Stop Copying Sensei!


Noguchi sensei was very enthusiast yesterday. We covered the Tonsō no kata; the first level of Kukishin; a few sword techniques, and some hanbō jutsu. That was intense! Noguchi sensei’s taijutsu is getting more destructured every time I train with him. As often, it is difficult to see the basics from the variations. I have…

Control With Tō Toku


Precise footwork is what defines better the taijutsu of Nagato Sensei. We had a long session of Taijutsu where we “wrapped” Uke, taking his balance in many directions. François, a newly promoted Shidōshi had a long flying and crashing meeting on that day. Nagato sensei was controlling Uke with his elbow, as usual. But he…

Bimyō or Bimyō? Both!


Despite his fragile health, Senō sensei continues teaching on Saturdays. It is always a pleasure to attend one of his magic classes. Of all the Japanese Dai Shihan, he is the one that has this fantastic touch. The movements he teaches are always simple, but impossible to reproduce. This is why I will not even…

Do you Know Uchi Gake?


In the official Tenchijin, in the Chi Ryaku no Maki, in the Nage Kata you find a throw that very few people understand. It is Uchi Gake. (1) It is listed as follow: “Uchi Mata / uchi gake (kuden) (内股内掛 口伝).” The explanation of the Tenchijin is cryptic. It says “Additionally, after hane age, you…

Mitei: Undecided


Since last January, Hatsumi Sensei repeats that our actions are “undecided.” In Japanese, the term is “Mitei.” It can be translated by “untruly” or “uncertainly. (1) In a fight, you will either lose or win, but you will know the outcome only at the end. You cannot decide it. As westerners, we are programmed by…

Organized Chaos


The first class with Sensei in Japan is always particular. Whatever my expectations are, this is still something different that I find. In that respect, this first class with him was no different. Similar in appearance, they are not. Sensei’s classes are like fireworks, it is beautiful, powerful and always different. Because Sensei’s Budō is…

Happiness Leads To Success!


I landed in Japan, and while getting out of the airport, I felt happy. It reminded me of sensei’s constant advice: “be happy!” Over the years, I often wondered how to reach happiness. In fact, until a discussion I had with Sensei in 2008, I never considered being happy as part of my life. Digging…

Aging Is Not Bad!


Humans are strange. They behave as if they are immortal. Bad news, we are not and muscle mass tends to disappear gradually from age 40 onward.   “Fighting Muscle Mass Loss. Starting at age 40, adults lose on average 8% of muscle mass each decade. And the rate of loss increases to 15% per decade…