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Saturday, January 17, 2015

THE RETRO IMAGE OF THE NINJA

Article by Barron Shepherd

It seems that the retro image of the Ninja from the 80's has made their way back into the lime light in recent years with block buster movies such as "Batman Begins", "Ninja Assassin", “Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear” which starred Scott Adkins "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" a 2014 computer animated full length feature film, the “G.I. Joe” films that featured the ninja Snake Eyes and his counterpart Storm Shadow. 

This retro image of the black clad assassin is what initially brought me to the art of ninjutsu. Now, it was always known that the image may not be entirely accurate and more Hollywood driven. On the contrary what the image really is and what it stands for is quite more accurate than not.

Even Documentaries on the ancient ninja of Japan depict more often than not, an intimidating vision of a black clad ancient elite special forces operative capable of  demonic like stealth who possess almost super human combat abilities and as master assassins. The ninja are back and are more lethal than ever.

During the late 70’s to the early eighties I was a teenager. My Kenpo instructors were heavy into the ninja boom during the eighties and nineties. My instructors would travel to go to ninjutsu seminars and camps given by people like Stephen Hayes, Ronald Duncan and Robert Bussey. It was always a treat for us in class when they returned to share what they had learned and picked up from these instructors.

The real ninja boom in the United States was brewing back in the '70's. According to Black belt magazine Stephen Hayes, Robert Bussey and Ronald Duncan were responsible for the spread of Ninjutsu in the united states. These men became predominant and highly regarded by the leading martial art magazines.

According to Black belt magazine Ronald Duncan was teaching Ninjutsu in the 60’s and 70’s before the ninja craze hit America. In the 70’s Stephen Hayes and Robert Bussey had traveled to Japan to train with Massaki Hatsumi in Togakure ryu ninjutsu. Hayes had a successful run with several books and videos helped to bring traditional ninjutsu to light. Bussey who had also traveled to train in Japan with Masaaki Hatsumi brought back a more progressive and openly aggressive and modified form of Ninjutsu.

The Ninjutsu world exploded some martial arts schools took up training in ninjutsu as a separate discipline, Bussey, Duncan and Hayes were highly sought after and highly regarded by the leading martial art magazines such as Black belt, Official Karate, Fighting Stars, Ninja Magazine and others. 

The name Ninja has been associated with an ultimate warrior capable of explosive skills, intellect, a wide range of infiltration skill and diverse fighting ability. The Ninja were for all intensive purposes were the forefathers of the special forces operatives and espionage agents used by military forces around the world today. These elite units combine combat skills, stealth, and technology to infiltrate enemy strongholds, gather secret information, and spread disinformation and operate in small units very much like the ninja of feudal Japan.

The word “ninja” is more of a modern term. In Japanese, during feudal Japan, were called shinobi no mono, though in contemporary Japan people will also say "ninja". According to The Oxford English Dictionary, which tracks the emergence of new slang into English, one of the first western uses of the word "ninja" may have been in Ian Fleming's 1964 James Bond novel You Only Live Twice.

The first appearance of a ninja in a popular western work was in 1964 in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel “You only live twice”. In 1967 Fleming’s book was turned into a movie and presented the ninja for the first time to the English speaking world in a way that no book could ever do.

My earliest remembrance of the eighties ninja came about in September of 1980 the TV miniseries Shogun aired and featured a scene of a raid by ninja. In 1981 "Enter The Ninja" starring Sho Kosugi set off the ninja explosion of the 80's which is still with us to this day as evidenced by Snake Eyes in  the “GI Joe” movies, “Elektra” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” all still being around as they were birthed by it.

To this day, the iconic image of the ninja stretched far beyond that of the martial arts into pop culture. In fact, the influence of the image of the ninja on pop culture and martial arts was and still is massive!  Who didn't want to be a ninja back then? How many American teenagers from the 80’s were inspired to train in the martial arts because of Sho Kosugi. How about the 1985 cult classic “American Ninja” starring Michael Dudikoff. I was a young man in the service when I saw that one. Still is one of my favorites albeit a guilty pleasure.

