Now this is an awesome topic!!!
I have always been interested in Bushido since I was a kid and was captivated by martial arts everywhere I saw movies or read a book about Martial
Arts. I also became interested in Nihonto later on, but unfortunately I never learned the art of swordmaking.
When my parents and I went to Spain I was able, after a long while, to convince my parents of letting me join a Dojo to learn Karate. Althou after a
while I lost interest, which I later realized the reason why, and it was because there are many senseis that teach you that martial arts is just a
physical art, that there is nothing else behind it, and unfortunately my first experience in a dojo was with this type of Sensei.
However i was fortunate enough that I did not learn from that kind of mindset and found a much better Sensei that I could hope for.
One day as I was walking around in Legazpi, which is one central area of Madrid in Spain, I saw a banner in an old gym that said they were teaching a
martial art called Koga Ryu Ninjutsu. I went inside the gym to find out exactly what this martial art was about. I learnt that day that Juan Hombre
Dopazo, the man that became my Sensei, was the first one to bring the real art of the Ninja to Spain and probably in Europe. I saw Sensei Dopazo
kneel down in the middle of the Dojo and ask 4 students attack him, as they attacked he seemed to be in a trance, his eyes looking forward as in
concentration and he was able to stop all 4 students and throw them to the floor without getting up. After seeing this I knew I had found one of the
best Senseis, if not the best, I could find.
While in this school, I learned Koga Ryu Ninjutsu, i learned how to use different weapons, and how to fight without weapons, I specialized in four
main weapons. The Bo, the bow, the tanto, and the Katana. The Ninjato sword is of less quality than a katana, and originally Ninjas used at first
farmer's tools as weapons, which is the origin of most martial art weapons for those who could not afford a sword.
I learned for two years under Juan Hombre Dopazo, even after he was paralized from the waist down due to a car accident, and even then he was pretty
much unbeatable, and an excellent Sensei.
Contrary to common belief, learning any Martial Arts is not about being able to beat the crap out of other people, it is about learning about yourself
and your connection to the universe. Also you learn self discipline, honor (yeah, some people still have this) and respect to those that are
respectful towards you, your elders and your Sensei. Real Martial Arts are a way of life, just like Bhuddism. Of course, you also learn self
defense, but any modern Sensei would tell you that using your skills is a last resort, and only if you can't find another way out of your
Ninjutsu, or Ninjitsu as it is also known, started as the Martial Art of the peasants, a way for them to defend themselves against the samurai and
robbers. Althou at first it was known as Nonuse, meaning "the art of stealth." It was a martial art that was taugh from generation to generation
and only to other family members. It was a resistance movement in its humble beginnings. The practitioners of Ninjutsu became known as Ninja much
When some of the wealthy landowners saw the effectiveness of Ninjutsu, they decided to contract these people for infiltration and spionage purposes.
Later on it was used for sabotage, and assasinations. This is when Ninjutsu took the bad name of the Art of the assassin, and this is how most people
know about this Art.
Because of this Martial Art, I became fascinated with swords, mainly katanas, as well as all otehr sorts of white weapons. I haven't bought one
sword, and I still train with the same wooden straight katana I made over 18 years ago. Whenever I buy a sword, it would only be one, and only the
right one for me. It is not that I am planning on using it to cut up anyone, but it is a tradition that I have come to appreciate and grew up
Unfortunately when I came to South Florida, there was no Koga Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo, so i had to make do with other Martial Arts, Kenpo Karate, Taek Won
Do and Aikido, which were some of the Martial Arts our Sensei also taugh us about. All Martial Arts have something to teach you, and the best way to
learn about this Art is by learning as many different Arts and techniques as you can.
Whenever i find the right Nihonto, I will buy it.
[edit on 8-6-2004 by Muaddib]