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Dani_001
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Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 137
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Styles: Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kyokai

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Koga Ryu Ninjutsu Reply with quote

Okay so I don't know where to put this exactly so I'll just drop it here. Is this style dead? How has Koga Ryu fared so far? Any reputable teachers still alive?

I know that the Bujinkan still exist, but how relevant is it in today's fighting? I know that they don't believe in competing, but they host seminars among themselves though.

EDIT: Please move to combative. I only saw now. Apologies.
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Wado Heretic
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Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 387
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fujita Seiko is widely recognised as the last individual to probably have been an authentic inheritor of a Ninpo tradition; most specifically he claimed to be the 14th inheritor of the Kōga-ryū Wada Ha school. However, Fujita never left an heir of his own, and indeed stated in his own biography that he had not taught, at the the time he wrote his biography, and would not teach anyone Ninjutsu and that he would not pass on the school.

Some people do make peculiar claims to inheriting a Koga tradition based on a historical connection to Fujita in their martial arts heritage. Now Fujita did award licences in Kenpo, Jojutsu, and Shurikenjutsu in his life, but never in Ninpo. These absurd claims to a ninjutsu inheritance are often based on those licences Fujita issued in the aforementioned arts, while failing to acknowledge said licences were in distinct martial arts disciplines Fujita had learnt independently of his Ninpo instruction.

So in short; the last man largely accepted as the last Koga-Ryu practitioner, though a claim that is still disputed and not wholly accepted, died without passing on the Koga-Ryu Wada Ha. So Koga-Ryu is dead, barring revivalist work based on surviving manuals.

With regards to most modern schools; they are derived from the Takamatsu Ha, so called because they were the schools headed and propagated by one Takamatsu Toshitsugu. He was the primary teacher of Hatsumi, and it was Takamatsu's students and successors that Tanemura sought out when he left Hatsumi's tutelage and formed Genbuken. Most modern schools, as a result of being begun by students of Hatsumi, or Tanemura, can thus be tied back to Takamatsu in some way.

Many of Takematsu's students were accomplished martial artists before beginning their studies with him, and though videos of him in later life do not paint the picture of an impeccable warrior, he at least appears competent for his age. Furthermore, a couple of the mainline branches of Koryu ryuha that Takamatsu claimed to teach have acknowledged a connection, or have at least not refuted the claims of Takamatsu and his inheritors. So, taking that into account, one can infer at least a technical competency and a practicability to Takamatsu's teachings.

The main issue does come with the claims of Ninpo teachings made by Takamatsu through Togakure-ryū. It is largely accepted that the genealogy of Togakure-ryū is a relatively modern creation, which was made by using sources on Ninpo that emerged in turn of the century of Japan. Now; an argument can be made that Takamatsu was ignorant of what we now know to be a deception as a result of modern scholarship. It has been argued that it was in fact his primary teacher, Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu, that developed the Togakure-ryūgeneology and that Takamatsu propagated it in ignorant bliss. Either way, Togakure-ryū is not a Koryu discipline, regardless of the skills of those who practice it.

In terms of effectiveness; I think many of the tales about the Bujinkan and modern Ninpo speak for themselves. There is a training culture that is maladapted to producing an effective martial discipline. Not saying the techniques are "bad" or technically incorrect; many of the techniques they do can in fact be effective, and are found in Judo, Kenpo, or Jujutsu. However, I would argue many are not practiced in a way to render them authentically effective. Saying that, we must also keep in mind that modern Ninpo is not unlike modern Historical European martial arts (HEMA), in that much of it is a revival and reconstruction based on historical sources and not the remnants of a living unbroken tradition. However, they do not have the experimental model that most HEMA organisations do, in that they do not pressure test what they research with practical tests. Also, Ninpo studies include interests in knowledge bases that have little to do with hand to hand combat, and some that are completely idiosyncratic in a contemporary world.

