14 trainings in one week

We have trained mostly on the first six techniques from Santo Tonko no Kata, the 7th technique is two opponents and you throw metsubushi, strike and disappear, the 8th technique is two in front and two behind, and the 9th is three in front and two behind, you throw teppan and metsubushi, and then disappear. Training on these three techniques seems somewhat pointless, more important is that any technique you train on with your partner you should also try to see everyone else in the dojo as a potential opponent. But there is also many other techniques in Togakure-ryu I hope I will get a chance to study this trip.

This year is even more formless than before, the idea is that a really skilled fighter will pick up what technique you is about to do the same instant you think of it. Almost like the sakki test, but more advanced, it is like the really skilled person can read your mind. So how can we defeat someone that knows what you will do the second you think of the technique? Well, this is not easy, but this is the level Hatsumi Soke is teaching now. If you don’t understand, don’t worry he is teaching to those with 15th Dan, the so called true Shihan of Bujinkan. In other words those who have reached the highest rank in the Bujinkan system.

Traditionally the highest rank in a ryûha is called 免許皆伝 (men-kyo-kai-den、initiation into the secrets of the art), on the new scroll in the honbu Sôke has written Menkyo kaiden with alternative kanji ( 免虚怪伝 ), where the second character means void, emptiness or untrue, the third character means suspicious or mysterious. So maybe becoming a menkyô kaiden in Bujinkan means that you are walking along the mysterious tradition where nothing is as it seems.

New Years Resolute-Theme 2008 | Henka

More than a week has passed since the first day for training 2008 and more than that has passed since my last post. I want to thank all the supporters of the blog for their kind comments and support; I will continue to express my thoughts and ...

My first training with Soke this year

So I’m at the hotel going to bed soon after my first training with Hatsumi sôke this year. Soke was in good spirit as usual. Two basic techniques from Santo Tonko kata was covered, first one being when someone grab the collar from behind. Soke’s kept uke on the toes most of the time by moving before he could get a good grip, it was like he had eyes in the back of his head. He said that we shouldn’t worry if we fail or not, and referring to the poem; “if you think it is there it is not, and if you think it is not there, it is”.

There was around 30-40 people training in Ayase. I think it went pretty well with the techniques and feeling. We trained with Ninja-to, Senban, Shuko and Kyoketsu-shoge, or I should say we tried to, since we didn’t have any weapons to train with. My luggage got stuck in Zurich, I also almost got stuck to, I had to run between the flight connections because the flight from Stockholm was one hour late. But I had three seats on the flight all by myself, so after lunch/dinner I put myself horizontally and sleept until breakfast.

Well, now is bedtime, I should try to rest for tomorrows two trainings. Oh I also got myself a new Tokaido keikogi and belt, so now I look good.

Are you off balance? | Henka

Soke talks about balance quite a bit. But was really does he mean by balance? Being a translator for Soke, I'm the first to say that some things are lost in translation, but words are the source of all evil according to Japanese Buddhism anyway.

First training with Soke this year

After a long trip without getting any sleep on the plane I had a hard time keeping awake before the training started. All my luggage was left at the London airport (thanks British Airways, second time in a row!), but the training was good. I will give you a few hints about what we did.

Hatsumi Soke taught the first technique from Ten no kata called Nichigeki, he showed a lot of variations unarmed and with Daisho. Going through your old videos from the Taikai and Daikomyousai 1998 would be handy.

He also said that we should bring Daisho with us for training. As there will be a lot of training with swords this year, again :-)

Also the theme of this year is Shindenfudo-ryu and the nature. My memory is a bit vague but he might have said the nature of man?

Well it was only the first training and the theme and feeling for this year will surely evolve in to something interesting.

Oh, I also got the new Sword fighting book, woooow! I read the first chapter already, it’s really interesting. I already feel that I should read this book many times again in the future, it is not a simple read and forget the book. He writes about mutodori, shinkengata, bikenjutsu… lots of pictures from old scrolls. There is a link for this book at the main page (left side under my schedule). You should buy this book if you are interested in Sword fighting.

Happy Training!