No More!


No more strength, no more technique, only control! That is how I can summarize the many classes I had the chance to do here at the Honbu. I began to study this “control” in March, then again in July, and then now, I know what Sensei is doing. At the same time, I cannot do…

Inochi: Life Force


Today is my last class for this trip. And I will train with Shiva at Nagato sensei’s training. It is time to summarize the central aspects of the training I did in the last two weeks. The key element this year is “control in the Mutō Dori.” This control requires no strength, no force at…

Kūki Yomu: Can You Read The Air?


This is my third trip to Japan this year, and Sensei is still developing the concept of control through Mutō dori. The type of control he is able to apply to his opponents is not mechanical, but mental. And when there is physical contact, it is only with the twist of a few fingers. Often…

“Tehodoki” Is Not “Te Hodoki”!


Friday class was full of discoveries, the Dōjō too. More than 190 Bujinkan members gathered to train under Sōke. Needless to say that training was not easy, space was missing. But the content was complex. Sensei spoke a lot and demonstrated many things. I will write about them in later articles. The most exciting point…

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…