Was Rokas wrong about bujinkan?

Steve

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Oh dont get me wrong, Ninjutsu as a thing is highly dubious to have existed, and if it did it being codnfiied is highly dubious, and the main body that touts this has economic and political reasons to keep up apperances that it does/did.

I am by no means in the "ninjutsu is legit/existed" block. im in the, if a ninja or somone else is doing ninja things they are doing "nnnjutsu" block. And that would be the better meaning of it, as far as i know Ninja were ad hoc anyway, no real training for them, no real style etc, just ad hoc done when needed.
Being serious for a moment, which is hard when talking about ninja, I always thought they were more like the Thuggee cult. Not trained in martial arts, but more like they would infiltrate groups, gain their trust, and then do whatever it is they needed to do.
 
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Being serious for a moment, which is hard when talking about ninja, I always thought they were more like the Thuggee cult. Not trained in martial arts, but more like they would infiltrate groups, gain their trust, and then do whatever it is they needed to do.
Something like that, im not in the know for the all the information. Still pretty sure its adhoc, violence done by them would be a expetion tot heir job for self defence or ad hoc missions as far as i recall. They were meant to be spies, spies generally get drafted into assasinating and sabataging things.

I think the meaning may be diffren to translated to english and in japanese, we cant forget the semantics point here and people adjusing the langauge to maintain a point.
 

Steve

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Something like that, im not in the know for the all the information. Still pretty sure its adhoc, violence done by them would be a expetion tot heir job for self defence or ad hoc missions as far as i recall. They were meant to be spies, spies generally get drafted into assasinating and sabataging things.

I think the meaning may be diffren to translated to english and in japanese, we cant forget the semantics point here and people adjusing the langauge to maintain a point.
I'm no expert either. I am only passingly familiar. But from what I've read, they would basically infiltrate travelling caravans, gain the trust of the folks, and then strangle, poison, or stab them in their sleep. Then steal all their stuff.
 

Urban Trekker

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Something like that, im not in the know for the all the information. Still pretty sure its adhoc, violence done by them would be a expetion tot heir job for self defence or ad hoc missions as far as i recall. They were meant to be spies, spies generally get drafted into assasinating and sabataging things.

I think the meaning may be diffren to translated to english and in japanese, we cant forget the semantics point here and people adjusing the langauge to maintain a point.
My understanding is that what we think of as "ninja suits" today was actually something that was worn by stage hands for kabuki theater, which is why in some Japanese fiction - such as anime and manga (I'm not into either one of those, for the record) - some ninjas are also dressed as kabuki themselves. Apparently, this became associated with ninjas during humorous interludes where people dressed the same as the stagehands would come onto the stage and proceed to "kill" them.

In any case, I wouldn't even expect a shinobi from the 16th century to fare very well in hand to hand combat. If his job was to simply do a particular task without being caught, then he simply would have used a weapon in order to kill whoever saw him, maybe quickly hide the body, and immediately return to the mission at hand. His mission would be botched if he got into a knock-down drag-out fight with anyone.

I imagine that the only use for unarmed combat in the case of a shinobi would a temporary situation until they could retrieve a dropped weapon, but even then, I'd think they'd be carrying multiple weapons and that they'd simply pull out another instead.
 

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Here's the big elephant in the room: if Bunjinkan/modern ninjutsu, whatever, has an unbroken lineage going to back to the 16th century, well, first off, I want to see some photographs of their dojos from the late 19th/early 20th century. Hell, I might be satisfied with one that was taken at any time before the release of You Only Live Twice. I'm sure they'll say that it was practiced in secret until then, which they know everyone will laugh off.

Okay, but that's not the big elephant that I'm talking about; it's this. If the lineage is unbroken and goes back to the 16th century, then how do they explain the immediate and widespread popularity of karate in Japan upon the annexation of Okinawa? Surely, if Japan already had this perfectly fine striking/hybrid art - which is arguably way "cooler" than karate - the Japanese would have no reason to take interest in karate, right?
 

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There's a series on NHK called Ninja Truth and is billed as a documentary show. Each episode is 15 minutes long. This is episode 14, but there are over a dozen produced and they're pretty much all available online.


