WNC Bujinkan Kumogakure Dojo
Questions and Answers (Q & A)
What are the Nine Traditions?
Incorporated within the Bujinkan system are nine ancient martial ryu's or traditions which have been passed down from generation to generation, some for close to 1,000 years. Three of these nine are ninjutsu styles, three are samurai styles and three were used by both ninja and samurai. Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi inherited these styles as Soke (grandmaster) from his teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu - Soke, the 33rd grandmaster. It is important to remember that it was the decendents of these individuals who took these principles and founded them into formal schools. Thus, they named the style after the person(s) who created the principle. The nine traditions are as follows:
Can women do Bujinkan Martial arts?
Absolutely, because it is not based on strength or size. It is based on natural body dynamics and alignment of bones for leverage and power.
What is the essence of a true martial art?
Anyone can hurt another person. Having lethal martial arts techniques is nothing special. Someone can train how to fight and how to hurt or kill for forty years and be killed by a thirteen year old with a handgun. Being able to hurt someone is nothing to be proud of. The real essence of true martial arts the ability to live like a whole man or woman. Like a Warrior. Like a human being. If you have a martial art that teaches you that, then you have a martial art worth studying. If you have a martial art that only teaches you how to kill or beat someone up, "buy a shotgun, get a Pitt bull, you’re the toughest guy in the neighborhood". Bujinkan Shidoshi Bud Malmstrom (modified)
I'm a small person and not very strong. Can I still be effective in this style?
Absolutely! This style isn't based on strength, but rather distance, angling, timing, balance and leverage. With training, it can be easy for a small statured person to effectively defend themselves against someone much larger and stronger.
Is Bujinkan like Karate, Judo or MMA in the UFC?
No, Karate and Judo are mostly taught as sport and point fighting in to days society. Most of the techniques have been modified in these systems to make competition safer. Bujinkan taijutsu is a self-defense/combat system that has not been modified for the purpose of competition. It is currently being used (non-officially) by many armed forces members including those in the special operations groups for both US troops and other foreign military. As well as for local, state and Federal Law enforcement agencies. Parts have been included in the Marine Corp Martial Arts Program thanks to Mr. Jack Hoban. It would be more accurate to compare it with Israeli "Krav Maga" or Russian "Systema" than with Karate or Judo.
It is also not like the mixed martial arts in the UFC. While most mixed martial arts skills work well for one on one in the UFC. Most (but not all) do not take into account multiple attackers, surprise attacks, weapons, clothing or other variables. "Tapping out" or "submitting" someone in a ring does NOT equal street self-defense where "Honor" or "you win" means nothing.
What is the difference between your school and other Bujinkan Schools?
Simple, its how we train. Each Bujinkan school and instructor has their own training methods and styles. Most teach similar skills. However, some teach the skills from a classical, traditional perspective while others teach more of a modern adaptation. The difference is in the needs of people NOW. Not 100 years ago. In our classes we do both depending on the specific wants and needs. Beginner levels usually involve more traditional approaches with big movements so we can learn the skills. As we progress, we make things smaller, faster and smooth with many adaptations. We also incorparate training methods from other combat proven arts and modify them for our needs.
Is Bujinkan Taijutsu really a self-defense and Combat martial art?
The answer is YES to both. "Self-Defense" can be defined as an attacker attempting to hurt or kill a perceived defenseless person unwilling to fight. "Combat" can be defined as two combatants willingly squaring off and attempting to hurt or kill each other. We train for both situations but the prime emphasis is on self-defense with combat being only covered in advanced classes.
Were Ninja Assassins?
A ninja would protect himself and his family with techniques not of assassination but rather of sensation and an acute awareness of his natural surroundings. Ask yourself these questions. What limits would you put on yourself if you and your families survival was at stake? Not for money or power, but for pure survival! Which is the less of two evil's, to have two armies fight and thousands killed on both sides, or to "assassinate" or kill the general of the opposing army? Just one death, instead of thousands! Let us not forget the innocent that get caught in the middle of such wars. If people fought for their freedom against oppressive rulers, what are they, criminals or freedom fighters? I know I would do absolutely anything to protect my family. True ninja would avoid unnecessary conflict, and even if armed with a blade, would find a way to win without staining it. If however the spilling of blood was absolutely inevitable and justice demanded it, the ninja would become a lethal shadow! However, such skills are not needed in modern times and receive little or no emphasis in modern training. The skills explored are the type used in self-protection, with and without self-defense tools. So, NO we're not crazed, cold-blooded assassins, but thanks for asking.
"What makes someone a Ninja, surely it's more than a set of skills"
A response from Mr. Ed Martin, Master instructor, Bujinkan Ninjutsu. "It is more than a set of skills, it is a way of approaching life and a way of dealing with the problems all people face. I'd say it is an attitude, one of approaching things with a 'do not quit' and an 'open mind' always looking for a solution including the 'out of the box' area. It is also someone who truly values life and fully accepts the responsibility if there is ever the need to take it."
What does rank really mean?
Tanuki Bujinkan Dojo
Can ninja really fly?
Yes..... in airplanes.
What does a Bujinkan rank certificate look like?
This is the official international rank certificate for the Bujinkan. Often, Hatsumi sensei will change the kanji or written characters for the name of the art. Example: Pic above shows "Ninpo Taijutsu". However, newer certificates show "Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu" but overall setup is still the same.
Often dojo, including ours will have their own rank certificate in english for students. This english version is only valid in the dojo from which it was issued. The above certificate is valid anywhere in the world.
I am a Christian. Can I study Ninjutsu without it conflicting with my Spiritual Beliefs?
Absolutely. There is no conversions of faith required. There are many people with different faiths, creeds and life styles that train. Ultimately this art is about polishing yourself. Becoming a better, more effecient human being. It's about discovering the inner resevoir of power that was created inside you. In fact true martial arts is an Anti-Violence.