What is Ninjutsu?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by The Force, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Kung-Fu Joe

    Kung-Fu Joe Valued Member

    While I do think that sparring should be utilized as a training tool almost immediately, I'll agree that it should not be done completely without restriction. That, in my opinion, is the instructional and coaching aspect of sparring.

    For example, my BJJ White Belts spar with heavy restrictions through most of the week. They are only allowed to utilize a set number of techniques, they often start from fixed positions, and they normally only spar other White Belts. A few days a week, we have Open Mat times where they can spar unrestricted with the higher Belt Ranks, but the higher belts tend to treat these sessions as instructionals, and will not try to steamroll the newer guys.

    In the advanced classes, sparring starts to open up. We remove the restrictions on techniques to be used, barring only a few unsafe attacks. We no longer start from fixed positions. Blue Belts roll with Purples, Browns, and Blacks.

    Finally, when training with the Fight Team, we have even less restriction. Very few attacks are restricted, we mix striking and grappling, and the "instructional" aspect of sparring is toned down some.

    Would a similar approach be feasible within the X-Kans?

    While I believe that is dependent upon the TMA in question, I do understand your meaning.

    I can understand this. I tend to be a very patient fighter. My striking is heavily influenced by my fencing training, so I tend to pepper jabs and keep outside of my opponent's distance, when possible. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily so great a tactic for winning a boxing or MMA bout. Similarly, in Jiu-Jitsu, I'm extremely confident in my Guard, and will often wait for my opponent to make a mistake rather than attacking him and trying to force an opening.

    Both are fine tactics for self-preservation, should I be attacked by someone outside of the school, but neither is all that great for competition.

    The one critique I have is the idea of "having the option to finish things somewhat offensively." I'm not sure what you mean by that-- are you referring to a fight-ending tactic, or are you referring to using just enough offense to survive and get away?

    If you mean the former, I'd counter that every martial art, sporting or otherwise, tends to be about launching one's offense from a safe vantage point. I've never heard of a martial art that advocates ignoring danger in order to launch an all-out offensive. Similarly, I've heard the "go with the flow" adage quoted in almost every martial arts school I've ever been to.

    If you mean the latter, I certainly understand, but even this can be trained with aliveness and sparring, can't it?

    While I know this was directed elsewhere, I'll say that I haven't had much experience in Taijutsu, myself-- and what I have had, I found to be somewhat disappointing. However, I am still quite interested in the art, and I'm still trying to get out to train with a decent instructor before I make any solid judgments.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  2. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    Excuse me, but where did I begin to be rude? Perhaps after a post which could be misconstrued as rude and hostile was made. I forgot that stating an opinion and disagreeing with somebody on this forum is a TOS violation.

    Why not challenge his opinion then?

    Only if you say "I'm sorry", followed by "Pretty please".

    Show me one post where he goes into a "Ninjutsu totally sucks" rant.

    No it's called calling people out on being overtly PC and hiding behind their strawman arguments.

    What exactly makes you qualified to know whether he was "right" or not?
    Ironic coming from a non Bujinkan practitioner, who's sole purpose seems to be forgive me for saying this a "thread nazi". From your own admission You don't even have any background in the bulk of the discussion in this forum, yet you seem to feel qualified to tell it how it is.

    Amateur dramatics? I'm trying to keep this discussion flowing, interesting and on topic without it resorting to hissy fits and petty character defamation (ahem: Hayseed and Banpen) when a valid opinion goes against the mainstream beliefs.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  3. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    Your overall demeanour comes across as insecure, when you start resorting to righteous indignation when a valid critique is brought up. Regardless of whether it’s true or not, you are trying to make it sound like it’s a purposeful personal attack on the art, rather than a valid observation. I commend your first post, but after that you start taking further opinions as insults, instead of what they actually were, just that. Opinions.

    Like I said, stick to the topic and not the poster. It's not a character war.

    It's ok..I'm sure you'll get me back.

    We all did in one way or another.
  4. skuggvarg

    skuggvarg Valued Member

    Well, even if it isnt perfect, it sure looks close to the original kata from Gyokko Ryu.
    I´ve done that kata over and over and over trying to get it right and can today say that I at least think I get most of the points and ideas behind it. There is a reason for it being the first kata in the jo ryaku no maki. If you think it is unrealistic, Ok, no problem. But wouldnt it be rather stupid to build a whole school of martial art on an unrealistic technique?

    For your information the Uke in the first video you linked to does sparring at every class (randori type sparring). He is very good at sabaki and controlling the opponent. You would probably get your a$$ served on a plate if you went up against him (and his a bitover 40 now). At least thats what happened to me :D

    I agree with you that there are some instructors in the Bujinkan that probably should be in that position. On the other hand I dont think this is limited to just the Bujinkan.
    The effectiveness of different strategies in the Bujinkan are very hard to measure against modern sports martial arts. Many make the mistake of comparing what they see on television (like UFC, K-1, boxing, and so on) with what they study in their dojo and since it doesnt look quite the same they jump to the conclusion that what we do must be wrong...The "stepping lunge punch" is one example of this.

