Am I Man Enough for Ninjutsu?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by adpatterson, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. adpatterson

    adpatterson White Belt

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    Ok, Wanted to get more advice. After posting for some reading on Ninjutsu, I decided it wasn't enough and went to two classes about an hour from me, on Thursday evening and Saturday morning. The results were not spectacular. According to my doctor this afternoon I had a dislocated left shoulder, broken metacarpals on my right hand, strained right groin, strain lower right back, and an over sense of brokenness and humility. Thursday i felt my shoulder pop as I was "placed" on the ground after a joint lock (by a 110 lb female). Saturday two mins into practice I pulled my groin doing some sort of side roll. 10 mins after that when practicing knife attack defense, my training partner stuck my otter right hand with a knuckle attack about 50+ time, and "gently" guided my fat a$$ to the ground all the while testing the pain threshold in my wrist, elbow and shoulder areas.

    I need to add that I'm a 37 year old man that is 6'3" and 300lbs. Im severely overweight and I haven't exercised in the last decade unless you consider pumping gas, squats off the toilet after taking a dump, taking out the kitchen trash, or brushing my teeth as exercise? Ive been more sedentary than a grazing pregnant cow over the last decade. SO with all that, you know the condition I entered these two sessions in.

    My real question here is, am I just too weak or is the training too intense? Is this the normal for dojo's and practice partners? Im no martial artist but I would think that you would dial back the insensitive in which you perform the joint locks and attacks not just the speed at which you are preforming them. What is the standard % speed/pressure you normally use in practice. The movement speeds were slowed to 10-20% I would guess but the locks and the tension was seemingly allowed up to 70-90%. I was in heavy pain with each demonstration performed on me. The other issue is the 2nd part of these movements. So the lock and tension come first then its to the ground. Well a 300 lb man can't go to the ground well on his own much less with his arm locked up and someone throwing him down. It was a recipe for disaster.

    Anyway is this just normal or am I in a bad dojo, or do I just need to give up martial arts until a grow a larger set of kahonas?

    Lastly I'm looking for any style of ninjutsu closer to me. Ive loaded this map of North Carolina to see if any of you know of anywhere within my willing driving distance to train. Thank you all!

    Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 5.33.48 AM.png
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    is this drills?

    Are you just standing there while they are teeing off on you and messing you up?

    Or is it sparring where you at least have an opportunity to defend yourself?

    edit sorry re read it. They are being duchebags.

    Ok this is how you perform a joint lock when you are practicing.


    You will notice that the armlockee does not fight to the death and the armlocker does not crank the lock. If they are not training like that in drills then leave.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  3. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    As for the drilling, yes, that is as normal as it gets. If you don't get at least a little roughed up from any grappling, you're training too softly, and whatever you're doing won't work in real life for you. Decent fitness makes this a breeze.

    I really, really doubt that you are learning authentic ninjutsu at all by the way. That just sounds like some aikido/jujutsu class in ninja clothing to me. Check out the now inactive "Chosunninja" channel. Pretty mind-blowing stuff.
     
  4. adpatterson

    adpatterson White Belt

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    This is Bujinkan Ninjutsu in Charlotte NC. Yes this is drills only and no sparing, just instructional. I know my fitness level caused most of my discomfort but are overweight individuals frowned upon in MA because they lack the ability to be a good uke? Im not sure if I should just get some DVD's to watch and practice at home until I can lose some weight. I like the part of having people to go work with and feel a part of something. Being at home by myself will be much harder to stick with and be successful.
     
  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you are having that big an issue with movement. Do boxing or something similar. At least untill the weight comes down. That way you can train in a group. Learn a heap of useable skills. But your individual pace wont really effect anybody else's progression.
     
  6. adpatterson

    adpatterson White Belt

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    Are you guys aware of any instructional videos that would help practice technique as well as condition me? Thanks.
     
  7. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    As Drop Bear says, maybe a bit boxing would be a good companion. In fact not full on boxing is required per se. Not sure what you would call it in the US, but over here we boxercise (among other names) which is generally a cardio workout. Some add strenght training with kettle bells and such like, but the big thing is that nobody cares that a person is overweight, so that adds confidence both ways, to workout, and be worked out. Anyway, hope you continue and all the best with it. Turn that physical limitation into a possitive is the best I can think off.
     
  8. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    If you are damaging your self like this perhaps in part you have been extended beyond your current level of fitness or flexibility. Just like be mindful of your current limits and do not do what you are not capable of doing yes?? Is not matter of being man enough that is BS.. is just common sense :) xo Plus ANY experienced sensei will be aware of your status as beginner and your level of fitness and work with you so you can improve, if not, I should question whether I would wish to train under someone who do not have my safety and wellbeing as a concern.. Up to them to adjust, not you! :)

    Hey I have question also to clarify.. so you describe being "in heavy pain" which sound harsh..
    1. did they know you were in pain?? like I mean so you tap at this point??
    2. if so, they do not stop the tech even when you tap??

