Sayonara Nihon


This was an excellent trip full of new insights, discoveries, and friendship. I trained for the first time in the new honbu dōjō. I like it. I met old friends and exchanged a lot. Sensei’s classes are brilliant as usual and full of subtle points and concepts: Karada gaeshi, ishitobashi, sanbon, Nuki gaeshi. I enjoyed…

Mitsuguma


Friday class was good for me, not only because I learned many things, but because it was “Kuma night”. As you know Sensei gave me the dragon name of “Yûryû” (勇竜), brave and courageous dragon in the 90s’. But he always call me “Shiro Kuma” (白熊) polar bear. To explain why here would take too…

Bujinkan Is History


Yesterday I had dinner with Yuji Kogure, Quest Videos CEO, and we spoke about the importance of History to understand what is the Bujinkan. The Tsurugi was a major step in our training as it linked the ancient past to the modern world. Since Sensei explained that the Tsurugi was the origin of the Sanshin…

Zentai: The Holistic Budō


In a recent class sensei defined his movements as being zentai. (1) Zentai (全体) is a full body movement where everything moves naturally. Zentai is a holistic approach of taijutsu. As Nagato put it in his last training, “taijutsu is not limited only to body movement, it also includes the weapons.” Holistic taijutsu encompasses everything:…

Be Always Protected… Or Not


Today at Nagato sensei’s class, we did some variations around Teiken (蹄拳) from a rear body hug and Musan (霧散) from Shinden Fudō Ryū. After reviewing the basic forms from the Densho, Nagato sensei did many applications around the initial form. He was de-structuring the original movement to adapt it to different types of situations….

Shuhari: Gyokko Ryû Revisited


We were only 8 participants for Wednesday’s class with Noguchi sensei. What a luxury! As always with him we went fast, so fast that I got confused me than usual. My confusion was not based on the techniques we did (it was the first and second level of Gyokko ryû), but by the way he…

Mutō Dori Is Not Mutō Dori


During class, Sensei spoke about ishitobashi again (skipping stone) and did many applications with Mutō Dori. The sword was either in Uke’s hand or Tori’s hand. We have already covered the complexity of Mutō Dori in this blog because this is the essence of the Bujinkan. Sensei often refers to it but last night it…

Are You A Thief?


For years, Sensei told us to “steal” the techniques when in Japan. Because if you took a movement or a waza, no one would lose anything. So I was surprised last Sunday that he said the exact opposite! What he said is that if you think about “stealing” a technique then you are a thief….

Ishitobashi


Since last November, Hatsumi Sensei has been playing with the concept of Ishitobashi (石飛ばし), skipping stones. (1) This “ishitobashi” is his way of describing the interaction between Uke (the water, nature) and Tori (the stone, Mankind) in the encounter. We have all played that game when we were younger, trying to have a stone do…

What Type Of Shihan Are You?


I have been speaking with many Bujinkan members since I arrived in Japan, and it seems there are a few misconceptions about the term Shihan. It is understandable because the word “Shihan” has various possible meanings. The two more common are: 市販 Shihan 1: selling on the market (in the marketplace, in stores, etc.); making something…