What's the use?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Please reality, Apr 19, 2014.

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  1. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Recently, it seems like there is nothing worth discussing in the Ninjutsu forum and the majority of the threads are either started by people new to the art or outsiders. The tone around here seems a bit trollish and anti-Bujinkan. I guess things go in cycles, and that isn't necessarily any better or worse than an anti-Indie or anti-Genbukan tone, so I am not complaining.

    However, it does make one wonder if there is any use discussing ninjutsu on forums like this. When you look at forums like Kutaki, there is not much going on and the posters write like neutered cats.:zzz: Martial Talk is dominated by one particular vocal and seemingly knowledgeable person who learned the Takamatsuden from a less than authentic source. The same could be said of one of the vocal posters on Kutaki, who is a VanDonkey student.

    Since there are so few people with any in-depth exposure to the art posting, it seems like there isn't much truly Takamatsuden specific to discuss. As such, there isn't much use gossiping or debunking crappy videos. Perhaps it's time to Shut Up and let the less intellectually stimulating take over. George is quiet, Roley Poley is gone, Markspada is in aggression therapy classes, mattt is trekking around Patagonia, Ben is playing with his kukan balls, and Miss Manga is busy hacking Antony Cummins master site of Natoriness(all these are jokes). I guess unless we want to discuss what it feels to be a 10dan or ninja fitness, there's really not much else to say that hasn't already been rehashed a million times or really isn't that interesting or germane.
  2. llong

    llong Valued Member


    I like and agree with your assessment of this and other fora. Thanks for the post. I've been a member here (mostly lurking) for about 9 years. From what I've seen, there are 4 problems (these are generalizations):

    1) Training questions asked in earnest receive pithy one-liners or 'ask your teacher'.
    2) Non-ninjutsu folks try to figure out what we're about (i.e., rank, history, authenticity), and receive 'you couldn't possibly understand'.
    3) Trolls come and go like post-burrito gas.
    4) MAP members rarely use their real names and only gently-veil their allusions to senior-most folks in the art. Classical internet problem.
    5) Every year or so there's an X-Kan civil war. As if any of us have a right to judge their personal (often familial) matters.
    6) The folks who train in Japan morally condemn us ninja vacation folks. Comments like "ask your teacher; if he doesn't know get a new one" are truly frustrating. I've taken about 100 classes in Japan with Soke or the Shihan, and rarely see folks asking them anything, except if they can take a pic.
    7) Several of the most vocal members write like they have erectile dysfunction.

    I ask, sincerely, what types of discussion/banter could usefully be discussed?
  3. llong

    llong Valued Member

    Oh, and

    8) It's easy to see that there are factions/fans here, typically around the more controversial folks. Just look at the Thanks the same people give the same people. (E.g., if Soke and Kacem get along, why must we judge Soke's decision, or Kacem's, about their relationship? Isn't training hard enough? Let's not form groups here around a relationship to which we have little to no understanding.)
  4. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    1) The following discussion had happened in another forum.

    A: What should I ...?
    B: You should ask your teacher (this may come from a general MA guy) .
    C: You should ask your Sifu (This may come from a Chinese MA guy).
    D: You should ask your Sensei (This may come from a Japanese MA guy) .
    E: You should ask your coach (This may come from a boxer).
    F: You may try ...
    B: What make you think that you are qualified to offer opinion to A?
    C: What if A follows your suggestion and get serious injury?
    D: Why do you want to give away "free" advice online?
    E: That's the most ridiculous suggestion that I have ever heard in my life.
    F: :argue:

    2) Will general discussion be more interest?

    In the "Ganseki Nage question" thread, it should be just a general "under hook" discussion. When you discuss "under hook", people from all styles can participate. When you discuss "Ganseki Nage", I have to use Google to understand the meaning of those words.

    When I reference special terms used in a my style such as

    - Wen (hip throw),
    - Qie (front cut),
    - Tiao (leg lift),
    - ...

    I'll always include the English translation along with it. Instead of using the original style name Shuai Chiao (Jiao), I prefer to use "Chinese wrestling". I see no reason to force others to Google the words that I use. Why can't you Ninjutsu guys to be more friendly to non-Ninjutsu guys?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  5. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Oh, and

    9) Someone may like to argue with every single word that you have used. The problem is if you

    - respond to such post, you will definitely get into argument.
    - don't respond to such post, people will say that you ignore other's opinions and just want to hear what you like to hear.

