When you think of the Ninja’s martial art, what comes to mind? For many, it’s the image of the black-clad warrior himself. For others, it’s the sword, throwing stars, and other exotics weapons attributed to the Ninja’s art.
But, at the core of the Ninja’s combat method, the secret to mastery lies in a core set of principles and concepts that are universal, and critically important if you want to learn ninjutsu – the art of the Ninja!
This article focuses on 3 of these elements which are extremely important to your understanding of this powerful system of self protection and personal safety. Without these principles, it’s difficult to see any difference between the art of Ninjutsu and any other so-called “style” – even for students and teachers involved in the art today!
And there-in lies a secret if you really want to learn ninjutsu, or Ninpo – as the art is known, in its higher, philosophical and life-mastery aspect. Knowing this secret allows you to be able to see through the scams and false claims of conventional martial artists posing as authentic teachers of Ninjutsu.
But, it’s not just the fakes and posers that can distract you from mastery. Often, our own illusions, delusions, and lack of understanding can do even more to hamper our quest for mastery.
As long as a student focuses on the kata, examples or ‘fight scenarios’ that are used to teach the art – rather than the principles and concepts that make the Ninja’s art what it is – a dynamic, adaptable, composite system which is made up of many different arts or skills sets – true mastery in this art can never be had.
No matter how many techniques or skills a student ever learns!
Here are the 3 keys to “seeing beyond” the forms or kata models that are used to teach the art. Rather than seeing these examples as “holy things” that are to be held on to, each technique that you are given should be seen more as a vehicle carrying the real lessons which put the Ninja at the top of the martial arts “food chain.”
The 3 Core Elements For Mastering The Ninja’s Combat Arts are:
- 1) Nagare – Literally translated as “flow,” nagare is both the graceful, relaxed movement of the parts of your body, and the shifting with, and melding with, the movement of your assailant’s own body. Rather than moving with the start-stop, almost robotic style of many of the conventional martial arts available today, the Ninja’s taijutsu (“body art”) strings the warrior’s individual movements together as one continuous flow.
- 2) Ritsudo – This is the timing or “rhythm” of the fight. There are three aspects or “faces” of how this principle manifests within a self defense scenario. On the personal level, this is the timing of the individual parts of your body as each moves in time, relative to the other parts being used to produce the overall movement. It is also both the speed-of-response that you take to either match or break your opponent’s timing, and the grander view or the fight as a back-and-forth, attack-and-defense movement of energy that will play itself out until peace is restored.
- 3) Kotsu – At the root of any authentically viable technique or model for effective response to danger, there is a core strategy, or “essential nature,” that makes it what it is. When training, try to see past the punches, kicks, joint locks, and throws to answer the question: “What is this move doing to him?” Rather than limit your understanding to the beginner’s mind which only sees a strike as a way to damage, or a joint lock as a way to capture a particular joint – the Ninja sees how each technique or skill application serves to limit his opponent’s options, ability to cause damage, and willingness to continue!
Then, and only then, can you see how the physical techniques are models for much more than mere physical self defense. In the mind and eyes of the truly Enlightened Warrior, they become the lessons to unleashing our potential for greatness, and allowing us to be successful in all areas of life!
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Source by Jeffrey Miller