Favorite Ninjutsu book?

Discussion in 'SKH/Quest/Toshindo/Shadows of Iga' started by Justin Chang, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Justin Chang

    Justin Chang Orange Belt

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    What is your favorite Ninjutsu book/s and why?
     
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  2. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    'Secrets of the Ninja' by Ashida Kim, simply because it was easily downloadable and absolutely FREE! lol
     
  3. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master Black Belt

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    Omg...well that says pretty much everything I need to know.
     
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  4. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Ashida kim has nothing to do with Ninjutsu or any legit martial art, actually he created his own"ninjutsu" which is why it looks like B.S. he also created his own style called no name no art.
    I I like unarmed fighting techniques of the samurai pretty cool book.
     
  5. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    Yeah I already know all that. But I bet you didn't know I knew that. ;)
     
  6. BujinBos

    BujinBos Yellow Belt

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    I like "Ninpo: Wisdom for Life". More philosophy than physical training.
    Also, I like "Stick Fighting: Techniques of Self-Defense: Masaaki Hatsumi, Quentan Chambers", since it is a step by step instructional book.

    You are from Rochester, NY? My wife is from there. We go back on occasionally to visit. Do you train in the Buj?
     
  7. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    In all seriousness, I did like Mister R.W. Davis' writings. But I liked Stephen Turnbull's and Stephen Hayes' books even better. They have more to offer, in my humble opinion. I can't say that I really have a favorite book, though.
     
  8. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Hayes, Turnbull, and Davis aren't the greatest sources, compared to hatsumi, tanemura, don roley and others who have lived in Japan. I would also say avoid anything by Anthony, ashida Kim, haha lung and other pseudo guys.
     
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  9. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master Black Belt

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    I understand your point but I do think Hayes lived in japan. I believe his wife is Japanese if they are still together.
     
  10. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    The Way of the Ninja and The Essence of Budo, both by Masaaki Hatsumi, both good books. I would take anything any Ninjutsu book by any author though with a grain of salt. You almost need to read all of them to fully get a better understanding of Ninjutsu.

    I personally would check out Sima Qian's historical masterpiece the Shiji, which contains a section called the Cike Liezhuan (Biographies of the Assassins), or else I would check out Sun Tzu's historical masterpiece The Art Of War, which has a section devoted to Espionage, from which Ninjutsu probably originated (in China).
     
  11. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Hayes largely wrote a bunch of things that are wrong. The Ninjato is one of them.
     
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  12. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Well considering ninjutsu was created in JAPAN that has some things from sun bing its creation was very Japanese. Kinda of like saying that though swords that Japanese used originally came from China thus looking at Katana one should look at China is not a very good reference.
     
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  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master Black Belt

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    I wasn't defending him or passing judgment on anything he wrote, you made a comment about people living in japan. I was only stating that I think he lived in japan and was married to a Japanese woman.
     
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  14. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm....

    Based on the way you've been presenting yourself on the forum thus far, and the questionable grasp on martial arts, reality, history, and more that you have shown, no, we didn't think you would necessarily know that. It may help for you to gain some credibility before attempting such a joke, as it probably won't be read as one initially...

    More than Ranford Davis'? Well... that wouldn't be too difficult, would it... that said, Turnbull is a fairly easy read, but has a tendency to oversimplify, and miss much of the nuance and cultural reality, and Hayes' work suffered from his lack of exposure, and the filter of his karate prior (leading to a number of fairly major, as well as a larger number of minor, issues with his publications).

    If we're taking "ninjutsu" as the arts promoted as such (i.e. the Takamatsuden), then the books of Hatsumi and Tanemura should be your first port of call... while Hatsumi is more prolific in his writings, he does have a tendency to write in a way that emphasises the "mystical, esoteric" nature he presents... not a bad thing, but it does require quite a fair bit of sifting to figure out what he's actually saying in a lot of places.

    If we're talking historical texts, there's not that much to look for... really, what we call "ninjutsu" today was rarely called that back in the day... and wasn't overtly a majorly emphasised aspect. It was, simply, one aspect of warfare... that of espionage primarily... and hardly won enough valour to be notable. In fact, there's more in what was the popular media of the time (ukiyo-e, kabuki, manga etc) showcasing these "ninja" than in military records... but I would start with texts that give an understanding of the prevailing culture of the time. From a martial perspective, I would look to Prof. Karl Friday's work, such as Legacies of the Sword, and Ellis Amdur's Old School... as well as reading old martial texts, such as Heiho Kadensho, which give an idea of the philosophical and strategic thinking applied by warriors of the day.

