Napoleon Bonaparte

The greatest power we learn in training in the bujinkan is to develop the power of our imagination. This is the kaitatsu explained in a previous article.

Napoléon said that: “Imagination rules the world” and if it was true for him it is definitely true for us too.

The bujinkan seen as an educative system is helping us to get rid of our preconceived ideas and to find new ones. Often when I meet a bujinkan student in  a seminar I am amazed that first he (or she) never heard about the Ten chi Jin Ryaku no Maki created by Hatsumi sensei and second that his (or her) vision of the art has nothing to do with the reality of training in Japan. This is never the fault of the student nor of his teacher but of the teacher of his teacher who often joined the bujinkan after many years of gendai budô. These first teachers  never ever reconsidered their previous knowledge to adapt it to the new set of rules. This lack of foundation explains the poor level of imagination in the bujinkan. The bujinkan will transform you if you train the basics properly.

Through these foundations, you will develop the power of your imagination and become an artist able to rule the world.

Be happy (imagine)

YSTT: Register Fast!

book yourself rapidly

YSTT Update 2:

Another 12 persons registered this week-end.

So please if you wish to attend the YSTT 2010 and train with Pedro, Sven, Arnaud, and Peter do not wait too long as places are limited.

At this rate (3.4 persons per day) the prebooking for the YSTT 2010 (limited to 120 participants) will be closed by June 9th…

… too bad 😦

YSTT Team 2010

I need your help

new logo?

Dear buyu,

Solkan Europe, the company offering, has been using the same logo since the last Paris Taikai I organized for sensei in France in May 1997.

After 13 years it  is about time to renew the look of my company so I am redesigning the website.

I am looking for a new logo for Solkan Europe and I would like to ask for your feedback on this.

On the left is one logo that I was given today, please help me so that I can make up my mind.

Do you like it or not?

Thank you,

Arnaud Cousergue

Tips & tricks (7) Tachi Basics


Those of you who have registered to can now download a small MP4 or MOV movie (338Mo) about the tachi principles that we studied in Japan since January. This movie lasts 30 minutes.

Disclaimer: the techniques demonstrated are based on my interpretation and understanding of the tachi kumiuchi. It was recorded with a small camera it is not DVD quality but gives you tips & tricks on how to move your tachi.

Have fun! 🙂

Stars & Galaxies
collision between two galaxies

The concept developed recently by sensei of a photon colliding a speck of stardust to illustrate that we should render the invisible visaible made me think of galaxies and budô.

In space stars are often seen as regrouped by men as a given shape (big dipper, cassiopea, betelgeuse etc). But this apparent “regrouping” is only visible from our point of view in the universe; the location of Earth in space. If we were able to go a few thousands parsecs away from our actual location, these groups would not exist at all! It is only our vision of things that make us see them as a given recognizable pattern in the natural chaos of space. Our perception is wrong, it is omote not ura.

If we consider the galaxies which are real natural entities and not a human mental construction, we can make a parallel together with the encounter between the attacker(s) and the defender.

In Budô our techniques can be seen as equivalent as these artificial regrouping of stars made by humans. They are not connected naturally.  Back to space this fake connection  is real when it comes to galaxies. And even more when they are colliding.

On the mats uke and tori are like two different galaxies.

In both cases (galaxies, opponents), the connection/collision is not wanted and the outside observer cannot fathom what particular consequences will stem from the encounter. By keeping the connection with the environment, by applying En no kirinai (do not sever the connection) everything move in the best possible way.

Galaxies cross the universe without intention (as far as I know) and our taijutsu must follow (flow?) the same path. Having no preconceived ideas, you move naturally and bring the techniques to life to the better outcome.

Don’t think, react in adapting your flow to the moment.

Be happy 🙂

Eyes no Eyes

Eye or no eye?

Some people say: “don’t lose eye contact”, “don’t look at the opponent”, “watch him carefully”, “ignore him”. All is true and all is wrong.

My feeling is that within the yoroi kumiuchi sphere the only “living thing” is the eyes of the opponent. If you want to receive the flow of his intentions you have to connect to him through the eyes.

This is another way of understanding “kanjin kaname” which then could translate as: “through the eye I can  see through his spirit”.


Basics & Fundamentals (4)

Seigan no Kamae by Chris Bernsdorf (Ger)

Kamae is attitude” was written a few years ago, this is an updated version of it.

Budo Taijutsu begins with the study of “kamae” or body posture. This first introduction to budô gives us a strong physical foundation, which allow us to grasp the true essence of natural body movement. Unfortunately with time passing, we seem to forget the value of training the basics in general and particularly the body postures. In each Bujinkan Ryûha there is a set of given kamae that is called kurai-dori. If we translate “kurai” and then “dori” the meaning is “about grabbing” and it looks that it is dealing only with the physical aspect of fight.  But a good dictionary tells you that “kuraidori” in one word means “positional notation”, like the digits after the comma. This induces precision and it translates by “precise notes for postures”. It is a lot different from kurai + dori !

Even though the Ten Chi Jin ryaku no maki has a basic set of 9 kamae, each particular ryû has differences which depend upon the time where the kamae were created, and the evolution of warfare they had to adapt to. How do you “Ukemi” (receive, dodge, absorb) a bullet?  So kamae is not only physical, the mind gives also value to the posture.  “kamae” means posture or attitude, so apart from the “physical attitude” we now have to consider the “mental attitude”. This is why when teaching the basics we speak of “tai gamae” and “kokoro gamae“. The tai gamae is the body posture where the kokoro gamae is the mental attitude.

If we broaden this understanding it can be also understood as our “attitude in life”. Having good kamae in the dôjô is nice nut it is even better to have a good kamae in life. This is our human attitude that makes us different. Having a good technical ability is not enough and from my perspective too many do not have a good attitude in life as human beings. If you thoroughly study your kamae on the mats they will change your attitude in life. When sensei says that our goal “in the Bujinkan is to create better human beings” he means that the study of the tai gamae will change your kokoro gamae, not only in the dôjô but also in life. Even though there is no spiritual teaching in the Bujinkan, no link to any religion or mystical system, Hatsumi sensei has created and transmitted a powerful tool to help us become true human beings (bujin).

As always there is always more in the ura of things than the omote let you think there were.

8th Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai is 8YSTT

Sven & Arnaud in Paris

Thank you for all those who registered already!

It seems this 8th YSTT is going to be succesfull and the first registration forms have arrived from:

  • France,
  • Belgium,
  • Denmark,
  • Germany,
  • United Kingdom.

Are we going to have more than 16 countries attending this year?

Important note: If you register for more than one person, please fill in ONE form per person it will facilitate our work.

Thank you.

the YSTT team