Discussion in 'KenpoTalk' started by Ryan_, Jun 5, 2018.
@oldwarrior this would be easier if you learned how the quote facility worked...
It's not about me being "high and mighty", it's about your lack of etiquette in taking over a thread and telling the OP to keep out of it because you've decided it's about something else.
Him saying "I haven't seen it either" isn't really debating one way or the other, and you specifically said it was between you and the other poster, which you don't get to decide either way I'm afraid.
Maybe you're used to everyone just going along with what you say, but you'll have to get used to people simply not caring about your opinion - welcome to the internet, it's a brave new world where you (or I) mean s.f.a.
I really thought you'd understand that bit a little more after your goodbye speech.
By your good graces and by tour leave sir I stand corrected ok ...not all of us are so internet savvy as you are
Eh, at this point most of the relevant facts are reasonably well established. What you make of them is up to you.
We know Hatsumi learned 9 arts from Takamatsu, was awarded soke status for those arts, and now teaches his interpretation of them.
We know that 3 of these arts are claimed to be "ninjutsu" systems.
We know that Hatsumi's current teaching includes not only the original kata and applications, but also new techniques based on his personal interpretation of the principles of those 9 arts.
We know that most of the 9 arts in question are not documented to exist before Takamatsu. At least 2 of them are known to be legitimate historical systems that Takamatsu was a qualified instructor in. Neither of these are ninjutsu systems.
We can only speculate as to the origin of the remaining Takamatsuden arts. We do know that their claimed history is at the very least exaggerated. Did Takamatsu create them out of whole cloth? Did he "reconstruct" them based on historical documents of other systems. Did he learn them from someone else who created them or exaggerated their history? Probably no one living today knows for sure, including Hatsumi.
We know that during the 80's Hatsumi leaned heavily on marketing his system as "ninjutsu", even though most of what was taught in the Bujinkan didn't even derive from the 3 supposed ninjutsu arts (whatever their provenance).
We know that over time he began to de-emphasize that aspect. "Ninjutsu" became "Ninpo Taijutsu" became "Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu" became "Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu." Some Bujinkan teachers (especially in the West) still use the "ninjutsu" or "ninpo" branding, probably based on when they began their own study.
What's left for controversy?
There's the question of whether the Bujinkan arts are effective for their claimed purpose. Of course, people will argue for and against the effectiveness of every martial art in existence.
There's the godan ("sakki") test. I have my own opinion regarding that, but most people outside the Bujinkan either don't know or don't care enough to argue about that.
There's Hatusumi's approach to awarding ranks. I'm inclined to roll my eyes at this approach, but people in the Bujinkan have accepted it and it's not really relevant to folks outside the organization.
There's arguments to be made regarding Hatsumi's personal character and approach to teaching. I don't have the best impression of him, but I don't know him personally. Many people who know him and have trained with him for years do think highly of him. I'm not in a position to tell them they're wrong.
Doesn't that bring his ethics in do doubt? So that we really can't take his word as an expert on ninjitsu?
Regardless of our dislike of a lack of ethics, lack of ethics doesn't erase expertise in an area.
That is true
The point is regardless of what he was taught he could be handing down any old thing.
Chopper Reid for example was a legitimate gangster. An would in theory Be an expert in the Melbourne underworld.
Except he also liked to just make stuff up.
In terms of tracing the lineage back: Sean Askew is doing a good job of researching this and is sharing his findings publicly on facebook etc
Whilst these kind of things are never black and white he’s pretty much found Takamatsu’s teacher and shown him to be a respected martial arts instructor from Iga (plus other interesting connections with the ninja side of things)
Are you talking about Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu ?
That's a valid point. But then, even folks without known character flaws often make stuff up, misremember stuff, and change what they were taught. Of the three, the latter doesn't really bother me.
Do you have some links?
If you're interested in the history, then have a look at Sean's facebook pages here - Sean Askew
He's very open about his findings and sharing original sources, updating as he goes etc
His approach to awarding ranks is bizarre (and IMO kind of pointless), but not necessarily a reflection of ethical issues. I have other reasons for having my doubts about his character, but since I don't have first hand knowledge of the man I will keep those to myself.
