Interesting Show on Discovery Channel

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Cthulhu, Sep 18, 2001.

  1. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Nearly a week back, the Discovery Channel aired two shows on the martial arts; one concentrating on kung fu/wushu and the other on Okinawan/Japanese martial arts (I recorded most of the latter).

    What I found interesting was the section on ninjutsu/ninpo. They didn't interview anyone from the Bujinkan (nor did they mention their name). Instead, their 'featured ninja' was Shoto Tanemura, the founder of the Genbukan organization. A couple of times, they pointedly named him as one of only two 'grandmasters' of ninjutsu. However, they never named the second person, seemingly trying their hardest to keep Hatsumi's name out of it. It was almost comical.

    During the program, Tanemura's highest ranked student supposedly viewed some sacred scrolls of the system for the first time...and they did it on camera, with several shots of the open scrolls. I found that a bit quirky as well.

    A bit off topic, the sections on Goju and Uechi Ryu karate were pretty cool, but the Combat Ki section made me roll my eyes.

    Cthulhu
     
  2. GouRonin

    GouRonin Guest

    The problem with these shows is that there just isn't enough time to give most arts a good go over. And even if you did there is always someone who won't agree or gets pissed off.

    The general public is always the drawback. They just don't know sheet from shinola. That's why arts like TKD, "The Partial art" (Sorry all you TKD guys, it ain't personal, there are a lot of styles that do this, you guys just came to mind first) get away with half the crap they do. The general public does not know what to expect. Plus we always view arts as a business first a lot of the time. It's not something you can purchase.

    On top of that there is always an agenda to everything. Like it or not. Any exposure though is good I suppose.

    How many times have I heard, "So, you do that Tae Kwon do stuff still?" from people. Yeeesh!
     
  3. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Unfortunately, the general public get their martial arts info from the entertainment media, which by nature can't show the true aspects of the arts.

    For shows like the ones shown on the Discovery Channel, the best they can hope to do is offer a glimpse of various styles. Ideally, someone truly interested in the combative arts will realize this and do their own research.

    When I became interested, I read like mad, amassing a fairly impressive martial arts library over the years. There were no nonfiction shows back then on the martial arts...everything was Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan (I was in Japan at the time...Jackie is VERY big there). Now I like to look through crappy martial arts books and point out the errors...just for fun. Another thing I like to do (which annoys the hell out of everybody) is watch 'Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story' and point out all the inconsistancies. This will make you unpopular very quickly :)

    But, I've wandered off-topic, so I'll shut up now.

    Cthulhu
     
  4. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    Comical to say the least. Not a bad program (save the Juko Kai "Combat Ki" demo). My question is, "One of two Ninjutsu Grandmasters?" ...is that so?

    Well...let's see here.

    Togakure ryu Ninpo Taijutsu - Masaaki Hatsumi sensei
    Kumogakure ryu Ninpo Taijutsu - Masaaki Hatsumi sensei
    Gyokushin ryu Ninpo Taijutsu - Masaaki Hatsumi sensei

    Ninpo schools that Tanemura san is Soke of - None (though he does have Menkyo Kaiden from two different lines of Togakure ryu)

    My wandering mind is wondering...If you're going to go through the trouble of putting together a 2 hour program on Japanese Martial arts...here is my advice:

    1. Make them Japanese, maybe?
    2. Don't fabricate information

    :soapbox:

    *sigh* Okay...I'm done
     
  5. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Could you elaborate on "two different lines of Togakure ryu"? I followed the ninjitsu craze a bit in the 80s--reading about it only--and remember there being suggestions that Mr. Hatsumi had added the ninjitsu tag to his traditional Japanese arts for purposes of salesmanship. I gather that his sokeship is widely accepted for the (nine?) arts he heads but that not everyone accepts any of them as legitimate ninjitsu. But how are there two lines?

    Does anyone know if disinterested Japanese experts yet consider there to be any authentic surviving ninjitsu ryu? As I say, I have not followed the matter in many years, since the Ashida Kim books were publicly revealed as a hoax (it took me two pages to figure this out, myself) and Mr. Hayes and Mr. Bussey went there own ways after trumpeting ninjitsu as the ultimate art. With those events and all the other faux ninjas teaching out there I have developed a healthy skepticism about all matters ninjitsu.
     
  6. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    Takamatsu sensei granted Menkyo Kaiden in Togakure ryu to two different people. One was Hatsumi sensei (the next Soke), the other was Fukumoto sensei. Both lines of Togakure ryu are thought to have very different information within them.

    Tanemura san was a student of both Hatsumi sensei and Fukumoto sensei, receiving Menkyo Kaiden in Togakure ryu from both of them...hence the "two lines".

    As far as information resources from Japan...I would suggest taking a look at www.ninpo.org It's put together by a man named Ron ROY who is a dojo-cho in the Genbukan. He's done extensive research on the matter. Many historical articles are on his site.

    Steve Hayes is still active in the Bujinkan, even though he has started his Toshindo.

    Bussey leaving the Bujinkan was based on religious conflicts. He felt that the ties to buddhism, shinto and shugendo conflicted with his Xtian standpoint.
     
