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Wisdom From The Last Ninja 539

I Could Tell You But... writes "The AP has a story about ninjutsu master Masaaki Hatsumi, last living student of Japan's last 'fighting ninja.' He offers advice from the heart of Ninjadom, like 'always be able to kill your students,' and describes the current popular ninja image as 'pathetic.' At age 76, students are speculating on his successor, who may for the first time be non-Japanese." From the article: "As I cautiously raise the sword with a taut two-handed samurai grip, my sparring partner gingerly points to Hatsumi. I avert my eyes for a split second - and WHAM! The next thing I know, I'm staring at the rafters. Keeping your focus is just one of the lessons thumped out on the mats of the Bujinkan Dojo, a cramped school outside Tokyo that is a pilgrimage site for 100,000 worldwide followers. They revere Hatsumi as the last living master of ninjutsu - the mysterious Japanese art of war practiced by black-masked assassins of yesteryear."
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Wisdom From The Last Ninja

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  • Like, wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by Life700MB ( 930032 )

    Ninjas kill all the time! And don't even think about it!

    Superb hosting [] 20GB Storage, 1_TB_ bandwidth, ssh, $7.95
  • wow, ninjas (Score:5, Funny)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:46PM (#15224829) Journal
    "always be able to kill you students" is brilliant advice... I know I'll be taking that one to heart when I'm lecturing... that'll show them for being late/taking phone calls/ talking over me. :)
  • Students? (Score:5, Funny)

    by daeg ( 828071 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:46PM (#15224830)
    Sure, he can beat his students, but what about pirates?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:47PM (#15224843)
    Their numbers continue to rise (according to the *AA anyway)...
    • I think the obvious choice at the moment is probably Stephen Hayes. He is well respected among Hatsumi's students, and seems to be a strong international authority on the subject. I don't know if any of his instructional books are still in print, though.
  • by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:49PM (#15224851)
    . . . about Real Ultimate Power []?
  • any questions? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LiquidMind ( 150126 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:49PM (#15224854)
    if you're ever curious about anything relating to ninjas and you want a straight, no bs answer, you can always ask a ninja [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:51PM (#15224859)
    Yeah, I'll be sure to stay prepared to kill my students. Fat programmers with aspergers can never be too careful.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:52PM (#15224870)
    When I was a young boy, I awoke every morning to the delicious smell of pancakes. My mother, and father's dojo contained within it a hot griddle perfect for making pancakes, waffles, and a multitude of other pancake-like breakfast pastries. I remember them well -- The pleasant, care-free days of my childhood in the dojo were often spent peering into the kitchen with eager anticipation as my mother prepared pancakes my family.

    As I grew older, and began my journey to spiritual enlightenment, the memories of my pancake-eating youth filled my heart and dreams with warm, fluffy goodness....Ahhh, yes..the sweet, sweet memories... The day I ate 10 pancakes... The day I placed a warm pancake between my fleshy loins and performed the forbidden dance... The day pressed a pancake to my buttocks and encouraged my dog to come eat.. Indeed, much of my childhood was spent in pure innocence -- An innocence only pancakes can provide. It was heaven. A heaven, filled with pancakes, where I sat at the throne of God, with my hand-maidens Aunt Jemimah and Mrs. Butterworth seated beside me. An indestructible triumvirate made of flour, eggs, sugar, milk, water, and love.

    By the age of 15, the path of my life became unclear and confusing. Torn between my duty my village and my love for pancakes, I foolishly left home in search of karaguchi ah-nowakadesu .. the ultimate pancake. My journey took me to the many islands of my homeland, many days away from my dojo. My hunger for pancakes became my teacher, and foolishly I let it control the path that I walked upon. My feet, sore from travel, ached as my heart and stomach did, until I came to a realization. My duty was clear. I needed to take a stand and accept my love for the art of the ninja AND my love for pancakes. It was not wrong for me to love both. I love one as a dear friend, and one as a lover. Yes--My mission was clear--I must become a ninja, a secret assassin hired by the imperial family BUT I MUST ALSO ENJOY THE OCCASIONAL PANCAKE.

