Bujinkan a fraud?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Scorpion_Clan, Mar 3, 2011.

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  1. Scorpion_Clan

    Scorpion_Clan White Belt

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    Anyone know who this guy with a YouTube channel is? He claims to be an expert on historical Ninjutsu but claims that Bujinkan and Togakure are fake and there is actually no evidence to their legitimacy. He is also critical of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. I have linked to some of his vids below. What do you all think of this? I trained in Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu and Dr. Stephen Turnbull, who is one of the world's leading experts on Japanese history, especially the Samurai and Ninja, has Hatsumi writing forewards to his books, etc. So it seems Dr. Hatsumi is good enough for him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzFT1njlTas&playnext=1&list=PL65ACEEEC0B7F2912

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EnarDy3qYE&feature=related
     
  2. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    I don't currently have sound on my computer so I can't comment on what he says.

    I'm sure Bruno or Chris Parker will have a field day with this one though.
     
  3. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I have heard this stuff for years. The scrolls that have been passed down to Hatsumi have never been shown to the public to verify their authenticity. So until that happens, you have to take it on faith of what you are training for.

    The videos posted in question address comments that Dr. Hatsumi has made in other books of his on ninjutsu and this person picks them apart showing how historically that couldn't have been.
     
  4. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I watched the clip until I saw the name 'Anthony Cummins' and then I switched it off.

    I'll see if I can give you a quick summary.
    Anthony is currently marketing a translation of 'Shoninki' which is a historic text on ninjutsu. Anthony is supposedly the 'head of he tranlation team'. However, it is important to note that Anthony does not speak Japanese, does not know the culture, and has no training in actual ninjutsu. He has also lied several times, and was stupid enough to provide the information that was used to uncover his lies.

    For example, he provided a picture that was discusses at length, to prove to us that he had had kobudo training in Japan. In the picture, he was wearing his hakama backwards, and after some analysis, it came out that the pic was taken in his back yard in the US.

    Part of his insistence that the X kans are fraudulent is that he has 'proven' that ninjutsu does not have unique features in their unarmed combat. We can't show him a 'ninjutsu wristlock' that is really different from how a wristlock is done in other traditional system. And therefore he concludes that ninjutsu does not exist today and it was all made up. The reality is that the fighting arts that developed into the fighting arts adopted by ninja, were not that different from the other unarmed arts of those regions. After all, there are only so many ways to do something efficiently, especially considering the influences by the various other contemporary arts.

    Anthony is targeting the kans because he doesn't understand the art, and also because various x kan people have been relentless in asking questions and exposing his entire trail of lies. Unless he wants to come clean and admit he was making things up all along, he has no choice but to yell at us. :) And of course, he is creating as much noise as possible so that he can convince people to buy his newest book 'to learn the truth about ninjutsu.
     
  5. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    For a good understanding of the legitimacy, the OP should read this:
    http://blog.bushinbooks.com/archives/4
    It is imo a good summary of what we know, what we accept on faith, and why we accept it.

    It is also worth noting that Hatsumi sensei has not actually said or written everything that was attributed to him. Don roley verified a couple of those things, and they were editorial changes to the original interview, such as the 'straight ninja sword' remark that Hatsumi supposedly made. Turns out he didn't say that. It was added by the editor who thought he had to explain what a ninja sword was (in his opinion).

    And some of the things attributed to Hatsumi were written by Hayes, back in the day. You'd think a 'researcher' would verify his sources :) Oh and about anthony's research he admits that most of his research consists of nothing more than googling.
     
  6. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    Given that my view is that Ninja are a useful historical fiction given modern credence by the veneration the Japanese have for their elders (in this case Hatsumi Sensei) I think I'd better stay out of this one :D.

    After all, it's not koryu and I don't practise it, so other than a lingering taste for debating things historical from my previous career, I'm not really affected by whether the X-kans are 'legitimate' or not.

    If the techniques work as a martial art, then that's plenty fine enough.
     
  7. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    And Bruno wins the race.
     
  8. Scorpion_Clan

    Scorpion_Clan White Belt

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    All this has me trying to decide between Bujinkan Ninjutsu or Aikido as to which one I will be taking classes in shortly.
     
  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    What are you going to train for? Which school's atmosphere, scheduling, pricing, and the like is better for you?

    Don't let crap on the web (including this post!) make the decision for you. Trust your own gut when you visit the school and look at the students. Are they people you want to associate with, and do you trust them to do potentially dangerous things to you?
     