With all that said; there is the AKBAN organisation, which although grounded in Bujinkan Ryuha, has expanded to include experimental methods from HEMA, sophisticated grappling from Brazilian Jujutsu, and fighting theory from Mixed Martial Arts. Thus, AKBAN is a useful source for effective combat techniques. Sadly, however, it would be near impossible to find an AKBAN school outside of Isreal. There is also To-Shin Do, which is again grounded in the Bujinkan arts, but the emphasis of said organisation is in keeping their methods relevant to the concerns, and needs, of its practitioners in the modern world. How well they manage that is where the matter becomes debateable, but at least To-Shin Do is far more accessible.
So, in summary;

1. Koga-Ryu is dead.

2. You might be able to find a Ninpo school that teaches effective hand to hand, but it would be an exception.
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Dani_001
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Joined: 08 Jan 2014
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Styles: Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kyokai

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so so much for pouring your knowledge, I really appreciate it. It's kind of sad that the style has died.

There was a school here in Cape Town called themselves Koga Ryu Ninjutsu, but I think they were filed a suit aor something because their name has changed to Ninjutsu Ryu.

http://www.ninjitsuryu.co.za/
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Wado Heretic
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Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 387
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem; looking at the information presented I suspect the methods are unrelated to Kōga-ryū. To be fair, they seem to instruct in a number of weapons native to Okinawa, and the Philippines, but not to mainland Japan. My guess is that they are an eclectic group, instructing in a hybrid approach, that was at one time grounded in a modern school of Ninjutsu. I doubt they faced a suit, but I suspect someone may have challenged their use of the name Kōga-ryū.
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Kusotare
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Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 574

Styles: Traditional Japanese Karate, Koryu Bujutsu (Jujutsu, Iaido and Kenjutsu)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dani_001 wrote:
Thank you so so much for pouring your knowledge, I really appreciate it. It's kind of sad that the style has died.

There was a school here in Cape Town called themselves Koga Ryu Ninjutsu, but I think they were filed a suit aor something because their name has changed to Ninjutsu Ryu.

http://www.ninjitsuryu.co.za/


Are you asking because you have an interest in learning some of these traditions?

If so, I think you would be far better off joining a good Judo club for the grappling side of things, an Iaido or Kenjutsu club for the sword work and join an archery / gun club if you feel that completes you.

The quality of the coaching you will receive will be a million times better.

As far as the link you posted - it flagged red with me when it promoted timescales in terms of how quickly you should be able to proficiently defend yourself!!!

If its studying traditional Nihon Bujutsu you are interested in I'd be much more inclined to look into this group...


http://www.kenjutsu.co.za/index.html

K.
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Dani_001
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Joined: 08 Jan 2014
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Styles: Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kyokai

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kusotare wrote:
Dani_001 wrote:
Thank you so so much for pouring your knowledge, I really appreciate it. It's kind of sad that the style has died.

There was a school here in Cape Town called themselves Koga Ryu Ninjutsu, but I think they were filed a suit aor something because their name has changed to Ninjutsu Ryu.

http://www.ninjitsuryu.co.za/


Are you asking because you have an interest in learning some of these traditions?

If so, I think you would be far better off joining a good Judo club for the grappling side of things, an Iaido or Kenjutsu club for the sword work and join an archery / gun club if you feel that completes you.

The quality of the coaching you will receive will be a million times better.If

As far as the link you posted - it flagged red with me when it promoted timescales in terms of how quickly you should be able to proficiently defend yourself!!!

If its studying traditional Nihon Bujutsu you are interested in I'd be much more inclined to look into this group...


http://www.kenjutsu.co.za/index.html

K.


Hey Kusotare. I'm not interested in the arts. I just wanted to know the authenticity of this specific group as my suspicions arose when I knew that Koga Ryu died. I just needed confirmation. Thanks for your input.
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Wado Heretic
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Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know most Ninjutsu, or Ninpo, in South Africa is affiliated with the Black Dragon Fighting Society (BDFS), and by extension Frank Dux and Ashida Kim. Dux has in the past appropriated “Koga-Ryu” as a term to refer to his own methods. His approach is also very eclectic, a symptom of being a self-made invention, and has included weapons one would not find in authentic Japanese Koryu. I would not be surprised if the group were affiliates at one point with the BDFS, or that the founders of the group in question received training originating with the BDFS.

