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What do you think of the role of movies in the martial arts?

Daichi Kawabata - real life gyokku ninja master

I have always had serious objections to how movies display the martial arts.

I believe that movies create a very wrong impression about the martial arts in many ways. Students come to a dojo thinking they will almost acquire superpowers, or that they will gain mastery of an art in a very short time.

Let me tell you a little story that illustrates this...

 


I remember a student once coming to a dojo in which I trained.

He approached one of the masters.

‘Master,’ he said, ‘Once I complete my training, will I be able to leap from tall buildings?’

The master silently took him to the roof of the dojo.

‘My deshi,’ said the master, ‘Everyone has the innate ability to leap from tall buildings.’

He gestured at the ground, far below,

‘Would you like to try it now?’

This is a true story, incidentally.

I just put it in here to illustrate how people expect (due to the influence of movies) that martial arts will give them superpowers.

Ninja Yawara Kongou Vajra

Continued after the advertisment below...

 

Movies encourage students to think that a very little training
will allow them to defeat highly trained opponents

Movies often show a student training for a very little while with a master, and then becoming all-powerful. After just a few weeks of training, the student is then able to beat opponents who have trained hard all their lives! Of course, I think that this sort of stupid movie is on the wane. But this genre is not quite dead yet.

Ninja Yawara Kongou Vajra

Training is blood, sweat, pain and perfection!

Students who come to a dojo expecting martial arts training to be like the movies are unprepared for the years of pain that are necessary to forge a consummate warrior.

Ninja Yawara Kongou Vajra

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