Ninjutsu FAQ's

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu Resources' started by Kalifallen, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner


    I know a lot of the FAQ should have been already answered but as I have seen a lot of them are being asked again and again. I'm hoping that with a FAQ thread these questions won't be asked as much.
    So post anything that you will think is important to ninjutsu/taijutsu for anyone perticapating in the art or wanting to learn about the art.

    What art can be compared/similar to ninjutsu?
    Ninjutsu or taijutsu, since that is ninjutsu's combat art, is not really similar to any art. Probably the closest is jujutsu since 7 of the 9 ryus are jujutsu ryus. Still of the jujutsu compared to taijutsu it is still very different.

    Does ninjutsu/taijutsu teach weapons?
    YES, hanbo, bo, kusari-fundo, metsubishi, shuriken, sword, shuko, shoge and tanto. Other weapons or only some of these are taught. It all depends on your teacher.

    Recommended ninja books
    Hatsumi, Tanemura, Stephen Hayes, Charles Daniels, Donn Draeger, Jack Hoban, etc.

    Where to find a dojo? , , etc

    Where can I learn to stealth?
    Not sure, maybe some seminars will show it but little to no dojos teach ninjutsu (stealth, etc) anymore. Only taijutsu is really taught anymore.

    Authentic dojos
    Bujinkan, Genbukan and Jinekan are the only ones that have documentation stating they are authentic ninjutsu dojos.

    How long does it to get a black belt?
    Ideally it is up to you and how much you train in and out of class, and how many classes you take. Some dojos test some don't. Some dojos require you to perticapate in a certain number of classes before you can get to a higher rank. Also some dojos teach only the basics and leave the variations to be black belts levels which others teach some variations in the high kyu levels.

    Are Home Study Courses (HSC) just as good as learning from a dojo?
    No, but it also depends on whom you are learning from. Some instructors, like learning instructors (2nd kyu to 4th dan) or not-very-good-explaining/teaching-instructors are not the best bet to learn taijutsu. Some none explaining, only one side shown move, and not teaching all the moves but requiring you to learn them are terrible videos. It is hard to find good training partners for a HSC.
    Good instructors should be able to give everyone 'me time' for everyone during the class. You should be able to see various angles of the moves and they should be explained carefully. Good videos show all the moves that they are supposed to teach in various angles, and they should be described carefully. Even more so than in class because you do not have 'me time' on a HSC like you do in class.
    No matter what you choose you should try to take seminars also (they're fun but can be pricey), but all in all the dojo is the best.

    What are good videos?
    Richard Van Donk, Hatsumi, Takamatsu, Tanemaru, Stephen Hayes.....

    I know there are other questions to put up so please be polite and post up anything you think will be helpful to ninjutsu/taijutsu students.
  2. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise

    Polite. ;)
  3. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    I encourage everyone to add to the questions and answers. I will edit the thread later to make it more "readable" when we get a good cross section of Q & A.
  4. Peaceful Tiger

    Peaceful Tiger Happy Member

    Great idea for a thread this considering all the repeat threads we get asking pretty much all the same questions.
  5. JibranK

    JibranK Valued Member

    Not necessarily. I'm not home studying (aside from reading and practicing the Kung Fu I know) but I'm stationed in Asia-my closest dojo is in Thailand and it's part-time.
  6. warriorofanart

    warriorofanart Valued Member

    Why did they stop teaching stealth? Is it only taught in japan?
  7. Lord Spooky

    Lord Spooky Banned Banned

    IMHO it is taught, just not in the way you might think.
    For me the stealth bit comes through when you look at the Taijutsu we do and how it works.
  8. Migidarra

    Migidarra New Member

    This is a legit question that I figured I would put in here :p

    What is the basis of Ninjutsu/Taijutsu? Throwing/striking/joint lock etc...
    :D :confused: :bang:

    Is height a major factor? If so what would the ideal height to be in Ninjutsu? Short for low center of gravity? Tall for reach?