    My adoration for breakfast cakes has placed me within an awkward position. Many ninja refuse to recognize me as their brother. I defend my father's land, but I am looked upon as weak and undisciplined. I tell them, "But, brothers! Listen to my plea! The pancakes do not weaken me, nor do they make me disobey the rule of my sword. They fill me with love." But alas, they do not understand...For the mind of a ninja is complex.

    My only earthly desire is to be accepted for who I am. Yes, I am a NINJA--But I also enjoy pancakes. Will you accept me? If you were approached by a ninja who requested a pancake, would you submit to his will?
  • by itsdave ( 105030 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:53PM (#15224880)
    Everything you ever wanted to know about ninjas []
  • Chuck Norris will be chosen as successor.

  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:12PM (#15224983)
    1. Ninjas' are mammels.
    2. Ninja's fight all the time.
    3. The purpose of a ninja is to flip out and kill people
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:16PM (#15225004) Journal
    What "...preserves the honor of the Bujinkan members, it indicates you are part of a larger whole--one whose members come together with warrior hearts to better themselves through training and friendship. It evinces the glory of warrior virtue, and embodies both loyalty and brotherly love." ?

    Why, the required membership card, of course! Don't leave dojo without it! [] (#6)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:23PM (#15225035)
    total classic []
  • Purple prose (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:29PM (#15225063) Homepage
    "Timing is the most difficult," he adds, while casually deflecting a gleaming metal sword swung at his neck by a veteran student. After the turning the blade on the attacker, Hatsumi gives his arm a slight twist, eliciting a baleful yelp.

    I really despise prose like this in newspaper articles. I find it hard to believe that that is an exact account of what happened, so it just destroys the article's credibility and makes it seem like the writer is just trying to write a third rate action novel.
    • "Casual" is a matter of style & not skill, though it often requires skill to pull it off without embarrassing yourself.

      If the guy is really that good, there's no reason he couldn't chit chat while sparring. Have you ever watched two martial artists sparring (with or without weapons)? Some people just make it look easy.
    • There's a lot of mystical reverence given to ninjas in the west. I'm sure what happened was impressive but would be less god-like if we saw a video. The article makes him seem like an invincible deity or something. Ninjitsu is more down-to-earth than that, you know? A form of stealthy military and danger avoidance training. They make it seem like people go to this place to train and become mythic ninjas who are inhumanly invincible. I guess I don't like any kind of deification in the press.
    • Re:Purple prose (Score:5, Informative)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @11:08PM (#15225618) Homepage
      I really despise prose like this in newspaper articles. I find it hard to believe that that is an exact account of what happened, so it just destroys the article's credibility and makes it seem like the writer is just trying to write a third rate action novel.

      First of all, the guy writing the article admits he's no martial artist and is somewhat starry eyed.

      Second of all, it doesn't sound all that far fetched. If they're really training with real bladed weapons (not for the novice), that could be exactly what happened. I've seen demonstrations by some old (and old-school) martial artists which aren't that far from this.

      Some little, tiny, old asian man tells two strapping young black-belts to come at him with wooden swords -- in a shockingly short period of time, both young hearty blackbelts are staring up at the ceiling wondering how they could have done things differently.

      A friend was at a martial-arts film festival in Toronto, and they pulled him up on stage for a demonstration. A 60-year old man who had been in a bunch of films said "come at me" -- several witnesses confirm in slightly less than 1 second, my friend was spun around, *lightly* struck on the head, *gently* thumped to the floor, and placed into rather painful an arm bar -- by a man who was both amazingly fast, and very dilligent about not breaking the volunteer. He applied just enough pressure to demonstrate he could have done more, but didn't even leave him with a bump, bruise, or any lasting pain.