We can already be pretty certain Hatsumi isn't passing down pure unchanged techniques from centuries ago.
Takamatsu is known to have made changes to his branch of the two arts that we know are historically legit. Even if he didn't create the other seven arts himself, there's no reason to believe he wouldn't have put his own spin on those as well.
Additionally, we know that Hatsumi has put his own creative spin on "Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu", showing new applications which were not in the original Takamtsuden curriculum.
I suppose that if he was sufficiently dishonest, you might suspect him of fudging the specific kata and applications that he says he learned directly from Takamatsu. I don't know what his motivation would be for doing so, though. We have a little bit of video footage of Takamatsu and it seems consistent with what Hatsumi has taught as the "traditional" elements of the Takamatsuden curriculum.
Interesting quote from Sean in the comments on one of his posts theorizing about Takamatsu's teacher:
"but I would think of our lineage as a list of masters rather than Soke’s. Soke hinted to me strongly in our last conversation that the lineage is not to be taken literally and to think of it more as a code...."
Yeah I think it’s probably more like this
And not so much like this
This... might not be short....
I'll come back to this with your more complete list of options, I just wanted to have your OP in full as a reference at the beginning of this post.
Okay, before I get into the rest of this thread, something that hasn't been mentioned, but really should be, is that this forum has a very strict No Fraud-Busting rule... in other words, it doesn't matter what you personally think of a system, stating that it is fraudulent, a con, or anything similar is not permitted here. If you haven't received formal warning about this, I would keep it in mind.
That said, what precisely do you know about what Ryan is being taught? Or what is being claimed? You do realise that the vast majority of the Bujinkan are far more than aware of how little of the material is even related to claimed "ninjutsu" teachings, and that the majority is more "standard" budo, with it's origins in the teachings of Takamatsu Toshitsugu... to the point that the Bujinkan doesn't refer to it's teachings as "ninjutsu" at all these days... and have used the term "Budo Taijutsu" since the mid-90's? The simple fact is, though, that the earlier term "ninjutsu" is a simple way to differentiate themselves from other Japanese artforms, and has a more immediate recognition with potential students than the term "Budo Taijutsu", so is still seen and used as a form of "shorthand" for the organisation... particularly for people who have been around a while.
This is in no way an answer to his question, and frankly is something you should be called on. Your perspective on what you think Ryan is being told is based in absolutely nothing he has said, and is your own hangup. I sincerely recommend you get over it.
You don't know what he's being taught, or what is being claimed. Especially in the Bujinkan, you get guys who are very much into the fantasy, and you get guys who know what they're doing, and anywhere in-between. You are in no place to make any of the suggestions you are... and, again, fraud-busting... not done here.
Additionally, simply stating "look at the scrolls" is far too vague to have meaning... what scrolls? From where? Which schools? What are the scrolls about? What era are they from? How do you think "ninjutsu" is defined? By who? When?
Who said anything about koryu? And who says it's not what he thinks it is? He thinks it's a Bujinkan dojo... are you saying it's not? And who says his dojo is not a "good one" with "authentic technique"?
No, you're calling his teacher (and entire organisation) a fraud and a con. How was that misunderstood?
Well, we could go down the whole "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" thing... we could revisit which scrolls you think are the only sources... or a range of other aspects... but the important thing is that you are applying one definition without looking at how it's changed in a number of ways...
Mind you, ask a native Japanese that is a martial artist about koryu, and be prepared to get a blank look... what I'm saying is that, outside of a much smaller community than many in the Bujinkan (particularly Westerners) want to realise, such arts just aren't that well known, or understood by the general populace of Japan either.. martial artist or no.
I'm sorry, you're stating that the Bujinkan is a "con" because the lineage isn't verified in a number of the traditions taught there, but then you cite Daito Ryu?!? Who claim to go back to Minamoto Yoshitsune? Really? Nihon Goshin Aikido are very open about where their methods come from, and that they are modern (gendai), so that's not so much an issue... but Daito Ryu? Really? I mean, I love Daito Ryu... but you're really picking the wrong art to cite as a counter there...
