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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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I'm relatively new around these parts so take this for what its worth from an unproven member so to speak, but regarding the bujinkan following external trends. I don't think I could say that the bujinkan has ever followed or even trailed behind in such trends. I've been kicking around in the shadows since age 15, im now 36. Now it could be argued that there are systems based on budo taijutsu that might appear to have "bent" themselves in the direction of some of these trends or in an effort to improve the marketability of the system, but I think (and I certainly could be wrong, I've never been to Japan and have either been isolated to training solo or with my small training group) That the bujinkan has not yet at least been heavily influenced by these trends.

And regarding comments about training under sport guidelines for self defense. I'll offer 2 words based on my own personal experience with bad habits that I still can't shake... bad idea.

I'll offer myself as an example. Long before my discovery of ninjutsu I was karate guy. I trained obsessively, and for long long hours. The particular dojo I trained at was all about developing the fastest reflexes you could. So that’s what I did. I did a number of things we lovingly referred to as "twitch drills" endlessly. In taijutsu we make a conscience effort to "internalize" everything. We internalize the "feeling", we internalize "forms" and "kata" etc. We do it with the understanding that that’s what we are doing, and that later these "mental ideas" of certain feelings forms and kata will be without thought, they will be instantly and naturally available without the need for thought or rational decision making. We reshape/retrain/relearn the way we move and make it permanent so to speak, from the deepest of quad burning kamae to even the slightest angles involved in simply opening a door. With this internalized we are then able to become combat cooks so to speak using the ingredients of taijutsu in conjunction with our new and efficient way of moving on the fly.

I say all of the above regarding training under sport guidelines for self defense because one element has stuck with me 20 years later from my karate days and is sure to be my weakest link..reflex. In karate I was young and didn’t understand fully how internal things can be come if done enough times with the right focus (and at a young age I think as well). In short if you get into a fight with me and want to win....wait till things are a bit hectic and the fight is on, then throw me some hot coals. Without thought or even time to get together half a thought my hands will make a determined attempt at catching or hitting them. Same things goes for the feet. If the coals are with in reach my feet will try to kick em (although I blame part of that on playing hacky sack heh). So pick the hot potato of your choice, with me it all works the same. throw coals, or chain saws, knives, or even a poisonous snake. You'll be sure to win even if you’ve gotta take out each hand and foot one at a time.

This was proven once again to me while training last night when my hand without my consent foolishly caught a bo shruken.

SO be careful of the things you internalize especially if they are constrained by the guidelines of a sport they take a long long time to un internalize. As in my case I've spend a long time trying to dumb down those reflexes even if just enough to buy a little decision making time. Relaxed taijutsu has done allot for me in that area but something’s are just hard to quit and when you don’t expect bad habits to surface BANG there it is and your standing there with a bo shruken sticking out of your palm, or hot coals in your hands. heh.

Anyways I hadn’t read the whole thread so my apologies if I've gotten a bit off track.

Posted on: 2007/9/24 14:24
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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I regards to softness, deception, etc. I think these things are very difficult to apply unless you realize you completely outclass your opponent already or you have ice water flowing through your veins and aren't easily frightened. It is very natural to revert to strength instinctively when confronted with a real threat with lots of unknown variables.

I agree that softness, deception, etc. are qualities that can negate strength, speed, etc. but to have the confidence necessary to apply softness under stress is an uncommon ability IMHO.

For someone with a lower level of skill and confidence, softness and relaxation may not be realistically achievable under pressure. To become more comfortable with operating under pressure you can inoculate yourself with intense training, competitive sparring, a dangerous job or something else that allows you to see how you react under pressure. Once you see your weaknesses you can try different approaches in similar subsequent situations and gauge your progress. Very scientific although it is hard to completely duplicate a stressful circumstance.

As to the question of whether the Bujinkan has changed in regards to our cultures fixation with MMA, I think Hatsumi sensei and training in Japan has not changed (although I've only been to Japan after MMA was popular). In the US at least there are lots of Bujinkan folk who dabble in Brazilian jujutsu (Charles Daniel was giving seminars on it back in the early '90s).

I do think if you are concerned with self-defense it is important to address martial arts trends as those will be reflected in what happens in the street. Even people who don't train in martial arts probably know how to perform rudimentary finishing holds based on watching MMA on TV.

Jeff

Posted on: 2007/9/24 14:28
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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Good. Ronin, I too recomend as a person gains the proper muscle memory, that they move at a faster speed. This, again IMO, is part of the "flow" of training. It also gives the confidence to deal with the real attack without fear freezing you. This takes good and accurate training, but it doesn't necessarily mean many years or months, the time element is a variable directly influenced by the type of training. The better the training the less the time needed, even though you can't totally eliminate the fact that to gain the right responses will take an unpredictable amount of time. Each person will be different.
Maruishi, I do sympathize with the situation you find yourself in. I only trained in Karate for 3 years before finding Ninjutsu and still work at eliminating some of the muscle memory implanted by that training. I have the injuries to prove it too. All I can say is keep working on it, eventually you will "override" those inefficient muscle memories with others that will work a whole lot better for you and aid your relaxed movement.
Duncan, I do so agree on the relaxed movement thing. In fact any effective martial art eventually must go there if it is going to be really effective. I again quote Benny Fang from Sydney (31st generation Shaolin monk) "the only ones argueing about which art is best are the students, because at the top they are all doing the same thing". (if it is an effective combat art)
I remember too Jeff the ground fighting Charles was doing in the early 90's and while he was very knowlegeable on the Gracies, he wasn't teaching that. He actually taught "taijutsu" on the ground which I found very useful. I am not a fan of the "cross training" but I strongly encourage knowlege of what the others are doing. There is so much within the Bujinkan that one lifetime won't be nearly enough to learn it. I do appreciate that aspect of our art, there will ALWAYS be more to learn.

