Mushin is Sanshin


Following his logic of Mutô Dori being Butô Dori, Sensei in a recent class said that “Mushin is Bushin (Bujin)”. 

As you know, the word “Bujinkan” is sometimes written as “Bushinkan” (in the old translations form Japan). 
This opens up a new series of possible interpretations.
As we know 無 is pronounced Mu or Bu and this allows sensei to play with the words as the sounds are similar.
So if Bu 無 replaces Bu 武 in Bushinkan, then the “house of the war god” becomes the “place where we learn to have no intention”. Maybe this is what sensei want us to understand when he speaks about “natural movement”?
But as I was not attending this class my guess is as good as yours.
In fact, there are many possible other interpretations with those sounds.
Hereafter I wrote the ones that are the most logical for me:
  • Bushin the normal one: 武神 = god of war
  • Bushin the human one: 武人 = military man:
  • Bushin the new one: 武心 = warrior heart/spirit
  • Bushin another one: 無神 = god of nothingness
  • Bushin another one:  無人 = non human
  • Bushin another one: 無心 = no spirit
Funnily “六”, “6” can also be pronounced Mu, and there are 6 logical interpretations above!  But it is only a chance as Mu has (at least) 13 different meanings, Bu 19 , Jin 18 and shin 36!
If we take the general accepted meaning for Mushin 無心  of “no spirit” we have to understand also that in spirituality it also refers to “innocence” or “(to be) free from obstructive thoughts”. When you reach the state of Mushin, you are like this 3 year old infant acting without preconceived idea. Which is the true Sanshin. 
So let’s consider “Mushin” as being “6+spirits”, as “6” is shiki 識 (consciousness) which is the sixth element, then the objective of the bujinkan is to reach the level of consciousness where natural movement can be expressed without thinking. 
All these understandings being possible, this is why we can say that Mushin is Sanshin!
(sorry for the headache)




Like every year since 2004 you are invited to join us and attend the Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai in Paris, the legendary 3 day taikai!

Peter, Sven, Pedro and Arnaud will share, during 3 full days, their insights received this year in Japan.

The main theme of this Taikai will revolve around  the Tsurugi (don’t forget your Chinese sword) but will insist a lot on the following ideas:

  • Natural Taijutsu
  • Mutô Dori (Butô Dori)
  • Bushin (Mushin)

As always sleeping is for free at the dôjô and the meals made by Jean-marie our  “chef” are included. Read more about it on the website

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to train directly with the Shi Tennô!

Registration (mandatory) at budomart

Mutô Dori Hiden

2013-03-23 09.44.22
In my previous entry I tried to establish that Mutô and Butô were identical. As always I got messages criticizing the article I put online to share with the bujinkan community.
In his books, Hatsumi sensei is often playing with the various possible meanings of a given Japanese term.

Even though I tried to state it clearly, some were very critical about Mutô Dori not being only a technique done when you have no weapon. So here are a few more explanations that might shed some light to my previous explanations.

“Many people think that Mutô Dori is about the opponent wielding a sword while you have none, but this is not the case. Even if you have a sword, Mutô Dori starts with the development of the courage to face an opponent with the preparedness of not having a sword.
This means if you don’t thoroughly train in taijutsu you will not obtain the knowledge of the refined skill of Mutô Dori. Therefore, you must first know the purpose of the path of training. If you are unaware of this and proceed down the path of thinking that sword training is only about cutting and thrusting, then there is a danger that you will go down the path of the evil sword. The sword harnesses a pure essence that is life-giving – one who cannot live the way of the sword saint will foolishly think that the sword is only a tool for cutting. Those who do this can never achieve enlightenment.

The warrior’s heart is ruled by preparedness, and nature’s heart, or god’s heart, is fundamental. The heart also governs the warrior’s physical kamae. Therefore if there is no unity in spirit and body, you will never understand the reason for being a martial artist. You will leave no vulnerability or opening (suki) if you remain consistently prepared.(…)
Many people do not fully understand Mutô Dori, and believe it is simply the knowledge of defending against a sword attack, but I would urge you to understand that it is the mind and skill of disarming the opponent, whether they wield a yari, naginata, bô, shuriken, or gun.

You must understand the mind of “ten thousand changes, no surprises” (Banpen Fûgyô), and attain the knowledge of Mutô Dori in response to infinite variations.
Attaining knowledge of real Mutô Dori means you will earn the protection of the gods.”

I hope that this text clarifies definitely the previous entry of this blog.

The text above is taken word for word from Hatsumi Sensei’s book “Japanese sword fighting”, pages 64 and 65 (published 2005 by Kodansha).
We will cover this aspect of the Chinese Ken and Mutô dori Hiden during the next Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai in Paris. The taikai will be held as usual in Vincennes (Paris) from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th of July. If you feel like joining us, please register here
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