Category Archives: Bujinkan

Shinden Gokui

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For the learning process of this secret, there is an initiation ceremony through the sixth sense, allowing the student to learn this strange technique. The student, dressed in white clothes, sitting motionless in an open room. The Master, like a shadow, without making any noise, attacks the student with a sword, as a floating boat. If the student dodges the sword, he got the secret, but if not, then that was it. There is a similarity between this and the artist who destroys his new work if he didn`t like it.

One day I was sitting in my master’s room when he told me: “wait here with your eyes closed, and do not open them, no matter what happens”, I relaxed and felt him leave the room. Suddenly, I made a side roll after I felt certain presence and I saw a shadow as if my body was splitted in half. Then I made a forward ukemi, after I felt that my head flew away. When I returned to Shizen Fudoza, I opened my eyes when I heard his voice said: “well done; you may open your eyes”. Then I say Takamatsu Sensei standing with a sword on his right hand. Being incredibly steady, I realized that this was the spiritual technique through the sixth sense. Then I received the sword of my master. Later on I was told that this was “Juji Giri Mumei no Itto”.

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 A year before Takamatsu Sensei died, he told me, “I let the Martial Arts in your hands.” Nine years since he died, and I’ve been training hard, and lately, I can say that this is the true Budo. By the way, in the test for Godan in the Bujinkan Dojo, I attack with determination from behind the student who is sitting, with his eyes closed. If he dodges, he passes. This is the beginning. Not only dodge an attack from behind. Sometimes you have to know  the other side of the world. In human relations, the person you trust could betray you someday. Even then, you can realize the value of peace with this training. It is just a deception to cultivate only the sense , that will allow you to dodge an attack from behind. This kind of mentality creates a distance between you and the truth of life, and ruins it. That kind of mentality is the cancer to correct the growing. In this sense Juji Giri Mumei no Itto, is the operation to remove the cancer in the early stages. It can also be taken as one should stop teaching the person should not be taught.

 When you teach many students, some kind of sense is important. Buddha taught ten followers, but one failed.

One of the 12 apostles of Christ, was a rebel.

Even a relationship between the Master and student, has a flaw. The relation between teachers and students, in a modern school system is bad. In these situations, the most important principle endures: Learn the mind of true Martial Arts.

When you pass the test for Godan, the way of training will necessarily change. Changes to a invisible training; incomprehensible training. I teach students who have been training for over 20 years, but only cordially. It could be the instruction  of incomprehensibly strange techniques for them. They understand it, but they can`t do it. Apparently they may understand, but really don`t understand. Thus, the strange techniques start breathing . It’s ACCEPTABLE for me, if they don`t understand, because I am teaching incomprehensible techniques. If they understood, they would be Superman. They will improve, because they do not understand.

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One day, one of my more graduated students, came up to me and said: “I heard out there, that there`s  a technique that allows us to throw the opponent without touching. – “I decided to try and teach this,  avoinding my students from getting hurt. I, along with the student and four other students, went to a place that had a video camera. Nine eyes are staring. “Forward” “Yes sir.” One passes to the other. My student, flew over me and fell. A few minutes later, he got up with blood coming out of his mouth. “Understand?” “No sir.” The “rest of you understand?” “No Sensei, but we believe that we will, when we see the video.” “You won´t understand,” I told them. We watched the video, but none of the students could capture the moment in his eyes. This is a Martial Art. It is impossible to learn the stranges techniques taking photos and writing. Another way of looking at this is that if you show your techniques in a makimono and it is stolen, doesn´t matter. This is the essence of Martial Art. Take pictures or write, is useless. No other way to study under the teaching of a Master and do what he says.