Edit: Found episode 1:

 

dunc

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Hi all

If you’re interested in the history of ninja in Japan, then there are several English language books on the subject. Some better than others - Stephen Turbull is pretty accessible
To my knowledge the only research done to connect the traditions to modern day has been done by Sean Askew who shares his findings in his book

On the Bujinkan in a nutshell:
Bujinkan curriculum is made up of several schools passed down through the Kuki family and their associates and a few schools passed down through the Toda family. Hatsumi’s teacher Takamatsu was related to both families
The Kuki family is a famous samurai family so the Kuki (& associates) lineage is well documented, has several other independent lines and is undisputed
The Toda family has a history as the samurai owning one of the castles in Iga, teaching sword at a military academy and of working for the shogun in roles traditionally associated with the ninja
The schools passed down from Toda-Sensei are a little different in outlook, movement and weaponry to the more traditional/mainstream schools. Some of the weapons are a bit “ninjery”: climbing hooks with ropes, climbing claws etc. One of these schools has about 10 techniques that deal with how to escape when trapped or grabbed, including methods for hiding and evasion. These are pretty practical and straightforward really
We know that Takamatsu taught these techniques to Hatsumi in the 60s because we have photos of them performing the techniques
All the Toda schools place more emphasis on escape and deception than the more mainstream schools

All in all the 10(ish) techniques that are what most folk would identify as being appropriate for someone operating in a clandestine manner are a very small part of the 1,000+ techniques contained in the 9 schools contained in the Bujinkan

Hence the name Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

History is not what the popularists would have us believe and human endeavors are very fluid and hard to categorise in reality. Even the name ninja is a relatively modern term. The black clad person with a mask on is likely a derivative of the stage hands from Noh theatre. And so on
 
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drop bear

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Being serious for a moment, which is hard when talking about ninja, I always thought they were more like the Thuggee cult. Not trained in martial arts, but more like they would infiltrate groups, gain their trust, and then do whatever it is they needed to do.

I think it was more the action itself. So you get a bunch of soldiers to sneak around and they are ninjas.

Which is why you get that civilian black ops vibe sometimes.

 

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Hi all

If you’re interested in the history of ninja in Japan, then there are several English language books on the subject. Some better than others - Stephen Turbull is pretty accessible
To my knowledge the only research done to connect the traditions to modern day has been done by Sean Askew who shares his findings in his book

On the Bujinkan in a nutshell:
Bujinkan curriculum is made up of several schools passed down through the Kuki family and their associates and a few schools passed down through the Toda family. Hatsumi’s teacher Takamatsu was related to both families
The Kuki family is a famous samurai family so the Kuki (& associates) lineage is well documented, has several other independent lines and is undisputed
The Toda family has a history as the samurai owning one of the castles in Iga, teaching sword at a military academy and of working for the shogun in roles traditionally associated with the ninja
The schools passed down from Toda-Sensei are a little different in outlook, movement and weaponry to the more traditional/mainstream schools. Some of the weapons are a bit “ninjery”: climbing hooks with ropes, climbing claws etc. One of these schools has about 10 techniques that deal with how to escape when trapped or grabbed, including methods for hiding and evasion. These are pretty practical and straightforward really
We know that Takamatsu taught these techniques to Hatsumi in the 60s because we have photos of them performing the techniques
All the Toda schools place more emphasis on escape and deception than the more mainstream schools

All in all the 10(ish) techniques that are what most folk would identify as being appropriate for someone operating in a clandestine manner are a very small part of the 1,000+ techniques contained in the 9 schools contained in the Bujinkan

Hence the name Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

History is not what the popularists would have us believe and human endeavors are very fluid and hard to categorise in reality. Even the name ninja is a relatively modern term. The black clad person with a mask on is likely a derivative of the stage hands from Noh theatre. And so on
Yes this is correct Sean Askew has done a lot of research work recently on the lineage of the Bujinkan and has documented it in his book - Hidden Lineage The Ninja of the Toda clan.
Hidden Lineage: The Ninja of the Toda Clan eBook : Askew, Sean: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store
The lineage may be disputed by some but the research does not support this premise. Taijutsu is practiced by the Bujinkan, AKBAN and Genbukan. These 3 are all ninjutsu arts and practice the same curriculums with Yossie Sheriff of AKBAN teaching IDF top officers and commanders. There is a lot of politics in the Bujinkan and a lot of people get tired of it. Easy to criticize the Bujinkan but Taijutsu forms the basis of ninjutsu is found in many martial arts and a valid combat system. So if we really want to do some real critique on the Bujinkan we must first look at the basis of it - Taijutsu.
 

