How did you get started with ninpo?

Bruno@MT

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I am curious about how you got started with ninpo. Why did you choose ninpo, or what was the reason that joined up?

Me, I started ninpo by accident.
My dojo advertised itself as a traditional ju-jutsu school on the flyer I saw. I was looking for a dojo to start MA again, and since my previous experience is jiu-jitsu, this new dojo less than 5 minutes from where I live sounded ideal.

It was only when I'd already asked the sensei for a try-out lesson that I found out that they teach ninpo. Genbukan does both ninpo and ju-jutsu. But since the dojo is new and everybody is a beginner, they currently teach ninpo only.

I started getting second thoughts, because I met a fair share of wannabe ninjers when I was still practising MA, and I really didn't feel like becoming one. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to get that free lesson. The lesson was great (hook, line and sinker :D) and from a weekend of googling I learned that genbukan is indeed a legit ninpo organization. So I joined.

It's funny. If I had known about the ninpo up front I might never have joined :) But now I am loving every minute of it :yaay:
 

ElfTengu

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I wasn't into martial arts as a kid, but I was heavily into military stuff, including camouflage and special forces.

I believe I first heard of ninja when a friend showed me a movie, I thought it was Sakura Killers but it can't have been because this was about 1983 and that movie didn't come out until 1987 according to the internet.

Anyway, here was a clear link between my fantasies of being in the SAS and martial arts, a black clad warrior versed in weapons from ancient swords to modern machine guns.

And when in 1984 or 1985, a company called Battle Orders from whom I had been buying replica, blank and BB firing guns from, suddenly had a full range of ninja gear in the samurai sword section I usually overlooked, I was more excited than I had probably ever been.

By the age of 15 in 1985 I had a ninja suit, ninja sword and various other bits and pieces and together with like-minded friends, roamed the countryside and local urban areas armed to the teeth but never harming a soul. Ah the bliss!

I found out that there was a real living art of ninjutsu, but could only read magazine articles, not thinking there was anywhere to learn locally.

At 16 I was a Junior Leader in the army and a friend wrote to me saying that he had found an actual ninjutsu class locally. I had a month's leave coming and went 4 times to a church hall in Hove to roll up and down a solid parguet floor and do 'taijutsu' on people, most of whom were older and with bad breath as I recall.

A combination of the discovery of real ninpo, a girlfriend who my mates would move in on as soon as my back was turned, and the fact that I had prematurely joined the wrong bit of the army rather than go to college and join as an officer, was justification to my 16 year old mind to apply for Discharge As Of Right (DAOR), and I was just in the nick of time. Another few weeks and I would have had to buy myself out.

So I gave up aspirations to a military career, temporarily I thought at the time, but permanently in the end, and spent an evening a week for about 2 years, studying 'ninjutsu'.

Gave it up for a decade apart from the odd Bujinkan Buyu Kai or Genbukan seminar, picked up with an offshoot organisation, the BBD, in about 2001, and moved back to the Bujinkan proper at the end of 2006.

I must have been doing something right in my earlier studies, because I got my shodan in February 2008, 22 years after that first lesson rolling up and down a church hall in Hove. Between the BBD and Bujinkan I have hardly missed a lesson in over 7 years. I am 39 and have a lot of catching up to do.

Ninpo is great. The hard work is making it work outside the bubble of the Takamatsuden arts. Unpleasant people can learn some stuff these days that we need to take notice of, and they train hard so that they don't need to rely on faith. Just think about that.
 

bluekey88

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I love martial arts and was lookign ofr something in which to cross train. Came across teh bujinkan wenbsite and found thath there was a study group not far from me. I made contact, things worked out and I've been training since August...cool stuff. It's a good compliment to what I already know and do.

Peace,
Erik
 

Aiki Lee

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When I was a boy I watched GI Joe and Ninja Turtles. The word was thrown out there constantly and I would watch my dad's old ninja movies from the 80s. When I was 16 I read a bok called "mind of the ninja" which had a P.O. Box to the Shadows of Iga Society. I looked them up on the interweb and joined the Illinois Quest Center and started To-Shin-Do. Then after two years my dojo switched to the Jizaikan curriculum, and here I am.
 

Cryozombie

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I was studying Hapkido and decided it just wasn't working for me. I started looking around and found a Shadows of Iga school, and had read a book by Hayes, so I thought I'd check it out... I went to their intro course week, and it was OK, so I was thinking about it. I had mentioned it to my boss one day and she said "Oh, I know a guy who teaches some kind of Karate, you should meet him". He worked in the same mall as us, and she brought him by and we talked, turned out he was a Shidoshi Ho in the Buj. I went to some classes with him and decided to start training with him. I trained with his group for... um, almost 2 years and he moved away... I didnt train much in the next 5-7 years, some classes here and there with some guys I didnt enjoy training with so I didnt keep going... then in 03 I met my current teacher and have been training ever since.
 

runnerninja

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My brother was studying it. He used to tell me about classes but I always thought what he was telling me didnt sound very good.