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thanks, I think I understand it now. Did Mr. Fukumoto have Mr. Takamatsu's permission and/or blessing to create his own version of the style? Has Mr. Hatsumi named a soke-designate?

    I checked it out, thanks. You've been a source of much interesting information in a number of threads--it is most certainly appreciated.
     
  8. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    Fukumoto sensei actually didn't create his own style. The information on the maki and densho from Takamatsu sensei was different for both people.

    To my knowledge, Sensei hasn't named a designate.

    Thanks for the kind words :)
     
  9. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    It has been my experience that most shows about martial arts come up short because they try to cover so much in the limited amount of time they have. There are always inconsistencies, errors, and mistakes to be found.

    I must second arnisador's compliments; you have been a great source of information. My knowledge of the Japanese arts is very general and often outdated. The information you've brought to the board has been very welcome and very illuminating.

    :asian:

    Cthulhu
     
  10. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    domo :asian:
     
  11. John Bridges

    John Bridges Guest

    I have been training in the Bujinkan for a bit now and totaly share your feelings of skepticism on the subject of ninjitsu. It was so popular an idea in the 80's that the term has been attached to too many frauds. Goes to show that research really counts, especailly in somthing like martial arts if your view of them is a way of life and not just a hobby. Now this combat ki thing disturbed me. When my girlfriend who has never studied a martial art in her life turns to me in the middle of this demonstration and asks "why would you do that, what could that possibly do for you?" and my only response is, "I don't know honey.... maybe he likes being kicked in the groin, you know like some s&m sorta thing." What bothers me is when persons such as our loved ones who have little to no exposure to the arts see this stuff on information channels such as discovery and think this is what we do, it takes alot of wind out of our sails when where trying to convey a particular feeling about somthing in our art and the persons we are talking to are thinking of combat ki the entire time your talking. Oh well se la vi.

    :soapbox:
     
  12. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    Sometime in the next couple of months, the Learning Channel will be having a special on Hatsumi sensei and that Bujinkan.

    I'll keep you posted on times and dates. Someone very special to John and I is in the program ;)

    Be well,

    Jay
     
  13. Dennis_Mahon

    Dennis_Mahon Guest

    If you mean the "Ultimate 10 Martial Arts", then it was last night on TLC. The segment on Hatsumi-sensei was too short by far.
     
  14. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    When someone like my wife, with no previous martial arts training, sees something like the Juko-kai stuff and knows something is seriously wrong with its premise...then something is seriously wrong with its premise.

    I don't know about y'all, but the way I was trained, if I got hit in the 'nads or neck, then I seriously effed up somewhere.

    The funniest part is when the narrator mentions something about the juko-kai people being able to take hits to vital areas with no pain and they then show a guy who got kicked in the jewels limping away in obvious pain.

    Cthulhu
     
  15. ThuNder_FoOt

    ThuNder_FoOt Guest

    Is it the "Ultimate 10" show you guys are speaking of?? I recently saw this show on Monday. I saw a few things that I thought were errors... but ultimately it was ok in my eyes.

    Maybe I'm a little biased though. Some of oyu may not like TKD, but my school was in there. It was pretty exciting to see my school on tv.

    In regards to the ninpo schools, I didn't really understand what was going on. I must admit though, the section was pretty small. I think the way they showed the shows, was the higher ranked arts had more air-time. I really want to research some books on traditional ninpo. Can you guys recommend any good books?

    Also, does Tew-ryu come from this Bujinken? It seems to be the center of traditional ninpo. At the last Dragonfest event, I had a Tew-ryu guy trying to recruit me or something.... but I always like to get info on people first. What do you guys think about it?
     
  16. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    This is just my opinion, but something doesn't sit right with me on Tew-ryu. Firstly, it can't be traditional ninjutsu if the system is named after this Rick Tew fellow. Secondly, I found no background on this Tew's ninjitsu[sic] training on his site. Jay Bell would no better, but I'd say he isn't connected to the Bujinkan, Genbukan, or Jinenkan at all. And to quote Jay Bell from another post:

    I agree.

    Cthulhu
     
  17. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    Hey Thunder Foot,

    Yeah...I know howya feel. My teacher was guy with the long blonde hair in the Bujinkan segment :D

    Tew ryu is actually decendant of Dux ryu. I guess Rick Tew studied under Frank Dux for a time, then branched off to do his own thing. It's not linked to Bujinkan in anyway.

    Have a good one,

    Jay
     
  18. Dennis_Mahon

    Dennis_Mahon Guest

    Pretty much anything written by Masaaki Hatsumi, particularly Ninjutsu: History and Tradition and Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions. Hatsumi-sensei is the Soke, or Grandmaster/Headmaster of the Bujinkan.

    You might want to pick up some of Jack Hoban's Art of the Ninja videos; they're a bit pricey, but pretty informative.
     
  19. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Unfortunately I missed the show.

    This sounds odd given that both Mr. Dux and Mr. Tew are still alive! Doesn't anyone just teach what they were taught any more?
     
  20. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    As I recall, Jay Bell has stated that this particular book was actually written by Hayes.

    Cthulhu123
     

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