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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Distance Secret for Shaping Kukan

Vending Machines, Matsudo photo by Michael Glenn I used to have a friend who was so beautiful. She had a classical face like you would see in a Renaissance painting. Her brown skin was rich in color and smooth. She always had a bright smile for me. Then one day, I met her at the grocery store and she had deep wolverine style wounds across her face. She had gotten into a fight with another woman who clawed her face. The scars were deep, and never went away. She never smiled the same after that. This sad story demonstrates the raw savage power of 蝦蛄拳 shako ken Hatsumi Sensei taught us some secrets hidden within shako ken in a recent Friday night class at the Bujinkan Hombu dojo. He showed us how to use it not just to attack directly, but to shape kukan. He held the claw up like 刀匿礮姿 tōtoku hyōshi in the space. Most of us can understand the obvious shape that brings to the kukan. The hand and arm project out from one side toward the attacker and you pivot around it as a shie

Everybody uses 合掌の構 Gassho no Kamae for Prayer, But in the Bujinkan We Fight With It

Rainy Day Gassho at 霊巌寺 Reigan-ji, Koto, Tokyo. photo by Michael Glenn In one of my classes we were studying a Gyokko ryu kata that begins from 天略 宇宙合掌 Ten Ryaku Uchū Gassho. Maybe you’ve studied this in your Bujinkan class. But even outside of Bujinkan training, if you are human, you have used gassho at some point in your life. It transcends cultures. That night, as I recorded a training video about this for , I wanted to share even more about gassho with everybody. So what I show in the video is that there is much more to this humble kamae then you might think. But if you want to know what mysteries are bound up with this stance, keep reading. Gassho is a general term that describes any form that brings the hands together, often in a form of prayer or reverence. In the Bujinkan the symbolism of this kamae runs deep. And the position is even sometimes called 金剛拳 kongo ken and it is used to strike or even conceal weapons. In Buddhism the right hand represents the

Hatsumi Sensei Explains 師逢和瀬 Shiawase

Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei Explains 師逢和瀬 Shiawase. photo by Michael Glenn I had a simple plan to teach 片腕遁走型 Kata Ude Tonsō Gata. But during my preparations for class that night, I was overcome with gratitude toward my teachers. It seems there was a secret power bound up in this kata. It can be described as 師逢和瀬 Shiawase. Let me tell you how I discovered it. The Bujinkan has made my life rich. I have made so many friends all over the world. Thank you to my students who come to class and allow me to study with them. Thank you for reading this and for watching my videos or subscribing to my training website. Thank you to everyone who invites me to teach seminars. I prepare for every class I teach. I feel I owe it to my students to do my home work. But I don’t just owe it to them, I owe something more to my own teachers. I have studied the kata I was planning for this class with many teachers over the decades. But one of my favorite moments was studying this with Hatsumi Sensei under th