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Modern Ninjutsu
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Modern Ninjutsu
by Sveneric Bogsater

The following article was written in December 1990 for a European newsletter for “friends” in the training.

This is not functioning... it is too slow... it is not a good way... not explosive enough! We have to find or create a modern form, the modern ninjutsu!

Modern ninjutsu! What kind of poor unknowing miserable bullshit is this? If your taijutsu doesn’t let you win the fight, there, in fact, is nothing wrong with the taijutsu; it is YOU that are wrong!

What is this thing called modern ninjutsu? Is it perhaps creating a sport system out of the art? If so, to prove what? Or is it like kickboxing, where you take a few techniques from many forms, to do many techniques for one form? If so, to prove what? Maybe we should take today’s hi-tech weapons and use them in a gi and a hood? If so, to prove what?

Or is it what I believe it is. I believe this way of thinking and talking comes only from some people’s minds with only one purpose...to find a way to make more money, nothing else! Well, maybe another reason is so these people can then call themselves masters. Who are these people?

I am sure they are those who don’t know enough basic taijutsu and they are afraid they will no longer be credible as martial artists. Therefore, they have found other ways to be believed. I think it is from them that we are hearing the talk of modern ninjutsu. They say, “We have to be more modern.” What I hear is “I need to be believed.”

If we like to play beautiful music (taijutsu), we have to practice. In the beginning, there is more dis-harmony then harmony and the sounds we make are not much like music... more noise then melody. But as we continue, we become more familiar with our instruments (mind/body) and we learn to create a melody (technique). Through everyday practice and study, our self-confidence increases along with our skills, eventually we will be able to play simple melodies (movements). However, we are still very, very far away from mastering our instruments. In order to do that, it takes years of dedicated study and hard practice.

As in golf or chess for example, some people have the ability to reach a “world class level;?others will never become more than very anxious “amateurs.” But as in everything we do, to include ninjutsu, it is only our self-confidence, our study, and our dedicated hard practice which will give possibilities to each one of us to use our talents in the best way.

Don’t waste your talents in what someone calls “modern ninjutsu” because as I see it, they don’t understand the basics, the philosophy, the depth or the reality of taijutsu. Don’t give up a current philosophy for a new one until you study long enough to know what you’re giving. Don’t feed those persons (who I think should do something else other than ninjutsu) who don’t care to give you a true way to reload your batteries with clear and clean natural power, so that you can get the personal strength to shape that power with others.

Hatsumi says, “When you learn to listen to your own heartbeat, you will start to live; the sound from the heart is music, the melody of life. To live in, and with this fantastic melody is our budo.”

To reach such a level, we have to STUDY AND PRACTICE; not only practice. Ninjutsu is taijutsu and taijutsu is not a simple self-defense system. The ninpo taijutsu is an art; an art to be lived, to show a way of living, and to survive. Ninpo taijutsu gives you, if you can see it, the possibilities to live your life—not just experience it. In fact, it is your attitude to the art, to taijutsu which will make it function or not function.

As I claimed earlier, there is nothing wrong with taijutsu; it is you who are wrong!

Please stop talking about modern ninjutsu in the meaning of changing the system. Let us instead, use the system to live and survive in our “modern” time.

Finally, I would like to say, “Look at nature to understand the art of ninpo taijutsu. But remember that what you see is not nature, but the nature seen through your own way of questioning.”

SvenEric Bogsater comes from Sweden and was awarded the grading of Judan, the second outside of Japan to be awarded this grading. He is currently living in Holland and often travels and gives training at various locations in the world.

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