    What is the history of Ninjutsu?(Link preferred...I already read a little of it myself :p)

  9. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise

    The basis of ninjutsu... hm... well its whatever you want it to be i suppose.

    Why worry about ideal height? Can you force yourself to grow or shrink? I've found in my experience there is no IDEAL anything. And if there is, its usually not something you have :) Make things work for you, instead of trying to justify your failures based on your physical buildup.

    History eh? has a good section, do a search on MAP too.

  10. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    That may be true but the real question is how far do you want to go and how many times a month do you want to go that far? I know the HSC subject is a touchy subject but because of this reason it was made. Now I know HSC is not better than a dojo but sometimes it is better than nothing.

    Strikes, throws, escapes, chokes, holds, reversals, evading.... Stances and at least 8 kata are taught but they are only used to show how to preform a technique. It is used to better understand the movement not really a stressed technique.
    For example: Stances are taught to learn how to balance oneself and to get into a prefect stance for a certain attack. It is not stressed. You do not stay in this stance. It is only seen as a transatory position not a stable one.
    As for kata they are only taught to better understand the movement of that kata. They are not taught to be a stable part of your fighting arsenal. Like, you learn a wind kata to better understand the emotion/feeling of wind.
    Stealth is also taught, meditation, falling, etc. More or less is learned depending of the dojo you go to, but in the end you all will learn the same stuff.

    No, height does not matter at all. As long as you can balance and evade then you are fine enough for ninjutsu.

    If you are thinking of the military type of stealth then that is not necassary taught anymore. Some training camps/seminars do teach it but only once in a blue moon. If you really want that then you might want to cross train or learn from books. That type of art is pretty much lost since it is not really necassary.
    On the other hand, the broader part of the spectrum, stealth is used in all applications of taijutsu. Stealth is to steal in; to not be seen or heard by anyone. From the beginning of your learning you start to learn stealth. From moving to falling to rolling. You are taught to roll more softer, more fluid. To step and land softly. To strike at the last second. These are the stealth techniques that are taught.
  11. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    Japanese is a tricky language but so is any language when English is your major language. Little tips: i = e
    ai = i
    l and r makes the same sound
    Once when you have that down it makes Japanese a lot easier to speak.

    Ninjutsu vs. Ninjitsu:
    I have spoken on this before. Why there are two different spellings (and pronouncing) is because of Americans not understanding the Japanese word. It is technically a missunderstanding.
    To those whom still wonder... (not the best dictionary)
    Nin means person, endurance, stealth....
    Jutsu means art, technique
    Jitsu means truth, serenity

    Each dojo is different. So if you don't like one thing about a dojo look to another and/or go to seminars and training camps. Cross training might help also.
    Just because you are training in ninjutsu/taijutsu doesn't mean you're going to learn all what you think you will. So when starting and learning always learn with your cup empty.

    Age requirements:
    Depending on the dojo. Some dojos do have younger ninja classes but the majority of dojos are for 16 years or older. Why? Because ninjutsu/taijutsu teaches some damaging attacks and having a complete muscle and bone structure is necassary. In medieval times, of the ninja, the children were only first taught the combat and weapons when they were 16 or older.

    Taijutsu vs. Ninjutsu:
    Taijutsu is just the body movements of ninjutsu. They are the same thing. So when I speak of ninjutsu I'm also speaking of taijutsu.
    Yes, they are technically two different things but since they are part of one another they are usually combind into one meaning.
    Taijutsu = body techniques. Rolling, falling, fighting, etc.
    Ninjutsu = endurance/stealth techniques. Silent moving, hiding, climbing, running, etc.

