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Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Possibly this could be said about studying anything, not just a martial art - considering that they know what you do, you become more of a challenge for them to try to get under you skin from the outside.

Someone has mentioned once that Hatsumi said " I am teaching you how to live". I have been having a hard time understanding this. Most of the tactics and techniques he shows seem like they could possibly be fuel for fire for the wrong team and could possibly come back and bite you the a$$. One could say the bad guys won't understand it. But why couldn't they? Anybody could walk into the dojo as crowded as it is and nobody would know anything. Anybody can get their hands on a DVD. I was always curious if that was one of the reasons why the ninja practiced deep in the mountains. Let's face it, there are dangerous people out there. They don't need any more creative ideas.

Only having the opportunity to train once a blue, I guess this ignorance is somewhat understandable.

I personally seek a better life. But at the same time I don't want to be led to ruin or waste years of my life.

No offense to anyone, but other than making a profit, are there serious role models (other than Hatsumi) in this art who we can say, that is what I want or where I want to be in life? That is the life I want to live? What success does this bring?

Posted on: 2010/10/18 4:26
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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In regards to bad guys, I would say that watching dvds etc won't really help at all, for the same reason it is incredibly difficult to learn from those same sources. Without hands on training on the 'foundation points' of the art, the more advanced stuff is pretty much useless & impossible to apply combatively.

There are also a ton of Koryu with Ninjutsu skills in their history, so the comment stating that all ninjas trained in the mountains is a little off, as some of the historical figures were Samurai who operated incognito, due to the issues of shame/honour etc in the culture at the time.

As for role models, that depends completely on what you personally consider most important. If you are big on family-kids etc, then you could argue that Hatsumi is a terrible role model as he never had any and therefore offers nothing authentic from a parenting stand point. Same could be said about preserving (without change) historical traditions....obviously I am doing the advocatus diaboli thing here. :P

I have met some Shihan who (on the Tatami) are paragons of what I would like to achieve, but as a person have been different enough from me that I couldn't really use them as a role model in any real way. Finding someone who can be that in ANY art would be terribly unlikely to happen (not enough half-deaf chubby Canadians out there for me I guess). So I find points I can admire about different people and use that person to illustrate/inspire for that area of life, but that goes for all people I meet and see, not just those in the Buj.

...G.Carson

Posted on: 2010/10/18 6:07
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Chubby white guys claiming ANTHING in common with most peoples' idea of what a ninja is/was is hilarious to other martial artists and members of the general public.

But taijutsu is better exercise than going to church, and there are no guarantees with the latter either.

Keep going, have faith, keep it real, enjoy.

especially the last one.

Posted on: 2010/10/18 7:01
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:

shinryuken wrote:
I personally seek a better life. But at the same time I don't want to be led to ruin or waste years of my life.

No offense to anyone, but other than making a profit, are there serious role models (other than Hatsumi) in this art who we can say, that is what I want or where I want to be in life? That is the life I want to live? What success does this bring?


There are a myriad of serious role models in the Bujinkan. As a general rule very few are in it for profit - and I feel that the majority of people making a living teaching bujinkan are less role models. Most people train and practice this art because it fascinates them, stimulates their mind and body and in the process makes their life better. Because there are so many great people all over the country in this art, you develop friends all over the world. The social stimulation is a large portion of how it makes your life better. Time spent training has never been a waste of my valuable time!

Marty

Posted on: 2010/10/18 11:06
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:

ElfTengu wrote:
Chubby white guys claiming ANTHING in common with most peoples' idea of what a ninja is/was is hilarious to other martial artists and members of the general public.


That is funny

Seriously, though, even most Japanese really don't have any idea what ninja are - apart from all the childhood myths, anime cartoons and such. Considering it's part of the culture to have such characters in their comics and cartoons, it's no wonder they don't understand. I also believe it is "popular culture" to entertain the fantasy and any attempts to connect it all to real budo is simply seen as ridiculous. I think this might be why you will see just as many or more gaijin than Japanese in many MA classes in Japan. I've heard that pretty consistently.

I've also been told that gaijin training in martial arts in Japan are seen by locals the same way as we would see a Japanese guy here in the US dressing up as a cowboy and training for the "Old West".

The whole 'ninja' thing really is never going to be accepted as a whole by society and the MA community as serious martial arts training. I even have a hard time with it, as it tends to appeal to LARPers and those who really seem to just be living some fantasy. The more we can detach from that, the more credibility we can establish. We need to just be who we are first and foremost. Credibility comes from the character and actions of each person, not the art or org. But, who you are needs to outshine whatever art or org you are a part of.

Posted on: 2010/10/18 11:37
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Sensei say’s “ninjutsu” was always just a nickname for us. Because of sensei’s interest in the media (film, TV, magazines etc) the ninja thing was always put out there. He told me he has never produced an advertisement for his dojo. Because he never advertised his budo it’s pretty clear that the interest generated for people joining and the Bujinkan expanding so rapidly was on the back of that media exposure and the interest in ninja.

But I think even though you study in the Bujinkan and words like ninja and ninjutsu are used in a playful way it is a mistake to think that by training in this budo you are a ninja or that you are really studying ninjutsu.

Quote:
From the Nakadai Dojo Website:
また最近、忍術・忍法という事のみ興味を持たれる方が増えております。
初めからお断りしておきますが、あくまで武神館道場は『武術』の道場です。
学べる九流派の内、忍法と名の付くものは三つの流派のみです。武神館で教えている武術は本物の武術であり非常に危険なものです。


Posted on: 2010/10/18 13:19
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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A nickname that has been very helpful in marketing though!

