Summary: yeah right
Comment: Bear with me while I get straight to the point. You would have to be very naive to believe any of the things in this book or the others written by this self proclaimed "ninja" author (whether using the alias "Ashida Kim" or any of his other names that he uses to sell books of rehashed "secret" info); there's something suspicious about a red-haired American that uses a combination Japanese first name with a Korean surname anyway, who by the way, has also sold black belt certifications on the net. This book is filled with fictionlized examples of ninjas and their amazing supernatural powers and completely made up techniques and training sequences, not or very loosely based on any actual or historcal martial art style. This is an author who tries to lure people with limited martial arts knowledge into his cartoonish imaginary world of mysterious warriors and their training, filling these readers with hopes that they may become the same. It's the equivalent of offering the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movies as HOW-TO training videos...starring "Ashida" as Splinter. Somehow, with the abundance of knowledge made available in the last 20 years on legitimate martial arts systems and their lineages, making the simplicity of differentiating between real schools and con-artists all the more obvious, the fact that these types of books are still sold and in print is absolutely astonishing to me. To think that any educated adult or teen would open this book and then proceed to buy it is beyond my comprehension. This ISN'T martial arts folks, it's books like these that put misguided information and confusion in the world; especially among our youth, that are trying to figure out what this martial arts stuff is really all about. Are we to believe that the heart of martial arts is notoriety, back flips/tricks to amaze your friends, and starring in Hollywood films? Or how about that there are ninja "masters" walking all around us, especially in the 80's in California? Some little author has been staying up past his beddy-by time watching too many "Highlander" and "American Ninja" movies. If you want reasonably informative books on ninjutsu, of which there are few, your best bet is to just stick with authors such as Masaaki Hatsumi and Stephen Hayes (their books may or may not leave you feeling satisfied, but at least they're not con-artists). Ninjutsu is probably the hardest of the martial arts to find real information on, and the mainstream martial arts community enjoys squabbling over its authenticity as a specific style and its history almost as much as arguing about whose "art" is better...welcome to Western ideals, where "I" and "Me are what the universe centers around.Therefore, when looking for information on this style do so with a very discerning eye. My suggestion to the potential new student is to research all the martial arts (east and west), with respect for what they each offer (they haven't survived the centuries because they suck) and always be ready to aknowledge you didn't know something or to give up a previous notion when you find its incorrect. Some very good books that apply to any marial study that I recommend you look into are "Living the Martial Way" by Forrest E. Morgan and "The Way and the Power" by Fredrick J. Lovret; Amazon usually has them. They will help you sift through the garbage and find the quality in the martial arts world, and especially will get beginners on the right track so they do not fall for books of fiction and possibly lose hundreds of dollars to self proclaimed "experts" and unqualified "instructors. Way And The Power: Secrets Of Japanese StrategyLiving the Martial Way : A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should ThinkThe Grandmaster's Book of Ninja TrainingThe Way of the Ninja: Secret TechniquesThe Mystic Arts of the Ninja
Summary: Aww, come on!
Comment: Just downloaded this book for free on Mr. Kims homepage and I just finished reading it...It's hilarious on so many levels and I firmly believe that all the reviewers giving it a thumps up are pulling our legs -you CANNOT be serious and I CANNOT stress that enough.
Now, I'm no authority on ninjas or oriental mysticism but some of Ashida's claims are just over the top, f.eks. "But a life span of more than 250 years is not unknown among those who practice the
very exercises given in the previous section." From page 32.
"-Ancient texts tell of a method using the elbows and heels to climb with the back to the wall, as illustrated. This technique requires three years' practice crawling on the floor, three years climbing on a wall with bricks jutting out, and three years' climbing on a smooth wall." Page 48.
I can't 'prove' Ashida (japansese name) Kim (curiously, a korean name)is NOT a ninja, but the book doesnt prove he IS.
At the very best "Secrets..." lists a few useful tidbits about stealth and concealment, but these can be found in any book about special forces tactics.
Ohh -and the pictures in the book are SO funny, especially the skimasked ninja wearing black sandals with a bright white sole!
Summary: Good reading
Comment: This book was more of a thrill to read than an actual "manual". The Kuji Kuri was the best part, but besides that, it all starts to get real shady. It is true that the ronin, Jonin and chunin (different types of ninja) had to sneak around samurai most of the time. That was only because of the armor advantage of the samurai. Ninjutsu was merely a way for peasants to defend themselves from the harsh agressors (samurai) which bullied and killed them. What many do not realize is that the Chinese first taught a majority of this art to the Japanese ronin on mountains while hiding from samurai. If not for the Chinese, the stealth and espionage would not have been a specialty to the Ninja. It may be true that Dr. Haatsumi's art is more watered down than the original form, but we can't disprove its authenticity. At least he isn't running an olympian's camp where people learn nothing but flashy flips, spin kicks and arial fluff. On the other hand, much has been hidden from civilization by the successors of Ninja past. I read about 2 or 3 levels of training which non-blood relatives can NEVER learn from a school. Espionage was part of that equation. I forgot what the other 2 contained, but I guess it really doesn't matter anyhow since we can't learn it. So like I said...I loved the book for its content but alot if it seems like a made up philosophy that some guy started materializing in his mind because he thought that is what a ninja would do.
