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The Essence of Budo

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Budo is the spiritual path of the martial arts that all practitioners must follow if they are to be true martial artists. Budo includes an array of martial arts developed in Japan, among them aikido, judo, karatedo, kyudo, and kendo, but transcends simple combat techniques to ultimately attain a world of peace.

In "The Essence of Budo," Masaaki Hatsumi, a world-famous ninja grandmaster, explores the very soul of the martial arts, delving deep into their revered histories and hidden teachings to unravel some of their most arcane secrets. The essence, or "gokui," is not something specific that can be attributed to a single school or method; rather it is a living, breathing phenomenon of budo, in constant flux and movement, and only through patient devotion to the martial arts can one begin to glimpse its intricacies.

Following from his bestselling "The Way of the Ninja," "Advanced Stick Fighting," "Japanese Sword Fighting" and "Unarmed Fighting Techniques," Hatsumi brings the reader his boldest and most profound exploration into the very heart of budo to date. With his characteristic enthusiasm and intimation, Hatsumi draws the reader into an elusive, mutating, and evolving world of budo, resonating with the teachings of the masters of old.

Rather than providing the reader with a practical guide to the more esoteric techniques of Japan’s martial schools, Hatsumi conjures a world of images and allusion, created to impress upon the reader a sense of budo’s venerable and intangible essence.

The author’s intimate knowledge of all aspects of Japan’s martial history is painstakingly imparted throughout the pages, and he also demonstrates a range of important techniques relating to budo’s essence that penetrate to the core of budo, encompassing a panorama of truth, falsehood, justice, and religion from a martial perspective.

The author also shares anecdotes that fondly recall his beloved teacher Toshitsugu Takamatsu, elucidating the words of his former master and the influence they had on Hatsumi’s life. In his long quest for truth and justice, the author writes passionately about his own experiences and how they helped shape his philosophy on budo and its essence.

Including some 400 pictures depicting the author demonstrating his techniques, and around 300 pictures of rare works of calligraphy, illustrations, and hidden documents on the martial arts and their role in Japanese culture, this book will be relevant and insightful to practitioners of all martial traditions.

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Doesn't he mean Budō, or is is a book about grapes ?

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Hatsumi is a fake and his art is utterly useless. This is more pseudo Japanese bs marial arts being sold to ignorant gaijin wholesale. Want to defend yourself, train mma, krav magi or sambo. Nothing else works.

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BBT or "the booj" is full of the most delusional people.

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PRideinjapanese<<<< Guns are more efficient.

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Yeah, I was told all about the Budou "way" when I trained in karate back home for years. Then I was prevented from going for my black belt because I refused to sleep with my instructor. Very "spiritual" - sorry but I have a very cynical voew of martial "artists" now.

Moderator: Stay on topic please.

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miamum, that was just a test, heheh.

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Ozeki-Onecup: THIS is the true essence of Budo (IMHO).

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Hatsumi is very respected all over the world....its always easy to criticise so putting aside arguing the various styles , im keen to hear from people who devote their entire lives to something and want to impart some of that knowledge to others.

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I'm interested in this book, so I'll definitely buy if it comes out in Australia.

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I will skip it, mostly because my forte is Chinese TMA and I got access to a good library at the founding village of my style in china.

But the book should be an interesting read, Budo is an interesting concept and not just for Taijutsu.

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“Advanced Stick Fighting,” “Japanese Sword Fighting” and “Unarmed Fighting Techniques”

Ah yes, the way to a world of peace, indeed.

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"If you want peace, prepare for war."(Si vis pacem, para bellum).

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They had a ninjitsu guy fight in the first UFC, he got his ass tore up in about 10 seconds.. by this brawler named Patrick Smith.

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Vulcan.

So one guy that thinks he got it = all practicioners. Very different training regimes, etc. You can train for ring fighting, etc.

BTW, many TMA are doing well in MMA.

