View Full Version : What exactly is Togakure Ryu ?

9th February 2003, 23:32
I am a new student in the Bujinkan and I have hundreds of unanswered questions, that when I try to get answers it just creates more questions!

So, there seems to be alot of knowledge here so maybe someone will help me.

1. What exactly is togakure ryu ninpo?

2. Am I studying a theory or a tested art?

3. Will any of these techniques I'm learning ever combine to be useable knowledge? I feel as if I am just learning random kata and there is no rhyme or reason. There is no laid out lesson plan or curriculum?

The lessons I've attended thus far, I learn the motions just no understanding of principle and understanding of my art.

Am I studying Ninjutsu or not???

10th February 2003, 00:17

First thing first. You must sign all your posts with your full real name. You can set this up in your user options to automatically do this for you.

1) Togakure ryu is one of the 9 schools of martial arts that the Bujinkan is made up of. Lots more to it but that is a start ;)

2) Many of the techniques taught in the Bujinkan are what came back from the battlefields. What didn't work obviously did not come back. Of course things have most likely been added/subtracted/adapted in the many years between then and now...so I guess in some ways the answer is both.

3) Depends on you and depends on your teacher. There are many folks out there teaching these arts. Most Bujinkan schools that I have had experience with do not use a curriculum or lesson plan system. Don't think that because of this that there is no rhyme or reason though...it may just be that do not yet understand these things. Of course it is possible that you have an instructor w/o reason ;) The Quest system that I teach and am involved with does use a curriculum. It is really up to the individual instructor.

I would suggest speaking to your instructor about these things. He (or she) should be able to explain how he does things and why. If he is bothered by your questioning of these things perhaps he is not the best instructor for you.

This is NOT an art you pick up overnight. Even after many years of study there are going to be many things you do not understand. That is kind of how the phrase 'Keep going' has become so popular in relation to ninpo.

10th February 2003, 02:02
I'd have to say instant gratification is the one thing Bujinkan (or any art that's worth its salt, for the most part) lacks.

This is one of those things that if you've got the patience and heart and perseverance to stick with, the answers will slowly but surely reveal themselves. In some ways, Ninpo's kinda set up to filter out those who don't have the heart or perserverance or patience to gut it out. Those who don't either leave Ninpo altogether or become cannon fodder or both.

If you're expecting people to spoon-feed you Ninjer Secrets so you can flip out whenever folks drop a spoon in a diner, you're looking in the wrong place.

10th February 2003, 08:33
Originally posted by Shinobi2003
3. Will any of these techniques I'm learning ever combine to be useable knowledge?

I am pretty much a new student too, although I've actually been involved with the Bujinkan since 1995! (Long story!)

The short answer to this question is yes. Provided you keep going. The kata themselves are pretty useless in a fight, but then they're not meant to be used in a fight! The kata are simply there to allow you to learn the correct distancing, timing, angling, etc... along with locks, throws and strikes which have been found over time to be very effective.

I feel as if I am just learning random kata and there is no rhyme or reason. There is no laid out lesson plan or curriculum?

I don't think there is a set curriculum. There are certain things you're expected to know at certain points in your training - e.g., you're expected to have a pretty good grasp of at least the Kihon Happo by the time you reach Shodan - but there is no one set syllabus, AFAIK.

The lessons I've attended thus far, I learn the motions just no understanding of principle and understanding of my art.

Give it time. You don't learn these things overnight. As I say, I've been training on-and-off for about 8 years (unfortunately, more "off" than "on", hence my low grade!), and we do at least one of the KH every week. We learn something new every week about it.

To start with, I would say that learning the motions are important. It's important to learn the correct distancing, timing, angling, balance, etc... As you progress, you learn certain principles to apply the techniques more effectively.

Am I studying Ninjutsu or not???

At this stage, you are studying Taijutsu.

(P.S. This is all my interpretation of what I've been taught so far.)

10th February 2003, 18:12
I've only been studying Budo Taijutsu for 3 years now, so I'm sure there are others with much better answers than mine (so feel free to correct me if I have err'd). :)

Yes, we do learn ninjutsu. One thing that is very unique (and beautiful) about our art is that we have yearly themes. Usually these themes are of one of the nine schools that we study, but sometimes not. When I started my training, the Shidoshi was spending a lot of time on kata from Togakure Ryu, the techniques were slightly different from kata and kamae from lets say Gyokko ryu. For example, the kamae from Togakure Ryu seemed to be very low and deep, aparently so your opponent could not see your silloette as well at night. Give your training a lot of time (years) and you will eventually learn ninjutsu techniques, but the most important (physical) things you can learn are taijutsu. Ninjutsu as well as Bujutsu arts used taijutsu, so you actually are learning the basics of ninjutsu even if you aren't learning a particular ninjutsu school's kata and kamae. When you have reached a proficient level of training in your taijutsu, you will be able to "rotate" your taijutsu from school to school.

Ninpo, on the other hand, you should be studying all the time. The ideas of endurance and perseverance through life are the fundementals of ninpo, and as we study taijutsu, regardless of what particular school we are studying, you should always try to have that ninpo mindset.

And most of all, have fun.


10th February 2003, 21:27
I feel your pain. I just returned from a seminar with a very good teacher in the Bujinkan. Tonight I will promote asome one from white belt to ninth kyu and steal their white belt. But I will not quit trying to learn from as many of the best teachers as I can manage. If you do the same, your will become safer in a fight but the questions don't go away.