In the opportunity of publish this book, I present for your information, the book that Takamatsu Sensei had taught me. As a rule of this Ryu, it is forbiten to write down. Because if you write, the depth of its essence ends. The Martial Arts will be the secret without limitations. That is, to write this book, it is against my will. Even if I write the explanation for a future study, nobody truly learn. As Takamatsu Sensei said, “learn through hard training.”
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A year before his dead, Takamatsu Sensei told me: “now you are a good Martial Artist. I have been rewarded the favors of my Masters”

I was half in doubt. I thought you could master the essence of a martial art, a few years after being taught. Since Master died, I’ve been wondering for nine years, and now I decided to publish this book. One day, I talked to a driver who lived in the U.S., that the expression of the Martial Arts, through writing, was like a sheet with musical staves. Martial Art has grown from unlimited space of zero, which was kept on paper. Even if the computer was developed to store all the information, I couldn´t figure zero. Even if it did, they could not put pressure on foreign techniques of zero without reaching the stage of constant power of Martial Arts. The Martial Artist’s dream is to live there.

Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

 

Book Hiden Togakure Ryu Ninpo

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Chikara o Nuku

CHIKARA O NUKU

力を抜く

During the classes on friday and sunday  (23/25 -11- 2012) Sôke was pointing out the aspect of working with the fingers, reminding us that this part was one of the themes of 2012, In every moment highlighted that techniques must be done without strength. In a form of joking, reminded us that 15 dan are getting old and we’re going to loose physical strength, but that wasn’t his intention to tell us, but that it came by divine inspiration.

Sôke has been taken different Uke ans showing us that force is really unnessesary. Relaxing the muscles (Chikara o Nuku 力を抜く) and executing the techniques withouth forcem is made by a contraction and then relaxation. This is known as Chikara o Ireru & Chikara o nuku 力を入れる, 力を抜く. Chikara o Ireru is contracting, using the muscular force.

Moving the muscle requires strength and intention, and in the case of martial arts tecniques, this  can be perceived by the adversary. Managing to relax and not showing intention, is something vital in the path of the martial artist.

The idea of being able to use a sword without force (Katana o Nuku 刀を抜く) since yesteryear was one of the targets that masters wanted to achieve. Kokoro o Nuku 心を抜く, not forcing the mind nor the heart, is a key point to the Mushin 無心. Leaving the mind without intention, without the intelect and racionalization ruling us, can allow receiving the Shinden 心伝 from the master.

The techniques without force, mind without effort, was the escense to achieve the Shinden, highlighted Soke in one of his clases. Showing techniques without strength, Sôke achieves the misterious power of colapsing bodies and minds of his attackers. Without intention, adapting to each person in their different attacksm controls without expectation, even leaving the sword unsheathe and cut without harshness. This is a clear example of Katana o Nuku.

The connection (Tsunageru 繋げる) was highlighted on this past classes, not just from Tori and Uke, but also in “everything”, Soke said “everything is connected”.

Confusedly, we’ve tried to understand the wise words of Sôke, among them that the techniques must not depend from time and velocity. This two aspects don’t pertain to tecniques. Yukkuri…taking your time, going slowly. Sôke always highlights it, “Yukkuri” and gives us examples like music and spaces within each note.

In the interpretation of some of the things that Sôke was saying, I feel that time could be an illusion.  That is, past time (Kako 過去), the future ( Mirai 未来), coexist in the very instant of present ( Genzai 現在) of technique. Budo has no time, but happens in several dimensions at the same time.

Nuite Kudasai !! relax please….. let us enjoy life and Budo a little more.

Christian Petroccello

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Mangetsu 満月


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3 Years agoSôke Hatsumi Masaaki sent me a beautiful painting that says: “Mature Fruit, Full Moon”

From time to time, I read the letters again and I behold Soke’s paintings. My feeling is that time shows in out path, if the maturation is at it’s right moment to taste the present at it’s maximum. Just like the moon comes only in a day at it’s full figure, likewise the fruit gets eaten when it has the right time of maturation. You can eat lots of fruits, but only when one it’s on it’s right time of maturity, is when the most tastefull it is. You can look at the moon all the month, but the day that it is full is when it’s beauty is at it’s maximum flow.

