Style

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Shin71, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. ElfTengu

    ElfTengu Blue Belt

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    You're not wrong. Many of us who do have a qualification with one of the X-kans which do teach ninjutsu as part of their curriculum, are very reluctant to tell people that ninjutsu is what we do, or even mention the words ninjutsu or ninja when describing it. I call it taijutsu because that's what it is, and I describe it as just another word for jujutsu, which again is not incorrect. Not many people require me to then differentiate between 'my' jujutsu and the Brasilian variety or other sportive versions so it's all good and I can usually leave it at that.

    So basically, most of us who do have some training in ninjutsu, do not want to be associated with the term ninjutsu, so it is both amusing and bemusing that so many people who do have never studied authentic ninjutsu feel that they can call their own (usually laughable) antics 'ninjutsu/ninjutsu'.
     
  2. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    In western martial art circles it will get you to be the center of everyone's joke.(especially with modern martial art practitioners. Traditional martial artist will probably ask you if you are from a takamatsu lineage, and if you say no. Then you become center of the joke)
    BUT
    In western society it will get you money from lots of people who want to be Ninja.
    For evidence look at ChosonNinja's channel. He gets thousands of comments a day, from people thanking him for teaching them how to be Ninja.
     
  3. ElfTengu

    ElfTengu Blue Belt

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    Surely you mean thanking him for teaching them to be 'Dedicated to God Karateka'?

    He admitted a while ago that it aint ninjutsu that he is 'teaching', and btw, teaching is an interactive process, and in martial arts requires teacher and student to be in the same room, not watching them on a little youtube screen. You tube doesn't give much feedback when you try to copy what people are doing on there. I found this out when I tried to learn a Pussycat Dolls dance routine. ;)

    And by 'people' you mean impressionable children and teenagers. If he is one of the 'ninjas' getting lots of money, as you have suggested, and if so it can only be from impressionable children and teenagers (or the type of adult that watches Simon Cowell's talent shows on TV) because he could not get it from discerning adults then he is not such a nice person as he tries to appear to be.

    And I'm sure there is a comandment for Christians about not lying, and telling people that you are a ninja and that you are showing them ninjutsu when your techniques and skills have nothing to do with Japan's historical ninja or samurai, is lying, simple as that.

    But if people want to dress in movie ninja costumes and do taekwondo moves and inflate each others' fragile egos then what's the harm?
     
  4. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    HeeHee, hes always changing what he says.
    But hes still determined that he has Korean Ninja lineage. Lol Anyways back to topic. I don't want to derail this topic to ChosonNinja, since I'm pretty sure a lot of people are tired of him.
     
  5. ElfTengu

    ElfTengu Blue Belt

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    If he keeps all the spotty teenagers glued to their monitors and practicing spinny kicks in the privacy of their own bedroom, and out of our authentic dojo, then he's not all bad.

    He does seem to want to be loved though, not a great personality trait for an effective ninja. :D

    I am surprise he didn't jump on the sulsa bandwagon though, he looks like he has the hips for a bit of sulsa.

    (Sulsa, along with Lin Kuei and all sorts of other oriental shenanigans, popped up in the late 80's as apparently 'equivalent' to Japan's ninja, and allegedly practiced something called Sulsado, which looked very much like Taekwondo in ninja outfits (or even ordinary Taekwondo suits), in fact it reminds of someone, I can't think who though.......!) ;)
     
  6. Vulcan

    Vulcan Orange Belt

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    What a fascinating thread.



    Regardless of one's conclusions on the validity of ninjutsu as an art form, it seems that some have taken more pains to be authentic than others (such as C.Parker), and thus should be commended for their tenacity and efforts.



    It takes a lot of courage for a Westerner to run such a school circa 2010. It probably takes an enormous amount of work to do it "correctly" and be convincing.


    One question though: how does an independent Ninpo school reinforce it's teacher's training and keep the lineage connection alive after 10 or more years of doing it without an umbrella?
     
  7. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Good question. The answer is: by going independent, you can't keep the connection alive. That is why -when looking at such schools- it is important to consider whether the new headmaster got a complete transmission of the art or not. In traditional systems this is easier because of the menkyo system.

    With Bujinkan this is more difficult because they don't (at least in public) use it anymore. So then you have to look at what rank and understanding the person had when he left, and whether that would constitute a complete transmission, or at least complete enough to be considered 'whole'.

    If that is the case, then the headmaster can keep his art alive by continuing to train his art, just like Hatsumi sensei, Tanemura sensei and Manaka sensei did after they became 'independent'.
     
