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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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I personally have no idea why people want to label themselves anything. I am not a ninja. I am not a samurai. I am not a martial artist. I am Darren. I enjoy training, but the training isn't who I am. It's what I do.

To discover who I am, you have to look past what I do. Who I am has more to do with "why" I do what I do than "what" I do. I train in martial arts to protect my loved ones and myself, and to be able to live a happy, healthy, long, productive life. But, that's only a fraction of who I am.

People of true character, who are real, will have less trouble in the end because people will take them seriously. What they do will hold credibility because they will be credible. It won't be about the "what they do" but rather about the "who they are" that will open the hearts and minds of others.

I hope this makes sense as I am trying to convey a deeply personal thing here. I think many in martial arts use what they do as just another mask to hide who they really are as humans. The farther the disconnect, the more ridiculous the fantasy. They place so little value on who they are inside and try to hide it with labels, status and external things (like martial arts) that they never grow as humans.

So, to call yourself 'ninja', 'samurai', etc is to delete everything else about your life for a fantasy and a history long gone, in a country most of us never lived in or were a part of.

My gosh, just be you. Train in those things that let you be a more successful you. Live, love and laugh with the freedom that such training allows you to have. But, don't allow yourself to become something you are not and never can be.

Posted on: 2010/10/19 10:17
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
村長 :: Sonchou
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Great post Darren! I have tried to convey this sentiment to people a number of times, but I never managed to do it as eloquently as you have - thanks!!

Shawn

Posted on: 2010/10/19 12:12
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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When Hastumi-sensei moved his classes to a permanent location at the Tokyo Budokan in Ayase I remember looking at the schedule outside and noticing we were registered as “Bujinkan Dojo Kobudo”. I think there is an omote and ura to all this. When you want to draw attention to yourself you can say ninjutsu and when you don’t you can say kobudo or budo taijutsu.

Hatsumi-sensei had always used this I think. His media work and magazine stuff always pushes the ninja stuff and talks about ninjutsu. When he wants to talk to those within he talks about budo. I’ve also noticed the people in the Bujinkan who want to draw attention to themselves and/or their dojo use the word ninjutsu more and those that want to have a small dedicated dojo usually just talk about budo.

I was there in 1995 when sensei announced he would change the menkyo to “Budo Taijutsu” rather than “Ninpo Taijutsu” and that the order of schools listed on them would be changed to put the Shinden Fudo, Takagi Yoshin and Kukishin schools first because these were the most important. He said he had pushed the ninpo message because it was the thing we contained that made us unique but we had now matured and could concentrate on real budo.

Of course ninpo and ninjutsu is an important part of what we do but I think it is important to recognise that it is a part and not the whole or even a large percentage of the kobudo we study.


Posted on: 2010/10/19 13:08
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
Kutaki Postmaster
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Quote:

Lockfield wrote:

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

now please, do go on.


I also read recently that if you consistently please other people then you are not following your own true path.

I do have a rather embarassing question though, at least it is embarassing for someone who has been involved in this art on and off since 1986, and that is: What would be the correct noun for a practitioner of taijutsu? Not that I wish to label myself but it would save a lot of typing when talking about other practitioners. Can one simply add 'ka' as in karateka, making us taijutsuka, or is that incorrect grammatically? 'Budoka' is too broad and to me suggest a higher level of skill than most of us have, and I doubt if anyone has ever called themselves ninpoka because it sounds sillier than ninja.

Or simply, can 'ka' be added to 'jutsu' or only to 'do'?.

Posted on: 2010/10/19 16:47
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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忍者 means ninja. the 者 part is also pronounced mono. That's how another word for the practitioners was shinobinomono.

A person who practiced the arts identified as 忍法 ninpo was called a 忍者 ninja.

The word 武道家 budouka means a martial artist. The ka part means house, family. This word also appears in the word 宗家 souke, the title of our grandmaster Hatsumi Sensei. Budouka can connote a person who has a high level of profficiency in a martial art.

So, properly, there are no ninja within living memory (except perhaps Takamatsu Sensei), and the term budouka is reserved for those few who have great mastery of a martial art.

From the first day I trained at Hombu, I heard a Shihan and a senior teacher say that they are 生徒 seito which means student. Since then, I have heard it many times from many senior teachers, Japanese and non-Japanese.

If you insist on labeling practitioners of budo taijutsu, then we are all, Hatsumi Sensei and the Shihan included, martial arts students.

I like what Darren said. Nope, not even Japanese people can become ninjas, as ninjas are historical and legendary treasures. Remembering and celebrating heritage and history is important, but don't live in it.

Safe training!

Posted on: 2010/10/19 17:30
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
Kutaki Postmaster
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Thank you for all the information Tessen, but it was not new to me. Except that the term karateka, judoka, kendoka, etc are often used to describe individuals rather than houses or families, although is also applied to a group of individuals on occasion, e.g. he is a karateka, they are karateka, etc.

I was really just looking for a suffix to taijutsu for efficiency's sake and wonder whether 'ka' can be affixed to 'jutsu' as it can to 'do'.

To put it bluntly, is 'taijutsuka' an acceptable use of Japanese language and can I use it to describe people?

Posted on: 2010/10/19 21:38
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
Village Old Timer
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Maybe someone else can answer you...

Posted on: 2010/10/19 22:45
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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I had heard parts of this before Liz but never so clearly clearly explained. Thanks!

Marty

Posted on: 2010/10/20 0:39
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:

ElfTengu wrote:
I was really just looking for a suffix to taijutsu for efficiency's sake and wonder whether 'ka' can be affixed to 'jutsu' as it can to 'do'.

To put it bluntly, is 'taijutsuka' an acceptable use of Japanese language and can I use it to describe people?



Taijutsu is a generic term. It is not just martial arts, and definitely not the sole property of the Bujinkan. I have heard Soke and Shihan speak of the taijutsu of shopkeepers, roadsweepers, etc.


Liz did answer your question. However it may not suit your need for a suffix to 'taijutsu'

IF you do need to label yourself, I think Budouka is more appropriate; "a person who has a high level of proficiency in a martial art." It accurately reflects what we are aspiring too.


Posted on: 2010/10/20 1:29
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
Village Old Timer
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Quote:

radarblip wrote:

If you do need to label yourself, I think Budouka is more appropriate; "a person who has a high level of proficiency in a martial art." It accurately reflects what we are aspiring too.



Labels can been seen as limiting, but they also are identifiers. I am a Father, Husband, Friend, (dare I say) Budoka, Scientist, Gardener, Doctor, Musician.....maybe some others (many of which could be considered derogatory). Is is the combination of these identifiers that make us unique and also give us commonality. Knowing who you are and who you want to be is important in life.

Marty

Posted on: 2010/10/20 2:08
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