Martial Arts Guide – December 2002
«An old and inner Martial Art, having its roots in the turbulent Japan of the 7th Century, where the trainee practiced in all aspects of spying and of the art of secret war…». This is a definition of Ninjutsu, like it was found in a Lexicon for Martial Arts and is more or less known to the ones who were interested in this maybe mostly strange and exciting art, that ever came from Asia. There have been many things written about the coming and the progress of Ninjutsu and moreover about its pedestal of its secret philosophy and about the almost incredible achievements of those great agents, but also about the unique, hard and painful way of training of the young boys and girls, which were prepared for the life of a Ninja or Kounoitsi correspondingly. For this reason I do not want to write again and repeat in this way things that have already and correctly been said by my competitors in the past.
My aim is to try to give you a clear picture of what a so old Martial Art like Ninjutsu could mean in the everyday life, nowadays, a period characterized by large speeds and continuous changes in the financial and therefore in the occupational sector, a period of increasing stress for the conquest of cheaper natural resources, having as a result the great and hard competition. Moreover, it is a time period, where the consolidation and spreading of a job career becomes harder and harder, by charging the human relations with stress and fears.
So, how could a Martial Art be useful to the prognosis and right dealing with all of those changes? What would be the possible way that a Martial Art would offer, in order to evaluate correctly the changing conditions, to act decisive and to keep on being peaceful under such pressures? We could get helped, if we would understand correctly the Martial Art we live with, we would be able to gain form it and it would be able to provide us with creative solutions and strategies for solving our problems.
In my opinion, the practical application of a Martial Art’s principles in the everyday life is a part of the basic essence. The practical, fast and effective responds to changing situations, the focusing on every target and the development of spiritual, physical, mental and emotional skills, build the base in all Budo sports. I believe that such bases can be carried into the everyday life, into the occupational and the personal life and help us with success.
Ninjutsu is the art of self-protection and self-defense, the art of developing strategies, the knowledge of body capabilities and self-control. When someone engages in it, he will soon discover that his practice has as a result the unavoidable change of his personality by offering him the ability to train his mind. Ninjutsu is a way of life, a kind of philosophy that gives us the ability to adapt and to create our own way, without to feel upset in this storm of changes, and on the other hand the opportunity to discover beyond our occupational sphere the meaning of our life.
Let us study a little more in depth what we have seen so far. The practice in Ninjutsu can be divided into three levels:
In the first one (level SHU) the student mimics the techniques shown by his teacher, without understanding them exactly. He tries to get the flow of the movements, to estimate correctly his position in the space, to concentrate himself and to push himself onto the thing he wants to achieve, increasing in this way his patience. “The great fighter has to win first his greatest opponent: himself”. At the beginning, he learns to evaluate correctly his capabilities and weaknesses, to control his movements and responses, to deal with pressures and to act with success under these conditions and not to “freeze” in moments where he has to act fast and with decisiveness.
In the second level of his progress (level HA), he learns to combine the different techniques and begins to understand the meaning of the Martial Art he is training. At this level he learns to understand the other people and those mechanisms, which help him to evaluate and classify them. It is very important in life, to recognize who is a friend or just an ally, a familiar person or just a fellow traveler, an opponent or moreover an enemy.
The third level (level RI) of practice expects from the –advanced by that time- student to note and understand the reversible relation between him and the others. In simple words, to understand the others reaction within his action or to prepare his defense at the moment the opponent starts with his second attack. At this level, which is called “field of changes” the student trains in real fights, applying everything he has learned so far about the art of fighting.
These three levels of Ninjutsu practice are directed and representing the three higher chapters of learning, the TEN RYAKU NO MAKI (the principles of the heaven, which are about the nature and about everything that is happening around us), the CHI RYAKU NO MAKI (the principles of the earth, which are about the primary and basic techniques) and the JIN RYAKU NO MAKI (the principles of the human, which are about the knowledge and the application of techniques beyond the ones that have to do with the body).
Consequently, according to those three levels of the Martial Art we can –and it would be a big omission and a contrast to the essence of Martial Arts if we didn’t so- expand also our skills in our everyday life, as well in our personal as in our occupational life art.
First of all, you have to gain self-discipline before you start searching and asking for it from your social and occupational relations. You must learn all those techniques that would help you to increase your personal output, learn to deal successfully with external pressures and achieve the most grateful results, with a small cost in strength and time. The human’s strengths and his lifetime have limits. The smart human learns to divide correctly his responsibilities and problems, in order to achieve his goals (first level).
You should know well all those ways and methods that let you to guide and affect the natural feelings of your fellow-beings instead to fight them. You must be able to create self-standing collaborators and guide them towards their goals without depressing them.
Furthermore, you should be able to guide the results and to use possible conflicts as a tool for the development of creative human resources in your environment (second level).
Finally, you should know about all those strategies that would help you to deal with imponderable factors, to expand consciously your personal and occupational opportunities and to produce positive changes in your life (third level).
The magic secret for achieving all this is one: Hard work, improvisation, courage and patience are the base principles for every personal high profit. Only in this way, you will be able to act and react correctly to any situation, to stabilize your personal and social relations, to gain the required strength and flexibility in your job careener and to win the Black Belt in Life. This is Ninjutsu… Today!