Basics & Fundamentals (part 1)

From Shiro Kuma's Weblog by kumafr

The Ten Chi Jin from 1987

During my last seminar in Chemnitz, I was asked to explain to the group the Bujinkan system. It was a discovery for many students so I decided to share here in this blog the importance of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki.

The first thing you have to get clearly is that the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki is the best system ever created to give a martial artist a chance to develop his creativity. This is the kaitatsu explained by sensei recently.
Too often the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki is underestimated by the teacher more inclined to dwell on the rich legacy of the nine schools. This is a major mistake as without the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki no student can really grasp the essence of sensei’s teachings.
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What is the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki?

It is a program put out by sensei in the eighties as a common basic program for the beginners. The first “official” edition was published in Japanese back in 1983 under the title “Togakure Ryû Ninpô Taijutsu”. Divided into three parts which are Ten, Chi, and Jin, it presented in a certain order the elemental bricks necessary to study the nine schools and their specificities. After a few years of practice, it had been reviewed and modified to be even more practical. In 1987, we received from Japan, the first English version of this new system. The majority of the techniques were the same, but the repartition had been changed to facilitate the learning. The first published versions of this new Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki (TCJ2) were done in 1991 by Pedro Fleitas in Spanish and by Mariette Van der Vliet in English. The French Protek was published by me in 1998. An adapted version in German by Steffen Frohlich was also released during the same period.  Many other incomplete and transformed versions were published subsequently.
To be continued…

Update on death & Toda

From Shiro Kuma's Weblog by kumafr

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Takamatsu sensei doing Take Ori

In one of my previous posts I quoted Hatsumi sensei saying that a true master should be able to “laugh while facing the ennemy”.

This is quite similar to  what Toda Shinryûken Masamitsu, Takamatsu sensei grandfather (or uncle*) once told him:

“Never talk about knowledge as you could lose it,

Confront a defeat with a smile even if you are closely facing it,

And even when you are faced with certain

death, die laughing!”

This year’s theme is Rokkon Shôjô so keep smiling whatever hardship you are confronted with.

* All Bujinkan books keep repeating that Toda sensei was Takamatsu sensei‘s grandfather but recently one Japanese shihan during class said that actually Toda sensei was Takamatsu‘s uncle not grandfather…

To a Westerner the sounds for ojiisan (grandfather) are very much similar to ojisan (uncle). Sorrymasen. :)


Photon & Stardust: the Spirit of Movement

From Shiro Kuma's Weblog by kumafr

the essence of movement

Once again I would like to review  a metaphore used by sensei not long ago. He spoke about “photon & stardust” to me, it is the best way to explain how things should happen in the dôjô.

From our perspective, a photon is invisible. Stardust in space is also invisiable to us. A photon is moving at the speed of light in space and stardust is moving also at a permanent speed. Now until they meet there is o way for you to see them. When they collide a spark of light is created. This spark is the movement/technique. Both the photon and the stardust become visible when the spark of light appears. Before the collision they “are non existent” (to our senses), after they are not existent any more. When you fight your opponent what happens is identical.

In  ”l‘esprit du geste“* this is what I tried to explain. There is no thinking process, no intention, only a spark of light. In a fight, there is no technique there is only an opportunity of possibility. It is only a probability of occurrence. Adapt!

Chi does not think

Sui does not think

Ka does not think

does not think

does not think

So why do you think? the sixth element shiki (consciousness) appears, it is not the product of the analytical brain. It is given as everything in Nature, natural movement is only that.

*the book is now translated into English and  soon available.

Tachi Tips & tricks (6)

From Shiro Kuma's Weblog by kumafr

No harm

Yesterday during my seminar, one student was waving his sword held to his wrist by the rope at the tsuka kashira and the ring at the end broke releasing the sword.

Training weapons are NOT real ones and might break easily. Do not get over excited while training and keep high security levels. There was no harm but an accident could have happened.

We are now training with metallic blades instead of padded ones. Therefore our ways of training should adapt accordingly. Permanent adaptation is not to be applied only during the techniques but should include all the elements of the class in the dôjô. Adaptation is what tachi kumiuchi is teaching us. Stop thinking always in the same ways. Last month sensei said: “don’t hold to what you know or you won’t improve your skills”. The key point is to adapt.

A weapon designed for training purpose is still a weapon. Please be careful. You can influence the actions of a sentient being during the fight but there is no possibility to affect an in-animated object.

Be aware of this.