Are you interested in the ninja? Their techniques?
You have three ways to approach the idea of ninja training or learning ninja techniques:
1. Do historical research and base your training of ninja techniques on book learning.
2. Join a ninja school. Learn their techniques that have been passed down through the generations.
3. Learn a variety of martial arts techniques and maintain the flavor of ninja techniques.
4. Combine any of the above into a progressive system.
I always recommend you be well-informed in any of your areas of interest. It just makes sense. So, if you are interested in ninja techniques, you should find out all you can about the ninja.
But you need to be careful. "Ninja" was the popular bandwagon after the Bruce Lee craze in the early 70s. Many an unscrupulous martial artist made extra money just by using the word "ninja" (the same way many schools offer Bruce Lee's JKD, when they don't have a clue as to Bruce Lee's real intent). There are lots of books on the market -- both good and bad. Be careful.
So, if you decide to do some research, also do some cross-referencing. Check your facts.
Here's a valuable tip: Become a bibliography fiend. Check the resources of each book you read. Take notes. You'll begin to see a pattern. It won't take you long to figure out who the heavyweights in the field are.
Once you have identified the true experts -- at least the published ones (smile) -- use their resources as your references. Weigh any of your new findings against the verified facts by your expert(s).
If you are already into the martial arts, you'll have a base. You can start blending your book learning with your training.
Keep in mind, at this point, you don't have first hand experience. Even if you take my advice and find a good on-line forum, you are still translating the written word into your own perception of the correct techniques.
Still, if you don't have a school that offers quality ninja training -- probably not easy to find -- this could be a way to get started.
According to Ed Green, of Hidden Mountain Bujinkan Dojo, "Many have attempted to pervert the art into a commercial smorgasbord for their own personal gain. One of these guys in particular, I would term as the Darth Vaders of Ninjutsu. He will fall one day by devices of his own making. "
So, be careful. If you find an authentic (good) ninja school, you'll probably get more than just the commercial side of the arts. Ed Green said, "They still think 'ooohhh throwing stars, climbing spikes, smoke balls, etc. It is MUCH more than all that. What most people don't realize is just HOW involved the spiritual side of the martial arts is involved in the art."
Of course, you'll watch a class before you join, right? Well, if it looks hokey, right out of a comic book, it's probably not authentic. Look for a style that has some meat.
Beware the rip-off artists.
You blend in.
You don't feel it's necessary to dress like a ninja in black. For you blending in means wearing normal clothing --looking like a normal person.
But you want some skills.
On more than one occasion, I have taught folks the art of wrist locks and joint locks who were very interested in the ninja. I think being able to skillfully handle any grab to their person appealed to them.
It was the idea that nobody knew they were even into the martial arts until somebody made the mistake of grabbing them. Then they could instantly inflict pain and control the situation.
I think these guys were transforming themselves into modern-day ninja.
BTW-- If you are interested, I cover these controlling techniques in my book Wrist Locks: From Protecting Yourself to Becoming an Expert . It's available in both hardback and for immediate download in eBook format.
Anyway, joint locks are just one piece of an arsenal for the modern ninja.
What else should you learn besides wrist locks, joint locks, and arm bars? It depends. What are your goals?
Do you want to be able to defend yourself? Or are you more concerned with the art of keeping a low profile? Are you the mercenary type? A martial artist who is enchanted by certain times in history? In search of classical ninjitsu training?
Not to plug Wrist Locks again, but one of the bonuses shows how you can take martial arts learning into your own hands. It has a much more complete list of elements for consideration in your training.
Remember you can also combine several of the above points or all of them. How about becoming a historical expert, then learn ninja techniques in a formal training situation, and finally combine what you have learned with other martial disciplines.
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