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Page 37

moved the fear of angering or displeasing others. Only the truly powerful, or
those who have nothing to lose, can be totally gentle with a free and un-
hindered heart, for they are invulnerable.

In these confusing and highly competitive times, there is much that in-
duces fear in the hearts of the benevolent. Therefore, the physical combat
methods of ninjutsu, or nin-po as it is known in its higher order, by necessity
include a wide array of skills for handling every conceivable situation of self-
protection. The goal is survival at the least, and supremacy whenever possi-
ble. To attain it, one applies appropriate, continually responsive action that
always takes a dangerous situation exactly where the ninja wants it to go. By
conscientiously applying this principle in daily ninja training, the practi-
tioner gains the experience of mastering situations through physical agility,
creative thought and a firm and directed will.

Because of this emphasis on spontaneous decision and creative ability,
the concept of kata, prearranged patterns of movement, is not a part of the
jutsu combat methods of nin-po, at least not in the ordinary sense of the
Japanese word kata. The omission of kata-a training method so funda-
mental to other Japanese, Chinese and Korean martial arts practiced today
-was determined more by the history and purpose of ninjutsu than by any
decision or mere preference of a given teacher or master instructor.

Historically, the concept of kata training in the martial arts grew for two
distinct reasons. First, kata were used as a means of transmitting a school's
combat techniques and principles from generation to generation during a
relatively peaceful era, following one of continual warfare. With no means
of gaining combat experience first-hand (and no pressing need to spend the
time necessary to develop spontaneous killing skills) the samurai of later
feudal Japan employed the kata as a means of suggesting the feel of battle
and providing the essence of combat methods that had proven successful in
the past. Peacetime tampering or revision of the kata was strictly forbidden
in most of the classical bujutsu ryu. The second purpose of kata was to pro-
vide a set, non-changing routine that could be memorized for the practice of
zen moving meditation. The ultimate purpose of the zen arts, however, lies
not in training for the overcoming of enemies, but in the perfection of one's
own character and the attainmt:nt of the peace of enlightenment.

Neither of the two foregoing methods fit the purpose of ninja warrior
training in history or in modern application . A kata based on set, memo-
rized techniques is an inappropriate way of training warriors who will face
actual combat in the field or on the street. Changes in weapon construction,
use or availability, and evolution in wearing apparel, building construction
and technology could render any kata totally obsolete even within its own

10

NINJA

,eneration. Zen kata are also inappropriate for warrior training. The elimi-
nation of options and decision-making requirements, which ma~e the kata
so effective for zen training, is counterproductive to the preparat1on that the
ninja warrior requires for actively improving his or her ability to adapt and
survive in hostile environments.

As a further historical note, it should be remembered that ninja training
methods for the development of warrior powers were established 13 cen-
turies in the past. The techniques pioneered by the warrior wizard En no
Gyoja of Togakure Mountain, which later evolved into the clandestine ways
of ninjutsu, predate the kata tradition by centuries. The ~pproach to
enlightenment endorsed by the warrior ascetics of Togakure IS also more
akin to the practice of tantra, in which spontaneous action is the tool for at-
taining mastery. In a sense, it is the philosophical opposite of zen; the war-
rior's tantra requires freedom so that controlled direction can be learned.
The practice of traditional kata devised by persons long ago would be of no
help in our approach to power.

EXAMPLE #1
Rigid, stylized methods of unarmed defense were develo~ed a~ a special

means of dealing with very specific types of attack. The stra1ght-hne .dcfcl~ ­
sive action depicted here works fairly well as long as the attacker restncls h1s
onslaught to the same style as the defender.

/ I

Page 38

EXAMPLE #2
If the attacker is angry or otherwise intent on harming the defender,

however, he can circumvent these defenses, and the rigid straight-line de-
fense against angular or circular attacks will fail due to:
-Improper timing because of required set-up before delivery.
-Improper angling that forces a weaker weapon position to resist a strong-

er force.
-Improper strategy that leaves the defender in a position highly vulnerable

to follow-up techniques.

Instead of set techniques or specific movements, the combat trammg
methods of ninjutsu rely on the active understanding of principles as the way
of gaining prowess. The principles are universal, and are manifested in all
aspects of contention: physical survival in the wilderness, emotional con-
frontations in the home or office, or armed conflicts on the street. Though it
may require a greater amount of time to internalize and make personal a
principle than it does a technique, once the principle is mastered, all related
techniques are immediately possible.