    Wishes to you xo
     
  9. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay...

    In a simple, one word response to the thread title... yes. Dammit, yes. There's no such thing as being, or not being, "man" enough.

    As to the rest of your post, that I'm going to take apart a bit. It's not easy to make an assessment with a one-sided viewpoint being presented here, and without being in the class, but hopefully my last 25 years in the art can help give an idea of what is "normal" (common) or not...

    Yeah... that list of injuries is highly unusual, particularly in such a short time, and on a brand new student for that matter...

    Yeah, that won't have helped... it can explain a number of the injuries (weakening/softening of the joints in the shoulder, lack of flexibility in your inner thigh/groin etc), but not all of them... the broken metacarpals, for example, could have been influenced by a lack of calcium and strength to your bones (you haven't mentioned diet yet), but still, unless they were unusually brittle, you shouldn't have left with them actually broken...

    Ideally, your (new) instructor should have seen the condition you are in, and worked towards finding out what you can do, and building from there... if getting low for a roll is too much, they should (ideally) have given a variation to allow you to work up to that...

    It's really not easy to say... you mention being "placed" on the ground... but I'm not sure what you intend the quotation marks to imply. Are you saying that you were put down harder than you would have thought appropriate? Or that it was gentle, but you had a bad landing yourself?

    As for the rest, there is no "standard", particularly in the Bujinkan... each dojo will be individual... but one would hope that the pressure/speed/power is scaled to the student(s) performing and receiving the techniques. Many schools will have you working on only being the defending (winning) partner, until they know you can take ukemi safely enough to have techniques applied on you... or just work ukemi in the first place...

    That said, with the lack of fitness and lack of exercise in your past, it is likely that you are overly sensitive to the stress being put on your body when techniques are applied... much of the ability to receive particularly the nastier joint locks rely on becoming accustomed to it over time and experience. For example, a lock that I apply fairly strongly on my black and brown belts without them having too much of a negative response, I can only put on at about a quarter of the intensity to some of my white belts... they're simply not used to it yet. I will say, though, that that has nothing to do with any relative size of your (or anyone's) kajones... that's really not the best way to think of things.

    Really, you have a couple of options... you can talk to your instructor, and say "hey, this is what's happening...", and see their reaction (here's a hint... if he says you just need to tough it out, leave). You can look for other schools, bearing in mind that much of the problems may stem from your lack of fitness at this stage... or you can not train, and continue to slip further and further from fitness and physical confidence....

    There aren't so much different "styles" of ninjutsu.... realistically, there's authentic ninjutsu, found in a number of organisations, but always stemming from the teachings of Takamatsu Toshitsugu (known, appropriately, as the Takamatsu-den, or Takamatsu traditions), most notably the Bujinkan, the Genbukan, and the Jinenkan, as well as groups such as Toshindo. All of them teach the same arts, and the same technical material, for the greater part...

    I'm going to caution against making such statements... you not only don't know anything about the dojo that Aaron trained at, you don't actually know anything about the art he's talking about, nor the organisation itself... so no, it's potentially not as "normal as it gets"...

    Oh, gods, no!!!! Greg Park ("Chosunninja") is no authority whatsoever... there's no basis to anything he put up, and watching his channel thinking you're getting anything close to actual, legitimate information is simply folly. Again, you have no clue about these arts, so I'd recommend refraining from making such comments about what you think it authentic or not. Park is as far from it as you can get.

    Absolutely not. Bad uke are frowned upon because they're bad uke. You're a brand new student. The two are incredibly removed from each other.

    But if overweight people were frowned upon in the Bujinkan, there goes many of the students and teachers... even some of the highest ranking ones... ha! So, no. What is frowned upon, though, is not putting in the work to improve... allowing your personal body image to stop you from thinking you can grow and succeed. I have a student who also has a lot of trouble going to ground due to his physical state... but he keeps coming back, and is making constant improvements. And that's the only way to do it... you keep turning up!

    DVD's are supplemental, and frankly, that would be the weak way out. So no.

    There's an old saying that the only way to gain the proper fitness for the activity is to do the activity... you can wait until you are "fit enough", or you can go to the classes, and work, allowing the art and classes to give you the appropriate fitness the art requires. Of course, this is dependant on the idea that the injuries are more to do with your physical state than poor training partners... if the latter, I still say you will get there by attending class, but might suggest a better one...

