You can't learn Bujinkan from video

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by The Unholy, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Valued Member

    Thank you :)

    You know what's kind of funny? I've recently had an epiphany where I was thinking about the various things that a lot of people (including myself) don't really find appealing about the Bujinkan. I made a mental list of gripes and posed to myself the question: "Can you survive, can you endure?". After that I just busted out laughing and realized how unimportant it all is, that its all just one big test, and that none of it matters.

    People who use the video format in a way that they shouldn't are their own worst enemy. Knowing that, and believing it, makes it possible to laugh along with everyone else instead of being upset about everything all the time. People who do things that they shouldn't will have it come back on them. It isn't about whether or not the art can survive, its about whether or not the students can. :cool:

    People who do the best that they can, who want to be respectable, and bring that respect to the art, will probably be just fine irrespective of what other people are doing.
  2. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Valued Member

    Definitely. Even new students should be able to see that an instructor's movements can be traced back to an even better instructor. If there are no traces of any of the Japanese shihans' movements in someone running their own school, I wouldn't want to be a student at that school. Of course, to be fair, not every Japanese shihan is featured in Bujinkan video footage.
  3. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    I had not thought about the use of DVDs to see if your teacher is BSing you. There are more than a few people that seem to use the Bujinkan name, but move more like a naruto episode than anything from Noda.

    The word of everyone with actual experience under a qualified Bujinkan instructor (and thus have more to state their opinion on) is that you can't learn the totality of Bujinkan from a video, but you can pick up a few things.

    Would everyone (with experience) agree that DVDs are kind of like medical journals? Doctors read medical journals and get useful knowledge out of them. But you can't become a doctor by reading medical journals.

    It seems the simplest analogy I can come up with to help people understand why there are videos by the boss out there, but he is clear that you can't learn Bujinkan from them.
  4. stephenk

    stephenk Valued Member

    That seems to be a pretty good analogy.
  5. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Yes, good analogy Don.

    From the perspective of 14 years in a variety of martial arts, followed by 26 years -- so far -- in the Bujinkan:

    No, you can't learn Bujinkan budo from videos.
  6. campsinger

    campsinger Valued Member

    I will agree.

    Do you have personal experience in learning Bujinkan techniques on video and comparing that experience to learning from a shidoshi? If not, then you are merely voicing an assumption, something that you wish was true. Personal experience that has been replicated consistently is factual evidence.

    I'm curious as to why you have decided to come to this section of MAP and expound upon your options and tell us that we (as licensed teachers) aren't any better than a DVD player. After all, we aren't over in your art's section of MAP (whatever that may be).

    I'm done with the Special Olympics here.
  7. Ace of Clubs

    Ace of Clubs Banned Banned

    I don't like absolutes.

    I would say it is unlikely that you can learn BBT from books or DvDs but not impossible.

    But in saying that.

    It is also unlikely you can learn BBT from only attending a dojo and not doing outside study, but not impossible.

  8. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    But there does not seem to be any examples to the contrary so far.

    Everyone I know of decent level who tried learning from video courses later regretted it.

    What I am looking for is people that are willing to use themselves as example of this so I can quote them in the article. It is one thing to talk about them, another to have them give their own accounts and urge others to not follow their folly.
  9. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    Number eight of this list seems related to the subject. :confused:
  10. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    Just to play devil's advocate: doesn't this depend heavily on the style of Bujinkan being practiced? Apparently in some Bujinkan dojos, practice is done by merely picking up a weapon and "trying to find creative ways to use it". Why then is it so problematic if a would-be student of Bujinkan decided to learn about some of someone else's creative usages by observing imagery of them on video or reading descriptions of them on paper?

    Actually, I provided an example to the contrary here, though it wasn't by or about me nor was it specifically Bujinkan. Is there something uniquely specific to Bujinkan that makes similar transmission so entirely impossible?

    If it's possible to learn seitei jodo from books and videos, why then would it be so impossible to learn, say, Bujinkan-style (or any other style, for that matter) Kukishin Ryu jojutsu in similar fashion?

    Note that I'm not making any claim regarding the optimality of such a course of action. I merely am questioning why it is somehow considered such an impossibility.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  11. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    That ain't my Bujinkan.:rolleyes: If we are talking about how things are done by Hatsumi and others in Japan, then you can't do it.

    The key is that it is not Bujinkan. And it is not just Bujinkan that says this. All the styles of swordsmanship in Japan, internal arts, etc seem to say the same thing. If the art was created to be taught in person over a long period of time, then it can't make the change to video. Some arts that evolved differently (as I talk about in my blog) can be taught by video.
  12. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    Good to hear.