I '

EXAMPLE #3
Sporting methods which have

developed ways to take advantage
of the protective characteristics of
boxing gloves can create dangerous
habits in field or street combat.

overing actions that crowd an op-
ponent's punches work fairly well
::IS a means of temporarily stalling a
fight to catch one's breath or
regroup in the ring. Both con-
testants wear padded gloves, which
create the buffer zone.

EXAMPLE #4
When the fighters are not wearing gloves, however, there is no cover pro-

vided by merely raising the hands or bowing the head. (A) The upraised
hands themselves become vulnerable targets, and the bowed head (B) is open
to low attacks. Crowding as a defense will fail due to:
- Improperly passive nature of the defense, which cannot possibly harm the

attacker and yet leaves the defender open to unlimited abuse.
- Improper distancing, where offensive, forward-moving footwork is used

even though there is no intention to attack with the movement.
- Improper strategy that leaves the defender virtually sightless and trapped

in a space where the maximum possible punishment can be dealt to lli111 .

I ' \

Page 73

Ninja training: Hayes demonstrating a knife-fighting technique.

There is a further reason why the tradition has survived for all those
generations and is now beginning to thrive once again as we perch on the
brink of a new age for humankind. Ultimate truth will never vanish or let us
down. The way of the ninja is the way of service. Being powerful is the most
loving thing a ninja car:I do.

The pragmatic methods of ninjutsu admittedly combine this paradox: a
potential for incredible violence or gentle benevolence as demanded by the
situation. It is an effective approach to eliminating fear of the unknown in
one's environment. Only by squarely facing and honestly admitting the
potential threats and dangers that exist in our troubled times can we begin to
gain the strengths and insights necessary for release from the forces of
negative consciousness. By facing the grim reality of death over and over
again, we learn to see through self-generating delusions and limitations that
come from clinging defensively to our undeveloped views of what self-
protcction ought to be .

''J

Ultimately, the most effective means of protectiRD for self, loved ones,
and community is positive action in the appropriarf_;;_cfiannel, rather than
defensive fending off. This awareness must be taken to heart and lived not
bandied about intellectually, in order to advance the quality of our lives.' The
means for taking this to heart dwell in the practices discovered by the ancient
shugenja of Togakure Mountain, enlarged by their Togakure family descen-
dants, and preserved in living form today by the Bujinkan dojo Togakure-
ryu masters. To seek out this wisdom, to risk advancement, and hold in
one' s heart the knowledge that others have mapped this path in previous
generations, forms the basis for setting out on the warrior path of Togakure.

Page 74

U.S.$6.95

LITERARY LINKS TO THE ORIENT
THE JUDO TEXTBOOK, In Practical Application,
by Hayward Nishioka and James R West.
ONE-STEP SPARRING, In Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon
Do, by Sh in Duk Kang
KNIFE SELF-DEFENSE FOR COMBAT,
by Michael D. Echanis

BASIC STICK FIGHTING FOR COMBAT,
by Michael D. Echanis
THE DY NAMIC ART OF BREAKING, by Pu Gill Gwon
ADVANCED EXPLOSIVE KICKS, by Chong Lee
DYNAMIC KICKS, Essentials for Free Fighting,
by Chong Lee
SUPER DYNAMIC KICKS, VOL. Ill, by Chong Lee
BRUCE LEE'S FIGHTING METHOD, Self-Defense
Techniques, by Bruce Lee and M. Uyehara
BRUCE LEE'S FIGHTING METHOD, Basic Training,
by Bruce L ee and M. Uyehara
BRUCE LEE'S FIGHTING METHOD, Skill in Techniques,
by Bruce Lee and M . Uyehara
BRUCE LEE'S FIGHTING METHOD, Advanced
Techniques, by Bruce Lee and M. Uyehara
ADVANCED NUNCHAKU, by Fumfo Demura and
Dan Ivan
A PATH TO ORJENTAL WISDOM , Introductory Studies
in Eastern Philosophy, by George Parulski, Jr.
BO, Karate Weapon of Self-Defense, by Fwiiio Demura
TAE KWON DO, a series of five books by 71h-dan
Jhoon Rhee, including:

CHON-J I , directed toward the whire belt's advancement
TAN-GUN and TO-SAN, direc!ed /award !he gold bell
WON-HYO and YUL-KOK, direc!ed 10ward !he green bell
CHUNG-GUN anrl TOI-GYE, direc1ed !award !he blue

bell
HWA-RANG and CHUNG-MU, direc1ed toward !he
brown belt

TAl CHI CHUAN, The Philosophy of Yin and Yang and its
Application, by Douglas Lee
TAO OF JEET KUNE DO, by Bruce Lee
OKINAWAN GOJU-RYU, Fundamentals of Shorei-Kan
Karate, by Seikich i Toguchi
BUSHIDO, The \Varrior ·s Code, by fnazo Nitobe
BEGINNING KU:'-OG-FU, by Kam Yuen
MOO DUK KWA N, TAEKWONDO, by Richard Chun
WINNING TOU&'IAMENT KARATE, by Chuck Norris
PALGUE I 2 3, of Tae Kwon Do Hyung, by Kim Pyung