I'm sure I can dig out myriad examples of interviews with Soke from the 80's and even 90's or later where he is clearly being put forward as a ninja grandmaster (which he is, or at least ninjutsu anyhos) and his students as 'ninja' or at least suggesting as much by saying things like "The ninja must do such and such" in the present tense.

I think it is tidier to draw a line under the life of Takamatsu Sensei and say that even he was clinging to the last vestiges of being able to be described as a ninja if the term is to mean the same thing in 1950 as it did in 1550 and earlier. There are no more, and can be no more, ninja. Today we are only custodians of skills once possessed by ninja (and the equally defunct samurai), and most of us are fairly clumsy even in this capacity.

Also, it was once suggested that the Bujinkan is ninjutsu, but also drawing from non-ninjutsu ryuha, with the overall strategy and ethics being more ninja than samurai derived, whatever this means or if there can even be such a difference now that we have evolved from the 'counter culture mountain loony' idea of the orgins of ninjutsu. But since the term Budo Taijutsu was coined, it seems to be the other way around.

It is more bemusing that so many of our buyu smirk at the idea of a 'cage fighter' when even the most ignorant member of the general public knows that a cage fighter is not someone to be provoked. Ninja however, no fear factor whatsoever, perhaps it is too many turtles, perhaps it is Sho Kosugi's eyeliner, or perhaps, even more worryingly, it is us.

Posted on: 2010/10/18 22:35
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Self-deprecation humour aside, I think you will find chubby white guys are _exactly_ what a great deal of the MA world thinks of as standard in the Buj....don't believe me, just read around the web forums some. Which I think was partially ElfTengu's last point.

Personally I am happy to be under-rated and don't care to draw any serious reaction (ala cagefighter) because it means a tactical advantage in a real confrontation. My lifestyle also doesn't place me in harms way all that often without my sidearm, so I am grateful to avoid most dangers simply by virtue of not being there.

...G.Carson


Posted on: 2010/10/19 3:15
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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i liked this topic. anyone have any thing else to say? I got some.

Have you ever noticed that some ppl call themselves ninja, or boast about practicing ninjutsu, but you never really hear practicioners of aikijustu, jujustu, kenjustu ect. callin themselves samurai. Nor do you hear karateka, judoka, ect asking questions about things kuji in, saiminjustu, kayakujutsu, or other esoteric beleifs or out dated methods/techniques that the general public shrugs off as fantasy or parlor tricks/power of sugestion.


Other martial art styles have regular competition to see who knows what, not just for the sake of winning and losing, yet BJK doesn't. Also, when one practitioner starts runnin their mouth about another, they can take it to the ring and work out their differences. a whipped dog wont bark. Imagine for a second what would happen in the BJK if such a competition existed.


In the years that i've been following this art (never really formally trained, and still cant) ive seen so many beginners asking sensless questions about gunpowder, stealth, breaking in/out of places, and other things that are TOTALLY USELESS today, unless your in some sort of special forces unit or gov. work, but then again, they teach you all that.


Also, I've noticed there is a lucritive business in the BJK, especially for higher ups. I bought one of Soke's dvds a long time ago. I was disappointed because it was $40 for 30min of footage. I never bought another one after that. Did get a few of his books though, great reads!
Then there's the whole issue of RVD's HSC and rank through mail. Man, there's a money maker right there. Instructors write books/produce DVD's because the market is there, along with potential for huge profits, even if only thier students buy them.


Other reasons the other guys in the MA world think we're all crazy is because of the ranking system in the BJK. I once saw a documentary on the kendo 8th dan test. you have to be over 45 if memory serves me right, and you have to have been 7th dan for close to 8yrs (no one quote me, i haven't seen it in a while). There are very few in japan, much less out of japan who have passed the test. Most styles have strict rules when it comes to ranking, yet in our art there a 15 dan ranks in addition to the 9 kyu ranks.thats a little overkill, no? also, the rate at which ppl are promoted. you could almost say were in a McDojo. Speaking of which, a TKD dojang opened up down the street bein run by a young korean kid, 4 degree blackbelt. He told me they focus on competition. After i told him about my previous expirence in TKD he took me to the mat for some demos. Afterwards he said he could promote me to blkbelt with a quickness if i would agree to teach. I said no dice. What would be the point?



Good Lord, I got carried away with this post. Well, thats my 2 cents on this thread. I seriously hope i didn't offend anybody, that is not my intention. I just wanted to answer a question based on an 'outsiders' perspective. if this is an inappropriate response feel free to flag it/delete it, what have you. if anyone wants to continue the discussion via pm thats fine too, because i have alot of questions myself i would love to discuss.

Posted on: 2010/10/19 9:25
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:

estevato58 wrote:

Good Lord, I got carried away with this post. Well, thats my 2 cents on this thread. I seriously hope i didn't offend anybody, that is not my intention. I just wanted to answer a question based on an 'outsiders' perspective. if this is an inappropriate response feel free to flag it/delete it, what have you. if anyone wants to continue the discussion via pm thats fine too, because i have alot of questions myself i would love to discuss.



piece of advice, good sir:
if you don't offend ANYONE, you ARE NOT telling the truth.

now please, do go on.

Posted on: 2010/10/19 10:14
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just playing the ONI's advocate!
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