I then got an injury that a physio told me was due to poor flexibility. He told me to take up something like yoga. I decided to try ma so went along to class with my bro and have been at it since.
 

emiliozapata

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I would say that ninpo chose me, and that over time I came to realize that the truest meaning of the warrior arts was in defeat of your own fears and testing the weakness and limitations of the mind. Training the mind in this way builds the spirit and gives insights into developing warrior attributes. Realizing the above guided me to explore ninpo and endeavor to perfect myself through the medium of ninpo.

Many disagree with my choice of using the ninpo moniker and I respect their opinions, despite their intention and motivation.
 

Chris Parker

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I would say that ninpo chose me, and that over time I came to realize that the truest meaning of the warrior arts was in defeat of your own fears and testing the weakness and limitations of the mind. Training the mind in this way builds the spirit and gives insights into developing warrior attributes. Realizing the above guided me to explore ninpo and endeavor to perfect myself through the medium of ninpo.

Many disagree with my choice of using the ninpo moniker and I respect their opinions, despite their intention and motivation.

Allow me to be the first to "disagree with (your) choice of using the ninpo moniker".

You have not chosen ninpo, nor has it chosen you, as you have repeatedly avoided actually learning anything about, or training in the art yourself. You state that "over time (you have come) to realize that the truest meaning of the warrior arts was in defeat of your own fears and testing the weakness and limitations of the mind. Training the mind in this way builds the spirit and gives insights into developing warrior attributes" That in no way is limited to ninpo, as many different arts from many different cultures, times, and places throughout history have recognized the same.

To add to this, you operate in a way completely out of place with your own claims. You say that you realized the mind-set is of the most importance, yet feature only body conditioning in your (very limited) videos of your system. You say it is only for you and your kids, yet constantly come here to get our approval (or our ire, the jury is still out on that one...), and post a video of military training. You say your knowledge of ninjutsu/ninpo comes from old Hayes and Hatsumi books, and one by Andy Adams, and have a more complete picture than those who train in the systems you have only read the tiniest glimpses of, while refusing to put in the effort to study the art yourself (and that is not from lack of opportunity).

The true meaning of "nin" in ninpo or ninjutsu is "perserverance, or endurance", but that only goes so far. You have been endured for quite a time here, and I feel that it is time we stopped. If you post where you have experience (grappling arts, your take on body conditioning etc), or in a section such as this (ninjutsu-specific) with questions, and a willingness to learn, we will be able to treat you with a great deal more respect, and you will get some positive responces. But to post how you got started in an art you have belittled and refused any actual knowledge of, or experience in is frankly highly insulting to those who have been there, done that, and know much better than you.

Oh, and on topic, a movie when I was 6 or so, Andy Adams' book when I was about 10, reading everything I could from then on, a few years of karate (Tani-ha Shito Ryu Shukokai Karate) and Tae-Kwon Do, then finding what I was looking for in the first place, a true Ninjutsu school. The school in question was one of Sensei Wayne Roy's, who was the first Australian to travel to Japan to study the art under Nagato Shihan, then later Hatsumi Sensei.
 

shesulsa

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I'd like to point out that we don't fraudbust on MartialTalk.com and while I understand everyone's frustration, it is quite evident through his own admonitions and revelations that emiliozapata does not train any kind of ninpo. He has made it quite clear that he is expressing his "take" on ninpo/ninjitsu and his purpose here, while not outwardly labeled is ... questionable.

So let's use the ignore feature for those whom we no longer wish to read, consider, converse with and leave them to their fate. Or, if you find it breaks the rules of MartialTalk.com, please use the RTM feature.

I'm rather enjoying, however, everyone's stories on how they came to ninpo. Please continue. :)
 

The Last Legionary

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Chris,
Emo's been dead horsed here : http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71727 Better to just put him on ignore and tune out the fantasy.


I haven't had any formal training in the art, but have been interested in it since I was knee high to knees. I've hooked up with a few legit people over the years who have shown me some great stuff. What's impressed me the most is that of all the arts I've seen, legit ninjutsu (by that I mean the Bujikan, and not Ashida Kims or other fantasy masters) looks the most like a real fighting art, and not tourniment practice.
 

jks9199

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Chris,
Emo's been dead horsed here : http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71727 Better to just put him on ignore and tune out the fantasy.


I haven't had any formal training in the art, but have been interested in it since I was knee high to knees. I've hooked up with a few legit people over the years who have shown me some great stuff. What's impressed me the most is that of all the arts I've seen, legit ninjutsu (by that I mean the Bujikan, and not Ashida Kims or other fantasy masters) looks the most like a real fighting art, and not tourniment practice.
I've never really trained in ninpo, but got interested in high school. Read all of Hayes's books, devoured everything I could... but couldn't find out about any training halls in the area. Then I found my way to my current style and teacher... thinking it was "just until I found a ninjutsu school"... 20+ years later, still haven't moved on. :shrug:

I'm impressed by the fluidity and adaptability of the material derived from the arts that Hatsumi teaches. I'm impressed by the character of many of the students that I've met -- which is also important. And there is definitely something special about Hatsumi that comes through, even in pictures.
 

shesulsa

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I never sought out ninpo because, quite frankly, I always kinda doubted it really existed anymore or at all, seeing the ninja of the movies as idealogues or ancient historical figures rather than resembling anything real.