I have stated elsewhere that I do not think that Dux's ideas are entirely bad; his FASST concepts are not entirely misguided. However, from what I have seen of his skills; I would say his claimed exploits are impossible, and mere fact checking also disproves their possibility. Dux also does not teach a system at all grounded in Ninpo, but rather a blend of the martial arts prominent in San Fernando at the time he was growing up. I would call Dux a cardboard tiger, rather than a paper tiger, but the difference is not that great. In contrast, Ashida Kim is a complete fraud.

With regards to authentic Ninpo; I am the persuasion it is functionally dead. Modern systems are at best recreations based on authentic historical sources, and at worst inventions based on people’s expectations of Ninja.

Saying that; I doubt Fujita Seiko would have gone through his martial arts career without his knowledge of Koga-Ryu Wada Ha influencing his approach to, and studies, of the other disciplines he practiced and taught. I imagine it very much determined why he decided to study several of the disciplines he partook in. Fujita was also an instructor of Strategy, and Hand-to-Hand combat, at Rikugun Nakano Gakkō, and I suspect much of the expertise he demonstrated to gain this role was derived from Ninpo. Furthermore; Fujita also wrote extensively on the martial arts, and that included texts on Ninjutsu. So an argument can be made that Fujita’s Ninpo knowledge has been distilled and passed down in one form or another; primarily through the schools of martial arts he passed down to Iwata Manzo, his primary heir, and Inoue Motokatsu to whom Fujita served as a lifelong mentor. So although the formal and living tradition of Koga-Ryu is dead and broken, in an abstract sense a modicum of its teachings survive in an almost indiscernible manner. Indeed, one can argue Yuishinkai Karate would not exist if not thanks to the advice, and insights, of Fujita.

With regards to Togakure-Ryu; although I agree with most scholars that the genealogy is essentially fraudulent, I do wonder whether it’s technical contents are equally fraudulent. A degree of it is consistent with historical sources considered legitimate works. Even if Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu embellished upon sources to create the Togakure-Ryu, I do suspect he did place within it a degree of authentic, surviving Ninpo which he himself had studied and researched. I suspect the embellishments were made to create a consistent narrative, which connected the otherwise disparate technical contents Toda was recording therein. Saying that, this is merely my hypothesis, and should be taken with a significant pinch of salt.

There is also Kawakami Jinichi, whom claims to be the last inheritor of the Koga Ban Ninpo tradition; specifically, it’s 21st head. I am unconvinced by his claim due to the mystery around his teacher; however, Mei University has taken his claim seriously, and he is honorary head of the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum. He has taught Koga Ban Ninpo, but will not be appointing a successor to be the next head. The Japanese branch of the Koga Ban is no longer accepting new students, but I believe there is a Spanish Dojo that is actively teaching.

Besides the groups that claim explicit Ninpo heritage you do have the more ambiguous connections. For example, Taisha-Ryu, which is considered a Koryu school of Kenjutsu, was deeply tied to espionage, better read as Ninja, activities in the 17th century. Even today it does preserve teachings, techniques, and skills deeply entwined in this history which are unrelated to the primary discipline of Kenjutsu.

I would say that this Ninjitsu-ryu group does indeed appear fraudulent, in that they seem unlikely to have any ties to an actual ninpo tradition.
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MatsuShinshii
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wado Heretic wrote:
As far as I know most Ninjutsu, or Ninpo, in South Africa is affiliated with the Black Dragon Fighting Society (BDFS), and by extension Frank Dux and Ashida Kim. Dux has in the past appropriated “Koga-Ryu” as a term to refer to his own methods. His approach is also very eclectic, a symptom of being a self-made invention, and has included weapons one would not find in authentic Japanese Koryu. I would not be surprised if the group were affiliates at one point with the BDFS, or that the founders of the group in question received training originating with the BDFS.

I have stated elsewhere that I do not think that Dux's ideas are entirely bad; his FASST concepts are not entirely misguided. However, from what I have seen of his skills; I would say his claimed exploits are impossible, and mere fact checking also disproves their possibility. Dux also does not teach a system at all grounded in Ninpo, but rather a blend of the martial arts prominent in San Fernando at the time he was growing up. I would call Dux a cardboard tiger, rather than a paper tiger, but the difference is not that great. In contrast, Ashida Kim is a complete fraud.

