Monthly Archives: December 2011

Bufu Ikkan Shingitai


The DKMS 2011 was full of marvelous moments. I was able to meet with many Buyu that I see around the world in different seminars  around the year, and with so many others that have the chance of meet once a year in Japan, and all of them enjoy the teachings of Sôke. This is without a doubt a treasure for our lives.

The result of training, beautiful teachings and frienship, is what we can name Bujinkan Dojo. There were many interesting teachings from Soke during the Daikomyosai 2011, some of them united with the past and some proyecting us to the future. I need to digest within time so many sensations and reflexions.

I feel that learning, sharing and following the Bufu Ikkan, is a way of finding the Shingitai 心  技 体 (union of heart, technique and body), however, without depending of others, we must understand that the path in individual, and sometimes even solitary. Even Miyamoto Musashi created a series of precepts that he put together with the title of Following The Lonely Path.

According to Masaaki Hatsumi  Sôke, “There is an expression that is the key on the philosophy of martial arts that is called Bufu Ikkan 武風 一貫 (righteous martial wind) The experience tells me that artists, whether are dedicated to ballet, music or painting, when they stop practicing a couple of days and return to it, always suffer a loss of faculties, at least the first time after the break”.

During this year, Sôke told me that he gave some 15 of his Yugodan students, the title of maestry of the Bufu Ikkan Shingitai. Sôke said that is a recognition for some who kept training during many years, without stopping, managing the escential sence of the Bufu Ikkan and trough this, being able to achieve the feeling of uniting the technique, body and heart  (心技体 Shingitai).

 

Surely and little by little, many 15 dan will get this special recognition. Today I feel honored of being one of them, and being able to give breath to those who are making a marvelous effort of training with the heart. While translating the certificate, I found a connection with a part of the letter Soke wrote to me 3 years ago, with the introduction for my book Ninpo & Budo;

Until today, the Ninpô and Budô of the Bujinkan, it’s universe, was trasnsmitted and protected whitin communion with God as a secret with the power of the isshi sôden (knowledge transmission from pather to son). This implied the transmision of Magokoro (escence of the soul), in other words the transmission of the Budoka’s soul through the bufu. Happily, Christian Petroccello, who through a lot of time in the Bujinkan Dojo have manage the fusion of Shin Gi Tai and Bufu, has decided to publish this new book. It is a great joy for me”.

Maybe this certificate is the official feeling on paper over the words from Sôke many years ago, but I’m sure that it’ll also serve as inspiration for practitioners all around the world. I feel that many will be able to keep training with enthusiasm on the right direction of the Bufu from Soke, and achieve the Shin Gi Tai.

Sôke once wrote; “when a person makes a pause during training, later is not capable of recognizing he’s own mistakes. And this not only happens in the world of success and failure, as independently from the world you live in, the long pauses during training can make you end up in the aseptic mountain of Kume (Okayama Prefecture). According to the leyend, Kume no Sennin was and old ascet Budist who gained special powers from training with constancy, but feel on disgrace after being seduced by the legs of a woman that was washing in the river”.

Maybe, just like the legs of a beautiful woman that made Kume loose, the atractive that can make us dissipate may be a lot of other things, maybe a better job, power, money, or even the tough, emotional or psicologic times. Even if the mind is clouded, the teachings of the master can be misunderstanded. Many things can deviate us from the path and make us loose the right path of training. Being able to return to the path, requires courage and  bravery, and I applaud those who could, and those who are trying.

I encourage everyone to keep training beyond their doubts and concerns, and as always go deep in reflection and observation of the true motivations of training.

It all comes to this two simple words in Japanese, Gambatte Kudasai !

Christian

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SHINSHIN SHINGAN

心神 心眼

When a Bugeisha deeply understands martial arts, his heart develops the internal eye look. This in Japan is known as ShinShin Shingan 心神 心眼  and can be translated as “Divine Heart, eye of the heart”.

A clear example of having the eye of the heart and the mind of God, was the famous samurai Nasu no Yoichi (那須与一) (c. 1169-c. 1232) who lived at the late Heian era. He became famous  because of and incident that ocurred on the Genpei wars, reported in the Heike Monogatari.

History tells that in march 22 1185, during the naval battle of  Yashima, the Taira had placed a fan on the highest pile of one of their ships, claiming that it protected the ship from arrows, and challenge warriors to take it down. Riding his horse over the waves, and despite the swinging that agitated the ship, Nasu managed to take the fan down on one shot.

Sôke tells that Shinshin shingan (mind and God’s eyes) is called Kanjin Kaname, and this is as important as when Nasuno Yoichi threw is arrow, taking down the fan.

Sôke tells that Nasu no Yoichi was able to do it well, because he was experienced en Kanjin Kaname. Sôke says that Kanjin Kaname is important to everything, as if one doesn’t have Janjin Kaname, many weak spots appear from us.

After the Genpei wars, the new shōgun Minamoto no Yoritomo awarded Nasu no Yoichi making him a Daimyō of the Tottori Castle, but ends up loosing this position after being defeated by Kagetoki Kajiwara in a hunting competition. He then abandons the Echigo province, and after the Yoritomo’s death, ends up becoming a budist monk in the  Jōdo Shinshū sect.