    Example can be:


    That's not ..., it's ...


    Er… right. Hmm… this is deeply flawed, ...


    OK, But I still don't agree ...


    Not impressed at all,


    xxxxxxxxx ...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  6. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    I know you felt ignored when you mentioned it in the ganseki thread but people didn't respond because ganseki nage is not just an underhook hip throw/leg sweep/leg kick, but is something different. If you must have a translation, it would be throw a big rock(boulder if you like). The arm motion is not underhook in the normal usage of that term. It is more like: slightly rising elbow thrust arm lock leg displacement reverse throw. That more or less describes the basic technique but it is a lot easier to write ganseki nage. Anybody who does ninjutsu will know what you are talking about and it can be discussed with ease.

    If I had more than a passing interest(watching training and competition videos) about shuai jiao and wanted to discuss it with someone who practices the art, I would familiarize myself enough with the nomenclature and principles of the art so that I could attempt to discuss it in a way that might help further my education. I would not go on a shuai jiao forum and start demanding that people say things my way, explain the secrets of their training and history, or make them step on images of Shan Pu Ying to prove their loyalty to the cause.

    What is the point of dumbing down a discussion of an intricate martial art or its techniques for people who aren't even willing to learn something simple about what is being discussed?:dunno:
  7. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Nice responses.

    I'm not in the Kacem club(American Bandstand wasn't my thing) but I can appreciate that he is better than many out there. I don't really care about his relationship with Hatsumi sensei or Ishizuka sensei, but having such a relationship is very different from being a Noda tourist(though not a Thundercat as that trumps all but a full house).

    Perhaps nothing meaningful can be discussed anymore, if it ever could. Maybe that's just life.
  8. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    On PRs response to non ninja folk - it's hard to familiarise yourself with ninjutsu enough to talk about it because, as you've seen I'm sure, there's a lot of misinformation already out there.

    Youknowwho makes a decent point that you could at least accommodate people (when asked) from other styles who have a passing interest in variations of techniques in their own styles.
    If your complaining about nothing to discus in the sub-forum, this would open a whole range of conversation that would be in incredibly interesting.
  9. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    As far as I remember, I have not turned down anybody who wants to know any Shuai Jiao training method (I'm not that interest in history myself). I have more than 1000 clips on my computer. If I don't have one available, I don't mind to make a new one just for the sake of technique discussion. In that "Ganseki Nage question" thread, I found and put up 2 example clips. People said that was bad examples. But nobody bothered to explain what a proper Ganseki Nage suppose to be done and also put up a good example clip. Why?

    IMO, the problem is not "nothing worth discussing" but "not willing to share".


    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  10. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Because this is the ninjutsu forum and nobody wants to post videos of the self in case other ninjutsu members ridicule them. Also - secrets.

    I would message Dunc. He is the only person I've seen post videos so far.
  11. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    I didn't know that. Thanks for letting me know. It's true that when you put up your personal clips, you have to have the courage to accept both positive and negative comments. When you open your window, the butterfly will fly in but the mosquito will fly in as well. :p
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  12. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    The attitude tends to be: "the badly trained show, the well trained do"
    Very few on the sub forum can agree what a good clip is.

    Off topic - I know it might be difficult for you YKW but could you show us a fireman throw in the technique thread?
  13. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I agree with the language thing. I'm constantly googling things, and when I do nobody agrees. If you want us to familiarise with the language and culture but aren't willing to teach us those things then obviously the discussion will be very short.

    Also, when a video is posted, it would be nice if all the ninjas agreed that this is the technique and how it should be done, or at least give us a version they see as true.
  14. hatsie

    hatsie Active Member Supporter

    Sorry this is wrong, I had a couple of goes at describing it, as too videos?? Going through gazillions of rubbish you tube clips to find one of any semblance ? Not me.

    And fwiw I can and do crack a fat one at will several times daily.
  15. llong

    llong Valued Member


    1) Training questions asked in earnest receive pithy one-liners or 'ask your teacher'.
    A lot are also answered and other places to go for more information are often posted. However, posting a video that might have issues of its own doesn't really answer the question, and one's instructor should be the first place one goes to look after they have tried figuring it out for themselves and find that they can't. Sadly, the majority of people asking questions about these arts can't ask their teacher because their teacher doesn't know.

    Yes, some people are quite helpful and, yes, one's instructor should be the first place to go. But your last sentence is the reality of the situation. On the first page of this subforum, I started threads about which schools have which weapons. Didn't end well. Another about "Kurai Dori"and still got a scolding, even though the answer is imminently Googlable. This is important because it means even 'public' information is not shared here.

    2) Non-ninjutsu folks try to figure out what we're about (i.e., rank, history, authenticity), and receive 'you couldn't possibly understand'.

    How can someone who isn't interested in understanding enough to familiarize themselves with basic information, possibly understand the political issues and other culturally nuanced things discussed? They could perhaps understand things about the techniques(assuming they get a good picture of what they are) or personality related discussions, but one with no background, no interest beyond entertainment value, and no cultural sensitivity really cannot understand. They could "possibly" but that would be up to them.

    Perhaps we should simply forward links to articles that might best answer their question? The Resources subforum isn't referenced or used as much as it could be.

    4) MAP members rarely use their real names and only gently-veil their allusions to senior-most folks in the art. Classical internet problem.
    Arguments should have their own authority. For example, I can agree and appreciate the arguments of some people outside the art who clearly know what they are talking about even though they don't do ninjutsu. Why? Because their arguments speak eloquently of their truth. However, there are plenty of highly ranked(dan) in the Takamatsuden who are full of burrito gas themselves and they are worse than outsiders who know little about the arts because these people actually teach them and should be reliable sources.

    That applies to logic and objectivity, not to understanding the nuance and subjectivity that an earnest devotion to the martial arts creates. If it's all about logic, then why should I trust my teacher?

    6) The folks who train in Japan morally condemn us ninja vacation folks.
    Not necessarily. However, the understand the futility of the vacation mindset for learning and understanding a traditional set of skills. They probably question the wisdom of embarking on something that you can only do 中途半端(half-arsed) considering how hard it is to make leeway when studying it full-time. I'm not in the Kacem club(American Bandstand wasn't my thing) but I can appreciate that he is better than many out there. I don't really care about his relationship with Hatsumi sensei or Ishizuka sensei, but having such a relationship is very different from being a Noda tourist(though not a Thundercat as that trumps all but a full house).

    PR, that's all we've got. Yes, it's futile, but 'we' travel around the world to grab anything we can. And, if the art is about teaching endurance and discernment, perhaps we have an advantage. It's truly embarrassing to see people show up for Soke's class on Sunday, but not to the other Shihan's. Maybe folks in Japan are choking on too much information, and taking it for granted. (If this sounds frustrated, it's more at the reality you mention and not the people, or you.) American Bandstand? You are showing your age....half the Americans here have no idea about it. LOL. I agree; he's very impressive.

  16. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Well, a lot of things have been done to death but do people even try to use the advanced search function before they ask questions? Here are a few threads that have videos of poor examples of ganseki nage and explanations. Finding good videos of the technique is more difficult, though there are some examples online(the Takamatsu video, the Quest video, and other Tai Kais come to mind).

    The first post in the Simon Says thread discusses his version of the technique(and interestingly enough his punching video as well). There are also plenty of videos in the Bad Ninjutsu Videos thread that show ganseki.

    I don't think it's an unwillingness to share, the technique has been discussed a lot, as have others. It was a bit weird that you happened to find two really bad examples of the throw, so congrats on that but a few basic principles are:

    Off-balancing the attacker that is grabbing you, controlling both of his arms, striking his ribs with your elbow while pinning his arm in the crook of it(this has a lifting effect on his body). Off-balancing his stance as you step in, you turn your body to throw. There are versions where you kick his legs, do a body drop, change sides, step across him a bit like a carry, and do other things, but the ideal is not to try to move his weight with your own power, but to let him do the work. Hence the idea of moving a big rock. Leverage at work is better than muscle when trying to manipulate heavy objects.
  17. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    For certain things, discussing them won't help much but you were also told the answers to your questions so not everybody told you Shut Up and Train or Ask your Teacher.

  18. llong

    llong Valued Member

    No, not everyone told me to Shut Up and Train, or Ask my Teacher, but I was also advised to ask Hatsumi sensei, and told that I 'ask a lot of questions around here' (0.14 posts per day). :cool:

    Are you seeking to understand the root of your question in this thread?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  19. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Training in the buj, like most things in life really will require a bit of filtering peoples opinions and persistence to find a good answer

    Personally I felt that your kurai dori thread yielded a good result without too much baggage. Probably that was as much to do with the way you conduct yourself as the actual question asked
  20. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Obviously not,as that was :cool:Dick Clark:cool:!
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