What is "Traditional Ninjutsu"?

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Bob Hubbard, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. Mountain Kusa

    Mountain Kusa Orange Belt

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    On page 21 of "The Way of the Ninja, Secret Techniques" under the section Ninjutsu Diversity Sensei says; " I have learned many schools of ninjutsu via Isshi Soden- Togakure Ryu, Koto Ryu, Gyokko Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, Gikan Ryu, and so on - and now discharge my duties as their Grandmaster."

    If we are to accept what Sensei says in his book, then they are ninjutsu Ryu. This was a supprising passage in the book for me.
     
  2. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

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    He is Japanese, you know...
     
  3. Mountain Kusa

    Mountain Kusa Orange Belt

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    Im not sure I follow you here, Isshi soden "transmission from father to son" is this to what you refer?
     
  4. Grey Eyed Bandit

    Grey Eyed Bandit Master of Arts

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    Umm, no...he's Japanese, my point was that you have to consider that when you read the things he writes.
     
  5. Tenjin

    Tenjin Guest

    Just a random thought, just because something is a "ninjutsu" ryu does not mean it had anything to do with guys in black sneaking around, or any of the other stereotypes of ninjutsu.
     
  6. Kizaru

    Kizaru Purple Belt

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    So are you asking a question, or making a statement here?
     
  7. Mountain Kusa

    Mountain Kusa Orange Belt

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    Statement. I was always taught that only Togakure, Gyokushin, and Kumogakure Ryu were ninjutsu Ryu, so this was supprising to me. Later through my own studies and before the book came out, I had a dream that said Gyokko and Koto were also Ninjutsu Ryu. I shared the strange dream with those I train with and then this new Book from Sensei came out, so it was doubly supprising.
     
  8. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Black Belt

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    Just to hopefully make things a bit more precise, as far as I know only those three were ryu of ninjutsu (with varying amounts/types of close-combat skills associated with them); but two others, Gyokko and Koto ryu, while not ninjutsu schools per se, were (according to kuden) close-combat schools which happened to be picked up and adopted by ninja ryu operating in the Iga area.

    "Ninjutsu", as such, really refers to the primary specialties/functions of historic ninja groups: intelligence collection and the associated skills of infiltration, disguise, running agent networks, clandestine communications methods, and use of specialized gear. Fighting or close combat played little part in any of that, unless an agent somehow "screwed the pooch" and got caught under suspicious circumstances in some unauthorized place.

    And as you'd know, those particular traditional skills are for the most part not formally taught in the Bujinkan today, having been superceded by technological developments. Instead the focus is on the fighting methods, which are still applicable.

    As far as other schools such as Gikan ryu are concerned -- well, since Hatsumi sensei is Soke of all nine, if he wants to speak of them as "ninjutsu" or otherwise "make them part of" ninjutsu, he can do that. I'm not going to try to tell him he's wrong. :uhyeah:
     
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  9. Mountain Kusa

    Mountain Kusa Orange Belt

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    Dale,

    Thanks for the clarification. I guess the way we are being taught now where all this gets mixed together and comes out in our taijutsu, he can now say, "it is now". Unless I am working on something ryu specific, then I dont do into a fight saying i am going to use Gyokko Ryu, No, I do whatever is needed to stay safe regardless of what ryu it comes from. If we use the TCJ as an example, it comes from many ryu. More layers.
     
  10. heretic888

    heretic888 Senior Master

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    The following is from a recent post by Jeff Mueller on kutaki.org:

    I would caution anyone reading this though to do some research and not limit yourself to the popular viewpoint that the Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu and Gikan Ryu are not Ninjutsu ryu ha.
     
  11. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    I have done a lot of research, and even talked to quite a few Japanese shihan on the matter. Gyokko ryu and Koto ryu were passed down through the Iga area and through the same people who studied ninjutsu. But they are not in the same catagory as Togakure ryu ninjutsu. Go ahead and ask some of the Japanese on the matter. Try telling them that Gyokko ryu is like Togakure ryu. If you are lucky, have a relationship with them and have the time they may even show you how the taijutsu of both schools are different for very different reasons.
     
