Hatsumi Sensei said that this year marks the beginning of the next 42 year cycle for the Bujinkan and he has asked the Japanese Shihan to start at the beginning again. “I feel that I’ve been able to pass on all that Takamatsu Sensei taught me over the past 42 years,” was the way he worded it, “… the techniques are finished, I’m teaching beyond techniques.”
Now with the beginning of the next 42 year cycle many of us have a chance to fill in the missing pieces.
Seno Sensei pointed out that for the first ten years of training all they did was fundamentals, gradually shaping their bodies to be physically pliable to be able to learn through their contact points what was happening with the opponent as they moved. A very useful skill for a confrontation in the dark. In the beginning, they started by actually looking for the weak angles in their opponent’s kamae, after much time and practice they began to feel these angles of weakness as they were moving. Only after many years of training were they able to sense (and perhaps manipulate) where these angles would be, ahead of the opponent’s actual movement.This is where the training has arrived at today, where kyojitsu has become a natural extension of our movement
It all began with balanced junan taiso conditioning. We should keep in mind that the degree to which we have pain and stiffness in our bodies dictates the limitations with which we are able to sense through our bodies the openings and weak positions in the opponent. Cultivating flexibility in our bodies also pays dividends towards overall health as well as maintaining an open, fluid mind.
In the past cycle, Hatsumi Sensei recommended that we should expand our understanding of self-defense to go beyond merely techniques for conflict resolution and also include protecting our health by being aware of our diet and the liquids we drink, being selective of the people we associate with, being mindful of the quality of our surrounding environment such as the air we breathe or the sounds we hear. He related this to understanding the fullness of Ninjutsu and how it encompasses all aspects of being human. I think this is sage advice to begin this new cycle in order to take our training beyond being a pastime to becoming a life-way.
Source: Facebook – Master Tengu