    Use momentum to carry you through the roll/fall.
    Rolling - Using your hands or no hands, roll across your tricep to the back of your shoulder blade (hitting the middle of the upper left or right quadrant). Then diagonally (from right upper back to left hip) across your back and off your, opposite side, hip. If you do it correctly you will preform a perfect flow and be lifted up and onto your feet.
    If you didn't do it preform it correctly you will either have a sore shoulder, spine, hip or bounce during the roll.
    DO NOT: hit your shoulder or roll off your lower spine. If you do so your shoulder will hurt and you will bounce.
    DO: twist your head down and to the side and twist your body in the same direction as well. Exhale as you come off the shoulder so you will have rounded your back which should protect your spine. Keep your legs tucked, one can stick out for kicking or planting reasons. Keep arms tucked in. Come off hip or side of butt so you won't bounce and will come up on your feet better.
    Back roll and side roll is similar to the front roll (the one I've discribed). There are also other applications to the side roll (across back, shoulders or side).
    Falling - When you fall or are pushed step into it to soften the landing a bit. Arms should instinctly come in from of your face. Palms out in a V formation. Full forearms and hands should catch the 'face pain'. To save your face even more look to the side not to the ground or in front. Back straight, butt in air (compared to the rest of your body) and leg. Leg that stepped forward to soften your fall is your stable leg and should be bent. You stick the other leg out just incase you need to kick the person who pushed you.
    Back fall has you sit into the fall. As you land on your butt you should have one leg out which is for kicking. Head tucked into chest, arms folding into your chest and rolling/rocking along your back.
    Side fall has your falling side leg swing infront or inback of your other leg. Remember to crouch a bit, at least, to soften the fall. Arms in front of body for balance after you have landed. First your lower side of hip should land then all the way to your shoulder. Head tucked in and away from ground. Leg that is one ground should be in air, either to side or in front, for kicking.
  12. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    Dale Seago: Q: What about belt ranks - kyu and dan grades?
    A: These are a recent development in Japanese arts. The old arts have shoden, chuden, and okuden (low, middle, and advanced) levels, with the hiden or secret oral teachings passed only to a select few. Bujinkan students do not receive kyu or dan ranks in any of the nine systems, but Hatsumi sensei has instituted such grades for the Bujinkan "umbrella" organization. The current rank structure is “modern”, in the sense that kyu and dan grades are used; yet it also harks back to the ancient shoden/chuden/okuden form in that there are three general levels of training and understanding.

    There are nine kyu grades (beginning with 9th and advancing through first), signified by a green belt worn by the practitioner. These are followed by fifteen dan grades, signified by a black belt. The kyu ranks, essentially, are “preparation to become a student” of Bujinkan budo; and one is considered to be ready to really begin learning at first dan or first-degree black belt.

    The dan ranks or black belt grades are divided into three general levels: Ten, Chi, Jin or Heaven, Earth, and Man, as follows:

    1st through 5th dan: Heaven
    6th through 10th dan: Earth
    11th through 15th dan: Man

    These correspond roughly to the old shoden, chuden, and okuden levels of training.
  13. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    gcarson:Please understand that the following is generalization at best :

    1. Rank & Promotions
    - Bujin is generally all over the board and you can go from white to 4th dan without ever having to see the headmaster.
    - Genbu/Jinen are quite strict about their systems and you will have to see the headmaster before going into the Yudansha much at all

    2. Technical Organization (syllabus) & Quality of Techique
    - Bujin is again, generally all over the board. One club will be very particular with the basics being drilled over and over, and the next club will henka the bejeezus out of everything. Some are really really good, but some are....not.
    - Genbu/Jinen suffer dojo to dojo variation as well but are generally closer to one another than you will find in Buj. This is due to the G/J being more tightly regimented as well as being much smaller in size than the Buj. Quality of technique/instruction will vary from club to club, but like the syllabus, they tend to more evenly balanced (particularly higher grades).

