采访时间：2017年10月11日 Interview Date: October 11, 2017
Robert Worth, aka Robbie, comes from Ohio, USA, and gave himself the Chinese name “Qian Jian.” When he was six years old, he started to learn Taekwondo, Taijutsu and all kinds of international martial arts. He is a 6th Dan Black Belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Following his first visit to Chengdu in 2006, he decided to make a move to this city in 2012.
I know that there is someone outside, yet I make no move, for I am a ninja.
Are you a real ninja?
In September, a founding anniversary themed “Water-sprinkling Festival” kicked off at a Chengdu international school. Crowds of children played joyfully with their parents, hurtling water balloons with dazzling colors in all directions. Suddenly a foreign man comes amidst the crowds. He, in a plain black belted robe and his hair in braids, pushes his way through crowds with springy steps, a big fatty black plastic bag on his back. He prepared many water balloons for the game Water Ninja, which is what its name suggests, combining martial arts with water play. There were twenty or thirty players in a circle, most of whom were absolute beginners in martial arts. To them, martial arts is just for fun, with some showy elements and nothing practical. For Robbie, however, martial arts are his life’s pursuit.
Out of curiosity, I blurted out, “Are you a real ninja?” Robbie replied with just a smile.
“Do you consider yourself as a Ninja?” I had another try.
“Ninja is popular among people. They don’t really understand what it is. Ninja is more about hiding than displaying, and more about survival than fighting.” Hearing his, I felt that my incessant questioning was clearly driven by a desire to yell out “Oh my! I know a real ninja!” Films, cartoons, books and other embellishments have attached a mystic shroud to the terms “ninja” and “ninjutsu.”
Cultivation of the “Modern Ninja”
When Robbie was six years old, his father took him to Tang Soo Do classes, which opened up a world of martial arts for little Robbie. His mother sent him to learn martial arts originally in the hope that martial arts would make him more sociable. “When I was ten years old, I was very fat, unhealthy and weird. Martial arts changed my body first, teaching me how to overcome obstacles, and my mind and confidence gradually strengthened as well.” In high school, Robbie became obsessed with all kinds of books on martial arts and also came to learn about Bruce Lee’s Wing Chung and Jeet Kune Do, which inspired him a lot. Later, he learned the martial arts of the different disciplines of many countries. During his first visit to China in 2006, he came to Chengdu to look for masters in Wing Chung.
Robbie形容当时的自己是“典型的美国中西部少年”，青春期骚动的心使他对武术的关注和理解仅停留在生理层面，如何攻击、出拳、踢，如何使出更酷炫的招数……直到大学里的一次偶遇。那天，Robbie和朋友在公园训练，对面一群黑衣人也正在训练，顿时烟雾弥漫。“我知道这是所谓的烟雾弹，把石灰放在鸡蛋壳里，投掷向你的敌人。忍者们正是用这招来逃生的。” 训练结束后，Robbie专门去问那位老师：“这是忍术吗？” “这是体术。” 其后，Robbie跟着这位老师学习体术，所学体术之中，包括三种忍术。
Robbie describes himself then as “a typical Midwest U.S. youth”. Subject to turbulent emotions during puberty, only wanted to know how to attack, punch and kick and look cool, only understanding the physiological component of martial arts until a chance encounter in college.One day, while Robbie and his friends were at a park working out, they saw another group of people in black also practicing. Within a foggy second, they were out of sight. “I knew this was a smoke shell which was eggshell stuffed with limestone and can be used to hurl at your enemy. That was how ninjas escape.” Seeing that they had finished their workout, Robbie came up to ask that master, “Is this ninjutsu?” “This is Taijutsu.” replied the master. Since that fateful day, Robbie has studied Taijutsu from this master, including three kinds of ninjutsu.
“体术，即身体之道，并没有什么玄妙，就是练习身体的技艺。” Robbie解释后问我：“何以为人？” 而后他在本子上写出了“生理”、“心理”和“精神”三个词，再接着说：“武术，是关于自我的修行。”
“Taijutsu, namely the way of body, is nothing mysterious, and is just a technique to build your body.” After his explanation of Taijutsu, Robbie asked me, “What makes you a person?” He writes three words on his notebook, “physical,” “Mental,” and “spiritual,” And then he continued, “Martial arts are about self-cultivation.”
Mysterious Body Art
I took one of Robbie’s classes. The first combat exercise of our workout involved two people standing face to face. When the opponent grabbed my left wrist with his right hand, I was taught to make a fist with my right hand and press heavily on his right hand with my knuckles, which was the simple, practical, and also really painful. Such a simple but smart counterattack was much better than brute force. Before the workout, Robbie told me to “Keep calm when your hands are controlled by your enemy and don’t just focus on the trapped hand. Remember that you still own your whole body.” This advice seems to be applicable when it comes to all kinds of problems that people face in life.
During close-range combat, the ebb and flow of space and distance between every movement lead you to decide how to fight back, all of which is very subtle. “When your body is near enough to the enemy, he would be seduced to punch you. If not, he would change his fighting techniques.” Perhaps without the pressures of fighting for survival, as our ancestors faced, people have become strangers toward their body strength, balance, coordination, and acuity, which were originally instinctual. In addition, we have lost an acute and diversified mind. In actual combat, ninjutsu, free from any rules, helps the weak excel in defeating stronger foes, giving it a special distinction.