Summary: Why Ashida Kim is Not Fake
Ashida Kim, criticized for his name non public lineage and numerous other stuff... So it makes him a fake? Lineage is both meaningless and paramount. Any individual can make a claim without proof. Lineage is to verify that original teachings spiritual and martial come from experience and acccomplishment in real life. The trust that the disciple has in the master after proper evaluation is that if he listens to the master he will be guided correctly along a path he may not be able to achieve himself. Over generations each disciple that attains mastery, learning all he can, can authoritatively add or change the art based on changing needs and conditions. The knowledge of the art may grow, degenerate, change and or be restored. This process was the original impulse behind the ninja clans. Many of the fighting styles, techniques and spiritual teachings of the ninja came from china directly including kung fu teachings as well as Esoteric Buddhism (Vajrayana) and Taoism (especially Taoist Alchemy). In addition to "historical" evidence about these teachings is the actual experience of being a martial disciple. Beyond "kata" and "rank" is the teaching in the manner of an apprenticeship of one person directly to another. How to stand how to breath, develop force and fearlessness, how to fight for real in a life or death street confrontation. Anyone who has experience the circulation of chi in the meridians, learned deep meditation, or even how to truly view themselves without bias and gone into the nightmare process behind
"enlightenment" knows that you can throw all the "Authority" behind an idea, but that does not mean that the idea will be heard correctly, practiced correctly or understood correctly by others. Somtimes a master will teach a student to the point where the student can teach himself, but because of politics the authority of lineage is not offically passed on. Scholarly basis for the legitimacy of what Ashida Kim has put in this book would require several volumes to document. This book is a simple set of instructions as a teacher would tell a student in the dojo, which are meant to be verified by practice. This includes explanations of chi, a diagram of Taoist Alchemical energy points on the body, chi gong excersizes for balancing the 5 elements and a very good introduction to chinese medical theory with quotes from the Yellow Emperors Medicene Classic. The Kuji are given with their japanese and chinese names. The Kuji are mudras with mantras and a special way of tracing mystic characters in the air. They entered into Ninjutsu into Japan as the Esoteric Buddhism was imported from China which is known as Mi Tseung (or Mi Zong). The claim that Ninjutsu and its mystical doctrines have no connection with anything chinese is extremely ignorant of. Even within the Bujinkan, Ninjutsu is seen as ultimatly a set of principles to be internalized to be used as the situation arises. The information that Ashida Kim does publish is of mysterious origin, but concepts taught have much historical precedent if it is dug for. It is also extremley direct and effective. The world is lucky to have the teachings of the Tokagure lineage survive with its history and techniqes intact and publicly taught. The idea that their are unkown, non public groups or individuals that either carried on ninja teachings of other traditions or re discovered lost knowlege is not by any means fantastic. Who is Ashida Kim? Where did he learn? Is the Black Dragon ryu a fraud? Read Ashida Kims books and practice them diligently. Then read everything you can about about Esoteric Buddhism and Taoism, Indian, Chinese and Japanese History. Train martial skills like you were going to depend on them in war. Meditate every day. After anywhwere from 5 to 15 years, look back on the truths "verified" by your training, and see them simply stated in this book. If ashida kim is a fraud, he is one of the most helpful insightful frauds of Ninja ever.
Summary: Blast from the past!
Comment: When this was first published in the mid 1980s, Ashida Kim was one of the few ninja authors to be found in mainstream American bookstores. Further, his books actually demonstrated techniques with descriptions and photos, while the Hayes titles available at that time largely did not.
Yes, he spells ninjitsu with an "i". That's just the "old school" method of spelling, ala jiu-jitsu, which used to be common practice. Of course, as we all know, the "modified Hepburn" system of transliteration would spell it "ninjutsu". BFD.
Yes, he's white and he uses a fake name. So what? "Bruce Lee" was a stage name, too.
