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Re: Truths of our Art
Villager
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It seems to me that everyone agrees that conditioning is good, if not for the art then at least for health's sake.

There seems to be two different approaches we can take about this. We can say that it's important, but you can do it by yourself, so do it outside of classtime. Use class time to do what you need ukes to do. Or we can say it's important, so we'll take time in class to do it.

The class I attend goes for the first approach. So what about the other classes represented here on Kutaki? First or second?

Posted on: 2008/3/25 13:00
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Re: Truths of our Art
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In my classes, I prefer to start with good conditioning. This includes, but is not limited to, pushups, situps, repeated jumping drills, leg raises/crunches, and so on. Then, we spend time doing repeated strikes, knees, kicks, elbows, etc to a heavy target bag.

Lastly, we finish with drills in Sanshin no Kata.

In the end, everybody is sweaty, breathing hard and their muscles are warmed up. Then, we start the actual class.

Depending on how intense the training is and how tired the class participants are, I may add some final "burn out" drills at the end of class. One such drill is a "pressure drill", where your partner keeps advancing on you with a target shield and you just keep striking and kicking it back repeatedly.

The goal here is not to build muscle fighters, but to build muscle endurance. In addition, I have found that the taijutsu improves when the muscles are taxed. ALso, the students enjoy the workout and their attitudes reflect in their training.

Since my guys are all shodan and below, I believe their conditioning plays a crucial role in their survival (at minimum, the health benefits are enough to make the time worth it). Of course, I'm not saying those above shodan are good enough to NOT need the conditioning, either...

That's how I choose to train and help those who look to me for whatever guidance I can provide. Their bodies will love them for it. I promise.

On another note, Ed I am SO HAPPY you are doing well. I pray for your speedy and successful recovery.

GAMBATTE!

Posted on: 2008/3/25 14:19
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I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Truths of our Art
Permanent Village Fixture
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Ed, it's great to hear that your surgery went well. I wish you a speedy recovery. Welcome back.

I believe Ed had some very valid points in his post. I have often been told (and have often repeated) that you should 'learn from the kata not learn the kata'. I also feel that it's important to learn at a slow speed & later test your reactions at a faster speed to identify the weaknesses in your taijutsu. IMHO I believe this art to be about distancing and timing rather than speed.

This art does contain conditioning. Though I do believe that flexibility (in both body and mind) is more important to this art than increasing muscle size. That being said those who commented focused on endurance over bulking up, which I agree with. I think its obvious that if you take 2 individuals with the same skill in taijutsu, one in and one out of shape, the one in shape will be able to out fight and outlast the other (though the out of shape individual will have advantages of surprise and feigned 'weakness').

As for shunketsu's question: I'd tie it back to Ed's comment on individual goals. IMHO students join a MA club to train in MA. They have a limited time in which to learn from a qualified instructor. The student can, and should, exercise on their own time (this includes stretching and warming up for a class). Students (& this applies to all of us as we're all students) should train outside of the dojo as well, 'live the art'. If you feel the need to have an 'exercise' warm up at the beginning of a class I would humbly suggest that you do this by drilling the basics (continuous rolling, breakfalls, deep sanshin, etc) in doing this you are at least training their taijutsu, and muscles required for taijutsu, during the warm up.

I agree that this art is often misrepresented, I'm reminded of a bluenotes (clothing store) T-shirt 'worlds laziest ninja' & I think many are competing for that title. But one does not require (or at least need to rely upon) physical strength to perform taijutsu (this is not MMA!!!).I think that many would train quite differently if they believed they would face combat on a daily basis. Again what is your GOAL...and what of those who's goal is not to be 'elite' where should they learn to defend themselves.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 15:06
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Jon
"Take this with a grain of salt, hell salt to taste"
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Re: Truths of our Art
Village Old Timer
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I think everyone agree that endurance, speed and power always help you in any circumstances. Between my 10-24 years I did a lot of body exercise, all kinds of it now I am 35 and I am the highest jumper on the Dojo still even I weigh 200 pounds. Ofcourse in years you may get weaker but that does not mean that you are not still strong enough to protect your self.
One day at the honbu (2-3 years ago)Nogouchi Sensei showed some move that you use your back and ab muscles to stand up but no one could do it, actually noone could even move an inch and then he laughingly turned me and said ''Taijutsu''

Posted on: 2008/3/25 17:06
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Re: Truths of our Art
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Health and fitness are important and the secret to achieving these is by continually adapting these to your age, body type, physical constitution, current state of health, injury and mobility over the course of a lifetime.

In the same way what is taught by the Bujinkan shihan is similar in finding a way that suits your age, body type etc and continually adapts as factors change over the course of your lifetime.

Hatsumi is in his late seventies now and still very able for his age. When he was 40 they say he was 100kg of rock hard muscle and no fat at all. The hard training he did then was important but equally important was progressively adjusting his training to suit and I think this has allowed him to continue up until this advanced point in his life. I believe one of Takamatsu’s other student enjoyed training even in his nineties. I would enjoy being able to maintain and enjoy my training throughout the span of my life too.

Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
Our art of ninjutsu will adapt to any situation as long as you apply the principles that are imbedded within it. It is in no way dependant on any physical characteristic and does not require any level of physical conditioning.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 17:47
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[i]"One should be neither strong nor weak, neither soft nor hard. Leave such thoughts behind, awaken
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Re: Truths of our Art
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
Our art of ninjutsu will adapt to any situation as long as you apply the principles that are imbedded within it. It is in no way dependant on any physical characteristic and does not require any level of physical conditioning.


