Organizing a Taikai such as this one is always a lot of work for the Taikai Team. Last year many of you didn’t register early enough and we had to cope with some problems concerning the food and the t-shirt.
If you know you are attending then please register as fast as possible and do not forget to tick the boxes for:
length of stay
day of arrival
This will help us a lot and save you a lot of money. The sooner you register the cheaper you pay!
So please register online so that we can order the food and t-shirt accordingly.
Black belts should wear the yoroi to understand the value of balance. When you are dressed with the yoroi, the weight is spread all around the body and not only on the back as we experienced it with a backpack.
Naturally the extra weight transforms the body repartition and we move with about 50% of our weight on each leg. This is why the kukishin ryû and the takagi yôshin ryû kamae do not have the same appearance compared to the togakure or other low kamae systems.
Peter on the picture is showing here the kosei no kamae as if he was receiving some kind of attack from his opponent. As though “kosei” means “attack” he is absorbing the blow with his protected forearm (aite to kumu kokoro gamae) and uses his legs to cushion it. Next he will spring forward and take uke‘s balance to counter-attack. Once the blow has been received, there is no power left in the weapon, the momentum is gone.
As sensei said back in 2003, concerning the yoroi kumiuchi: “when there are two attacks (body or weapon) they are not of the same quality”. The first attack is fuelled by the footwork and his strong and fast, the second starts where the first one was stopped and uses a different distance.
Note that the back hand stays at the hip level as if Peter was holding a tachi.
Every waza in Japan originated from yoroi kumiuchi.
Why is the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki so important?
Until 1990, we had very little knowledge about the schools and the weapons. Remember that we really began the weapons in 1993 with the bô and the study of the schools only in 1998! From the beginning of the Bujinkan (and more precisely when the Togakure Ryû Ninpô Taijutsu was published in 1983) the basics were transmittedthrough the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki. Each student at that time was studying the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki to improve his fundamentals. The Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki was the basic program to reach the black belt. The spreading of the Bujinkan over the last twenty years has abandoned the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki and it has been often discarded by the new generation of teachers.
What is a Bujinkan black belt?
A Bujinkan black belt is someone who knows the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki so well that every technique demonstrated looks like a patchwork of elemental bricks taken from the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki. Too often students receive a black belt without the knowledge of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki and this lack in their practice leads to big flaws in their movements. In 2009 I gave a 5-day seminar on the full Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki in India. When the Indian group went to Daikomyô Sai last December they told their teachers that they could see every component of the techniques taught by sensei and the shihan and recognize the strength of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki.
Are you a Bujinkan black belt?
Then you must know “by heart” the ten and the chi and be familiar enough with the jin. Without this basic knowledge you will not be able to go far within the Bujinkan system. The heart of “kokoro no budô” is the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki. Learn it, study it and you will see your technical level excel and reach a new understanding. Without studying the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki attending seminars is a loss of time. It is like watching a movie of which you are not part of. Learn the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki and become the actor your own life instead of being a passive observer!
Ryaku in Japanese means “principle” but also “truth”. Learn the truth of things and you will become a true human being able to link the sky and the earth; able to be one with nature. 🙂
The Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki is based on the three levels of life: heaven, earth and man. Man is the link between earth and heaven or between outer space and the planet. The old Chinese pictogram is a drawing representing two opposite half circles linked by a cross. The pictogram displays symbolically a human body with his legs on the earth supporting the sky with his arms, and mixing these two influences within his body.
What are the different parts of the Ten Chi Jin?
The Ten Ryaku deals with footwork, distances and angles; this is the vertical line in the pictogram. The Chi Ryaku deals with the bio-mechanical aspects of the different waza that can be applied once uke has reached tori (gyaku, nage, torite). This is the horizontal line. The Jin Ryaku is a series of about 50 waza taken from the nine schools to show the interaction of the waza and the footwork. This is the point where the vertical and horizontal line cross each other.
The Jin Ryaku has nothing to do with the schools. The waza taken from the schools are often quite different from the waza included in a certain level of a school. They are used as examples to manifest the interaction of body movement and creativity.
