What IS a Ninja?

thardey

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Head over to martialartsplanet and do a search on "kukan". Or perhaps, if bencole's feeling talkative on the subject...?

Aha! Now I'm beginning to see what you're after. Control, indeed.

There have been times that I think I have recognized kukan, but I didn't know what it was.

The most obvious to me is when I am landing a small airplane -- I have to "sense" the relationship between the wheels and the ground, I don't know how I do it, but that "perception" has always come naturally to me. It always has been instinctive.

Last week I was demonstrating "breaking the tripod" for take-downs on another black belt. There was a tangible sense of being "threatened" and off-balance when his foot was in the right position, even though he wasn't touching me. When he shifted his foot back to a "tripod" position, that feeling turned to a feeling of control and balance on my part. It was a strong enough sense that I commented on it, and he felt it, too.

I may be way off, but these were the sensations that were coming to mind as I was reading the explanations, I throw them out there to ask if they are appropriate.

If I have the right idea, I can see how it must be something that can't be analyzed in "the moment" but you must be aware of it.

-----
I study Spanish fencing alongside my karate (with my instructor's encouragement) I don't know if you've heard of "La Destreza" (the "True Skill") or "the Spanish Circle"?

Anyway, here's a brief synopsis http://www.classicalfencing.com/articles/Spanish.php by Ramon Martinez.

Most of his pictures and illustrations come from a book by Gerard Thibault. Thibault believed that the way to defeat your opponent was not through speed or strength, but by manipulating the relationship between you and your opponent. He used complex geometrical patterns to describe this relationship, but you were only to keep these in mind while doing your drills. One the fighting started, you can only be aware of the circle, and how you fit into it, but not thinking about it too much, or you will hesitate and get killed.

I think it may be a western parallel to Ninjutsu, partially because of the philosophy and esoteric teachings that guided it, and partially because those who didn't understand it dismissed it as "silly superstition", and "magic". Many modern fencers think that "La Destreza" is nothing more than legend.

It may be through the practice of La Destreza that I can feel the sensation of control without touching your opponent, whatever the distance. Often we even control our opponent's blade without touching it. None of it is "supernatural" but it's not completely reasonable, either. :)

Then again, I may have completely missed the mark.

But thank you all for your patience, I have learned a lot in the last couple of days. I appreciate that you don't owe me this knowledge, since I haven't put in the time to study your art, but you have been kind enough to answer my questions anyway.

:asian:
 

Sukerkin

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But thank you all for your patience, I have learned a lot in the last couple of days. I appreciate that you don't owe me this knowledge, since I haven't put in the time to study your art, but you have been kind enough to answer my questions anyway.

:asian:

It was a pleasure, sir. As I 've said previously, when someone wants to learn it's no hardship to do what you can to help.

On your earlier post, I'm surprised you can't find any of Turnbull's works, they're not exactly obscure :confused:.

I don't know if it's a help but here're some ISBN numbers:

The Samural Sourcebook 1-85409-523-4
Samurai 1-85648-703-2
Samurai William 0-340-79468-2

Another interesting book is Turnbull's "Samurai Invasion - Japan's Korean War 1592-1598" ISBN 0-304-35948-3. No surprises what it's about but it can give you a little insight into the deep hatred that simmers between the two countries.

You might also like to look for some of A.J. Bryant's works. Here's his website:

http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/

Have fun excercising your curiosity and mind just as much as your sword technique :tup:.
 

thardey

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It was a pleasure, sir. As I 've said previously, when someone wants to learn it's no hardship to do what you can to help.

On your earlier post, I'm surprised you can't find any of Turnbull's works, they're not exactly obscure :confused:.

I've found them on Amazon.com -- I'll probably just order from there.

You know how Barnes and Noble can be -- half the stuff was in history, half was in Martial arts, and half was in religion. And B&N is messed up enough to have three "halves". And my wife and kid were ready to leave.
 

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