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  1. Plasma is offline
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    Heel Hook Hunter

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2012 6:41pm

    supporting memberforum leaderstaff
     Style: Jiu Jitsu | Knife

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post

    1. Did ninja "clans" ever exist or is this a western pop culture invention? Were ninjas ever anything but thugs with blades or did "secret ninja societies of shadow and badass" exist?
    Yes and no. There were was Iga and Koga area families that some claim to have those roots, but I don't believe there is any solid "proof" they were being hired out for esponiage or assassination. What is more likely is among each lord's samurai were groups dedicated to these tasks are per any ancient or modern military unit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    2. Article cited numerous ninjer weapons including wall-scaling gloves, kunai, fighting claws and choke-chain lassos. Do these weapons have any historical basis or were they developed in recent times for their coolness factor?
    Shuko or the climbing claws were a tool of infiltration as they helped people climb castle walls. Kunai were farming trowels, not really sharp but useable if someone was impersonating a farmer. Fighting chains are used throughout Ko-ryu Bujutsu

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    3. Did widespread ninjitsu training in Japan actually take place before the 80ies ninja craze and widespread commercialisation by the Bujinkan? How much has movie portrayal of ninjas influenced the practise of modern ninjitsu?
    Not really. In fact its still not popular in Japan. 99% people who study it are Gaijin. Hatsumi didn't even push the Ninja aspect until he saw Stephen Hayes raking in the $$ after training for only 1 week.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    4. I believe it has been mentioned previously that the Bujinkan is regarded as somewhat of a joke in Japan. Are any of the other schools regarded more favourably or is the whole style seen by the Japanese as a cultural curiosity you export to stupid westerners but don't take seriously yourself?
    Any Ninjutsu that is taken seriously by the Japanese are sections of legit Ko-ryu Bujutsu. Outside of that, they think its very silly.
  2. Styygens is online now
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    Senior Member

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2012 8:43pm


     Style: BBT/BJJ/CJKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    My interest is purely academic, seeing as I recently read an article on feudal ninjas in a magazine on history and would like to know just to what extent the non-ninja historian who wrote it was hoodwinked by Hollywood bullshit, seeing as she presented Hatsumi as being some kind of living ninja god and generally seemed to buy into the "mysterious superhuman assassin" thing too much to my liking.
    Like Plasma, I typed out a long response along the same lines. But I didn't click "post" because it has all been said before.

    Yeah, a lot of "history" articles on ninja that appear in the West are contaminated by Booj ideas and perpetuate many myths. If you repeat something often enough, it takes on the aura of truth. And for that reason, I don't think a "myth versus reality" thread would deter any ninjer (tween, teen, or supposed adult) from defending their faith.

    The other problem is that "reality" isn't firmly defined. "Ninja" is a relatively recent catch-all term used to retroactvely describe Japanese feudal period spies, saboteurs, and "commandos." There were many different terms used at the time that describe different roles and responsibilities. While it is possible to point with some certainty at the existence of spies and troops engaged in unconventional military activities, it might not be easy to agree on which of them really count as "ninja" in the sense modern pop culture uses the term. Is the castle steward who sells secrets he overhears a ninja? Is the agent handler who buys the secrets a ninja? Is the samurai officer who collects intelligence from a network of agents and handlers a ninja? Is the samurai who engages in a stealthy raid to penetrate a besieged castle a ninja? What about an ashigaru who patrols and ranges the frontier of his daimyo's domain to protect against bandits, is he a ninja?


