Maybe the reason for your surprise is because you don't seem to see a difference between here and the other sites?
Originally Posted by Styygens
Rumor has it that one of our senior members actually attended the seminar. It is possible he might actually write a review sometime before the next Ninja lineage war breaks out.
The reason for my surprise is that I DO see a difference between this site and the others. Elsewhere I see a "lineage war" that consists of flames, ad hominem attacks, and a lot of trash talk that generally obscures the points. Here -- well, okay, when the "noise-to-signal" ratio is high I sometimes see that -- here I expect a more rational analysis of the available evidence for claims.
Originally Posted by Tom Kagan
Outrageous claims demand some pretty spectacular evidence. If two guys appear claiming they have the Real Ninjutsu, that's a pretty outrageous claim. I expected to see more discussion on a controversial issue. I was especially surprised because the available evidence is so scant right now.
I do see two other significant differences...
First, there's a certain degree of care about investigating wild claims. From what you're saying, a Bullshido member is preparing an article. Now that I know that, I look forward to this review and I think it explains why there was not a "knee jerk" reaction in responses.
Second, I understand there's an emphasis on discussion about effective training over some of the silliness of the general martial arts community. "Ninjas" are almost by definition silliness. The question of who does or does not have the real ninjutsu is probably a sideshow for many here. It's interesting in the way a Bigfoot sighting might be -- it's entertaining for the moment, but not really going to matter in the long run to the way people train. This occurred to me after I posted.
Still, if hard evidence of bigfoot was uncovered, it would be big news... For the moment, I'll just wait and see what happens next.
As far as the ninja stuff goes, you're not going to find a ninjutsu/ninpo school that is entirely free of controversy. There are, however, quite a few well-documented schools of traditional Japanese sword arts which are still extant. They're generally ninja-free, though Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu contains some espionage-related techniques.
Originally Posted by Listener
If you're serious about wanting to go to Japan to study koryu bujutsu (the umbrella term for traditional Japanese arts that predate the Meiji restoration in 1868), you really, really need to read this: http://www.koryu.com/library/dskoss3.html . There's a lot of other good information about koryu arts over at koryu.com, and koryu dojo finders at e-budo.com and kendo-world.com.
The dojo finders mostly cover North America and Europe; I have no idea what's available in Beijing. Good luck with your search!
Could someone please copy Wayne Muromoto's post on e-budo and stick it here? I can't log onto their site for some reason.
Originally Posted by eyebeams
kawakami s. Several of Kawakami s.'s photos are taken from an old Kendo Nippon article which I recall reading. I also saw a TV documentary on ninjutsu in Japan years ago and it devoted quite a bit of time to Kawakami sensei, as well as to others claiming to teach ninjutsu, including Hatsumi sensei, and a rather odd American in New York City who claimed to have inherited the Koga-ryu by ESP and because he's black and the ninja were as beaten down as blacks and Native American Indians, he claimed mastery b ESP and by similar circumstances. Most of the doc was tongue-in-cheek. Like, "look how silly these people are..."
...Except when it came to Kawakami sensei. He seemed kind of scary. Or at least eccentric.
Kawakami s. at the time only had one student who could bear the training. He worked as a technician in an electronics firm in the Yamato area during the day. He displayed several scrolls and said that he learned the art from a mysterious neighbor and was given the lineage of the Koga-ryu, and he was versed in several other ryu, including, supposedly the Takenouchi-ryu. Not sure about that latter claim.
He does quite severe training. On his way to work, he toughens his knuckles by pounding on a metal disk with his fists while driving. This practice has resulted in extremely large and disfigured knuckles. He practices fighting by kicking, scratching, punching and head-butting trees in the forest. He eats only brown rice and the simplest of vegetables and unprocessed foods. And at the time, he refused to take on any more students and refused to publish much about his secrets because that's not his idea of ninjutsu. I also had a nice laugh because one of his comments was "There is no such thing as a fat ninja."
That statement would eliminate a whole lotta people. Some of his training regime seemed way out there, but when he did kata work with his student, he did look pretty good, albeit darned rough.