      I don't remember the exact set of near-beatings which were applied, but the speed was something to behold. My friend assures me he doesn't really know what the heck happened -- just that the arm-bar was enough to assure him the guy applying it could have broken his arm has he chosen -- the only thing he knows is it was all over before he was sure it was ready to begin.

      Seriously, if this guy has been doing this quite so long -- dodging a sword, taking it from you, and twisting your arm into an uncomfortable position isn't exactly a stretch to believe.

      Don't believe me? Walk into an Aikido dojo and ask for a demonstration. You might see things in a different light. A modern master is amazing -- an old school master from the last of the REAL old school masters -- something utterly amazing to behold. Especially the ones who use things with sharp edges and the like.

      As schamltzy as the reputation of martial arts is in film, and as much as you don't like the prose in the article, you should be aware of the fact that anyone who has been doing martial arts for *that* long is probably an exceedingly quick sonofabitch. And, chances are, when a bunch of young guys travel from all over the world to train with you, you're probably pretty amazing.

      • Re:Purple prose (Score:3, Interesting)

        by carcosa30 ( 235579 )
        This is absolutely correct. I've never seen Haatsumi but I've seen students of his students and they're pretty darn good.

        I've also seen Dan Inosanto, who is on Haatsumi's level, and that guy is the quickest person I've ever seen anywhere. Flat out amazing.

        Something nobody talks about with regards to these guys is how durable they are. For you to do martial arts for that long, if there was anything wrong with your body physically-- in fact if you weren't a near-perfect physical specimen-- you would have w
  • by Mashei ( 895143 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:32PM (#15225070)

    Hatsumi is the only living student of the last "fighting ninja," Toshitsugu Takamatsu, the so-called 33rd Grand Master who was a bodyguard to officials in Japanese-occupied Manchuria before World War II and fought - and won - 12 fights to the death.

    ...Rumors of Takamatsu's death still abound to this day, but scholars estimate it occurred sometime after, but before the end of, his thirteenth fight to the death.

  • Some insight (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:33PM (#15225073)
    I have studied under Hatsumi, years ago. Before a lot of the current 'purpose built' combatives were created for military and govt. use, he and his instructors would train select U.S. govt. and military personnel.

    Someone mentioned that "ninjitsu is the art of assassination". An inaccurate statement.

    Ninpo Taijitsu (a very rough translation would be ninja combat), as taught under the Bujinkan, consists of several different schools. Stealth, sword combat, locking/holding/throwing, striking, etc. are some examples of the different schools, each with their own head instructor.

    There is a famous story from the '50s (?, maybe '60s) where the Japanese National Judo Champion (at the time he was also the world champion) essentially 'called out' Hatsumi and ninpo taijitsu as a 'fraud'. Said champion was invited to face off with Hatsumi. Hatsumi proved he was no fraud, and shortly thereafter the Judo champion became one of the senior instructors at the 'judo' school of the Bujinkan.

    Hatsumi is the real deal. I've seen him run along the top of chain link fences. At one seminar, a 250+ lb. Marine spoke up and said "Ok I know you're good, but combat - what are you going to do to me?". Hatsumi sqared off with the Marine, and had him on the ground and incapacitated very rapidly. No ego, no bravado - just a teacher who understands that you must be able to demonstrate that what you teach will work for real.

    Hatsumis instructor, Takamatsu, was (for lack of a better term) a real life 'ninja'. He was an agent/assassin/etc. for hire that worked for various warlords in the late 1800s.

    Do some searches on Hatsumi and Takamatsu - I believe you guys will find some very interesting reading.

    Sadly, when Hatsumi leaves us the Bujinkan will probably never be seen again in its current form, with one true Master overseeing all of the various schools that comprise Ninpo Taijitsu. It will truly be the end of an era.


    Former (novice) student of the Bujinkan
    • Wow, an anonymous poster claims to have seen a ninja master do amazing things. I'm convinced. I'd love to see a video of someone running along the top of a chain link fence sometime.
    • Re:Some insight (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:31PM (#15225289)
      Yeah the stories of Hatsumi abound in the Bujinkan. Problem is:

      1) They all (supposedly) happened a long time ago.
      2) There were no reliable witnesses.
      3) The opponent may not have been fighting back.
      4) People continually exagerrate them.

