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Ninjutsu/Ninjutsu philosophy

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Question
Hello, how are you! I have a question regarding the philosophy of five elements (godai)in ninjutsu. Actually, I am new to ninjutsu, and very interested in learning this martial art. I wanted to know does the godai or five elements are referred to japanese shinto/buddhism gods?(example god of fire, god of water etc.)What about all the combat movement and kata in ninjutsu? Are they symbolise prayer to japanese gods? Since I am a muslim and very interested in learning this art, I am very concern about this matter. Maybe you could shed some light and explanation to clear up my confusions. I'm glad if you could reply to me as soon as possible. Thank you very much.

Answer
An over simplified answer to your question is ninjutsu is a Japanese martial arts, and as such, has religious influences and cultural practices of its nation. But this is true of any martial art founded before the turn of the century.

As the practice spread from Japan, it has been adapted to the world setting. At my school, I do NOT force anyone to participate in any part of class that they do not feel is appropriate.

For more in depth details on the Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (ninjutsu) I highly recommend reading any of Masaaki Hatsumi's books (ie Ninpo: Wisdom for Life, The Way of the Ninja, etc) as he often writes about cultural influences and stated are ninpo is for anyone with the correct heart.

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Joe Maurantonio

Expertise

I can answer questions about ninja and samurai history, tradition, philosophy and training. This includes queries about ninjutsu skills, taijutsu (unarmed lessons), budogu (weapons lessons), warriorship, and my personal experiences with the martial arts. [Please, No Private Questions.]

Experience

Bujinkan budo taijutsu
Togakure ryu ninjutsu
Gyokko ryu kosshijutsu
Koto ryu koppojutsu
Kukishinden Happo Biken,
Takagi Yoshin ryu jujutsu
Shinden Fudo ryu dakentaijutsu,
and more...



Organizations
Bujinkan Dojo Shidoshi Kai Instructors Association (1991 - present)
American Shidoshi Kai (see www.shidoshikai.com ) (1997 - present)



Publications
Ninja Magazine [Writer] (1986)
Sanmyaku USA [Associate Editor] (1992-1997)
Ninpo: Wisdom for Life [Book Publisher, available Amazon.com] (1998)
Kihon Newsletter (1999-2003) [Writer, available kihon.com/newsletter]



Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts Degree
Master of Arts Degree



Awards and Honors
Shidoshi Instructors license (1991)
Shihan title (2003)

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