My own take is that orthodox budo people in Japan don't quite know what to make of Kawakami s., whether or not his claims are true or not. I think he does engender some respect for not being a money-grubber or an empire builder. He just trains, and according to the Kendo Nippon article and the TV doc, only had one student able to endure his training, and he couldn't care less.
I have a feeling, however, that Mr. Hombres did not spend the requisite amount of time or training to be truly called the inheritor of Kawakami s.'s mantle, simply due to his self-aggrandizement, which seems to run counter to Kawakami s.'s own style. Just my own two cents' worth.
Thank you Dale. At the time the documentary was shot in 1988, Kawakami had the most spectacular set of calluses on his hand I had ever seen. They did not even look human. He's cut back a lot of that particular conditioning training in the last 10 years, and made a reference at the seminar that being married and older, was the the reasoning for ending it, but he still has very powerful hands.
I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I was fortunate enough to actually go train with Kawakami Sensei , and his senior student Kiyomoto Sensei at a seminar in New Jersey afew weeks back. From what I had seen first hand, Kawaki Sensei and his student, Kiyomoto Sensei are the REAL DEAL. Long story short, the two gentlemen who were representing the Banke Shinobinoden and the Iga ninja museum, demonstrated and well informed everyone who was present at this seminar regarding the roots of the '53' actual Koka Ryu. Upon completion of the seminar, atleast to me, from everything I obtained from watching and actually participting, Ninjustu isn't just a martial art, one to be used in combat, but, most of all, it is a WAY OF LIFE. These two men who took the time to travel from Japan and to inform those who were present, not only left many questions answered in regards to '53' Koka Ryu, but also, the authentcity of such a discipline that has been hidden from mainstream or and the public for the the past 40 years.
Originally Posted by Dale Dugas
Wow.. that's fucking nuts.
Proof they are the "real deal", you know beyond the "he told me in New Jersey".
Originally Posted by jason8619
I've researched the majority of material available in English on this subject.
Originally Posted by jason8619
There are some common misconceptions about ninjutsu.
Ninja were ( for the most part ) synonymous with Samurai. That is, ninjutsu was practiced by Samurai. The unarmed combat was based on jiujutsu/taijutsu. The weapons were all known to them and practiced by them. Apparently some ninja were known to be early adherents of teppujutsu ( firearms ). The practices that ninja are associated with, such as surveillance, really weren't solely their province either. Any crusty peasant could be utilized to watch roads and listen to rumors.
It's not until the peace that followed the establishment of the Tokugawa that we find the cult of ninjutsu developing in the popular mind. Some of the legend can be ascribed to popular theatre. I think also, there was some posturing on the part of the military class, as it was becoming passe ( and distasteful ) to be associated with ninja practices. The Iga and Koga clans were trusted with certain castle gates as a reward for service. Allegedly ninja became part of the state apparatus, spying on the citizenry for the government.
So if you eliminate combat training, you are left with the following skill sets:
infiltration, intelligence gathering, pyrotechnics, counter intelligence...
Whoah, hold on there. These would all be considered standard military subjects, especially to any reader of Sun Tzu. What's left?
Seiko Fujita claimed training in some esoteric subjects, like poison, reading the weather, experiencing certain privations of the body ( starvation, lack of sleep, etc. ). But he refrained from passing this information along, as he saw the ninjutsu lineage as obsolete. Certainly some of it could be misused, i.e. poisons, arson, etc.
Now most "ninjutsu" being offered today is unarmed/armed combat techniques. There is very little stealthy training, or anything else of an esoteric nature. You would do just as well training in budo or jiujutsu if you are interested in the martial art side of it.
I haven't heard that the Bujinkan has a hard on for this gentleman, nor that Bujinkan claims to be the single authority on ninjutsu. The fact of the matter is, unless he is passing on some kind of training outside of martial arts, he really isn't bringing anything new to the table. That standard applies to the Booj and other associated Takamatsuden as well. You might as well take up some kind of wilderness survival courses to round out your "ninja" training, because you are more likely to pick up relevant info at REI than you would from ANY of the aforementioned organizations.
Last edited by vaquero de las nalgas; 7/14/2010 6:14am at .
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO