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…

Control, Don’t Fight!


“Mutō Dori is not about fighting; it is about controlling.” That’s how Hatsumi sensei summarised the feeling he showed yesterday during training…

PARIS TAIKAI 2017


Last Week-end, the Yoroi Taikai was fantastic! Christophe and Laid did a wonderful job by creating this opportunity. But life doesn’t stop. In two weeks we are happy to welcome you once again to the Paris Taikai 2017. PARIS TAIKAI 14th 15th 16th JULY 2017 Peter King, Sveneric Bogsater and Arnaud Cousergue are sharing their…

Tsunagaru: Stay Connected!


A week ago, my last class with Sensei for this trip was another great one, with many insights to bring and to train at home. Before we began, Hatsumi Sensei spoke about the new statue of Kannon that he acquired recently. More than a statue, it is a symbol. When Takamatsu Sensei stayed one year…

Piano And Budō


A few years ago, Sensei said that if you wanted to control the opponent, only one finger was enough, or Yubi Ippon Jūbun. In fact, since then, he has been insisting a lot on the piano-like manner with which we have to play with Uke, using only the tips of our fingers as if writing…