Basics are the foundation of your taijutsu and without them you will never develop what sensei calls the “natural movement”.
One of my friend and student, recently attended a few seminars in another country. He was amazed by two things. First the majority of the teachers were developing beautiful movements with no power and no strength. Then the students were copying these nice movements.
But then he discovered that even though he was not a student of these teachers, his strong basics allowed him to adjust and to understand what was being demonstrated. The other participants on the contrary, and even if they could mimic what was shown, we’re totally unable to get these movements through their own taijutsu.
This cosmic trend in the Bujinkan has been on for some years now, and we begin to see how bad it impacts the student’s abilities to survive in a fight. The majority of Bujinkan practitioners will be really surprised the day they have to defend themselves with these nice but weak cosmic movements they have been taught at the dôjô and during seminars.
As sensei put it last August, you have to train your strength when you’re young to be able to use the “no strength” at a later and higher stage of your budô development.
Please put some real training back in your budô studies, improve your basics, and create strong foundations before you begin to move at the cosmic level.
Real fight is fierce, it’s not nice. Panic and fear will slow down your brain and your reactions, and when panic comes, only your ingrained basics will give you a chance to survive.
Strong basics are the only thing remaining when the rest is gone. A nice waza studied in the dôjô with a complacent partner will get you killed in a real encounter. “don’t try to apply a waza in a fight, you would lose” said sensei a few times in the last twenty years.
Teachers this is your responsibility. Please teach mainly basics (together with advanced movements) and stop focusing exclusively on the cosmic moves as it will kill your students. Remember that basic moves will eventually turn into cosmic moves, it’s a natural process. Don’t force nature.
If you don’t teach correctly, your students are like lambs entering the butcher shop, and a nice “baa baa” will not stop the butcher from killing them.