Running  after the effort ot others, o trying to live the experiences of others, is a futile race. Many want to fly and yet have not learned to walk. Running after the foreign effort might keep them away from the own escense. Playing with the children of others does not make you a father unless you gave birth your own children, nor wanting the students of other teachers make you a good master.

Looking always the light of the moon, may not let you see where you’re standing. Having gluttony for the fruits, might no let you appreciate the light of the moon. The moon and the fruit are connected as Budo and Life.

Sôke once shared a precious teaching during the Alicante Taikai: “Forget the meaning of why you practice, don’t think about it. Though the martial arts have a sole purpose and is at the end of the life to find truth, finding God. Only at the end of life, in the last instant, will happen everything you’ve done, what you’ve lived”.

 

Bufu Ikkan

Christian P.

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REI

REI

“In what’s immutable, there’s existence;

In what’s immutable, there’s No existence”

Lao Tzu

Budo must be an example of life, but not of great heroic acts nor magnificent spiritual gestures, but of simple and daily acts of ofering, gratefulness, protect, caring and being, which to my understanding mark us on a human basis.

Rei 例 means practice, habit, custom, example, ilustration. Being able to give the example of constant practice is part of the escense of Budô, thus one must keep    individual training and learning   without an aparent goal, so this way may leave a print of existence to those who come behind.

Continuing self training and follow the teachings of a master, are fundamental to not get lost in the illusion of the path. In time, the master is aparent, as is the path and the teaching, but they are mostly needed, because they keep connected with one another like a misterious red thread that bonds the pinkie fingers of every people.

To be always thankful also connects us with REI 礼, that in this case means to be thankful. This Rei, must be a real expression of gratitude in a humble degree, by lowing the head on a reverence. In Japan, the sence of. Reverence towards the elderly, the teachers, those who help or by example the clients, are acts of showing respect by lowing the head lower than theirs. This is also a part of the Reigi 礼儀 (behavior manners, courtesy acts).

The Path is apparent, but being able to give the example of moving forward without a real path is the escense of Budo. Believe of an ccomplished path and believe that one can be the path, is just an illusion.

To my understanding, the path relies on Mu 無, so then we can say that one of the Kaname of Budo, is the Mudo  無道 (http://tenryuden.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/budo-mudo/) However, is the Mudo no Kaname is an illusion,   Kaname 要    is an non existential point, that only manifests itself by the fact of expressing it over the space. Even though we believe that the Kukan no Kaname is the escential point on the space, we all know that within the Kikan there’s only emptyness, so it’s impossible to find a point of support, a rotation point of even an escential point from within. The mind creates it only by the fact of needing a point of support , a way where it can sustain itself, to not get lost in MU.

Sôke talks to us about Rei 例

“It is said that the martial forms are shown through the daily life and behaviour. That is, through costumes and humanity”.

In the daily life, the present life, is the only real thing we have, but from within, it’s an existential echo from the actions from the past, our own and our ancestors. They only manifest in the apparent path, but is only an illusion for the ego to have the security from where to stand.

In the Zen Budhism we can find the text about the cuestions to the mastern Nansen, which they come from the Nara period.

Nansen was interrogated by Joshu ¿What is the Path? to what Nansen responded: “Your ordinary mind is the path”, Joshu then said: “¿Can you find it?”. To what Nansed said, “Just the you try to find it, It’ll fade away”, Later on Joshu asked “If you can’t find it, How can you know that it is the path ?” Nanses said “The path does not depend on knowing or not knowing. Knowing is confussion, not knowing is to be cheated. If you really were to find the path of no doubt, is like a great void. How can you force this to adapt the categories of confirmation of negotiation?

 

We can say, that REI 例 are the costumes, practices and habits that we acquire throughout the keiko, achieving the humbleness of being thankful  (Rei 礼) to the existence of the ancestors and teachers.

Following the no path, in the individual transformation in REI 零, in which case means “cero, nothing”, and this is the escential part that cannot be understood. Being “Cero”, is submerging the conscience in the No conscience of the “no existence”, to what we can call Mu 無.

