Be Strong, Then Soft


During a recent class,  while we were still in seiza after the opening rei, Hatsumi sensei began to speak. He said that: “when you are under the age of thirty it is important to develop your strength and your muscular power. Only when you get older can you train the more subtle movements”. I don’t…

A Waza Is A Sketch!


My last class with Nagato sensei was full of interesting details. Once again, for those that didn’t read my blog recently, Hatsumi sensei has asked Nagato sensei to teach exclusively from the densho. And this is like rediscovering how good he is. Obviously like every Japanese Shihan his personal style is visible but it gives…

Daruma Daruma


Sunday’s classes were quite interesting. The first session was directed by Noguchi Daishihan, and we covered some techniques from the Jin Ryaku no Maki of the tenchijin. As always his interpretation was mindblowing. Nothing new but a fresh understanding. These techniques that I have been learning with him for more than twenty years, and that…

Dōshin Ikkan Suru


Once again we did a lot of sword movements last night with Hatsumi sensei. I really love the simplicity of his movements even though they are very difficult to do moving like he is some kind of ghost. I had the honor to open the class and I did some strengthless taijutsu move that he…

Bugei Hyappan


With Nagato sensei we covered the end of the Takagi Yōshin ryû Moguri Gata and then we began the first level of the Shinden Fudô ryû. But somehow it was like continuing with the same fighting system. 潜り込む,  Moguri komi, has the meaning of “to conceal oneself” (but in plain sight). In fact you are…

No Waza, No Henka


With Nagato sensei covering the Takagi Yoshin Ryû and Noguchi sensei the Koto Ryû, the Wednesday classes were intense. But each time they teach a (supposedly known) waza from any ryûha, I feel lost like a beginner, as the form they are teaching is often quite different from the forms I learned (with them) over…

Sakki test 101


The Sakki test is the apex of a practitioner’s life. For many years sensei has been the only one to administrate the test and as one of the dinosaurs of the bujinkan (30 years in the Bujinkan last month), I had the privilege to witness him giving the test in numerous occasions. With about 30…

Shin Gi Tai Ken Ichi Yotsu


For years sensei has been repeating that our movements are done with 躯, Karada, the body. To help the students understand this, we keep telling them to develop footwork. The pedagogical reason to it is that if we tell them “move your body” they will not know what to do. But by speaking of the…

Mushin: No Intention


http://www.budomart.com 無心, mushin (no intention, no thinking) is one of the many concepts we encounter when walking on the martial path. I was reading recently a quote from Sensei where he explained that “During the times of the warring states in Japan, everyone was like a wild animal. Everyone would react to whatever you intended…