Ninja in Modern Days

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The Psycho Guy

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I was having a discussion with a friend of mine, and we ended up debating about whether practitioners of ninpo could be considered "ninja" or "martial artists who specialize in ninja concepts." So I wanted everyone's opinions on this. Do you support the point of view that:

1. Ninja died out in Feudal Japan.

2. Ninja are practitioners of ninjutsu.

3. Ashida Kim and Frank Dux-san rule!!!!!! They possess the REAL ULTIMATE POWER!!! and this power can only be gained through ten lifetimes of training (and of course, accumulating good karma to be reincarnated into the secret clan of ninjas to resume training each time) and a diet that consists SOLELY of eating at the local NINJA-BURGER!!!!!

4. Special Forces, terrorists, and the like are today's ninja.

5. Ninja are practitioners of a modern form of ninjutsu (incorporating modern weapons and modern methods of accomplishing what the ancient ninja did).

6. CIA, secret services, and the like are today's ninja.

Or any other point of view, and please explain why you feel that way (these were the opinions that I could come up with, I'm sure that there are more).
 
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M

Master of Blades

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Originally posted by The Psycho Guy



3. Ashida Kim and Frank Dux-san rule!!!!!! They possess the REAL ULTIMATE POWER!!! and this power can only be gained through ten lifetimes of training (and of course, accumulating good karma to be reincarnated into the secret clan of ninjas to resume training each time) and a diet that consists SOLELY of eating at the local NINJA-BURGER!!!!!


Did you even have to ask? :D
 
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S

Silent Nightfall

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I'm personally of the opinion that someone can be considered a ninja if they simply follow the same philosophy of the ancient warriors. I believe it is a bit more practical to carry this philosophy as well as train in a form of authentic ninjutsu, but it really isn't necessary. The ninja were simply about harmonizing with their environment and other living things. They approached problems in a certain manner. It was all a philosophy and mental aspect. What makes a ninja is not the ability to move about unseen or to scale walls. This is what Hollywood would have you believe. Oh, and on a side note, many of the modern day practitioners of ninjutsu do study modern weaponry such as firearms, but let us remember that the ninja would only really learn to use what was relevant to them. So if by modern weaponry you meant assault rifles and high tech explosives, I believe this would be a bit beside the point. I certainly will never come up against something such as that (or the chances are at least 1 in <insert incredibly large number here>), so why would I need to train for it?

As far as Kim, Tew, and Dux... Umm... Just another bunch of midlead "Neo Ninja" who still think ninja wore black. :rofl:
 
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T

The Psycho Guy

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Did you even have to ask?
Did you even have to ask?
Dude, wait here while I go flip out and kill a couple towns.



Without even thinking twice about it.

:p
 

arnisador

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My inclination is towards 1.--you can't be a ninja anymore than studying iaido would make you a samurai--but I have sympathy for 2.
 
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S

Silent Nightfall

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I believe that this all depends on what your definition of a ninja is. If you believe it to be one who is adept at stealthing techniques and who served under a feudal lord (as a hired hand) during the Warring Period in Japan, then perhaps ninja cannot still exist. I hold a different opinion of what a ninja truly is. I should find the excerpt from another board where Papa-san (Ed Martin) defined what a ninja is. I shall see if I can't get that for you all.
 

heretic888

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The definition of a 'ninja' (like the definition of 'ninjutsu' and 'ninpo') is dependent on its context. What people fail to understand is that there are MANY definitions to the word 'ninja' and all of them are more or less true.

With that said, however, I shall now quote Hatsumi-soke:

"Ninpo began as training to become a moral people
and to learn to endure in whatever social
condition one is in; to know and accept one's
fate, and to live for human beings and all other
creatures. The person who masters all of these
is a ninja."

By Masaaki Hatsumi
[Ninpo: Wisdom for Life, Page 50]

'Nuff sed.
 
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SRyuFighter

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Originally posted by arnisador
My inclination is towards 1.--you can't be a ninja anymore than studying iaido would make you a samurai--but I have sympathy for 2.

I agree.
 

Cryozombie

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I have to say that yeah, I do think we (Ninjutsu students) are ninja-like. Many, (but not all) Bujinkan schools (and I can only speak for the Bujinkan) still teach Stealth, Evasion, Survival, etc... I believe the term I see used most is "Ninja Espianage techniques" when they refer to the Ninja aspects of the training.
Of course the Bujinkan also teaches 6 schools of Samurai arts, in addition to the 3 Ninja arts, so take that for what it's worth.

