Many if not all ninjutsu practitioners practice with weapons. It is in our fundamental skills to learn the arts of Bojutsu, sojutsu, kenjutsu, kakushi bukijutsu and more, but one thing I have noticed is many many students, flail away in the air and think they have practiced, sometimes to perfection. My answer to this, is to sit back and laugh a bit, and ask this question, “have you ever hit or cut anything with that weapon?” Most give me a weird look, but those who know and understand ninjutsu , take away a great lesson here. Flailing away in the air, practicing a kata, or shadow sparring are all good tools for developing some types of skill, but for actual combat you need to practice realistically and feel what it is like to use a tool in hard striking and cutting. This must be done repetitively, and you will understand that when a resilient target is placed before you, Mr. Murphy rears his ugly head and your perfect air strike is deflected and has no power, or your cut folds the target in two, I have even had what I thought were decent quality weapons break apart under these types of training conditions.
Let’s take an EDC tool such as your pocket/folder blade. Do you actively practice with it? Since most will answer no, then why they Hell not! You carry it everyday, you use it to open a box or a bag, or maybe cut a piece of rope, but when was the last time, you practiced deploying it using your dominant hand, your non dominant hand, sitting, kneeling, when mounted, upside down etc, etc. Now let’s add target cutting: cardboard cutouts with vital points outlined, straw mats, milk jugs, old clothing and jackets wrapped or filled with lifelike material, animal carcasses, left handed, right handed, from various positions, for time, in the dark, wet hands….
I think I may be making my point here – Make your weapons training as realistic and with what you may find around you or you carry as many times as possible! Don’t forget safety, have your first aid kit ready, cell phone on 911 speed dial etc. Always be prepared for something to go wrong.
Alright, Ninja fans get to work and take your weapons skills into the modern day.
Airyu – Living the Ninja Lifestyle!