Ninjutsu is fun to learn is because it does not involve much boring repetition. If you’ve ever been put off learning a martial art because you fear you will be standing in line punching the air and counting in a foreign language then Ninjutsu is going to be a revelation.
Ninjutsu is taught differently.
We do not teach a simple technique, ask you to learn it, and then teach you a slightly harder technique and so on until, after many years, you have learned all of the techniques.
Our training is based around movement. We do have techniques, of course, but they are really just examples of movement.
So rather than spend a lot of time of one technique, we do many techniques that involve the same or similar movement. Once you understand the movement, you can express it through an endless array of techniques.
You can consciously learn a technique but it’s much harder to learn consciously a style of movement because it is not a single thing in the way that a technique is. Therefore, rather than trying to learn movement, we immerse ourselves in it by doing technique after technique that derive from that movement. That makes training a lot of fun.
This approach also helps us learn movement sub-consciously so that, over time, we start moving as required without thinking about it. Responding appropriately without thinking is the end game. The Japanese term for this is “mushin” or “no mind.” Thinking makes our reactions too slow when dealing with the unexpected. Responding from the sub-conscious is instantaneous.
In The Grandmaster’s Book of Ninja Training, on page 4, Soke Masaaki Hatsumi explains it as follows:
“My method of teaching is designed so that techniques cannot become fixed in the mind, as part of some carefully kept store of knowledge, for once this happens, the techniques lose their life, their life comes to a stop. In a real fight, survival is the important thing: for the martial artist, life must not come to a stop. The flow must go on; he must walk on; he must keep going…”
He goes on to say:
“…as a device to prevent students from getting any fixed idea of how a particular technique should be, I avoid giving them time to memorize any technique. In this way, I’m trying to instill in them the essential flow from which an utterly unlimited range of fresh movements and new techniques spring forth…”
So if you think learning a martial art is boring then our Ninjutsu classes are going to give you a very pleasant surprise.