This is why they can be trained on both the left and right side and why they do not imply the use of weapons.
Last August when I brought Hatsumi sensei some pictures of the Taikai in Paris decided to change its name and to call it the “Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai“. When I asked him the reason for that he said this was a pun between “Europa” [yuropa] and the Japanese word “Yûro”. Yûro means something like the “path to bravery”.
So we invite you to join us in this eighth “path of bravery spreading everywhere all over Europe!” More than 15 countries are expected to come! Come to Paris and build up your memory.
Shi Tennô is the nickname that sensei gave us back in the nineties as the four of us were spreading the Bujinkan system all over Europe. If the original meaning is the “four emperors”, it is in fact the name given to the four Chinese spirits of the four directions: North, South, East and West. Nothing glorious there.
But because Kano sensei, the founder of jûdô, nicknamed his four students spreading the kodôkan jûdô over the world by the name of “shi tennô“, Hatsumi sensei decided to do the same. Unfortunately this name has nothing to do with our martial skills. 🙂
Taikai means big seminar and this one is definitely a big one. This is one of the last 3 day seminar that we have after the end of the Taikai directed by sensei. If my friends and I have decided to organize it in the past it was because we were missing those taikai with sensei in Europe and in the USA. Those Taikai with sensei that we have organized between 1987 and 2002 were always a fantastic moment of friendship and budô. This Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai is following the same tracks and this is why, each year, we have more and more success.
Over the last five years, the success of this event has been increasing so much that we had to limit the number of participants. For those of you training in the Bujinkan and who didn’t get the chance to train in Japan this year, this Taikai is your chance as each one of the instructor in this seminar has been staying in Japan one, twice or three times since last November.
As sensei was saying at the honbu recently: “only those who train regularly in Japan with me have a chance to get what I am showing”. This is your chance to get your update.
During my last seminar in Chemnitz, I was asked to explain to the group the Bujinkan system. It was a discovery for many students so I decided to share here in this blog the importance of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki.
The first thing you have to get clearly is that the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki is the best system ever created to give a martial artist a chance to develop his creativity. This is the kaitatsu explained by sensei recently.
Too often the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki is underestimated by the teacher more inclined to dwell on the rich legacy of the nine schools. This is a major mistake as without the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki no student can really grasp the essence of sensei’s teachings.
What is the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki?
It is a program put out by sensei in the eighties as a common basic program for the beginners. The first “official” edition was published in Japanese back in 1983 under the title “Togakure Ryû Ninpô Taijutsu”. Divided into three parts which are Ten, Chi, and Jin, it presented in a certain order the elemental bricks necessary to study the nine schools and their specificities. After a few years of practice, it had been reviewed and modified to be even more practical. In 1987, we received from Japan, the first English version of this new system. The majority of the techniques were the same, but the repartition had been changed to facilitate the learning. The first published versions of this new Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki (TCJ2) were done in 1991 by Pedro Fleitas in Spanish and by Mariette Van der Vliet in English. The French Protek was published by me in 1998. An adapted version in German by Steffen Frohlich was also released during the same period. Many other incomplete and transformed versions were published subsequently.
In one of my previous posts I quoted Hatsumi sensei saying that a true master should be able to “laugh while facing the ennemy”.
This is quite similar to what Toda Shinryûken Masamitsu,Takamatsu sensei grandfather (or uncle*) once told him:
“Never talk about knowledge as you could lose it,
Confront a defeat with a smile even if you are closely facing it,
And even when you are faced with certain
death, die laughing!”
This year’s theme is Rokkon Shôjô so keep smiling whatever hardship you are confronted with.
* All Bujinkan books keep repeating that Toda sensei was Takamatsu sensei‘s grandfather but recently one Japanese shihan during class said that actually Toda sensei was Takamatsu‘s uncle not grandfather…
To a Westerner the sounds for ojiisan (grandfather) are very much similar to ojisan (uncle). Sorrymasen. 🙂