What is Ninjutsu?

xJOHNx

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3) the teaching in the off shoot should remain true to the teachings from the original Xkan
The original Xkan of both Genbukan and Jinenkan is Bujinkan... But both do not remain true to it's teachings...

Not trying to open a jar of storm, just trying to understand as politics between the three has never been my strongest point.
 

Vulcan

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The original Xkan of both Genbukan and Jinenkan is Bujinkan... But both do not remain true to it's teachings...

Not trying to open a jar of storm, just trying to understand as politics between the three has never been my strongest point.



What do you mean? They do not stand by the things they teach, or they do not teach the things they stand by? Not true how? In what sense?
 

xJOHNx

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As far as I understand it: every soke of it's own respective system has given it's own flair to it.
So it's not longer completely the same, so not completely true.

(I do know that they all have menko kayden, I was just trying to understand it a bit more).
 

Vulcan

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As far as I understand it: every soke of it's own respective system has given it's own flair to it.
So it's not longer completely the same, so not completely true.

(I do know that they all have menko kayden, I was just trying to understand it a bit more).


True to what? What is the original standard for Ninjutsu?
 

Vulcan

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Can anyone report on the Youtube school of Choson Ninja?


Was there ever a Korean school, historically speaking?
 

Bruno@MT

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The original Xkan of both Genbukan and Jinenkan is Bujinkan... But both do not remain true to it's teachings...

Not trying to open a jar of storm, just trying to understand as politics between the three has never been my strongest point.

You are totally right, but in their cases that is of no importance because the head teachers of those organizations (Tanemura sensei and Manaka sensei) have menkyo kaiden in the various ryuha that are taught within their organization. Such people are automatically legit in what they teach because they can trace their menky kaiden back to Takamatsu sensei.

My point was about organizations like Chris' who split off from Bujinkan without having a head teacher with menkyo kaiden.
 

Bruno@MT

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True to what? What is the original standard for Ninjutsu?

That is very simple: does the person hold menkyo kaiden in a ryuha that traces back to a legit practicioner. For all intents and purposes, all lineage should trace back to Takamatsu sensei because he was the last remaining person who was a legit (meaning with a complete transmission of the arts) practicioner.
 

Chris Parker

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Okay, to cover and clarify a few things here...

What do you mean? They do not stand by the things they teach, or they do not teach the things they stand by? Not true how? In what sense?

No, nothing like that. I think what xJOHNx was refering to was that the Genbukan and Jinenkan are not taught the same way that the Bujinkan is. Realistically, the Bujinkan is it's own martial art (Budo Taijutsu), seperate from the Ryu that make up it's syllabus and sources. By contrast, the Genbukan and Jinenkan are more concerned with teaching the Ryu themselves properly.

As far as I understand it: every soke of it's own respective system has given it's own flair to it.
So it's not longer completely the same, so not completely true.

(I do know that they all have menko kayden, I was just trying to understand it a bit more).

You are totally right, but in their cases that is of no importance because the head teachers of those organizations (Tanemura sensei and Manaka sensei) have menkyo kaiden in the various ryuha that are taught within their organization. Such people are automatically legit in what they teach because they can trace their menky kaiden back to Takamatsu sensei.

My point was about organizations like Chris' who split off from Bujinkan without having a head teacher with menkyo kaiden.

Just to absolutely clarify here, Manaka Sensei does not have Menkyo Kaiden in all six of the Bujinkan Ryuha he teaches. He holds Menkyo Kaiden in Gyokko, Koto, and I believe Shinden Fudo Ryu, not Takagi Yoshin, Kukishinden, or Togakure. These Menkyo Kaiden were given out by Hatsumi to Manaka and Tanemura at a time when Hatsumi believed he was dying, and wanted to ensure the arts continued, and there has been conjecture as to how "complete" the transmission actually was. This is not to imply that their knowledge or skill is lacking in any way (as these licences were given many years before the Jinenkan was formed, and Tanemura's Menkyo Kaiden licences come from Hatsumi and other sources), just to give a little more detail as to what their Menkyo's actually are.

