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! 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
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
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.