Friendship & Rokkon Shôjô


3 buyu before a trek in the Nilgiri

During my last trip to India,  Eugenio Penna (10th dan Italy) was with us to share the five days seminar we had on kukishin bôjutsu, gyokko ryû kosshi jutsu and nawa jutsu. After coming with Beth Faulds (6th dan) last February, Eugenio came back to India to experience with us these very special (and very painful moments).

Sensei often speaks about friendship but it seems that his words are not really understood by many practitioners. The concept of buyu goes further than simply sharing a few meals together, it is a strong feeling that builds up through hard training and sharing. Shiva (Shidôshi) who was hosting the seminar here in Bangalore and Eugenio are true buyu beyond the limits of their own personal culture, language and experience of life. The buyu friendship is about sharing together a common experience on the mats by learning and learning to understand the other.

Whoever we are, we view the world in our own personal way and are often surprised by the differences emerging in our discussions, but on the mats we are on the same unknown terrain and we have to share with the others in order to survive. It is because of our differences that we can grow faster. For many years I have been travelling the world and in Japan and I appreciate the connections between cultures that the bujinkan offers. I believe that the buyu connection doesn’t know borders and that it is really what sensei wants us to do and this picture illustrates my point perfectly, happiness is inevitable. This is rokkon shôjô. The picture was taken right before a two hour trekk in the nilgiri (blue mountains) to reach an ancient tribal ceremony, in a deeply hidden valley.

The buyu are rich of their differences like the Indian slogan “unity in diversity” which resonates in harmony with the bujinkan .

Thank you sensei!

Danger is a lack of Awareness


Team work: Be aware of danger

Be aware of danger!

In the process of training techniques in the dôjô, you should always be aware of the environment i.e. the room or your friends training, as waving the in the air around you can be dangerous.

Outside of the dôjô this awareness can save your life. The technique is nothing if you cannot stay alive. Do not trust the densho or the waza because they never answer the particular situation in which you are caught. The waza have to be trained extensively in the dôjô so that their benefits are acquired by the body. Once acquired by the body, the brain will not think these waza again and adapt your moves according to the situation. Permanent adaptation is what makes you stay out of danger.

Ninpô is about protecting life, yours and the ones around you (friends or foes). Do not count on yourself only but trust your partners to help you stay alive. Danger is not predictable by nature but nature is not dangerous as long as you are aware of the “general picture” in which you evolve. This is why teamwork is so important.

The basics are done for yourself only but the interconnexion with the movements of your partners reveals a more powerful set of possibilities. Alone you are nothing, in a team you exist. The team increases your awareness of danger.

In order to stay alive, Bujinkan practitioners should develop teamwork abilities, and to do so train the basics more intensely.