The iconic  image  of the ninja not only determined how most school kids and pretty much everyone here in the west imagined ninja to be but it also motivated students to train harder to become better  at their perspective martial art it didn't matter if it was ninjutsu or karate. The image of the ninja was adopted whole heartedly in the 80's and has since become almost inseparable from mainstream American heroism. Never has there been such a greater force than the blade wielding black clad ninja assassin.

So what’s wrong with the retro image of the ninja or ninjutsu?  Answer: NOT ONE DAMN THING!!!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 NEW YEAR MESSAGE

We are now into the New Year and the blog continues to grow, expand and evolve.  The blog gets approximately 3000 views a month and over 160,000 views total it is almost as if it has a life of its very own. It lives, it breathes, it finds directions and meanings.  Perhaps it is simply just me as I mature and grow and my outlooks change or expand and evolve that I am able to continue to write. Last and definitely not the not least by any means, I owe it to those who have taken the time to read the blog. Thanks to them the blog seems to have become a force.

Needless to say what I have attempted to share on this blog has definitely rubbed a handful of individuals, whose names really aren't worth mentioning, the wrong way. Quite honestly these individuals' attitudes, criminal records, fraudulent claims of military service and bogus martial art experience really doesn't matter they are just, for all intensive purposes, insignificant. In a word, IRRELEVANT. What they think or feel or say has no effect or influence on me personally, my writing or my training.

The constant student I learn and keep learning so that I may grow and evolve. I don’t claim to be a “Ninja” and I don’t claim to be a “grand master”. Getting a “black belt” was never the goal, being effective was.  The black belts were more of a “byproduct” of my training. My sole pursuit has always been one to better myself, to stay strong in my beliefs and not to “sell out” or sell myself or others short.

My motto is a simple one: Surround yourself with the things that truly bring you joy and train hard so to develop an enduring spirit. Quite simply, I disassociated myself from negativity and from those who are nothing but slaves to their own narcissistic egos.  I just keep the things that truly enrich my spirit close and the hard training just helps to strengthen that resolve of living my life in a correct, positive and fulfilling way.

It goes without saying that the great additions that have not only enriched my life but have enriched this blog is the artwork of David Conway and Lorant Pataki this past year. David did some stuff that was specifically for me and the blog and it has indeed been a thrill to see him come up with the different works of art. Their artwork is a significant contribution to the blog. Their art is just simply outstanding and a joy to have I cannot thank them enough.


So what is coming up on the blog in the New Year? Well more articles on ninjutsu and the ninja of course, more reviews of books and videos.  I will also be sharing some diet and fitness routines solely for the purpose to help others get into better shape. I am 50 years old and follow these very same routines that I will be sharing. These diet and fitness routines will be a great way for anyone regardless of age or fitness level  get in better shape using bodyweight training routines and of course a proper diet. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NINJAFIT©: BODY-WEIGHT WORKOUTS


“Do not limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as you mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.”

Due to the extreme nature of the missions that a ninja of feudal Japan were called upon to perform, being a Ninja  required a level of physical and mental fitness that bordered on the phenomenal due to the extreme nature of the missions. The ninja of old were the perfect all around athletes.   These shadow warriors lived a rugged and often Spartan like existence from a young age. An existence that allowed them to develop physical skills that modern Olympic athletes and Elite military organizations today would be envious of. 

Physically the ninja of old Japan trained extensively using body weight types of exercises. Physical and functional fitness, plus speed and endurance, as well as combat readiness were important to the ninja. For fitness there is no better way of building an athletic, fully functional and toned physique than your own body weight as the resistance.  Flexibility enhancement, Strength and Conditioning as well as Aerobic and Anaerobic cardiovascular development were physical enhancements that ninja needed to survive.

