Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Art Of Dr. Hatsumi

In the previous post, we saw Dr. Hatsumi's top American student, Stephen K. Hayes describe how Hatsumi moved from teaching Togakure (sp?) Ninjitsu to Bujinkan, in which military and espionage techniques were removed. This was frustrating for Hayes, but allowed Hatsumi to teach to a wider audiance.
It seems to me that half of the art of the Ninja is bold showmanship and theatrics, which were no doubt invaluable in the art of deception. Despite his age, Hatsumi flows with natural movement from technique to technique. Even when he blows a move, he easily transitions into a successful resolution.
To a certain extent, it's too bad this art has all the trappings of "The Dark Warrior", because that tends to turn mature martial artists off. With that said, Hatsumi demonstrates some wonderful and stylish techniques, and it's no doubt this would be a fun art to experiment with.
Coming up next; a review of Hatsumi's excellent book, simply titled "Stick Fighting".


Patrick Parker said...

This was a great video. You'r right on in every point you made. I also loved MH's stick fighting book - very practical and down-to-earth - very aiki. I'll look forward to seeing it

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

I could write a book on this topic. I think he is more of an American thing. The only time I even heard about him while I was in Japan is they were playing clips of him on a game show and players had to guess what dumb thing he was going to do.

Like "Ok a guy has a sword ... What will Hatsumi do?" *laughs* So he was portrayed as a huge joke. Something only an American would believe (seriously).

My personal take is, and no disrespect intended. I have yet to meet a Bujinkan type that can fight. I'm speaking from experience not ego. I'm sure they exist, I've just never met one. I've also seen many get bullied by the Koreans during the "Ninja Boom" of the 80's.

I must say on the other hand, I have tons of books on the subject. Some are signed by Hatsumi, Hayes and Shoto Tamemura (Genbukan). I've even taken classes ( I don't claim rank)

To me it's fascinating stuff but mostly of historical value.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Oh shameless plug I'm teaching again. so anybody from Chicago check out your fellow rats at our meetup group.

BTW DojoRat,
I plugged your board your board on my face book page. You should get page. Hopefully you'll get more posting types here.

John Vesia said...

Supposedly taijutsu (the empty-handed combative art of ninja ways) was the forerunner to jiu-jitsu. I'm not sure if this is pure taijutsu that Hatsumi is showing, but it has a definite internal quality to it.

uchi deshi said...

I hate that when the computer goes down!! I recently lost all my old photos - now I have to start all over again!

MARKS said...

About time somone commentd on Dr Hatsumi on there blog (hypocriticly, I have not). A look forward to your reveiw of his book

uchi deshi said...

Hatsumi is awesome! Great stuff!