Modern TMAs & Ninjutsu

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Sandninjer, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Sandninjer

    Sandninjer Valued Member

    After having seen many threads and general comments on martial arts and ninjutsu related topics around the Internet, I noticed many people accuse today's ninjutsu being either unauthentic and/or a false martial art, be it bujinkan, genbukan or jinnenkan. This has bothered me much because in the short time I've been studying, I've found it to be very beneficial both mentally and physically, not to mention effective from a fighting perspective.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't martial arts supposed to adapt to the society it is being taught in? Although the wars of today are not any less common, they are being fought primarily by drones, jets, missiles and guns. Sure there are many troops fighting but if you live in the West, you don't live in a battle zone. No matter how poverty-stricken your neighborhood may be, you don't have to worry about rampaging Mongols bringing your wall down at any moment while you're sitting on your living room couch watching TV. Times have changed.

    So then, could it not be said that the effectiveness of modern day martial arts would naturally be toned down to accommodate for the heavier influence of laws? In regard to specifically ninjutsu now, why would a modern school stress practice of assassination (not to say you shouldn't know it at all for the sake of tradition and knowledge)? If something like that even needed to be done, you'd have to join the military, learn their techniques, and then by order of the government only, you may or may not need to perpetrate that order. You can't just learn assassination in a dojo and go assassinate someone, not in a land of laws.

    This thread may seem like a rant but I'd actually like some discussion on it. As long as it benefits you, it's good, right?
  2. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    You have two separate issue there.

    Effectiveness. Whatever that is.

    The legitimacy of a lineage or lineages.

    Although they can be interlinked one does not guarantee the other.

    If you are asking about historical legitimacy or the background of an art then you need to stop looking at it from the perspective of how it works now. It doesn't really come down to that.

    Oh and by "today's Ninjutsu" I take it you mean the Takamatsuden?
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  3. Sandninjer

    Sandninjer Valued Member

    By "effective" I'm talking about a fighting perspective. I thought that part was self-explanatory but I'll remember to clarify myself even more.

    Yes, "today's Ninjutsu" would mean Takamatsuden. Out of curiosity, what else could I be referring to? I'm only aware of Bujinkan, Genbukan and Jinnenkan.

    Tell you the truth, I really don't care about historical legitimacy or not. The way I see it, if it works for you, it's good. Many others apparently see the opposite though.

    Shouldn't martial arts adapt to the current era? Many MAs nowadays, not even just TMAs, will stress defense since no one is actively looking to take their training and go to war.
  4. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    I meant that effectiveness can mean a number of things in MA. Even from a fighting perspective.

    It wasn't aimed at any lack of clarity on your part.

    "Ninjutsu" exists in various Koryu that are still extant not to meantion those that aren't such as Kuroda-ryu.

    Then why the rant? If you are happy then enjoy the training, sod what others say.

    That depends on their purpose, what their focus is.

    Some MAs will some won't and for others it isn't an issue.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I've said for many years that someone training in martial arts, being active, maintaining a healthy body weight and regularly taxing their cardio system is often doing far more for their self defence (in terms of preventing harm to themselves) than someone doing a hard-nosed blood and snot street self defence system.
    Simply put the majority of is will not need to use our martial arts for real.
    We (in the west) are generally much more in danger from bad lifestyle, sedentary paced life as we age and age related illness than we are from murderous street attackers.
    So...stay active, enjoy your training and stay out of trouble. :)
  6. peterc8455

    peterc8455 Valued Member

    There is a lot of stuff out there that could fall into the "today's Ninjutsu" category that is not Takamatsuden. also a lot of it has been talked about before and all you need to do is put "ninjutsu" into a search engine.

    It's very surprising that you haven't seen it or aren't aware of a lot of it considering your interest in the subject.
  7. peterc8455

    peterc8455 Valued Member

    On the topic of "todays Ninjutsu" depending on "what" and "who" you include in there IMHO there ARE a lot of unsupported and oftentimes logic defying claims.

    My advice is to simply stop using the word "ninjutsu". Also, to be clear about what exactly you are training in and to understand your reasons for training in it.
  8. Sandninjer

    Sandninjer Valued Member

    Thank you for the clarification. I've vaguely read about some Ninjutsu schools claiming they're authentic and pay homage to Takamatsu soke yet don't claim any attachments to Bujinkan, Genbukan or Jinnenkan, but then it comes down to the same story of "if it's working for you, then it's good", right?
  9. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    No. :D

    It comes down to the integrity of the teacher.

