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Re: Interesting questions (I think)

Subject: Re: Interesting questions (I think)
by Shimajiro on 2013/3/9 2:00:52

I think those are indeed some interesting questions, Dani, and I think you'll hear some good answers here in time.

For me, just of the cuff, my thoughts are these:

1. Training empty-hand is a great deal easier to manage and a lot safer than training with weapons. Instead of charging in with a spear, we charge in with a punch, but many of the key fundamentals can still be studied this way. That said, from the very beginning, ninjutsu training has always taken weapons into account, starting with the basic types of a rope, a stick (hanbo) and a knife. The point I took from that over time is that training in these simpler weapons can lead to easier understanding of all weapons, new and old, close, ranged and otherwise.

Furthermore, if you look at Hatsumi Soke's classical training with his own senior shihan, you will see classical weapons aplenty. Also, if you've been attending Daikomyosai on occasion in Japan over the years, you'll have seen many training weapons in use for bo, jo, kyoketsu shoge, kunai, sword in conjunction with the various themes for training Hatsumi Soke has presented.

For most of us outside of Japan, it's simply easier and more sensible to train primarily empty handed. But if my understanding is correct, virtually all of the waza we study were originally written with weapons in mind.

2. Kappi and/or Kompi (sp?) are two 'attacking waza' that come to mind for me. Honestly I think virtually all of the waza and techniques we study could be used in an 'attacking' manner. The waza may begin with an opponent striking at us, but we have no idea why. We're starting in the middle of a larger equation, so maybe the enemy is striking at us because we charged at him with blood-lust in our eyes!

On the other hand, my understanding of Ninjutsu at present is that the ninja generally has a larger overall goal in mind than simply (?) felling his enemies like cord wood and emerging victorious. 'Battlefield' often brings to mind an image of armies clashing, literally sword to sword, and that's one aspect certainly. But the battlefield experience is very different for a sniper, or a reconnaissance team or what have you, than it is for a soldier. I think we have to take all these possibilities into consideration when we regard our training waza as 'battlefield tested'.

I think that the ninja of old probably did keep a fairly defensive mindset, and avoided direct confrontation as much as possible in pursuit of deeper, longer-term goals.

Just my thoughts, mind you. Good questions!
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