KYOKETSU-SHOGE and NAGE-NAWA

From 8þ Kabutoshimen by admin

KYOKETSU-SHOGE AND NAGE-NAWA. This article is about the weapon (actually farm tool). At the end is a video (from Bujinkan Kaigozan Dojo previous week).

KYOKETSU-SHOGE

Kyoketsu-shoge (距跋渉毛) translates as “to run about in the fields and mountains”. It is one of the weapons used in Togakure-ryu and Kumogakure-ryu.

This weapon is believed to be the forerunner of Kusarigama. Wikipedia says it is a double edged blade with a curve edged blade attached. I don’t believe that was true. I think the double edged blade was just as dull as the Kunai. And only the inside of the curved blade was sharp.

The Kyoketsu-shoge was used by the rural peasantry class from the Iga province. If they was caught with something that looked too much like a weapon, they might have been executed on the spot.

KYOKETSU-SHOGE
Kyoketsu-shoge as it probably looked hundreds of years ago. Except the rope, it was made of hair.

I think it was a multi purpose farm tool. You dig the earth, cut the grass, tie up the grass with the rope etc. Why would a farm tool have chain. Rope made of hair was less suspicious. The farmer could stick into his belt and not cause too much attention.

NAGE-NAWA

NAGE-NAWA

Nage-nawa 投げ縄 (rope throwing) is not as easy as it looks. The trick is to throw the loop and make sure the rear end of the loop passes on the other side of the hand.

On the video below I show you two common techniques we in the Bujinkan Dojo use at demonstrations. In the first technique I hit down on his hands to unarm him. Threaten him with the blade and protect the sword (we had no room to do this on camera).

Throw the ring towards his head. He steps to the side and catch it. Yank it out of his grip and prepare for the throwing. Do the first loop around his hand. He grab the rope with his other hand. Make it look like a tug of war. Loop his other hand.

Blind his eyes with the rope (or Shuriken, powder etc), he covers his eyes with the hand. Continue and loop the rope around his hand and neck.

He kicks. You do Kerikaeshi and take him down. Tie him up more with the rope. Put the blade to his neck and cut his neck.

The second technique he is attacking you and you deflect withe the blade and strike with the ring behind you to hit him. Loop the sword and yank it out of his grip. Loop his hands and neck as previous technique.

Do these techniques with good choreography and acting and it will look good in demonstrations.

Yes I know looping around the sword and yanking, the sword would probably just cut the rope. Even looping around his hands he can cut the rope. These techniques is mostly for demonstrations and just fun training.

KYOKETSU-SHOGE and NAGE-NAWA at KAIGOZAN DOJO

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BŌ-SHURIKEN at KAIGOZAN DOJO

From 8þ Kabutoshimen by admin

Last Tuesday I practiced BŌ-SHURIKEN at KAIGOZAN DOJO. I made up my own Bō-shuriken Kata. I will explain below. Enjoy!

I’m not going into detail how to start practicing because it is too difficult explaining. But basically you always start close to the Makiwara. I tell my students to start close. When the Shuriken is hitting the target good, they should take one short step back. If the next Shuriken does not hit good, do not step back until the next Shuriken hit good. If they manage to hit with all five Shuriken, they can start further away and repeat. As long as all five hit good they can start working on longer distances. When learning a new throw or with the non dominant hand you always start close.

Scroll down to see the video.

手の内  TE NO UCHI
手の内  TE NO UCHI

This is the order I throw the Shuriken. I’m throwing the 4’th Shuriken with my left hand. So I prepared by flipping it with the point outward.

BŌ-SHURIKEN KAMAE
TENCHI NO KAMAE

Prepare by taking this Kamae. Aim with the left hand against the target and hold the right hand over the right shoulder and head. Zanshin.

HON UCHI
MIGI HON UCHI

1. Migi Hon-uchi. Shift the weight forward to the left foot and throw the first Shuriken with the right hand. Bring the left hand to the left hip.

YOKO UCHI
MIGI YOKO-UCHI

2. Migi Yoko-uchi. Step forward with the right foot and throw directly from the left hip as you would do an Ura-shutō with the right hand.

GYAKU-UCHI
MIGI GYAKU-UCHI

3. Migi Gyaku-uchi. Step forward with the left foot behind as in Yoko-aruki. Throw the third Shuriken from under with the right hand. Use the momententum from the left step to increase the power.

YOKO-UCHI
HIDARI YOKO-UCHI

4. Hidari Yoko-uchi. Spin around anti-clockwise and throw the fourth Shuriken with the left hand directly.

HON-UCHI
MIGI HON-UCHI

5. Migi Hon-uchi. Finish by throwing the fifth and last Shuriken with the right hand.

Analyse your Shuriken hits.

As you can see only one Shuriken hit good. Most Shuriken are “dead” and only one is “live”. The rear end of the Shuriken should be lower than where it hit, if it is higher the weight is not going into the target so much. It is rather going upward. These hits are called “dead”. When the Shuriken is completely level or the rear end is lower than the tip it is called “live”.

