BIENVENUE / WELCOME

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NICO SOKE

Bonjour à tous, je m’appelle Nico, je vis en France et pratique le Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu de Maître Masaaki HATSUMI. J’aime aller sur tous les sites et blogs intéressants pour y trouver des articles qui peuvent me faire comprendre et évoluer dans ma pratique. Plutôt que de garder toutes ces infos pour moi, j’ai ouvert ce blog qui recense tous les articles que j’ai trouvé pertinents (Ce n’est donc que de mon point de vue).

Pour toutes questions, vous pouvez me contacter : nicokosh@gmail.com

 

Hello, my name is Nico, I live in France and practice Master Masaaki Hatsumi’s Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. I go to all sites and blogs to find interesting articles that can make me understand and grow in my practice. Rather than keep all this info for me, I opened this blog that lists all the relevant articles I found (It is only from my point of view).

For questions, please contact me: nicokosh@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Nico

Le bo jutsu

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Bo jutsu

Comme les contacts physiques ne sont pas autorisés pour le moment dans les dojos, notre dojo comme beaucoup d’autres a profité de la pandémie pour travailler davantage les armes longues. Je pense que c’est dans l’ordre naturel des choses que d’utiliser des outils qui nous permettent de demeurer à une distance sécuritaire de notre partenaire d’entrainement.

Le bo jutsu reprend du panache. On peut le considérer comme un art martial complet en lui-même. Comme bien des arts martiaux, on peut l’aborder de façon sportive, chorégraphique ou guerrière. Essayons de démêler ces diverses catégories. Séparons d’abord ce qui est guerrier de ce qui est artistique. De nos jours, dans les compétitions d’arts martiaux, on peut voir des gens faire tourner le bo à des vitesses extraordinaires. Ils le font pivoter autour de leur tête, tournoyer du bout des doigts tout en effectuant un jeu de jambes qui ressemble étrangement à de la danse. Dans bien des cas, on utilisera un bâton léger, qui n’a rien à voir avec un bo traditionnel en chêne. J’adore voir ce type de prestation artistique, les gens sont d’une habilité exceptionnelle, mais je ne classe pas cela comme étant un art martial. Ce type de maniement n’a pas sa place sur un champ de bataille et ne fait pas partie du budo.

Les katas

Il existe un grand nombre de katas de bo où l’on doit affronter un adversaire au sabre ou parfois avec d’autres armes. Ces katas sont une base, un échelon où l’on apprend les rudiments du bâton. On y voit les divers enchaînements, les frappes de base, les feintes, les blocages et tout ce qui concerne l’ABC pour débuter dans l’art du bojutsu. Mais, se limiter à reproduire ces katas de manière robotisée ne permet pas d’exploiter la pleine capacité de cette arme qu’est le roku shakku bo.

La prochaine étape consiste à insuffler de la vie dans la forme morte du kata. Beaucoup de gens effectuent ces formes en suivant un rythme régulier comme s’ils étaient guidés par un métronome. Selon l’enchaînement, si l’on veut rendre le combat réaliste, il faut modifier le rythme et ne pas demeurer dans une logistique linéaire. On doit jouer sur les angles afin que l’adversaire soit débordé, l’amener à un point où il ne saura pas où aller. On utilise du kyojutsu, on joue avec kokyu ho, on utilise du sakki jutsu. Si le kata se fait uniquement au niveau physique, il n’est pas adapté au champ de bataille.

Bo furi

Les furi sont ces exercices de tournoiements du bâton. Ils n’ont pas pour but de faire joli; ils font partie d’une stratégie d’intimidation de l’adversaire. Au niveau le plus basique, le bâton demeure à la même place sur une même ligne. Sans qu’on le réalise, nous nous déplaçons de chaque côté du bâton. Cet exercice est la première étape du bo furi et, à ce stade, on est loin de pouvoir faire un combat. Lorsqu’on le travaille contre un adversaire, il faut réussir à mettre suffisamment de pression sur l’adversaire pour l’obliger à reculer. Il faut que notre distance soit toujours sécuritaire, être suffisamment loin pour éviter une attaque-surprise, mais suffisamment proche pour frapper l’adversaire si l’occasion se présente. Une fois que l’on a maîtrisé cette compétence, il faut pouvoir manipuler l’adversaire pour le diriger là où l’on veut. Je démontre souvent à mes étudiants que l’on peut forcer l’adversaire à tourner à 90 degrés si l’on s’y prend bien.