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No, not saying that.. but I know there are many imposters in teh martial arts. In Okinawa many visitors come to the Island to take photos with the old master/s and then go back stateside to claim that the photo means they were instructed privately by him.. then open a school. It's a joke in many ways. Their are many self proclaimed, self promoted "experts" in martial arts, especially foreigners. In ninjitsu, it is a weapons art and and assassination way.. something you did when you attacked a guy from behind or in the dark when he didn't know you were there. Not to face someone in a ring where you could guage each other. ninjitsu is superior in it's purpose, and it's purpose isn't to be seen. MMA guys know there are no weapons and there is no surprise that they are going to fight someone and a third man is always in the ring.. In this sense a ring fighter is at the advantage whether a striker, ground fighter or both.

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Zenny.. what is TMA?

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I think this would be a good book to explore the spirital path practicioners ( sorry about spelling) will take. I'll get a copy soon.

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I actually don't belive in the spiritual being studied. Spritual comes from the repetitive practice of martial art drills. This disciplines the mind. It comes naturally and cannot be attained from mere reading in books. In the old days in America, they had chain gangs that worked the railroads or busted rocks.. it was thought that the repetitive nature of this type of physical labor brought about mental calm and discipline to unsettled minds. The marital artist perfoming kata everyday or punching and kicking and blocking over and over daily achieves the same effect except he attains the knowledge that he can kill with a single blow.. this forces him to control himself apply just the correct technique so he doesn't do more harm than needed. This self control, patience is a type of enlightenment is the spiritual in a nutshell. Yes it is deeper but is a good start for the layman.

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Wax on, wax off.

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I have met too many weird foreign wannebe Ninjas to be impressed by anything from Masaaki Hatsumi, sorry to say.

I think the guy runs a very successful business marketing his Mac-Ninja product; this book is just part of that.

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williB... there is a lot of "business" in martial arts. Beware of the guys who got a fast promotion, especially foreigners who came to Japan or Okinawa and left with a high ranking blackbelt and authorization to head a "branch dojo" in their home country. Likely that the teacher gave him a promotion for "business reasons" and not skill. Usually the foreigner is big so the teacher feels noone will call his bluff anyway and knows just some forms/kata and basic stuff. A lot of times the foreigner will come to Okinawa for the purpose of writing a book and doing a few interviews for the reason of "self promotion" as a "leading western authority" in some style. There are authentic foreign martial artist in Japan and Okinawa and they lived in country for 2 or 3 or 4 decades without desire for "fame" or recognition. In Okinawa for instance in Karate, there are about half dozen foreigners who are very skilled but none has written a book or bragged about it at all.

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Took a couple of Ninpo classes back in 91 from a student of a student of Grandmaster Hatsumi and was able to sit in on one of the Grandmaster's classes in Shinagawa. Spoke no nihongo at the time but understood everything the man said to me. He was amazing. And the guy I took classes from was an absolute badass. He had me attack him. He made clear that if I "took it easy" he would be insulted and would kick my ass. I had 3 years of Tae Kwon Do, boxing and freestyle wrestling experience, went full out, and was helpless against him. He bounced me off every wall in the gym. Went back to my ship with two black eyes and a swollen lip. Can't agree with those who say Grandmaster Hatsumi is a fake.

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Kurumazaka: I doubt he is a fake. I'm just saying to be careful of the foreign martial art "masters" who come to Japan to study and try to market themselves because of who they are standing with in a photo. A lot of frauds in martial arts, out for "fame" and money. Most are class A f'ups in thier own society and try to hijack Japanese martial arts/society to appear enlightened back in their country in order to "stand out" and have a following. They give the appearance of someone who is enlightened, (grow a beard or mustache, maybe a ponytail) when in reality they are grasping at another identity and marketing themselves to blind followers who know no better than to see the person for who they really are.

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I believe you Vulcan. In fact, he told me the same thing regading a couple of america's best known Ninpo and Aikido authorities.

