Are modern ninjutsu schools frauds?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Grimlon332, Jul 1, 2019.

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  1. Grimlon332

    Grimlon332 White Belt

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    I was snooping around on the Internet, when I came across videos and articles about actual ninjutsu schools, like the Bunjinkan of Masaaki Hatsumi. I did some searches about what the shcool had to offer, and I was pretty excited to try my hand one day. But, I also found ton of videos or forum posts, who made harsh critics about ninjutsu teacher on the internet, mocking them and showing that they were fraud.

    Now, I'm asking, are all the ninjutsu fraudulent like said in these videos or the reality is more shady?

    Thanks a lot for your answer and have a good day!
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    giphy.gif
     
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  3. Grimlon332

    Grimlon332 White Belt

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    A storm is comin'?
     
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Judge for yourself rather than listen to a bunch of strangers who've probably never trained a day in their lives
     
  5. Grimlon332

    Grimlon332 White Belt

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    That's a good idea. I planned to do that this summer. And you, have you trained in Bujinkan for example?
     
  6. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    it rather depends on what you / they mean by fraud, that would required them to make claims/ give promises they knew to be untrue. if they are promising to turn you into a ninja killing machine, that might be crossing the line,

    if its more a question of the efficacy of what they teach, then its slightly more subjective judgement, go with an open mind but a teaspoon of cynicism and see what you think

    most of the traditional arts get a hard time on the internet, however some of them at some clubs are quite good ?,
     
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  7. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Yes, run while you still can.


    Now for a serious response, one that i probably should put in a diffrent post so people dont rate it funny for the joe above but what ever.


    Im going to say most modern ninjitsu schools you can find have no relation to ninjitsu, you may be able to find a few people who have groups set up for living history to resurrect the skills they used to use and such. Kind of like how re enactment groups fight and live in the time frame they re enact for. and exist to portray it as accurately as possible and as reliably as possible.

    As a modern combat system though i think its basically useless or you can get a better education in "ninja" skills if you try and get into the military or find a group which teaches realistic modern tactics. Or at least outside of the "martial arts school" category.

    By that i mean, soldiers (obviously pending country, rank and job and climate as in war time, peacetime and where the war(s) are) Learn to fight with a rifle, go through aggression training, learn to live in the field, learn camouflage and concealment, can learn to stalk humans etc. If we break into special forces and unconventional fighting, lock picking, sabotage skills surveillance and hiding in populations is also included as well as potentially tracking along with other things. Much better than a jujitsu school can probably teach you and set in the modern world.

    But as a disclaimer i haven't done it, some things may be applicable from it and there might be a few (and i mean that to be a very low number) good schools out there which might more or less do the non combative elements from ninjitsu but as a generalization, the above applies. Always keep a open mind and follow evidence if you do dealings with them though and always question the purpose for something and if its meant for combat want it pressure tested as best as possible. I would say do that for any martial art you undertake or any teacher you are learning a skill from.
     
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  8. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Sorry but how can you claim what's useless and what's not when you don't train anything? Unless you've now started training
     
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  9. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    He’s watched videos and heard people talk sh!t about it online. That’s sufficient research :D
     
  10. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know what videos or forums you've been looking at, but I suspect you may be conflating some very different criticisms of different teachers.

    One category of criticism is that someone is a literal fraud, meaning they are deliberately, knowingly deceiving students about the material they are teaching and their qualifications for teaching it. This would cover teachers who claim to have learned an actual historical Japanese lineage of an art practiced by the historical ninja directly from the last surviving member of a ninja family, when in reality they just made it all up based on a foundation of karate and inspiration from movies. (Since MartialTalk has a prohibition on fraudbusting, I will not be naming any names.) These individuals may or may not be competent martial artists or instructors, but they are frauds in that they are lying to their students.

    The next category would be instructors who learned from the first category (deliberate fraud), but who believed what they were taught. These individuals may or may not be competent martial artists or instructors, but their art has no connection to historical ninjutsu. I would not call these teachers frauds, although they may be misguided.

