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Showing posts from January, 2013

詒変の棒 Ihen No Bo: My Bo Stands Against the Wind

During the 2012 Daikomyosai, Hatsumi Sensei showed us some very mysterious forms of bojutsu. He was showing things most of us had never seen before. After watching one that was very surprising to the whole crowd,  Nagato Sensei turned to some of us and said, "Sensei has been reviewing his training notes from Takamatsu Sensei and he is remembering new things that he studied."

This statement can be interpreted in different ways. But my own feeling about what I witnessed Soke do with the bojutsu he learned from Takamatsu Sensei, is that it is connected to 詒変の棒 Ihen no bo. So I resolved to study this when I returned home.

How to study ihen no bo? If you have a basic grasp of bojutsu, then adding ihen requires tossing aside what you think you know. This is a scary starting place, because you must abandon what you thought were kihon. Why does ihen require this?

詒変の棒 ihen no bo can be defined as the deceptive or changing bo. Hatsumi Sensei says the "詒 i" in ihen can be r…

Introducing Rojodojo and 五法 Goho Video Preview

I'd like to begin this post by thanking all of you for your presence and support over the past few years. This blog started because I have a deep abiding passion for the Bujinkan, which has been an integral part of my life's journey for well over half my life, and will remain so for the duration. And every one of you has been a part of that.

I care so much about the Bujinkan because it's a dynamic, living art. One which spoke to me as a skinny, awkward boy, and one which has evolved with me and for me as I've transformed physically and spiritually to embrace all aspects of this wonderfully rich lifestyle. It has given me grace as well as strength, balance and wisdom.

I don't practice Bujinkan; I'm immersed in it fully. It's not a study, it is, simply put, a transformational relationship...one of the most enriching and enduring relationships I have.

I teach Bujinkan as an extension of this relationship. I blog for the same reason. And I am so ho…

Rare Look at the Vital Connections of 殺気 Sakki

Understanding connection is a survival tactic of the Bujinkan. Even a mystery like Sakki Nage 殺気投 appears from 繋がり tsunagari or vital connections learned in our basics. But to actually do this we must also throw it away. So for students hoping to learn the mysteries of our art, many find contradictions in this concept of connection. These contradictions lead to deadly mistakes. In one class I heard Hatsumi Sensei say,
"Everything is let go, but at the same time is connected. You have to be able to do this. Otherwise you won't become capable budoka." How do you let go yet stay connected? One answer to this leads to martial abilities that appear supernatural and many people don't accept. Yet I know they exist through my own experience with them.

The thing to remember is that an ability like sakki nage grows from basic kamae and taijutsu in a natural way. To explain, let's consider a mistake many students make when doing a standard nage:

You forget to expand your …