Again, who said anything about sword or staff or anything similar?!?! From the request of this thread (cross training in Kempo Jujitsu), there's no indication at all that the weaponry side of the Bujinkan is even a factor here... and why would you suggest that the waza and methods of the Bujinkan are not going to teach sword or staff? Staff in particular the Bujinkan (and Hatsumi) are quite well known for... it's considered one of the great strengths, coming from the Kukishin Ryu (a school Takamatsu was a legitimate Shihan of before going off on his own path), to the point that a famous Shindo Muso Ryu practitioner, Quintin Chambers of Hawaii, collaborated with Hatsumi to produce a book on the short staff methods Hatsumi was teaching... apparently Chambers-sensei still brings out those techniques from time to time... his students call them "sensei's pain sticks"... ha!
Again, the issue is that you are not defining things here at all.
To shorthand it for you, there are dominantly two ways that the term "ninjutsu" is applied... historically, it referred to the skills and application of espionage, spycraft, infiltration, and so forth, as well as being used to apply to methods employed by warriors largely located in the famous Iga and Kohka (Koga) regions of Japan. In a modern sense, it's used as an overarching term for a number of organisations that teach a variety of skills and schools (traditions), some of which are claimed to have some connection either geographically or historically to ninjutsu or related traditions.
Secondly, let's look at the term "Taijutsu". Essentially, it means "body skills". So you're saying there are no body skills in these infiltration and espionage traditions? You're saying the "scrolls" you reference don't contain any? I'm going to assume you're referring to things like the Bansenshukai, Ninpiden, Shoninki, yeah? None of those scrolls deal with combative applications, so if they represent the entirety of "ninjutsu" information, you may have a point... of course, each of them are focused on a certain aspect of the teachings of the schools they show... including the Ninpiden showing a range of tools and items used (including small concealed forms of weaponry...), but let's focus on Taijutsu as meaning combative unarmed methods.
Out of the 9 schools of the Bujinkan, Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu, and Gikan Ryu are pretty much "bujutsu" systems (not "ninjutsu")... Gyokko Ryu and Koto Ryu are bujutsu traditions claimed to be from the Iga region of Japan (not "ninjutsu" per se, but "ninja-related" geographically, if you will), leaving Gyokushin Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, and Togakure Ryu. The first two of those have really been almost never seen or even mentioned... occasionally Hatsumi may say "this is with the feel of Kumogakure Ryu", or similar, but little to nothing formal is shown or taught... one belief is that neither of these "ninjutsu" schools actually have combative methods... they are purely 'ninjutsu" (espionage/infiltration). The last one is Togakure Ryu, which is where the whole idea of naming the entire Bujinkan after "Ninjutsu" comes from...
Togakure Ryu claims 34 generations, and was the first school that Hatsumi was given the headmastership of... as a result, the early Bujinkan dojo (when it was the name of the building itself in the early 70's, before being applied to the organisation) was given the full title of "Bujinkan Dojo (teaching) Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu"... and that title was used to describe the teachings of the dojo, regardless of the system the particular methods came from. Later, the name was altered to Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu to reflect the wider array of skills taught.
But let's look at Togakure Ryu. Not sure if you know (it's not a particularly well known school even within the Bujinkan and other organisations), but Togakure Ryu is actually split into three scrolls... Ninpo Taijutsu, Ninja Biken, and Ninjutsu... with the biggest being the "ninjutsu" scroll. The other two are considered "supporting" methods for the ninjutsu side of things... to the point that the dominant context for the Taijutsu scroll is that you are discovered on an infiltration mission... most of the kata deal with escaping from guards and arrest attempts, rather than being engaging another warrior (as you get in, say, SFR, or Kukishin Ryu...). So, this "ninjutsu" school does have Taijutsu... it's just not what is most commonly seen... and is really quite a small portion of the school.
Again, you need to identify the scrolls you're referring to, and define ninjutsu (according to the application of the term).
Today, it's a name applied to identify the methods taught in the Bujinkan as an generic overarching term for ease of recognition... but even there, it's little applied within the Bujinkan itself, and is more used to have an immediate identified image for the public.