With regards to authentic Ninpo; I am the persuasion it is functionally dead. Modern systems are at best recreations based on authentic historical sources, and at worst inventions based on people’s expectations of Ninja.

Saying that; I doubt Fujita Seiko would have gone through his martial arts career without his knowledge of Koga-Ryu Wada Ha influencing his approach to, and studies, of the other disciplines he practiced and taught. I imagine it very much determined why he decided to study several of the disciplines he partook in. Fujita was also an instructor of Strategy, and Hand-to-Hand combat, at Rikugun Nakano Gakkō, and I suspect much of the expertise he demonstrated to gain this role was derived from Ninpo. Furthermore; Fujita also wrote extensively on the martial arts, and that included texts on Ninjutsu. So an argument can be made that Fujita’s Ninpo knowledge has been distilled and passed down in one form or another; primarily through the schools of martial arts he passed down to Iwata Manzo, his primary heir, and Inoue Motokatsu to whom Fujita served as a lifelong mentor. So although the formal and living tradition of Koga-Ryu is dead and broken, in an abstract sense a modicum of its teachings survive in an almost indiscernible manner. Indeed, one can argue Yuishinkai Karate would not exist if not thanks to the advice, and insights, of Fujita.

With regards to Togakure-Ryu; although I agree with most scholars that the genealogy is essentially fraudulent, I do wonder whether it’s technical contents are equally fraudulent. A degree of it is consistent with historical sources considered legitimate works. Even if Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu embellished upon sources to create the Togakure-Ryu, I do suspect he did place within it a degree of authentic, surviving Ninpo which he himself had studied and researched. I suspect the embellishments were made to create a consistent narrative, which connected the otherwise disparate technical contents Toda was recording therein. Saying that, this is merely my hypothesis, and should be taken with a significant pinch of salt.

There is also Kawakami Jinichi, whom claims to be the last inheritor of the Koga Ban Ninpo tradition; specifically, it’s 21st head. I am unconvinced by his claim due to the mystery around his teacher; however, Mei University has taken his claim seriously, and he is honorary head of the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum. He has taught Koga Ban Ninpo, but will not be appointing a successor to be the next head. The Japanese branch of the Koga Ban is no longer accepting new students, but I believe there is a Spanish Dojo that is actively teaching.

Besides the groups that claim explicit Ninpo heritage you do have the more ambiguous connections. For example, Taisha-Ryu, which is considered a Koryu school of Kenjutsu, was deeply tied to espionage, better read as Ninja, activities in the 17th century. Even today it does preserve teachings, techniques, and skills deeply entwined in this history which are unrelated to the primary discipline of Kenjutsu.

I would say that this Ninjitsu-ryu group does indeed appear fraudulent, in that they seem unlikely to have any ties to an actual ninpo tradition.


That was a very in-depth explanation. I appreciate your knowledge of the subject and I'm very impressed with the depth of your knowledge on the subject.

Even though I have never studied this art I think most have an appreciation for it through TV, movies, books and magazines. That was a very interesting and informative read. Thanks for posting that.
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Dani_001
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Joined: 08 Jan 2014
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Styles: Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kyokai

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kusotare wrote:
Dani_001 wrote:
Thank you so so much for pouring your knowledge, I really appreciate it. It's kind of sad that the style has died.

There was a school here in Cape Town called themselves Koga Ryu Ninjutsu, but I think they were filed a suit aor something because their name has changed to Ninjutsu Ryu.

http://www.ninjitsuryu.co.za/


Are you asking because you have an interest in learning some of these traditions?

If so, I think you would be far better off joining a good Judo club for the grappling side of things, an Iaido or Kenjutsu club for the sword work and join an archery / gun club if you feel that completes you.

The quality of the coaching you will receive will be a million times better.

As far as the link you posted - it flagged red with me when it promoted timescales in terms of how quickly you should be able to proficiently defend yourself!!!

If its studying traditional Nihon Bujutsu you are interested in I'd be much more inclined to look into this group...


http://www.kenjutsu.co.za/index.html

K.


