Ninpo Ikkan David Clifford discusses combat

Combat Ready?

Hey Bud,

Just finished reading your No Fear article and I couldn’t agree more. When I had some downtime I was surfing E-budo seeing what’s up and came across a thread about “combat”. This has become a sensitive subject to me
because these people have no respect for the men and women both past and present who have answered the call and survived real combat. I posted a thread, here it is:

For what it’s worth…


Much of the time you do not get the answers you are looking for from these forums. As far as combat goes, I can tell you first hand Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu works. I am currently serving in U.S. Army Special Forces 1st 
Battalion 3rd Special Forces Group C Company Operational Detachment Alpha 333. In short, Green Beret on ODA 333, but that sounds about as pompous as saying your a ninja. Still, credibility is always subject. Been training now since Oct. 94 directly under Bud Malmstrom and Roy Wilkinson, but Army life has pulled me away from the dojo to where I can only make it about 6 times a year to train with these gentlemen. Now combat is a loose term in the martial arts world. To me combat involves about 85 lbs. of body armor and ammuntion a 6 lb. weapon with 4 lbs. of gear on it and chasing guys in sandals up mountains when you haven’t yet accustomed your lungs to elevation change. Hand to hand combat though is totally different.

What tournaments do not show you is the crowd of people pushing to hit you, the slippery bar room floor, or the metal table that your kidney just found. A good dojo, no matter what art, should prepare you for that. Train on ice in the winter, break out the folding chairs. Train in the clothes you wore into the dojo. This is what the Bujinkan Atlanta Dojo was about, and why it produced such outstanding warriors. The wrist locks work, they are not meant to take people to the ground, they are meant to break the wrist and cause damage to the limb. Same with every other gyaku te waza. Bud once said short of going out and getting into bar fights (wink, wink) you will never know. Every situation is different and I by no means condone nor recommend going out and brawling. Way too dangerous nowadays. Either you have faith in it and your abilities or you don’t. I’m currently in the sandbox and would give anything for my biggest problem to be wondering if my kata is “combat worthy” against ring fighters. I focus on the mu and have faith that intention can be felt 800 meters away from someone igniting an IED. Sorry to get on a soap box, but as I tell my students and the guys at the Dai Sai’s yearly (not this year), shut up and train. Put everything in perspective and realize that as long as you wake up on the right side of the grass, it’s a good day. Because right now many guys aren’t. If you really want to put your skills to the ultimate test, sign up and come on over, there is plenty of proving grounds in the world. Otherwise, just keep training, it’ll come.

Ninpo Ikkan,

David Clifford

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