    3. Political Situation & Money (cost)
    - ALL THREE have big time political games going on. Intentional or otherwise, these play a factor in every club and effect every student, even if the student isn't aware. I don't think one is better than the other for this and size does play a factor. By this I mean politics are viciously rampant in the Buj, but they are tighter and more immediately impacting in the other two. (This is the whole size of the fish and size of the sea comparison)
    As far as cost goes, most expensive to least (GENERALLY!!)
    1. Genbukan (lots of different divisions and grades and $$ to go along)
    2. Jinenkan (yearly membership is big $$ and nothing else is cheap)
    3. Bujinkan (varies from free to stupidly expensive but the $$ guidelines set out by HM in Japan are the cheapest of the three)

    4. Lineage (The darkest and most politically loaded difference)
    - Bujin lineage is simple - Takamatsu -> Hatsumi = done. Hatsumi teaches things they way he sees fit and uses the names of the schools as they were given by Takamatsu.
    - Genbukan lineage is harder as TS has crossed trained with other students of Takamatsu and gained rank from them, in addition to his time with Hatsumi (as well as chinese influences). This is compounded by TS's organization changes, renaming the schools as his own and declaring himself GM in these schools. (This is not out of line with lineage breaks in historical schools, it just makes things alot more complicated for the scholar.)
    - Jinenkan lineage is simple - Hatsumi -> Manaka = done. Manaka calls his own stuff Jinen-filltheblank, but also teaches the different Ryu separately. He calls himself Kancho which is standard for someone who establishes their own style based on other items.

    Hope this helps somewhat. The bottom line is that you can get really good or really bad instruction regardless of which you go to.....and none of the lineages have been totally 100% completely confirmed by Koryu organizations in Japan, so lineage arguments are best ignored.
  14. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

  15. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    Masaaki Hatsumi:
    Stick fighting,
    Advance stick fighting,
    The Way of the Ninja: Secret Techniques,
    History and Tradition,
    The Grandmaster's Book of Ninja Training,
    Essence of Ninjutsu,
    Secrets of the Grandmaster, (
    Tetsuzan (

    Stephen Hayes:
    Ninja and their fighting art,
    Ninja volumes 1 - 5
    Ninjutsu (complation of upper two books with extras)
    The mystic art of the ninja (complation of upper two books with extras)

    Donn Draeger:
    Ninjutsu: The art of invisibility (history)

    Charle Daniel: (haven't read)
    Taijutsu: Ninja art of unarmed combat

    Tadashi Yamashita: (haven't read)
    Ninpo Ninjutsu: The complete history and training guide

    Shoto Tanemura: (haven't read, found on
    Ninpo/Genbukan Bugei Fundamental Taijutsu
    Ninpo Secrets: Philosophy, History, and Techniques

    Adam Andrews:
    Ninjutsu (history and what the ninja used)

    Personally I recommend any Hatsumi (though the majority of his books are for education instead of physical training), Hayes, and the Donn Draeger book/s. I hear Tanemura's books are excellent also but if you are apart of Bujinkan I'm not sure how well they'll help you.
    All of the books can be found on unless otherside stated.
  16. JibranK

    JibranK Valued Member

    Who is this? I know Kali hasn't read it but does anyone know?
  17. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    Yamashita is a no-no

    Finally found out. He is Master Tadashi Yamashita of Okinawan Shorin Ryu. He has also wrote a nunchaku and tonfa book. Not sure how he wrote a ninjutsu book. Hm, since he is not a practicioner of ninpo and since I can't find any info on the book I'll just have to say, "Don't get the book."
    Oh, I was hoping it was authenic.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2005
  18. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    Not recommended. I've read that the Charles book is one of the books you either like or don't. Fuzzy pictures and overly hollywood ninja but Bujinkan authentic.

    All right.... I have bought some books off the Internet. Hopefully they'll get to me soon. Anyway, other good books:

    Masaaki Hatsumi
    Understand? Good. Play. out of print
    Japanese Sword Fighting: Secrets of the Samurai, cheapest
    Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu
  19. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    These two sites are really good for Japanese tabi, kyahan, tekko, gi, hakama, etc.
    Amazon also sells a lot of Ippon supplies so it might be cheaper to buy from Amazon than Ippon.
  20. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    Tabi thread
    Hm, but it looks like I did from the last post, oh well, it is more up to date now.

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