Many martial arts schools use body-weight exercises and calisthenics but only as part of a warm up before class.  However if you utilize Body-weight exercises as a full blown workout the benefits can be immeasurable.  Many body-weight exercises can be progressed or regressed to meet the individual's need. This progression/regression strategy allows nearly all levels of fitness to participate. Regardless of your present physical condition you can start your physical training program at any time and if you want to, you can take it to a point where you are as fit as a NINJA.

Body-weight exercises when performed vigorously and with variety can benefit both muscular and cardiovascular fitness, in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination. Body-weight training offers excellent and numerous benefits that range from keeping the body slim to preventing heart problems and other disease.  

Basic movements, such as push-ups, sit-ups and squats, can be modified by altering the leverage and weight distribution of your body to meet any level of conditioning.

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds take a 30 second rest and move to the next exercise for 3 sets of each. The forth set will be a superset-flow from one exercise to the next no rest period between exercises. You can increase or decrease the number of sets depending on your own level of fitness as well as modify the exercises. You can also add an additional superset or more if needed. Remember no rest between exercises or sets with the superset. 

PUSH UPS
To strengthen you arms more, and the muscles around your collar bone, do some pushups. These are the simplest yet the hardest workout to do because of the work it takes to push yourself off the ground.
1. Lay on your stomach, then place your hands so your fingers face forwards, and they are just beside your ribcage.
2. Push until your arms are fully extended, then lower yourself so your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle.
3. Hold that position for 5 seconds, then push back up. Repeat this as many times as you can. Don’t forget to breathe exhale on the way up inhale on the way down. Perform as many as possible within 30 seconds and repeat.

SIT UPS/CRUNCH
Another simple but hard exercise is the classic sit up/crunch.
1. Lay on your back with your knee bent at 90 degrees, and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Put your right hand on your left shoulder, and your left hand on your right shoulder.
3. Hold onto them tight, as you use your abs to pull your shoulders towards your knees. Do this motion slowly, and then hold the upright position for 5 seconds.
4. Slowly lower yourself so your shoulders are back on the ground. Do these as many times as you can in 30 seconds and repeat.

LUNGE JUMPS
1. Stand with feet together and do a lunge with the right foot.
2. Jump straight up and while in the air switch the legs landing in a lunge with the opposite foot forward.
Repeat and continue switching legs at a moderate pace to get the full effect of the lunge. Do this for thirty seconds then rest thirty seconds and repeat.

BURPEES
Burpess are a great finisher of any type of work out and should be added to your workouts. Few exercises hit as many muscle groups and deliver as intense a cardiovascular workout. After performing 10, no matter how fresh you are, you will be breathing heavily.
1. Begin in a standing position. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
2. Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended.
3. Then do a push up
4.  After the completion of the push up immediately return your feet to the squat position.
5. Jump up from the squat position.

Remember God gave us only one body and we owe it to ourselves mentally physically and spiritually to treat our bodies like a temple. Take advantage of the body that God gave you and condition it to be as strong and healthy as you can possibly make it. For the best results possible it is important that you maintain a proper diet, drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest in addition to an exercise program. Consult your physician before starting any exercise program.

Friday, November 14, 2014

THE WAY OF THE WINDS MARTIAL ARTS SYSTEM: MY PERSPECTIVE

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.” – M.L. King

Nov. 19 2014 will be two years since Prof. Duncan passed away and this upcoming week will be filled with reflection and remembrance and great sadness that he is no longer here. 

First off I want to say that out of the years I knew Prof. Duncan he relayed a lot of stories personally to me. I honestly believe that outside of the Duncan family I know more about O’ Sensei Duncan than quite possibly anyone else.  Since Prof. Duncan’s passing there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t thought about him. So, it really bothers me personally when I see things repeated on the internet that quite frankly I know to be not true and are in stark contrast to what I personally know and was told. 

One of the “stories” I hear is that Donn Draeger taught Ninjutsu to Prof. Duncan.  He always maintained to me that his relationship with Draeger was from his days involved with Judo in the United States Marine corp.  Prof. Duncan had studied and trained under Ernie Cates an officer in the U.S. Marine corp from 1957 to 1959 learning Judo, Jujitsu and Knife. At this time Donn Draeger was with the Shufu Yondanshikai.

