From time to time among the hundreds of postal and e-mail
inquiries we receive, there appears a challenge from some misguided soul
who has not yet realized the true meaning of warriorship or the philosophy
of the Ninja. We recognize, with our understanding of human nature and the
ebb and flow of hormonal adjustments, which it is the nature of young men
to congregate in groups and fight amongst themselves. This fact has been
used by princes for generations to foment unnecessary wars and reduce the
peasant population of the best and brightest of the gene pool. Further,
that those training in a martial art often think the "test" of their
ability is to meet come champion in battle and prevail against impossible
odds. But, that most of these challengers, if they live, eventually mature
and learn that the only real enemy is oneself. And, it should not be
forgotten that all criticism is merely a form of jealousy. Nor, that a man
is entitled to defend himself from such unwarranted attacks.
To this end, Ashida Kim has issued the following response:
"I am the Ninja, himself. I come from the nowhere, I go to the no
place. I have no magic power. Anyone can do the things I do, if they but
know how. I am a professional soldier and fighter. I have videotape, press
clippings, and receipts to verify this claim, should it become necessary
in open court. As such, I am forbidden by law and convention from engaging
in personal combat, since my hands and feet are considered lethal weapons.
"However, as a martial artist and a man, I am offended and annoyed
by those who write in questioning my credentials or ability, when none of
them has ever taken the time to meet, speak with, or write to me. And,
they know this. So they make a point of baiting me. And, when I respond
with anything but utter servility, they jump back, point their finger and
proclaim that I have a chip on my shoulder, to prove they are superior.
This is childish.
"Others write in claiming to know more about my system of Ninjitsu
than I do, despite the fact that I have written fifteen books on the
subject and they have written none. Or, questioning the manner in which
our martial arts fraternity, of which I am honored to even be a part,
grades or tests or sanctions its membership, of which they are not worthy,
nor included. Even comparing our system to other forms of the Silent Way,
as if all had to be the same. Saying I appropriated this or that technique
from some other martial art, as if there were more than a few basic
methods from which an infinite number of variations can be composed.
"Some have even gone so far as to send spies against me or come
themselves on some pretext. And, when they do, they find that I am not at
all like they expected. For, that is the nature of mystery. But, they all
get what they came for, because that is the nature of understanding.
"Therefore, in response to these challenges, I set the following
conditions, in accordance with the time honored tradition recognized in
China and Europe amongst duelists that the challenger is a fool and the
challenged must be permitted certain latitude in defending his life and
property in the interest of fairness.
"First, since most of the challenges are frivolous, being generated by
those who have some grudge with their own masters but who are afraid to
face them and so select a surrogate upon whom to vent their anger and
frustration; and, in light of my own professional status, Challengers must
post an Appearance Bond of $25,000 to guarantee that they will actually
show up for the fight, limiting the number of unnecessary trips to meet
these loudmouths who then don't show up despite all their braggadocio.
Only serious contestants need apply. If the Challenger fails to appear in
the Ring within five minutes of being called for his Match, the Bond is
forfeit to the Challenged, the Challenger is disqualified, and the Match
awarded to the Challenged.
"Second, as a professional fighter, my fee is $10,000. Which will be
paid by the Challenger 30 days before the match. Also, Challenger will pay
travel expenses for myself and a party of three to the site of the match
and provide food and lodging for the Party for the duration of the event.
"Third, Challenger will provide documentation and certification from
local sports authorities governing such events attesting to their physical
fitness and credentials sufficient to demonstrate their ring worthiness,
and sign an irrevocable release absolving Ashida Kim, his agents and
assignees from any financial, criminal, or moral liability in the event
the Challenger is killed, crippled, or maimed.
"Fourth, the Match will be held in a public venue to which admission is
paid, of which, the Challenged will receive one-half of all gate and
concession receipts. A member of the Party will supervise ticket and
concession sales and all amounts due will be paid before the match. No
dough, no show. The reason for this stipulation is that I have fought
many times in alleys to defend my honor, only to have the tale told by the
loser of how he kicked my ass. Therefore, credible and numerous witnesses
are required to prevent any disinformation.
"Fifth, Ashida Kim will be declared the winner in the event of a
5-second pinfall, submission by the opponent using matte or pat-out, if
the opponent is unable to answer the bell, if the opponent is knocked out
or rendered unconscious by a choke or stranglehold for a standard
referee's 10-count, if the Ringside Physician determines he is unable to
continue, if he fails to appear for the match, or is disqualified for
unsportsmanlike conduct. No judges, no holds barred, last man standing is
"Now, I do not make this Challenge lightly. Nor with belligerence
toward anyone. I have proven myself to myself many times and I know that
the true test is getting up each day to joyfully participate in the sorrow
that is one's life. What these Challenges want is to do that, to prove
themselves to themselves to overcome their own insecurity and have
self-confidence. And, I say unto all of you that this journey is an
internal one. That peace and harmony come from within, not by imposing
your will on a world that will not change to suit you, but will continue
to change in spite of you. But rather by making this inner journey and
facing your own dark side. That is the lesson of all religions, of which
martial arts is but one. Of which Ninjitsu is but a part, of which I am
but an infinitesimal speck. Certainly not worthy of all this bluster and
rancor. I have never done anything to any of you people. All I have done
is try to perfect my own character, live a fair and honest life, and share
what little I have learned with those who have gone to the great trouble
of seeking it out. For this crime I have been called a fake and a
charlatan by those have no idea where I have been or the things I have
done. I have been robbed by my publishers, cheated by the government, and
endured the slings and arrows of those who have not one-tenth my skill. I
have not asked anyone to accept what I say as The Truth, only as A Truth.
I have demanded no tribute, conquered no lands, imprisoned no people. I am
the innocent victim of attack by those who cannot or will not behave in a
civilized manner. So, if you write in popping off at the mouth, looking
for a lesson, you've have come to the right place. I don't take tests,
because I have nothing to prove. I give tests, because I am a Teacher, and
have State certification to prove it! So, if you want a piece of my ass,
come on up and get you a bite, 'cause I got plenty. Don't bite off more
than you can chew, however. 'Cause you ain't seen bad yet, but, it's
coming. You put up the money and I shall be most happy to embarrass you
in front of all your friends. 'Nuff said."