One Finger Is Enough!


Hatsumi sensei controls distance with only one finger. When you attack him, he moves away enough to place one finger on your attacking arm. He adjusts it on the hand, wrist, or forearm, and applies no pressure. Instead, there is only soft physical contact. Sensei said that Josei Goshin Jutsu (1), to fight like a…

Sōzōryoku: Creativity And Imagination


Noguchi sensei’s creative power is impressive! It is called “Sōzōryoku” in Japanese. Now, depending on how you write it, is (the power of) creativity (1); or (the power of) imagination. (2) After training with him for more than 28 years, I am often surprised by his way of destructuring the Waza. This is still beyond…

Sakizuke: The Ranks You Don’t Deserve!


This morning, I was exchanging with my friend Leandro Barros from Brazil. We were discussing ranking in the Bujinkan. He had read an article on Sakizuke by Duncan and was wondering when he should grade his students. (1) This article is a reminder about the benefits aspects of the Sakizuke system. (2) In modern Japanese,…

Hi No Ken


Each class with Sensei brings more depth to the understanding of “control.” We trained taijutsu, knife, hanbō, sword, bō, and yari yesterday. I can summarize it in one set of words: “Hi no Ken.” (1) The control is the same whatever weapon you use, “Hi no Ken” applies to everything. As I opened the training…

Kesshin: Determination


During the past months, Hatsumi sensei has been insisting on not avoiding Uke’s attacks. He has been repeating it, each class since I arrived. Exploring more the concept of controlling the space from within (1), he said: “Don’t fight, but control. As you can see, I’m not dodging the attack.” Last March, we covered the…

The Space Within


During the break, Sensei displayed a new katana. But unsheathing it, inside was a ninjatō. He told us that he was collecting a hundred of these ninjatō to make an exhibition. He said that he wanted to show the world of scholars how wrong they were. Truth is not in the books, it is in…

The Gentleman Magician


A class with Senō sensei is always a great moment. As he was in and out a lot recently, I was glad to learn he was teaching at the honbu. For me, Senō sensei is a gentleman and a magician. His elegant taijutsu mixed with his magic precision don’t stop to amaze me. And he…

The Way He Walks


When you train with Sōke, what is important is not what you see, but what you don’t. If you want to understand Sensei’s techniques, study the way he walks. This is the secret. Last night there were not so many people attending class, it was good. I guess the heat in Japan is a good…

Too Bad For You! Or Not.


As my friend Eric Jones would put it: “Too bad for you! Or Not” Only 100 out of the half million Bujinkan members will have the privilege to attend the 15th edition of the Paris Taikai that will open its door on July 13th at the Bujinkan France Headquarters, in Vincennes (Paris). Too bad for you!…

Grow Up, Size Does Matter!


Did you ever walk with shoes too small for your feet? It is painful, even if they look good. Well, I see a similarity with the weapons we use in the Dōjō. Many of the weapons we use are undersized. Tradition is beautiful, but sometimes it can be counterproductive. I will explain why in this…