CONGRATULATIONS!


ImageCONGRATULATIONS! You did it!

ImageAfter 5 years (plus one week) you have visited this blog over 250,000 times!

It is a quarter of a million! and represents 50,000 visits per year. This is something we can proud of. Thank you!

During all these years I tried to deliver, through my articles, my feelings about the Bujinkan and all the “secrets” I could get from Hatsumi sensei’s teachings.

I have the chance to go to Japan three times a year I created this blog primarily to help those of you who cannot travel to Noda as often as you would like, so that through these articles you could get a glimpse of what sensei is teaching in his classes.

Even if this is my interpretation, I will continue as I have the feeling that it is helping many Bujinkan members.

This blog is now available in 4 languages and I want to thank here the translators. First of all is my friend Elias who has been doing that for a long time and who is the first one to translate the articles. And also Christophe and Raphael who began to translate them too. Thank you guys I deeply appreciate your help.

Now I have a message for you the reader. Many of your buyû are not able to read English so why don’t you volunteer and translate them into your own language? Send them to me and put them also on your own website. There is nothing to gain here except maybe the pleasure to do something useful for our warrior community.

Contact me if you want to be part of it and help us build a stronger Bujinkan. Remember that information is power.

Thank you again “merci beaucoup” for your endless support.

 

Arnaud Cousergue

Bujinkan Shihan

Ken Tai Ichi Jô


 

In the Bujinkan there is the concept of  劒体一条 ken tai ichijô (body and weapon are one).

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This concept makes a lot of sense when wielding a heavy sword in 片手 katate (one hand) because the free arm is often in the way. And this is even more difficult to manage as the blade is double edged.

We discovered this same problem when we studied the Tachi. But with the Ken this is even more accurate.

In the Kukishin ryû one of the kotsu is to “keep the elbows/arms close to the body”, this is for the same reason. If you train with the 万力鎖 manriki gusari this is also mandatory.

When I was stationed in Lebanon for the UN, I attended a very interesting Kukri* demonstration by the Nepalese Army. It was impressive and I noticed that the 200 soldiers moving in unisson always kept their free arm off the weapon for themselves and also for their neighbours. I took a video that I might post here one day.

So, as we are discovering the Ken, please keep your free arm as close as possible to the body at all time. Whatever you do with a new weapon has to begin slow. The first achievement is to avoid getting injured by it.

  • A weapon has no conscience and no intention. It moves naturally following the laws of 重力 jû ryoku (gravity).
  • A weapon is not impressed by your rank, it will do what your body movements make it do.
  • Therefore a weapon has to become truly a “natural extension” of your body/mind in order to avoid accidents.**

Confidence and ease are the natural results of heavy and long rehearsal. So please train slowly your katate movements, they are very powerful and devastating with such a heavy sword. Your security (and the one of your neighbours) should always be your first concern in training. Don’t be too presomptuous about your own abilities, learn step by step, and keep your free arm to your body.

If you don’t pay attention and don’t learn these movements correctly in slow motion then, instead of   劒体一条 ken tai ichijô, we will do  献体一冗 kentai ichijô, and “give your useless body to a hospital for medical research”. Interested?

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*The khukuri (Nepali: खुकुरी) (alternatively spelled khukri or kukri) is a Nepalese knife with an inwardly curved edge, used as both a tool and as a weapon.For more information check THIS Wikipedia page.

**This is also valid for any object or weapon.

NB: In a previous post I wrote about the weakness of the wooden Taichi sword that can break easily when stopping an attack in the dôjô. Those of you using one, add a layer or two of duct tape and it will increase the security and lower the risks of injury during training. Also it will add a little more weight which is even better.