On peut voir sur le web énormément de gens effectuer des démonstrations de bo furi. Le bâton virevolte rapidement et c’est du plus bel effet. Mais si l’on prend le temps de regarder le jeu de pied, on réalise que c’est du surplace, qu’il n’y a souvent pas ce travail des jambes qu’exige le budo en général. Par exemple lorsque l’on remonte le bâton vers l’avant, ce geste servait souvent à crocheter le hakama de l’adversaire. Le bâton se prenait dans la culotte ample et obligeait l’adversaire à se cabrer sur ses lombaires. Notre corps est aligné vers l’avant à ce moment-là. Si l’on demeure debout sans assujettir notre position, il est impossible de contrôler l’adversaire.

Du taijutsu efficace

L’utilisation des armes dans le budo nous oblige à mieux percevoir nos erreurs. Je dis souvent à mes étudiants que les armes sont des amplificateurs d’erreurs. Oui, c’est plus difficile au début de travailler avec des armes, mais une fois qu’on a fait l’effort, cela se répercute positivement dans tous nos mouvements et nos déplacements.

Bernard Grégoire

Dai Shihan Bujinkan Québec

Source : https://bujinkanquebec.wordpress.com/author/bujinkanquebec/

Don’t Rattle Your 忍者刀 Ninjatō

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Mt Fuji all the way from Kashiwa, photo by Michael Glenn

Hatsumi Sensei surprises me with his teaching. The night before I left for Japan, we studied 忍者刀 Ninjatō in my own dojo. Then, on Friday night in Soke’s class at the Bujinkan Honbu Dojo, he taught one of the secrets of this weapon.

I try to prepare for these lessons, yet I am still surprised. I suppose the only way is to always be ready. This is the ukemi of being Hatsumi Sensei’s student.

I landed at Narita Airport around 5pm local time. My normal plan is to run through immigration and customs as fast as Japanese bureaucracy will allow. Then catch a two hour train ride straight to Hatsumi Sensei’s class.

One hour into the train ride I began to lose my motivation. Warm trains make me sleepy. That, and the 20 hours of travel that wasn’t over yet.

I stood up to shake off the tired. It was already dark out, and the train cabin was reflected back to us in the window. I leaned my head against the door to watch the lights pass outside.

It looked wet and miserable out. I already felt the cold when I transferred at the last station. But when my eyes adjusted to the dark I couldn’t believe what I saw between the railroad ties. Patches of snow flashed by like a flickering reel of film!

It was only November. Snow in Tokyo is extremely rare this time of year. I already had two shirts on, and now I pulled a hoodie over those.

The old Atago station was dark and quiet. My breath fogged. A patch of snow crunched under my boot. During my walk to the dojo I wondered if class was cancelled.

I came around the corner and I could see the lights were on. I marveled at the snow on the rooftop. I slid open the door… Konbanwa!

A warm crowd inside and many old friends greeted me. I changed quickly into my gi. Was I ready? I don’t know, at least I was there.

Hatsumi Sensei taught at an intense pace. He started off class at the highest levels of training. It was all about letting go and 空間利用 kukan riyō, using the kukan.

The train passed by and shook the building.

“Hai, OK!” Soke called out. Then he started with the 忍者刀 Ninjatō and I paid close attention. Someya Sensei cut in at him…

Hatsumi Sensei was in 棟水之構 Tōsui no Kamae. He lifted his blade softly as if to shield against the katana. Someya tried to cut again. Soke let his sword slip and then smacked it into Someya’s neck without cutting.

He told us one of the themes this year was 一刀万方 Ittō Banpō, which is one sword, many possibilities. It may also be written 一刀万宝 Ittō Banpō which means one sword, many treasures.

There are many treasures in the study of the Ninja-tō.  Hatsumi Sensei wrote

忍者の剣は、闇夜の剣を避けがたし

This can be read many ways. One interpretation is that “the sword of the ninja doesn’t rattle in the dark of the night”. In other words, avoid rattling your sword.

What does that mean beyond being stealthy? Lucky for us Hatsumi Sensei has also shared this gokui in relation to the Ninja-to:

抜かず勝て、抜けば切るなよ、ただ忍べ、命をとるは大事とぞ知れ
Win without drawing the sword
if you draw it, don’t cut
Simply persevere
Know the significance
Of taking a life.

When Hatsumi Sensei smacked the blade against Someya’s neck he was demonstrating this principle. He even told us that night that we were all too quick to use the sword. He said that when we tried to use the sword, we missed the kyojitsu.

I hold onto these memories and lessons from Soke like treasures. During the first hour of my train ride (which you can watch part of here: Ninja True: How to get to the Bujinkan Honbu Dojo) I caught a glimpse of Mt Fuji in the distance. The slope of Fuji Sama seemed to hold the burnt sunset for every last bit of warmth.

