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Showing posts from December, 2015

呼吸 Kokyuu: How Hatsumi Sensei Caught My Breath

I made sure to grip my sword well. My opponent stood before me, almost daring me to come in. I knew that if I didn’t cut in the space of that breath, I would be too late.

I cut, and I was stunned in an instant. I stood helpless at the point of my opponent’s sword… my own blade was slammed to the floor like the earth was a giant magnet.

My “opponent” was Hatsumi Sensei. He laughed as he drove the tip of his sword into my body. This forced my back up against the wood paneled wall.

This flash is burned into my memory from earlier this month. Soke was demonstrating to me a principle of 無く力を合わせ Naku chikara o awase that he was teaching that night. Meeting my attack without power. This principle was a thread that ran through many of my classes this month in Japan.

For some background, one night at Senou Sensei’s dojo,  Senou used the terms 姿勢 shisei: attitude; posture; stance; approach; or carriage (of the body)... And 態勢 taisei: attitude; posture; preparedness; or readiness. This means you ca…

Bujinkan Japan Training Winter 2015

Below I share a preview of my Bujinkan video exploring the kata 片胸捕 kata mune dori using concepts from my training in Japan over the last couple of weeks.

Hatsumi Sensei has been very reflective. Part of this comes from his birthday. And part of it is due to the end of a 42 year cycle that he says began when Takamatsu Sensei passed away.

In the full video at rojodojo I share many of the stories Hatsumi Soke shared with us. Some of the details include:

What the future holds for the Bujinkan;Hatsumi Sensei’s funny opinion about his 8mm footage with Takamatsu Sensei;How Soke feels about his age;The responsibility of our generation for Budo;Two profound lessons from the 天津鞴韜馗神之秘文 amatsu tatara kishin no hibun;A hidden meaning for 親切 shinsetsu;How does Senou Sensei consider 姿勢 shisei and 態勢 taisei in training?Hatsumi Sensei’s stories of lodging at Takamatsu Sensei’s house;Stories of the terrifying training that Soke did with Takamatsu Sensei;How Hatsumi Sensei survived a live blade attack f…

Ten Ways to 清澄 Seichou

A few nights ago, Hatsumi Sensei was trying to give us clarity (澄明 choumei) when he changed the kanji in juppo sesshou to 清澄 seichou which means clear and serene. The idea is that when you have this kind of clarity, you cannot be harmed by any attack. And he has often told us that the Bujinkan can only be understood with a clear, pure heart.

But not many of us in the dojo were clear that day. I think some people may be confused about what Soke is doing with his current line of training. This is understandable, because it is really hard to keep up with Hatsumi Sensei's progression.

This will be the first of several articles about the training I am currently doing in Japan, to receive all of them, please subscribe here.

It's like that feeling when you see your train pull in to the station but you're on the wrong side of the tracks. You know you can run, through the gate, up a flight of stairs, across the overpass, down another flight of stairs… you might even make it before th…