A lot of so called Koga ryu grand masters have dropped Prof. Duncan’s name giving the impression that they were speaking on sensei Duncan’s behalf or trying to insinuate and give the impression that Prof. Duncan was a part of their cause. In all honesty Prof. Duncan had nothing to do with them. Even some of the people who formerly trained under Prof. Duncan have said and done some things that have quite frankly left me scratching my head.  I see people on the net dropping his name just to lend some sort of credence to themselves or their own personal agenda who didn’t even know Prof. Duncan.

As an example, most recently someone on facebook took it upon himself to add Gregory Duncan’s picture  to half a dozen “Koga ryu Masters” in a collage implying that Gregory Duncan was in league with the others in the collage and even implied that Gregory Duncan was teaching Fujita Seiko’s koga ryu Wada Ha. Both implications were completely inaccurate. Gregory has nothing to do with these people in the collage or the person who put this collage together nor had Gregory ever spoken with this individual. Most importantly Gregory has never claimed to teach Koga ryu Wada Ha.

Even a few members and former members of the Way of the Winds system have said and done some things that have quite frankly left me somewhat bewildered.   So, I am going to share my own perspective of the Way of the Winds martial art system. Part of The Way of the Winds system MAY have a very unique and intriguing modern history going back to WWII thru Naraki Hara who MAY well have been trained at The Nakano spy school.  The potential POSSIBILTY of this, at least in my mind, is a extremely fascinating and intriguing one.

Hara Sensei was born into a samurai family in the year 1919 from the information that I have been able to gather from different sources he trained under Okuyama Ryuho in Aiki Jujutsu and Hakko ryu Jujutsu. Hara taught Aiki jujutsu, Hakko ryu Jujutsu,  Taiho Jutsu and created Nippon Goshindo Kempo.( I have also heard it referred to as Goshindo Karate and Goshindo Kempo jujutsu.)  According to several people there just wasn’t a weapon that Hara sensei wasn’t an expert at. He seemed to have a vast knowledge of not only several different arts but several styles within these arts as well.  By all accounts Hara Sensei was a hard physical man who was an excellent martial artist whose executions of techniques were brutal and effective. 

 During WWII The Imperial Japanese Army command had become dead set on developing on shortest terms at Nakano a system of Killing Techniques, a close quarter combat system that would put the enemy out of commission quickly and efficiently. Hard, fast, powerful BLOWS and KICKS to vulnerable areas.  A primary Killing method of unarmed or minimally armed combat for battlefield use especially for the nature of covert operations. Get IN and get the JOB DONE WITH as quickly and brutally as possible! The soldiers of the Japanese Army were trained in Karate and Judo or at least the basics, however the Japanese Command felt this was not enough.The main principles that guided Japanese Military Combatives were HAYAI-SATSUJIN (or KOROSHI) the idea of the immediate or sudden KILL and  ICHIGEKI-HISSATSU  the idea of ONE ATTACK – ONE LIFE.  http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/Dtimes/Pages/articled1.htm

Naraki Hara’s Goshindo (Way of Self Defense) MAY be a surviving VARIATION of the self defense system he learned at Nakano. According to students of several instructors who trained under Hara Sensei in Goshindo Kempo and Hakko ryu Jujutsu, Naraki Hara had relayed to some that he served in WWII and was trained at the Rikugun Nakano Gakko, the Imperial Japanese Army’s elite espionage training facility.  I believe that Prof.  Duncan whole heartedly believed in this as he whole heartedly believed in his instructor Naraki Hara. This to me is an extremely more interesting and as mentioned before a very unique possible history of Prof. Duncan’s Way of the Winds System, therefore  a more modern military history than an ancient Koga ryu ninjutsu lineage or even a Japanese Budo.