The fact that WHAT a ninja really was is very different than what most people THINK it is, means that to most people, No, we would not be ninja. I personaly dont run around in black PJs and a mask with 800 weapons in my pocket ready to disapear in the puff of smoke I can make, hiring myself out as a Spy, assassin or whatever. So by modern Society's twisted definition of Ninja, I am not one.

I have heard it said that Takamatsu Sensei was the last TRUE ninja.

But ask yourself this: Is a Tae Kwon Do practitoner who trains only for tournaments and with the purpose of winning trophies a Warrior? Can that be defined by the art he studies or the way he applies it? Or is it somthing Deeper, inside? Would an Iado practitioner, who trains in Budo, and in his heart follows Bushido to the best of his ability NOT be able to consider himself Samurai???
 
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Silent Nightfall

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I believe Technopunk summed everything up just beautifully. Indeed, there are many twisted perceptions of what a ninja was. There are many people who would say, "Well, you don't go on missions and climb walls, and practice concealment in nature so you can't be a ninja." Those people don't realize that such things were only techniques employed by the ninja and not what made/makes them who they were/are. Again, just go back and refer to the quote by Hatsumi that is posted above. As many have already said, it is all about philosophy and lifestyle. Many people who train in ninjutsu also adapt their philosophies to it and begin living their lives a bit differently, though often the change is very much unconscious.

Papa-san posted his thoughts on what a ninja is on anotherforum. Here is part of his post for your reading pleasure. Until later, all.

"What makes a ninja a ninja is the way one approaches problems, how they survive. It is not about "operstional" roles, it is not about sneaking in to kill, that's the movies and the entertainment industry. The only way you can know about ninjutsu is to find a bonafide, honest to God, instructor of the art and see for yourself..." - Ed Martin
 
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T

The Psycho Guy

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Is a Tae Kwon Do practitoner who trains only for tournaments and with the purpose of winning trophies a Warrior? Can that be defined by the art he studies or the way he applies it? Or is it somthing Deeper, inside?
Hmmm...not literally (literally a military-man is a warrior, not a martial artist), but it could definitely be argued that he has "warrior spirit."

Would an Iado practitioner, who trains in Budo, and in his heart follows Bushido to the best of his ability NOT be able to consider himself Samurai???
Probably not, since a samurai, in order to be a samurai, would have to be retained by a lord, would he not? And aren't most of the tenets of bushido totally inapplicable to today's society (yeah, I'll commit seppuku because I've dishonored myself...yeah, right). Plus the samurai practiced many many arts and not just iaido. But they could compare themselves to the samurai, I guess. That's an interesting point. But I think that samurai themselves would be of no use in today's society, and if people who followed bushido emerged, they'd probably die out just as quickly.
 
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K

KanoLives

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Ninja.............


Seriously, they still exsist. :asian:
 

heretic888

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My inclination is towards 1.--you can't be a ninja anymore than studying iaido would make you a samurai--but I have sympathy for 2.

Well, the problem with that comparison was that samurai (or bushi or bukke) was an actual class or caste in ancient Japanese society. 'Ninja' (or 'shinobi') was not.

Thus, when the samurai caste was 'abolished' with the Meiji Restoration, then technically all 'samurai' ceased to exist. But, since the ninja were never a specialized class or caste to begin with, such a change in the social structure had little impact on them (as apparently being a 'ninja' was 'illegal' in the first place).

I have to say that yeah, I do think we (Ninjutsu students) are ninja-like. Many, (but not all) Bujinkan schools (and I can only speak for the Bujinkan) still teach Stealth, Evasion, Survival, etc... I believe the term I see used most is "Ninja Espianage techniques" when they refer to the Ninja aspects of the training.

Well, I'm not sure about how many Bujinkan dojo still teach the stealth and espionage aspects of the ryuha (I was under the impression that sort of stuff was reserved by seminars in America or 'special classes' in Japan)......

Of course the Bujinkan also teaches 6 schools of Samurai arts, in addition to the 3 Ninja arts, so take that for what it's worth.

As others on this forum have pointed out in the past, that "3 ninja, 6 samurai" analysis is largely flawed. One of the so-called 'samurai' schools, the Gyokko-ryu, comes from Hakuun-ryu ninjutsu, contains the 'Ninja no Kissoku', and its first recognized soke was the Iga-ryu 'jonin' Hakuunsai Tozawa (also a Hakuun-ryu disciple). In the Bugei Daijiten Ryuha, the Gyokko-ryu is also regarded as a school of Ninpo (which it is). I'm not saying its not a samurai school, but its also about as 'ninja' as they come.

