem to sincerely seek knowledge in a reasonable way.

    In my (unqualified) opinion the whole punching in Ninjutsu thread was a big waste of time. That's not the side of Ninjutsu I find most interesting, because "Your mileage may vary". The real Ninjas were used to scale whole castles, after all, and for strategic purposes. Why the focus on punching? The abstract, philosophical lessons in Ninjutsu are to suffer and endure, and so on. "So and so told me to punch THIS way, instead", is mundane. Monkeys and kangaroos can punch, too folks, but I never heard of them assaulting a fortress! :D
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  12. RoninX

    RoninX Valued Member

    I think you have a serious problem dealing with criticism. Probably because you're a Bujinkan Shidoshi, so it kind of makes sense for you to feel bothered by those who criticize what you practice. But the reality is that your own definition of respect is really just your own definition of respect, and i don't agree with it. Discussing a style, pointing out its flaws, questioning certain claims, is certainly not disrespectful in any way. Especially when the art in question raises so many questions and answer so few.

    If someone argues about the answers they get, that's not being rude, unless they're insulting you and not providing valid arguments in return. But to simply question what you say is nothing but smart and productive and it can definitely help a lot of people opening their eyes about certain issues within the art. They can come here and instead of simply finding the Bujin crowd talking wonders about the art, they can also find the other side of the coin, which is people pointing out the holes in certain claims and offering their educated view, based on their experience, on why certain techniques are not exactly something you should try if someone points a gun at you on the street. There's so much garbage in the Bujinkan that you desperately need someone calling them out. I don't feel comfortable with the idea that anyone would try certain techniques in real life. I've seen Hatsumi demonstrating gun and knife techniques that i'm 100% sure would most likely get someone killed in a real situation.

    A lot of Bujinkan people don't like to be questioned because that's really the only reason why the org is successful in the first place: Too many people not asking question. It's that's strongly encouraged, as a defensive method, since once you start questioning it the whole system falls apart. That's why you see so many people from the Bujinkan telling you stuff like "ask your teacher" or "why do you wanna know?". They just don't wanna be forced to give answers because 1) They don't have the answer for many questions and 2) The answers they do have are not convincing enough and can easily be questioned. The most common behaviour among people who practice suspicious activities is simply deflection.

    It reminds me a fake BJJ black belt who was being asked questions about where and how he got his black belt and all he did was talk about how disrespectful it is to come into his dojo to question him. I mean...when you're legit you really don't have a problem giving answers. If you train something that's effective you can easily prove people that it is effective. If you train something that's factually 500 years old you can easily provide people with evidence that it really is that old.

    As far as who asks the questions, why does that matter to you? What difference does it make? Does the answer change? Regardless of who asks the question, if you give the answer, you're contributing with information to anyone reading, including Bujinkan members. You're helping this place. In my opinion this a place to share ideas and information. If someone asks you a question about the Bujinkan is because they're obviously interested enough to know. I love to read and learn about arts i don't even train. It's an interesting subject.

    The reason why i personally ask questions and criticize the art is because i'm entitled to. I can question whatever the hell i want. I've spent enough money in this org in order to have the right to call it garbage if i feel like doing it. And i don't criticize those who have never trained it but simply look at videos and quickly figure out for themselves how bad it is.

    You know, the funny thing is: Right from the start i kind of figured out for myself how bad the whole thing is, but because i was young, not experienced enough and kind of fascinated with the Ninja world i simply convinced myself that i didn't know enough to criticize the art. I wasn't confident in my judgement and i decided to trust the masters. "Maybe there's something more to it that i don't understand", i thought. It's exactly what these people wanna sell you. They wanna sell you the idea that you don't know enough, that's why you don't understand it. Now i just think that the less you know, the more you actually know. If i show Bujinkan techniques to anyone who doesn't train martial arts they just laugh and question the whole thing. You know why? Because certain things are just too obvious for those who aren't under the spell.

    I'm sorry if you feel this is disrespectful. Do you know what i feel is disrespectful? To fool people. Being dishonest regarding what you're really teaching and claiming the style is 900 yo even though nobody can really prove it. Disrespectful is to teach self defense techniques that you have never tested or seen anyone testing . It's disrespectful to charge money from people and then act like they don't have the right to question what they're paying for. It's disrespectful to advertise yourself as a "15th dan" and using it to promote your techings without letting people know beforehand that your rank is a joke and means absolutely nothing. This is what i've seen in years of Bujinkan training. I've seen disrespect towards those who are paying for it.
  13. TomD

    TomD Valued Member

    No disrespect intended, but if you think this, why are you posting here if you do not train Takamatsuden arts and believe the people posting on these arts here have nothing useful to say? You don't have to come here. BTW basically I think this is the OP in two sentences...