I did a Gyaku-uchi where the rotation was the opposite way. I don’t know which Shuriken that was, maybe it was “live”. Also the two Yoko-uchi might also be “live” as it was rotating sideways.

BŌ-SHURIKEN at KAIGOZAN DOJO, The VIDEO

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Social Distancing Is Budō

From Shiro Kuma by kumafr

ninja t-shirt
Make a mask with a t-shirt

We live in troubled times. Social distancing is now mandatory in many countries. To know the correct distance is essential. 

Hatsumi Sensei’s DVDs are all subtitled “martial art of distance.” The Bujinkan martial arts teach proper distancing. Thus, the forced social distancing we apply these days is practical Budō. In the dōjō, we learn to survive any attacks coming from the enemy. In these days of the pandemic, our enemy is not visible (Omote), but invisible (Ura). Our only option to survive the virus is to keep a proper distance with others. 

As it is often the case in Japanese, “distance” can use different Kanji. It is Michi no ri (1), Kyori (2), or Aida (3). Let’s understand the concept hidden in the strokes.
The first one “Michi no Ri” uses “Michi,” or “Dō.” (4) This is the Kanji that we find in Budō. (5) Budō, the “way of the martial arts”, becomes the “martial arts of distance “as in Sensei’s DVDs. At Honbu, Hatsumi Sensei explains that “Bu” is “to maintain peace and protection.” So, the correct distance in Budō is a means of protection.

The second one, “Kyori”, is even more interesting. If it is “distance or range,” transformed as Kyoryūmin (6), it means “resident.” And because of confinement, we are all becoming full-time residents! 

The last one is “Aida.” It also reads as “Ken.” This is not the one meaning sword, but the one used in the Kanejaku. (7) That is the measurement system used in Japan before the switch to the metric system. (8) For your information, a Ken is 181.82 cm, and this is the size of a Tatami. (9)

In conclusion, Budō, the art of distancing is the best way to keep us protected. As a full-time home resident, when you go shopping, use the distance of a Ken to limit the risks of infection.

A few days after the Tsunami hit Fukushima, I called Hatsumi Sensei on the phone. When I asked him, if he planned to leave Noda, he answered “Banpen Fugyō”, “10 000 attacks, no surprise.” (10) This is the attitude you should have. Don’t complain about confinement at home as you cannot change it. Use this time to do or finish all the things you have been postponing for months, or for years. The pandemic time at home can be profitable, turn it into an opportunity. And make “Kyori” (11) out of “Kyori” (2), a “huge profit” for yourself.

_________________________________

1 道のり, Michi no ri / Dō no ri: distance; journey; itinerary​, path (e.g. to one’s goal); way; process; route; road
2 距離, Kyori: distance, range
3 間, Aida, Ken: space (between); gap; interval; distance​, time (between); pause; break​. Span (temporal or spatial); stretch; period (while)​. Relationship (between, among)​, members (within, among)
4 道, Dō: Road; path; street; route​; way; set of practices; rules for conducting oneself​
5 武, Bu: martial arts
6 居留民, Kyoryūmin: A resident
7 曲尺, Kanejaku: carpenter’s square (for checking angles)​, common shaku (unit of distance; approx. 30.3 cm)
8 https://taikosource.com/glossary/kanejaku/
9https://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/distance/convert-japan-ken-unit-to-centimeter-cm.html
10 万変不驚, Banpen Fugyō. Read the excellent post by Luke Crocker https://medium.com/classical-martial-arts/banpen-fugyo-9bbbc64a9487
11 巨利, Kyori: Huge profit

What Did Hatsumi Sensei Say Four Times in the First Four Minutes of Training?

From Bujinkan Santa Monica by Michael

聖観世音菩薩立像 on top of 万人塚 Banninzuka. photo Michael Glenn
In December, during a Friday night class at the Bujinkan Honbu Dojo, Hatsumi Sensei repeated a word four times in the first four minutes of class. In fact, he said it both as a statement and a question as if we just didn’t get it. ゆっくりかな。 Yukkuri, kana?

First, he had Nagase Sensei stab at him and he said,
We’re not studying the form, we’re studying muto dori. ゆっくり。 (Yukkuri)
ゆっくり Yukkuri got translated as, “Go slowly or take your time.” But those words in English don’t capture the full idea.

A moment later Soke repeated,
The feeling is very important. ゆっくり。(Yukkuri). You can create this lock here on the elbow. Take the knife. It has to be connected like this. This kind of feeling is important. ゆっくりと。(Yukkuri to)
My training partner stabbed at me and I tried to use the feeling that Soke had just shared. But I saw Soke glance at me and he interrupted the entire class again to demonstrate,
This feeling. ゆっくりかな。
This was said like a question, "Yukkuri, kana?"

Well, I did wonder. The translation was to go slowly. But in the first four minutes of class Soke had used three or four different ukes and did several henka, all while stressing the importance of yukkuri. Not very slow at all.

