How did you start in ninjutsu?

Discussion in 'Ninjitsu' started by Aaron, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Shadow Warrior

    I have personally found that most people don't start their martial arts training in ninjutsu, but instead have studied different arts before they were introduced to ninjutsu.

    So my question is how did you find your school and what were your initial thoughts of the school & the system itself?


    My self it had been a long journey; I originally started training in JKD as I could not find a ninjutsu school in the city I was living at during college, which included some kali training. I than started MMA as the school was combined with an MMA camp; did JKD, MMA, Muai Thai, and BJJ. Than I moved for work to my current city, kickboxed for a while, couldn't really find anything that I wanted in any of the martail arts clubs that were listed in the phone book. Than after bouncing in a bar one night talked to guy that just started and he mentioned "Taijutsu", light upstairs went on after reading a few of Hatsumi's books... Started training with them and have stopped since.

    I at first found the training to be so less physical than any of the other arts I studied previously. It did look rehearsed, but once I started having the techniques applied to me I could feel the true sense of helplessness they would inflict with even half or 3/4 power and speed applied. Our dojo is a small group, usually less than 10 people, it runs very much like a family, even with the family arguments, but it is always inviting and feels like home everytime I walk in:)
     
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  3. Mario Paul

    Mario Paul Samurai

    To make things easier for myself, I will quote from something that I have written before from a previous discussion of mine......:)

    My name is Mario Arevalo. I am a Ni-Kyu (2nd Kyu) grade in the Bujinkan. I was introduced to the Bujinkan through a mutual friend who also happens to be my instructor, Godan (5th Dan) Rob Burrell at Hiryu Bujinkan Dojo, Waihi; under the instruction of Shihan (15th Dan) Simon Gaunt of Hiryu Bujinkan Dojo, Hamilton. The men I know as Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei and Takamatsu Toshitsugu Sensei were people that I had not heard of before. I knew nothing of Ninjutsu, of the nine schools that make up the Bujinkan. Little did I know that there are 18 disciplines of Ninjutsu ranging from meteorology to espionage, unarmed combat to water skills? On my first day I sat on the sidelines, not knowing what to think or whether I should participate. Having had done Tae Kwon Do and Karate some years ago I was expecting something along those lines. To say that I was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like the above mentioned is an understatement. The class was nothing like I had ever seen before. The class looked unstructured yet it flowed seamlessly from one form to another. The techniques (waza) shown were nothing like I had ever seen. It was as though they had been sent from the heavens. The angles, timing and distance used to execute the waza I now know as Kihon Happo were fundamentally basic yet so effective. The waza were free from the linear constraints of Karate. Absent was the kiai every time you threw a punch or a kick. The brutality of going one on one against another opponent in a sparring contest was not there yet it seemed ever present. Strength was replaced with subtleness, speed replaced with timing and distance. Linear forms were replaced with angles that flowed from one position to another with ease. It was hard for me to believe that these techniques that were being shown were actually effective. To the untrained eye the techniques look staged, almost put on. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The main focus of training was Budo Taijutsu (unarmed combat), capturing the uke’s (attackers) balance, attacking the kukan (space) and tying up the attacker like a pretzel. It almost looked too easy. I could not have been more wrong. Capturing the balance of an opponent, while at the same time keeping yours is a very difficult task indeed. Add timing and distance into the equation and you soon find out that this art is a lifetime commitment full of trials and tribulations. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you think you have the concept only to find out that you were just kidding yourself. I remember thinking to myself “if only I had discovered this martial art in my 20’s”. Would I have appreciated the subtleties of this devastating art, the nuances? I don’t think I would have. You see, it takes a lifetime to nurture and grow into a strong art. It is not something that can be achieved in a short space of time. All good things take time and this is no different. What you make of it is up to you. It is an individual journey that we are all on, learning and growing at different speeds. Where you take it is up to you.

    I hope this answers those questions.
     
  4. Mario Paul

    Mario Paul Samurai

    Like your dojo Aaron, ours is quite small. We have a total of 4 dedicated adults in Waihi. Hamilton is not too far away and when I can I shoot off over there for extra training.