Posted on: 2007/9/24 22:26
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
Good. Ronin, I too recomend as a person gains the proper muscle memory, that they move at a faster speed. This, again IMO, is part of the "flow" of training. It also gives the confidence to deal with the real attack without fear freezing you.


This point about freezing is a very important one IMO Papa-san. It's important to note that at about 135b/m heart rate the adrenaline fills a human body and a person starts to lose major motor control (ie the muscles freeze up). I think this is the physiological explaination as to why its important to train to be relaxed during a conflict situation. Would you agree with this? Any suggestions in relation to this type of training?

Posted on: 2007/9/24 22:47
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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This is a topic that has been covered on many various threads and chat lines. Most who train have their own ideas about it. Could it be that there is some trolling going on?

Quote:

RONIN wrote:
Just from my observation of this ebb and flow in the martial arts I have noticed that the people who have tried to popularise their art may have had benevolent motives in the beginning but it seems that ultimately the art suffered by its commercialisation and it eventually succumbed to change to fit the mainstream.


Is it your philosophy that the Bujinkan should not adapt and chang to what ever environment it fiinds itself in? It would seem to me that the living nature of our art adapts itself to the dangers that come up against it. This is one of the appeals to the art, and one of the criticisms of the old arts about the bujinkan.

Quote:

This brings me to my relevance to the Bujinkan. Do people feel that the Bujinkan has in the past or is now being influenced by these trends?


Of course, see above.

Quote:
Personally, I have come across a number of Bujinkan guys who admit to cross training in BJJ. Do people feel that the Bujinkan has become commercialised and is being compromised to fit the mainstream martial client needs?

You can cross train without being commercial. But when you make your dojo your source of income, it is impossible to avoid becomeing commercial. We have toyed with the idea of having a more "commercial" dojo, but none of us have the desire or stomach for it.

Quote:
Since I started in 1989 I have noticed that the training has softened up a lot in a number of dojos, is this an indication of this trend? Do people feel we in the Bujinkan are revealing too much information to people in other martial arts who are not willing to put in the effort to actually train in the Bujinkan? Or do people feel the Bujinkan has already been through that ebb and is now flowing in a different direction, with a tightening up on the rankings, training, etc.


When you first start training in the art, it is always more physical and muscular. As your experience improves, you learn to move more effeciently and require less power. You become much more able to make your attacker fall upon himself. There are levels and trends we all go through in our training. As you get older, you are less able to tolerate the hard falls of youth. You must always train your age. Some people in the Bujinkan have no desire to be street fighters, or to fight in the UFC. For them the training is to be safe, and to learn to have more control over themselves and their environment. This is why the Bujinkan will always survive, and why other "warrior" arts are for the young.

Quote:
Grappling is fine for one on one unarmed combat but the reality is street fights are usual multiple on one with weapons. MMA and BJJ in these circumstances is seriously problematic.


I feel that the Bujinkan is far superior in application to the street. Of course it depends much more on how you train in your dojo. You don't have to be hard to be street smart.

Marty

Posted on: 2007/9/25 0:54
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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Quote:

Could it be that there is some trolling going on?


Marty what is trolling? I hope you're not insulting me.

Quote:
Is it your philosophy that the Bujinkan should not adapt and chang to what ever environment it fiinds itself in? It would seem to me that the living nature of our art adapts itself to the dangers that come up against it. This is one of the appeals to the art, and one of the criticisms of the old arts about the bujinkan.


No I don't think the Bujinkan necessarily has to change. But of course the individual should obviously adapt according to the circumstances he or she finds themselves in. Having said that I think the range of Bujinkan training definately offers plenty to choose from when it comes to a changing combative environment. What I'm saying is that just because ground fighting is now popular I don't think we should only train in ground fighting. That would be stupid IMO.


Quote:

This brings me to my relevance to the Bujinkan. Do people feel that the Bujinkan has in the past or is now being influenced by these trends?

Of course, see above.


How has it changed from your prespective? What changes have you seen Marty?

Quote:
But when you make your dojo your source of income, it is impossible to avoid becomeing commercial. We have toyed with the idea of having a more "commercial" dojo, but none of us have the desire or stomach for it.


Good to hear.

Quote:
As you get older, you are less able to tolerate the hard falls of youth. You must always train your age. Some people in the Bujinkan have no desire to be street fighters, or to fight in the UFC. For them the training is to be safe, and to learn to have more control over themselves and their environment. This is why the Bujinkan will always survive, and why other "warrior" arts are for the young.