To be sure, there's an element of "cheese" in his books, with the frequent use of Chinese technique names and the often trashy, drugged-looking opponents. But, that's consistent with other titles published by Paladin Press at the time -- same goes with Ohara and Unique.
On the downside, the kuji kiri given here differs from that shown in "Secrets of the Ninja". Pick & choose, I guess. At least this one is Japanese.
Did he have a teacher? He's often mentioned "Shendai the Silent" from Hawaii.
Regarding authenticity, let's keep in mind that the majority of the "real" ninja were killed off by Oda Nobunaga's forces in the 1500s. Thus, any latter-day ninja is bound to be more of a historian than a lineaged practitioner.
So Stephen K. Hayes spent a week and then a year in Japan with Hatsumi. Does that make him an expert? In what other martial art does one year of experience qualify you to open a franchise of schools and write books?
And while Hatsumi is a respectable and accomplished martial artist, how much actual ninjutsu did he study with Takamatsu? Case in point, his "Stick Fighting" book is clearly Aikido.
Note that as of 2006, none of the books carried by the ninja yashiki museum at Iga Ueno were written by either Hatsumi or Hayes.
If ninjutsu were truly the "ultimate fighting art", then the ninja would have been the ones that ruled Japan after the Sengoku jidai (warring states period), not the successive regimes of Oda, Toyotomi, and Tokugawa. Certainly, if ninja were truly "all that", then they would have started their own country, as opposed to whoring themselves out as mercenaries. And wouldn't they be the ones winning UFC tournaments today?
Thus, treat this book as you would any other throwback to the `80s: an interesting read, perhaps one giving you a few ideas or showing you a few techniques, but not the ultimate answer.
Summary: very fake dont be fooled
Comment: I have been practicing Bujinkan Taijutsu for 5yrs now and i have to tell you this man is a fake. Maybe he is a martial artist but he is in no way a Ninjutsu Master. First of many inconsistencies, he used Chinese names Ninjutsu was and is a Japanese art an art the Ninja use came from China CALLED Gyokko ryu Koshijutsu but thats it. Second he won't give his teacher's name or info on who he learned from, even Masaaki Hatsumi told of his teacher and his teachers lineage. Third he used basic Karate techniques nothing more, furthermore the only man who was known to teach kOGA RYU WAS fUJITA seiko who in no way has a connection with Kim.For real info use Hayes books or Hatsumi's books dont waste your time n money.
Comment: wow. that's all i have to say- wow. i bought this book a long time ago when i was a freshman in high school or something and i just have to say from conviction now: i cannot believe i ever bought such a ridiculous book. i have studied martial arts since 1997 and i am just amazed that people would actually buy into such an obvious fake. this guy who has made up his own asian name cannot tell his teachers name (because he never trained in ninjutsu), he can not use the proper japanese terms- he uses chinese terms for whatever reason is not understood by me, and he tries to impress readers by using a "secret ninja technique" to tear a phone book into two pieces. come on! if tearing a phone book in two is your highest ninja skill- maybe you had better go back and watch more of your anime cartoons and continue to dream about being a real martial arts practitioner. if one word could sum up my thoughts on ashida kim and his fake ninja warrior teaching it would be this: L-O-S-E-R. if the reader is truely interested in ninjutsu read hayes. he really has trained in ninjutsu in japan and he will actually tell you who he learned from. his references are all credible by the way- not like kim's. oh my gosh, i can not believe i just wasted so much time writing a review on such a terrible book. if you bought this book, rip it in two to show ashida that you are now a ninja warrior as well and then send that piece of crap back to him.
Comment: For those of you who gave this book a low rating, do you know WHY you cannot execute most of the moves and WHY you would hate a book like this? Because you have not the patience to learn. And what is this about the book being a bunch of meditation tech? It is much more if you seek. If you read Kim's other books you will be able to understand better. As he mentioned in every book: Only the people who have the patience and time shall learn.