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Showing posts from September, 2012

Secrets of 歩き Aruki

A big "secret" in our training is so basic that it is hidden in plain sight. I can tell you what it is and you will very likely ignore it. People always nod their heads when it is explained to them, as if it were old news, and then begin training on something else. This secret is 歩き aruki or walking.

After typing this I already sense people clicking some other link. Looking for the next flashy blog post or training video. Or worse, being convinced they already understand this "secret." Sensei often reminds us that enlightenment is under our feet. This is like 脚下照顧 kyakkashouko, where the best way to begin to know yourself is to look where your own footsteps fall. So let's start walking.

We have many types of walking in the Bujinkan to consider. Some of these skills are called ashi. I've written about many of these types of walking before: Like a Walk Through Yūgen 幽玄

But today I want to explore some ways to make your footwork more dynamic. If you are read…

VIDEO: Paul Masse 書道 Shodo and 水墨 Suiboku

Besides training in the Bujinkan with Paul, I have had the privilege of many great discussions with him as an artist. I am an artist myself, so we connect easily on that level. We got together one afternoon during his visit to Santa Monica to discuss his artwork. If you can't view the video above, here is the link: Paul Masse 書道 Shodo and 水墨 Suiboku

If you didn't already know, Paul has studied Japanese Calligraphy or 書道 Shodo, Japanese Ink Painting or 水墨 Suiboku, and Japanese Pottery. He has even been reviewed by Hatsumi Sensei! Wait till you hear what Sensei said about his work…

He was kind enough to share some of the feeling behind his work as well as some tips for beginners at this style of art. If you train in the Bujinkan, or are an artist yourself, I know you will find a lot to be enthusiastic about in our video.

Paul Masse, kickin' it in Santa Monica

I was lucky to organize some last minute training when Paul Masse called me a few days ago to say he was going to be in Santa Monica.

Paul has traveled to India recently and studied yoga in Rishikesh. He was overflowing with an abundant need to share (or torment) us with some of his unique yoga experiences. So we began with Paul's 柔軟体操 Juunantaisou by way of India.

In between our normal taijutsu study, Paul would insert yoga experiences throughout the day. At one point when I looked around at everyone who was groaning as they tried to get into a pretzel, I raised my fist and said, "damn you Paul! Why did you have to go to India?" Even though these yoga poses were difficult for me, I gained a lot from Paul's enthusiasm.

As far as the taijutsu went, it was fantastic. Paul moved very quickly through concepts and henka to present the feeling he wanted to convey. If I had to pinpoint a theme for the day, it would be that kyusho are everywhere in the kukan and we attack t…