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 are killed by things they can't see or understand. We are studying how to survive things you can't understand. No matter how many techniques you study, they might actually interfere with your ability to live if you get stuck on them. And bit by bit you just end up collecting techniques. So get rid of those. Erase them."
These points are at the heart of what it means to study the Bujinkan. If you are not studying this way, or you are unwilling to look at your own training methods through this lens, you cannot understand Soke's art. And I see MANY students and teachers who refuse to look at this.

I get it. It's hard. People want something like techniques to hang onto. Just like people search for explanations for senseless acts of violence. People literally crave this.

As natural as that may be, that very human impulse is a trap and a luxury that true warriors cannot lean on. Survival requires it. And if you want your Bujinkan training to be more than typical sports or commercial martial arts, you should learn to not understand.

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