Archive for May, 2010

May 31 2010

Be considerate of Japan residents

Published by under Training in Japan

Since seeing some of my friends from Japan, I have been thinking more and more about a life as a budo student in Japan.  But more as a resident of Japan who trains budo.  I can imagine it is very difficult living in a way where everyone assumes your life revolves around training.

For us visiting it is important to keep in mind that those whom expatriated are not there to babysit or translate for us.  It is on their kind whim that they help us.  They have jobs and lives in Japan to which they have to attend.  What makes you think they have time to deal with a stranger whom is going on a 3 week holiday?

I thought it was important for me to say, and also remind myself of when I go to Japan next, which if I start work should be very soon.  Your life is on the line, practise well.

2 responses so far

May 26 2010

Canadian Tai Kai review, well sort of

Published by under Seminars

If you are confused about the title of this post well let me explain.  I do not like to review a seminar that I help teach.  I will say that I am impressed with the skill of the Canadian Bujinkan Practitioners.  I may be biased, well no I am biased but I do believe that there are many good practitioners in Canada.  You just need to be able to see them so go to the Canadian Tai Kai next year, you will get some good exposure to skilled budo-ka whom you can get to have do seminars for you without having to pay overseas airfare.  (I have some free weekends this year too.  I am not saying anything, I’m just saying.)

Overall I would especially like to thank the visitors from Japan, Craig Olson, Shawn Gray and Bill Brown for sharing their experience and giving their time to come to Canada.  It is nice to see the quality of persons that we have representing our country living in Japan.  It makes me proud to say that I am from Canada when I visit Japan because of that representation.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

No responses yet

May 20 2010

Canadian Tai Kai year 3

Published by under Seminars,Sight Seeing

Once again the time has come for the Canadian Shihan Tai Kai.  Oh I will be there this year to bask in the teachings of instructors form across the country.  Last year I regrettably missed it due to circumstances beyond my control.  Not this year, I am currently writing this post from the comfort of the hotel bar in which I am staying.  (Drinking a Sapporo no less!)   So I hope to see many of my friends here and look forward to sharing the training ideas as best as I could understand them on and when I get home.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

A bit of self study before the seminar this weekend

3 responses so far

May 16 2010

The shameful me of yesterday

Published by under Training at Home

I have been relaying old stories about my training and the mistakes I made.  Like when I did a bad roll and couldn’t roll over that shoulder for three weeks.  Or the time I had to use my T-shirt to stop the bleeding from a cut that I got on my head.  Doing little demos of what I thought techniques were supposed to look like.

The reason I have been sharing these stories is  so that you know there is always room to improve.  I do not look back kindly on my past training.  I always am critical of what I have shown and what I have done.  The second I get comfortable with what I did yesterday I will stop improving.  I need to always look critically at my technique and find ways to improve.

Look back and see your mistakes, use them to learn and push forward.  Our art is one where you can improve as you get older.  Your understanding of distance and your use of timing are not skills that diminish with age but improve.  Remember that you can always find a way to improve.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

No responses yet

May 13 2010

Don’t get isolated

Published by under Training at Home

As I have progressed in Budo, it has become an increasing concern of mine that I will stop progressing as a martial artist.  What I mean to say is that I will reach a certain level of skill where I feel satisfied and get complacent in my pursuit of knowledge and skill.

It is easy to sit in your dojo and go over the same techniques that you always do again and again without trying anything new.  I can show Ura and Omote gyaku every class and insist that there is no need to work on other techniques until you aster those two.  This is not however how I want to do things.

I want to train with my students and get better.  I need to attend seminars and classes by other instructors with an open mind looking to learn something.  I need to go to Japan and get knowledge from the source.  I need to train with people who go to Japan so that we can try to absorb Hatsumi Sensei’s feeling from them and bring it to our own training.  Most of all I must never become a teacher, always a student looking to learn at every opportunity.

This is a hard thing to do.  Being so far away from Japan, and in most of Canada’s case so far away from other clubs.  The distance, the time, the money they are all worth the sacrifice to me.  My training will make this world a lot smaller because I will travel to train as much as I can.

Isolation is a progress killer, don’t let it happen to you.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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May 11 2010

The importance of Fitness in our Dojo

Now this is a delicate subject around the Bujinkan because there are two camps in this who can not seem to reconcile what I think are small differences.

The first camp follows the philosophy that since the techniques of the Bujinkan do not require strength or speed, just distance and timing there is no need for any real physical training.  Further if you focus on your physical strength you will rely on it too much as well as take away from valuable training time on technique.

The second camp has been of the idea that the point of not needing speed and power comes after years of training and thus before you reach that level of mastery you need to have strength and speed and slowly you will rely on them less.

So as you can see both of these ideas have their merit.  In the Edmonton Bujinkan Dojo however we follow this philosophy:

The techniques of the Bujinkan can not be mastered unless you have mastered your own Body.

What I mean by this is not that I am looking to have students whom are super athletes, but those whom are aware of their physical limitations.  The goal that I have in mind for myself and those with whom I train is a freedom to move in their bodies.  With out that ability to understand your body, I doubt one would be able to master the techniques of the Bujinkan.

For most of us whom do not suffer from physical limitations which they have to overcome, we should strive to keep our bodies in good shape so that we are able to enjoy our lives and training for years.  I don’t expect that as I age I will be able to break any weight lifting world records, but I do expect that I will be able to keep flexible and mobile.  Light exercise and stretching will keep you feeling good and moving well so that you can master the techniques of the Bujinkan.  Our goal is to move like Hatsumi Sensei (b. December 1931) when we reach his age.  Don’t forget that protecting your life also means taking care of your body.

Your life is on the line, Practise well.

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May 10 2010


As many have noticed, and noted I have not posted in quite some time.  There is a simple explanation for this; I needed work.

I have been training so much over the past few years I forgot that sometimes you have to take care of other things in life.  Since I got a new career I needed to spend some time focusing on that.  But don’t worry I now have a handle on my new work and am getting ready for the next round of Japan.

Please look forward to more training with and posting by me.

Your life is on the line, Practise well.

No responses yet