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5th Dan Ninjutsu/ BJJ Purple Belt (?)

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    5th Dan Ninjutsu/ BJJ Purple Belt (?)

    http://www.isseiryu.com/profiles.html

    I'm moving to another city and looking for a place to continue training BJJ. I found this school which is quite close to where I'm going to be living. Having met a few reformed Ninjas, and lurking on this site for a bit, the head instructor seems to have an odd mix of skills-5th Dan Ninjutsu, and a purple belt in BJJ.

    Have others encountered similar instructors before? Should I take this as a warning sign and stay away, or would this be too judgemental? Of course I could just shut up and go along for a trial...

    #2
    All ninjers are not to be trusted.

    That's not a joke. Keep your money and spend it on a legitimate instructor.

    You ought to go for a free lesson, though.

    Comment


      #3
      Errr... That website hurts my eyes.

      I see some potential red flags in that they don't acknowledge any particular "ninjutsu" lineage. Which X-Kan is it? Or is it entirely made-up?* It's also possible they've made a concious decision to part ways with the X-Kans for valid reasons. Strangely, they have just as little about the BJJ... Also, the fact they've named the system "Issei Ryu Bujutsu" is a curiosity.

      Leaving them aside for a moment, the combination of ninjutsu and BJJ rankings is increasingly common for a variety of reasons. (It's something with which I have first hand experience.) And yes, one of those reasons is the realization that "classic ninjutsu" training has some serious issues in the methodology.

      Is it a potential sign the instructor is cashing in on the latest craze? I'd say the percentage chance is high. But there is a small chance the instructor is interested in effective martial arts too.

      I'm going to go against the grain here and say: go for the trial class. But be prepared to ask a lot of questions about what they do, where they come from, and whether or not they pressure test skills in some way. You can always report here about the conversation and get more feedback.

      Don't be afraid to walk away from the class. Even if it's a bust, you'll learn something about how to look for quality instruction.

      * "made-up" being something of a relative term regarding modern ninjutsu.

      Comment


        #4
        Hey, I'm no expert in BJJ but I was in ninjutsu before. In order to advance in BJJ you need to roll and show that you can apply the techniques with the timing necessary to beat a resisting attacker who is also familiar with the techniques. That said, the teachers at the school you posted have collectively 1 purple belt, and 1 blue belt in BJJ. This means that they cannot promote you themselves as none are blackbelts.

        Have You looked at the class schedules? I don't see a lot of classes explicitly marked as bjj. It is my suspicion that they included bjj as a way to make their dojo, which is primarily ninjutsu and Issei Ryu Bujutsu (traditional Japanese Stick fighting), more appealing.

        Comment


          #5
          I agree with the very high probability that your suspicion is correct, but purple belt is a teaching grade, and they may have an arrangement with their own instructors to promote promising BJJ students.

          Also, "Issei Ryu Bujutsu" means, according to the website, "a lifelong art." Now, I'm not Japanese scholar, but I don't think it means that exactly. Also, it's "BU"-jutsu, not "Bojutsu," or "Staff fighting."

          "Bujutsu" means, roughly, "Martial Skills." I surmise by this they mean they teach a variety of different Japanese martial arts (probably the various martial arts taught in their previous ninjutsu organization). I believe using "bujutsu" in this manner is not correct, but hopefully someone who is fluent will weigh in.

          I'd really like to have more information before we go damning the school. I'd like to think that having any BJJ is a sign of movement in the right direction! They could be building their BJJ program. Depending on where the OP is in his own training, they could be very excited to have him join them.

          Comment


            #6
            Looking at their website, they seem to get their BJJits through these guys:

            http://www.groundzero.com.au/

            Why not shoot off an email to Rob Williams (blackbelt/head instructor) and politely ask him about your guys? A quick glance through the first few google search results would suggest that he is a very legit BJJ guy under Bruno Panno.
            Last edited by Larus marinus; 8/17/2010 6:03pm, .

            Comment


              #7
              I've seen a video (can't find it right now) of ninjers doing their typical compliant crap standing then transitioning into live looking rolling when it hits the ground

              This is sort of similar but not the same
              YouTube- BJJ And Ninjutsu Training

              He's a 5th dan; assuming he's Bujinkan, do you really want to learn bjj from a guy who paid money to fly to Japan and get hit on the head with a stick?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lindz View Post
                He's a 5th dan; assuming he's Bujinkan, do you really want to learn bjj from a guy who paid money to fly to Japan and get hit on the head with a stick?
                1.) You get your godan for NOT being hit on the head with the stick (that was sarcasm, not an apology), and

                2.) It depends. Is the person in question any good at BJJ?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Styygens View Post
                  I agree with the very high probability that your suspicion is correct, but purple belt is a teaching grade, and they may have an arrangement with their own instructors to promote promising BJJ students.
                  Okay, That's acceptable.

                  Also, "Issei Ryu Bujutsu" means, according to the website, "a lifelong art." Now, I'm not Japanese scholar, but I don't think it means that exactly. Also, it's "BU"-jutsu, not "Bojutsu," or "Staff fighting."
                  Funny thing is I googled Issei Ryu Bujutsu and I found just about no information other than links to the site originally posted. I did eventually find this though: Niten Ichi-ryū http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hy%C5%8..._Ichi-ry%C5%AB

                  I'd say the two possibilities are that a) The name of the martial art was translated phonetically into english characters and thus spelling varies, or b) they made up their martial art. I'm siding with A. Also take a look at their class schedule. They don't distinguish what martial art your doing on most of the regular adult classes except for bjj and "weapons". So we have 90% ninja stuff, some bjj and some weapons stuff.

