Waza Or Kankaku?


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Next weekend I have a sword seminar on Kukishin Biken Jutsu, and Togakure Happō Biken in Lugo (Spain). For the first time ever, I will teach them together, to see the differences and the similarities. If you join us, you will discover the value of our Bujinkan heritage.
Since the sword seminar in Finland, I have put a lot of thoughts into the value of “form” versus “free flow.”
This an important question, the form or the feel? Waza or Kankaku? (1) (2)
Searching the internet, I found out that musicians have the same issue. Here what I found.
“So here is the core of the matter: Playing with feel is not the opposite of playing with good technique, but is rather the outgrowth of having developed your technique to the point that it is no longer a barrier between you and self-expression.” (3)
This is the same idea in Budō. About ten years ago, a Japanese Dai Shihan gave a good explanation during class. He said “to walk you need two legs. In Budō, those legs are ‘waza and kankaku’. One leg is not enough to walk, you have to use both.” Our Budō teaches us how to walk like a human being. This is why Sensei insists on the importance of footwork.
Hatsumi Sensei spoke last year about Aidamaari. He said, “Aidamaari is the space between things.” (4) This space appears through the interaction of Waza and Kankaku. They are not opposed, they are complementary. When you can use Waza and Kankaku together, you develop natural movement.
Some Bujinkan teachers often privilege one leg or the other, and it is not right. Both legs are important as the secret of Mutō Dori lies in the mix of the two.
Next weekend in Lugo, we will cover the two aspects of the two Ryū. (5)
We will first study the forms of the Togakure Ryū on Saturday, and of the Kukishin Ryū on Sunday. (6) Then, develop the kankaku of each system. But without a good understanding of the technique, the feeling is only a loss of time. Train hard on your basics, it is the root of feeling.
I want to finish, with another quote from the text on music. “So … if you have been thinking that “feel is more important than technique”, try doing some spirited sport driving with the tires removed from your wheels. After you get out of the hospital then get back to metronome practice, and lot’s of it.” (3)
So, what do you think: Waza or Kankaku?
___________________________
  1. Waza; 技/waza/technique; art; skill
  2. Kankaku; 感覚/kankaku/sense; sensation; feeling; intuition
  3. Aidamaari; 間/aida/space (between); gap; interval; distance, time (between); pause; break, span (temporal or spatial); stretch; period (while), relationship (between, among), members (within, among), due to; because of.
    間合/maai/interval; distance; break; pause|suitable time; appropriate opportunity|distance between opponents (kendo).
    在り/ari/existing (at the present moment)|alright; acceptable; passable|to be (usu. of inanimate objects); to have
  4. Seminario Kukishin Biken Jutsu, and Togakure Happō Biken in Lugo: https://www.facebook.com/events/1490695807725786/
  5. Update: We will begin the seminar with Togakure instead of Kukishin as initially posted. The Togakure is much deeper and will require more time to understand. For those that attended the seminar last year where we rapidly covered the Kukishin it will be the follow-up.   Also, that will give us more time on Sunday to merge the two systems together. Finally, many participants cannot attend two full days of training (family constraints), so those coming only for the first day will definitely have a chance to see the Shinobi sword.

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