    Regards, Tom
  14. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    When I started training martial arts it was "Japanese Jiu Jitsu" that was 99% nonsense. The only reason I switched to proper martial arts and became the terrifying hyper-badass I am today is that people came on the forums for that style and asked probing questions.
  15. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I've got loads of useful stuff to say. Mostly it's because I'm interested in what Dunc has to say. Plus it's kind of funny reading threads where guys are talking about all these bad-ass hypothetical techniques and about which way the hand should move specifically when in reality their fat ass couldn't throw anything except maybe their back out.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  16. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    lol, me too.
  17. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    MAP has been a major influence in my own life in areas not even regarding Martial Arts, and not always from threads pertaining to Martial Arts or even the subject material of the thread!

    When I first started training it was at a Isshinryu Karate/Judo place. The instructors were good, but as I journeyed through the many threads of MAP I began to question my training and my ability to apply it. While I do think Isshinryu (and obviously Judo) are good systems to train, the lack of pressure testing due to my size/strength and number of students was lacking. I probably would have figured it out on my own, but MAP certainly assisted tremendously in opening my eyes to needing to find something with more sparring and application work. That's why I got into MMA and BJJ. I attribute my mentality when it comes to both self defense and fighting (on the str3ets) to the instructors in Isshinryu. They were both prior paratroopers and knowledgeable when it came to fighting and through experience. Their classes just didn't offer what I needed to be able to feel confident in applying the skills I was learning.

    MAP has also helped me a lot in pointing me in the right direction where health/fitness is concerned. Reading Socrastein and Ad McG's posting in the past specifically. There have also been MANY a thread in which I've made a complete fool of myself, got blasted for it, and just all around learned and bettered myself.

    It's also a playground for ethics, philosophy, and general life experiences with people that have a similar mindset (because let's face it, people who enjoy getting punched in the face for a living look at life a little differently). MAP has just been an all around great place. The only other community I've found that's decent when it comes to Martial Arts is Bullshido, but to be honest there is just way too much posturing and badassary rhetoric for me. I'm a very aggressive and opinionated person, but funnily enough when I'm discussing things or trying to learn I do not prefer an environment that doesn't put a restraint on those things.

    I always find it a bit strange when people feel entitled to a section on MAP, and find offense when being criticized, because that's just not what MAP is about.
  18. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Ero also missed out the part where he was trounced at archery on MAP
  19. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Chadderz, understanding that you're not referring to any specific individual, let's ratchet back on the unnecessary characterizations, please. You have a point to make. Have some confidence in the point. You don't need the caricature.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  20. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    So Dead Pool nailed it in one. This isn't your house. It's a shared communal space. It's like a science fair in the school gym. People will walk around to your table, examine your project, and likely provide commentary. That's part and parcel of operating in a shared space.

    Now, there are parameters for that commentary. And that's why there's a mod team.

    The Ninjutsu forum is public, just like every other forum here at MAP. That means that the general membership gets to come in, read what people say, and offer their feedback. You won't necessarily like their feedback. You won't necessarily heed it. That's your call. But they're free to offer it. Within the terms of service to which you all (knowingly) agreed.

    It really wouldn't. It just feels that way because of the mindset you come from. And that's not a criticism. I came from something similar. But, if you're going to participate in the wider community, you need to understand that other mindsets exist. And that they don't necessarily constitute disrespect.

    Yes, there are people who are disrespectful. And there are comments that could be worded more diplomatically. And on and on and on. But there are also legitimate differences in outlook that, far from being disrespectful, are actually valuable to consider.

    I'm not an MMA guy, but one of the valuable contributions I believe they've made is an empirical approach to training. It may seem like second guessing or challenging or whatever. But you need to look past that and see the value in it. What I've seen, over the years, is a general willingness (enthusiasm even) for adopting an approach once its validity has been demonstrated reliably.

    There was a time when high kicks were universally ridiculed in MMA. Then Maurice Smith comes along and says "yeah, I can't hear you; oh, and boot to the head!" Suddenly, high kicks are bread and butter in MMA, and we're moving on to jumping spinning kick knockouts. They ask only that words be backed up with action. And I don't see how that credo can be a detriment to any art.

    So go. Go to the judo forum and posit that something doesn't work. Be ready for a debate. But be ready to see actual evidence of osoto gari being used on uncompliant, well-conditioned, highly motivated opponents. And see the value in that.
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