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kurumazaka, that's good I am glad they know these things. In Okinawa the old men aren't as aware to them things and allowed photos and video's of their art. Not realizing (usually French guys) were going to make money on the footage back home or claim some type of lineage with them masters based on photo "evidence". A "leading authority" Patrick McCarthy is a canadian that does this garbage and has a large following in Austraila. He's a 400 lb fatso making up his own martial art but calls it Okinawan ancient style..

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Vulcan.

All of that been known for decades among serious Martial Artists. There are even organizations that will certify you for 10th Dan Soke level, etc.

Sad to say but about 90% of the MA experts out there are faking it or only in it for the mullah.

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I'm occasionally worried that celebrating Japan's roots like this stops people from finding their own new path.

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zenny, and unfortunately there are a few in Okinawa that will "sell" rank to individuals as long as they meet the "age requirement" and look the part, complete with grey hair etc. A certain Yuichi Kuda didn't hesitate to give away 8-9th Dan to a few foreigners (Matsumura Kempo Karate) a certain Seiki Toma gave 10th dan away to a certain Roy Hobbs in Shorin ryu karate, Fusei Kise has no problem giving out 5, 6, 7, 8 dan to foreigners for the money and Seifuku Nitta gave a 10th dan to a grey haired blow hard named George Alexander who sells video's all over amazon dot com.. imposters. Them Okinawans who use foreigners as business also have good Okinawan students in martial arts who they demoralized by doing this, causing them to quit after years of training.

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zenny,

Sad to say but about 90% of the MA experts out there are faking it or only in it for the mullah.

soo true!

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Practice violent sports in order to achieve world peace...interesting logic.

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When will the government take the monopoly of beer marketing away from the Big Three? If microbreweries were allowed to sell their brews in the local conveni, the industry would benefit by increased employment.

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When will the government take the monopoly of beer marketing away from the Big Three?

A monopoly is when there is only one seller. Do you mean oligopoly?

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This serious discussion about nonsense makes me laugh. Anyone who knows anything about martial arts knows that "budo", a concept formalised in late feudal era Japan, and about as adhered to as much the famous and European code of chivalry, far predates the invention of aikido, for one, and as such aikido cannot form an integral component of the concept of budo, and that's just the FIRST LINE of this nonsense.

Of course if you actually studied up on ninjas you'll find that this spirital bit is a long tradition, they manipulated prophecies, immitated priests and have generally been messing with the heads of the superstitious and gullable for literally centuries, it's one of their favourite tricks.

So all those reading about anything "spiritual" from a self-professed ninja, are faced with two options, either the person isn't a ninja and is a fraud, or they are a ninja and they're laughing all the way to the bank as they manipulate your superstituous beliefs. Either way you're being had.

There are legitimate spiritual elements to martial arts, but taking lessons on them from a ninja is just silly.

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Frungy:

Why do you suddenly start talking about Aikido? That is an entirely different sport than Hatsumis ninja stuff.

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Aikido is a new art form but based on Daitoryu jujitsu that the founder of Aikido studied (among 2-3 martial arts). Daito ryu has a history of about 1000 years! Aikido focuses more on nutralizing the opponent rather than changing direction at the last moment and ripping his shoulder or other joints out of their sockets. I agree with self discipline but won't pervert martial arts training into some kind of world peace spiritual thing.

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WilliB at 11:31 PM JST - 1st February Frungy: Why do you suddenly start talking about Aikido? That is an entirely different sport than Hatsumis ninja stuff.

Read the first two lines of the article. The author claims that budo includes Aikido, but since the concept of Budo predates the invention of Aikido the author is clearly wrong. It's like claiming that the European code of Chivalry included Sniper training... it's preposterous.

That's why I mentioned Aikido, because within the first two lines of the article the author gives us a clear sign that he's not qualified to write this book. Aikido may be a spiritual successor to the concepts of budo, but it was not around when it was formed.

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Frungy.