    There are videos, but no, you're nowhere near at the point where they'll be of any assistance yet. Hitting the gym, on the other hand, taking up yoga, these can all help... personally, there's a DVD workout program I use, but it's on the higher end of the scale, so might not suggest it for you at this point. First and foremost, though, as with anything, before starting any exercise program (including engaging in the class), talk with your doctor, and see if there's any recommendation they make, or considerations they suggest to keep in mind.
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I know of no reason why all of that should happen to a beginner. That's poor control and poor safety, IMO. Things like that will happen, but shouldn't happen in clusters. The shoulder? That's actually a simple mistake for someone to make, especially if your shoulder is not flexible. It sounds like your partner was a bit enthusiastic. The groin, well, that can happen to anyone starting out, and likely there was little the instructor could do to prevent that. The hand? That's poor control. The two partner-induced injuries together are a bit worrying to me. Now, if you had been training a couple of years, I'd say those things might be the result of a very hard training session. But to a beginner? That's a safety failure, IMO.
     
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  11. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    Chris has it. Back in my Bujinkan days I had a classmate who was a white belt and about 80 years old. He had terrible flexibility and never got very good at the art - but he didn't get injured. His training partners adjusted to his limitations and your training partners need to adjust to yours.

    Some thoughts on the specifics of your situation...

    If your shoulder is dislocated, you'll need to heal up before you try again. Rolling over a dislocated shoulder is not a good idea.

    If you haven't yet learned to safely fall when a joint lock is applied, you can and should just tap out while standing. Ukemi is probably the most valuable thing you will learn in ninjutsu, but it sounds like you need to learn it in isolation at first rather than in combination with receiving a joint lock.

    Along similar lines with regard to the knuckles to your metacarpals - it's totally okay to ask your partner to soften up the contact until such time as your body starts making the necessary adaptations to handle the impact.

    In general, let your instructor and your training partners know your physical limitations so you can train safely. Your body will adapt, but you have to give it time. The idea is to push yourself gradually, not all at once.
     
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  12. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    It is possible that your a big tall guy and that in itself can intimidate some people. Not realizing a lack of fitness people may feel they have to go harder because your bigger then they are. I had a class mate and friend stop training at brown belt because he was your size and a motorcycle biker with tattoos and everyone always went full blast on him, thinking they needed to step it up so as not to be perceived as wimpy. Make sure you communicate with your partner to go very easy.
     
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  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    And I'll add that it's probably a good idea to find a physical therapist who understands some of the mechanics involved in the types of locks and throws you're working with (most Japanese Jujutsu, Aikido, Judo has similar mechanics) and can advise on how to rehab that shoulder and the pulls, as well as how to improve flexibility and strength at the joints to prevent injury.
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    This can be especially true in grappling, where people think they need to crank harder and put you down faster, when both of those things already put more strain on a larger body (more mass to move, more mass to hit the ground).
     
  15. adpatterson

    adpatterson White Belt

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    I have a condition that's genetic, I've passed it to my son as well. Its called joint hypermobility syndrome. I'll add the definition below. I'm double jointed in my shoulders, which is a problem too. As a kid I use to clasp my hands together and literally jump rope using my arms if that makes sense. I'm paying the price as an old man. But I think the joint hypermobility syndrome may shed sone light on exactly why those joint locks abd the torhing, grinding, tightening are so rough on me.

    "The joint hypermobility syndrome is a condition that features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for that particular joint. Symptoms of the joint hypermobility syndrome include pain in the knees, fingers, hips, and elbows."
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I can see why that would make locks more painful, and perhaps more problematic. That's something that can be accounted for in training, just as a very tight shoulder can be.
     
  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    It's seems like a classic case of too much, too soon. Having all of that happen in your first 2 training sessions is alarming.

    Speak to the instructor. Any good instructor is going to understand progression. While the story here is one sided, it's really difficult for me to extend the benefit of the doubt to the instructor in question.
     
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  18. adpatterson

    adpatterson White Belt

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    I'm not bashing the instructor or students. The student that was wrecking my hand with knuckle punches was showing me over and over how to do the move. He was very helpful or so he was trying. My martial arts iq is extremely low so I think he was trying to dumb everything down for me, which by that time I was in so much pain I couldn't think about the moves lol.

    The instructor did work with me some but did spend a better part of the time with the more experience group. I don't mind that at all. There were only 5 student. 3 regulars in a group and 1 regular with me. I did feel like I may have been slowing the student with me down, he may have just been trying to hurry up an tech me the move so he could move to the other group. Overall I like the group it was just very rough, or in my eyes it was.

    I appreciate all the feed back. If the pain goes away by next week I'm definitely going back. I'll be more vocal about my limitations. I'm going to start doing more conditioning. I have a pilates machine that I'm thinking might be quite helpful with this as well as a full set of competition kettlebells. So, I'll get to work on all this and hope to see some change soon! Thanks all.
     
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  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is a tough spot for an instructor. The new student is by far the least interesting to teach, and needs far more attention. If the others are fairly similar in level, they may not be used to the needs of a new student. They may be very nice folks, and even nice folks can have a problem controlling safety.

    EDIT: Also note that most new students show more pain than experienced students. So an experienced student may simply not recognize when the pain is an indicator of more than the fact that you're not used to the pain.
     
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  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? I have two friends with this, one was an MMA fighter.
     

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