Bojutsu vs Kenjutsu vs Bojutsu vs Kenjutsu…

From 8þ Kabutoshimen by admin

Cutting against his arm

This summer like most summers we train a lot more with long weapons since the dojo is too small to really use long weapons properly. This summer we train Bojutsu against Kenjutsu (long staff against sword). I think I teach and train a little different than most Bujinkan teachers out there, but I can’t really say maybe there is those who approach the training like I do. Let me explain.

Kote haneage followed by Haneage
Kote haneage followed by Haneage

First of all you learn how to use the staff, spinning and striking etc, this is mostly solo-training. Then you learn the Keiko Sabaki Kata (movement practice techniques) in my dojo we only practice one technique for the whole two hour class. Some students really have problems with coordination, others capture it quicker. In this first step I don’t mention distance, timing or anything except which strikes and blocks to make. This can also be solo-training and done alone against an imagined opponent.

Second I take the sword and we focus on how to handle the situation the best way with a sword. If he is attacking me with the staff I immediately counter him by stepping forward. I’m not gonna step backwards defending myself all the time, when he steps in to strike me in his preferred distance out of my reach; I boldly step in at the same time and block the staff and get even closer into my preferred distance so I can cut him with the sword. As I see it this is the only chance I have against a longer weapon, there is no point of running backwards.

Catching the staff and Tsuki
Catching the staff and Tsuki

Thirdly I take the staff again. I attack the kenjutsu-ka fully (not really, but almost) and make sure he does a good block, and as he block I don’t stay frozen or try to push harder on him. As I strike I’m already prepared for the next movement when he comes in and try to cut me, I move out to my distance and do the next strike.

Then I take the sword again and try to avoid being hit from this point in the technique, by blocking and countering again. I’m not really gonna give up or run away. If I can cut I will cut.

Then again I take the staff and try to deal with this really difficult opponent, I avoid his cut and counter him until the end of the technique where I make it impossible for him to do anything. Then the technique is finished without changing the sequences of the strikes, the only thing that is flexible is the distance and the timing. And this is where the true training comes in.

Then at the end of the class we record a short demo to video which will be available for download later. This is how we spend our two hour trainings at Kaigozan Dojo this summer.

No henka, no variations, true to the technique.

Kote haneage as he try to cut my left arm
Kote haneage as he try to cut my left arm

I always thought quality is better than quantity. It is amazing how cleverly these techniques is made up, it is so much more than executing the strikes rapidly against a rather passive opponent. If the opponent (sword-guy) is good and understand how to use the sword there is really not many options to change the technique and do something different, the possibility for henka becomes very narrow, what you can change is very small details. For me this is what henka means, you failed your initial technique and need to adapt because of miscalculation.

I know there are those out there only doing henka-training, but how do you do henka training only, henka of what? If you try to train yourself into intuition without basic foundation you are doing something I don’t understand. You weren’t born out from nowhere, someone did something very basic with someone and you was born. How do you henka anything into existence?

Victory ending of the technique
Victory ending of the technique

If anyone is interesting I’m doing three more one day Bojutsu mini-seminars this summer.

Happy Training!


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What good is your martial arts skills against a government tyranny?

From 8þ Kabutoshimen by admin

If you don’t understand this, I question your whole reason for training martial arts! We are supposed to be role models and smarter than common people, at least that is what we are telling each other with varying confidence. Most people in Bujinkan seems to be caught up is some kind of romanticised imagination of being some kind of ninja warrior, far from today’s reality. It is fun dreaming away fighting with swords and shurikens. We talk about defending against what can not be seen, but have you even thought about what that means?

I don’t like to bring in politics and religion into training because we are all free to believe what we want. But when the politics stray from democracy and becomes tyranny I have to speak up against it. It is easy to see what is happening in USA with all these crazy events. I’m not talking about the two brothers bombing the Boston marathon, I’m talking about the media blowing things out of proportion scaring people and 9000 police army closing a whole town busting into innocent people’s homes taking away their constitutional rights. At the press conference the police say that we should not look at any other pictures than those they approved, telling us to only trust them. Now media is criticising themselves for jumping into conclusions and imply that in the future they will stick only to the official story without questioning. To me that is a strong sign on tyranny taking over.

You must understand that there is a lot of money to be made keeping people scared, just follow the money and you will understand.

And now we got CISPA coming, Obama said he will veto it, we’ll he said that about NDAA (indefinite jail without court or jury!) to and then signed it anyway New Year’s Eve 2011/12 in “secrecy”…


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