                  "Bujutsu" means, roughly, "Martial Skills." I surmise by this they mean they teach a variety of different Japanese martial arts (probably the various martial arts taught in their previous ninjutsu organization). I believe using "bujutsu" in this manner is not correct, but hopefully someone who is fluent will weigh in.

                  I'd really like to have more information before we go damning the school. I'd like to think that having any BJJ is a sign of movement in the right direction! They could be building their BJJ program. Depending on where the OP is in his own training, they could be very excited to have him join them.
                  You may be right about "bujitsu". I just put together what I could using searches. I think the OP should go to the school and see if its any good. A lot of this could be cleared up by just asking the "founders" of this dojo some questions.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm coming down more on the side of your B.) option. I think they "made up" the art. But there's a lot of wriggle room here. I hope they haven't made anything up wholesale.

                    I suspect they have severed ties with an X-kan and renamed the material Issei Ryu Bujutsu. I have some sympathy for doing this. They want to keep teaching the old material, but understandably don't want to call it X-Kan/Budo Taijutsu/Taijutsu/etc. On the other hand, they feel they have to call it something -- if only for marketing purposes -- so they attach some Japanese-ish name to the old material. They'll catch hell from the purists on both sides.

                    I did look at the schedule. It looks like they are teaching a ton of kids classes, all with the name "ninja" in them. They teach a few adult classes without mentioning an art, and some specific BJJ classes, and some weapons classes.

                    Speculation: I'll bet the Adult classes are "Issei Ryu" and basically the old X-Kan curriculum -- with some BJJ and weapons thrown in as teasers for the other classes. The BJJ specific classes are probably still growing. This is apparently a commercial school and they may have a student body invested in the old curriculum and material.

                    As you said, a lot could be cleared up with a visit and honest chat with the instructors.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ok, so we all know there's no such things as ninjas and ninjitsu schools are shams in that respect. That being said, its not impossible that "ninjitsu" schools can teach decent skills...just in my limited experience they teach very basic skill sets in many different areas...seriously lacking any depth of understanding. Again, that isn't necessarily always the case.

                      Anyway, that aside I know some high level practitioners who have an odd combination of martial ranks. My aikido teacher is a 7th dan through the Yoshinkai but a nidan in iaido (because he just started taking it a few years ago). He also has low dan rank in karate and judo (which he took when he was young and hasn't trained in regularly... and he doesn't speak about his ranking in them very often). He even did a stint in China studying some form of kung fu...which he also never talks about (I guess 30+ years of aikido weighs more currently on the mind than 9 months in China at a kung fu temple). I guess my point being, you have to consider the following in people's ranks; they either have low rank b/c they haven't practiced it in forever, in which case they probably are not current on their dues to said organization and can no longer legitimately produce rank recognized for that organization (if that's important to you..doesn't necesarily mean they don't keep up their skills and have something to teach...although that is often the case). Or they have decided to focus on some new art relatively late in their career (rare, as many high ranking people are too set in their ways, busy, etc to focus on something new).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        ...The website asserted that their BJJ course is comprehensive in "fundamentals", takes 12 weeks, and you get to do fancy no-gi at the end when you're skilled enough.

                        If you don't understand the implication of that, then you ought to rethink your position.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          >>>We teach a style of martial arts named Issei Ryu Bujutsu, which means 'a lifelong art'. We believe that growing and improving is a lifelong journey.<<<


                          This sounds suspiciously like the "living skills" argument that boojers frequently cite to vaguely justify their lack of aliveness in training. IMO, that's a bad sign.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There is a guy out in Milford NH that runs a dojo that runs a ninjer dojo that also does kosen judo and mma. He has a fight team that does pretty well, as well as refs mma events.

                            http://www.myo-fu-an.com/

                            It does seem like ninjers who crosstrain tend to be a little less out of touch with the real world than the rest.
                            Last edited by Soldiermedic; 8/18/2010 10:22am, . Reason: edited to add website

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ShaolinKungPao View Post
                              >>>We teach a style of martial arts named Issei Ryu Bujutsu, which means 'a lifelong art'. We believe that growing and improving is a lifelong journey.<<<


                              This sounds suspiciously like the "living skills" argument that boojers frequently cite to vaguely justify their lack of aliveness in training. IMO, that's a bad sign.
                              I checked out the link and I think we have to speculate a lot here.


                              After years of instructing with another martial arts school, we found ourselves becoming disillusioned. Issei Ryu Bujutsu came about through much soul searching, and careful consideration of our philosophies and goals: What were we searching for? How would we do things better?
                              So what was the "other martial art"? We don't know but I suspect this may be the ninjutsu or it could be a form of JJJ or other japanese MA. This isn't really relevant if the OP is only interested in BJJ, however. It must be a X-Kan MA because they aren't explicit about who they got their BBs from, or what their school of Ninjutsu was.

                              To add to what others were saying... I did booj for a while too. I think your experiences will vary depending on you, your instructor, and your class mates. I think I have a better sense of balance and angles than what I would have had I done nothing, however I was expecting to generally be able to handle myself within 2 years, and I would say that's not really the case. I probably would have continued, except I didn't get enough time with partners practicing the material relevant to my kyu level.

                              Comment

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