"Samurai" on the History Channel

Tonight at 9pm EST...I'm going to watch it and expect a full review from the experts here :-) Hopefully they won't talk about cutting a fully armored man in half with the magical, be all end all, katana.....

No foolin!

ttt, on in 20 min.....

Bah! I didn't see it but it sounds like BS.

...and they perpetuated the myth that japanese armour was made up entirely of bamboo!!!NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![TFS suffers through the Keltic "warp spasm"...]

I don't remember them saying bamboo, but I do remember them saying laquered leather. Then showing armour that had an obvious metal breastplate....I don't know enough to have noticed anything else wrong...

What seemed accurate was them mentioning the fomalizing of all the Japanese Martial arts during relatively peaceful times. Samurai with nothing to do but practice and get all philasophical. I believe the oldest formalized documented JMA date from this time...16th to 17th centuries???

I am tired of seeing that fat ass Akido guy from Los Angelas as an expert. He doesn't look like he's broken a sweat in training in years...

Anybody else see it?

Not to be the dissenting opinion here, but I didn't think it was bad at all. I don't recall bamboo armor being mentioned a single time, and the dialogue wasn't dripping with fortune cookie wisdom and abstract philosophizing about "the sword and zen." All in all, it was MUCH better than the History vs. Hollywood episode on just before.

I especially liked the comments about much of the stereotypical "sam-your-eye" philosophy being the product of minds whose only exposure to violence was in a dojo.

"I believe the oldest formalized documented JMA date from this time...16th to 17th centuries???"

FYI, I think Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu, the oldest extant ryu, dated back to the 1300s.

I don't recall bamboo armor being mentioned a single timeI seem to recall the narrator saying that Samurai armor was made out of lacquered leather and silk instead of the metal used in Western armor (meanwhile onscreen, the expert in restoration of Samurai armor was hammering out a piece of metal...)From what I saw of it, there was some good stuff in the documentary, but it wasn't perfect... (like most of the programs on the History Channel)I am tired of seeing that fat ass Akido guy from Los Angelas as an expert. He doesn't look like he's broken a sweat in training in years...They always have to show him working out too, although that appears to consist of holding the hand of a whitebelt who then throws himself into the air...

The bamboo armor that they mentioned was for Kendo practice. The problem was that they did not "clearly" say that it was ONLY for Kendo practice. They did NOT say that a Samuari's battle armor was made of bamboo.

I, too, thought that they did a good job overall. I wish that they had discussed ninja though, cause they're SWEEEEET!

Ha, ha, Khun Kao likes ninjas.....LOL *runs and hides from his round house kick*

Speaking of ninjas. I wonder why they didn't mention them...

Doesn't that fat Aikido guy have a degree from like Harvard or something? That might explain why he's always featured as an authority on these type of shows.

I thought it was pretty good. Seemed mostly accurate with little of the fanboy glorification that goes on.

They mentioned the Mongols kicking the Samurai's collective ass, and discussed the thoroughly unSamurai like idea of grabbing a head and bailing out of the battle so you can get paid for your "fighting abilities" Not that I'm bagging, it seems a pretty smart move to me, but definitly not in line with what Karate Budo guys want to believe the Samurai Spirit was all about.

They also made it very plain that most of what we consider traditional JMA were codified and consolidated during the 250 years of peace of the Tokagawa Shogunate, making most claims of battlefield efficiency problematic at best.

I want to point out that I'm not attacking the Koryu or most of the practitioners, I think the old schools are pretty damn cool.

For the past two days I've been watching enything and everything related to samurai, even picked up a new book.

My wife will be leaving me shortly..

this well give me more time to focus on mushin!

Yeah, I like Ninja's, but that is because I used to study Ninjustu.

oh please tell us more KK !!!!

Not much to tell. I studied ninjutsu under a private instructor for about a year and a half back in the very early 90's before discovering and switching to Muay Thai. He used to teach a group of hand-selected students over in Southern MD back in the day. I lost track of this guy many years ago and I don't know (and actually really don't care) if he's still around or not.

The instructor was a TOTAL BADASS fighter, but could not teach worth shit! I remember spending entire class sessions just doing 'busy-work', such as push-ups. He had no organization or structure to his classes. He would pull his "lesson plan" (if you could call it a 'plan') out of his ass.

He was not good at showing the details of techniques. He could perform them himself, but didn't know how to break things down to teach it to our class.

We learned mostly through osmosis than through actual instruction. Face it, when you get your ass beat often enough, you eventually start to pick things up.

The only time our classes really got good was when one of our female students began studying Aikido and Iaido. She would learn something in her Aikido and Iaido classes, then come and show our Ninjutsu instructor. He would then base his lesson plan off of that, but he would show us a deadlier application of the same techniques.

One time, the same girl went back to her Aikido/Iaido classes and absentmindedly used one of the Ninjutsu variations of their traditional technique while practicing in class. The Sensei immediately cornered her and demanded to know where the hell she had learned that.

Needless to say, she was much more cautious about that kind of thing afterwards...

I wish there were more exciting things I could tell you about the training, but there really isn't. I mean, sure, I could tell you the bizarre storys regarding the freaky type of shit the ninjutsu instructor was able to do (but not teach, LOL), but when it really boils down to it, there were only a few practical things that I have been able to take from my ninjutsu training and apply to my training since.


A STYLE OF "HOOK" KICK (that I still like and apply to the "Chorakad Fad Haang" movement of Muay Thai)

MINDSET OF A WARRIOR (sounds much deeper than it really is. I think that in many ways, this is something you either have or you don't. If you have it, it can be further developed. If you don't, well, you don't)

PRESSURE POINT ON SIDE OF NECK (its actually used as a target quite a bit in Muay Thai fighting as well)


The few things above are definately not all I learned, but are the things that I feel I have been able to carry with me and apply to some extent. A lot of the other training was so dis-jointed that I really have no use for it. The moves and techniques in and of themselves were really cool (and devastating!) but we were not trained in such a way that I have found any practical application for them.

I thought the program was pretty good. They really focused on how most of what we perceive to be the "honorable" codes of the samurai were actually tenets invented to keep them in-line.

Khun Kao,

Ninjas ARE sweeeet. And they really DO flip out and kill people:


which show were you watching ?? it was well documented that the fleets of the Mongols were routinely slaughtered by the Samurais on the Japanese beaches...the Mongols never came close to taking Japan.The Mongols were brutalizing the Samurai in 1274. The Samurai had been expecting more of the ritualized archery duels that characterized Japanese warfare at the time, and were totally unprepared for massed volleys the Mongol troops used, or the massed infantry they employed against the Samurai's attempts for single combat. The Samurai were saved when the typhoon hit. Even though they adapted and fought better in 1281 when the Mongols returned, they got saved once again by another typhoon.The Mongols were defeated by the weather. They were not "routinely slaughtered by the Samurais on the Japanese beaches."