  12. heretic888

    heretic888 Senior Master

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    *grins* :supcool:

    I'm not the one that said it. Jeff did.

    I was merely interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this statement.

    Discussion, and all that jazz.

    Laterz. :asian:
     
  13. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    Discussion is fine, except when it is not. I guess all the Japanese disdain for internet experts is wearing off on me.

    You can have a great discussion about medicine, but if no one is a MD and no one can deal with or understand the meaning of any facts then it is just a waste of time, eh?

    I might be less testy about the matter if I had not just been reviewing a thread about ninja staight bladed swords and thought about how much was being made over so little hard evidence. I swear, once someone had his pet theory blown out of the water due to the fact that Hatsumi did not really write what they thought some people go to extreme lengths to defend their position.

    We may not have MDs in the Bujinkan, but we have MKs- Menkyo Kaiden holders. A lot of the silly screaming on the internet would end if people who fancy themselves experts in some aspect of the Bujinkan would go and ask a teacher that hold Menkyo Kaiden in damn near anything by Hatsumi and trains with him on a weekly basis about the matter. Or go to the head man himself!!!! But instead I see far too many people take the little time they have on their brief trips out here with Hatsumi to hint at their next rank promotion.

    But of course, asking questions in Japan is an art in itself. Most people don't understand that. Japanese do not like to be the bearer of bad news. I will give an example. A few years ago I took a visiting friend to visit a Japanese shihan I did not normally train with. After I introduced him and myself I sat by the wall stretching out. A Japanese student came up and talked to the shihan and said that my old American instructor (the guy I call "the evil one") was in Japan. The shihan said, "Is he still as stuck up as ever?"

    Lately, I have had a bit more free time during the week and have started going to this shihan's training. A few weeks ago we were talking before class and he asked me who I trained with before I came to Japan. I reluctantly told him and after a pause he said, "He certainly is full of energy and spirit." I then told him that I have not communicated with the evil one by choice since I have lived in Japan and I did not want to talk about him and he seemed to have brightened.

    When he thought I had a stake in the evil one's status he did not try to dispell my opinion. The same goes for opinons about things like whether Gyokko ryu is like Togakure ryu. If you seem to have a stake in the matter they might not want to destroy your cherished dreams. But if you have a long term relationship based on years of weekly training and/or you state it in terms like , "I recently heard XXXX- can you tell me if that is true" you are more likely to get a straight answer.

    it might also help if you can look at a Japanese newspaper and know what the head lines are about or know things like why the 18 catagories uses 'ban' for a counter while the 36 catagories uses 'kei' for a counter. I got some extra attention a few weeks back from a teacher because I was the onlyone in the room who knew who Sakamoto Ryoma was and how he died. If you put in the time to understand the matter by learning to read well enough to read Japanese newspapers or comment on esoteric Japanese religions you do not look like one of those guys demanding that you have all the answers laid out on a silver platter.

    But how many Menkyo Kaiden holders in Togakure ryu, Gyokko ryu or Koto ryu are there on the internet?

    Rant mode off. :soapbox:
     
  14. heretic888

    heretic888 Senior Master

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    Well, I dunno about that....

    For example, right now I'm completing my undergrad coursework for my bachelor's degree in psychology. Now, I am not a professional psychologist, obviously. Nor by any stretch of the imagination am I a "expert" or "authority" in the field.

    However, despite all that, I am still far more knowledgeable and experienced in the subject matter than Average Joe.

    I, for example, am familiar with the basic theories of the various psychological schools (psychoanalytic, constructivist, social-learning, evolutionary, behaviorist, humanist, etc.), am well-versed in the various ways of conducting and evaluating psychological experiments, knowledgeable on several of the peer-reviewed psychological journals out there (including electronic resources), have written several research articles on various psychological subjects, and regularly read published works by different theorists in my own spare time (such as, for example, Howard Gardner's recent revisions to his Multiple Intelligences Theory or James Fowler's recent research into the hiearchic development of "religious faith").

