Inochi: Life Force

From Shiro Kuma by kumafr

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Today is my last class for this trip. And I will train with Shiva at Nagato sensei’s training.

It is time to summarize the central aspects of the training I did in the last two weeks. The key element this year is “control in the Mutō Dori.”

This control requires no strength, no force at all. This is the familiar “Chikara Janai” used by Sensei in class. (1) Beyond this lack of physical strength exists another type of force: Jitsuryoku. (2) The more you train, the less power you use, and this is the consequence of increased skills and abilities.

Sōke said that “there are no forms, only control” and that we should “move after, not before the attack.” When you have gained this type of competency, your body reacts naturally, with no muscular force. This is the “true strength,” one that doesn’t require muscle.

What we learn in the Bujinkan is way above our physical senses, this is the mysterious world of Yūgen (the theme of 2004). (3) The (yet) non manifested movements lying in the Ether, and that we express with our body and mind.

This expression is Inochi, the life force. (4) Inochi also means “destiny.” I understand that as a way to better ourselves. The techniques that we train are only an excuse to find this truth within us. This is our fate.

Friday night, Sensei said this is identical to the godan test. The Sakki feeling is of the same nature as Yūgen. (5) But this ability to feel the sakki is in us since we are born. This is not something we learn. But something we make available again through hard training.

If we fail to walk this path and use the life force in nature, we limit our possibilities and enter the Yūgen. (6) That is a limited world where elegant simplicity and control can exist.

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1 力, Chikara: force; strength; might; vigour (vigor); energy; capability; ability. capacity; faculty; efficacy; effect
2 実力, Jitsuryoku: (real) ability; true strength; merit; efficiency; competency
3 幽玄, Yūgen: subtle grace; hidden beauty; mysterious profundity; elegant simplicity. the subtle and profound; the occult
4 命, inochi: life; life force; fate, destiny
5 殺気, thirst for blood; bloodlust; determination to kill
6 有限, Yūgen: finite; limited


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