Rank Is Not Competence


I have been traveling to train in Japan over 50 times over the last 23 years. I’m what you can call a “Jurassic ninja”.  But yesterday for the first time I forgot my belt on the mats. I left it right after Nagato sensei’s class and it made me think on the value one attaches to this piece…

Henka: A Poetic Strangeness


We often use the word “Henka” 変化 when referring to an adaptation of a given waza. But this word is more than it seems. I remember Sensei explaining once that in a Ryûha, a henka is described as a part of the level considered. A henka in a school is like another way of doing the same…

Yama Michi


In a recent and interesting article Dan Ordoins quoted Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Thank you Dan this sentence made me think a lot!

Japan Trip April 2012 – Diary


I came back yesterday from a fantastic trip and I hope you have been able to share with me the things I trained in Noda. I have been asked in Japan why I was writing so much*. It is to share with the community some of the knowledge we get in Japan with Sôke and…

Ultimate Teaching


Today was my last class with sensei during this japan trip and it was a very nice class where we could train also with long weapons. As sensei was coming a little late I was asked to begin the class and when sensei arrived, we started by a three tsuki attack demonstrated by an American…

Happô Biken


Today I gave a class on biken jutsu at the honbu and we studied the kukishin sword. The two hours passed so fast that we didn’t have time for a break as we use to have here in mid class. It was nice to dwell  gain into the waza of the school as we mainly…

Sanshin Is Kihon Happô


The Japanese people are very found about numerology and sensei being Japanese I was not surprised yesterday night when he said “the sanshin no kata is the kihon happô”. In this blog I already wrote a few articles referring to this and referring mainly to the kihon happô. But the same can be done with…

Use a Telescope to see through Space and Time


On Sunday I did a technique at the opening of the class that sensei used to teach us the shizen karada – the natural body movement. Karada – body ( 自然 体) is a often used by sensei during his classes as everything we do is based on a body or “non body” movement. On…

Japan: Stop Howling, Act!


What happened in Japan a few days ago is a terrible thing but I am sad to see the way things are covered in the media and at the political level. Japan has suffered one of the biggest earthquakes in the last 140 years and after the destruction caused by the tsunami they expect at…