In regards to us, and others that have split off without Menkyo Kaiden, well Hatsumi doesn't seem to be issueing them these days, so it is highly unlikely that any split-offs would hold such licences (the Genbukan/KJJR, I believe, are the only ones still using the older licencing system), so I don't know how much we can rely on that system anymore. Before Hatsumi, certainly.

True to what? What is the original standard for Ninjutsu?

That is very simple: does the person hold menkyo kaiden in a ryuha that traces back to a legit practicioner. For all intents and purposes, all lineage should trace back to Takamatsu sensei because he was the last remaining person who was a legit (meaning with a complete transmission of the arts) practicioner.

Leaving off the Menkyo Kaiden aspect these days (as aside from Tanemura Sensei it seems to have been abandoned in favour of the Kyu/Dan grading system), as Bruno said, it has to be able to trace itself back to Takamatsu and not be adding outside influences that are incongruent with the art itself. As soon as you add other aspects, you are removing from the art itself.

Can anyone report on the Youtube school of Choson Ninja?


Was there ever a Korean school, historically speaking?

Okay, I'm going to suggest a quick use of the "Search" function, there are a number of threads about him. In essence, though, he has no legit training, runs an online dojo, alters all historical sources to suit his argument, and gives outrightly incorrect information. And he does all of this under the guise of being open and spiritually good (some interpretations of Greg Parks name there, Choson Ninja, include it's similarity to "Chosen" Ninja, although it is more literally "Korean" Ninja). But that does not change the fact that he has nothing to do with actual Ninjutsu, and his versions of history (claiming Korean Ninjutsu, even going so far as to claim Korea as the place where it developed, with the Japanese then taking the idea) are frankly so far out that they become laughable. Not someone to listen to.
 

Bruno@MT

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Just to absolutely clarify here, Manaka Sensei does not have Menkyo Kaiden in all six of the Bujinkan Ryuha he teaches. He holds Menkyo Kaiden in Gyokko, Koto, and I believe Shinden Fudo Ryu, not Takagi Yoshin, Kukishinden, or Togakure. These Menkyo Kaiden were given out by Hatsumi to Manaka and Tanemura at a time when Hatsumi believed he was dying, and wanted to ensure the arts continued, and there has been conjecture as to how "complete" the transmission actually was. This is not to imply that their knowledge or skill is lacking in any way (as these licences were given many years before the Jinenkan was formed, and Tanemura's Menkyo Kaiden licences come from Hatsumi and other sources), just to give a little more detail as to what their Menkyo's actually are.

I recall a newspaper article saying that Manaka sensei had menkyo kaiden in Togakure ryu as well. And according to the Jinenkan website this does seem to be the case. In the others it seems that he received 'only' menkyo.

In regards to us, and others that have split off without Menkyo Kaiden, well Hatsumi doesn't seem to be issueing them these days, so it is highly unlikely that any split-offs would hold such licences (the Genbukan/KJJR, I believe, are the only ones still using the older licencing system), so I don't know how much we can rely on that system anymore. Before Hatsumi, certainly.

We use both. There is a general kyu / dan curriculum based off of the arts to which Tanemura sensei holds menky kaiden. From Black belt on, one can pursue licensing in the individual arts, and at a certain point, it becomes a requirement to attain traditional licensing before you can get another dan rank. The purpose of Genbukan is to preserve the arts themselves.

By using this setup, Tanemura sensei is able to grow the entire organization and prepare people for licensing via the kyu / dan curriculum without risking too much people running off with actual licenses. I suppose that by the time you get to the point of attaining traditional licenses, you have proven yourself.

Personally, I think that this issue is also what led Hatsumi sensei to stop the traditional licensing to prevent more people from running off and making an even bigger mess of the ninjutsu world.

I think that the original system should be maintained because it ensures that there is always someone who can be considered to have a complete understanding of said art. And while it seems to be true that Hatsumi sensei does not hand them out anymore these days, I think that he will fully license his successor in order to keep the arts 'in the family', and because I think he would not want to cut off the original lines passed down to him from Takamatsu sensei.
 

Muawijhe

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The myth of Sohei was debunked a few years ago, and Yamabushi was used as a term for again quite a range of groups, ranging from farming Samurai groups, to Shugenja ascetics, to Sennin practitioners, and so on.

Got a link to the debunking of the Sohei myth? I seemed to have missed that party, and am curious to finding more information.
 