A 5’4” slightly built female will never be physically equal to a large man so of course trying to equal all opponents in physical conditioning is pointless. In reality a much smaller person can defeat a much larger person. Lots of forefist punches to the face may not be as useful as another method. Of course this differs from the world of sports where weight divisions ensure approximate equality in physical potential and the factor of conditioning plays a big part in deciding a fight.

I knew a police officer who had been in a dangerous posting in which he had a street fight almost every day including gun battles. The fact is he was very out of condition and drank and smoked. I also met on a couple of occasions a man by the name of Mark who was the most dangerous person I ever met. I had a bad feeling from him straight away. He was involved in many gangland killings and acts of violence. He was short and skinny and chain smoked. He also would have had very little in skillful techniques but I suppose his advantage was that he would go to extremes quicker than his opposition.

My point is that when you look at fighting and surviving you have to look at it from the angle of those who deal in it daily from both sides and then look again at the principles.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 18:05
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Chris Wallace

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Re: Truths of our Art
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Thank you Daniel. I don't know who made the device but it is both the pacemaker and defibulator.
Lance, we have no arguement on what is "best" for the person to do, our difference of opinion comes on who gets to say. I maintain that EACH individual must make that determination as they and only they will stand the responsibility for it. Your point that exercising "sucks" I would also comment on. One's attitude while doing an exercise has a great effect on what that exercise does accomplish. Yes one must be self disciplined to do this, but that is the ONLY discipline that has lasting value. In the military discipline is imposed to gain the needed level of physical condition, but if the person doesn't later discipline themselves, it is lost quickly.
It is also not on what does currently exist and people have a responsibility to THEMSELVES to be in the best condition they can be. I object to anyone else telling them that BECAUSE they haven't succeeded at that as well as "me", that they can't be effective in this art. The art is not a competition where they will go out looking for confrontation, that is complete stupidity! Their situation is when it comes to THEM can they be the one to go home. No nothing in Life is certain, but the skills in this art DO greatly increase anyone's chances of doing just that.
As I said before, each instructor should structure their class as they see fit, to fulfil their aims. I respect those who decide to condition their students, but for myself I feel in class that the time should be used for things a person can't do for themselves. I expect them to discipline themselves, I have no desire to do for them what they can and should take responsibility for themselves. Just a difference in approach.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 21:49
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Re: Truths of our Art
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Quote:

Papa-san wrote:
Lance, we have no arguement on what is "best" for the person to do, our difference of opinion comes on who gets to say. I maintain that EACH individual must make that determination as they and only they will stand the responsibility for it.


If a student does not have the fitness to safetly train, or is fooling themselves thinking they can defend themselves when they have to rest several times during class then I would say the instructor needs to get involved and tell them what they need to do to get to a base level.

There are many people in the Bujinkan, often sadly instructors, need to learn how to defend against a dozen donuts than they do a guy on the street. MA won't help you if you fall over dead at 40.


Quote:
Your point that exercising "sucks" I would also comment on. One's attitude while doing an exercise has a great effect on what that exercise does accomplish. Yes one must be self disciplined to do this, but that is the ONLY discipline that has lasting value. In the military discipline is imposed to gain the needed level of physical condition, but if the person doesn't later discipline themselves, it is lost quickly.


Kind of hippie nonsense if you ask me. I don't have to like something for my body to do it. Conditioning does suck, I don't know a single person who does like it. What you do is set goals then you do the things that you need to do to get to those goals even though they do suck.

If conditioning were fun then everyone would do it, as that is not the case you have to force yourself to do it. At the end you have to ask yourself if the payoff is worth it or not, for me it currently is.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 22:36
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Re: Truths of our Art
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Lance,


It has been my experience that "forcing" yourself into doing any sort of conditioning only produces mediocre results at best. At worst, it actually reinforces that conditioned laziness that you were ostensibly attempting to disgard.

The Bujinkan ain't the military; you have to love it, ALL of it, or pack it in.

Most folks think i'm crazy as a sh*t house rat for loving it, or just plain masochistic. Well...at the end of all this i guess we'll see for sure.;)

"Most people run to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts."
- Steve Prefontaine


livin' la vida loca,


Mark Spada

Posted on: 2008/3/26 5:24
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Re: Truths of our Art
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Quote:

mark spada wrote:
Lance,


It has been my experience that "forcing" yourself into doing any sort of conditioning only produces mediocre results at best. At worst, it actually reinforces that conditioned laziness that you were ostensibly attempting to disgard.

The Bujinkan ain't the military; you have to love it, ALL of it, or pack it in.

Most folks think i'm crazy as a sh*t house rat for loving it, or just plain masochistic. Well...at the end of all this i guess we'll see for sure.;)

"Most people run to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts."
- Steve Prefontaine


livin' la vida loca,


Mark Spada


Of course I hate it, it sucks to be leaning over spitting up bile telling yourself you just can't possibly do one more, and knowing you really need to do 5 more... I like the results which is why I do it in the first place. When your "a$$ hole is sucking buttermilk" and you force yourself through something that is not pleasant you get tougher. If you always do the easy stuff you will never get any better.

When it makes you want to ram an icepick through your brain to do it and you nut up and do it anyhow, get better at it, do it more and continually improve then you are making yourself physically, mentally and spiritually tougher.

ANYBODY can do the fun stuff, very few will put themselves through the hell of taking their bodies to the next level.

I have never met anyone who likes to do the hard conditioning work which is why most people skip it, or they do something easier like running on a treadmill while watching Ricky Lake...

Posted on: 2008/3/26 9:43
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