    In other words, while I still have a long way to go, I could give you a pretty decent discussion (maybe even debate) in, say, developmental psychology (my principal field of interest). Yet, I'm in possession of no degree indicating such.

    Of course, I'm sure things are quite different with ninjutsu.... ;)

    Just my thoughts, in any event. :asian:
     
  15. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    Yes and no.

    Most of us can tell you enough about ninjutsu to say that sai, nunchaku, etc were not used by the ninja. We do not have jumping, spinning back kicks, we do not use Chinese terms, etc.

    But for Cthulu's sake, how many arguments and speculations on the internet could be stopped in their track by someone actually going to Hatsumi and asking him directly? Or if that is not possible, ask someone who can get the answer from him? People look at a book supposably written by Hatsumi and quote a section about straight swords. When they are told that is not really written by him they post pictures of Hatsumi holding a sword at an angle that just maybe be a straight sword. And the debate goes on. So has anyone in all these debates tried going to Hatsumi or the senior Japanese and actually ask them about the matter?????
     
  16. Kizaru

    Kizaru Purple Belt

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    Before this goes any further, I would like to point out 2 things to all involved;

    1) Look at the screen name, "Don Roley, Not a Nice Guy"

    and

    2) "Compassion is not a Roley word" -Roley Creed

    With that, I leave you to your devices.

    Gassho.
     
  17. Shogun

    Shogun Master Black Belt

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    I have another example. I am typically considered an "expert" in the field of Herpetolgy. I am by no means a PhD in Biology, but I have spent years learning from Herpetologists, bred reptiles for 8 years and studied under several well known Biologists.
    BTW, someone or a Mod should make a good Q&A/FAQ about stuff like, "did Ninja use straight swords, Tonfa, or Sai?" type of stuff.
    The example I always use for the use of straight swords is: Ninja are often compared to today's special forces. (even if not). would today's special forces use a crappy gun when the enemy is using a good gun? would they take a really good weapon (ex; Katana) and make a weapon that is cheaper and breaks? (ex;straight blade "nin-to")


    KE
     
  18. Superflea

    Superflea White Belt

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    Perhaps you haven't heard about the Marines fighting system. From what I hear of it (not much, mind you), it seems to be much along the lines of Krav Maga in that it is composed of things borrowed from a variety of sources, and compiled into a system suitable for their purposes.
     
  19. Don Roley

    Don Roley Senior Master

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    He has. Trust me on this. His point was that there is not a system that you can get by going down to the local mini mall and sign up for like you can Krav Magda.

    I think there is a lot of new arts in America. But they use a lot of Asian terminology instead of good, simple English. "Instinctive Response" is one exception to this generalization. But for every one of those is some art that just has to use some Asian name to peddle itself.
     
  20. kaizasosei

    kaizasosei Master Black Belt

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    this goes out to all the bashers and haters of ninjutsu. i read the stuff in the closed thread and am very shocked just how infantile and petty the arguments were.

    ok i realize there are some people training for a long time and have troubles with the rude idiots... also i can understand people standing up for their school. that is not the point. the point i would like to make is that the arguments were really petty. flamewaring etc about almost trivial details within relatively' related schools.

    i think people like that should take a break from ninjutsu for 6 months to a year and reconsider their behaviour. not about behaviour really, i'm not anyone to be tellling' anyone what to do. i simply am shocked at the low level of understanding and the insecurity vented to and fro. i mean if people fight about really dumb topics like that, then how would they ever really get along. open your minds...the other martial artists, don't even know anything about ninjutsu and could probably still kick your asses.. that's what it's all about right...who's the invicible ninja- and who isn't .



    sorry for being so negative.

    j
     

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