Reader’s Question: Bajutsu

Hello Ninjutsu Fans,

Stories of my untimely death at the hands of a rogue Ninja clan are sadly untrue! Actually, I took some time off for family and training reasons but now I am back with a lot of new material coming your way! I receive a lot of emails from practitioners around the world and the following is a great topic for us all to think about.

“Sensei, you write that Bajutsu (Horsemanship) was a part of the Ninja Juhakkei, how would you interpret this in a modern application.” (Mark K. Utah)

Let’s start first that Bajutsu  (horsemanship) was a “mandatory” discipline for the bushi warriors especially starting from the Edo period, bajutsu is the art of fighting while riding, being able to both lead the horse and make a proper use of the kyu (archery), naginata, yari or sword. Now although you can still get around on a horse, it is clearly not efficient or the mode of transportation that you will most encounter. So, let’s take a big picture first ; most likely you will be utilizing a vehicle such as a car, truck, or even a motorcycle in your daily commute, so on a first level you should be aware and knowledgeable about how to drive the two types of vehicles standard and automatic transmission, as well as how this is adapted to a motorcycle. Next, have you familiarized yourself with 2 wheel, 4 wheel, rear wheel and front wheel driven vehicles? There is still a lot of material just with this gross level understanding of transportation and then what about learning how to fix and maintain the vehicles, and how to utilize it as a weapon? Then of course can you utilize a modern weapon from a moving platform? No this isn’t your gang banger drive by, but serious thought and practice should be place on deploying your everyday carry weapons from a seated, seat belted and moving position. Hey have you even thought about the defensive applications and strong and weak points of your vehicles structure? Not to make light of this subject matter but can you ride a horse, bicycle, do you know the local train schedule, start and or move an 18 wheeler? Bajutsu may have been about horses in the past but the modern application of this strategy would be to encompass all modes of transportation. Hey don’t even get me started on airplanes or helicopters!!(LOL)

Bufu Ikkan

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