    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." -- H.L. Mencken

  3. SpamN'Cheese is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/12/2012 9:13pm


     Style: Karate, Boxing, BJJ noob

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    1. Did ninja "clans" ever exist or is this a western pop culture invention? Were ninjas ever anything but thugs with blades or did "secret ninja societies of shadow and badass" exist? .
    "Ninja clans" didn't exist perse. They were samurai families who also practised and specialized in ninjutsu. In other words, they were samurai or ashigaru who were hired to be spies for their lord. The first proto-ninja were groups of samurai called akuto that basically murdered and robbed eachother. Iga and Koka were full of these samurai, who owned most of the land, and these two groups were so good at ninjutsu because they used it on one another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    2. Article cited numerous ninjer weapons including wall-scaling gloves, kunai, fighting claws and choke-chain lassos. Do these weapons have any historical basis or were they developed in recent times for their coolness factor?
    A lot of these "ninja weapons" were, once again, samurai weapons and were commonly used. The idea of ninja only using hidden weaponry comes from Yumio Nawa, the last grandmaster of Masaki ryu. Not saying ninja wouldn't use these, I'm just saying that these weren't strictly "ninja weapons".


    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    3. Did widespread ninjitsu training in Japan actually take place before the 80ies ninja craze and widespread commercialisation by the Bujinkan? How much has movie portrayal of ninjas influenced the practise of modern ninjitsu?
    The Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu has ninjutsu in its curriculum, and so do many schools of heiho. Many "ninja families", being apart of the warrior class, taught ninjutsu along with their family's school of martial arts. Movie portrayal has influenced modern ninjutsu A LOT, which is another reason to look at modern schools with apprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    4. I believe it has been mentioned previously that the Bujinkan is regarded as somewhat of a joke in Japan. Are any of the other schools regarded more favourably or is the whole style seen by the Japanese as a cultural curiosity you export to stupid westerners but don't take seriously yourself?
    For the most part, yes. Seeing as ninjutsu was NOT a martial art, anyone who dresses up like a stereotypical ninja and teaches ninjutsu as a martial art is a laughing stock in Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawarma View Post
    Trying to seperate fact from fiction using the internet is next to impossible in this age of Naruto. I think a "historical ninja reality vs Hollywood modern myths" thread might be in order if someone in the know could be arsed to write it. Might deter some of the sillier ninja teenagers coming to the site to defend their lethal assassination art.
    Not at all. Most of my knowledge on ninjutsu and Japanese history came from internet. Just gotta know where to look. The Iga 49 Ninja Stories site is pretty good for Iga ninja history, and it's compiled by the cities of Iga and Nabari. (Nabari was once apart of Iga province.)
  4. BJMills is online now

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    Posted On:
    4/13/2012 2:12am


     Style: Muay Thai/Wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This is a really good book on the subject if you're interested:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ninjutsu-Invis.../dp/0804815976
  5. slamdunc is offline
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    Extraordinarily Ordinary

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    Posted On:
    4/13/2012 7:10am

    supporting member
     Style: TKD, CMA & American Kenpo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by SpamN'Cheese View Post
    Seeing as ninjutsu was NOT a martial art, anyone who dresses up like a stereotypical ninja and teaches ninjutsu as a martial art is a laughing stock in Japan.
    This statement is pretty much a summary of my view on this subject. Like many other things that once were and had a useful purpose, they became obsolete and ceased to exist.
    I worked out with a Taijutsu practitioner in Florida, and his martial arts were spot-on. He wasn't delusional, though; he knew to separate the kabuki and hocus pocus from his training. He claimed Taijutsu and not ninjitsu, although he referenced it and gave credit.
  6. Jim_Jude is offline
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    Shime Waza Test Dummy

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    Posted On:
    4/18/2012 5:10pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: StrikeyGrappling & WW2-fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    the primary issue with Bujinkan so-called "History" is that you have no idea what is stolen from other sources & what's just made up. For example, one of the more well known quotes that Hatsumi attributes to Takamatsu was where Takamatsu claimed to have bein like a tiger when he was a young man running around fighting, while later in life he was more like a cat than a tiger. This quote is likely stolen from Sunryu Suzuki's book "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" where Suzuk-roshi attributed it to his Soto Zen teacher Gyokujun So-on-daiosho. Now, granted, this may have been a popular little saying back in the day, something that many old men said, but we have it in print from Suzuki-roshi at least as early as 1973. & it's a common thing to say to Bujinkan folks that they should just train, not to meditate, that if they just train that it's like meditation and that they can get the same benefits from martial arts as from zazen or meditation. Which of course is bullshit.
    "Judo is a study of techniques with which you may kill if you wish to kill, injure if you wish to injure, subdue if you wish to subdue, and, when attacked, defend yourself" - Jigoro Kano (1889)
    ***Was this quote "taken out of context"?***

