Read Between The Lines


強弱柔剛あるベからず “Kyojaku Jūgo Arubekarazu” One must not depend on strength or weakness, or softness or hardness. It is a sentence from Toda Shinryūken Masamitsu, Takamatsu sensei’s uncle. (1) And Hatsumi Sensei repeated it once again in his last class when he was explaining the importance of moving slowly without stopping. Some Bujinkan members misunderstand the…

Don’t Xerox The Master!


Each class, Hatsumi sensei speaks about moving “Yukkuri”, slow. This is different from training slowly. (1) Training slowly: Study level/acquisition/Dōjō Moving slowly: high-level/reaction/fight Training slowly is part of the learning process, reacting slowly deals with actual fighting. When you train slow, you create new mental/body patterns that will be useful in a real fight. When…

Please Pronounce Correctly


I don’t speak Japanese, but I do my best to pronounce it correctly. Too often, I can see t-shirt written “Gyokko Ryū Koshi Jutsu” instead of “Gyokko Ryū KoSShi Jutsu.” (1) Twelve years ago in a Nagato sensei’s class, he asked what we wanted to study as he always does. An American teacher jumped in…

Mumei And Yokenai


Hatsumi sensei is getting deeper, every class, into the world of Mutō Dori. The majority of you is now familiar with the vast complexity os this concept that we have been training on and on for nearly a year and a half now. As he explained here, Mutō Dori is not only the “unarmed defence…

Don’t Be A Selfish Ninja!


Don’t be selfish! If you have the chance to train in Japan, let the Bujinkan community know about what you learned. Every year, about 5000 Bujinkan members come to Japan to study the Bujinkan techniques under Hatsumi sensei and his best students. The majority of these Bujinkan members are Shidōshi. So why don’t we have…

Fun’Iki, Control The Environment


This year Mutō dori is about controlling Funiki, your environment. During the class, Hatsumi sensei demonstrated it with Taijutsu, Tantō, Katana, and Naginata. Each time the Uke seemed lost and unable to get him. His main point today was that the weapon, or the lack of it, is not what truly matter. In fact, with…

Kantan Janai!


Senō sensei’s class was very technical, even more than usual. Luckily my partner was Holger, and we were both very much into learning because it was not easy. Too often, when you partner with a beginner, you end up being bored or correcting your partner. Today, thanks to him I enjoyed the research/training we both…

Past, Present, Future: All Is Connected


For any Bujinkan practitioner (including me), Nagato sensei’s level is out of reach. With Noguchi sensei and Senō sensei, they are the best students of Hatsumi sensei. So, to say that he has “improved” would seem quite arrogant. That is honestly what I think. As long as I can remember, Nagato sensei always did “his…

Do. Think. Don’t Think!


“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think” Socrates Sensei once said nearly the same: “I don’t teach my students, but I teach them to teach themselves”. That is the same idea except that in Budō thinking is not possible. If you think the movement while doing it, nothing good gets out…

Uchū Sayū: Mastering The Space-time Continuum  


The concept of “Kannin Dokuson” (1), the Mutō Dori of 2017 involves the control of the centre of space. Since Albert Einstein, we know that time and space are interconnected. They are like inyō. There is no duality, only a space-time unity. Sayû, the well-known Bujinkan principle of “left-right”, also means “control”. Once again, it…

Push Your Limits


While in Dubai, we had an excellent discussion after the Sakki test. The new Dubai Shidōshi was telling me that when I came him for the test, he thought his heart was going to explode. He was scared to death. But we all know, the only risk is a bump in the top of the…

Train Large And Slow


Many practitioners are wondering why we train slowly in the Bujinkan. They criticise it, saying that real Martial Arts (understand Sports martial arts here) are better because they have fights. They love the fact that there is always a winner and a loser. “It makes it easier to know who is good and who is…