    Really? I wasn't aware that seitei iaido is somehow not a style of swordsmanship in Japan. That article references the instruction-by-media of precisely that art. So much for the "all the styles of swordsmanship in Japan..." claim.

    Are arts of any kind really created to specifically be taught via one specific method?

    And again, if seitei jodo can be taught effectively by video, why specifically is it so impossible for the same to be done with Kukishin-ryu jojutsu?
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  13. Kagete

    Kagete Banned Banned

    Part of the explanation might be found in Takamatsu's autobiography.
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Devils Advocate - Seital Jodo was made from Jojutsu as a (slightly) simplified form which was suitable to be taught to large groups of people (originally through the kodokan, and then post war through Kendo associations) where as Kukishin-ryu jojutsu has got a lot of subtleties, then again its all a matter of degree.
  15. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    I will add onto what Fusen said. Seitei iaido was not made to be a practical use of the sword, but rather to give people the taste of swordsmanship. It was created in the last half of the 20th century to be taught differently than the older styles.

    I have little experience with seitei iaido, but based on my experiences with sseitei jodo and Shindo Muso ryu upon which it is based, I know there are great differences and the idea that you can teach even the seitei versions is probably a subject of debate.

    I would think it more like they evolved and were created in a certain situation. I know that things like combatives were meant to be taught to large number of soldiers with little hands on correction. It is very good for that purpose. The older Japanese styles are quiet the opposite.
  16. Kuroshinobi

    Kuroshinobi Banned Banned

    Well being that this is an opinionated topic.
    And being that people have different directions in martial arts.

    Whether it be... Effectiveness of the martial art.
    Or the purity of the actual art behind the martial art.

    What extensive test have there been to prove that Budo taijutsu cannot be learned through DVD and books?

    All you have shown is that most people(Which even i'll agree with) are not good at being self taught. That's why you have rare people who have became talented in all kinds of fields(even outside of martial arts) while being self taught.

    I know many times where someone was surprised that someone had self taught themselves in a certain area. Because they were surprised, since they were expecting "this guy had to be trained in some kind of class etc etc"

    Using personal testimonies upon someone elses personal testimonies may work in light cases... But when discussing something as a fact of reality. It's definitely not enough to have a determined certainity.

    Some of the best hackers(programmers) are self taught. And that is a VERY complex field.
  17. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    When you can't find a teacher, and you truly want to learn something, you will learn it by yourself no matter how hard it may be. IMO, we should have the ability to learn from DVDs, books, demo, storytelling ... It's a skill that all MA lovers should have.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  18. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    What a crock.

    Blue is opposite of red. Can you not even keep a rationalishish argument going for two consecutive paragraphs.
  19. Hayseed

    Hayseed Thread Killer

    You seem to be insisting on having a debate as to whether it's hypothetically possible, rather than if it's possible given the material actually available in reality which is an important distinction. BTW, Hacking bears absolutely no similarity to Martial Arts training(except maybe battlefield strategy). Martial arts are not an intellectual pursuit.

    You also seem to think that people here are making the case that what you end up with, while close, wouldn't be true to the system, but I think you're looking at this a little short sightedly. Nobody's arguing that you have to be a "Purist", what they're arguing is that you can't be "effective" if you learn from the material currently available.

    The viciousness of this art comes through not only thousands of hours of training, but also kuden which are kind of like little secrets that "amp up" the effectiveness of techniques. Without these, you're left with what BJK looks like on youtube, kata collection. Which seems to be your only experience with BJK, so I can understand why you say things like,"I'm going to improve on Ninjutsu", but what you don't understand, because you've never actually studied this art(There are plenty of people in BJK that haven't as well), is that %90 of it is below the surface.

    Do you think Hatsumi Soke is just talking out of his ass when he says; "You have to steal this art"? And that's to people that are actually studying it. There's also a huge emphasis on moving past up front directly understandable ideas(Omote) to the less obvious, more hidden concepts(Ura). There's a reason that Soke talks about these things so often. But that's probably just another one of those money making schemes isn't it?

    But I suppose there's always Youtube...

    So you won't move into the reality of what this art is capable of, so what? At least that greedy Asian midget won't be taking you for a ride amirite?!
    High five!! :hat:

    TBH, I think you could hypothetically learn BJK from a video, if that video spent a great deal of time going into the minute details of techniques as well as their shinken counterpart, showed everything from several different angles several different times, and included a large amount of Kuden. Unfortunately, such a video doesn't exist to my knowledge, so your left with what is actually available...

    Which is this...(or similar)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  20. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    Good call.

    And of course, hacking is not anything like taijutsu. Didn't he already try that type of thing with Campsinger?

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