I arrived yesterday afternoon in Tokyo. It is hot and humid and heavy rains we are expexted over the weekend.
As always the summer trip is special because. I often find myself travelling in July without any student and this is the occasion to think about the past.
Last June I completed my first thirty years in the Bujinkan and I remember that I went to the first Bujinkan dôjô opened in Paris to check if ninjutsu really existed! I join the dôjô after my first trial and I honestly don’t know today why I did it.
So today some thirty years later I’m still there, training and following the teachings of Hatsumi sensei.
I have been lucky to meet sensei when nearly no one was coming to train here in Noda. There was no hombu dôjô, and Hatsumi sensei mainly taught at Ishizuka ‘s, Noguchi ‘s or Someya’s dôjô. When by chance we were 20 in a class we complained it was impossible to train properly! Things have changed.
I met Sensei in London in 1987 during the first European Taikai organized by my friend Peter King. And I attended many European and American Taikai until he stopped visiting us in 2002.
Since 1990, I trained here in Japan more than 50 times to study the Bujinkan arts with Sensei and his best students.
I got godan in September 1989 at the Munich Taikai.
The jûdan in July 1993 at the first Paris Taikai.
The gold medal of the Bujinkan in November 1994.
The jûgodan in April 2004.
The menkyô kaiden in tachi waza in August 2004.
The Shingitai menkyô in April 2011.
The Shi Tennô menkyô in August 2012.
Nearly all my old students are now evolving on their own, they don’t train with me anymore but I see on the social networks that they are still excelling. After training and traveling to Japan with me many times they exist by themselves. I hoped to meet some of them here as will as many friends from all over the world.
Tonight is the first class with sensei. I’m happy!