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Speed??
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Hi all, I'm not new to martial arts, but new to ninjutsu. I have trained in serveral other arts, and speed is very important, with timing of course. I was curious as too know if ninjutsu was a fast art, like Jeet Kune do. I know alot of it depends apon the practitioner but out of curiosity is it naturally a fast art? Thanks in advance for any help,
Greg

Posted on: 2007/1/10 4:44
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Re: Speed??
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Nope - it's efficient...

What I mean by that is that we put more emphasis on timing and flow, where you are moving to take advantages of holes created in your opponent's position and movement. This requires patience and the ability to "catch the timing", like catching a bee out of the air without getting stung.

Gojudan Shihan Jack Hoban describes it like trying to change a moving tire. You can try to loosen the lugnuts with fast, snapping movements and hope you hit the target - or you can move in the same rotation as the tire and take your time loosening the lugnuts because you are 'in time' with them.

Instead of 'loosening', think striking, weapons, grabbing, and such. Instead of lugnuts, think vulnerable target areas and spaces of the opponent.

In our art, you will find that speed actually will work against you, because you will lose the control to find this timing and flow - thus losing the advantages gained from being 'in time' with the opponent. Besides, using speed and such takes considerable energy, which is something that is dangerous to bank your success on.

Does that make sense?

You'll also find this very different from many martial arts, including fake 'ninjutsu' schools (of which there are many)...

Best advice from me is to always seek an authentic Bujinkan shidoshi and experience it for yourself.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 5:19
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Re: Speed??
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Thanks Darren, but you said with timing you wait for your oppenent to leave a hole or small window of opportunity for you to take advantage of, and I hope I'm understanding you fully, but too me, if you had speed with striking, blocking, or avoiding, you'd be far more able to take advantage of that opening to strike, and maybe multiple strikes, and on the other end, if someone(s) are attacking you, you can move or counter with greater effectivness.
Greg

Posted on: 2007/1/10 6:54
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Re: Speed??
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Well that's where it's difficult to explain without experiencing it. Back in my young and spry days I was into boxing and karate and spent alot of time training with American Kenpo people. They used a similar methodology of speed and movement. However, what tended to happen is that when pressured, most of the strikes ended up having shallow penetration because in order to keep the speed flowing into successive strikes, they had to pull back actually faster than the delivery. The ones who found the balance between power and speed actually used less strikes, but with more precision and penetration.

That methodolody isn't wrong or somehow inferior to ours, just different.

What I meant by timing has more to do with capturing the moment of motions when the opponent is most vulnerable. This can happen through a variety of circumstances, whether voluntary or through a 'breaking open' kind of strategy or through simple adjustment of range and angle (or any combination thereof).

Once that opening presents itself, the options are numerous. But, the one thing you'll see, especially with what I've seen in the evolution of Bujinkan taijutsu, is that what occurs in that time/space are things which involve natural motions and a kind of consistent evolution of shape. This is due to the fact that the relationship, both physical and such, between you and your opponent (and surrounding environment) is also evolving.

In speed attacks, particularly in multiple sequences of fast attacks, so much is put into the delivery that it leaves little room for this kind of evolution. In boxing, this is fine. But, in total combat where the variables are constantly changing and threats are not always directly from your perceived enemy, this can trap you.

Also, in moving the way we are 'supposed to' in our Bujinkan training, many things happen without the opponent knowing it - or at least it's too late when it does. This doesn't happen because of any kind of speed, but rather in the 'blind spot' that moving in certain ways creates. I'm not just talking about physical, either. There are psychological 'blind spots' that exist as well. Our Soke is amazingly expert at using these throughout a technique. Again, you have to experience it to truly understand it.

I hope this makes sense, because it really is hard to explain these things over the internet. But, again, I encourage you to check out a legitimate class and see for yourself.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 7:14
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Re: Speed??
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Something else to consider here is something I read in a Bujinkan book yesterday. What happens when we grow old? We can no longer rely on speed, dynamic kicks and strength. What happens once our hips or knees go and get replaced? How do we then repel an attacker if we don't have speed and strength? I think this gives us a different view in our training. It then becomes about technique, timing, balance, energy, momentum and distance - and not about speed and strength.

Something to consider.

Dean

Posted on: 2007/1/10 8:42
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Re: Speed??
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deancrabb wrote:
Something else to consider here is something I read in a Bujinkan book yesterday. What happens when we grow old? We can no longer rely on speed, dynamic kicks and strength.

Something to consider.

Dean


Dean --

Are you advocating relinquishing an advantage you have today just so you can spend the next 40 years training for the way you will be in 40 years?

Hmmmmmm... that certainly doesn't sound very... ninpo-ish... hmmmm.... .... ... .. .

I will let that sink in for a bit...

-DW

Posted on: 2007/1/10 9:59
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Re: Speed??
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No, I didn't mention anything in there about relinquishing any present advantage. Not only is that not very nimpo-ish, its also not very wise. I think my last sentence, which you didn't quote, answers this.

Dean

Posted on: 2007/1/10 12:05
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Re: Speed??
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Dean you make some excellent points. I would add that even as a young person if you depend on "speed" and "strength" there will be those who are faster and stronger and so defeating your idea of security. Now if you train in a way so those aspects are not most important but only something extra in your pocket, you will be much better off. Effecient movement of the body and an understanding of flow, timing and distance are much more usefull.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 12:13
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Re: Speed??
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Speed is a factor of efficiency and good technique – as is power.

For example, you can go to the pool and swim 100 metres as fast as you can every day and you will improve your time but you will not get anywhere near someone who trains in good technique. Of course there is a balance, if you only studied technique without actually getting in the pool and swimming everyday you won’t get faster either.

Another example, try hitting a golf ball as hard as you can and see how far it goes. Try everyday hitting it hard over and over – you’ll improve but not get anywhere near the person who slows right down in the beginning and concentrates on good technique.

I think taijutsu is the same. You can practice a punch or throw as fast and hard as you can but if you slow it right down in the beginning and concentrate on good form then ultimately it will be much faster and harder. I see some people who just practice fast and hard but don’t get deeper into efficient application of technique. I see other people who theorise, study and play around with lots of little technical points but don’t train them. I’ve been very guilty of both extremes at various times.

If you don’t want to look 40 years down the track to take advantage of the youthful advantage of physical speed and strength you have now – forget 40 years, you’ll be overtaken in two years by those of the same age who practice in efficient application of good technique.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 12:39
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Re: Speed??
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Whenever speed in Waza is discussed I'm reminded of Sveneric-shihan's words "In Takagiyôshin-ryû things happen very fast!" And, boy, did I come to realize that

Many things might affect to the apparent speed of a Waza, things like timing, distance, Kyojitsu etc.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 19:08
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