Here is something that I get asked a couple of times a month. How does Ninjutsu’s intensity compare to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)?
Answer: Who cares?
I am not trying to be rude with my answer but comparing Ninjutsu and MMA is like comparing apples and oranges. Both may be fruits but they are very different things and defining an apple in terms it how it differs to an orange does not tell you much about the apple.
A better question would be what is our training like so that is the question I will answer here.
Firstly, we train to survive a fight, assault or dangerous situation so we train in skills that involve avoiding any attack by moving to safe position, finding a way to stop the aggressor and then looking to get away to a safe place. There is considerable skill involved in doing this so we use a variety of training modes to build that skill.
One approach we use is to vary the intensity of our training. We train slowly and softly to learn how to do techniques correctly. We train quickly and softly to learn how to apply techniques at realistic speeds, we train slowly and hard to understand the power of our techniques and occasionally we train hard and fast so we can perform techniques under pressure.
Another approach we use is to vary the distance and size of our techniques. We start with an attacker striking from a long way away, giving the defender plenty of room and time to apply the defending technique. When the technique is “big” like this we can see the mistakes clearly and correct them. Then, once we have ironed out the kinks, we “shrink” the technique by having the attacker strike from a closer range with a much less obvious build up so it becomes closer to a more realistic attack or assault.
Then we explore the movement underlying our techniques to see how it can be applied against different attacks and done in different ways – some obvious and some less so – so that we can apply the technique in a number of ways as circumstances require.
Next we practice them against different opponents so that we learn how to apply them against people of different heights, weights, attacking styles and temperaments.
We do all of this is a non-competitive supportive environment in which you and your training partner are not trying to beat each other but help each other learn and improve.
That is how we train and for our objectives we are right on target.