Except you did say that. It's implied when you say that the OP should train somewhere "with a good dojo... with authentic techniques..." as opposed to where he is.
No, you were referring to your perception of the use of the term ninjutsu.
This is true. You don't know what is being taught (both technically and in terms of identifying histories and so forth).
Actually, no. The so-called "Ninja Boom" of the US was in the early-mid 80's... even through to the late 80's... and co-incided with Hayes coming back from Japan and opening schools for the first time... but much of that was just co-incidence... and Hayes' work, although benefitting from the "Boom", actually predated it... and may have helped drive it, rather than the other way around. That said, later joiners to the fold, as it were, certainly did take advantage of the popularity and interest in this less known approach to fudge the line between fantasy and the actual teachings of the school.
Hmm... there are a number of things here that I'd seek clarification of exactly what you're meaning... for example "albeit to a select few" (uh... no... those that needed to know it were taught it... there was little "elite" about it in that regard), but I don't think they're important enough to get into now... and this is long enough as it is...
No, I'd still say "ill-informed"... perhaps uninformed is better... you've clearly had some experience or exposure to the Bujinkan, and it wasn't what you were thinking or expecting... which is okay... and I'm not about to gloss over the lineage issues of a number of the schools contained there... but the fact is that much of your information has been lacking in a few ways... not least of which being unaware of what actually makes up the Bujinkan curriculum.
This is a fair and good question.
Of course, I do have to point out that all of the muck fightings on lineage and credibility in this thread have come from you...
This I agree with.
I teach a Takamatsuden school... as well as two Koryu study groups (one Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu and one Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu). Each of my guys in the study groups have other arts that they have done, or are doing... sometimes even with me. And I'm always giving opposing corrections based on the art we're doing at the time... in HNIR, I have to tell one of my guys to turn his rear knee in... then, the next night at the Takamatsuden school, tell the same guy to turn his rear knee out... because they simply directly contradict each other... which is confusing to him to say the least!
Yes, and no... depending on the school, as Tony said... but not just the X-Kan school.... each of the koryu schools will also have their own character as well... in a way, a 'typical" Bujinkan class can be closer to a koryu class than, say, a judo or BJJ class... in other ways, they're very different. But you'd really need to have some understanding of both to get any real idea.
Well... no, I wouldn't agree with that... while koryu have developed and changed (both in the sense of individual schools, and in the sense of the "form" of koryu that came about), the idea that from the Edo jidai koryu (well... they weren't "ko" ryu at that point...) weren't really needed is a bit of a misinterpretation... probably the majority of koryu we have are from the Edo period... only a few predate it... typically those that predate the Edo period were sogobujutsu, with "specialist" systems being far more of an Edo-hallmark... including both weapon and jujutsu systems. In fact, it could be easily supported that koryu continued to develop, and even thrive into the Edo period.. with a greater sophistication being achieved due to the relative peace allowing for greater development. Additionally, the usage of "spies" (Metsuke, Ometsuke, and so on) by the new Tokugawa government was a well known feature... essentially, ninja/shinobi-no-mono. At this point their usage was even more apparent than in the preceding Sengokujidai. As far as them not being needed as Japan moved into the Meiji Restoration, yes... although there are cases known of such skills being used in the Manchurian campaign... and persons such as Seiko Fujita taught skills at the famous/infamous Nakano school (which was an Officer training school... including the teaching of spy craft...).
Hatsumi has never claimed to be shinobi-no-mono (in terms of actively engaging in spy craft), and Takamatsu is often referred to in the X-Kans as "the last ninja" for that reason. As far as Hatsumi carrying on Takamatsu's traditions as koryu... well, no. Personally, I don't think he wants to... or is interested in treating the schools as koryu. Of course, the idea of a koryu ninjutsu tradition (the same way there are bujutsu koryu traditions) is not really one that has been claimed either... at least in those terms.
What "reduction... of the samurai class"? And the idea of "hinin" and so forth, as well as the old "oppressed peasants" trope were ideas pushed by people such as Stephen Turnbull, and later adopted by Steve Hayes (since at least partially recanted)... it is not one that is taken seriously by the Bujinkan, especially not today...