  10. Scorpion_Clan

    Scorpion_Clan White Belt

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    I was interested in training in legitimate/REAL ninja arts. But other than that interest I'd be happy to go for whatever is the most effective in terms of practical application.
     
  11. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Isshin-Ryu. End of problem. And there is no question that it is both legitimate and effective. Just sayin'...
     
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  12. Scorpion_Clan

    Scorpion_Clan White Belt

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    Karate, eh?
     
  13. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hatsumi Sensei is legitimate (as much as anyone else) as his teacher Takamatsu Sensei had plenty of training in ryu that are without question and received menkyo kaiden, etc from them. Hatsumi Sensei then received his scrolls, sokeship, etc. from Takamatsu Sensei. (what more could you want) Whether it is Samurai or Ninjutsu is still debated but..... there is no doubt about the martial training he received. (he moves like a demon) Plus not everything is always written down and some things are Kuden or word of mouth for reasons. There is simply no doubt that Hatsumi Sensei is the real deal and at the higher levels the Bujinkan and the higher level practitioners are very, very good! (of course you have to be picky and find the right ones) What happend with the Bujinkan is that it grew so fast, so big that it is simply a beast to have good quality control. (though that is my issue with the Bujinkan) This growing was not necessarly wanted but it did happen. So look closely, find a good instructor and if you need someone vetted then ask around about them. There are of course always going to be people who have issues with the way things are done, did not like their training, want to make a buck or more, etc. So when an organization is this big there are going to be people that try to tear it down. Such is life! ;)
     
  14. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Yes, what happened to the Bujinkan was that it didn't so much grow as explode :) I read numbers like several hundred thousand to half a million members. My Genbukan member id is still a 4 digit number.

    Additionally, Hatsumi sensei did not put forth a standardized curriculum and grading guidelines, and does not kick out people who are giving the Bujinkan a bad rep. So yes, you'll have to do some checking if you want to known whether an instructor is good or not. There are some very skilled people in the Bujinkan, as well as people like mountainous, kumori ryu ninja, Charles Burgess and Richard Van Donk.
     
  15. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yup. It's the real deal. Students learn to hit hard, move fast, and are not flashy but brutally effective. Short lineage to the founder, and everything is pretty clearly documented with regard to authenticity.
     
  16. bluekey88

    bluekey88 Senior Master

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    I'm going to chime in with some advice for the OP abotu choosing between Aikido and Bujinkan.

    I trained in Aikido for a number of years, uyp to the rank of 1st kyu. I'm currently training in Bujinkan Budo taijutsu...ranked 1st kyu.

    Both arts are legitimate. Both arts can be devastatingly effective....or devastatingly useles. A lot really comes down to the individual practitioner, how the practitioner trains and practices, etc. Art style really becomes irrelevant. In fact, I find the arts to be pretty complementary in a lot of respect. Whiel there are some critical differences, there are far more similarities between them.

    One of the previous posters said it best...go to the school where you feel most comfortable. Go to the school who seems to have the most competent intructor. There you will find the best art. Style is irrelevant.

    If you look on the internet for advice on effectiveness...well, Bujinkan Budo taijutuse and Aikido tend to get prettyu harshly criticized (sometimes for good reason, often not). You won't find clearness there...opinions are like a-holes. Everyone has one and they all tend to smell funny. :D

    Good luck in finding the right art for you. Good luck in your future training.\

    Peace,
    Erik
     
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  17. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    That sir, is very close to how I feel on the subject.
     
  18. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    Hello Op,

    I would not let a post from Antony Cummings stop you from doing something. Hes not really qualified to speak on the topic of Japanese culture/history/martial arts. Not only does he not understand Japanese concepts through his western view. He does not even understand simple things like a Japanese katana is not made for "Chopping" and is used for Cutting. He also thinks the "nearly" straight swords used by ashigaru are the same thing as modern hollywood "ninjato" that you buy from stores.

    So please do not let this guy stop you from making a decision about any Japanese martial art. As he is far from being the one who should influence your decision. The ironic part is that a lot of what Antony has blabbered about from the shoninki and ninpiden can be found in Bujinkan. As shown by another youtube user "scottbaioisdead"
     
  19. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Great article by Mr.Cole. I think it should be on the FAQ in the Ninjutsu section. Maybe add something on Anthony and others to try keep track of things. Just a suggestion.:)
     
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  20. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    I think Oaktree has a great idea. These question get brought up so much and the same answers are provide, maybe they should be stickied?123
     
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