      I've heard the same stories told to me time and time again by various Bujinkan students. Each time the embellishment gets more and more outrageous. What you never hear are CURRENT stories about the fighting greatness of the Bujinkan leader and his senior students. When I go into a grappling school, judo school or kickboxing school you know the instructor can kick butt because he gets out there and, well, kicks butt. He doesn't just sit there and talk about what he did 30+ years ago.

      Look, fighting is hard work. Anyone who says it's not is lying. Also size and weight matter no matter what people tell you. If you are going up against someone 100lbs heavier than you with an equivalent skill level you will probably lose. These are just the facts. Anyone who does serious sparring against resisting opponents knows this. To think that a 76 year old man is going around throwing around guys half his age with ease is silly. They're either cooperative opponents or so incredibly untrained they may as well be cooperative.
      • Re:Some insight (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Serzen ( 675979 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @12:33AM (#15226058)
        Also size and weight matter no matter what people tell you. If you are going up against someone 100lbs heavier than you with an equivalent skill level you will probably lose. These are just the facts. Anyone who does serious sparring against resisting opponents knows this.

        I've two very good friends who are into the Bujinkan, a husband and wife team. He just recently was awarded the right to teach, and has opened a school where he is co-instructor with a much more senior member, one who has taken the "sword test" referred to in TFA. She, on the other hand, is a relative novice, and is lucky, on a good day, to measure in at 5'3".

        At a demonstration I sponsored in June, she was able to show quite convincingly how a very small woman is able to take down, bind and otherwise incapacitate an assailant a foot taller, and several tens of pounds heavier. The assailant in this case was a student of classical Okinawan karate with an aproximately equal skill level. Her husband did the same on a man, again, markedly out massing him, who is well trained in akido and Shindo-muso-mu (I might be spelling that wrong).

        SIZE is not the determining factor. TECHNIQUE is. Regardless of how well your opponent resists, it is, simply put, child's play to defeat an opponent, even one of equal or greater skill, if you adhere to basic principles of technique. I can say from long experience that the victory goes not to the best trained, but to the one who fails to make mistakes.

        To think that a 76 year old man is going around throwing around guys half his age with ease is silly. They're either cooperative opponents or so incredibly untrained they may as well be cooperative.

        To make such judgements without knowing the facts is silly. You talk about serious sparring, but if you're willing to make outrageous statements like this, I highly doubt that you take what you are doing that seriously.

        • Re:Some insight (Score:5, Interesting)

          by OnanTheBarbarian ( 245959 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @04:28AM (#15226798)
          I've trained with Ninjutsu guys and with Mixed Martial Artists and Brazillian Juijutsu practioners. I have to agree with the grandparent poster - if a tiny guy half your size is throwing you around, you aren't much of a fighter.

          I think the stories about Hatsumi aren't complete rubbish. But there is a bit of a difference between some exceptionally skilled tiny guy surprising a 250lb Marine (who may have very little experience with any kind of serious standup grappling) and the same guy getting onto a mat or ring with a Judoka, BJJ or MMA fighter, collegiate wrestler, and so on - even a more reasonably-sized one. What's more to the point is that the exceptional skill level of someone like Hatsumi or the founder of Aikido (O-Sensei - I couldn't spell his name to save my life) might be rather moot as compared to the skill levels in the people that they can _teach_ in a reasonable amount of time.

          That is, most people I've met who had pure Ninjutsu or Aikido or any of the 'tricky' arts just really couldn't carry off their techniques against a half-decent, remotely resisting opponent. They could carry out their techniques well in the dojo against each other, but were obviously very well programmed to avoid doing the 'wrong thing' as an attacker. I think, ultimately, after 10 or 20 years these guys might be able to execute perfectly timed throws and joint-locks against attackers that aren't carrying out well-telegraphed, linear, predictable attacks, but I'm being generous here, as I've never met a practioner from those arts who could handle themselves well in this situation who didn't have extensive cross-training in some other art.

