Every year in Frankfurt there is a fantastic Japanese film festival called the Nippon Connection. As well as showing interesting films from Japan, the programme is always jam-packed with various exhibitions, classes, and concerts all on different aspects of Japanese culture. This year, the festival was entirely online, and although I didn’t catch any films, I did take advantage of one of the classes that sounded really interesting: ninjutsu.
Ninjutsu is a Japanese martial art that has apparently been influenced by the ways of the ninja. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the video as a quick Google search provided me with so many different styles and variations, it was hard to pin down.
The video was a little muddled but really interesting. Starting with the greeting between teacher and student, we were then taken through some common moves: the way they flowed together reminded me very much of tai chi or qi gong. We then got into the meat of the video and were shown how to use a sword and a spear.
I sadly don’t have a sword or a spear, so I was following along with my broom instead, learning how to unsheath it and hold it properly. This felt so cool – I loved it! My husband came out with the mop handle so we could practice the defence moves, but it all got a bit violent after that and ended up like we were auditioning for Gladiators instead.
I enjoyed this a lot, even when I felt a little ridiculous waving my broom around I was still having a good time. I’m not sure I’d have the discipline to practice this in real life, but as a little taster session it was great.