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Showing posts from April, 2013

暴力 Bouryoku: How to Train For Violence

地震體驗室 photo by Anav Rin If you follow the news this week, or any week on earth, really… violence (暴力 bouryoku), disaster, and tragedy never make sense. Sometimes the more you learn about a violent act or violent person and his motives, the less you understand. You can study a disaster like a historian. But you can never comprehend the scope, depth, or impact on real lives of the event itself. A few years ago, Hatsumi Sensei told us that our training should pass into areas that can't be understood. I wrote about what he said here: Beyond Godan Into Wakaranai-Keiko What can you do about this in your training? If you learn the concept of 万変不驚 Banpen Fugyo, then you can embrace the incomprehensible in your training. So how do you start doing this in the dojo? Last month when I was training with Sensei, he explained more about this strategy for dealing with these events in our lives. He said, "We're doing these things that can't be understood. And in real life people

空間 Kukan: More Bounce to the Ounce

Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum. photo by kanegen I guess I didn't understand kukan. I was in a class with Hatsumi Sensei, and the things he did and said made that clear to me. For example he said,  "When he's close, then use a sanshin strike. Let's think that this strike is a strike on the kukan. No one will think you'll do this." and another time he said to "Bounce the opponent off the kukan." and to "use the kukan as a shield." Hatsumi Sensei then added,  "you're not "doing" a technique. Being able to control without holding on in the kukan. It's like juggling in the kukan. This is the most important thing for the upcoming kunoichi taikai. Because you don't need strength to juggle." And the effect on his opponent was palpable. I could see it happening in front of me. He was being "bounced." OK. So the simple physics don't match up with any western translation of kukan I have heard.

Your Vote for My Next Video

Michael Glenn Somewhere Below 7th Floor Kashiwa Plaza Hotel I am having a lot of fun making these training videos. But what would be even more fun would be to collaborate with my friends in the Bujinkan. So to get that started, please help me by picking my next video project here: Click here for Your Vote If you haven't seen any of my videos, you can find them here: Michael Glenn's Bujinkan Videos  I really appreciate all the support and feedback everyone has given me when I travel, or through all the great emails you guys have sent my way.

The Theme for 2013 is Like a Dragon Wrapped Around a 劍 Tsurugi

If you want to know how to use the ken, do it like you have a dragon wrapped around the blade. That is my advice after studying this weapon in Japan. Let me explain how I got there. As part of the theme for 2013 in the Bujinkan we are studying the straight sword 劍 tsurugi or ken. At first, I didn't know what to make of this, since Japanese swordsmanship is largely devoted to curved single edged blades. But after my recent trip to Japan and being exposed to the symbolism AND practical use of this weapon, I am absolutely blown away. When I first saw Hatsumi Sensei using this weapon this year, it literally seemed to writhe in the space like a snake. This got me thinking. 2013 being the year of the snake, how might these things connect? As I looked around hombu, and during the kunoichi taikai at Ayase, I saw many types of ken in use during training. Which one are we studying this year? I think the answer is all of them, but Hatsumi Sensei showed up with an impressive example to put o