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Showing posts from April, 2015

鬼角拳 Kikaku Ken Makes Me Laugh

Demon greeting in the new Bujinkan Hombu Dojo, photo by Michael Glenn The other night, I gave each of my students a Glasgow kiss. They didn’t like it. This is a slang term for a headbutt. If you subscribe to my training notes (if you aren't a subscriber yet, you miss a LOT of free Bujinkan notes), you know that we are currently studying 宝拳十六法 Hōken Juroppō in my basics class. These are the 16 striking treasures of the Bujinkan curriculum. The Bujinkan name (or slang) for headbutt is 鬼角拳 Kikaku Ken. To help everyone visualize why this strike has the name that translates as demon horn fist, I brought a small oni mask for everyone to see where his horns are located. It may even be technically correct to grimace like an oni while delivering this strike. The 鬼 Oni, or demon is not the same type of demon that westerners fear. Oni are associated with wild energy and bodily strength. They can be positive or negative. You will see many people in the Bujinkan who embody both q

Bujinkan 妙音術 Myō-on jutsu, a Mysterious Sound in the Kukan

The old bike path to the Bujinkan hombu dojo is gone, photo by Michael Glenn Last week we were making a video of 折倒 Settō for my Bujinkan class. This is a simple Kotō Ryū kata that many have experienced. But this time the expression of it was different. My opponents were collapsing and flying away as if by an unseen force! I was fortunate to study this kata in Japan last month with more than one teacher. They were generous with the pain. Below I describe how when I did it with Hatsumi Sensei, he gave me a gift that has opened up a new understanding of taijutsu. Everyone knows that proper taijutsu is not supposed to be muscled or forced. You should drop the power out to do it well. I wrote about that here Releasing the Power of 力を抜くChikara o Nuku The key in that idea is expressing power or force, then releasing it. But the surprise for me was what Hatsumi Sensei said last month. He told us to put your intention in the kukan, then remove it (空間と退かす). Maybe you’ve heard the expres

The Stunning Effect of 気分 Kibun in Hatsumi Sensei's Class Last Week

The lotus bearer from 金龍の舞 kinryu no mai. photo by Michael Glenn Hatsumi Sensei did not move. The attacker with the sword missed him completely. I watched the next demo more carefully. His feet literally did not move at all. Yet he was not cut. Maybe some of you have witnessed this strange event in person. If you have, you know how weird it can be when you try the same thing with your training partner. Most of us cannot repeat this. After Soke demonstrates, you try it, and you get cut every time. Or, you must leap out of the way. But never can you repeat what he did. I have seen him demonstrate this in class many times over the years. And I have to be honest, I always thought it was fake. I just chalked it up to a bad cut from the attacker. But after last week’s training, I’m not so sure anymore. Soke shared something with me personally that I did not consider when I judged the previous demonstrations. I’ll try to describe what he showed me. Here is what Soke told us that