Well, we covered that earlier... it is not the common term used in the Bujinkan, and, when it is/was, it was as a simple term to relate the teachings rather than listing everything found in the organisation.
And... you think this is news to any Bujinkan members? By the way, black is not really ideal at night either... just sayin'....
Say, did you know that Daito Ryu teaches defence against attacks from behind for the same reason? As does Katori Shinto Ryu? And quite a few others?
Well... the Bujinkan itself began as the name for Hatsumi's personal dojo (as an homage/reference to Takamatsu) in the early 70's... before that he was running a training/study group for Takamatsu, teaching what he had learnt from Takamatsu that week... later, it became the name for the organisation (essentially as Hatsumi started licensing Westerners to go and start their own dojo, allowing them to use the Bujinkan name). But the idea of belittling the Bujinkan because it happened to come up at a time when there was a lot of media focus and attention/hype is like saying that BJJ is riding on the UFC's coat-tails... or that Chinese martial arts rode on the coat-tails of Chinese cinema, exemplified by Bruce Lee... or that early Karate and Judo exposure to the West rode on the Militaries coat-tails as servicemen trained in these arts in Japan and Okinawa...
And, again, do you think that anyone in the Bujinkan thinks such a sword was genuinely used? There are no kata teaching them, it doesn't appear in any of the material... so, uh... kay? Oh, and you're arguing that there isn't any combative methods because ninjutsu is spying... but they used swords? Kay...
What I'm saying is what is done in a Takamatsuden school is not what is seen in the movies... so using them to discredit the schools is, well, disingenuous to say the least.
Actually, the earliest cited usage was in a movie in the 50's... not a comic... Stephen Hayes apparently saw one in a shop, and used it to teach his methods... there wasn't any real basis in what he got from Hatsumi, and no supporting evidence that Hatsumi ever taught that it existed.
Yeah... I'd advise less assumption on what is known and not known about the culture of our arts...
Don's got a decent blog on it, Dunc... he's a bit biased in a number of things, but it's probably one of the more correct (timeline wise) that you'll come across.
What?!? All Ryan said was that he'd never seen this mysterious straight sword... as covered, Bujinkan schools don't teach straight single edged "ninjato" swords... typically they simply use a fairly standard bokuto... as the majority of the sword work is done using a "regular" sword... such as for Kukishin Ryu material...
He just said he'd heard nothing about a "ninjato" in his school.
Three years ago? And you think he's coming late to the party? Hmm....
Hi again, Ryan, sorry about the delay there...
I'd probably say that this is the best bet... although it should be noted that it's said that when Takamatsu first saw Judo, he was rather critical of the methods used to throw (by bending the back)... that said, it's a Japanese, close-quarters grappling system based on throwing which will give valuable insight into application of such methods against both resistance and movement. It's a good way to understand the way a lot of the Takamatsuden methods are meant to work... especially, if you get to experience it, Shinden Fudo Ryu (Ju)Taijutsu...
Kempo-jujitsu is a modern, Western hybrid of modern Western hybrid arts (Western takes on karate/kempo/chuan-fa, popularised by Ed Parker, and Western "jujitsu", basically basic judo with some more emphasis on lock flows and ground work). Despite the name, there is little similarity with Japanese arts.
Well, you already know this one, as it's the one you're already training in... but your idea to wait until you've gotten a better grasp of it is one I'd agree with.
Kuk Sool Won is a modern Korean system, ostensibly based on karate/TKD, but with a range of other methods and arts tacked on. It's a bit tacked together for my tastes, with little in the way of coherent basis and continuity to my eyes.
At the end of the day, though, the most important thing is that it will need to be a school you can attend (time-wise, financially, etc), and that you enjoy... and only you know that.
the voice of the Koryu ...keep going just keep going I am getting a good laugh ...
push all the credentials you want in my face and quote all you like like I gave my opinion you gave yours you want to continue this then lets do it in private
I was wondering when this would catch your eyes - been waiting to see your take on what was posted here.
Separate names with a comma.