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Showing posts from October, 2015

The 生き様 Ikizama of Bujinkan Sanshin and Mutō Dori

You might learn one thing in class, and then another time, you learn the opposite. Ura and Omote. These are not contradictions, but rather they are part of one another. Like 陰 in and 陽 yo.

In my own classes, we recently studied 隼雄 shunū and 隼足 shunsoku. For these mutō dori, Hatsumi Sensei has suggested that we don’t try to catch the opponent’s sword. Instead we should entrap the sword’s very existence (生き様 ikizama).

This means you don’t focus on the weapon as a physical object. You focus on it’s entire existence in space and time. What is the weapon’s potential in any moment? Soke says,

“in mutō dori, the past present and future, the time before drawing the sword, after drawing, or when the sword has been re-sheathed., what may be called the nature of the sword’s existence(生き様 ikizama) … one entraps that.”

This is because the nature of the sword itself is not a threat. One moment it may be tucked in a corner or sitting on a rack gathering dust. In a different time it is red hot meta…

Do You Have Enough ゆとり Yutori to do Bujinkan Shadow Techniques?

Last night I did an omote gyaku on my opponent’s wrist by kicking it out of the air. Then I rode it down to the ground where the wrist would break as it is crushed to the earth by my foot. But I had the control to just pin it down.

My students were very surprised. But so was I. I have seen Hatsumi Sensei apply locks before where the opponent’s body just seems to assume the form of the lock without any contact from Soke. I first heard Soke describe these “shadow techniques” (kage no waza) during one of my trips to Japan in 2003.

I never understood them before and definitely never thought I would be able to do them. But during my trip to Japan this last summer, Soke helped me put the final pieces of this puzzle in place. So now here I am, surprising myself with my own kage no waza.

You must train deeply to learn all the elements that make kage no waza mysteriously arise in the kukan. And I have been puzzling over this ability for years in my own training. Here is one key piece of the p…