          On the other hand, I've never run into anyone who had studied Judo, BJJ, boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, etc. for any length of time, who couldn't carry out the techniques that they knew very well against an opponent who really wasn't 'letting them hit/throw/tap them'. Obviously, many of these people have weaknesses (the boxers don't get a miraculous defense against getting taken down), and some of the techniques might be sloppy. But a wrestler who misses the double leg takedown has plenty of alternatives (and is used to using them), and the boxer who misses with the jab is pretty used to that and has another one on the way in about a quarter second, but the aikido or ninjutsu person who misses the 'graceful, deadly throw or strike' ususually winds up pretty flummoxed.

          If you're depending on brilliantly misdirecting the energy of a cloddish 250lb puncher into a graceful throw, but find that instead the cloddish 250lb puncher managed to fake a one-two or whip a foot inside your ankle during the procedure, the science tends to break down. Now you're suddenly brawling with someone twice your size - a moment in which many of these reedy little guys start to wish that they'd spent a little more time in the weight room.

          By the way, beating most traditional Karate guys is not exactly rocket science, as they tend to be very fast and strong, but exceptionally predictable, linear and quite vulnerable to grappling.

          I don't buy the whole 'UFC = reality' argument, but it's a lot more real than most of the proofs that traditionalists presented before the UFC. It's interesting to note that the traditionalists tended to make arguments that they'd totally destroy their opponents in any UFC-type fight right up to the point that they had the chance to prove it, and decided later that their art was all about

          (a) not fighting on thin mats,
          (b) deadly eye pokes and throat strikes,
          (c) surprise and/or fighting in street clothes, or
          (d) spiritual stuff after all.
        • Re:Some insight (Score:3, Insightful)

          by -noefordeg- ( 697342 )
          This is just so ignorant and make believe...

          Why don't we see those people fighting in Vale Tudo, Pride, UFC or similar tournaments?
          Why? Because they don't have a chance in hell of beating people -trained- to fight in an effective way. If you include weapons, well, a gun will probably beat you every time.

          I would love to see a 76 year old asian guy square it off with Tito Ortiz, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir, Matt Huges, Rich Franklin, Emelianenko Fedor or Wanderlei Silva.

          At a demonstration I sponsored in June,
        • Re:Some insight (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JemalCole ( 222845 )

          At a demonstration I sponsored in June, she was able to show quite convincingly how a very small woman is able to take down, bind and otherwise incapacitate an assailant a foot taller, and several tens of pounds heavier. The assailant in this case was a student of classical Okinawan karate with an aproximately equal skill level.

          At a demonstration sponsored by David Copperfield a few years back, he was able to show quite convincingly how a very small woman is able to turn into a tiger, and a totally-not-

      • Re:Some insight (Score:5, Interesting)

        by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Saturday April 29, 2006 @01:14PM (#15228512) Journal

        To think that a 76 year old man is going around throwing around guys half his age with ease is silly. They're either cooperative opponents or so incredibly untrained they may as well be cooperative.

        Guy get a clue!!!

        The master in question here is 76 years old, as you write. so he likely started martial arts training with ... 16? So he has 60 years of martial arts training as background ...

        OBVIOUSLY EVERY OPPNENT HE EVER WILL HAVE is: incredibly untrained what the fuck do you think? That 20 years SEAL training (for a guy of age 40, 20 years of training is very reasonable) can compete with 40, 50 or 60 years training?

        The intersting point in this story is not that he is doing some ninjutzu (in fact there are likely over 100 different ninjutsu schools and his is only ONE of them)

        The interesting thing is that sceptic people like you believe that there is one ultimative fighting technique. You think it could be ninjutzu, but you don't find the guy impressive, so you reject this idea a second later.