Michael GLENN

Kankaku: Trust Your Intuition

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Sensei introduced the class with a three-legged crow (stuffed). He told us that Yatagarasu (the crow) guided Emperor Jimmu in the Japanese invasion. (1)

Yatagarasu represents the will of heaven, it emanates from the sun goddess, Amateratsu. He added that Yatagarasu is often described also as a Karasu Tengu. (2) It is Ninjutsu related.

This excellent introduction done, he showed us two old ninjatō that he recently acquired. Their huge Tsuba were impressive. Small blades, but not straight; and with long scabbards like regular swords.

This is also 虚実, Kyojitsu, alternating truth, and lies. Deception is the essence of Ninjutsu. He said that we have to trust our feelings and expect the unexpected (like a short blade in a regular scabbard). Everything we train now is about Kankaku: feeling. (3)

A few years ago, Senō sensei told us that Kankaku and Waza were like our legs. We need both legs to walk. It is the same in Budō, we need technique and feeling. One leg is the Waza, and the other is Kankaku. If you develop only one leg, you get tired and don’t reach your destination.

As always with this language, there are many ways to understand “Kankaku” in Japanese. It is “feeling” and “intuition” at the same time. Intuition, from the Latin “intuitus” means to watch thoroughly or to contemplate. So, are our feelings linked to the way we look at things? If so, why is it translated by feeling? To understand this paradox, we must study each kanji.

When you separate the characters composing Kankaku, you get “Kan” and “Kaku.” “Kan” alone means “feeling.” (4) “Kaku” is more interesting, it means “to be able to read the mind.” (5) This ability to read the invisible; to read between the lines, is what we train now at Honbu. We have to hone our skills to feel the situation, space, and attacker altogether. Inside and outside. Twice during class, Sensei told us to be aware of our surrounding. We must “see” (intuitus) what we feel. During training, he asked us to attack our neighbors while doing the techniques.

Also, some Dai Shihan demonstrated the movements with their partners. But Nagase and Nakadai sensei were attacking them from dead angles. Sensei explained that the battlefield is a mess. Attacks often come from unseen directions. If you only focus on your opponent, you might end up dead.

In Kankaku, Kaku, (3) alone, is “Satori,” the same character for “enlightenment” they use in Zen. I guess that when you reach Satori, you can read your own mind. He also referred to Zen Buddhism after painting a circle on a piece of paper. It seems that all is connected, at least it felt like that yesterday night.

Our problem is that it is impossible to do. I guess this is why Sensei told us not to try to do things, but to move freely. One day it will work by itself. Then, this is why memorizing forms is useless.
But is it really unnecessary? (6) Playing with the sounds of “Kankaku,” it is interesting to see that “Kakueru” also means to “memorize.” (7) So could it be that we have to “memorize the feeling” to move without intent?

Also, 看過苦, “Kankaku, written in this way, could mean “turning a blind eye to pain.” (8) (9) Remember that we don’t know which “Kankaku” he is referring to when he says it. Is it 感覚 or 看過苦? We don’t know.

Trusting your feelings is the way to go after you learned the forms. There is no shortcut, It is only when you know something that you can forget it, and be natural. (10)

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  1. 八咫烏, “eight-span crow,” Yatagarasu: “Yatagarasu as a crow-god is a symbol specifically of guidance. This great crow was sent from heaven as a guide for Emperor Jimmu on his initial journey from the region which would become Kumano to what would become Yamato, (Yoshino and then Kashihara). It is generally accepted that Yatagarasu is an incarnation of Taketsunimi no Mikoto, but none of the early surviving documentary records are quite so specific”. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-legged_crow
  2. 鴉天狗, Karasu Tengu: crow-billed goblin. This is the famous tengu with beak and wings that you see in Jiraya. Check the Wikipedia page HERE
  3. 感覚, Kankaku: sense; sensation; feeling; intuition
  4. 感, Kan: feeling; sensation; emotion; admiration; impression
  5. 覚, Kaku is satori: Satori; folklore monster that can read minds
  6. Note: Memorizing the form is useless, once you have learned it. Remember the concept of Shuhari. You need two legs to walk.
  7. 覚える, Kakueru: to memorize; to commit to memory; to learn by heart; to bear in mind; to remember / to learn; to pick up; to acquire
  8. 看過, Kanka: overlooking; turning a blind eye
  9. 苦, Ku: pain; anguish; suffering; distress; anxiety; worry; trouble; difficulty; hardship
  10. Too many high ranks listen to sensei at the Omote level. They understand what they want, and do not follow the path of evolution Sensei has gone through. What he teaches today is the result of a whole life of training. Walk his path from the beginning, and don’t skip any lesson.

Arnaud COUSERGUE

Source : https://kumablog.org/2019/05/18/kankaku-trust-your-intuition/