What can Bujinkan offer me at my stage of life.

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Botta Dritta, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member


    I'm considering of checking out a local Bujinkan Dojo, and I was wondering if it would be any good for me. A bit of my background. I have fenced (both as a competitor and as an amateur instructor) for 18 years. I have boxed for almost four (not competed but I do do some heavy sparring, so I have punched and taken a few in return as well). I also have done Chen style Taijiquan - 3 years, and though I have done some push hands practice and some applications work, while the art has fascinated me, I've never been particulary good at it. Fencing has always been my first love, and because I have responsibilities teaching in it to my local community its what take up most of my time. I wished I learnt boxing earlier as, but I learnt (too late!) that I had an aptitude for it. Problem is at 34, beyond the possibility of white collar bouts its really just to keep fit and the joy of slugging it in a ring.

    However when I was at Uni I had the opportunity to join a Ninpo Taijutsu club and I never took it for various reasons, I discovered recently that there is one nearby. The thing is i am just curious really of what I missed out over a decade ago. I am fully aware of how difficult it is to transition from one discipline to another. It took me ages to learn the subtle shifts in footwork and waist in Taijiquan, and as for Boxing its a totally different type of power generation from fencing footwork, not to mention about actually learning to punch properly.

    I must stress that Im not after being a Togakure ninja or some dark avenger of the deadly st33ts. I gather that Gyokko Ryu and its Kihon Happo are the kind of basics that underpin what is taught initially (i've been doing some research...) Im not really even after being a blackbelt. Just an insight, but know full well that you are never going to get it from books or DVD's

    To boil it down to simple questions

    1) What will the experience in the Bujinkan give me that I may not find in other martial disciplines?

    2) Is it like Taijiquan where you have to train in subtleties for years before practical applications become useful?

    3) Is its good for cross training? What can it bring to a persons martial knowledge, or its its body alignment structurem/ philosophy of engagement too different for other exponents to draw any positives.

    4) Where does it lie on the Soft/Hard axis?

    A couple of disclaimers:

    Yes, I am aware of the Bujinkan lineage issues: Not interested. I'm more intestested in Bujinkan as it is in 2015 than what it was prior to 1950's

    Yes, I understand that boxing and fencing are Combat sports and not strictly Martial arts, and have limited applicability. This isnt a comparison thread.

    Im just trying to make my mind up if I should give Bujinkan a try and if my background makes its too difficult to learn anything at this stage of my life.

    I would paticulary be intestested in hearing from people who have cross trained in the Bujinkan from other disciplines, or those from the Bujinkan who have trained outside their own discipline..

    Thanks for reading this thread. Apologies in advance if its been answered elsewhere. Also this is my very first post.:rolleyes:


    Botta Dritta.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  2. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Nice into.

    Welcome to MAP.
  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    It's fairly gentle, you could probably do it into old age.

    Chances are supremely high that your instructor will be terrible/most people will tell you they are terrible.

    Nobody has the real ninjutsu. Only anonymous people on the Internet who don't/can't back up their claims.

    None of them can fight. Or at least, nobody is willing to prove it/test it.

    Eh, what are you wanting out of it anyway? If it's fighting ability then you're pretty much covered.

    Also, what's fencing like? Can you start another thread talking about that please? :D
  4. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    I did a bit of Buj from a fairly heavy (at the time) Shotokan karate background to try and give some answers

    1/ There's nothing really there that isn't found in other arts , it's essentially just jujitsu at its heart.

    2/That really depends on who you talk to , for me there were some useful concepts from the beginning , just practiced in a sub optimum way.

    3/It really does depend on your previous experience , if you've never done any form of grappling it may help , though as I said , the way it tends to be practiced (little to no pressure) is pretty counter productive , the sword work will be totally different to what you're used to though.

    4/somewhere in the middle.

    I have to admit , I have a bit of a soft spot for the Bujinkan as I believe it has some potential to be useful , it just seems to be infested with a mind set that pressure isn't really required because Hatsumi doesn't train that way , forgetting that he trained really hard in his younger years.
    Where in the west mids are you looking at training ?
  5. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Is quality control in the organisation a problem then?

    As for why its just curiosity of what I could have missed out on at uni. One of my friends back then joined the club and showed me some cool joint locking techniques and some nifty rolling skills, but this was 15 years ago....

    As for a fencing thread please dont feed my passion! No seriously fencing is just a sport now. A fast paced split second tactical combat sport, but a sport nontheless. Some of the HEMA guys are working to recreate the 18th century smallsword which is what the sport is descended from, but there are no surviving schools that teach its as a duelling/self defence discipline with the exception of some of the older European salles but even then its tenuous.