The martial art (as in life itself) hast two paths to choose from; one fake and one true. This is known as Kyojitsu. When the eye of the heart is blinded by egoism, vanity, jelauosy, money and ignorance, the true path can never be found. Even the eye of the mind depends on the concepts of good and bad according to conveniences, based on experiences of fears and both painfull or pleasure ones. However, the eye of the heart relies on feelings and love.

Determination, courage and feeling, are instruments for the martial wind (bufu)  to blow over the clouds that blind the eye of the heart. To tense the arch and let go the arrow is even a way to achieve Mushin.

 

 

To have courage doesn’t neccesarily open the eye of the heart and the mind of God, but even the courage can be just an animal attitude in it’s reaction of survival, and not neccesarily an experience of a human and divine conciense.

If the Kanjin Kaname doesn’t exist, the desitions with courage not always can lead you in a good path, they even can ruin you.

Feeling, devotion, discernment and training in the right place with the right people, help to dissipate the vail of ignorance (Haramitsu), leading us to the experience of Kanjin Kaname.

I think that Kajin Kaname, comes from the experience of Mushin 無心, not neccesarily in the Budô 武道, but also from Mudô 無道

I feel that I’ve becomed dependent of the presence of Sôke, as every time I travel and train in his classes or if I’m on his presence, the eye of the heart opens and I see everything more clearely. Maybe in time I might be able to keep the eye of the heart open without depending on Sôke, but for know, I can only say that I’m just a student trying to learn and feel clearely. I’ll keep doing my best, but I feel more important to continue feeding from his teaching by his side and while away, within the path and the no-path.

Christian Petroccello –  Tenryu

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Taikai Madrid


 

2 Weeks Ago I came back from Spain, where we hold a seminar with Pedro Zapatero (Spain), Miguel Sanz (Spain) and Nestor Iscovi (Argentina)

With Nestor we have shared many seminars together, and we know eachother for more than 24 years, but it is the first time we hold a Seminar with Miguel and Pedro, which was very open to this experience.

I began the Taikai as a strategy in a state of observation, trying to perceive that what we could contribute to the more than 100 attendants. Then I was changing my strategy from observation to learn from my 3 partners. I have to recognize, I felt delighted with their Taijutsu and their personality each one of them represented.

It might sound selfish, but though they invited us to give a course in their country, It almost felt like I went there to learn from my partners, from the students, friends and Spanish culture. When I had to show and explain something, it was almost unnecessary to add something from what Nestor, Migue and Pedro had added from their Taijutsu and way to explain the teachings of the Bujinkan. Same way happened while observing the high level of the students. Everyone kept surprising me.

 

The second day, in which everyone was more relaxed and didn’t had so much expectations, everything began to reveal itself more clearly, all of us where there to share and learn. Maybe the 4 of us where the ones leading the orchestra, but all of the practitioners as musicians and their instruments (mind, body and heart) were giving a beautiful symphony called Taijutsu.

What does Taikai mean? It was one of the questions we had when the 3 day Taikai was over. Mi answer was; “That one feels and beleives what is a Taikai, That is a Taikai. And the set of all the feelings among the participants, it’s what becomes a TAIKAI (Special Meeting)”

 

 

I’d like to thank with words the welcome as hosts of the Spanish when we got into their land. Miguel and his  students, Pedro, his wife and his students, everyone had gestures of friendship and companionship that I hope I never let down.

The visit of Shihan Antonio Piqueras and Agustin from France, added more energy into the friendship of my heart while being able to share with them a moment of encounter, food, talking, smiling. Thank you so much for your valuable visit.

As I refered publicly in the Taikai, my deepest gratitud to Pedro Fleitas,  thanks to his contribution and good intentions have allowed that this encounter would be able to take place. A clear example of the courage and the free growing of his personal students and every practitioner of the Bujinkan.

Thanks to every practitioner for being a part of this entertaining experiment of encounter, many thanks to everyone who contributed  their time and sweat on the planning of this event, and with that contribute to the bonds of friendship and training among the Buyu.

See you soon, mata aimasho

Christian

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Growing by yourself

There is a phrase Soke says several times “Jiyu ni atarimae ni Jibun de Narai, Jibun de ikiro” which means “Freely and simply, learn by yourself, live by yourself”.

The drawing at the end of a phrase it’s a turnip (Daikon) on which the translation can referr as “becoming something big”. The Daikon is used a lot. For example you can write Ninpo and below draw a Daikon, gives reference to become big within Ninpo.

On this case, to learn by yourself may transform you into something big, as also can make you a turnip. In Argentina, to say that you’re a Turnip, means you are an idiot. In Spain, a Turnip can mean chicken.

One way or the other, to learn by yourself can make you become a great spirit (Daikon 大 魂 )  being aware of the great present (Dai kon 大今)

In this painting that I made for one of my discipples, I capture the sense that with his training on simplicity and liberty, he’s learning day by day for himself, to become a great Bugeisha with great success (Dai Koo 大 功)

In every moment, we are learning for ourselves, learning from the example of others, of their teaching, their triumphs, and sufferings. Same way for ourselves we learn from our victories and defeats. The important thing is to move on learning and achieving a hospitable, caring and social spirit upon infinite changes, on which we can call Dai Kon (大懇)

One way or the other you must try !!!

Christian.

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