In June of 2012, a story broke out of Japan about the curriculum taught at Nakano.  Military records were discovered shedding some light on what was taught at Nakano. These documents revealed that Ninjutsu amoung other subjects were part of Nakano’s curriculum. I believe Naraki Hara may very well have thought of himself as a modern Ninja during his days as a young and enthusiastic Nakano recruit. http://japandailypress.com/wwii-ninjas-secret-spy-school-taught-ninjutsu-skills-to-soldiers-214830/

As a former Military policeman in the Army,  I was young and enthusiastic going thru basic training and A.I.T.  I still remember my training, the people I trained with and under.  During my training as an MP, I was taught the history of the United States Army Military Police Corp. We were told of battles in which the MPs had vital roles in. I remember having a sense of connection and kindredship with the men who served as MPs before I was even born. To this day, I feel a connection to my MP brothers and sisters who came before and even after me.

With this in mind looking at Naraki Hara as a young recruit training at Nakano learning espionage and covert warfare I for one can certainly understand and find it very logical that any Nakano trainee would liken themselves to and feel a connection to the Ninja, especially with the addition of Fujita Seiko teaching Ninjutsu at Nakano.  I also very easily relate that this concept would be a source of epsirit de corp and great pride among those young Nakano trainees.  I certainly find it understandable and logical that Prof. Duncan and others who trained under Naraki Hara would grasp this concept as well.

Lastly and most importantly, I had to ask myself; would this mean that there is a historical lineage to Koga ryu ninjutsu or Fujita Seiko or even a Japanese Budo?  No. Simply put, from everything that I can determine from military history books written on the subject of the Nakano spy school the training and curriculum was synthesized and experimented with at Nakano so I would NOT consider it a budo or a martial art, I would say rather that it was a military systemized form of close quarter combat training which included Hand to Hand combat and Knife.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NINJAFIT©: BODYWEIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM

PART ONE

Want to get in shape like a NINJA? The answer is simple, you train like one.

Let’s get NINJAFIT©

Physically the Ninja trained extensively using bodyweight type of exercises.  They walked on felled trees and logs to develop balance, hung from the branches of a tree by his hands to develop strength, muscle endurance, mental toughness and combat fatique. Special training in climbing developed strength, flexibility and endurance in the arms and legs. Jumping, running, swimming were all part of the ninja’s training regimen to develop strength, stamina, endurance, balance, agility, and coordination. The physical skills needed to carry out their missions.

Bodyweight movements do offer a lot of the benefits that other forms of resistance training can't match. They are super-efficient workouts. High output bodyweight training yield fantastic fitness gains in very short workout durations . It is easy to transition from one exercise to the next because there is no equipment to use in bodyweight workouts. Shorter rest times mean it’s easy to quickly boost heart rate and burn some serious calories.

Bodyweight exercises are easily modified to challenge any fitness level. Adding extra repetitions, performing the exercises faster or super-slow, and perfecting form are a few ways to make even the simplest exercise more challenging.

Body weight exercises combine cardio and strength training. Performing a minute of burpees in between strength Bodyweight exercises such as push ups will keep the heart pumping while still encouraging muscle and strength development .  Try adding a few quick sets of these amped-up burpees into any workout routine for FAST FAT BURNING!

Improved core strength. The "core" is more than just abs, twenty-nine muscles make up the human core, and many simple bodyweight movements can be used to engage all of them. Such exercises improve core strength for better posture and improved athletic performance.

 Increase flexibility. Bodyweight training for strength and flexibility can go hand-in-hand. Completing bodyweight exercises through a full range of motion is a great way to ensure joints are moving freely, can lead to improved posture, and might even reduce the chance of exercise-related injury.

 Better balance. A regular bodyweight squat can be ramped up by swapping it for a single-leg squat. Super-functional exercises like a single leg squat can improve balance through increased body awareness and control.

There are countless  variations  of the type of exercises that can spice up any workout routine. Working with a variety of exercises not only relieves potential workout boredom, it can also
help break through exercise plateaus to spark further fitness progress.