    The X-kan (Bujinkan and its offshoots) arts occupy an ambiguous place in relation to the categories above. The arts taught in the X-kan organizations include modern interpretations of genuine verifiable historical Japanese arts. However the verifiable arts are not ninjutsu and the ninjutsu arts are not currently verifiable as being genuine historical arts reaching back to the actual ninja. There are practitioners doing research in verifying such a connection, but it may never be proved one way or another. If the "ninjutsu" components of the X-Kans were created fraudulently, it would have been done over 60 years ago, by someone who at least had a solid foundation in historical Japanese arts and may have been attempting to recreate a ninjutsu system based on that knowledge. In any case, current practitioners of the X-Kan arts should not be regarded as frauds in the sense of deliberately misrepresenting themselves or the history of their art. (Unless you find an instructor who lies about his rank or training, but you can find that sort of thing in any art.)

    The other sort of criticism you might encounter is the idea that the training in "ninjutsu" schools (Bujinkan or otherwise) is just not effective for the claimed purpose of combat or self-defense and that the instructors are "fraudulent" for claiming it is. Whatever the merits of such criticism, I would argue that "fraud" is the wrong word. Every "ninjutsu" instructor I have ever met or trained with has been genuinely confident in the value and effectiveness of what they are teaching. If they are wrong, it doesn't make them frauds, just misguided.

    I should add that every single martial art on the face of the planet has detractors who will claim it is ineffective for self-defense. Until you have personal experience, you don't have a good basis for knowing which critiques have validity. I spent a number of years training in the Bujinkan before I went on to other arts. I have my own opinions and critiques of how they do things. However since you've never met me or trained with me, you have no way of knowing whether my opinions are worth anything or if they're a bunch of hot air. If you are interested in the Bujinkan and have a good school nearby, give it a try and judge for yourself. (I should warn you that the Bujinkan does have a well-deserved reputation for … inconsistency in quality control when awarding rankings. If the teacher you find has a high rank, they might be really good ,,, or pretty crappy … or somewhere in-between. Caveat emptor.)
     
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  11. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Damm a YouTube grandmaster you don't wanna mess with those guys
     
  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    The same way you can claim meth is bad without being a crack head.
     
  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    The way I look at the validity of a martial art is to see if they have evidence that they work.

    Which brings us to the celestial tea cup.

     
  14. dunc

    dunc Green Belt

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    Pretty much what Tony says

    The Bujinkan includes several arts that are relatively straightforward, well documented old styles of martial art
    It also includes several styles that come from the Iga region which is famous for ninja
    Until recently the transmission of these Iga styles was purely oral and thus unverifiable. Hence there’s a fair bit of conjecture and noise on the web about this

    However, there has recently been some research into the stories and family ties around the Ira connection and there is now evidence that a) there is a direct family connection from the lord of a castle in Iga to the Bujinkan, b) the family were senior respected martial artists, c) they held positions in government traditionally associated with ninja, and d) they may have been tasked with some unusual jobs in times of trouble
     
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  15. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Caveat Emptor
     
  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    The other theory is it was just a special forces thing.

    Just grab a bunch of soldiers to do some sneaky work. And congratulations you are Ninjas now.

    Either way. It still needs to be relevant to be more than just historical recreation.
     
  17. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Well...yeah. If I want to know about meth, Id probably ask a meth head, not a crack head.
     
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  18. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Just want to add a caveat. Neither I as a person, martial artist, nor moderator of martialtalk are recommending that people go and ask meth users about what meth is like. Please do not do this, it is a bad idea.
     
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  19. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Where as for me. I am just going to trust all those medical professionals. Even though they have never tried it for themselves.

    Over those guys who have used it and tell me is totally cool.

    (Yeah meth and crack are probably different. And we call meth ice anyway. )
     
  20. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah I get your point and agree. That's why I added the second post. I just couldn't resist making the comment
     
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