What Happened at the Michael Glenn Bujinkan Seminar in Florida?

Michael Glenn with Paul Fisher and Friends. West Palm Beach, Florida 2014
I just returned from teaching a seminar in West Palm Beach, Florida. My friend Paul Fisher and his students were friendly and gracious hosts. And maybe I learned more from them than they did from me!

It all started when one of Paul's students reached out to me after subscribing to my training notes. He emailed me privately to ask a technical question about training and during our correspondence, he asked if I ever came to Florida. I said no, but I would if there was interest.

Well his teacher Paul Fisher is an open and adventurous sort of guy. And he quickly embraced the idea. Now it was up to me.

Since my recent trip to Japan, I have been actively studying the strategies I learned from Hatsumi Sensei regarding this year's theme of 神韻武導 Shin Gin Budo. Out of all the notes, and all of my recent training, three points stood out to me that I could share with my new friends in Florida.

I wrote about these 3 strategies back in May: Kyusho of Zero in Three Easy Steps  But writing about them and sharing them live are quite different. Luckily, Paul's friends and students at the seminar were up to this kind of exploration.

Using two kata from Shinden Fudo ryu as a place to start, we quickly took these kata to their inevitable 自然至極 Shizen Shigoku outcome. We did this by expanding our own personal kukan, understanding and using 気配 kehai, and through mirroring the attitude and kamae of our opponents.

The people training with me were smart. They asked hard questions and kept it real. They also trained with a focus and diligence that was surprising given how hot it was. I was inspired by their commitment.

Florida in the summer is not my natural habitat. So I ended up drenched from my own sweat most of the trip. Luckily, I anticipated this and packed many changes of clothes.

Michael Glenn and Paul Fisher Lounging with Coconut
Like me, Paul's life revolves around art, Bujinkan training, and nature. I felt so lucky to make a new friend that I can connect to on these levels. He took me to an art opening that was a fundraiser to address bee colony collapse.

Morikami Gardens
He also took me to the Morikami Japanese gardens where we saw the most incredible landscape, along with amazing wildlife including gators! The museum gallery there had a sublime exhibition of paper sculptures by Kyoko Hazama, as well as a fantastic display of Japanese arms and armor.
Kamakura period sword at Morikami Museum

But Paul was never far from his own personal menagerie of birds, cats, frogs, and lizards. It isn't easy to share the feeling of 神韻 Shingin all of this brings to Paul's life, but I felt right at home.

Paul Fisher with Midori
Thank you Paul!

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