        ALL FIGHTING TECHNIQUES ARE CREATED EQUAL. There is no reason some guy practicing 50 years judo can not beat easy a guy practicing 20 years karate, and vise versa. You can extend this to boxing or any "serious" martial arts you want. However in our days most martial arts focus on one aspect: Aikido only does fighting while both partners are standing (but punshing and kicking is "allowed") Brazilian Ju Jutzu only does fighting in wrestling style where both opponents are on their knees on the ground.

        As soon as a Brazilian Ju Jutzu fighter allows me to make a really hard hit, he is down. As soon as he graps me and we get into close fight, I'm down. Most Ninjutzu schols teach BOTH (and more).

        I know a guy called "Hiroshi Tada". He as well is about 75 or 76 and teaches Aikido. He is no way less impressive than Hatsumi Sensei. Albeit no one claims that Tada Sensei is running on fences for show purpose ;D

        The founder of Aikido has lots of videos of "show fights" with US forces soldiers not beliefing he can compete with them, he was age 60 then already and the US soldiers surely below 30. If you don't beleive stuff, google for it ... pretty easy.

        When you do martial arts seriously: you get BETTER EVERY YEAR. You have the climax of your "fighting" abilities just a few weeks before you die (supposing you dont get a serious illness, and supposing you dont die in such a fight ;D ).

        Ah, and: When I go into a grappling school, judo school or kickboxing school you know the instructor can kick butt because he gets out there and, well, kicks butt. No! A serious teacher has enough to do to run his school, such ppl don't run around wild and kick butt.

  • Joking aside (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ndogg ( 158021 ) <the.rhorn@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday April 28, 2006 @08:56PM (#15225170) Homepage Journal
    It is sad to see an art form like this die out. It's a little like seeing a species without a purpose die out. Sure it's a dinosaur, but it's still interesting to study and learn about.

    If I were him, I, too, would probably lament the popular images of ninjas. Hollywood has definitely bastardized it, and disgraced the legend of the ninja.
    • by version5 ( 540999 ) <> on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:49PM (#15225377)
      It's possible that popular Hollywood images of ninjas are actually more authentic than you might think. From a post [] on The Japan History Group Blog:

      "Movie-style ninja, BTW, have a much longer history than the movies (although the term "ninja" does not appear to have been popularized until the 20th century). Ninja shows, ninja houses (sort of like American "haunted houses" at carnivals), and ninja novels and stories were popular by the middle of the Tokugawa period. The "ninja" performers may have created the genre completely out of whole cloth, or they may have built on genuine lore derived from old spymasters. Either way, however, it's clear that much of the lore underlying both modern ninja movies and modern ninja schools has both a long history AND little basis in reality outside the theatre."

      "I used to tell students that the question of ninja was, from a historian's standpoint, still somewhat open. I think I'm going to take a much stronger line from now on, and point out that there are no historically credible claims supporting the historicity of a tradition which somehow concludes with modern schools of ninjustsu."

      Somewhat related is this post [] makes the argument that the supposedly ancient history of karate (and possibly other martial arts) was manufactured in the 19th century for political reasons related to the colonization of Okinawa by the Japanese.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:07PM (#15225206)
    Yeah, Ninjas are cool, Ninjas are mysterious, but face it: They're outdated. As outdated as the record industry, but they have a worse lobby.

    While fighting as a sport, or for close combat, will continue to exist and has its right to exist, the art of sneaky assassination is no longer a business. If you want someone dead, hire a hitman. Easier to train, more numerous, thus cheaper.

    It's simply a matter of technology. It's really no longer feasible to have a person get close to your target and have him strike there. Surveillance equipment makes it virtually impossible to get him close enough. Sneaky and stealthy or not, it's hard to beat a good surveillance system. Whatever you do, a heat or movement sensor will catch you.

    Getting close enough to your target is also no longer as possible as it was. Bodyguards are well equipped. Communication is by far superior than it was 100 years ago. And to get into a bulletproof car, you also need more than just a can opener.