Sôke says;

“If you can’t understand, this is normal because is Ninjutsu. If you could undersand, if wouldn’t be Ninjutsu”

Si then our called existential ans spiritual essence REI 霊 (espíritu)”, comes fro the no understanding and the no path. The more we want to use our intellect, the further we are from the true experience. The experience comes from the constant practice inside, and out of the tatami. Inside of the tatami with our Gi moving us and improving the physical techniques, achieving knowledge through distance, the space and time with hundreds of skills, outside of the tatami moving us without the Gi and improving our habilites of generosity, kindness, patience, tolerance, giving and protecting, observing and learning, hearing and caring. All this applied to family, work and society are the instruments that mark our “humanity”.

Inside, as outside of the Dojo, we must also cultivate the ming in the no existence to turne it in the No Mind  (mushin 無心). That is, the existence exists, and the no existence also exists, both are connected.

According to a famous martial arts teacher from the Edo period; Yagyu Manuneori:

“In a moment of existence, a Tsuki is thrown to the existense. In a moment of no existence, a Tsuki is thrown to the no existence. Equally, without expecting the existence, there’s an attack thrown to the existence. In that sense, it is said that the existence is existence, and the no existence is also existence”.

Christian

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Shihan Noguchi Yukio

Año 2003

Interview to Shihan Noguchi Yukio

Shihan Noguchi Yukio is well known in the Bujinkan, by his classes in Noda City and for being always very close to Masaaki Hatsumi Soke, not only in Japan, but in many Taikai that have taken place all around the world.

His way of moving doesn’t stop to amaze, no matter whoever sees him for the first time, as much as those who have been training with him for years.

The classes developed by Shihan Noguchi Sensei are dynamic and with happiness, and although his movements are fast, precise and sutile for the human eye, the power behind his techniques leave a mark on the body that lasts for days.

While he is moving, it seems that he’s dancing at the same time as the attack, sometimes he’s movements are so absorving that can take us from our own balance without even touching us.

From every waza he shows, and infinite amount of Henka are quickly expanded on infinite changes. There’s no time to analize, no time to reflect, his classes are as the wind of Bufu that wraps us and takes us from one side to the other without thinking. Everyone gets out smiling, the happiness is captured in his trainings.

In this opportunity, a breath after class gave us place to interview him for the Tenchiwado (Antique publication of the Bujinkan Tenryu Dojo & Christian Petroccello).

Noguchi Sensei ¿How did you began in the martial arts?

I began when I was 30 years. Now I’m 61. I’ve been training for 31 years, and never did any other art but this one.

¿How did you meet Hatsumi Sensei?

I knew him before training. I met him once when I went to meet him because I hurt my ankle. I went there for him to cure me, because that’s what he was dedicated to at the time. There we became friends

However, when I started training with him, I stopped being his friend, to became his student.

¿What other activities did you do beside Martial Arts?

I’ve practiced several sports such as Volley, Beisbol, Bowling, Ping Pong, etc..

At bowling I was quite good. I always did over 200 points!

¿How do you see the growth of the Bujinkan in the world?

The Bujinkan is growing naturally, without propaganda.

All over the world, people have been gathering by themselves. Good people, that make good things.

¿Do you feel identified by any ryuha in particular?

I have no preferences. All are equal to me. Besides, I don’t understand all of the schools.

¿What did you feel the first time you took the Sakki Test?

I felt very nervous, but it was something I made gladly.

¿What advice would you give to the instructors?

When they come to Japan to train as much as they can, to then bring those teachings to their countries. Once there, teach freely.

¿How do you apply Budo in your life?

No difference. I live in complete fullness.

¿Respect this year’s theme called Koteki Ryuda Juppo Sessho, what can you tell us?

It’s something that it’s practiced from every directions. As people, that come from every part of the world, every direction. They come from Switzerland, England,Spain, Argentina, etc. The base I think is to work from those directions.

Ko teki Ryu da, gives me the idea of something candent, that expands or that comes from every directions.

As sensei explains more about this matter, the more I will be able to talk about it.