There is a slight difference in Japanese MA between -do and -jutsu/-jitsu. -Do is for the mental/spiritual aspect and -jutsu/-jitsu is for the physical/skill aspect.

So Aikido and Akijutsu can refer to the same art taught by the same Sensei but for different aspects of the same. ex.; Iaido & Iaijutsu are the same.

Look at many JMA, there are many arts still that call themselves -kenpo/kempo, this is done for arts that still acknowledge their chinese roots.

Others wanted to be pure japanese and dropped the kenpo/kempo extension. Kenpo/Kempo translates to "Fist law" the common designation for MA in China.

Same way that the goverment changed the name of Karate from China/Tang-hand to Empty Hand to make it japanese.

Just a designation and don't get me started on Chinese MA and the wrong definition of internal/soft vs external/hard.

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Zenny11:

" There is a slight difference in Japanese MA between -do and -jutsu/-jitsu. -Do is for the mental/spiritual aspect and -jutsu/-jitsu is for the physical/skill aspect. "

Really. Remind us again at the next Judo or Karatedo championship.

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Aikido is the most completley useless martial art in history. Well, no, it works against small children and girls who don't fight back. WRISTLOCK!

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Prideinjapanese:

Youtube is full of this "my martial art works better than your martial art" nonsense. I don´t we need that here.

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WilliB.

Let him be, met many that claimed my style is better than yours. Usually a line they learned and swallowed at the local McDojo or Black-Belt mill.

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Actually Aikido is a very useful martial art especially if the training was more realistic. How do you make the training more realistic? By attacking more realistically. For instance the punching attacks are more like a person would chop you with a sword (there is a historical reason for this) and should be more geared to a person trying to punch you, kick you or tackle you. Also the grabs in Aikido are not as hard as they should be. Grabbing should be as hard as possible so the technique must be perfect for it to work. The attacker should resist as much as possible during the entire phase of his grab/immobilization and strike the defender with his other fist! In this way, the aikidoist can learn how to apply the technique in the most urgent method making aikido as powerful as it was in the old days. Just loosely gripping the defenders wrist and awaiting his "good enough" technique does noone any good. Aikido shouldn't be practiced with cooperation and should be practiced as if attacked by someone very strong, fast and mean. This applies to all martial arts.. anything else gives traditional martial arts a bad name.

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Vulcan.

I agree with you more depends on the teacher than that art.

[rant on] Having spend a few decades studying the arts/styles(across continents) here is my conclusion. Those so called arts/styles are nothing more than training systems to get you to become a good fighter.

Don't matter if you study Japanese, Korean, French, Mixed martial, etc the goal is the same but the road differs.

All good MA teach the same stuff as they want the same goal, now if you get a teacher that drops lets say ground-fighting from the curriculum he is NOT a good teacher. Neither is a teacher that trains to focus on one aspect only.

In short the Art/style is nothing more than a conditioning system but it depends on the teacher and how far he can take you.

Forget the famous 'one-inch punch' it exists in all systems, etc. The names of certain techniques and training methods vary between systems though.

I studied Chen Tai-chi and people swore I practiced Shaolin, why our training speed is similar(not like Yang taichi) and Chen Taichi has a strong shaolin influcence.

Also few people know that Tai-Chi is actually more weapons orientated than unarmed.

For a time I trained Tai Chi(japanese version, mixed pakua and hsing-yi) at a local rented dojo that is owned by a 9th dan Aikikai teacher/direct student of the founder.

We found new blood-stains on the Tatami every lesson.

Now if you know Japanese MA, most only train you to 5th Dan, every level above is awarded for contributions/insights into the arts like written books, etc.