    As for martial applications, Ive lost count of the JKD guys that come through my doors, so I guess the footwork must have some crossover as well as the tactics.

    But anyways...back to the Bujinkan
  6. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Bassai -

    Im looking at one in Walsall. No idea of who runs it.
  7. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    If it's the one I'm thinking of It's ultimately under Norm who seems to be universally highly rated , from personal experience I can agree.
  8. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    People knock sport arts for some strange reason but tbh sport arts are superior skills for fighting. Self defence is simply about avoiding a fit. There are good books on the subject.

    EDIT: Quality control is the big issue. They're like high school girks, always tearing each other down. Because nobody pressure tests, nobody knows what works or how it works.
  9. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    has the op gone to take a test class to see what it's about? that's probably the most efficacious way to answer the question. train. and after awhile, years even, train in something else if it doesn't suit your needs.
  10. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    This is probably the best bit of advice, it ultimately doesn't matter if it's a good martial art or if you are suited to it based on previous experience, just try it out and go from there, i'd personally avoid a ninjitsu school like the plague if i owed it money, but at the end of the day, you gotta do you.
  11. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    No pressure testing ever? Odd.

    Generally people start slow and build up. In boxing I began on the pads/bags and then my instructor gradually introduced light sparring with himself and then with trusted opponents building up my confidence and abilities and to push me out of my comfort zone, right up to when I recieved a stunning upper cut, wobbled but didnt fall. At that point he was happy enough to let me play with his more experienced boxers. In fencing people generally start with the basics, light sparring from the first lesson building up their repetoire each lesson and then trying to use it against their fellow beginners. In the Uk they generally fence like this for six months then get pushed into the deep end at an open where they are then mercilessly taken apart by whichever top 20 olympic hopeful fencer they were unlucky to draw in their pool. After that they either get the bug and haul their ass to a cold sports hall every other weekend on the competitive to prove their worth, or they decide competition is not for them and either fence socially/semi-competitively or leave.

    Now I get the Bujinkan doesn't compete. Got no probelm with that. There many fine fencers I have met that are technically excellent but for whatever reason can't stand the histrionics and general testosterone dump that happens on the fencing circuit.

    But the Bujinkan from what I've seen doesnt seem to be just form based. I mean...it can't be less resistance based than taijiquan. Even taijiquan has push hands competitions to test their fundamental skills...

    Or is it that case that some instructors introduce non resisting methods after say blackbelt?
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  12. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    As far as i am aware, there is pretty much no form of competition attached to the Bujinkan what so ever, so compared to taijiquan, it would indeed offer less pressure testing, the reasoning given as far as i can tell, is that competition is viewed as demeaning, and would stop ninjitsu from being a true martial art, i'm not aware of how organized the sparring is, but from what i can tell, it can vary wildly, but the majority of schools do none.
  13. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    I havn't I 'm afraid. Im currently on holiday and was planning to follow a lead after I come back. Im clearly interested even if it is curiosity/nostalgia. Unfortunately Im the kind of guy that probably over rationalises over why I should do something. So just wanted to throw a thread out there and sound out some opinions. I would for example ask if Bujinkan treats joint locks as 'Gifts' - applying them as situations arise, or do they engineer the situation by manipulating space and timing.
  14. jclevien

    jclevien Valued Member

    My shihan says that is more important to feel and experience than thinking and rationalizing, that is one reason Giovanni pointed out to train directly.
    On my point of view, Ninjutsu is very wide, you have distance manipulation, deception, body enduring, extra sensorial perception, spiritual development, body study to know its weak points, and the list goes further.
    My humble opinion is: Ninjutsu is a way of life, much more than doing hits, breaking bones or applying pain. The idea is to refine your heart and promote peace in this world, which of course can be difficult to many people.
  15. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    All the while learning how to train as an assassin/mercenary.
  16. jclevien

    jclevien Valued Member

    Yes. That is why is difficult, to do self control all the time until the good thinking comes natural, and learn deadly techniques, among other topics.
  17. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    I spend a solid decade punching people in the face, yet it falls very low on my list of initial responses to people and/or situations in general, but i should concede, i have never trained in ninjitsu, but i think if it leads you to think about how to kill people enough that you need to suppress it, the peace and harmony deal clearly has nothing to do with the actual art itself.
  18. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

  19. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    I think if you've trained in boxing for any amount of time, you'll find Ninjutsu extremely frustrating. However, the only way you'll know for sure is to rock up to a class and have a play.
  20. kouryuu

    kouryuu Kouryuu

    Paul Cope runs it, one of my instructors, I go down every month

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