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PoleFighter
12/25/2005 7:15pm,
A friend of mine recently e-mailed me to tell me that she has started training in Bujinkan. The e-mail was full of talk about how she was learning ancient, secret ninja techniques. I am going to e-mail her back soon telling her to be wary about martial arts school and their business practices. In addition to all the normal do-they-spar, what do-they-charge-for-belts fare, I feel that it would be a good idea to include an article that takes a critical look at the Bujinkan and its history. This is important, because I think that one of the main reasons she chose the bujinkan was that she wanted to learn an ancient, preserved warrior art. I feel that she should at leat be aware of the controversies surrounding it.

I seem to remember reading something on the internet about a year ago written by an american, who had been very high up in the organisation, after leaving it. Does anyone know which article Im talking about, or have anything else for me?

Mosquito
12/25/2005 7:20pm,
I know what article you are refering too, but imho it will be ill suited to your purposes. The guys main idea is that while technically sound, Bujinkan is filled with a "dark warrior spirituallity" and he now practises some kind of christian ninpo instead.

Anyway, not sure if I can dig it up, I remember seeing it on swedish portal kampsport.se.

Spunky
12/25/2005 8:20pm,
You're probably thinking of Alex Mordine, whom for the record I've heard from more than one source was known as kind of a tool when he WAS training. The article he wrote up did make a couple valid points, despite being biased for more than one reason IMO. Namely, the break-step method of demonstration frequently used that provides an unrealistic illusion of time to perform certain techniques.

Now, sometimes this occurs in demonstration for good reason (when pointing out important technical information) and doesn't influence the instructor's technique other than having to adjust for a fidgety ite, but it has become more of a crutch than a tool any many instances. You see a lot of demos where the instructor is clearly relying on those pauses to make his technique "work," and of course the students trying to do it with realistic timing get nowhere with it... and unfortunately those who only have experience under that one teacher chalk this failure up to their own inability, and the whole thing turns into the vicious cycle of falsely diefying the bad instructor (who probably just doesn't know any better).

That said, I'm curious if your friend is really being sold this pitch of "secret ninja techniques" or if its derived from some of the cheesy Hayes literature. I certainly don't know of any "secret techniques" but maybe I'm missing out (or they really ARE secret. Oooooooh!).

IMO, the main thing to be concsious of is the dispute around three of the nine lineages which Hatsumi is soke of and are specifically entitled "ninjutsu" but have gone by other labels. To date, there has not been a public verification of these lineages by independent sources. There are many historians within the Buj who have seen the scrolls when Hatsumi airs them out annually. The other ryu are well documented and acknowledged traditions, which is where a vast majority of the technique comes from. Some of these traditions supposedly passed through the hands of historical figures famously known as ninja. There is a mutually accepted rift between Hatsumi and the general koryu community in Japan. I read an interesting message on the subject authored by, I believe, Dr. Karl Friday. I'll throw up a link here when I find it.

Hannibal
12/26/2005 12:50am,
If she does Bujinkan she should be cautious.

Make sure the Bujinkan dojo has:

1. Focus on fitness and conditioining like lots of pad-work.
2. They do lots of sparring.

Those are the traits of a good martial arts school. Unfortunatley, most dojo's in the Bujinkan do not do these. Muxh like AIkido and Kung Fu.That is the biggest problem with Bujinkan. Sadly, it is true.

Poop Loops
12/26/2005 4:19am,
http://www.p0stwh0res.com/images/captainobvious.jpg

meng_mao
12/26/2005 11:41am,
I see less need for conditioning and sparring if the main purpose is just to learn the techniques of an ancient art, as long as they are taught in the correct context.

PO9
12/26/2005 11:48am,
I see less need for conditioning and sparring if the main purpose is just to learn the techniques of an ancient art, as long as they are taught in the correct context.


Thne she can just read a fucking book on it.

Sun Wukong
12/26/2005 1:26pm,
If she does Bujinkan she should be cautious.

Make sure the Bujinkan dojo has:

1. Focus on fitness and conditioining like lots of pad-work.
2. They do lots of sparring.

Those are the traits of a good martial arts school. Unfortunatley, most dojo's in the Bujinkan do not do these. Muxh like AIkido and Kung Fu.That is the biggest problem with Bujinkan. Sadly, it is true.

2400 posts and this is what you come up with... damn.

Just curious, did hannibal ever have his throwdown/ meet and greet with those other guys from austrailia?

Poop Loops
12/26/2005 6:40pm,
I see less need for conditioning and sparring if the main purpose is just to learn the techniques of an ancient art, as long as they are taught in the correct context.

Then she wouldn't be in the Bujinkan. Most of it is Samurai arts and all of it is totally twisted and perverted. Reading a book would be much faster and more accurate.

meng_mao
12/27/2005 5:03pm,
Thne she can just read a fucking book on it.
Don't see me disagreeing.

Peter H.
12/27/2005 5:57pm,
Another source for the history of the Buji on Koryu.com (http://koryu.com/library/ninjutsu.html) there use to be a larger article there on the unverifiable history of modern ninjitsu, the promise of authenticating certificates and scrolls, but then nothing was ever produced.

You also might want to look at e-budo.com in the archives, before the moritorium on posting ill of the Bujinkan when Don Cunningham raised a stink about high ups in Bujinkan giving rank to Dr. Rod and letting him teach Buj while they taught Juko Kai in some cases.

Nid
12/27/2005 6:00pm,
"Bujinkan."

"No, no. The Bujinkan."

"Ohhhhhh."

katana
12/27/2005 6:06pm,
A friend of mine recently e-mailed me to tell me that she has started training in Bujinkan.


This is important, because I think that one of the main reasons she chose the bujinkan was that she wanted to learn an ancient, preserved warrior art. I feel that she should at leat be aware of the controversies surrounding it.

Well if this is her reason then there may not be much you can do about it. However if she is learning self-defense for herself I think she would be far better off somewhere else. Most all martial arts claim some type of warrior history. The real question is: Why should she care?

If you think about it, the martial arts are completely opposite of most measures of human progress. Most martial arts measure their worth on how much really old knowledge they think they have. After all if it's old it must work right? Well not really, in fact probably not at all as most of the real-life application has been long forgotten.

One of the best parts of learning a sport-based fighting system over the conventional martial arts is that they are constantly evolving. Instead of being measured on how many old techniques you know, you are measured in how you adapt in your fighting now. Sports-based systems are constantly evolving, constantly changing and constantly offering new challenges. Modern boxers look nothing like those from 50 years ago because their techniques have been refined and improved. BJJ and MMA from 10 years ago is remarkably different from what it is today as techniques have adapted to the times. That to me is much more interesting than learning a bunch of anachronistic techniques that the teacher himself probably has never used in a fight.


I seem to remember reading something on the internet about a year ago written by an american, who had been very high up in the organisation, after leaving it. Does anyone know which article Im talking about, or have anything else for me?

There is an Alex Mordine interview here:

http://www.realfighting.com/0702/mordineart.html

He has an opinion on the subject for sure. I don't agree with all he says, but agree with quite a bit of it based on my experience in the Bujinkan.

I trained for years in the Bujinkan. The training was not a total waste but my time would have been much better spent training BJJ/MMA and not doing any traditional training styles at all. The Bujinkan has a large amount of politics, a broken ranking system, almost zero sparring, a cult-like devotion to Dr. Hatsumi and a lot of teachers who I simply think are dishonest and/or dillusional. So buyer beware.

If the girl can give you the name of the teacher you may want to ask on here about him/her. There are several posters who can give you a good recommendation for a teacher if she wants to pursue Bujinkan training.