Friendship & Rokkon Shôjô

3 buyu before a trek in the Nilgiri

During my last trip to India,  Eugenio Penna (10th dan Italy) was with us to share the five days seminar we had on kukishin bôjutsu, gyokko ryû kosshi jutsu and nawa jutsu. After coming with Beth Faulds (6th dan) last February, Eugenio came back to India to experience with us these very special (and very painful moments).

Sensei often speaks about friendship but it seems that his words are not really understood by many practitioners. The concept of buyu goes further than simply sharing a few meals together, it is a strong feeling that builds up through hard training and sharing. Shiva (Shidôshi) who was hosting the seminar here in Bangalore and Eugenio are true buyu beyond the limits of their own personal culture, language and experience of life. The buyu friendship is about sharing together a common experience on the mats by learning and learning to understand the other.

Whoever we are, we view the world in our own personal way and are often surprised by the differences emerging in our discussions, but on the mats we are on the same unknown terrain and we have to share with the others in order to survive. It is because of our differences that we can grow faster. For many years I have been travelling the world and in Japan and I appreciate the connections between cultures that the bujinkan offers. I believe that the buyu connection doesn’t know borders and that it is really what sensei wants us to do and this picture illustrates my point perfectly, happiness is inevitable. This is rokkon shôjô. The picture was taken right before a two hour trekk in the nilgiri (blue mountains) to reach an ancient tribal ceremony, in a deeply hidden valley.

The buyu are rich of their differences like the Indian slogan “unity in diversity” which resonates in harmony with the bujinkan .

Thank you sensei!

Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai Paris 2010

Another five days to register to the Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai at a special price.

Check the pages of this blog for more info.

Register HERE to be sure to participate.

We are preparing a new website dedicated to the Taikai, it will be online very soon. The address is 🙂

Bô: Kûkan & Distance

Distance is power

Bô jutsu is one of the key to enter the kûkan as it gives access to distance. Too often in training we  are trapped by the form (waza) and do not dwell enough into the feeling (kankaku). When sensei introduced us to the “cycle of weapons” in 1993, many bujinkan members were surprised as jutsu did not seem to be “ninja” enough to them.

But bô jutsu was only an excuse to excel. Bujinkan is footwork. When we train the , the technique traps our brain and our movements follow a “1, 2, 3” sequence. After repeating those forms long enough, something fresh comes out of them. Through mechanical repetition the brain frees itself and a natural movement is created only because footwork adds itself to a new understanding of distance.

In one of the bujinkan schools, it says: “ahead lies paradise” meaning that in a fight you get protected by entering the distance to the opponent. By accepting the encounter, you actually enable yourself to be safe and free in your actions. This knowledge of how to distance yourself correctly is the first thing you learn with the use of  long weapons. This freedom has created a kûkan of which you were not aware of before. Through the study of bô jutsu you are now able to enter this kûkan and bring your taijutsu up to a new dimension.

Weapons are our best teachers. We move our bodies and we now learn to do it with an artifical extension offering new possibilities.

Bô jutsu is not “ninja“? maybe not, but our skills improve a lot through this type of study. We understand now distance and angles in a wider sense and can play freely with a new created space.

Maybe this is why divinities are often represented with a long staff. 🙂

Kukishin Bô Jutsu Shoden

old bô jutsu drawing by hokusai

Did you ever notice that the three levels of bô jutsu from the kukishin represented the three levels of the ten chi jin?

Did you ever notice that in the shoden no kata you had 3 groups of 3 techniques? Each name of technique begins with the name of a kamae followed by the principle hidden within each one of the groups. 

Those principles can be written in different ways, I offer here three possible meanings.

The first group deals with kangi which can have the same meaning of ” intuition, sixth sense” (gi means waza = technique). kan (勘)

The second group is gogi and can have the meaning of go(shin), “defense”. Go (護).

The third group is kôki and can have the meaning of “achievement, success”. (功).

If we add those three meanings we get the idea the the first level of the kukishin bô is to develop our intuition to defend ourselves in order to find success”.

Funnily, the last technique (the ninth) of the level look like a mix of all the waza studied in the level. If not in the form at least in the feeling.

The last technique is called tenchijin… 🙂

Sticks Up Today!

Takamatsu sensei

In a few minutes we will begin our seminar in Bangalore on kukishinden ryû bô jutsu.

The kukishin bô is amazing and always a pleasure to rediscover: the kotsu, the kamae, the bô no uchi, the gogyô no bô, the three levels of shoden, chûden, okuden and the devastating keiko sabaki gata.

Bô jutsu is the essence of the long weapons in the bujinkan system. This is the entry gate of the sanshin of bô, yari and naginata. Rokushaku bô can be seen as reaching consciousness (roku = 6th = consciousness) through the linking heaven and earth. Maybe that is why we began weapon training in 1993 with the

The weather is nice even though humid, the camera crew ready, the sticks polished, the 9 demons can enter now into the arena.

A good time is beginning!


YSTT: Register Fast!

book yourself rapidly

YSTT Update 2:

Another 12 persons registered this week-end.

So please if you wish to attend the YSTT 2010 and train with Pedro, Sven, Arnaud, and Peter do not wait too long as places are limited.

At this rate (3.4 persons per day) the prebooking for the YSTT 2010 (limited to 120 participants) will be closed by June 9th…

… too bad 😦

YSTT Team 2010

Tips & tricks (7) Tachi Basics


Those of you who have registered to can now download a small MP4 or MOV movie (338Mo) about the tachi principles that we studied in Japan since January. This movie lasts 30 minutes.

Disclaimer: the techniques demonstrated are based on my interpretation and understanding of the tachi kumiuchi. It was recorded with a small camera it is not DVD quality but gives you tips & tricks on how to move your tachi.

Have fun! 🙂

8th Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai is 8YSTT

Sven & Arnaud in Paris

Thank you for all those who registered already!

It seems this 8th YSTT is going to be succesfull and the first registration forms have arrived from:

  • France,
  • Belgium,
  • Denmark,
  • Germany,
  • United Kingdom.

Are we going to have more than 16 countries attending this year?

Important note: If you register for more than one person, please fill in ONE form per person it will facilitate our work.

Thank you.

the YSTT team

Yûro Shi Tennô Taikai July (reminder)

Yûro Shi Tennô Arnaud


Organizing a Taikai such as this one is always a lot of work for the Taikai Team. Last year many of you didn’t register early enough and we had to cope with some problems concerning the food and the t-shirt.

If you know you are attending then please register as fast as possible and do not forget to tick the boxes for:

  • food type
  • t-shirt size
  • rank family
  • length of stay
  • day of arrival
  • This will help us a lot and save you a lot of money. The sooner you register the cheaper you pay!

    So please register online so that we can order the food and t-shirt accordingly.

    Thank you for your help.

    YSST team 2010

    Basics & Fundamentals (part 3)

    Why is the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki so important?
    Until 1990, we had very little knowledge about the schools and the weapons. Remember that we really began the weapons in 1993 with the and the study of the schools only in 1998! From the beginning of the Bujinkan (and more precisely when the Togakure Ryû Ninpô Taijutsu was published in 1983) the basics were transmittedthrough the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki. Each student at that time was studying the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki to improve his fundamentals. The Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki was the basic program to reach the black belt. The spreading of the Bujinkan over the last twenty years has abandoned the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki and it has been often discarded by the new generation of teachers.
    What is a Bujinkan black belt?
    A Bujinkan black belt is someone who knows the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki so well that every technique demonstrated looks like a patchwork of elemental bricks taken from the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki. Too often students receive a black belt without the knowledge of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki and this lack in their practice leads to big flaws in their movements. In 2009 I gave a 5-day seminar on the full Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki in India. When the Indian group went to Daikomyô Sai last December they told their teachers that they could see every component of the techniques taught by sensei and the shihan and recognize the strength of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki.
    Are you a Bujinkan black belt?
    Then you must know “by heart” the ten and the chi and be familiar enough with the jin. Without this basic knowledge you will not be able to go far within the Bujinkan system. The heart of “kokoro no budô” is the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki. Learn it, study it and you will see your technical level excel and reach a new understanding. Without studying the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki attending seminars is a loss of time. It is like watching a movie of which you are not part of. Learn the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki and become the actor your own life instead of being a passive observer!
    Ryaku in Japanese means “principle” but also “truth”. Learn the truth of things and you will become a true human being able to link the sky and the earth; able to be one with nature. 🙂
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