    When Ii wrote the passage I was still a 6th kyu. I updated the ranking at qthe start of the passage as I progressed. I am know Niidan and do not feel the need to update the ranking status.
     
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  5. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    Ninjutsu is the movement and evasion aspect of taijutsu (correct me if i am wrong mario). If you want the combat aspect the look for a good combatives course, there are lots that get military recommendations around the world. This is assuming that you can't find a taijutsu school that you like. As for the movement and evasion part short of saying join the military i have no idea where to tell you to start.
     
  6. Quiteman

    Quiteman Initiate

    Apparently in the other post on Ninpo, there are those who still feel the art is made up despite all the historical records preserved in Japan.
     
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  7. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    well let's be fair, Ninjutsu as it exists today is an amalgam of white crane kung fu and at least 9 japanese traditions that i know of, maybe more). Hatsumi Sensei even says they were not a unified/ codified system until till he started putting them together.
     
  8. Quiteman

    Quiteman Initiate

    That may be true as far as him bringing everything together, but that doesn't mean the techniques are false or the training is not any good.
     
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  9. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    quite right :)
     
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  10. Mario Paul

    Mario Paul Samurai

    To be quite honest,I do not need to look any further. I have found all I am looking for in the Bujinkan. A tried and tested unarmed combat system that integrates the use of many weapons.
     
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  11. Ryannmnzo

    Ryannmnzo "Harmony Energy Way"


    your really fortunate to find the school you were looking for.. i never really found a ninjutsu school here in my city.. but im still hoping to go to other countries and learn ninjutsu there.. i did some kali training and tkd and im currently training in aikido

    is it true that aikido and some other martial art came from ninjutsu???..because i saw it in human weapon(reality show where two martial artists study and undergo training in diff styles and testing what they learnerd through competitions at the end of the episode)..and their rolls are very similar to aikido
     
  12. Ian Sinclair

    Ian Sinclair Bushido Warrior


    I found out about it from another martial arts school. Found out who the instructor was. he was a bouncer at the time, but not a big muscle bound fella. He seem to know what he was on about. I was doing TKD and Kung Fu at the time when i first heard and saw it, but wasn't until a few years later i actually started regular training in it. I have found it pretty much like Mario brilliantly put it. It is different in the way they do things. But i have found some things i think suck about it, like this idea of over inflated belts and what not. But the claims of it being ninja are debated, so pay more attention with whether the instructor is competent and not all show and no substance and whether or not you feel the system could work for you.
     
  13. Aaron

    Aaron Shadow Warrior

    The belt system is more of a per instructor preference more than anything else.

    There is really not a set criteria per ranking... every sensei has there own curriculum it seems... this can be both good and bad...

    Really there are on 3 belts; white, green, and black. Depending on the instructor; they will rank for each kyu level, or do x amount of kyus for green, than your shodan.

    Best thing to do is forget about rank and just train.
     
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  14. Ian Sinclair

    Ian Sinclair Bushido Warrior

    I'm told by my instructor its normal for someone to go from beginner to 5th Dan in 8-10 years with dedicated training. It took me about that to go to 2nd Dan in TKD, even with dedicated training. From what i can tell, until u get to 1st Dan its about even with most martial arts, but after that u can pretty much go to Japan and grade every 12mths if ur chasing after grades. That was an issue to me. My instructor (who has been training since the mid 80's and is 7th Dan) is a good one though and said belts are nothing and gave me the same advice u mentioned mate. I do like the Zen Buddhist elements in it and the philosophy of life they generally promote though. But to many idiots in Bujinkan make it hard to find a good instructor who cares more for the art than the money.
     
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  15. Aaron

    Aaron Shadow Warrior

    I think that can be said for most martial arts.
     
  16. Ian Sinclair

    Ian Sinclair Bushido Warrior

    Generally i agree with you. I have found that the relaxed style of the classes and the approaches to belt grades in general make it more common with in Bujinkan. I have seen how good the Bujinkan can be and if someone is dedicated there is plenty of good resources to help you in your journey. What got me interested was realizing the guy teaching was able to use it in his job without having to break bones. He was using it practically. I went to Bujinkan for the weapon skills, pressure point tactics and the grappling improvement. None of the other martial arts i had done were so heavily focused on it.
     
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