    Why train with sme lying scumbag who is more concerned about making himself look good than his is training in an honest fashion.

    If people are honest in their training then all is good and you can the argue about effectiveness till the cows come home. :)
  10. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Who are the koryu schools Dean? Sorry for a question that may be obvious to many on here :)

  11. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Some that spring to mind are Tatsumi-ryu & Sosuishi-ryu and the one that most people think of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu, although as I understand it within that ryu-ha the skills are not seen as Ninjutsu but more counter espionage skills, and the previously mentioned Kuroda-ryu which unfortunately died out in the mid 80's.

    I suppose it'll all come down to what we define as Ninjutsu and what the ryu-ha which contain those skills teach them as.
    Please take the above with a pinch of salt as I'm certainly no expert .
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  12. peterc8455

    peterc8455 Valued Member

    Let's be clear about one thing though Bujinkan, Genbukan and Jinenkan (not Jinnenkan) are organizations (this is different than the arts they teach).

    And this "if it's working for you, then it's good", right?" is just plain intellectually dishonest.

    Considering the level of deception on some people's part, why would you want to train with someone like that?

    Obviously it's a personal choice; however it always amazes me the things that people will accept in martial arts (and in a martial arts teacher) that they would most likely find unacceptable in any other part of their lives.
  13. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    I feel an Ellis Amdur quote coming on....... :D
  14. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member
  15. peterc8455

    peterc8455 Valued Member

  16. Sandninjer

    Sandninjer Valued Member

    Very interesting replies here, still taking my time reading them (while at work) but want to answer one in particular for the time being.

    It comes down to my faith. I neglected religion for a while until I decided one worked for me and bettered me as a person. In fact, I chose a "way of life" and not an actual "religion". Some people ask me to prove it's right but I really don't care and I don't like getting into all that. It works and it made me a better person and if it's not the truth, at least I believed in it and I benefitted from it.

    Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't care at all if I found out what I'm learning was unauthentic, I'd probably be pretty upset but if it benefitted me, would I quit? No. I know what I'm learning is authentic but some people may decide to go back to that whole "Takamatsu soke never appointed an heir" or something line, to which I have no knowledge of at all.

    I hope I am starting to make a bit more sense here.
  17. Kagete

    Kagete Banned Banned

    Except possibly his survival.

    Some call it sin eating, others call it ninpo.

    [ame=""]The Bourne Legacy Clip - Sin Eater - YouTube[/ame]
  18. Kave

    Kave Lunatic

    I think the real issues with effectiveness boil down to three main factors:

    1). Why are you learning?
    2). What are you actually learning?
    3). What is your art/school claiming to teach?

    Take someone who wants to study Aikido as an example. If they want to study Aikido to get involved in a low impact activity that teaches them how to fall safely and provides a bit of eastern mysticism while additionally providing a way to broaden their social group, then these are the criteria by which we should assess the effectiveness of the art.

    Then we look at what the school actually teaches, does it effectively meet the requirements of the student? I think many Aikido schools would meet the requirements listed above?

    Thirdly we look at what the school (or art) claims to teach? Does it claim to produce people that are capable of competing in the UFC? Does it claim to give you magical powers? Does it claim to teach you effective self defence? Are the claims that the school is making able to be substantiated?

    Effectiveness has to be in relation to acheiving specific outcomes. When assessing any art you should ask:

    a). What skills do I expect to develop by studying this art, and is the instruction meeting my expectations/requirements?
    b). What skills does this art/school claim to teach, can the claims be substantiated?

    If a school or art is providing what it claims to provide, while meeting the requirements of their students then it is en effective art. If the school or art misleads their students and fails to provide what is claimed (or what the students wish to learn) then it is an ineffective art.

    Like any art or school, the effectiveness of Ninjutsu depends on what it claims to offer, and why people study it.
  19. kevin g

    kevin g Valued Member

    In his Jujutsu manual, Tanemura sensei describes the difference between 3 types of Jujutsu - the koryu that is essentially dead (just patterns being practiced for the sake of preserving them), modern sport Jujutsu (Judo or Sambo or something in MMA), and traditional arts that preserve the old but also adapt to the new. So, you learn the kihon and the reiho and all that, but also train against boxing-style punches, pistols, different knife styles, etc.
  20. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    There's an argument, IMO, that if it doesn't have relevance today then calling it koryu would be inaccurate. Koryu aren't stuck in the past the should flow from it from their point of inception.

    At the end of the day you're taught a way of moving, thinking, and applying yourself not rote mechanical responses that only fit one thing.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012

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