Chinese martial arts tend to do away with the bowing, greetings, etc. [rant over]

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I agree. What are you studying now zenny? I don't believe in unnecessary sadism, but working up to absolte realism is necessary or TMA will continue to unfairly be criticised as second to brawling. The spiritual talk in the above book is another reason for an apparent weakness of TMA. It is too easy to get side tracked into spritual elements and demonstration type of practice and when a TM artist eventually gets destroyed on the street at night because they weren't use to continuous attacks, TMA gets a very bad name. Reality shows though, that it is just the opposite as almost all proven MMA fighters have their foundations deeply rooted in TMA such as Judo-Jujutsu or Karate. (they just weren't wearing the do-gi)

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vulcan:

" Actually Aikido is a very useful martial art especially if the training was more realistic. How do you make the training more realistic? By attacking more realistically. "

Actually, they have branches of Aikido which try to be realistic, with resitance, competitions, and all that. Check out styles like Tomiki or Hatenkai Aikido. Problem with that is that because it gets very ugly, and very injury-prone because of all all the joint cranking.

Now, if you removed the joint locks for a safer competition like in Judo, you would have some sort of competition sport, but it wouldn´t be Aikido anymore. You just can`t have your cake and eat it.

This is common in all martial arts. You have to decide if you want a competition sport for rules for safety, or a non-competition sport where you can practise dangerous movements as demonstration only. Or, you can have Roman Gladiators, of course. But that is not socially acceptable today.

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WilliB.

Agree, look at the Kokyushin Karate Guys.

Vulcan.

Still studying a variety of Chinese Martial Arts to deepen my skills. And, yes I been asked if I want to become an Instructor as Shrfu wanted to expand into my country, etc.

Here is the reason why I prefer the Chinese MA. Less bowing, rituals, no keiko-gi, Belts, ranks, etc.

Both in the JMA and MMA I found way too much of that and way too much hype(mostly by the fraudsters).

Both of you brought up good points.

My current Chen Tai Chi Instructor, promises nothing and gets upset when he hears about the internal/external split, supposed superb health benefits from Tai Chi, etc.

Considering that Chen Tai Chi has a very strong Shaolin influence and also uses forms no longer trained there ....

The places where I train we are supposed to train 95% on our own and only go to the lessons for corrections and new stuff. Example: No warmup, stretching etc during lesson we are supposed to do that before-hand.

Very different style of teaching/instructions.

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Forgot to add.

Visit your local japanese police head office and check their training in Judo, Kendo and Aikido. Different from you can get in a normal school.

Took a friend(kendoka) to train there, he got thrown, punched and kicked during practice.

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Zenny11:

" Agree, look at the Kokyushin Karate Guys. "

LOL, yes. I absolutely respect them for their tough training, but really, the last thing you´d want to call a Kyokushin competition is "realistic". In fact, it is laughable, because of the "no head punch" rule. But there you go -- you want to be "realistic", but don´t want to have injuries, deaths and lawsuits (and want to have lots of people in your school, and not only violent nuts), then you have to make some sort of compromises.

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WilliB.

Agree, reason why none of my teachers trains us for competition fights.

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Japanese martial arts are pretty shallow compared to the depth of Chinese martial arts, but I guess that's why most of Japanese arts have their origins in Chinese martial arts. As far as I'm concerned, the sportification of Japanese arts hasn't really done much for them, in fact it has probably been more detrimental to the essence of the art than to have just a few small pockets of loyal practitioners here and there.

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the last thing you´d want to call a Kyokushin competition is "realistic". In fact, it is laughable, because of the "no head punch" rule

They should do light contact to head face area and the style would be much better.

As far as I'm concerned, the sportification of Japanese arts hasn't really done much for them

True but the time required to learn most chinese martial arts is prohibitive to many. Not many people have 20-30 yrs to learn martial arts. The most impressive Chinese style is wing chun as it is practical and takes only 4-5 yrs to learn well. It should be used against all types of attacks to make it more well rounded.

One shouldn't worry about learning all forms of fighting, but should learn to apply his style to all types of attacks.

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vulcan:

" They should do light contact to head face area and the style would be much better. "

LOL... I´d like to see you demonstrate "light contact to the face area", as opposed to "heavy contact". Come on, either you allow punches to the head or not. And if you do, its not Kyokushin any more.