Chris Parker

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Hey Bruno,

Thanks for the Jinenkan link, I'd heard different from different sources. Think I'll trust the Jinenkan one, though...

And for the record, my prefered is the Menkyo system, so I prefer the Genbukan ranking system over the others, it's just not used by the other groups (including my own).

Muawijhe, the book to look for is "The Teeth and Arms of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sohei in Japanese History" by Mikeal Adolphson, available as a download here: http://www.ebookee.com/The-Teeth-an...ors-and-Sohei-in-Japanese-History_698773.html (thanks to Steve Delaney for pointing this out elsewhere, by the way).
 

jks9199

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Just a thought about ninjutsu in general...

We probably have, at best, an incomplete snapshot of what the ninja were and how they came about in Japan, and where they fit culturally. There are lots of reasons for this, ranging from internal secrecy within the various ninjutsu ryu to the effect of trying to force fit two cultures together to make the comparison, compounded by pop culture myth-making. Let me compare it to the American cowboy for a moment...

Everyone knows what a cowboy was, right? He would rope and ride, carried a six-shooter and could shoot with the best, spent more time with his own horse than any wife or girlfriend... Spent most of his time on the range, sleeping under the stars and cooking over a campfire. Right? Well... not really. There's a lot wrong with that... Among other things... few owned their own horse! They'd ride one of several horses that belonged to the ranch, spent as much time in a bunkhouse as on the trail -- if not more. And gunfights? They didn't look anything like most portrayals in Westerns...

Same thing, I'm sure, has happened with the ninja.
 

Muawijhe

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Thanks for the link, Chris. I appreciate it. I'll check it out.

And jks9199, I like the analogy of the cowboy. All to fitting it its own way.
 

emiliozapata

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'll chime in here with my own observations. Despite the fact that many people feel that they actually practice "real" ninjutsu, there is no such thing. The evidence to the contrary far outweighs whatever obscure texts they think legitimizes their "system". Commercialism is actually the basis for most of their exclusivity. I don't object to their belief in their exclusivity, however they remind me of overzealous religionists who proclaim their path as the only true method of salvation.

Any historical ninjas need to be taken in the context of tribal and clan societies, and in the overall spirit of human adaptation to their environment. To think that a group of humans engaged in a self preservation method and then standardized and codified it is no great stretch, but to think that their methods cannot be observed and obtained on another path is folly.

The concepts and rationales of something are far more important than the titles.
 

MJS

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'll chime in here with my own observations. Despite the fact that many people feel that they actually practice "real" ninjutsu, there is no such thing. The evidence to the contrary far outweighs whatever obscure texts they think legitimizes their "system". Commercialism is actually the basis for most of their exclusivity. I don't object to their belief in their exclusivity, however they remind me of overzealous religionists who proclaim their path as the only true method of salvation.

Any historical ninjas need to be taken in the context of tribal and clan societies, and in the overall spirit of human adaptation to their environment. To think that a group of humans engaged in a self preservation method and then standardized and codified it is no great stretch, but to think that their methods cannot be observed and obtained on another path is folly.

The concepts and rationales of something are far more important than the titles.

And making up some BS is any better? Sorry, but as I said to you in another post, just because someone takes a bunch of stuff, puts it in a bowl, mixes it all together, pops it in the oven and bakes at 350 for 1hr, does NOT mean that it can be called Ninjutsu.

Seems to me that this is just what you're doing. It also seems that you're very unhappy with the Kans, which is fine...to each their own. But it just strikes it as being odd, that you'd display such a dislike for the Kans, and turn around and what you're doing, NinjItsu.
 

Bruno@MT

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'll chime in here with my own observations. Despite the fact that many people feel that they actually practice "real" ninjutsu, there is no such thing.

There are 3 ryuha which can be considered authentic ninjutsu. 1 of those is taught in several organizations by people who have received a complete transmission of said art. There are sound historical grounds to accept that the transmission is unbroken since the time that it was practiced by a ninja clan.

So on what are you basing this opinion?

Any historical ninjas need to be taken in the context of tribal and clan societies, and in the overall spirit of human adaptation to their environment. To think that a group of humans engaged in a self preservation method and then standardized and codified it is no great stretch, but to think that their methods cannot be observed and obtained on another path is folly.