Up until that moment, I had a slow day. I visited a memorial for the 明暦の大火 Meireki no taika,  also known as the Furisode fire.  Which was rumored to start from the burning of a teenager's cursed kimono.

Here I said a prayer at the 万人塚 Banninzuka. This mound of a million souls was set up by the Shogun to bury the many nameless victims of that great fire that killed more than 100,000 people. The gravesite is still a burial place for anyone who has no relatives to look after their funeral.

On the way to the dojo, I bought a coffee at the konbini in the train station. The store clerk was a middle aged man wearing a Santa hat. He asked if I needed a bag. I replied, シールでいいです。 He made a goofy smile as he stuck a piece of tape on the can.

Japanese is full of little phrases that have different meanings in context. Yukkuri is one that you will hear often in Hatsumi Sensei’s class. It can mean to move slowly. But a more subtle meaning is to move at your own pace, in a relaxed way.

You don’t want your opponent to set the tempo of the fight. One time Soke told us,
You don't have to move fast. Slowly, slowly… like a snake that is hunting its prey. You wrap him up with your own body.
And another time Tezuka-san stabbed and Soke faded back. He said,
Yukkuri. Keep it connected. With this feeling, you become almost like a (妖怪 youkai) spirit or a monster.
When you are able to move at your on pace, in this leisurely way, you draw power from all around. Hatsumi Sensei said that we Daishihan are always taking the Godan test. We must have this connection of the air and of the wind, a connection of the kukan. It is the same idea whether giving or taking the Godan test, where a kind of Divine connection is important.

That is where the power comes from.

Next to the 万人塚 Banninzuka where I said my prayer earlier in the day, there is another mound. It is called 力塚 Chikarazuka, a power mound. It was built as a memorial to past Sumo wrestlers. Now the young ones pray there to draw upon the power of their elders.

I didn’t pray there, because I draw power from Soke and my teachers at the Honbu dojo. We are lucky to have this living art that is not buried in mounds and monuments. I will continue to train Yukkuri, at ease and with my own pace.

STICK FIGHTING, traditional self defence techniques with MATS HJELM

From Budoshop.se by BUDOSHOP.SE

Stick Fighting, traditional self defence techniques is a follow up on the old Stick Fighting, Techniques for Self Defence video released 9 years ago. This video cover the traditional aspect of Stick Fighting.

On this video Mats show all 16 Hanbō techniques from the nearly 700 year old school Kukishin-ryū in the Bujinkan system. In the first level there is nine techniques against someone armed with a short sword or knife. The second and third levels is against someone armed with a sword. The instructions are in English.

This video was recorded at a seminar done by Mats Hjelm in Tallinn, Estonia in February 25-26’th 2020. The seminar was organised by Bujinkan Estonia.


The standard 48 minute video shows all 16 basic techniques.

HD1280x720 903,3Mb

The extended 100 minute video with additional variations and explanations.

HD1280x720 1,85Gb


九鬼神流半棒術
KUKISHIN-RYÛ HANBŌJUTSU

Here is an outline of all the stick fighting techniques in this school which was taught at this seminar.

三心之構 SANSHIN NO KAMAE

1. 無念無想之構 MUNENMUSO NO KAMAE
2. 型破之構 KATAYABURI NO KAMAE
3. 音無之構 ŌTONASHI NO KAMAE

初傅 SHODEN

1. 片手折 KATATE UCHI
2. 突落 TSUKI OTOSHI
3. 打技 UCHI WAZA
4. 流捕 NAGARE DORI
5. 霞掛 KASUMI GAKE
6. 行違 IKI CHIGAE
7. 顔砕 KAO KUDAKI
8. 当返 ATE GAESHI
9. 逆落 SAKA OTOSHI

中傅 CHŪDEN

1. 小手返 KOTE GAESHI
2. 逆落 SAKA OTOSHI
3. 払技 HARAI WAZA
4. 外技 SOTO WAZA

奧傅 ŌKUDEN

1. 飛落 HANE OTOSHI
2. 股掛 MATA GAKE
3. 小手払 KOTE HARAI

Stick Fighting video cover

The standard 48 minute video shows all 16 basic techniques.

HD1280x720 903,3Mb

The extended 100 minute video with additional variations and explanations.

HD1280x720 1,85Gb

Bonus stick fighting video

At the last hour on the last day we finished off the training where the participants showed a Taijutsu technique of their choice, and Mats showed how the technique could be done with the Hanbo (stick fighting). This footage is not included in any of the download videos, it is only available at our Bitchute channel (download it for free from there). Create an account on Bitchute and subscribe to our channel.

About the instructor

Mats Hjelm started training in Bujinkan for the first time around 1983, but it wasn’t until 1986 he had the opportunity to start training more seriously under a Shidōshi. He has taught at numerous seminars all around the world, gone to Japan 3-5 times every year. Since he started training he never had a training break. He takes his budo training very seriously! If you want to sponsor a seminar or course, please don’t hesitate to contact him. For more information see his web site kesshi.com or come and train with him at Kaigozan Dojo.