Bodyweight exercises get results partly because they often involve numerous joints and muscles that are engaged in each move. Exercises such as push-ups, lunges, and chin-ups have been shown to be extremely effective for strength gains and performance improvements. The results from bodyweight training are amplified even more because of the core strength they develop. Improved core strength gained through bodyweight training translates into improved strength gains throughout the entire body. Bodyweight training can actually be an effective option for injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Take advantage of the body that God gave you and condition it to be as strong and healthy as you can possibly make it.  For the best results it is important to maintain proper diet and nutrition in addition to an exercise program. Consult your physician before starting any exercise program or regimen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

THE 80'S NINJA CRAZE

Article by Barron Shepherd
Artwork by David Conway

Who could forget the 80s, the movies, the music, MTV, the clothes, the big hair and the NINJA.
 “Whatcha talkin’ bout Willis?”  

Yep, the eighties would be the decade of the NINJA.  America was still climbing out of the 70s, the hot trend in movies between Star Wars movies was the NINJA movie. The image of the NINJA was adopted whole heartedly in the 80s by American teenage boys looking for a new martial arts hero. Yep, for those that aren’t old enough to remember it was NINJA! NINJA! NINJA!

My earliest remembrance of the eighties NINJA came about in September of 1980 the TV miniseries Shogun aired and featured a scene of a raid by NINJA. That was what started it all. I went to my local movie theater and saw “The Octagon” in which Chuck Norris fought a clan of NINJA. Boy was there one badass NINJA in that one. Then there was “Enter the NINJA” a Cannon film starring Sho Kosugi. With the success of that film, “Revenge of the NINJA” and “NINJA III: The Domination” soon followed. Who could forget that famous Sho Kosugi NINJA jumping side Kick.  “American NINJA” came next and proved to be the most successful ninja film for the Cannon film group.

By the mid eighties, the media was saturated with NINJA movies, magazines and anything NINJA related.  It seemed almost every month one of the monthly martial arts magazines would feature a NINJA on its cover or NINJA related articles. There were even a series of these magazines which were simply titled (of course) "NINJA". I loved those old NINJA magazines and  who could forget the movie The Last Dragon in which the main character Bruce Leroy dressed up like a NINJA to defeat the evil master Sho’ Nuff’ and his gang. Remember the line when Sho’ Nuff ‘ would ask, “WHO’S THE MASTAH?? And then his gang would reply, SHO’ NUFF’’!!!!”

The NINJA appeared in other mediums as well. On TV there was a pilot movie called “The Last NINJA” and a Tv series which starred Sho Kosugi and Lee Van Clief called “The Master” whose main character Mcalister was….yep you guessed it, a NINJA. A Popular children’s cartoon G.I. Joe went as far as redesigning a major character to cash in on the sudden NINJA craze. That character was Snake eyes. The best selling figures of the Hasbro G.I. Joe line of toys and action figures were Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow which were both, of course, NINJA.

The sheer volume of kids that dressed up as Ninja during Halloween was crazy. It seemed like every kid wanted to be a NINJA. Kawasaki launched it's best selling motorcycle. Can You guess which one it was? The NINJA. Are you getting the jist of the prevalent presence of the NINJA in the eighties yet?

Serving to only fuel the flames of the NINJA craze, arcades everywhere were assaulted with one NINJA game after another. In 1986, “NINJA” was one of the first video games to feature the shadowy assassins. A year later, “The Last NINJA” and “Shinobi” would hit arcades everywhere with “NINJA Gaiden” and “NINJA Warriors” following the year after that.

By the end of the eighties Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles had swept the nation and had become a phenomenon, selling a plethora of VHS tapes, action figures, t-shirts, and video games. NINJA movies were released straight to VHS video.  Sho Kosugi’s quintessential NINJA would continue to kick ass in “Pray for Death” and “9 Deaths of the NINJA” and sequels to American NINJA were a force to be reckoned with in the video rental chain franchises and stores.

