fighting techniques of the ninja

skuggvarg

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The technical makeup of the classical schools is, to be completely frank here, not designed for actual combative use. They are designed around the strategic and tactical representation of lessons inherrant in their syllabus, and the kata themselves are symbollic expressions of that. Attacks such as Renyo's "Punch, Kick, Grab", all on the right hand side, are not realistic attacks. So why would they be included in the first place? Simply because they are representing a range of different attacks (strategically speaking).

Yes, no and maybe both. I tend to believe that schools that have hundreds of waza probably havent had them all tested while schools with fever probably have a higher hit ratio. One thing I have heard several times now is that the first kata (or set of katas) often contain/s the most fundamental teaching of the system and all other kata are just variations to add in the understanding. At least one densho in the Bujinkan states that the waza contained in it is "real fighting waza". As for the attacks in Renyo, they seemed really weird to me in the beginning too. Now I wouldnt dare to say they are not realistic attacks...

Think of it this way; if you were going onto an Old Japanese battlefield, would you be relying on unarmed combat?

No way! And that is my point to be frank. Our unarmed systems are based on armed combat systems. You can very easily see this in the similar movements. The way of moving the body is very similar between kenjutsu, sojutsu, bojutsu and taijutsu.

Best regards / Skuggvarg
 
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Aiki Lee

Aiki Lee

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I'm not familiar with hissaku. What does it look like?

I was talking about striking both sides simultaneously, but i might have used the wrong term when I said "pincer".
 

ElfTengu

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When it is commonly accepted that Sonshi (Sun Tzu's Art of War) and Go Rin no Sho (Musashi's Book of Five Rings) can be applied at an individual, small group, massive army, or even on a modern business strategy level, and will no doubt be applied in the disant future in ways that we couldn't even imagine in 2011, then it isn't such a far fetched idea that kata can also be used in the same myriad ways.

But is the question really whether this was the intention of the creator of the kata, or whether it just happens to work out that way? There are certainly hints in at least one of the two primary examples above that strategy is the same at individual and battlefield troop movement level, even if neither strategist imagined the stock markets of the 20th century.

There are so many parallels in life outside martial arts that it probably doesn't even matter.

If it works, it works.
 

Chris Parker

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Yes, no and maybe both. I tend to believe that schools that have hundreds of waza probably havent had them all tested while schools with fever probably have a higher hit ratio. One thing I have heard several times now is that the first kata (or set of katas) often contain/s the most fundamental teaching of the system and all other kata are just variations to add in the understanding. At least one densho in the Bujinkan states that the waza contained in it is "real fighting waza". As for the attacks in Renyo, they seemed really weird to me in the beginning too. Now I wouldnt dare to say they are not realistic attacks...

Personally, I feel that the idea of any of the techniques (formal kata) being "tested", as in used in combative situations, is kind of a misunderstanding really. They really aren't snapshots or video captures from some old battlefield. So I'd take that idea of any of them, those with more or fewer kata being "tested" in that way out of the equation myself, as it doesn't fit with the methodology of the kata themselves.

With regards to the first kata (or set) being the most fundamental teachings, yep, that's the way it works. The rest of them being just variations, on the other hand, is not really accurate. The lessons of the first kata (or the first set) should be the set up for the learning of the rest of the art, and the lessons contained in it, at least for the most part, should help dictate the way the rest of the art feels, but the kata found further down the list really are far more than just rehashes of the lessons in that first one.

With the Densho stating that it contains Jissen Waza (real fighting techniques), that can be taken to mean a range of things. If you talk to a soldier about real fighting, then they will have a very different understanding of it compared to a general, and these arts are not designed for a common foot soldier. Add to that the fact that the methods (physical techniques) may be valid (realistic) combative methods, however that is not the structure of the kata. In the specific case (Shinden Fudo Ryu, if I'm not mistaken, yeah?), there are a range of kata there that really don't suit a modern combative situation, and it is a stretch to say they suit even an older one. So the context, and meaning needs to be looked at as well.

And with Renyo's attack, the attacks themselves can be realistic (I'd say they really should be if anything of value is going to be taken from training the kata!), however the sequence frankly is not. It is a symbolic form of an attacking method, not a realistic sequence itself.

No way! And that is my point to be frank. Our unarmed systems are based on armed combat systems. You can very easily see this in the similar movements. The way of moving the body is very similar between kenjutsu, sojutsu, bojutsu and taijutsu.

Best regards / Skuggvarg

While I certainly agree there are a lot of similarities (there really should be for the art to work as a total system), again this logic doesn't flow. If they are based on armed combat methods, then they should deal in armed combat methods. There is a reason the systems are unarmed, really, if the aim was to give realistic combative skills (for a situation that the practicioner would be likely to find themselves in), then unarmed would be very low on the list, if it was there at all. In fact, one of my biggest issues that I see with this homogenised version of things is that the tendancy to say things like "just use your taijutsu, and use the sword in there" results in frankly terrible use of the weapon, and such things are rife, I have to say.

The reason the systems focus on unarmed tells me that they have reasons seperate from combative use on a battlefield. After all, it's not as if weapons are not easy to come by to train with, so practicality isn't an issue. In fact, if practicality was an issue, then there would be little to no unarmed methods at all, and it would all be weaponry.

Similarities between unarmed combative methods (the kata from the Ryu-ha) and weapon use are, to be frank, superficial for the most part. You cannot simply add a weapon to the unarmed methods and have weapon use, as I see far too often, primarily with the Bujinkan honestly (not surprising considering the art taught is Budo Taijutsu....), as it just doesn't work. And that gets shown over and over again, sadly.

I will say that weapon use will highlight problems with the Taijutsu side of things, but good (or even average) Taijutsu is no indication of any skill with a weapon at all, which I would expect if the above idea was right.

When it is commonly accepted that Sonshi (Sun Tzu's Art of War) and Go Rin no Sho (Musashi's Book of Five Rings) can be applied at an individual, small group, massive army, or even on a modern business strategy level, and will no doubt be applied in the disant future in ways that we couldn't even imagine in 2011, then it isn't such a far fetched idea that kata can also be used in the same myriad ways.

But is the question really whether this was the intention of the creator of the kata, or whether it just happens to work out that way? There are certainly hints in at least one of the two primary examples above that strategy is the same at individual and battlefield troop movement level, even if neither strategist imagined the stock markets of the 20th century.

There are so many parallels in life outside martial arts that it probably doesn't even matter.

If it works, it works.

While I agree that Musashi (for instance) didn't envision his book being used by Wall Street businessmen, the core of these texts is strategy, not martial technique. Musashi constantly refers to learning and studying his Heiho (strategy) throughout the entire book, for example. So, yes, it is the intention of the creator, as stated in the books themselves (same goes for most old arts, as they refer to themselves as Heiho for the most part, and that is not accidental I feel...).

So yes, it was their intention.

I'm not familiar with hissaku. What does it look like?

I was talking about striking both sides simultaneously, but i might have used the wrong term when I said "pincer".

Not the best version (Hatsumi is shown demonstrating a version in Andy Adams' book from the 70's, and it also features on the Bujinkan Koppojutsu - Koto Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, Gikan Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu DVD), but here you go:

[yt]Ii0jrIAC-CY[/yt]
 
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Aiki Lee

Aiki Lee

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Oh, I have seen that after all. I just didn't the name.
Thanks Chris.
 
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