When it comes to the wide, wide world of martial arts, it can often be tough for the layman to differentiate between the various schools and types of practices. Most of us can name a number of commonly-practiced ones at the drop of a hat, but how many have actually heard of Ninjutsu?
What makes Ninjutsu a unique sport compared to other martial arts?
Ninjutsu is different from other sports precisely because it is not a sport. Most martial arts today are sports or cultural artefacts. We are a collection of authentic ninja and samurai warrior arts straight from feudal Japan. It’s the real deal. There are no sporting or competitive influences in our training. None.
How did you begin exploring Ninjutsu?
I tried many martial arts as a teenager, but Ninjutsu was different and left me awestruck. It was ruthlessly efficient and devastatingly effective, yet it had this emphasis on personal development.
I did it only for a short while but it had a lasting impact on me — so much so that I took it up again as an adult — under an amazing instructor and martial artist, and even better friend in the UK named Keith Porter. I never looked back. I travel to Japan to train with the grandmaster whenever I can, which is a nice thing about being in this time zone.
The dojo is a serious place but we do have fun. www.singaporeninjutsu.com
Posted by Singapore Ninjutsu on Tuesday, 16 June 2015
What attracts you to the sport?
What is a common misconception about the sport?
People think we are running around in masks like ninjas from the movies. That’s not Ninjutsu, and those Ninjutsu skills are a tiny part of the art. It does make for some funny conversations. I have had people ask me if I can make myself invisible, or leap from rooftop to rooftop. Alas, I cannot. But there are lots of really cool things that I can do and show you how to do, too.
People have started calling me the Singapore Ninja, which is a good marketing line, but there are no ninjas anymore, just people who practice the art of Ninjutsu. Ninjutsu means the “art of perseverance” or the “art of endurance” and that is what we do. We just keep going. It might sound a bit stoic but it’s a very powerful philosophy.
What do you think more people need to know about this sport?
Ninjutsu is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Yes, you learn to defend yourself, but it makes you stronger in so many ways and makes you more effective in all parts of your life. Ninjutsu specialises in unorthodox fighting techniques, and that means you learn how to think and react differently, and to find ways out of difficult situations — whether it be a dealing with a mugger in an alley, or negotiating your way through office politics. It changes the way you look at things.
What’s your advice for someone who wants to begin Ninjutsu?
My advice to people who want to learn Ninjutsu is to stick with it for a while. Many people do not stick with it long enough to learn anything meaningful, so they never really experience it. It is confusing in the beginning and you have to do it long enough to get over that. Set yourself up for success by committing to it long enough to appreciate it. Just having a look, checking it out and dipping your toe in the water is a waste of time. It’s setting yourself up for failure. Why would you do that?