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Showing posts from April, 2014

Hatsumi Sensei's 6 ton 大黒天 Daikokuten Lights Up Our Bujinkan Path

One day I was asking Hatsumi Sensei about the meaning of a particular scroll he had just painted. The reading of it was one thing, but the kanji, brush strokes, and shape of the entire piece suggested more. He answered me... sort of. Luckily I was familiar with the word he used. He said, 徴ね。Shirushi, ne?

Meaning this scroll had signs, hints, or clues.

I remembered that word because of some training I had done with Soke some years ago outside under some Japanese maples. He showed us a style of ninja walking that I describe here: How to Read the 徴  Shirushi Taught in 口伝 Kuden

Soke leaves signs and hints for us to follow everywhere. You just have to develop the capacity to sense them. I recently found another secret path that he has indicated for people who can find it.

Hatsumi Sensei dedicated a 6 ton 大黒天 Daikokuten statue created in honor of Takamatsu Sensei. This was on the 37th year of Takamatsu's passing. But he placed it as a sign for all Bujinkan students.

In modern Japan, Daikoku…

More 神韻武導 Shin Gin Bu Dou Japan Training Notes

Below is a video preview of my latest notes from Japan about 神韻武導 Shingin Budo.

When I was training in Japan last week, I wrote extensive notes. I also recorded some video. This is part of my own learning process.

If you've been on a training trip to Japan yourself, you know how compressed that experience can be. Maybe you go to 2-3 classes everyday for 2 weeks. That is more classes than some people who live in Japan attend in a whole year! It is a huge amount of information crammed into a short time.

Hatsumi Sensei told us last week that when we are fighting we have to read the signs or hints (気配 kehai) that our opponent or the situation show us. So I record my notes as I discover these signs. If I get a hint of something important from my teachers, I make a record of it for later.

Then I come home and unpack my luggage. But also unpack my mind and body. I use my notes to debrief myself. They are like a compressed computer file that needs to be unzipped.

This process takes a few…

神韻武導 Shin Gin Bu Dou: Entering the Divine Space of The Bujinkan Theme for 2014

Our Bujinkan theme for 2014 is spiritual culmination. Hatsumi Sensei said last night that it has been 42 years since the passing of Takamatsu Sensei. He said that the students of the Bujinkan have finally matured enough so that he can share these teachings with us.

Maybe you have seen the scroll hanging in the Hombu. Or have heard the theme of 神韻武導 Shin Gin Bu Dou. It is easy to hear these words, but very difficult to understand and include them in your training.

After training with this idea in Hatsumi Sensei's classes, I have a suggestion for how to open up this theme in your training this year.

Soke tells us that the theme this year is about not doing your own techniques, but rather letting the divine techniques work through you. He told us that this happens with a divine resonance in the kukan. The space itself becomes divine.

Harnessing this theme requires the clarity created by 大光明 Daikoumyou. When we start each class, we ask for protection with the chihayafuru uta, and rec…

A Gift From the Heart to All of the Bujinkan

Today a most extraordinary thing happened in Hatsumi Sensei's class. As you probably know, the Hombu Dojo we currently have in Japan is slated for demolition. Many of us will miss it very much when a new Bujinkan honbu dojo is built.

But my friend and student William Kelly O'neill did us all a service. He spent the past many weeks painstakingly (emphasis on pain) recreating the Bujinkan Hombu dojo in miniature as a gift for Hatsumi Sensei.

What he didn't know was that it was a gift to the entire Bujinkan. Tonight he presented it to Soke Hatsumi.
Bill has been sending me pictures and explaining his design process over the last few weeks. The amount of detail, research, and thoughtful personal elements in his project have been very inspiring to hear about. At first I thought he was a bit crazy, but when you see the results...

I know Bill put his whole heart into this project in a genuine spirit of giving. And everyone who was there was touched. Hatsumi Sensei decided tp pre…