View Full Version : Ninpo Archery

3rd December 2002, 05:21
I came across a couple of books and articles circa late 70's, in which Hatsumi Sensei and his students are shown displaying and using yumi and ya (bows and arrows). They show and demonstrate a number of different types of bows, arrows and shooting techniques. Of course, this isn't surprising. It makes huge sense for that they would have trained in one of the main battle weapons of fuedal Japan. But I am wondering what has since happened to archery training in Ninpo.

Is traditional ninja or samurai archery still taught in any x-kan in any form whatsoever? If not, why not?

Would anyone know which ryu-ha contains the archery skills?

Taharka Mena

3rd December 2002, 16:57
My father-in-law taught me some about archery, which I understand what he showed me wasn't much different from the archery in ninpo.
I think archery hasn't been taught alot due to the fact it isn't a needed skill per se any longer. But it is a cool training technique, and it is fun as well. If you are interested in training in archery, then find you a good teacher outside ninpo if your teacher doesn't teach it. That's what I did. But make sure your teacher says its ok.

To answer your second question, I think archery came from the Togukure Ryu and Kukishin Ryu, atleast that's what I was once told by my old ninpo teacher. I could be wrong though. So please, don't flame me.

All the best, and God Bless,

Randall Engle
Genbukan Ninpo Bugei

3rd December 2002, 17:11
I think archery hasn't been taught alot due to the fact it isn't a needed skill per se any longer.

On the contrary, I think that the practice of archery teaches just as many valuable concepts and skills as the practice of kenjutsu. Archery has always been an important weapon in traditional Japanese martial practice.

Does any one practice this as a regular part of their Ninpo or BBT practice?

Does any x-Kan still include it in their curriculum or is this just another one of the "18 skills" that have fallen into oblivion?

Taharka Mena

3rd December 2002, 17:38
I think you took me the wrong way. There isn't a need to carry a bow and arrows around with you all the time anymore. I never said it didn't offer you any real skills. I mean, from what I was taught its footwork and training aids you in firearms training as well.

Things like horseback riding are kind of like riding a motorcycle, fourwheeler, etc.

The 18 skills are very important, I just meant that the need for a bow and arrow aren't very high these days. Forgive me for wording myself wrongly.

In Christ,
Randall Engle
Genbukan Ninpo Bugei

3rd December 2002, 17:54
I've started doing this recently (training in archery) and I find it to be a blast. It's standard Western-style archery of course and not Japanese, although that's out there too if you really want it.

It's a great way to get back to the absolute beginner mindset, focus on breathing and relaxation, work on muscle/motor control and a hundred other tidbits that relate directly to what's going on in the dojo.

All that with the instant, satisfying feedback as the arrow THWAK's into the (hopefully intended) target!

As for any of the 18 skills falling into oblivion, I wouldn't worry too much about that. They're all quite safe whether your or my local dojo has it on the menu or not. If you or anyone else is really that concerned about it and is willing to persevere, you can find out whatever you want to know.

A good first step, though, is always to learn what you can nearby, giving you a body of useful experience and information to work from.

3rd December 2002, 23:46
OK, I suppose that yumi and ya aren't actively and normally practiced any more in Ninpo or BBT. Now I'm new, but this seems strange given the importance of this weapon in the martial history of Japan. I am hoping to find some answers on this.

Is the traditional bow not practiced any more because there really isn't much in the scrolls regarding these weapons or because the weapon is not a specialty of any of the x-Kan ryu-ha?

Has traditional bow practice fallen into disuse in Ninpo because no one is interested anymore and so no one asks their Soke or Kancho to teach it?

I mean even with "less popular" weapons you can still find videos on them but as far as I can tell there isn't even a video old or new on say "Ninpo Bow Techniques"?

Can someone senior and/or knowledgeable shed some light? What really happened to the Ninpo Yumi and Ya?

Taharka Mena

4th December 2002, 01:41
This is just an uneducated guess, but it seems to me that mainstream ninpo already teaches plenty of arts simultaneously that entire ryu focus all their time on; there has got to be some point where you run out of hours in the day, doesn't there?

Maybe I'm wrong, but most sincerely,
John Rankin

4th December 2002, 02:04
Hey Noodles,

That's a good point and I can see that. I mean given the wealth and diversity of the weaponry in these arts, that makes since. That still begs the question though, isince there is only so much time and we have to choose a subset of all the weapons then why isn't bow a part of the regular subset of weapons that is practiced. Just wondering????

Also, I was thinking that maybe some teacher or some group of practitioners might have decided to make this weapon and it techniques one of their main focus points (if only for a year or so).

Just wondering?

Taharka Mena

4th December 2002, 02:42
I got to train in the bow when I first started, as a way to introduce me to the sword, and firearms training. As I said before though, not many people carry bows and arrows around unless they are hunting with them, much like my father-in-law.

If you want to learn, then seek someone to teach you. That's my advice.

In Christ,
Randall Engle
Genbukan Ninpo Bugei

4th December 2002, 04:45
As I said before though, not many people carry bows and arrows around unless they are hunting with them...

posted by drizzt777

You're right on this. But this is the same for other weapons that we train with. For example, a lot of people don't walk around with a ready katana either.

I'm wondering, does anyone know anybody in the Takamatsu-den arts who does a significant amount of training/teaching with the traditional bow?

John Lindsey
4th December 2002, 05:35
I once saw a video of a Genbukan taikai in NYC many years ago. Part of the training was archery. The bow looked shorter than normal, but the standard old Japanese style. Tanemura Sensei brought them over from Japan I think.

4th December 2002, 06:28
....ah..never mind.The Yumi and Ya are rarely taught much though than say...Bajutsu or even more than Kishajutsu.I know of nobody that has ever even thought about these!!I myself am more than .."okay" with a bow by the modern Olympic standards.Then again I don't know if I could hit the side of a barn on the back of a horse..while REALLY MOVING.Then again I would say I stand a better chance than most since I have tried to do as such with some success many years ago.As to If ANY KAN teaches Ninpo Kyujutsu....I don't know since I can't think of anybody proclaiming to have learned anything from any of the ryuha in any organization.Also I am not that far into my training to even remotely be exposed..if it is even taught now.

Sad to say this though since it will make MANY MAD because outside of a former Mr. Robert Bussey(EX-.....kan) who back in the mid 80's taught archery as a part of the training I can't say that any actual Kyujutsu has been taught outside of some past Tai Kai and perhaps RONALD DUNCAN with his catching of arrows in flight..which is impressive IF YOU IN FRONT OF THE ARROW.Perhaps Mr. Duncan has made both the Yumi and Ya of no use since he can catch them...hince,we nolonger train in them..:rolleyes: