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Psychology of Fighting with a Weapon

At the club we have been doing a bit of hanbo work recently; a hanbo is a wooden stick about 3 feet or 1 meter long. In training we often use a padded bamboo stick for safety reasons.


In the following video, Dale is using his opponent’s natural inclination to focus on the weapon and uses this against him. Of all the martial arts I have experience of, Ninjutsu is the only one that gives this any real consideration, yet from my experience of door work and conflict situation, psychology is as, if not more important than the technical skill, size or fitness.


The opponent is expecting Dale to fight with him over the weapon and when this does not happen, he must reassess the situation. This gives Dale time and therefore an advantage.


One other thing that is quite unusual in Ninjutsu is the idea that playing is an important part of learning. A lot of martial arts are very formal and rigid in their approach, yet this contradicts that way we learn.

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