  8. Yaiba

    Yaiba White Belt

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    I think you need to look at time in the art also...due to the fact that in the bujinkan you can come across a 5th dan that has been training for 3 years one that has been training for 25 years. Rank means nothing. It's time put in.
     
  9. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Yep, agreed.

    The only difference I would state is that with the Bujinkan, honestly, rank is less of an indication than most other places. There are some very skilled people with very high ranks (15th Dan holders), and there are some frankly terrible ones with very high rank (.... holding myself back from naming names here.... not the easiest thing in the world...), and the same is seen down the entire rank spectrum. There are some that are ranked much lower who are far better, and those ranked lowerer who are definately worse. So, for the Bujinkan, I would look to the individual rather than the rank. I've even heard of responces from Hatsumi Sensei when asked about the less-than-ideal high rankers along the lines of "Well, that's so the bad students have somewhere to train..."
     
  10. Vulcan

    Vulcan Orange Belt

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    But training for 25 years under someone who has not received full transmission, is not recognized by a traditional Japanese organization, or has been separated from these factors by a matter of degrees due to being a part of an independent school...what does that mean? Does that also mean "nothing" in terms of being recognized as a qualified practitioner or teacher of Ninjutsu?


    The conundrum seems to be:

    - one has practiced authentically (to an extent) Ninpo, but without oversight by a recognized entity in from Japan.

    - one has practiced authentically Ninpo, in Japan, with oversight by a recognized entity but in a ryu that is not considered "All Ninpo, all the time" or that has promoted unskilled teachers.

    -one has started off with a recognized entity/teacher, practicing authentically, but then branched off into an independent school, thus breaking the chain of lineage and the continuous reinforcement of transmission.


    Which leaves a person to wonder, what makes a style authentic?

    If a person legitimately trains for years and dedicates her life to an art, but never gets graded or receives transmission from a recognized Japanese authority, then is that person an authentic practitioner (not qualified to teach, just very, very skilled, adept, and knowledgeable in practice)?

    What about those that have vast resources of knowledge, owns many books, weapons, or possibly even a school, speaks/reads/writes fluent Japanese,
    and has dedicated their entire life to the art, yet is one degree removed from a Japanese authority, due to being an independent ? Are they qualified to teach "authentic" Ninpo?


    Finally, I call Ninpo, Ninjutsu, et. al., a "lost" art because there is so much dispute over what was actually practiced historically, or even the nature and contents of that practice. A lot of speculation exists, which puts serious and dedicated enthusiasts in a difficult position. Either to embrace the Bujinkan (and other "X-kans") where they will not necessarily be given full transmission or even the full catalog of knowledge, but rather focus on Taijutsu (at which point one is not Ninja, but Taijutsuka that knows a bit about Ninpo), or go off on your own to either join or establish a "real Ninja" school....with no living connection to Japan, thus embracing the art but not being recognized by any official organization. This is not usually the case with traditional JMA which were "sporterized" post WWII, but were revived as their budo form later on, thus preserving the living connection with the original form, because there was enough evidence recorded and living practitioners around to know definitively what the form consisted of.


    Unfortunately much of the anthropological data about Ninpo is in dispute, so one just has to rely on A). lineage or B.) faith or both to consider oneself an authentic Ninja. And even then...
     
  11. bribrius

    bribrius Green Belt

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    It appears i have alot to learn. About half this thread is over my head. :uhyeah:
     
  12. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Well, if you want to be technical about it :)...

    Anyone can learn authentic ninjutsu if the teachings come either directly or indirectly from one of the ninjutsu ryuha. However, you cannot master it without the guidance / instruction of someone who has got a full transmission. The menkyo system does have its benefits, and one of them is that it is perfectly visible whether someone got a complete transmission or not.

    For example, in Genbukan we all learn some of it from day one. In that respect we can argue that we all learn some true ninjutsu (plus a whole lot of other stuff). It is possible to attain full menkyo kaiden in Genbukan, and if someone was then to break away and do his own thing while having a full transmission of e.g Togakure ryu, then that new system could rightfully be called ninpo as well.

    But I agree, a lot of it comes down to semantics.
     
