Wisdom from Manaka Sensei

In the old days, there were no pharmacies. You had to know how to create your own medicines and cures. Therefore, the ninja had to know how to do such things himself. Today, however, you can get medicines from a drugstore. As for homemade gun powder, it is so dangerous. It is not safe to make such things in your home.

You do not need to know how to make it. You do need to study subjects like chimon (geography) and tenmon (weather conditions and star patterns). There are so many things that you should know besides taijutsu. As for poison, you may not be able to use poison formulas from ancient times. Many things were regarded as deadly poisons because there were no antidotes in the old days.

Today, many drugs we have, take away the deadliness of what was a poison yesterday.
It is important to let your students know that there are so many other items to learn outside of the taijutsu training. These items of knowledge should constantly be updated. How about electronics? Or flying an airplane? In the old days, there was the bugei juhappan, or  classifications of warrior knowledge”. Now, in the modern ages, that might be closer to 180. A ninja has to know everything. Otherwise it is difficult or impossible to complete his mission.

Now, the tagline on this website and my personal training philosophy is “Taking the powerful ancient ninja strategies and techniques and utilize them in real world, modern applications.”. Sensei Manaka’s words hold so true to this it almost scared me when I came across this writing in my notes from the 90’s. In many of the free blog lessons presented here, I have always taken the “traditional” and applied it to a “modern” situation. Without doing so, the art of ninjutsu would become stagnant, and wither and die. Even within the “taijutsu” skills, a modern practitioner must incorporate a realistic approach to their training, applying the fighting skills in the ring against a live, hitting opponent. Why would your other skills that derive from the Ninja Juhappan, be stagnant? They shouldn’t and that is why you will always find a modern application being taught here! So, before you go to your next practice, or begin to learn a traditional strategy, think how would you translate this into something you will use in today’s modern environment!.

Bufu Ikkan

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