Face it, the only truly "realistic" martial art out there is football-hooligan-do.

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Ha ha.. the only good martial art is one that allows football-hooligan-do type of attacks in the curriculum so they can adapt their defense against it. The best style in the world isn't anygood if it doesn't gear itself for any type of attack the students and teacher can think of. Adapt the traditional movments to deal with them attacks. In Okinawa the annual Uechi ryu tournament didn't allow punches to the head, but, if you weren't protecting the face and got hit in the face, you lost. Not like Kyokushin where they don't even bother protecting the face.

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The bottom line is one should stay away from the "spiritual" and "peace in the world" martial arts teachers. If the training doesn't look like it will start out with basics and work up to more realistic defense practice, then walk out and never look back. Life is too short to waste time with someone elses agenda, you get married, have kids, have to work a lot, save money, pay off a house and all kinds of other stresses bother you so giving some manipulator businessman your valuable money and time is a shame. Better off teaching yourself by buying a heavy bag and learn to slaughter it with combinations and a few basic kicks. Concentrate on a few techniques rather than confuse yourself with a lot and you'll be better off. Stay away from guys holding swords, like the book cover photo and stick with open handed techniques because that is what you'll always have with you. Scope out areas like restaurants etc alone first, do a recon before brining a date or your family and make sure the "threat" level is low. Most people can avoid problems if they use their brains and don't be too afraid to walk away.

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To Vulcan,

"Stay away from guys holding swords, like the book cover photo and stick with open handed techniques because that is what you'll always have with you."

I'm not an expert in these things, but acquainted. It is someone like you that should at least learn basic swordplay. Example: in a back alley w/ multiple players (say 3) that knows how to use knives. This is for real, and the only thing lying around is a broken mop handle - Kendo will get you out of that alley w/ minor injuries. The things you are good at will finish the situation.

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Under that scenario apec, you're right but I mentioned using brains to avoid them situatons, and doing a recon of an area before bringing family or loved ones to strange places, back alleys included. I'm a 7th dan in Karate/Kobudo..39 yrs under the best masters Okinawa has/had to offer, but understand that not everyone can live and train all their life to do them things. It would be nice if everyone can get a year or two of some type of realistic training. You're right, nice to know how to adapt a common tool (ie broomstick or pencil) to use to defend yourself if in a bad jam.

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@jam_sandwich

Japanese martial arts are pretty shallow compared to the depth of Chinese martial arts

Really?

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@ Vulcan

...when a TM artist eventually gets destroyed on the street at night because they weren't use to continuous attacks, TMA gets a very bad name

It's clear that you are talking about unarmed fighting and I respect your opinion. It's obvious from your other comments that you have a very high level of committment.

Don't forget that with weapons, it's a completely different situation. There's no need for any continuous fighting because you or your opponent(s) are dead or incapacitated very quickly. The longer kata taught to the more advanced students is to teach "what-if" combinations based on the simpler and more straightforward techniques. The most advanced kata at my school are also the first ones we learn, and they consist of one strike. That's enough.

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Hi there

This book is part of a series of 5 that cover the ryu ha of the bujinkan curriculum. There are a few chapters on the spiritual aspects of budo and takamatsu but most practitioners will buy it because it covers the techniques from the kukishin ryu happo hiken yari, bisento, naganata and jutte. Great book! lots of pictures of various densho some from other non bujinkan ryu ha and some nice ones by the author! Note that the publisher of this book is closing down so expect it to be a collectors item.

I have noticed from some of the posts that the armchair keyboard warriors have come out to play again. TMA this MMA that! Watching silly tv shows or clips on youtube etc. Anyone can get an internet conncetion people. It doesnt make them an authority on MA does it?

Like all martial arts want to do something constructive with your life then go and get some real training done!

Best wishes

idai 1st dan wado, jujutsu 5th dan bujinkan, Amatsu medicine.

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