Steve Olsen in his beautiful book “Masaaki Hatsumi Dojo Art” dedicated to Sensei’s calligraphies explains that:
“Sensei teaches at a level beyond technique. “Feeling” Sensei often reminds us, is what is most important. And how can a feeling be taught? Art. It’s up to us to learn technique and transcend so we can apply his art in our lives. That, in my opinion, is the proper purpose of our training. ”
Nagato sensei in a recent class said that learning this art follows (or requires) a three-step process.
We first learn “consciously” the technique. Then with time, we do it “unconsciously”. Until one day we do things “miraculously”. This miracle is the essence of Sensei’s art and it is only about feeling. This is the transcending of the forms that Steve explains in his book. Without the ability to transcend the forms, the Bujinkan is not better than any other martial art.
Many practitioners get lost in the sterile learning of forms and never get past the unconsciously level. Learning the basics allows one to move from level 1 to level 2, but level 3 is only achieved by those who let their feelings guide their movements. Shingin Budō is this guide and the Kehai wo yomenai (see previous post) is the best way to reach natural movement.
術: jutsu, is art.
感覚: kankaku, is feeling.
神機: shinki, is miraculous.
Therefore, bujutsu (fighting technique) is 術 jutsu (art) guided by 感覚 kankaku (feeling) is 神機術 shinki jutsu, a miraculous art.
So learn your basics thoroughly and train hard until your feelings allow you to enter the world of art.