    "The judoist has no time to allow himself a margin for error, especially in a situation upon which his or another person's very life depends...."
    ~ The Secret of Judo (Jiichi Watanabe & Lindy Avakian), p.19

    "Hope is not a method... nor is enthusiasm."
    ~ Brigadier General Gordon Toney
  7. drizzt777 is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2012 8:07am


     Style: FMA, JJ, Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Dirctly linking many of the schools of the Bujinkan back to anywhere beyond Takamatsu is, well.....impossible? No proof has come forth of Takamatsu training with Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu.

    The thing isin the Bujinkan the ONLY two schools with verifiable lineages are the Kukishin Ryu and the Takagi Yoshin Ryu. o as far as Ninjutsu/Ninpo having a direct link back to Fuedal Japan, I am not so sure about Togakure/Kumogakure/Gyokushin Ryu (in recent years Gyokushin Ryu has been called a Koppojutsu school, while when I first began in the Buj in 1996 it was a ninjutsu school.)

    I contacted many (many years ago) a Hontai Yoshin School in Kentucky (I believe?) inquiring about visiting and training some. I informed them I was at the time a member of the Bujinkan. They said I was not allowed to train with them.

    This puzzled me. :yaoming:

    Turns out what it was basically, they have a direct lineage that isn't tarnished by BS and therefore they are not having any BS come their way.

    Can't says I blame them. :EWBTE2:

    I left the Bujinkan because they embellished on their lineages on 6-7 of the ryu-ha. If I do anything similar from here on out it would be with the Genbukan. For now, I'm very happy with the JJ/Judo and FMA I am studying. I left the Bujinkan comletely a couple of years ago. I had been cross-training since I began MA in 1996, but I decided it was time to let go of something old to make room for something new.

    So far as it goes, if I do practice anything from the Buj, its only those two schools alone.
  8. omoplatypus is offline
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    Merry Christmas! shitter's full...

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2012 8:42am

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ/Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Here is my contribution:

    There once was a failing film company called Cannon. They sold out to the Golan group (Israeli expats). The Jews decided to make their fortune with ninja flicks.

    Thus, the popular culture idea of ninjitsu was born. All the modern ideas of what ninjas are and what they do came from these Israeli made films.

    So, next time you're watching any of my favorite ninja films, Ninja 3, Revenge of the Ninja, or American Ninja, just remember, its nothing more than what us yidden decided to sell to you goyem.

    --------

    Quote Originally Posted by it is fake View Post
    yeah, normally i'd get a quote, but couldn't be bothered.
  9. Colin is offline
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    LVL 99 Photomancer

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2012 8:56am

    supporting member
     Style: MT/BJJ/MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This is for white kimbo

    Jew Kosugi?

    Last edited by Colin; 5/15/2012 9:06am at .
  10. omoplatypus is offline
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    Merry Christmas! shitter's full...

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2012 9:25am

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ/Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I love it.

    If you want an idea of the happy parts of my childhood, watch the sho kosugi movies that feature his son (revenge of the ninja and pray for death for starters) and imagine the little ninja kid is a tall skinny 9 year old Jewish boy.

    I had a ninja fort in my back yard and everything.

    Last edited by omoplatypus; 5/15/2012 9:29am at .
    --------

    Quote Originally Posted by it is fake View Post
    yeah, normally i'd get a quote, but couldn't be bothered.
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