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Showing posts from February, 2010

Beyond Godan Into Wakaranai-Keiko

Learning is an interesting thing.  In every field of human knowledge, when you understand something, more questions arise.  The closer you look at any subject the more mysteries you find. In the Bujinkan this process becomes obvious the more you explore.  Usually someone's training goes a little like this: Beginner up to Shodan: Basics.  Just learning where to put your feet and hands.  Basic ukemi, taijutsu and weapons.  This time feels very productive because everything is new and every class is filled with new facts you can get a handle on.  Sometimes there are glimpses of more mysterious aspects of the Bujinkan. Shodan to Godan: More basics.  But also serious study of the ryuha that make up the Bujinkan.  A focus on weapons.  And more advanced concepts of strategy as it connects with distancing, timing and angling.  During this time, the student may begin to encounter contradictions and things that are inexplicable in the training.  Some are discouraged by this.  And some

Kokoro no Maai

One of my students had a question the other night.  The answer to the question may make a big difference in his life.  But it requires dropping preconceptions.  Finding the appropriate kokoro no maai. His question had to do with an idea from Hatsumi Sensei.  The idea is that you should become zero.  Don't be a target.  Erase yourself.  That way anyone who seeks to do harm will not find a target to land their ill intent. His question of me, was how to do this?  And he meant in a practical way.  Because he had sharks circling in his life.  Ready to bloody the water at any moment.  My answer to him came from my own experiences. 間合い I said one way to not be a target was to not be there when something bad happens.  This is a deep idea.  The strategies to achieve it include not hanging around a troubled area or with troubled people.  If you spend your time with people who are in conflict or who seek conflict, you will most likely join them. If you spend your time in a location