Ken, Tachi, Katana


  I recently asked you about your expectations about the videos and texts that I do. To my surprise, you are 90% willing to have more insights on History in Budō. In this first article, I will address a point that might change your vision of sword fighting. Only the Kukishinden and the Togakure Ryū…

33% Discount at Budomart In November!


I began training in June 1984. This year it is my 33rd year in the Bujinkan. With Christmas coming soon, I thought it would be nice to celebrate this anniversary together. During the whole month of November, you get a permanent discount of 33% on ALL budomart DVDs. That is my way of thanking you…

Saigō Takamori, The Unlucky “Last Samurai”


There is a new painting of Saigō Takamori in the Dōjō from the Edo period. (1) (2) Saigo Takamori helped to replace the Bakufu to install the Meiji restoration. During the Boshin war (1868-1869), Saigō Takamori led the Meiji army. Disagreeing on the reforms put in place by the new power, he left the court…

Demo: The Intelligence Of However


The waves keep crashing on the shore, they change to adapt, but they are all the same. Water flows on what it finds on its path. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change,” said Stephen Hawking. That is what we learn in the Bujinkan. A friend in Japan noted that Sensei always finished his…

Acting or Coaching?


  “Art is not a handicraft; it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” Tolstoi Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” What we train is Art, but requires some strong basics to be correct. I’m too often stuck between two attitudes:…

Control, Don’t Fight!


During the flight from Japan to India, I was sorting my training notes, and I remembered this sentence by Sunzi: “the Supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” It is quite similar to “Mutō Dori is not about fighting, it’s about controlling” that Hatsumi sensei kept repeating in each class. The…

Flow Around Like Sensei Does


“Mutō Dori is about controlling, not fighting!” said sensei, once again, at the beginning of the class. But what does he mean? Here some beginning of an explanation. Watching and listening carefully, I understood the following: Sensei uses his finger(s) as a contact point(s) with the attacker. The contact(s) act as a Shiten, fulcrum. (1)…

Did Sensei Give The Theme For 2018?


Is Mutō Dori the first step to knighthood? Is it possible to become a knight in the modern times (Jidai), or was it only possible in the past (Jidai)? (1) Here is an occidental Knight’s oath that reminded me of the Mutō Dori theme: Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Stand brave…

Nagato Sensei: Henka Your Basics!


Nagato sensei was in a good mood today. And even if we finished the class fifteen minutes earlier than usual -he had an appointment- his class was dynamic and full of insights. “When you make natural Henka on basics, it turns into an art form,” said Nagato sensei on the first set of movements he…

Noguchi Sensei: Happiness, Basics And Creativity


Buddha said that “thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” This sentence is resuming my feeling entirely during Noguchi sensei’s class, on Sunday morning. Anyone who trained in Japan knows how “foggy” you feel during this…

Wu Wei: Action Without Action


There was a time when you came to the Honbu dōjō for techniques. Then there was a time where you came for some profound philosophical concepts. The time now is about the rest: non-action. Wu Wei. (1) Today Hatsumi sensei added a “click” in his no-action movement. “Mutō Dori is Zero” was his introduction to…

Simplicity Is Complex


Someone said “What comes easy, won’t last, what lasts, won’t come easy”, this is a correct definition of the class we had today with Senō sensei. For the whole class, we did only two techniques using his deep understanding of body mechanics. Joseph, a French Nidan, and I were lost in the first tries. Senō sensei…