Sasae Nakusu: Get Rid Of The Support

Hatsumi sensei said that we have to 支え亡くす, Sasae nakusu, to “get rid of support”, and that reminded me of what the Buddha said. (1)

Sakyamuni Buddha said that religion is like a wall. We need it to support our growth, but when we know how to walk, we can leave the wall and walk in our own. The same process happens in Budō. 

As a beginner we need a wall, this is the fundamental techniques found in the Tenchijin.

As we grow as a Shidōshi, we need a new wall, this is found in the Ryûha. 

When we know how to do the waza, we need to free ourselves from them. This is what Sensei meant with Sasae nakusu. 

Because we built our taijutsu on these walls, we need to leave them behind and walk alone. 

Waza are supporting our understanding, but it is only intellectual. It is Omote.

We have to interiorize the student Kaname, this is the Ura level. There is no thinking anymore, no preconception. 


A real fight is not about doing one waza or another, a real right adapts seamlessly to what the attacker is doing. This adaptive process is not included in the waza, it is the consequence of it. And it has to be trained.  

Because everything have been integrated in the Sainō Konki, we are able to mix all our knowledge into one body flow. Sensei repeated  many times that waza cannot be used in a real fight. That if you do use waza, you get killed. 

This year, we are entering a new cycle of learning that is beyond the form. The “Zero state” can be achieved only if we learned the waza, and got rid of them. At this level, we do not need the support anymore. 

This is the metaphore of the soup.


Steps to make a good Budō soup

1. You need to get all the ingredients (these are your basics) 

2. You need to get a recipe (this is the Ryûha) 

3. Once cooked, you use the blender, mix everything together and serve it. 

The soup has the flavour of the many ingredients you put in it. You recognise the tastes, but you cannot see them. 

You have to do the same with your training. 

If you don’t do that, your fighting skills are very limited. Natural movement is directly linked to the Sakki. Once you get rid of the waza support, you can develop your intuition, your awareness, and your spirit. Jûgodan should train this to continue their Budō progression. Sasae Nakusu is only that, and this is a lot. 

Receiving the Jûgodan is not the end, this is just the beginning. 


1.q 支え/sasae/support; stay; prop

亡くす/nakusu/to lose something|to get rid of|to lose someone (wife, child, etc.)

Junban: Is Nagato Sensei Cartesian?

In 1637, the  famous French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, published his “Discourse on the Method”. The full name of the book is “Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences”. (1)

Nagato sensei in his Sunday class, sounded like Descartes, when he explained that 順番, Junban was important. (2) Junban is doing the necessary steps to do a technique in the proper order. Each movement calls for the next and the order of things is vital to the realisation of the effect. Too often we watch the technique, memorise it wrong, and force it, by using strength and unnecessary power. The Omote looks quite the same, the Ura is missing. 

This is because the techniques we watch are not the technique we do. Our senses perceive reality correctly, but our brain translates it wrong. The attempts we make are not good because even if we have the general idea, we don’t have a clear vision of the details. 

The one thing that is missing is the proper order of things, Junban. We might have memorised all the steps, but they are not executed in the correct sequence. 

If you want to build a house, you need foundations, then walls, then a roof,  in this order. You cannot paint the walls if they are not built yet. There’s an order. 


The same goes for a technique and this is the meaning of Junban. 

In his book, Descartes writes “divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it”. This is exactly what we don’t do during class. We see the technique as a whole and don’t pay attention to the details that are necessary for the technique to be alive. 

The lack of understanding of what is displayed in front of our eyes, pushes us to speed up the steps, in the hope that the outcome will be similar to what we saw. It is never the case. Speed and force are useless. 


Nagato sensei often says that “only stupid people train fast”. That we should “train slowly!” and he is right. By training slowly, we are able to see what we didn’t see when the movement was done. 

The trend for MMA, pushed many Bujinkan teachers to add a more “realistic” touch to their Bujinkan moves. This is an illusion. Going fast might work, but will not teach you the true essence of a waza. 

Junban is the key to good taijutsu. When you respect the proper steps of a technique,  slowly, you discover that you don’t need speed nor force to do it. Strangely, it will work with any opponent even if they are fast and brutal. Because the secret is not in learning a technique, but in absorbing and ingraining it, so that the acquired Kaname will be adjusted to the encounter. 

Remember what you hear in Japan: 

Chikara janai: If you use force, you got it wrong (3)

Yukkuri/Yururi: move slowly (4)(5)

Descartes also said “Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.” 

If you remember what Hatsumi Sensei said about the Kankaku of senses, I guess that Descartes is right. We have to connect to Daishizen in order to increase our common sense. (6) It’s a question of survival. Junban is the key to our understanding of natural Budō. 

Japan is always full of surprises. I never expected Nagato sensei to remind me of French philosophy.

So, do you think Nagato sensei is Cartesian? (7)



2 .  順番/junban/turn (in line); order of things; sequential order

3. Chikara janai: don’t use strength. 力/chikara/force; strength; might; vigour (vigor); energy|capability; ability; proficiency; capacity; faculty|efficacy; effect|effort; endeavours (endeavors); exertions|power; authority; influence; good offices; agency|support; help; aid; assistance|stress; emphasis|means; resources + じゃないis not,  negative.  

4. Yukkuri: be slow.

yukkuri/slowly; at ease; restful

5. Yururi: 緩り/yururi/unhurriedly; leisurely; slowly; relaxedly; taking one’s time

6. 大自然/daishizen/nature; Mother Nature

7. René Descartes is also the creator of modern geometry. This is thanks to his works, that we are able to use the GPS today, and find our way easily. 

Proper Bujinkan training is the GPS of your path to become one with nature and not to be lost in the process. 

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