Ninjutsu is not a martial art.

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,863
Reaction score
846
things continue to change, and how it is practiced today is not identical to how it was practiced 100 or 300 years ago. The door needs to be open to that change, and that change does not alter the identity of that system. It just means that it is adapted based on the current experiences of the practitioners.
Some things change, some never change even over a thousand years. The weapons change, the armor changes, but take all that away, the only way to gain a skill is to suffer for it.

Because suffering is the literal definition of the "nin" kanji 敹.

"Ninpo" is not much different than "kung fu", linguistically. Now that I think of it, the Chinese pronunciation of "po" is "fa"/"fat", the same as in quan fa.
 
Last edited:

Sifu Ken of 8 Tigers

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
45
Reaction score
11
Ninjutsu is not a martial art, it is part of a martial tradition. Jutsu indicates skillset, in this case, the skills related to Nin. Nin can be translated many ways, commonly as stealth, invisibility, perseverance, and intention. Taijutsu means 'body skills', and the martial art being referred to as Ninjutsu so often is called Ninpo Taijutsu. Essentially what Ninjutsu consisted of in history were the skills of espionage, intelligence gathering, escape and evasion, and guerrilla warfare. Psychological tactics and camoflouge were certainly employed for fighting, but the Shinobi most of all wished to avoid open combat. Their way was to blend in, to escape attention, to be 'invisible' at least in their intent. Today, Ninjutsu is alive and well and grown immeasurably in degree of complexity. Any and everything one might gain skill in, that may enhance your capability to escape danger, can be considered Ninjutsu, if associated with the study of Ninpo.

You need not spend so much time defending your words as far as I'm concerned. Your view is reasonable and your point was well made. These other guys are being the semantic pedants.
 

punisher73

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
3,782
Reaction score
837
In the 80s, I definitely wanted to be a ninja. I settled for Wing Chun, because that's the school that was nearby. But if I had found a ninja school, i would definitely have signed up.

To be clear... this kind of ninja. I loved the show "The Master' with Lee Van Cleef:

61eZbXdndSL._SL1075_.jpg
I loved that show as a kid. I was able to get the series on dvd for a REALLY cheap price and rewatched it. Brought back a lot of good memories. Also, wasn't too bad and was very representative of 80's action shows/movies. But, when compared to newer stuff, very cheesey.
 

punisher73

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
3,782
Reaction score
837
Aren't we at the point now where Ninjutsu practitioners don't even call themselves Ninjutsu practitioners or "Ninja" anymore?

That said, I see nothing wrong with what the OP is saying. A lot of "Ninjutsu" being peddled around (especially during the "Ninja craze" of the 80s and 90s) was simply a marketing gimmick.
I think it depends on the group. I have seen some that focus more on the "jujitsu" aspects of their art and downplay it. Other groups I have seen, are focused on the "ninjutsu" aspect and have started to teach the bushcraft, gray man stuff. As far as the Bujinkan as a whole, they focus the name of their art as "Budo Taijutsu".
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
20,669
Reaction score
6,134
Location
Covington, WA
I loved that show as a kid. I was able to get the series on dvd for a REALLY cheap price and rewatched it. Brought back a lot of good memories. Also, wasn't too bad and was very representative of 80's action shows/movies. But, when compared to newer stuff, very cheesey.
Some of those shows hold up pretty well. Some... not so much. :)
 

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,863
Reaction score
846
This ruined Ninjutsu forever;

NarutoCoverTankobon1.jpg


Great show btw.

There's an antidote. I've seen it work on kids.

Wait until they're about 16 though. Let them enjoy their youth a little, before they get the real ninjas.

 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
20,669
Reaction score
6,134
Location
Covington, WA
This ruined Ninjutsu forever;

NarutoCoverTankobon1.jpg


Great show btw.
My son wore the headband to school every day for a year when he was in the 2nd grade. He loved that show. He is an OG Naruto fan... watched it when it was first on TV.
 

lklawson

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
5,035
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Huber Heights, OH
Hell yeah. Who didn't want to be a Ninja as a kid? Remember all the Ninja books that came out during that time period? Looking back, those books were just plain crazy.
I found a link to some.