None of us has ever pretended to be or become a ninja.
The only claim we make is that we study a system that has been transmitted in its authentic form.

The entire training is based on the concept of survival / escape.
The whole idea of getting into a ring and fighting (which is by your own admission what you do / did) is completely orthogonal to every concept that is documented as ninjutsu.

There is not a single reason that you would call whatever you do ninjutsu, except you want to want the mystique surrounding the arts. At the core, what you do does not follow the concepts of ninjutsu at all.

The concepts and rationales of something are far more important than the titles.

And you fail at both.
 

Chris Parker

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'll chime in here with my own observations.

Based on what?

Despite the fact that many people feel that they actually practice "real" ninjutsu, there is no such thing.

Based on what?

The evidence to the contrary far outweighs whatever obscure texts they think legitimizes their "system".

I'm sorry, historical documents from the source don't legitimize the arts, but making up a "system" (frankly completely unimpressive based on your posts about it here) with no basis in anything aside from a tiny amount of grappling competition and a little Army Combatives is?

Commercialism is actually the basis for most of their exclusivity.

No, the fact that Ninjutsu is a historical system is the basis for our "exclusivity" when it comes to use of the term. You cannot "create" a new Ninjutsu system as the circumstances that created it in the first place no longer exist, and if you thing you can do so, you are living in a delusional fantasy world.

I don't object to their belief in their exclusivity, however they remind me of overzealous religionists who proclaim their path as the only true method of salvation.

If that were so, then there wouldn't be so many different groups all taeching the historical systems (Bujinkan, Genbukan, Jinenkan, my schools, Toshindo, etc....). What we all have in common is that we recognise the fact that without a historical link to the authentic systems it simply is not, and cannot be, Ninjutsu in any form whatsoever.

Any historical ninjas need to be taken in the context of tribal and clan societies, and in the overall spirit of human adaptation to their environment.

(Just so you know, you're showing your lack of understanding of simple aspects of the culture you're attempting to defraud again... "Ninja" is both singular and plural, there is no pluralisation in Japanese, so "ninjas" is just wrong.)

No, any historical Ninja grouping needs to be thought of in relation to the social environment that existed in Japan centuries ago, which, so you know, were not "tribal" in any way. As for "the overall spirit of human adaptation....", that's all fine and good, but is in no way exclusive to the Ninja, and in no way makes anyone looking to such things Ninja or practicing any form of Ninjutsu either. Really, these are just empty words from you here, not really meaning anything when you get down to it.

To think that a group of humans engaged in a self preservation method and then standardized and codified it is no great stretch, but to think that their methods cannot be observed and obtained on another path is folly.

Such things can be observed and obtained on other paths, but then they become something completely different. There are many paths like this, but only one of them is Ninjutsu, others get names such as Aikido, BJJ, Karate, Savate, Muay Thai, RBSD, Army Combatives, TKD, and far far far more. But to claim any of these as Ninjutsu does both them and Ninjutsu a huge disservice, the only thing worse is claiming a completely falsified and fantasy-based "system" as one as well.

The concepts and rationales of something are far more important than the titles.

This is nothing to do with "titles", son, it's to do with knowing what you are talking about. The correct classification of things, based on accurate knowledge about them, aids people in communication about such subjects, incorrect classification based on "well, I think this, based on no knowledge whatsoever" is only going to lead to confusion and a lack of weight to anything the one who is using the incorrect classification may say. If you want to discuss Ninjutsu, you have to realise that the only accurate classification refers to the authentic historical systems, and anything else is only going to lead you away from that reality.

And perhaps if you'd read the thread, you may see how far out you are with this entire post. Ninjutsu developed in a specific place (Japan, more specifically, the Iga and Koga regions on Honshu) during a specific time frame (the 12th-17th Centuries) by specific peoples (a specific grouping based on the social structure and belief systems of the time), and no amount of "I think I know what it is without any real form of study, research, training, or anything else" changes that. You have no idea whatsoever about anything to do with authentic Ninjutsu.
 

emiliozapata

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You have no idea whatsoever about anything to do with authentic........

Agreed Chris, but I know everything about Kug Maky Ung Ryu and Shugenbujutsu.
 
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