I know you don't mean it but it sounds like the Bujinkan is for geriatrics.

Quote:
I feel that the Bujinkan is far superior in application to the street. Of course it depends much more on how you train in your dojo. You don't have to be hard to be street smart.


I agree. But you also can't have a glass jaw.

Posted on: 2007/9/25 1:25
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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Quote:

RONIN wrote:
Marty what is trolling? I hope you're not insulting me.


I don't know you, your only posts on this forum is about a topic well hashed over on many other forums. Some consider it "controversial". I feel that it is not a question interesting to those who are truely familiar with the training in the bujinkan.

Quote:
What I'm saying is that just because ground fighting is now popular I don't think we should only train in ground fighting. That would be stupid.


Agreed!

Quote:
How has it changed from your prespective? What changes have you seen?


I have heard Shihan and Soke show how our art, and training with swords is applicable to modern weapons and tactics. I don't think it neccessarily is changing, but more an adaptatiion.

Quote:
I know you don't mean it but it sounds like the Bujinkan is for geriatrics.


I feel the training is adaptable to all ages. As I have said before.. Nagato turns 60 this year, Noguchi is at least 65, and Soke turns 76. I hope my geriatric age is half as mobile as theirs.


Marty

Posted on: 2007/9/25 2:15
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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Quote:
I don't know you, your only posts on this forum is about a topic well hashed over on many other forums. Some consider it "controversial". I feel that it is not a question interesting to those who are truely familiar with the training in the bujinkan.


I'm confused. Because I'm new to this forum your first reaction is to insult me. Nice welcome.

There is nothing controversial about anything that I have said in this forum. Aleast to any normal thinking person's standard. If you read the thread there have been some very constructive posts, especially from Papa-san. No contraversy here. I would contend Marty if anyone was trying to stir up contraversy or conflict it was you with your opening insult.

I haven't read any other forums so I wouldn't know if this issue was discussed or not, but I will take your word on it.

Furthermore, for someone who thinks that this issue "is not a question interesting to those who are truely familiar with the training in the bujinkan" you seem interested enough to post quite detailed replies.

Are you having a bad Marty?

Finally, you're right you don't know me. So what does your training tell you Marty, is it wise to insult people unprovoked that you don't know?

Be happy Marty.

Posted on: 2007/9/25 2:33
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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Quote:
bigred wrote:
I regards to softness, deception, etc. I think these things are very difficult to apply unless you realize you completely outclass your opponent already or you have ice water flowing through your veins and aren't easily frightened. It is very natural to revert to strength instinctively when confronted with a real threat with lots of unknown variables.

I agree that softness, deception, etc. are qualities that can negate strength, speed, etc. but to have the confidence necessary to apply softness under stress is an uncommon ability IMHO.


Quoted for truth. The only thing I would add is that even assuming you can negate strength, speed, etc -- you still have to be able to finish your opponent off. That is an ability that few of the "soft" people I have trained with have. Most of them can control... ok.... but not finish definitively.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
I remember too Jeff the ground fighting Charles was doing in the early 90's and while he was very knowlegeable on the Gracies, he wasn't teaching that. He actually taught "taijutsu" on the ground which I found very useful.


I know you aren't talking to me.... but I am really curious as to what people mean when they say that they are teaching "taijutsu on the ground". Maybe someone else can help answer...

What, exactly, is the difference between BJJ and "taijutsu on the ground"?

Surely, at a common Japanese phrase level, BJJ *is* taijutsu on the ground....

Anyway... I will try to add more later if I can....

-Daniel

Posted on: 2007/9/25 4:19
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Re: What is the future of the Bujinkan after the current grappling crazy in general MA passes?
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Quote:

RONIN wrote:
I'm confused. Because I'm new to this forum your first reaction is to insult me.


It is the mindset of someone placed in an octagon with another person to assume that all statements are insults. I asked a question..."Is there trolling going on?". I explained why I thought this could be trolling. Are you saying that you brought up this topic to create "controversy?".

Insults are received by those who choose to receive them. If you don't want to be insulted, choose not to be.

Quote:
Are you having a bad Marty?


If you were asking how my day is going, it has been great. I'm off today and this is an unusual treat! If you were asking if I am a bad Marty, you would have to ask my wife!

Quote:
So what does your training tell you Marty, is it wise to insult people unprovoked that you don't know?


My training teaches me to ask questions, and keep alert for dangers. It has also taught me to not be so easily provoked.

Quote:
Tenchijin wrote
I am really curious as to what people mean when they say that they are teaching "taijutsu on the ground". Maybe someone else can help answer...


I have seen that to really know all of the Kata and Waza in our art, you have to practice them from many different angles - including the ground. You have to figure out all of the timing, angles, and especially the distance.

Quote:
What, exactly, is the difference between BJJ and "taijutsu on the ground"?
In the end with experienced practitioners it is much more a question of flavor than actual substance.

Marty

Posted on: 2007/9/25 4:59
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