What do you tell people

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Supra Vijai, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    Hi,

    Quick question. How do you guys/girls answer when someone asks you what MA you train? I've been spending a lot of time on the forums at work lately as I keep getting rostered on and there's nothing to do given it's the holidays and a few people have asked me what I train.

    More and more I'm finding myself answering that I train a traditional Japanese Martial Art which covers a range of topics from weapons work as they were used in feudal Japan to counter intelligence/surveillance to modern self defense. I get the feeling each time that I'm doing the art a disservice by avoiding it's name but frankly I'm a little tired of watching people's faces light up when they hear "Ninjitsu" (I swear it's impossible to get these guys to say it right!!!) only to have them get bored and walk away the second you mention there's no wearing of costumes and hiding in trees or climbing up a wall and turning into a bat after disappearing in clouds of smoke.

    Thanks
     
  2. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    Oh and just to clarify my last sentence, I actually had one guy who asked me if we had to wait till we were black belts before we learnt to "transmorgify" into animals and levitate and the like. I suggested he seek help....
     
  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    No, I do a similar thing. It must be said that, in a real way, Ninjutsu is the generic overarching term we use to cover a range of different seperate martial arts, including the official Ryu-ha themselves, broken into Taijutsu (Dakentaijutsu, Jutaijutsu, Kosshijutsu, Koppojutsu etc), Kenjutsu (Iaijutsu, Nitojutsu, Kodachijutsu), Bojutsu (Jojutsu, Hanbojutsu, Tanbojutsu), Kusarijutsu, Goshinjutsu, Sojutsu, Naginatajutsu, Tantojutsu, Tessenjutsu (Kunaijutsu, Kabutowari), and a lot more.... so the term "Ninjutsu" is really a cover-all name, and the underlying link to the systems we study.

    Does that make sense?
     
  4. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    Perfect sense. Glad I'm not doing the wrong thing by avoiding the term then. It's worked the opposite way for one of our students - she has people going out of their way to not offend her because they "know" she's a ninja and don't want her to hurt them. I just seem to keep getting the movie buffs. Is it wrong if asked to explain further to say we use a lot of concepts similar to Aikido, Judo etc and strategies that they can find in Krav Maga or RBSD classes and it's like the "real" MMA?
     
  5. Muawijhe

    Muawijhe Green Belt

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    I find I usually answer something generic when people ask, usually just saying "jujutsu" or "karate". For most people I encounter, and their lack of understanding of martial arts, that suffices. They aren't interested in the particulars. They wave their hands around, pick their feet 3" off the ground for a bad kick, and make some high-pitched Bruce Lee-like noises, and are sated. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and bad kung fu movies are the extent of their knowledge. To drop the "N" word into the mix only gets them more animated and usually results in some form of pain localized to my brain-area.

    Those who have a more working knowledge of martial arts usually then ask me to say what style of karate or jujutsu I do, and to those I give more information. But because of the politics of the organizations, I still tend to avoid the "N" word.

    Still, I'm warry. Just the last week I was talking to a gentleman who said he practiced Tang Soo Do, and went on and on about it being a Japanese martial art, and how a guest instructor was coming in from some "long named Japanese martial art" to show them ultra deadly techniques. He then leaned in, looked to the left, then the right, and whispered to me, "You know...I hear they even still teach ninjitsu..." It just went all down-hill from there.

    And by down-hill, I mean when I asked him if he did any weapons work he responded, "Nah, but I sometimes swing a sword around. I haven't been trained, but I've played enough video games to get a feel for things." >.<
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    I personally just say it's traditional Japanese martial arts. If pressed, I say that it covers a wide range of areas, including unarmed and weapons, most people outside of the arts don't handle much more information than that (and any more than that doesn't mean anything to them anyway...). Even talking about the modern portion of the classes leaves them a little lost, really the only way to know it is to do it. So if they are interested, invite them along to a class. If they aren't, they won't get it no matter how much you describe it.
     
  7. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    There are not enough ways for me to like this post!! That's the funniest thing I've read all day! :D

    Thanks Sensei! Will do with the invites for anyone who seems particularly interested.
     
  8. Burnse

    Burnse Yellow Belt

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    I like telling aquaintances in an overly enthusiastic voice 'I learn the art of running away!' The contrast with my usual monotone seems to throw most people and the conversation dwindles to a halt of its own accord. :)
     
  9. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I just say 'traditional Japanese jujutsu'.
    I really don't feel like explaining the entire 'ninpo' topic to people who would not understand the philosophical difference between koryu and gendai arts.

    Only when someone shows he has some understanding will I mention ninpo, and even then only if I know that person enough to trust him or her not to go bananas with the ninja angle.
     
  10. EWBell

    EWBell Orange Belt

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    It doesn't matter what you tell people, they'll end up thinking you are a student of karate. :)
     
  11. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    True. But at least they won't think I'm a ninjer. :)
     
  12. Tanaka

    Tanaka Purple Belt

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    That's so true.

    I rarely speak about my martial arts background to people I don't know. But my friends(or father) always love to boast up their MA friend/son. I tell them I do Jujutsu.
    By the end of the day... one way or another. I end up being in Karate...?
     
  13. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    hahaha ok so it's not just my house. My parents are both determined to ask me periodically how my Karate class is going :idunno:

    Usually if I'm feeling talkative I'll explain the whole "TMA focussing on....", otherwise it's Aikido and they smile and nod wisely.
     
  14. ElfTengu

    ElfTengu Blue Belt

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    Never forget the first rule of Ninja Club.

    And also of course the second rule of Ninja Club.
     
  15. Indagator

    Indagator Blue Belt

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    Lol, funny you should say that ElfTengu, because...

    I always just tell people I'm going to a fitness/exercise class!


    Nobody follows me around watching all day long, and I train in a rural location 30 minutes away by car. There is no way anybody is seriously going to question me saying that I am going to a fitness class and minimal chance of being caught out either. At least, there hasn't been so far!

    I don't train for them, and they don't need to know about it. This is my journey, my path, and my own darned business LOL!
     
  16. Yugen

    Yugen White Belt

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    I usually say I train ninpo and then try to explain to them what the training consists of. The Genbukan which I am a part of is structured into Ninpo, Jujutsu, Koryu Karate and so on, and it is really like a martial arts university. It is a wonderful, rich art, and I think there are no reasons to make up some "cover story" if asked.

    - Bard
     
  17. Hudson69

    Hudson69 Brown Belt

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    I just tell them it is a form of karate that also involves the training in and use of common weapons that can be carried or found just about anywhere and then I throw in that firearms training is also offered separately. This is usually enough and if they want to know more I answer their questions as best I can without trying to sell the system or school as better than anything else.
     
  18. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    I find that's quite hard to do... I'm extremely biased of course so when someone asks me what art I think they should do my first reaction is.... Ninjutsu! :uhyeah:

    Getting better at it though, especially after reading all the threads on here, now I tell them to decide what they are after and then visit this site to check out all the different arts and get pros and cons for each from the experts.
     
  19. Kumori Ryu Ninja

    Kumori Ryu Ninja Orange Belt

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    I tell them how it is!! Im training Ninjutsu!!

    Im way to proud to let politics or all that to bug me... Be proud.. Be Ninja!!

    Not that I recommend you run around dressed like a Movie Ninja.. That would not go over well with the authorities ...
     
  20. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    Lol or with my Sensei I'd imagine. I went to a costume party a while back in the full ninja getup and once the pics were posted online that was my biggest concern - that he'd see them :uhyeah:123
     

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