Soo
THE WEAPONLESS WARRIORS, An Informal History of
Okinawan Karate. by Richard Kim
HAPKIDO. Korean Art of Self-Defense, by Bong Soo Han
SAl, Karate Weapon of Self-Defense, by Fumio Demura
POWER TRAINING IN KUNG-FU AND KARATE,
by Ron Marchini and Leo Fang
WING CHUN KUNG-FU, by James Yimm Lee
SIL LUM KUNG-FU, The Secrets of Lin Wan Kune,
by Leo T. Fong
HUNG GAR KUNG-FU, by Bucksam Kong and
Eugene H. Ho
FOOT THROWS, Karate, Judo and Self-Defense,
by Hayward Nishioka
NUNCHAKU, Karate Weapon of Self-Defense,
by 5th-dan Fumio Demura
NINJA, The Invisible Assassins, by Andrew Adams

THREE SECTIONAL STAFF, by Kam Yuen
HWARANG DO VOLS. 1, 2 and 3, by Joo Bang Lee
SKILL IN COUNTERATTACKS, by Pu Gill Gwon
BEGINNING KARATE, by Tonny Tulleners
KICKING TECHNIQUES, by Roy D. Kurban
SAMURAI, THE INVINCIBLE WARRIORS,
by Captain F. Brinkley
PINEAPPLE WHITE, by Jon Shiro/a
NINJA, Spirit of the Shadow Warrior, by Stephen K. Hayes
TREATING MARTIAL ARTS INJURIES, by Dennis Burke
CHIN-NA: THE GRAPPLING ART OF SELF-DEFENSE,
by Willy Lin
NINJA VOL. II, Warrior Ways of Enlightenment,
by Srephen K. Hayes
BASIC TRAINING FOR KICKING, by Pu Gill Gwon
KUNG FU FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, by Ted Mancuso and
Frank Hill
TONFA: Karate Weapon of Self-Defense, by Fumio Demuro
IDEALS OF THE SAMURAI, Trans/a/ion and fnlroduclion
by William Scott Wilson
NIGHT STICK, by Joseph Hess
KICKS FOR COMPETITION, by Chong Lee
HSING-1 KUNG-FU, VOL. II, by Tim Tackeu
MOO DUK KWAN , VOL. II, by Richard Chun
NUNCHAKU, In Action , by Joseph C. Hess
JUJITSU, Basic Techniques of The Gentle Art,
by George Kirby
THE TIGER/CRANE FORM of Hung. Gar Kung·Fu,
by Bucksam Kong
MODERN ARNIS, The Filipino Art of Stick Fighting,
by Remy Presas

NINJA VOL. III, Warrior Path of Togakure,
by S!ephen K. Hayes
KEIJUTSUKAI AIKIDO, Japanese Art of Self-Defense,
by Thomas H. Makiyama
CHAMPIONSHIP KENPO, by Sieve Sanders and
Donnie Williams
ADVANCED POWER TRAINING IN KUNG-FU AND
KARATE, by Ron Marchini and Leo Fang
AMERICAN LAW AND THE TRAINED FIGHTER,
by Carl Brown
CHIN-NA: THE GRAPPLING ART OF SELF-DEFENSE,
VOL. 2, by Willy Lin
BUDOSHOSHINSHU: The Warrior's Primer of Daidoji
Yuzan, Translation and Introduction by William Scotf

Wilson
THE COMPLETE ART Of BREAKING, by Richard Byrne
TAEGEUK: THE NEW FORMS of TaeKwonDo,
by Pu Gill Gwon
KAMA: Karate Weapon of Self-Defense, by Fumio Demura
NINJA: Vol IV, Legacy of the Night Warrior,
by S1ephen K. Hayes
KUNG FU BUTTERFLY SWORDS , by William Cheung
MARTIAL ARTS & THE LAW, by Karl J. Duff
ELEMENTS OF ADVANCED KARATE,
by Les/er Ingber, Ph.D.
JUJITSU, Intermediate Techniques of the Gentle Art,
by George Kirby
ADVANCED THREE SECTIONAL STAFF, by Eric Lee
BOKKEN: ART OF THE JAPANESE SWORD,
by Dave Lo wry

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