dunc

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Yes this is correct Sean Askew has done a lot of research work recently on the lineage of the Bujinkan and has documented it in his book - Hidden Lineage The Ninja of the Toda clan.
Hidden Lineage: The Ninja of the Toda Clan eBook : Askew, Sean: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store
The lineage may be disputed by some but the research does not support this premise. Taijutsu is practiced by the Bujinkan, AKBAN and Genbukan. These 3 are all ninjutsu arts and practice the same curriculums with Yossie Sheriff of AKBAN teaching IDF top officers and commanders. There is a lot of politics in the Bujinkan and a lot of people get tired of it. Easy to criticize the Bujinkan but Taijutsu forms the basis of ninjutsu is found in many martial arts and a valid combat system. So if we really want to do some real critique on the Bujinkan we must first look at the basis of it - Taijutsu.
Agree with your points about the history/lineage
Although I don't think Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is a ninjutsu art. It is the study of budo and the movements contained within budo (aka taijutsu)
 

Nigel

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Agree with your points about the history/lineage
Although I don't think Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is a ninjutsu art. It is the study of budo and the movements contained within budo (aka taijutsu)
What is your definition of Ninjutsu?

The essence of ninjutsu is to endure, to survive and to prevail against all odds. No, ninjutsu today doesn’t delve into spying, espionage or smoke bombs, it has evolved for the modern world. That is what ninjutsu is. The ninja of old were spys and assassins for the purpose of overcoming oppression.

Todays world is vastly different to that of the feudal times of Japan. Ninjutsu today still teaches the samurai arts, spiritual refinement, armed and unarmed combat, stealth and water training, military strategy and weapons training related to the shinobi and taijutsu is part of that.

Ninjutsu is the ability to change, persevere, be patient and to endure. That has not changed. It is a “way” of attaining what we need whilst making the world a better place. This is Ninjutsu – always has been.

It is not a sport where you compete for points.

Taijustu is most definitely part of ninjutsu. It comes from one of the 9 ryuha - Togakure ryu.
 

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What is your definition of Ninjutsu?

The essence of ninjutsu is to endure, to survive and to prevail against all odds. No, ninjutsu today doesn’t delve into spying, espionage or smoke bombs, it has evolved for the modern world. That is what ninjutsu is. The ninja of old were spys and assassins for the purpose of overcoming oppression.

Todays world is vastly different to that of the feudal times of Japan. Ninjutsu today still teaches the samurai arts, spiritual refinement, armed and unarmed combat, stealth and water training, military strategy and weapons training related to the shinobi and taijutsu is part of that.

Ninjutsu is the ability to change, persevere, be patient and to endure. That has not changed. It is a “way” of attaining what we need whilst making the world a better place. This is Ninjutsu – always has been.

It is not a sport where you compete for points.

Taijustu is most definitely part of ninjutsu. It comes from one of the 9 ryuha - Togakure ryu.
Ninjutsu is a samurai art? Cool.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Ninjutsu is a samurai art? Cool.
Many years ago, there was a Ninjutsu school in town. Their school ad was:

It's a Shaolin temple Korean MA Ninjutsu system (Chinese MA + Korean MA + Japanese MA).

I had sparring with the instructor in the park (I was challenged). I expected the challenger would vanished into the thin air during sparring. It didn't happen. I felt like just to spar with an average Karate person.
 

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I had sparring with the instructor in the park (I was challenged). I expected the challenger would vanished into the thin air during sparring. It didn't happen. I felt like just to spar with an average Karate person.

And that brings us to the question that I'm surprised no one has asked yet: where's the Bujinkan in the UFC, Bellator, etc?

A quick Google search only brings up Scott Morris and Steve Jennum: both of whom competed in the UFC over 25 years ago, and weren't successful. No Bujinkan practitioner - successful or not - appears to have competed professionally since then.
 

Steve

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And that brings us to the question that I'm surprised no one has asked yet: where's the Bujinkan in the UFC, Bellator, etc?