I have also been told the Kukishinden Happo Hikenjutsu also contains Ninpo and teaches ninjutsu methods at the higher levels (it also supposedly has some sort of historical connection to the Togakure-ryu, but I'm not too sure about this). It too comes from Hakuun-ryu ninjutsu and much of its familial lineage are associated with Iga-ryu families. Shinden Fudo-ryu dakentaijutsu has a similar 'origin' to Kukishin-ryu (if we believe the legends). Koto-ryu and Gikan-ryu can both be traced to the Gyokko-ryu.

ALL of these schools are associated with the Iga-ryu 'ninjutsu' (read "Hiden Ninja Submission" and "Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions" by Hatsumi-soke). I guess what I'm basically tryin' to say is that this hardline division between a 'ninja' school and 'samurai' school isn't all that clear when you look at it objectively. The only 'pure' (non-ninja) samurai school I can see is possibly the Takagi Yoshin-ryu.... and even its has had past 'mixings' with the Kukishin-ryu.

The fact that WHAT a ninja really was is very different than what most people THINK it is, means that to most people, No, we would not be ninja. I personaly dont run around in black PJs and a mask with 800 weapons in my pocket ready to disapear in the puff of smoke I can make, hiring myself out as a Spy, assassin or whatever. So by modern Society's twisted definition of Ninja, I am not one.

Yes, a very ignorant definition considering that historically the 'ninja' were almost exclusively advisors and counselors to the military powers in fuedal Japan and not 'superassasins'. I guess the Tokugawa and Meiji authors thought the 'superassassins' make more compelling literature......

I have heard it said that Takamatsu Sensei was the last TRUE ninja.

I believe that quote is taken out of context. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Hatsumi-soke referred to Takamatsu-soke as the last 'combat ninja', that is the last 'ninja' to use his art during war activities. If you look at my earlier quote from "Ninpo: Wisdom for Life" by Hatsumi, he clearly holds an alternate definition for 'ninja' that do not engage in war.

But ask yourself this: Is a Tae Kwon Do practitoner who trains only for tournaments and with the purpose of winning trophies a Warrior? Can that be defined by the art he studies or the way he applies it? Or is it somthing Deeper, inside? Would an Iado practitioner, who trains in Budo, and in his heart follows Bushido to the best of his ability NOT be able to consider himself Samurai???

That depends on what you mean by both 'warrior' and 'samurai'. Context is everything, my friends.

I believe Technopunk summed everything up just beautifully. Indeed, there are many twisted perceptions of what a ninja was. There are many people who would say, "Well, you don't go on missions and climb walls, and practice concealment in nature so you can't be a ninja." Those people don't realize that such things were only techniques employed by the ninja and not what made/makes them who they were/are. Again, just go back and refer to the quote by Hatsumi that is posted above. As many have already said, it is all about philosophy and lifestyle. Many people who train in ninjutsu also adapt their philosophies to it and begin living their lives a bit differently, though often the change is very much unconscious.

Ditto, I agree completely. :)

Laterz, y'all.
 

heretic888

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LOL!! It depends on the context the word is used, my friend. :D
 
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Silent Nightfall

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Ok, so here is the quote that Heretic originally posted:

"Ninpo began as training to become a moral people
and to learn to endure in whatever social
condition one is in; to know and accept one's
fate, and to live for human beings and all other
creatures. The person who masters all of these
is a ninja."

Now then, you tell me. Are there not people living today who can fit this description, especially those who study ninjutsu? If the answer is yes to this question, then it is such to yours as well. I think I already stated what my opinion/view on the matter is. :D
 

heretic888

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Yes, I believe a true 'ninja' is one who lives by the way (that is philosophy and lifestyle) of Ninpo to the best of his or her ability (of course, this lifestyle and philosophy involves the study of certain forms of Budo in the journey to persevere).....
 
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Silent Nightfall

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I kinda' assumed that we were on the same page, Heretic. LoL. My inquiry was going back to SRyuFighter when he asked whether or not ninja still exist after all of our talking. Glad to know that we agree for sure though. :asian:
 

heretic888

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Oh, did I also mention that part of true Ninpo is to flip out and kill someone when they spill ketchup on your ninja tabbies???.....

BWAHAHHAHA!!! :rofl:

Ah..... yeah right.... comedy. :D
 
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T

The Psycho Guy

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Oh, did I also mention that part of true Ninpo is to flip out and kill someone when they spill ketchup on your ninja tabbies???.....
Well, you didn't have to...I already knew that.:)
 

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