    Im sure that if I linked to a youtube video of Tennen Rishin Ryu some people would jump up and down calling it unrealistic, inefficient and similar. Still this is the same style used about 150 years by some of the most effective killers of that age (Shinsengumi) . Numerous victims fell for their swords. I doubt they would have thought their style ineffective.

    I also seem to remember "the force" questioning the 3-finger strike (i think he means gyokaku ken) and I agree, unless you condition your fingers/hand you wont be able tor to pull it of effectively. However, with the right training... Legends say this strike alone downed someone in a fight and other legends say someone drilled holes in the bark with his fingers....

    Keep up faith! If you dont like your current instructor, find a new one. Gambatte!

    Best regards / Skuggvarg
  5. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    Take into account that those techniques were designed around application in armour.Therefore redundant in a modern setting, without modification. Ever wonder why Hatsumi stresses that you should never get fixated with the forms?
  6. skuggvarg

    skuggvarg Valued Member

    Well, Im not so sure they are. Koku would not (in my opinion) be suitable for armor fighting. Gyokko and Koto ryu heavily use special finger strikes to vulnerable areas. It would be very difficult to reach several of them should the opponent wear armor. They may have preserved ideas around fighting in armor but mostly they are for fighting in normal clothing or perhaps some lighter armor.

    I have many times heard that statement on the net. Personally I heard him say: "you have to study the ryuhas throughly", during my last trip to Japan. Just because you dont see Soke doing the most basic form of the kata dont jump to the conclusion you shouldnt !

    Best regards / Skuggvarg
  7. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    Who's is jumping to conclusions?

    Hatsumi makes this point several times in the book "Understand? Good. Play!".
    I've heard him make this statement in Japan too.
  8. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo


    Don't you cross train at a MMA gym?
  9. Arashima

    Arashima Banned Banned

    It's an excellent point Kusa, but we just don't train like that these days.

    Even when we are doing supposedly battlefield stuff it is still very much attacker vs defender, or at least prompt attacker into attacking and then counter-attacking.
  10. Arashima

    Arashima Banned Banned

    It would depend upon the dojo and teacher. As you have probably gathered, BBT is not as generic as BJJ and that can be both a good and bad thing. When I do spar or roll however, I do find that many of the solutions I would have to resort to to get out of a difficult situation would not be acceptable things to do to friends. I guess that in BJJ you trust your training partner not to bite you etc and don't position yourself to be safe from such things but I always have to bear in mind that my opponent is likely to do anything, including pulling weapons out of clothing, spitting etc because I never expect to become involved in a fight with rules or a ref. I'm not denigrating BJJ or any sport MA because they are excellent and I get whatever exposure to them that I can, but there are definitely two mindsets to switch between: Competition and Survival and I personally couldn't cope with that and admire anyone who can.

    As I've said, competition isn't something I train for, but I see anyone who does as a serious threat because they will be fit, energetic and not likely to hesitate which are benefits to sparring that cannot be ignored by the taijutsu practitioner.

    What I mean is that strikers and sports MAists can, and frequently do, (looking at MMA fight footage) risk throwing heavy knockout punches and often run into trouble, whereas I would not throw that heavy punch until I had got myself into a position where I was safe from attack myself. Not disimilar to the ground and pound method but with more restraint, to avoid those reversals that you sometimes see. So yes it is a fight-ending coup-de-grace, and yes it is also to cause enough shock and damage to escape.

    I expect so, depending upon what you are intending to actually do to the other guy. If I can't avoid a fight I'm not going to risk getting tied up doing a citizen's arrest so that the guys mates can kick my ribs in. Sparring against multiple opponents is fun though.

    Yes it was for CKava but anyone should do the same if they can. I cannot excuse the fact that you might have to go to six different dojo to find a decent one. I'm not happy about that but it's just the way it is.
  11. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    It isn't. Being obnoxious isn't a TOS violation it's just something most people tend to avoid unless their goal is to provoke a reaction or go off on a rant.

    I have done in other threads and I've stated my opinion about some points I disagree with on this thread. I don't need to challenge every opinion I disagree with especially when I don't think it's of much relevance to the thread topic.

    I think what he is asking for is more to actually engage in discussion rather than throwing around petty insults or pointing to random youtube videos. Treating the people you want to discuss something with like they are stupid idiots is generally something you should avoid if you want to have a decent discussion.


    e.g. "How preachy, how unrealistic. It's not alive. It is as dead as Ninjutsu."

