Echo (yamabiko  山彦) of Hatsumi Sensei

It's strange how training in Japan feels like coming home. Even though I don't travel here as often as I'd like there is always a moment after all the stress of travel drops away and I can relax into this experience that just feels right.

Maybe it's the family feeling that exists in Hatsumi Sensei's Bujinkan. Maybe it's all the friends and good memories here. Or maybe it's just reconnecting with the source of this art that is such an important part of my life.

Class with Sensei Tuesday night was truly wonderful. There were so many important discoveries I found in Soke's taijutsu that I told my teacher Peter Crocoll that even if all I had was that one class my trip was worth it. He said he thought the same thing last night.

It's hard to convey what happened in writing, but I will be working on this material for many months to come in my classes at home.

Sensei had us working on kage no tsuki for a bit. Then he made reference to existing in the kukan. He said you use a point in the kukan and you live there. For me it is like balancing on a needle. But you can make an entire life at that point as your spirit expands to open up space for you. Very esoteric stuff.

Sensei also made reference to yamabiko  山彦 or echo. The technique he did took the attacker's intent and echoed it back on him. If you think about how a mountain echo works, it starts at one small point, your shout, then expands outward, bouncing off the canyon walls, to return to you in waves that seem magnified.

I was also fortunate to watch Hatsumi Sensei write a scroll for Peter. He told Peter it was next year's theme and this was the first time he wrote it. I'm not sure I should say more about that here, except next year should be great!


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