|Rearview Graffiti, Ameya-Yokochō アメヤ横丁 photo by Michael Glenn|
If we go beyond what Hatsumi Sensei calls 一般的 ippanteki, 初歩的 shohoteki - the general, rudimentary or surface level of what we think we know there are many treasures to be discovered. For instance, these very words I write have power in them. It is a transfer of meaning from my thoughts to yours. This power should not be ignored or taken lightly. Do you know how it works?
Hatsumi Sensei refers to this as 口伝言魂 kuden kotodama. This is the spirit or power of language. But it is not simply about thought. This same phenomenon can be harnessed in self defense. This 目的論 mokutekiron or teleology of kuden can be for the sake of survival.
An example is found in muto dori. You don't simply evade the strike. You disappear. But how does one do that, practically?
Here's how Hatsumi Sensei describes it. He says "意識空 ishiki kara" which is making your intent, consciousness, or self disappear. Or he says "意識を避ける ishiki o sakeru", or even "意識を割ける" which is evading the consciousness or intent of your opponent, or simply separating from it.
These methods of hiding the self or evading and enduring are ninjutsu (意識を忍ぶ shiki o shinobu) and stem from the same power that we give to words. It's not a question of avoiding at a specific geometrical angle or by so many centimeters. This is another dimension of evasion. This is not a purely physical phenomenon.
This subtle effect of 隠身遁形の術 onshin tongyou no jutsu comes from 天津鞴韜 amatsu tatara and teaches us how to disappear.