Noguchi has developed his taijutsu like every Japanese Dai Shihan. He has been my “teacher” since 1993. He is impressive and can turn any known Waza into something so different from the original technique.
Attending a class with one of the Japanese Dai Shihan is like training another martial art. I spoke about it with Hatsumi Sensei. I said “Sensei, is it normal that I’m training Bujinkan only with you. And train the Noguchi Ryū, Oguri Ryū, Nagato Ryū, Senō Ryū with the Japanese Shihan?” He looked at me for a moment and said: “yes, each one has to develop his taijutsu”. Some Japanese Shihan, like Someya sensei and others, respects the original forms. But it is well accepted that each one of them has developed a personal body movement. That is why it is crucial to train with each Japanese Shihan to get a deeper understanding of Sensei’s Budō. Diversity is the key to unlock your taijutsu.
Yesterday we were studying the first level of Koto Ryū. From the start, Noguchi sensei modified the form, to put into play his particular body movement. We did Yokuto with a Gyokko Ryū approach. He replaced the linear footwork typical of the first level of the Koto Ryū. Instead, he used the circular motion of the Gyokko Ryū Kosshi Jutsu. You can find videos on YouTube of Sensei using the same Kosshi jutsu approach. (1)
Sensei taught the difference between Yoko Aruki (Koto Ryū) and Jūji Aruki (Gyokko Ryū) in 2015. In Yoko Aruki your toes are heading towards the same direction. In Jūji Aruki your toes are perpendicular. Check this video on my YouTube channel.
Noguchi sensei has his interpretation of the Waza. He makes so many variations that what remains is his fantastic body flow. This multi-approach allows each one to find what move suits him the best. The Waza is not a dead form anymore. That is the magic of Kankaku! (2)
Senō sensei explained that Budō has two legs: Waza and Kankaku. To walk you need both. But to get the feeling, you first have to learn the basics and the Waza. Too many practitioners make the trip to Japan without proper training in the basics. It is a loss of time and money.
When I came here for the first time, the Japanese were still teaching the basic Waza. That is not the case anymore. When you come to Japan, do not expect to learn the basics as they don’t show them anymore. You come here to get the correct feeling that will allow you to develop your own taijutsu. This implies that you have learned the original forms in your dōjō before coming.
We had a great class yesterday full of “Noguchism”. I trained with Harry Mitrou (Dai Shihan Greece), who used to be training with me in the Paris dōjō many years ago. It added to my pleasure.
It was a good night.
2. 感覚, feeling