Capture smoke

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Please reality, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    In another thread, a poster mentioned that trying to understand the Bujinkan organization was like trying to capture smoke. Then he went on to say that some of us ninjers would probably like that analogy. He was right, it was perfect!

    So, not to get all SKHayesey on everyone but that is kind of the point of ninjutsu. To become a black hole or lead your opponent into one, to become smoke or a bobbing gourd on the seas, or frost landing on a pine tree. So how does one go about that? Never mind the fact that it's hard to comprehend such haiku sounding gibberish, how does one go about internalizing such concepts in their movement?

    How does one make their opponent think that they hit you or damaged you when they haven't? How does one disappear without disappearing? Not sure, but I know that Hatsumi sensei can demonstrate this ability at will(or no will). I know that his top Japanese Shihan can demonstrate this skill. So why can't the other 99.99999% of people claiming to study ninjutsu do so?

    That is the question, really the only question that counts in this art and what makes some spend a lifetime struggling in the dojo.

    Can you do it?

    For those looking for other things or asking other questions, empires, chains of schools, DVDs and book deals, and other things abound to keep them occupied and irrelevant to those who are searching to answer that one master question.

    So if smoke can't be captured, can you become smoke? If it can, can you capture it? Great question!
  2. Sylvain

    Sylvain Valued Member

    I can't but ask me in 10 years... I will probably give you the same answer, but who knows?
  3. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong comment was directed at trying to define what the Bujinkan is all about from an organisational perspective and as an outsider.
    Trying to pin down rank, who's good, bad, been shown the good stuff of fobbed off with what they thought they wanted and all the other reasons/excuses that Booj people offer as to why it varies so much.

    In terms of actual physical skill and application "trying to capture smoke" is another thing entirely.
    And isn't just common to the Booj.
    A vivid story I was told way back when I did BJJ was a guy going to Rio and rolling with a BJJ guy called Marcio Feitosa.
    He likened it to rolling with an empty gi jacket.
    That analogy really stuck with me and is a good way of describing what rolling with someone that good is like. There just nothing there, nothing to get hold of or work with. What you thought was an opening is gone in a flash. You end up in bad positions but can't work out how.
    Personally I think it's just a result of so many years training and experience that thought, intention and movement are instinctive and seamless.
    And it's common at high levels in many arts and sports IMHO.
  4. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Yeah, my Instructor has similar to Braulio Estima, and it's just like rolling with..... Water? Or.... a really smooth 500kg boulder.

    Depends on which position you're in. :p
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    One minute into this video is like trying to catch smoke (and getting burnt!).

  6. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

  7. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Try to have a deep conversation and get only one and a half responses and then nothing but veiled trolling. The OP is quiet specific on what we are discussing, how to achieve this ability. It obviously isn't just from hard training over a long time, or else everyone who put in the years would be able to show this ability. Rather, it's about learning how to let go of what you know and delve into something that requires giving up your ego and relying on what worked up to a point in time that you have grown comfortable with.

  8. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Because those at the top have no regard or respect for 99.99999% of their students?

    What's your opinion?

    Can you do it?

    Could you possibly give a more technical explanation of what you're talking about? I think I know what you're on about, but your abstract analogies are a little vague.
  9. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Steps to capturing smoke:

    1) Start fire, use green wood.
    2) Get bottle.
    3) Turn bottle upside down over fire. Cork bottle.

    There you go!
  10. hatsie

    hatsie Active Member Supporter

    It's a good topic, but as you stated 99.999% of people can't do/ don't understand , which would most likely equate to 100% of people on here.

    Hence the tumble weed thread I'd say.

    I would have thought from a couple of hopefull's on here though, you would be in a stronger position to guide this discussion.
    I'm strongly believing as you often said or hinted, unless your in hatsumi sensei's pocket or one of the 3 remaining shihan, heck ill throw kaceem into the mix too! Your wasting your time in this art. But ofcourse there is a lot of fun, great friendships life experiance to be had ! Which isn't a 'complete' waste of time, quite the opposite.
    Just don't expect to ever be at their level or even close. And don't expect to be that elusive smoke either!

    This is my personal opinion, I hope I doesn't offend.
  11. Da Lurker

    Da Lurker Valued Member

    well, reminds me of another "capturing smoke" saying, you know, chasing 'em dragons.

    Being Vague, Mysterious and Undecipherable, is well, part of the 48 Laws of Power.

    and in the end, it's all illusions, but such illusions affect reality, for people choose to believe them.

    on whom?

    to whom?

    with the other guy doing what?

    with the other guy aiming to do what?

    it's easy to show such qualities on a student (as yanagi ryuken shows) but it's different to do it to someone aiming and good enough to attain your domination / defeat / destruction (choose your level).

    *raises eyebrows* :whistle:

    what are you insinuating?

    that you can get it by being around persons like being exposed to gamma rays? (Hulk make ANGRY!)

    that being in contact with certain persons make you that good like what they do with the Shroud of Turin?

    that it can be passed on like the Matrix of Leadership? (Autobots, transform and roll out)

    or that it can be attained by chasing, ahem, certain "kinds" of smoke..? :evil:
  12. Da Lurker

    Da Lurker Valued Member

    (emphasis mine)

    :wow: only 3 of them REMAINING? did they all die off or something? did the rapture already happen? :evil:

    oh, probably you were referring to the ****ennou. oguri's gone, only 3 left.

    funny though, you include kacem and yet left out his sensei ishizuka... :rolleyes:
  13. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Actually, yes and no about the illusions. You think you can hit them though you can't. You can try to resist them though to no avail. Naturally, years of hard training is also required to reach this level, there is no osmosis in the martial arts. No amount of politics or pretending to get it when you are really just a chuta hanpa wannabe copying what you saw the boss do(or what you think he did) is going to help.