<ducking> <running> <hiding>

不

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
22,749
Reaction score
2,996
Location
Northern VA
the term Ninja was coined in the 1970's. the people who developed Ninjutsu and Ninpo Taijutsu were known throught history by many names, Shinobi no Mono (the people of Shinobi) was most common, from what i've read.
Might I ask you name your sources? The fact is that, outside of Fujita Seiko and (arguably) Maasaki Hatsumi, there's not a lot of reliable written info out there, and there's a whole lot of questionable stuff out there.
 
OP
T

tim po

Green Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2021
Messages
126
Reaction score
46
Might I ask you name your sources? The fact is that, outside of Fujita Seiko and (arguably) Maasaki Hatsumi, there's not a lot of reliable written info out there, and there's a whole lot of questionable stuff out there.
you just named them.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
Might I ask you name your sources? The fact is that, outside of Fujita Seiko and (arguably) Maasaki Hatsumi, there's not a lot of reliable written info out there, and there's a whole lot of questionable stuff out there.

I'm curious, do scholars of classical Japanese martial arts still consider Maasaki Hatsumi a legitimate source of Ninjutsu?
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,339
Reaction score
9,351
Location
Hendersonville, NC
I didn't mean to come across as such a judgy mcjudgypants, i could have done better in expressing this concern. there is so much hype and nonsense surrounding the Shinobi traditions, I had hoped that the community would by now have routed out alot of the mystique by avoiding commonly misunderstood terminology, like 'ninja' and 'ninjutsu'. but, i suppose it still sells memberships.

to answer your question, traditions kept alive beyond their relevance in modern application are what they are-living, but on life-support. that 'life-support' is the paying consumer. Martial Traditions are what remains of a Martial Art 100 years after it has ceased to exist in dynamic relevance. kept alive for it's wisdom, but not as functional as it was once, because it has stopped growing, adapting, and seeking relevance in a changing world. kinda like me, i suppose. nothing exists in a static state. all in the universe as we know it is either growing or dying. nothing can remain as is forever, and tradition itself may impede creative expansion, barring a path of relevance into the future. If there is anything I hold dear that I have learned from the philosophy of Ninpo, it is the importance of full creative involvement on the part of the practitioner.
I think this begs the question: relevant to what?
 
OP
T

tim po

Green Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2021
Messages
126
Reaction score
46
You brought up relevance, so I was hoping you had an idea what you were referring to.
i do. but it is my observation, my perception, my experience, and we all have those things for ourselves. if thought has been provoked, think.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,339
Reaction score
9,351
Location
Hendersonville, NC
i do. but it is my observation, my perception, my experience, and we all have those things for ourselves. if thought has been provoked, think.
If you refuse to provide context for your post, your post only means what people think it means. Which is kind of not how you want communication to work.

So, rather than dancing around, why not share what you meant, so I can reply to that. Otherwise, I'm just replying to whatever I thought you meant.
 

dunc

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
388
Reaction score
258
He's been on rather shaky ground in regards to lineage, some of his claims, and technical ability.
The lineages of most of the schools are not questioned by anyone. Frankly just these are enough as they contain a huge curriculum

Sure some lineages are more murky historically, but these account for about 5% of the curriculum and regardless of the limited data points available to validate their history the techniques work well in my experience

Also worth noting that Hatsumi sensei has been designated a living national treasure (J贖y Mukei Bunkazai Hojisha) by the government
They limit these to a total of 116 living people and in terms of martial artists he's in the same company as the Soke of Bokuden Ryu and Seikichi Uehara or the chef Jiro Ono

He was awarded the level of "sword saint" (or similar translation) from the national association for preserving the methods of kenjutsu
 
Top