  13. TedBraid

    TedBraid White Belt

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    It has been many years, But I was Dojo Cho of the Genbukan Sanmitsu Dojo in Maryland. Mt license to teach was Hand written by Kancho Shoto Tanemura during a seminar in Long Island. I have lost touch and the organization is difficult to get past to contact the Kancho, but we used to write each other weekly. I was trained traditionally for 14 years and was his escort on his first trip to America. Now I don't know everything but if you can count in Japanese the number of techniques is referred to as Sanjuhappen, which is either 36 or 38 I think. And these were not weapons techniques, these were referred to as Po or the concept of. So you did not learn Kenjutsu per se, you learned Tojustu (blade), Taijutsu (body) Shurikenjutsu (not throwing stars... THROWING EVERYTHING AS A WEAPON FOR DEFENSE, DISTRACTION, EVASION). So Chris is on the most accurate track, especially as some techniques for weapons like the bow, the spear, and the Naginata, which, by the way started as a pole arm type weapon, but became the chosen weapon of the lady of the house as it is perfect for covering an entrance against multiple attackers. That is why the technique has become one of the more graceful wazas to watch. And I have to give credit to Chris for bringing up Kokusai Jujutsu Renmei. The grandmaster is related to Hatsumi and Tanemura, I have studied this technique and still believe it was a cover for those Ninja who at the time were Samurai as well (spies, spies everywhere). But that was the limit to my education. I used to have the full genealogy tree back to Hanzo (supposedly) and it is quite interesting. A ryu was a different concept than a style is today and nearly every great master was related. O-Sensi's teacher was a JuJutsu grandmaster and his ryu was related to both Kokusai and Takage Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu. And that is still taught down the road from Kancho's home town. Oh and shame on all of you for forgetting Teppo. The Ninja were among the first to use hand held cannons and then guns. Kancho was a detective for Tokyo metro police and taught Teppo. In fact we taught the Long Island Swat team a the seminar and I have taught guards at one of the local military facilities. Finally I suggest the title Ninja remain tied to the classical teachings. Warriors like Seals are SEALS. That title needs no embellishment.

    Submitted humbly,

    Ted Braid
     
  14. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hi Ted, welcome aboard!

    Sounds great!

    Sanjuhappan is a reference to 38 (sanjuhachi - pretty literally: three tens [thirty] and eight)… that said, I haven't come across a Sanjuhappan… commonly, you will encounter the Bugei Juhappan (18 martial skills of the samurai) and the Ninja Jukahhei (18 powers/skills of the ninja), which would be combined to come up to 36 methods, although of course there was a fair bit of cross-over… and the ideas of what was included in each list, as well as what was intended by each, changed depending on the era, location, ryu-ha, and so on.

    Well… "Ho" (法 - method/law/concept)… it becomes "po" when used as the suffix to certain consonants.

    Sure… but again, dependant on the age, the ryu, and so on…

    As well as providing a reach advantage, and other reasons… but, of course, this was not universal for all naginatajutsu ryu-ha…

    That and the nature of the weapon itself… remember that the name of the weapon translates roughly as a "mowing down blade"… which implies large, sweeping actions… which are naturally graceful in and of themselves.

    Most "ninja" were samurai, of course… but I'm a little unsure as to who you're referring to as the "grandmaster" of the Kokusai Jujutsu Renmei there… the Kancho of the KJJR is Tanemura Sensei… there is no "grandmaster" of the KJJR, as it's an organisation, not a ryu-ha itself, with a homogenised syllabus drawn from a number of ryu-ha, most notably Asayama Ichiden Ryu and Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu (Hontai Yoshin Ryu Takagi Ryu).

    Well, I agree that a ryu was (and is) a different concept to a simple "style" (not that that was what the thread was actually about when it was started 5 years ago), but the idea that all of the masters were related… no. That I don't agree with. Many warriors would claim, or create a family connection back to the Minamoto clan, or some other famous family, but that wasn't really something that could be taken as factually correct.

    Yeah… you've lost me again. By "O'Sensei", are you referring to Ueshiba Sensei of Aikido? Or to Takamatsu (some X-Kan groups have applied the title to him)? Or someone else? And, again, Kokusai Jujutsu Renmei isn't a style itself, or a ryu… there can't be a "relation" between it and a ryu in the way that there can be for Takagi Yoshin Ryu.

    Yeah… I don't know that I quite believe that story… I know it's popular in certain circles, but it's not supported by any verifiable history. After all, the first firearms brought into Japan were bought by the Daimyo of Tanegashima Island, who purchased three for his head swordsmith to copy for his samurai. Within a few decades, Japan was producing more guns than Europe… and were very much used by samurai…

    Cool.

    This, I agree with.

    Good to have you here, Ted.
     

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