¿How was the training when you started in the Bujinkan?

It was different. Sensei tought old school, but now he doesn’t. He’s smoother now.

¿Where you able to meet Takamatsu Sensei?

No. I only met his wife.

¿What did you feel when Sensei talked and showed the teachings of Takamatsu Sensei?

Afraid!!!

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KAMON

KAMON

家紋

能ある鷹は、爪を隠す

“The virtuous hawk hides it’s nails”

Japanese Proberv.

During our trip to Japan on abril 2012, I brought Soke a present in gold painted wood, that I made off his “Kamon”

The Kamon is the japanese simbol highlighting the badges of the diverse clans that existed during the feudal period of Japan.

They correspond to symbols, most of them rounded, with designs of flowers, birds, plants, and nature phenomenons, even arrows, that represent the “trademark” of a family. Those designs are attached to history and philosophy of the ascendants. It is estimated that these days there are over 20.000 kinds of Kamon.

They go back to the Heian Era (794 a 1192) when it was simply used to distinguished the oxen floats from nobelty. Later on, the symbol was used on several family belongings.

Later, on the Kamakura era (1192-1333) the kamon showed up on flags and standarts that samurai used when they fought in mass and where riding horses. In the battlefield using armours and helmets (kabuto), the different emblems served to distinguish their own people. Some Kamon where also used on the chest of the armor or in the helmet. The emblems of war where more simple compared to those at home, because they had to be recognized from afar.

The Kamon 家紋, could also be called with other names like ”Mon 紋 “, ”Monshō 紋章 ” y ”Mondokoro 紋所 “.

The Mon of the family of Sôke Masaaki Hatsumi is designed with two hawk feathers crossed. The name of the Kamon is “Maruni chigai takanoha” 丸に違鷹羽. The hawk is a symbol of the samurai from ancient times.

Soke con el Kamon en su Kabuto

Image: Over the Kabuto (helmet) of Soke Hatsumi, one can appreciate the Kamon.

“Hawk Feather”, was used as decoration on the moments of thriumph and victories, as also for special ceremonies such as New Years Eve. On some ancient clans became to be one of the most important symbols on battle times.

This Kamon is also used by the family of Shihan Someya Kenichi, of Bujinkan Dojo.

All of the ancestors of the family of Sôke Masaaki Hatsumi, and also Shihan Someya Kenichi, are connected to ancient Samurai linages.

While we appreciated the Kamon, Shihan Someya told me that it’s also a symbol of his own family, he told me the information that the Kamon came from Daimyo Asano, from the Hiroshima area.

So with the investigation on the run about this Kamon, I truly found that there’s an enormeous inflouence at the zone of Hiroshima, that connects to Asano Naganori  (浅野長矩 1665 –1701) who was a Daimyo from the Akō Domain, a small feud between Okayama and Himeji, His Daimyo title was Takumi no Kami 内匠頭

Image of Asano Naganori with the Kamon on his Kimono

The Kamon is also registered within the family of the well known Saigō Takamori (西郷 隆盛 1828 -1877) who was a Samurai and Polititian, who lived during the last years of the Edo period and beginnings of the Meiji era. Initially, was one of the polititians who supported the elimination of the Tokugawa shogunato, and backed up the Meiji restoration, afterwards he got involved in the Meiji government. But in 1877, after the sistematic persecution of the samurai by the new government, he was in front of the Satsuma rebelion, that was going to be the last conflict headed by the samurai on Japanese History. To many people, Takamori is considered the true last samurai.

Image: original writing of Saigō Takamori – Soke Hatsumi collection.

There may be an interesting relation, because Sôke during 2011, showed us a caligraphy from the very Saigō Takamori

Three important points of connection:

1. The family of Asano ( 浅野氏 Asano-shi) where samurai names on the feudal times since the family that had control of the  “Han” (feude) of Hiroshima, centered in the castle of Hiroshima during great part of the Edo period . The Asano are descendants of the emperor Seiwa (850-880), of Minamoto no Yorimitsu (944-1021), and they’re a branch of the Toki family.