The NINJA cut into the 90s with the same intensity. There were 3 big screen Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles movies there was “3 NINJAS” and “Beverly Hills NINJA” By this time we had seen every conceivable manifestation of the NINJA in cartoon, movies, comics, in action novels, in the media, in music, the news and pop culture. There were NINJAS dressed in black, red, blue, yellow, green and don’t forget the NINJAS dressed in camouflage. Even Batman, who had been fighting evildoers since 1939, got a little schooling in the way of the NINJA during the 80’s and 90’s.

Like a NINJA shuriken between the eyes, you just couldn’t get away from the NINJA, it was NINJA this and NINJA that, the ninja were everywhere, it was pure full tilt NINJA Mania in the 80s and 90s. Music Television’s MTV had interviewed a real American NINJA in a segment entitled “So you want to be a NINJA”. The rock band Blue Oyster Cult released an album called “Club NINJA” which featured the song “Shadow Warrior”. Why even rapper Vanilla Ice came out with “NINJA Rap”:

“GO NINJA! GO NINJA! GO!  
GO NINJA! GO NINJA! GO!
GO NINJA! GO NINJA! GO! GO! GO! GO!
VILLIANS BETTER RUN AND HIDE…"

Yeah I’m rappin’.


Are you gettin’ this funky not so subliminal NINJA message that I’m throwin’ down right now? If not I’ll break it down some more. Hittin’ it like shuriken to the forehead, the NINJA were so prevalent on toys, t shirts, lunch boxes, in martial arts, in the media, movies, TV and pop culture that even  a fake NINJA got exposed in The Los Angeles Times.…..SAY WHAT!? ……SHO’ NUFF’!!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

AMERICAN NINJUTSU

Rooted in Togakure ryu ninjutsu, American Ninjutsu is recognized as having proof of an American founder with legitimate ninjutsu training.  A unique marital art, similar to its predecessor from Japan, American Ninjutsu evolved to accommodate the culture and needs of 21st Century America.  The schools currently recognized globally as teaching American Ninjutsu are Robert Bussey’s schools and affiliated students.

The person responsible for what would be coined as American Ninjutsu, Mr. Robert Bussey, was one of the first two men to bring the art of the ninja to the United States from Japan. Having trained in japan under the tutelage of Shihan Toshiro Nagato, Mr. Bussey received his instructor license from Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th successor to the Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu tradition.

 In 1979, Bussey brought his training experience back to America and pioneered a concept that revolutionized how the American people viewed Ninjutsu.  The Ninja was associated with an ultimate warrior, capable of explosive skills, intellect, and diverse fighting ability. Bussey’s insights and interpretation of ninjutsu was both dynamic and versatile, and, one that he aimed to be effective against any respectable discipline. 

The system which came to be known as American Ninjutsu was developed by Mr. Bussey as a specific system, and featured his revisions of older methods to work in more modern fighting scenarios. Feeling that some of the traditional movements were impractical for a reality based martial art he focused his Ninjutsu training on the practical and realistic, while downplaying the antiquated and esoteric aspects of Ninjutsu.

A comprehensive art form in and of itself American ninjutsu embodies a variety of martial arts technique including: taijutsu (unarmed combat), kenjutsu, shurikenjutsu,  tantojutsu, bojutsu, stealth and evasion. Though rooted in Togakure ryu Ninjutsu, American Ninjutsu and Mr. Bussey’s modern practices, concepts, and strategies, were developed to accommodate the culture and needs of the 21st Century.

Robert Bussey disassociated himself from traditional Ninjutsu in 1988 and started Robert Bussey's Warrior International (RBWI). In June of 1997, Robert Bussey retired and disbanded his organization. 

As times change, one must be aware of looming potential threats and  adapt and develop pragmatic countermeasures. – Robert Bussey

Mr. Bussey is currently teaching modern combative skills. Bussey Combatives capitalizes on NATURAL MOVEMENT   teaching individuals how to respond naturally and effectively.

The mission of Robert Bussey and Associates: To empower individuals with education and abilities to improve their confidence and safety in matters relating to self preservation, and in turn, seek to positively impact conditions within our society.

"When a life depends on it"