Upon actually meeting people who train in a lineage-verifiable ninjutsu and seeing a TINY portion (I'm sure) of what they can do and reading some well-respected people in those arts on this board and others, my appreciation for ninpo has changed.

If I had a line of people I've met in the martial arts (including fighting styles focuses on some form of pugilism) to choose to have my back, one of the first choices would undoubtedly be one of the Buj guys I've met. Preferably one with fists the size of my head. ;)
 

Raynac

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hmmmm from what I have heard, it is impossible to truely (what would the word be here, have or follow) a ninpo. simple put we are only learning the self-defense aspect and are not living a life completely devoted to the art.

but that aside, my reason for getting started with the ninpo... well its kind weird actually

first of all like most young boys i would often imagine myself as a fighter, fighting for peace, to save the girl, to stand up for what you believe in... never did get in an acutual fight. i wanted to know how good i was a fighter and I wanted to learn how to become better so i could protect my friends and family if the need ever arose so I joined karate.

after a few years the school closed down and i had to leave my karate and I realised, that i still couldn't really fight any better.

comming to universcity i saw an ad in the paper that advertised ninjutsu. and I nearly flipped. I am a big fan of naruto and when i saw a sign saying that someone was teaching ninjutsu I immediately decieded that I was going to go to that class and expose the teacher for the fraud they were because ninjutsu didn't exsist, it was all fake... or was it?

not being an overly rash person I looked it up so that i had my facts straight and it really caught my attention. when I went to my first class I was hooked.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi, Raynac,

I don't know if I entirely agree with you there... When taught and studied properly, ninpo should be a way of embracing a philosophy. Yes, you can just learn the techniques, and I'm sure that many, even the majority who train in the art, do, but that is not the only way. If you can find them, there are a few good books on the philosophical aspects, particularly one by Jack Hoban (Ninpo: Living and Thinking as a Warrior - I think).

Essentially, the physical techniques can be looked on as simply expressions of the strategies and tactics of an art, which themselves are defined by the systems guiding philosophy. So by training the techniques, you are physically exercising the philosophy of ninjutsu (or whichever art you're training). It's then up to you how far you take that side of things!
 

ElfTengu

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hmmmm from what I have heard, it is impossible to truely (what would the word be here, have or follow) a ninpo. simple put we are only learning the self-defense aspect and are not living a life completely devoted to the art.

I am 39, and you can ask my current missus, my previous missus, and all my girlfriends going back to 1985 whether I have devoted my life to this art and they will all say that in their opinion I certainly have.

I have other ideas though.
 

EWBell

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My first post here, and a proper topic to start off with. :)

Ninpo was an art that I always felt drawn to. I, like many of you, read many of the magazines back in the early 80's and instantly fell in love with that perception of the art. There were no local dojo close to me that taught ninpo, but I did get involved with karate. Through my teenage years I dabbled with various arts, never really getting into anything, until I finally married and had kids. I didn't practice any martial arts for some 17 years, and then one day I was messing around on YouTube looking at some karateka performing kata. My son was sitting there with me, and I said, "I wonder if there is any ninjutsu on here." Lo and behold I found some clips of Mr. Hatsumi, since I could only remember him and Stephen Hayes. I then started looking for ninpo in the area I lived, and found that we had all three of the X-Kans. After a bit of research, and subsequent emails I decided to check out the Genbukan school first. I went and watched a class with my son, and we joined the next week. I'll train in this art until I can't physically do it anymore. 2 years into it I still am like a wide eyed kid in a candy store. There's so much knowledge in the art, and I hope I can learn just a fraction of what is in it.
 

Raynac

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Hi, Raynac,

I don't know if I entirely agree with you there... When taught and studied properly, ninpo should be a way of embracing a philosophy. Yes, you can just learn the techniques, and I'm sure that many, even the majority who train in the art, do, but that is not the only way. If you can find them, there are a few good books on the philosophical aspects, particularly one by Jack Hoban (Ninpo: Living and Thinking as a Warrior - I think).

Essentially, the physical techniques can be looked on as simply expressions of the strategies and tactics of an art, which themselves are defined by the systems guiding philosophy. So by training the techniques, you are physically exercising the philosophy of ninjutsu (or whichever art you're training). It's then up to you how far you take that side of things!
Hmm i see your point. it was also late then, and I tend to get really stong opinions when im tired ;). yes your definatly right there are probley alot of really good ways out there to train in more than just the martial form of ninjutsu. I should like to see these books sometime they sound really good.

when i posted this I had a strong image of the ninpo in the sense of how it was when it originated so long ago, and my train of though is that nothing we could do now could compare to what they used to do... but that just means that living by the ninpo would have to change, just as humanity has. right?
 
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