Archive for August, 2009

Aug 29 2009

Home study

Published by under Training at Home

I am often asked what to study at home.  When this question is posed, I often stick to the safe stand-by’s san shin, the koshi sanpo and ukemi.  These are good things to practise, but I have some advice which has helped my practise over the past year.

As I have discussed before in writing and conversations, the kata of the Bujinkan are difficult to train on your own.  The majority of the kata rely on facing an opponent.  You receive an attack respond to the attack and end up folding your opponent into a pretzel to finish them.  How can you possibly practise that by yourself?  The answer is visualization.

Using your visualization, you can create an opponent based on your experience.  With this opponent in mind it becomes possible to train your technique effectively even at home.  I challenge you to give it a try, you will be pleased with the results.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Aug 29 2009

The fighting arm of the Bujinkan

Published by under Uncategorized

I was having a discussion with a good friend of mine on the various wings of the Bujinkan.  Things that were mentioned were; the spiritual wing, the publicity wing, the translation wing and the badly undermanned fighting wing.

That’s why I decided that I want my students and myself to help bolster up the fighting arm of the Bujinkan.

There are a lot of different things people try to attain through the martial arts.  I have decided that though I can not speak for others, more than anything I wanted to become strong.  My goal was and is to become a stronger fighter than anyone.

I do not profess to be anywhere close to this goal, but I have a lifetime to chase my objective.  I hope that those whom are chasing different goals still have something they can gain from training with me.  I will just want to be clear about why I train.

This same friend gave me a challenge of his own.  It has created a second goal for me to pursue.  I am trying to create a life worth protecting.  I will discuss this in a later post.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

One response so far

Aug 29 2009

Visualization

Published by under Training at Home

In the martial arts there are few things as underrated as visualization.  I am not referring to crossing your legs into a full lotus whine saying ohm, though that in itself can be a good way to practise the concept.

This is a tool which athletes use, they set a clear goal, get a clear picture in their mind of accomplishing that goal then proceed with the physical action.

Recently we have been working on our tsuki (thrust, often refereed to as a punch), following the concept of visualization, you would go through some steps.  Let us assume you are practising with a heavy bag.

1.  I articulate a goal.  “I will move through kamae and send the heavy bag swinging while keeping my body relaxed so that I can throw a second attack if necessary.”

2.  Create a mental image of yourself accomplishing the goal.  “Take a moment ot see the tsuki being done and the desired result being accomplished.”

3.  Do the bloody technique.  “nuff said”

This is something which you should be doing with every technique while training.  It will make your home study easier, in some cases it is near impossible to effectively train Bujinkan technique without visualization.  I will get more into this when I write about self training.

One response so far

Aug 29 2009

Kata of the Bujinkan

Published by under Uncategorized

I have been asked recently to explain the kata of the Bujinkan.  Not to explain how to do each kata, but rather how they are to be studied.  I will try to give a brief contrast between Bujinkan Kata and Karate Kata/Chinese Kung Fu forms.

In the Bujinkan arts the form generally consists of few moves.  The most involved kata that I have seen to date are around 12 moves at most.  In san shin you have as many as 4 distinct moves and as few as 2.

When I compare this to my experience in Karate and Kung Fu, the forms are generally much longer with many parts.  When I was learning the forms, I was taught that each sequence, the series of moves before a direction change is another opponent.  If this is true; which I have no reason to doubt, one of those sequences is the equivalent of a Bujinkan Kata.

Kata in the Bujinkan are treated like bujkai in karate.  Bunkai is when you take a portion of a kata and work it against a live opponent.  This allows you to get a feel for the technique and its variations.

The very nature of Bujinkan kata create an issue when it comes to self study.  It is difficult to practise a kata which relies on feedback of an opponent by yourself.  There is a method to accomplish this.  I will discuss visualization in the near future.

I hope this clarifies the subject of kata in the Bujinkan if even a little.  Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Aug 29 2009

Abandoning the other arts

Published by under Other Stuff,Training at Home

As those who train with me know, I have over the course of my short time in the martial arts tried many different styles.  Karate, Judo, Aikido, Jujitsu and Chen style tai chi to name a few.  There are even more that I have seen and not had a chance to try.  Unfortunately I have abandoned the other arts.

The Bujinkan consist of 9 schools and hundreds of of kata with ten’s of thousands of variations.  There is enough information to spend 9 lifetimes studying.  There is a depth of feeling and skill which I have yet to see reproduced in any other martial art, by any other martial artist besides Hatsumi Sensei.  There is a breadth of knowledge which has literally saved the life of students and myself.

When my life was on the line, it was saved by this Budo, as long as I have permission I will dedicate my martial arts training to the art of Hatsumi Sensei and his standard bearers.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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