    It's over. Killing is no longer really an artform. Everyone can do it. Just pull the trigger.
  • If this is a true tenent of the Ninja philosphy; always be able to kill your students

    It follows that your students will be less skilled than you...

    So the next generation of teachers will be less skillful, and so on.

    It will get to the point where any punk-ass with a niner can cap your ass before you know what happened.

    I wear kevlar underware for just such an occasion. Damn that itches.

  • by NoMaster ( 142776 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @09:20PM (#15225250) Homepage Journal
    The other month I watched this series of documentaries [] where a single samurai repeatedly took on dozens of ninjas at once, winning every time!

  • by TheNoxx ( 412624 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @11:03PM (#15225603) Homepage Journal
    "Son, why don't you get out more... you know, like train under that ninja that's been living in the moutains... it'd be a good way to keep in shape and honor your history."

    "Ugh, DAD! that is so LAME!"

    It's official, I will never have children as pleasing them is impossible. If you can't make a 13 year old boy happy with an apprenticeship to a real ninja, nothing ever will.
  • by Master of Transhuman ( 597628 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @11:34PM (#15225703) Homepage
    Hatsumi is the real deal - the only real deal.

    The rest of you can stuff your Shang-Chi comics up your ass.

    Talking about Hatsumi like the posts I've seen here is like talking about Linus Torvalds (or any top programmer - take your pick) as if he just learned Basic and had written his first "Hello World" program.

    Not that Hatsumi himself would care - a bunch of dumb American geeks aren't going to do his reputation any harm.

  • by hkb ( 777908 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @11:37PM (#15225715)
    I'm yet another person who's Bujinkan and who has studied under soke Hatsumi.

    He and ninpo taijutsu are far, far from black-clad (ok ok we're black clad) assassins of the night. Soke himself is very enlightened, cheerful, and playful. The Bujinkan has affected me a great deal spiritually boosting me and making me a better person. To see the start contrast of "ninjutsu" and actual ninpo taijutsu, try and pick up some copies of Sanmyaku, which are essentially the Bujinkan magazines full of kind and wise words.

    I've also read comments here saying that his mentor, Takamatsu, was more of a ninja assassin, which is also bollocks. He was a man of his time and engaged in much life-and-death combat, but was not some evil assassin. I can only hope that the motion pictures of Takamatsu make their way into the world and everyone has a chance to see the man in motion, not just rusty old pictures.

    You learn some pretty good combat and stealth techniques, but you also learn heart and peace and none of this is anything like the "ninja assassin" bullshit (which ironically, was why I first joined the Bujinkan, whoops).
  • Unarmed Combat (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PenGun ( 794213 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @11:53PM (#15225807) Homepage
    This is slightly off topic but really the legands of wonder fighters have about as much reality as Crouching Tiger etc.

      Show up in the Octagon and see who walks away. It's pretty simple. The _proven_ methods of combat are mutai, jujitsu and just plain pounding the crap out of the other guy. The Gracies with Royce Gracie as the lead dominated the early days showing Brazillian Jujitsu as the most effective combat method. As time has passed there have been advances in defense and the striker - grappler thing is much more even now.

      I would like to see Hatsumi strut his stuff but it's just a myth. There have been quite a few so called amazing martial artists humiliated in short order.

      Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !
  • There is a documentary film about Toshitsugu Takamatsu, with Masaaki Hatsumi in it as well. It's a Japanese film, the title in English is "Takamatsu Toshitsugu, the Last Real Ninja". It's based upon a black-and-white movie filmed in the '60s that shows Takamatsu Sensei teaching Hatsumi Sensei in a park. Takamatsu Sensei demonstrates unarmed techniques and weapon techniques from the nine schools, with comments in Japanese (subtitled in English) by Hatsumi Sensei. A torrent for this film was uploaded to Secret Cinema [] a while back. It's dead now, but I am busily working on getting it back up again, so if you're interested check Secret Cinema for it in the next few days.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman