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Showing posts from July, 2012

Shot to the Heart of Kaname 要

We are more than halfway through 2012 and training has been great! Back in December, I wrote about a class where Hatsumi Sensei suggested some possibilities of a theme for 2012. As often happens the theme has evolved to express other ideas than those Hatsumi Sensei shared in December. One idea that has emerged has been an exploration of the idea of kaname 要.

Kaname 要 can be described as the essential or vital point of a technique, of a moment, or of strategy. It is essential because victory or defeat can pivot at this point. Everything hinges on grasping this moment. But this is not a new idea from Hatsumi Sensei.

At last year's Daikomyosai, Soke gave us a lot of focus on the concept of Kukan no kyusho. At the time, besides having my eyes opened, this concept felt pivotal to everything we are currently studying in the Bujinkan. And, it turns out that kaname and kukan no kyusho are getting at the same feeling. In years past, Soke has also used the terms koshi or koppo to get at this…

Bujinkan Jūdan 拾段: In The World

Hatsumi Sensei describes the journey of a Bujinkan student through the Dan ranks as being akin to the Ten Oxherding pictures in Zen Buddhism. These pictures describe the seeker's journey to enlightenment.

If you haven't read my other posts in this series, please check them out. You may find them useful no matter what your rank is:

Bujinkan Shodan 初段: Searching for the Bull
Bujinkan Nidan 弐段: Discovering the Footprints
Bujinkan Sandan 参段: Perceiving the Bull
Bujinkan Yondan 四段: Catching the Bull
Bujinkan Godan 五段: Taming the Bull
Bujinkan Rokudan 六段: Riding the Bull Home
Bujinkan Nanadan 七段: The Bull Transcended
Bujinkan Hachidan 八段: Both Bull and Self Transcended
Bujinkan Kyūdan 九段: Reaching the Source
Now as a Jūdan, you may stroll casually through the dojo, yet your steps are not misplaced.
 入鄽垂手 In the World
Barefooted and naked of breast,

I mingle with the people

of the world.

My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,

and I am ever blissful.

I use no magic to extend my life;

…

Bujinkan Kyūdan 九段: Reaching the Source

Hatsumi Sensei describes the journey of a Bujinkan student through the Dan ranks as being akin to the Ten Oxherding pictures in Zen Buddhism. These pictures describe the seeker's journey to enlightenment.

If you haven't read my other posts in this series, please check them out. You may find them useful no matter what your rank is:

Bujinkan Shodan 初段: Searching for the Bull
Bujinkan Nidan 弐段: Discovering the Footprints
Bujinkan Sandan 参段: Perceiving the Bull
Bujinkan Yondan 四段: Catching the Bull
Bujinkan Godan 五段: Taming the Bull
Bujinkan Rokudan 六段: Riding the Bull Home
Bujinkan Nanadan 七段: The Bull Transcended
Bujinkan Hachidan 八段: Both Bull and Self Transcended
Now that we are at kyūdan, we have not only reached the source, we have returned to it:
返本还源 Reaching the Source

Too many steps have been taken
returning to the root and the source.

Better to have been blind and deaf
from the beginning!
Dwelling in one's true abode,

unconcerned with and without -

The river flows tra…

Bujinkan Hachidan 八段: Both Bull and Self Transcended

Hatsumi Sensei describes the journey of a Bujinkan student through the Dan ranks as being akin to the Ten Oxherding pictures in Zen Buddhism. These pictures describe the seeker's journey to enlightenment.

If you haven't read my other posts in this series, please check them out. You may find them useful no matter what your rank is:

Bujinkan Shodan 初段: Searching for the Bull
Bujinkan Nidan 弐段: Discovering the Footprints
Bujinkan Sandan 参段: Perceiving the Bull
Bujinkan Yondan 四段: Catching the Bull
Bujinkan Godan 五段: Taming the Bull
Bujinkan Rokudan 六段: Riding the Bull Home
Bujinkan Nanadan 七段: The Bull Transcended So what kind of training do we do for Hachidan?

人牛俱忘 Both Bull and Self Transcended

Whip, rope, person, and bull -
all merge in No Thing.

This heaven is so vast,

no message can stain it.

How may a snowflake exist
in a raging fire?
Here are the footprints of
the Ancestors.

I have abandoned the whip and ropes

At this stage of our training we have reached the state of zero…