    No, but it is like trying to capture smoke. So instead of trying to be sarcastic, maybe if you meditate on how that is possible, then you would get further.
  14. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Remember kiddies, the human body is close enough to the same amongst all people to be considered such. Therefore, if it works on one person and doesn't work on another, you haven't got it. It's also not about the Shihan or Hatsumi sensei not caring about their students. Just to play devil's advocate though, let's asume that they don't care. How does that change anything? As long as they are showing the correct movement and how to do things correctly(ie not deliberately doing one thing and showing something else), people should still be able to pick it up. Actually, even if they were teaching lies but still showing the correct movement when they moved, people should be able to see and learn from that. Martial arts are a personal journey and one has to take responsibility for their own path/growth/development(or lack thereof).

    The funny thing is that even though they do care about their students, they are showing and teaching the true art, only a handful of people have developed this skill and ability. So there must be another reason...
  15. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    There seems to be a consensus between the buj MAPpers that teaching licenses are given to people who don't "get it".

    If that's the case, in what way is it caring to take yearly membership dues from students who are getting inferior training?

    Back to the smoke, are you talking about more than highly developed sensitivity, lack of preparatory movement, use of distraction and blind spots etc.?

    You seem to be implying that there is more to it than the way they use their body, and the body of their opponent.
  16. hatsie

    hatsie Active Member Supporter

    Panties in a twist sweetheart? Did you miss the bit at the end about it being my personal opinion?
    I could have worded it better but I certainly didn't mean disrespect to other proper IMHO shihan, ie not every plonker with a judan.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  17. gapjumper

    gapjumper Intentionally left blank

    Teaching licenses are given to people who pass the godan test.

    It is the students teacher that is resposible for ensuring they are suitable and that they have been training long enough. IMO. I know others disagree.

    So you can't look to soke, only to the teacher who puts them forward. I think Soke has said that there is a minimum length of training people should have. And no, it's not measured in Carbonaro or Brogna time. (Or HammerTime)

    Back to the smoke thing...

    I think it was the organisation itself that was likened to smoke originally wasn't it?

    But PR also went on to talk about there being other stuff like the opponent thinking they can hit when they can't and that they are on balance when they aren't.

    IMO: Some of this is just about timing and distance. Some is controlling intent, showing none sometimes, and showing false intent at others, messing with their perception of what is happening, what they feel, the way you generate power, and moving/stepping in a way that seems to fool them too. But I also think there is a "something else", that may just be a combo of all these things and more, or something else I just do not know how to put into words...
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  18. garth

    garth Valued Member

    Gapjumper posted

    The problem is that unless the teacher is a Japanese shihan all one has is a teacher who is not worth the grade recommending their student who is not worth the grade, for a 5th dan teaching licence.

    We only have to look at another thread here...

    Which has now gone to 68 pages and 1018 comments, with most of the clips posted being about Bujinkan teacher that show that clearly something is wrong. And as the negative comments are mostly from current Bujinkan members its obvious that some (The posters here) know that something is wrong.

    Now it may be that if you train with the Japanese that you may get the real deal, i'm not disputing that, but the fact that so many youtube clips featuring Bujinkan 5th dans and above receive such negative comments suggests that there is a fundamental quality problem.

    And to say that...
    Is absolute rubbish. The buck stops with soke. If he wanted he could have a grading system, ask the students to show what they could do to check the students ability before they take the 5th dan test. Instead we have numerous 5th dans and above who according to the above thread "Bad Ninjutsu Videos and Critiques w/o Off Topic Videos" have poor technique, posture, balance etc.

    This is why I have a lot of time for people like Kacem Zoughari who only accept a low grade but seems very good at what he does, or Norman Smithers who just gets on with it, over someone who accepts a high grade and promotes themselves as master of the Universe.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  19. gapjumper

    gapjumper Intentionally left blank

    Not all. Just some. And it is often surprising just how interconnected those people are.

    But that is not the topic of this thread.

    Thankyou for saying it is rubbish. I did say it was just my opinion. Maybe you just do not understand it.

    "The buck stops with soke" is a view, of yours, but that does not make it correct.

    Again though isn't this a little off topic?


    What is your view of the contents of the first post in this thread?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  20. gapjumper

    gapjumper Intentionally left blank

    Could it be to do with having preconceptions about how and why, without just accepting what they are being shown? Because they try to rush to the end without bothering to pay attention and learn?

    Because they pay their money to attend class they think they have a right to expect to reach a certain ability level...

    They go through life dismissing things as "impossible", "impractical", "in need of modernisation" because they cannot understand it or replicate it yet...instead of just storing that away in their mind and waiting until the day they DO eventually understand.

    They don't like hard work.

    Because they are not (and refuse to try to be) an empty cup?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

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