The only reason I cannot join here is because I have no time on my hands! Haha!
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Dani_001
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Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 137
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Styles: Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kyokai

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Wado Heretic wrote:
As far as I know most Ninjutsu, or Ninpo, in South Africa is affiliated with the Black Dragon Fighting Society (BDFS), and by extension Frank Dux and Ashida Kim. Dux has in the past appropriated “Koga-Ryu” as a term to refer to his own methods. His approach is also very eclectic, a symptom of being a self-made invention, and has included weapons one would not find in authentic Japanese Koryu. I would not be surprised if the group were affiliates at one point with the BDFS, or that the founders of the group in question received training originating with the BDFS.

I have stated elsewhere that I do not think that Dux's ideas are entirely bad; his FASST concepts are not entirely misguided. However, from what I have seen of his skills; I would say his claimed exploits are impossible, and mere fact checking also disproves their possibility. Dux also does not teach a system at all grounded in Ninpo, but rather a blend of the martial arts prominent in San Fernando at the time he was growing up. I would call Dux a cardboard tiger, rather than a paper tiger, but the difference is not that great. In contrast, Ashida Kim is a complete fraud.

With regards to authentic Ninpo; I am the persuasion it is functionally dead. Modern systems are at best recreations based on authentic historical sources, and at worst inventions based on people’s expectations of Ninja.

Saying that; I doubt Fujita Seiko would have gone through his martial arts career without his knowledge of Koga-Ryu Wada Ha influencing his approach to, and studies, of the other disciplines he practiced and taught. I imagine it very much determined why he decided to study several of the disciplines he partook in. Fujita was also an instructor of Strategy, and Hand-to-Hand combat, at Rikugun Nakano Gakkō, and I suspect much of the expertise he demonstrated to gain this role was derived from Ninpo. Furthermore; Fujita also wrote extensively on the martial arts, and that included texts on Ninjutsu. So an argument can be made that Fujita’s Ninpo knowledge has been distilled and passed down in one form or another; primarily through the schools of martial arts he passed down to Iwata Manzo, his primary heir, and Inoue Motokatsu to whom Fujita served as a lifelong mentor. So although the formal and living tradition of Koga-Ryu is dead and broken, in an abstract sense a modicum of its teachings survive in an almost indiscernible manner. Indeed, one can argue Yuishinkai Karate would not exist if not thanks to the advice, and insights, of Fujita.

With regards to Togakure-Ryu; although I agree with most scholars that the genealogy is essentially fraudulent, I do wonder whether it’s technical contents are equally fraudulent. A degree of it is consistent with historical sources considered legitimate works. Even if Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu embellished upon sources to create the Togakure-Ryu, I do suspect he did place within it a degree of authentic, surviving Ninpo which he himself had studied and researched. I suspect the embellishments were made to create a consistent narrative, which connected the otherwise disparate technical contents Toda was recording therein. Saying that, this is merely my hypothesis, and should be taken with a significant pinch of salt.

There is also Kawakami Jinichi, whom claims to be the last inheritor of the Koga Ban Ninpo tradition; specifically, it’s 21st head. I am unconvinced by his claim due to the mystery around his teacher; however, Mei University has taken his claim seriously, and he is honorary head of the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum. He has taught Koga Ban Ninpo, but will not be appointing a successor to be the next head. The Japanese branch of the Koga Ban is no longer accepting new students, but I believe there is a Spanish Dojo that is actively teaching.

Besides the groups that claim explicit Ninpo heritage you do have the more ambiguous connections. For example, Taisha-Ryu, which is considered a Koryu school of Kenjutsu, was deeply tied to espionage, better read as Ninja, activities in the 17th century. Even today it does preserve teachings, techniques, and skills deeply entwined in this history which are unrelated to the primary discipline of Kenjutsu.

I would say that this Ninjitsu-ryu group does indeed appear fraudulent, in that they seem unlikely to have any ties to an actual ninpo tradition.


That was a very in-depth explanation. I appreciate your knowledge of the subject and I'm very impressed with the depth of your knowledge on the subject.

Even though I have never studied this art I think most have an appreciation for it through TV, movies, books and magazines. That was a very interesting and informative read. Thanks for posting that.


Indeed, this post is top notch, I really appreciate the input and knowledge, thank you so much! So can I nominate Matsushinshii for March member of the month???


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