    There's a difference between 'being overtly PC' and 'showing common decency' to the people you're having a discussion with. I think a good rule of thumb is to imagine your speaking to a real person in real life. If you imagine that and you seem to be shouting the same points at them and responding to all their comments with things like 'pompous drivel' then the likelihood is that you are being obnoxious.

    It's my opinion so I don't see what qualification I'm required to have other than being me. The Force has went from posting a critique of aspects of his class to parroting all the standard anti-Ninjutsu arguments and peppering his points with persuasive points like 'Bruce Lee said...' and 'The guys at Bulshido agree with me'.

    Thats what makes me think Banpen was right.

    As for what makes me qualified to comment. I'm the moderator, I train in martial arts and I've been on the forum for a good number of years. I've heard all the arguments in this thread 100 times over and I know when someone is going off on a sanctimonious rant.

    If that's your goal then you are failing miserably. Almost everyone of your posts in this thread has been unnecessarily obnoxious and confrontational. Also, the amateur dramatics was in reference to presenting yourself and The Force as lone warriors who are trying to just speak the truth but are being silenced by the evil forces of 'mainstream' Ninjutsu.

    The accusations you repeatedly raise for instance about Hayseed being afraid to address the criticisms you raise because they are uncomfortable really does not reflect my past experience of discussing things with Hayseed and reading his posts. He has in my experience consistently been one of the people who actually acknowledges valid criticisms and is prepared to discuss them.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  12. Kagete

    Kagete Banned Banned


    Besides, to break a pattern, there has to BE a pattern to begin with.
  13. Kagete

    Kagete Banned Banned

    This is a fine example of why it would help matters quite a bit if you had Bujinkan experience.
  14. Kagete

    Kagete Banned Banned

    You don't have to get tied up to do that. Trust me, I know.
  15. Connovar

    Connovar Banned Banned

    The US Army advocates training in both to optimize their combat survivability. They are the modern battlefield experts!

    On a modern battlefield you dont have the time or the space to get yourself in a safe position first, so then what? Obviously learning to fight from a position of disadvantage is the way to go. Proper training involves putting yourself deliberately in positions of disadvantage and then fighting your way out.
  16. Hayseed

    Hayseed Thread Killer

    I think that Arashima meant "relatively".

    I couldn't agree more, however when fighting your way out of a bad postition, aren't you by definition, trying to get to a safer one?

    Good post.
  17. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise

    Wow... 6 pages.

    Im not gonna read all of it, tho I did read kikaku's responses to my earlier comments

    If hes not a troll (and you seem to know he isn't, kikaku) then I apologize.

    Its REALLY hard to teach someone what the Bujinkan is like over the internet with just these little black letters. Its hard enough in person.

    I WILL say tho, that he brings up points that I think everyone has had before. The lack of sparring/realistic approaches in some booj dojo is laughable. That is why I left the Bujinkan. If TheForce is in a dojo where he isnt learning anything realistic at realistic speeds/power then I suggest that he talk to his instructor about this instead of posting on the internet the same rehashed crap that we see on the daily.

    I think though (and if you can prove me wrong, feel free) that he has already made up his mind about what the Bujinkan is and isnt and wont talk to his instructor about this, but will instead post on this forum all his complaints.

    PS: Why did you say for me to 'get off my high horse' ? Im not even in the Bujinkan, I dont care what he thinks about it.

    I hadn't even learned any kata at 2 months experience. All I did was ukemi, all day, every day. Which is why I said he shouldnt worry so much about advanced things with such little experience in the basics.
  18. NZ Ninja

    NZ Ninja Live wire.

    Ha ha some people want to drive a suped up sports car when they havent even learnt how to drive yet.
    My first lesson in kuki was when I was ask to help give a wrist lock demo, I grabbed my sensi with a strong grip and a fully resisting tense arm, he stepped back pulling me with him and punched my bicep which made my arm go limp he then carried on demonstrating the tech. What this taught me was theres a time for testing and a time for learning, oh and dont **** sensi off.
  19. Connovar

    Connovar Banned Banned

    If you were REALLY resisting him you would have been punching him in the nose or nuts etc while you were grabbing him with the other (or just letting go and letting him fall back).

    Its like me showing off my ability to do a triangle choke by first punching him in the nose and then slapping on a triangle. It only shows that I can punch him in the nose. If I want to show off my triangle skills I would better if I were demonstrate a triangle choke on someone trying to really punch me in the nose.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  20. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise

    If he wanted to REALLY REALLY resist, he should have been stabbing him in the face with a rusty screwdriver

    But if he wanted to REALLY REALLY REALLLLY resist, he should have just rigged a bomb to his car, so when he was on the way to the dojo, he could blow it up.

    <insult removed>
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2008

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