    I do agree that the best approach is to get a good array of sources, and cross-reference... but you do need to be relatively choosy about which sources you choose in the first place.

    While the Sonshi is oft-cited as the inspiration for "ninjutsu", it's a text of it's time, as many are... and is not that directly related to this topic. The rest of this... no.
     
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  15. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    I disagree, mostly because of what I've seen as opposed to what I've heard (btw that sword I had in a photo posted in another thread- which some said was the improper way to hold a katana, it wasn't even a katana lol it was a ninjato). What I mean is, I haven't honestly found much literature on the straight-blade ninja sword. It appears very scarcely in writings. But have you ever looked at some of the Japanese temple statues? A picture tells a thousand words (lol).
     
  16. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    Again I disagree, however I understand your perception so allow me to explain why I disagree. I practice Chinese martial art. But I still am open-minded enough to see TCMA's connection to ancient Indian martial arts. In a similar way, I am open-minded enough to see TJMA's connection to Chinese martial arts. All of my research has led to this conclusion. Mind whoever's listening that this notion is also supported by Seiko Fujita and by Takamatsu Toshitsugu, the two leading authorities on Ninjutsu.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  17. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    The ninja to as portrayed by Hayes didn't exist. The closest thing I ever saw to a ninja to sword is the swords used in kagura as they appear straight and are short but that is for performance, however the blades are live.
    I have seen Japanese statues any particular one?
     
  18. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    I practice Chinese and Japanese arts so I can say there is a slight connection but it's like saying mikkyo comes from China even though it has elements of Taoism it is by large a Japanese synthesis. Looking how taijutsu and the kenjutsu in ninjutsu in particular move it looks nothing like Chinese arts except for some small similarities but it is very Japanese in idea and movement.
     
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  19. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm... you can disagree all you want, but the "ninjato" as seen (straight blade, square tsuba etc) was a work of fiction. The swords depicted in temple statues is a form of tsurugi, a two-edged straight sword from Japanese mythology (realistically, based in early Chinese weapons), and are no evidence in this regard at all.

    I saw the pictures of you with a sword. Fantasy doesn't cut it here, sadly. So no... that offered no evidence at all other than that you were holding a replica of a movie prop in a very odd variant of a Chinese (Wing Chun) gung fu posture, in a way that was incredibly poorly suited to the usage of such a weapon. Oh, and distinguishing between a "ninjato", and a "katana" is kinda funny.... as the alternate reading of "ninjato" is "ninja/shinobi-gatana".... as "katana", or "to", simply means sword... so you basically just said "lol, it wasn't a sword, it was a sword"....

    There's an old saying... don't keep your mind so open your brains fall out.... in other words, being open to fantasy and completely incorrect information doesn't show you're open minded, it shows that you don't have a well developed sense of critical thinking.

    Ooh, you added a bit...

    Then let's clear this up... Takamatsu made the claim that the original sources for a couple of the systems he taught had their origins in China (and India, for that matter), however what made them what they are was their development in Japan, in Japanese culture, and with a very Japanese sense of combative disciplines. Seiko Fujita also stated that the Sonshi was an early inspiration for the methods and usage of ninja... but that is a rather vague statement. The Sonshi was one of the Five Chinese Classics that all nobles were supposed to be versed in from the Heian period onwards... so it's inevitable that there'd be some influence... however the direct line is not so easy to follow, as much of the text is fairly open to interpretation, and the separation of the development of what is commonly felt to be "ninjutsu" and the introduction of the text to Japan was quite a number of centuries....

    Again, this is somewhat similar to the idea that the mythical story of Bodhidharma visiting the Shaolin Temple, and thereby starting all martial arts... its' a symbolic story, at it's heart.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  20. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    I could agree to an extant on Ninjutsu being a Japanese martial art, with a Japanese kanji name, using mainland Asian strategies adapted to mainland Japanese cultures and traditions. But the core of Ninjutsu is still Chinese in nature. In ancient Japan, such guerilla warfare was shunned by the Japanese who viewed it as dishonorable and cowardly. But in ancient China, deception was the key to all warfare. They didn't concern themselves so much with valour and justice. They had a more realistic view of warfare and how to win using any means necessary. So in many ways, the Ninja are more Chinese than Japanese.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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