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Re: The Case For Systemic Effectiveness

Subject: Re: The Case For Systemic Effectiveness
by art_vandelay on 2009/4/15 15:29:46


I really think John brought up a very good point that could lead to some interesting discussion if everyone would just stop being defensive and start doing some objective questioning of their own practice.

For example...Papa-san, you said:

The art itself has within it all the tools, if learned, which will make an individual very effective in defending him/herself. I don't think that is ancedotal. Our personal experiences in such situations reflect how well we have trained and understood what is in the art.

No disrespect intended, but when you teach, for example, Kenjutsu I really doubt you are teaching from personal experience in such situations. Unless you have successfully fought and defeated an expert swordsman in mortal combat but I somehow think that is unlikely. Nor do I think you participated in Tairyu Jiai against a practitioner of Katori Shinto Ryu or Kashima Shin Ryu and won.

The same can be said for just about everyone and this applies to weapons as well as hand to hand combat.

Yes some people who train in the Bujinkan have successfully defended themselves... but against whom? Was the attacker a skilled fighter? Was it just one on one or were there multiple opponents? What part of his training was the defender actually able to successfully apply?

In other words, what I think John was getting at when he said:

Technique aside, people talk a lot about spontaneity, flow and the absence of technique, but the end result of that is really just people who have presumably mastered a common but inconsistently applied set of ideas/principles doing whatever feels right and whatever comes to them in the moment. Those feelings and results though, have not been tested in actual battle across multiple generations.

....it doesn't seem like any of what we do in the Bujinkan these days has actually been tested in that historical sense that might allow us to claim systemic effectiveness.

....at this point I don't see a legitimate case for claiming systemic effectiveness given the way things are practiced and interpreted today.

is that much of what is seen in the Bujinkan these days seems to be more based on people's assumptions and "interpretations" than something genuinely transmitted or passed down in an authentic manner (i.e. directly from teacher to student) as you would see in a few other Koryuha...

I think his question

That's why I ask: what it is that "we do in the Bujinkan" that makes it effective?

is one we all should ponder...not dismiss with the same mumbo-jumbo that brought on the question in the first place.

Again, I really believe this could be a very interesting thread about the practical (and historical - in a sense) aspects of our art.
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