A quick Google search only brings up Scott Morris and Steve Jennum: both of whom competed in the UFC over 25 years ago, and weren't successful. No Bujinkan practitioner - successful or not - appears to have competed professionally since then.
Bujinkan isn't about fighting. It's about moxy and cool outfits.
 

Nigel

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And that brings us to the question that I'm surprised no one has asked yet: where's the Bujinkan in the UFC, Bellator, etc?

A quick Google search only brings up Scott Morris and Steve Jennum: both of whom competed in the UFC over 25 years ago, and weren't successful. No Bujinkan practitioner - successful or not - appears to have competed professionally since then.
Taijutsu was born from the times of feudal Japan where even the ninja wore armor. Bujinkan teach classical taijutsu – meaning that a lot of the basics are meant for fighting someone with armor. It doesn’t translate into street fighting in the classical form and there are a lot of schools that only teach the classical forms – not all.

It takes many years of training before you learn to adapt those classical forms into “real life” situations. Many years and by that time I think most people have outgrown the urges of proving something.

That being said, Bujinkan is not a sport. The focus is not on competition but being the best that you can be, its not a competition.

Not sure what your point is but not competing in the UFC or Bellator doesn’t make the art invalid. Is that really what you are suggesting?
 

dunc

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What is your definition of Ninjutsu?

The essence of ninjutsu is to endure, to survive and to prevail against all odds. No, ninjutsu today doesn’t delve into spying, espionage or smoke bombs, it has evolved for the modern world. That is what ninjutsu is. The ninja of old were spys and assassins for the purpose of overcoming oppression.

Todays world is vastly different to that of the feudal times of Japan. Ninjutsu today still teaches the samurai arts, spiritual refinement, armed and unarmed combat, stealth and water training, military strategy and weapons training related to the shinobi and taijutsu is part of that.

Ninjutsu is the ability to change, persevere, be patient and to endure. That has not changed. It is a “way” of attaining what we need whilst making the world a better place. This is Ninjutsu – always has been.

It is not a sport where you compete for points.

Taijustu is most definitely part of ninjutsu. It comes from one of the 9 ryuha - Togakure ryu.
Hi
I agree that you can define ninjutsu in many ways, I would use the term Ninpo for the concept you describe
However, the art we study and each of the schools transmitted in do not use the term ninjutsu to define themselves
In the west folk tend to use the term ninjutsu to describe Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (the martial art style) and that is a source of a lot of confusion because many people think of ninjutsu as sneaking about wearing black masks and poisoning people
Taijutsu, like Jujutsu is a generic term used to describe a broad concept
The term is used in many of the schools, not just Togakure Ryu, and it really means body movement or skills. He has good taijutsu = he has good movement
Hope this helps
 

Nigel

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Hi
I agree that you can define ninjutsu in many ways, I would use the term Ninpo for the concept you describe
However, the art we study and each of the schools transmitted in do not use the term ninjutsu to define themselves
In the west folk tend to use the term ninjutsu to describe Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (the martial art style) and that is a source of a lot of confusion because many people think of ninjutsu as sneaking about wearing black masks and poisoning people
Taijutsu, like Jujutsu is a generic term used to describe a broad concept
The term is used in many of the schools, not just Togakure Ryu, and it really means body movement or skills. He has good taijutsu = he has good movement
Hope this helps
Ok so we are really debating terms now? Not the effectiveness of the art (which is the topic of this thread)? Call it what you want.....it is what it is. How can any rational person think that ninjutsu in todays society is still people sneaking about wearing black masks and poisoning people. Come on! Really?
 
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dunc

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Ok so we are really debating terms now? Not the effectiveness of the art (which is the topic of this thread)? Call it what you want.....it is what it is. How can any rational person think that ninjutsu in todays society is still people sneaking about wearing black masks and poisoning people. Come on! Really?
Yeah fair enough
But unfortunately there are a lot of people who think just that - including, it would seem, contributors to this thread and several of the more vocal critics of the art - and unfortunately using the term tends to feed the misperceptions of what we do
 

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For the life of me, I can't even begin to comprehend how anyone over the age of 12 could even be interested in "becoming a ninja" or even take the whole notion seriously in the first place.

What next? A martial art called "piracy," where you learn how to fight with a cutlass and shoot a blunderbuss with a patch over one eye?
If they offered to actually train for movie ninja skills, I'd be there.
 
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