Minamoto no Mitsunobu, descendant of Yorimitsu in the 4th generation, established in Toki (Mino) and took the name of such place. The Toki where hereditary “Hugo” (governors) of the Mino province until the 16th century. The name of Asano maybe the most well known,as a result of the history of the 47 Ronin ( http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/47_r%C5%8Dnin) , whos lord was Asano Naganori , the leader of a branch of the feudal family in Ako.

2. The Kikuchi clan ( 菊池氏) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kikuchi_clan ) of the province of Higo was a poweful family of Daimyo within the zone of Higo, Kyushu. The Kikuchi linage was known of it’s brave service in defense of the emperor and against foreign invadors. The first clan was distinguished during the Kyushu inversion in 1019.

Image: Different evolution of the symbols of the Hawk feathers, until they became the known Kamon.

The Kikuchi family reached fame during the mongol invasion of Japan on 1281, when the Heroism of Kikuchi Takefusa helped to make the enemy back away.

This clan also had active partitipation during the Kenmu restauration (1333-1336), in the attempt to reaffirm the imperial authority by the emperor Go-Daigo against the Kamakura Shogunato. This also shows a tight relation with the history of the Kukishinden and the history of Kurando Yakushimaru on the rescue of the Godaigo emperor, well known history about the schools of Bujinkan.

3. Another of the odd but not surprising connections with this Kamon, comes from India, from the Handas Clan. The Handas, with other warrior clans as Kshatriya ( http://castesysteminindia.com/), have developed a crucial part  in the creation of India/Aria history. Aside of a very rich and prominent past in India, the Handas descendants can now be found in many parts of the world. Many Handa families are living in England, Canada, Japan, Australia, US, etc.

To finish, I’d like to remind everyone that Sôke with his teachings, have made of the Bujinkan a great family. Among the rules of the Shidoshikai of the Bujinkan Dojo, it’s authorized to wear just one Patch or Mon, on the left side (heart) of the Gi. The same is the symbol of the “Bujin” which identifies us as a part of the same family, a same linage.

Let us protect the family, training with enthusiasm and doing battle with the gestures of the heart.

By Christian Petroccello

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The dragon with the burned tail


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There is a Japanes proverb that says 猿も木から落ちる Saru mo ki kara ochiru. Which means “Even the monkeys also fall from the tree”

I like to sometimes change it for 龍も空気から落ちる Ryu mo kuki kara ochiru, “Even the dragons fall from air”

The nature of the dragon is to fly in an oscillating and changing wat throughout the air and throw fire on ocasions. The fire is one of it’s weapons, to drive off the bad spirits, protecting the weak from evil and powerful.

It’s fire may sometimes be it’s words and techniques, trying to take care and teach, even though sometime by fear of human conscience, ends up being misinterpreted.

There are no dragons of water , earth, sky, fire, clouds, struggle, etc… those are simply variants of the endless manifestations that an honorable White Dragon may have during certain state of divine awareness, giving life to thousand of dragons all around the world.

The features are individual, but the manifestations are changing according to lifes. Infinite changes of conscience ar the result of millions of manifestations of human conscience, but it all ends in a position of the escential point of life (Kaname no Shisei).

Those dragons filled with hunger tend to burn the tail of other dragons, to delay their flights and take advantage onto their roads, who have been confused with the role to protect, by the role of colonizing in a state of competition.

A dragon with the burned tail, just comes around to check itself on how  bad it’s body is, but knows that it can auto-regenerate itself instantly in the sinergic force of it’s flight, on the giving and protecting. A Dragon comes from the sky, it’s escential nature doesn’t belong to earth, however takes care and plays with people.

If today you feel that your tail has been burned, just continue your path, in the direction of giving and protecting, not just those who believe, come and follow their flights in action, but also to those who even asleep ignore the force of the dragons.

 

Komyo no satori wo sagashite “Seeking within the light of hope”

Tenryu, fall of 2012 in Buenos Aires.

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