Summary: Ninjutsu is not a martial art!!!
Comment: This is one of the greatest books written on the subject of Ninjutsu. Being that it is about real Ninjutsu, which means "stealthing". He doesn't go on about lineages and harmony which all the Bujinkan idiots like to talk about. Ninjutsu was about survival, not about harmony or any kind of mysticism. If you want to learn about harmony and enlightenment then go take up Yoga or join a Buddhist monastery. Ninjutsu was strictly for destroying your enemy by use of guerilla warfare tactics. Nothing else. And for all you Bujinkan idiots who read this remember Ninjutsu was never a martial art. It isn't taijutsu, kobujutsu, or any other rubbish that Bujinkan talks about. Ninjutsu is all about stealth and nothing else. Recently Bujinkan recently stopped teaching the Ninjutsu(stealthing) part. Instead they teach regular martial arts and pass it off as Ninjutsu. It's sad I once was suckered into it years ago when I took it. But after much research and actually going to Japan. I realized that Togakure ryu isn't real Ninjutsu. If you go to Iga Ueno valley in Japan and ask anybody about Hatsumi and Togakure ryu they won't know who you are talking about. And if talk about the taijutsu curriculum they would just laugh at you. They would probably tell you that Ninjutsu can't be confined to a dojo like regular martial arts. In fact, hand to hand, and weapons combat is only a very small part of Ninjutsu. Rather Ninjutsu is actually a set of concepts and skills that the ninja practiced. Another thing about Togakure ryu is their martial arts seem to be more samurai like in origin excluding Koppo or bone breaking. If anything, the ninja's actual empty hand art would've been Kempo. Even Fujita Seiko the last grandmaster of Koga was a master of Sato Ryu Kempo. Why Kempo? Well the farmers learned Ninjutsu from the Yamabushi monks and the Yamabushi practiced Shorinji Kempo. Since Kempo focuses on vital targets and getting rid of your opponent as fast as possible. It made a perfect art for taking out sentries and since the ninja had no time to engage an opponent. Taijutsu on the other hand which looks alot like jujutsu would have taken too much time to master and apply to sentries. Also ninjas being farmers and the Yamabushi didn't have access to the samurai's jujutsu. Another weird thing, Shoto Tanemura master of Genbukan made a samurai martial art video set with Panther videos. Why samurai I ask? Also Masaaki Hatsumi's book "Stickfighting" seems to look more like a samurai art. Why then would they know samurai arts if that's what they were really about. Also Tanemura sensei, was quoted as saying they don't teach real Ninjutsu. And lastly, wasn't Daisuke Togakure a samurai in Minamoto Yoshinaka's army?
Also the lineage of Togakure cannot be verified as authentic.
If anything, Togakure was samurai art that included Ninjutsu, since some samurai also knew Ninjutsu (stealthing) contrary to popular belief. Taijutsu didn't win wars or help ninjas complete their missions. Ninjutsu (stealthing)did. Also the samurai who knew Ninjutsu and became ronin are the ones who sold themselves out to the highest bidder. They are the ones who gave the ninja a bad reputation. So if Daisuke Togakure was a samurai in Minamoto Yoshinaka's army? After their defeat wouldn't that make him a ronin? The real ninja on the otherhand were farmers who loved their children and their land. Yes they also took on assasination missions. But it was to play the samurai against each other. So that they distracted them from taking over the Iga and Koga valleys. The ninja's art was based on surival and not taijutsu, or bujutsu. So if anybody who doubts Ashida Kim authenticity better also doubt Togakure's as well. People also say that Ashida sells black belts. Well the Togakure does the same thing. Only more expensive. The Bujinkan should really stop bullying other ninja schools. They claim to have scrolls and lineages but some other schools also have scrolls. Some practioners are even blood related to real ninjas. Can Togakure say the same? Masaaki Hatsumi claims to be the 34th successor to the art. But why is that Katori Shinto ryu which is the oldest martial art in Japan only in the 20th generation? In ending, I would like to just say that Ninjutsu was always about stealthing and Ashida Kim's "Secrets of the Ninja" does an excellent job.
Summary: NOT A KID JUST DIDNT WANT TO SIGN IN
Comment: This book is okay. It tells a lot about sneaking and hiding like its an art. Plus you could do almost anything to a guy you snuck up on. I think the most valuable things in it are the chi exercises and stuff. Other than that its not worth the price.