MUTÔ-DORI – 無刀捕 – PART 3

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( Versión en Español –

In the first part of the article of “Mutô dori” “无 刀 捕” I presented an introduction to the context and the form of transmission between master and disciple inside the level of “Mutô dori” of a “Koryû. ( )

In the second part of the article I presented in a “simplified” form, the body condition where the disciple must have a full and a deep understanding of the biomechanics of the body and the basic rules specified by the masters and by the transmission in the current of a “ryu” (流). ( )

In the third part of the article of “Mutô dori” I will explain in a “simplified” form the context of the traditional weapons in a “koryû” and his implication in the levels of “Mutô dori”. One of the concept that we can find is “Ken Tai Ichi Jo” (劒 体 一条), this could be interpreted as “body and weapon are one “, another related concept is “Ki Ken Tai Ichi” (気剣体一) that could be interpreted as “concentration, sword and body are one”, understanding that the masters use the word “sword”(剣) as a concept that goes beyond of the weapon , and that unites the whole strategy of his current of movement.

Before continuing I would like to explain that I use on purpose the sentence “could be interpreted” every time that I try to give a meaning to the Japanese kanji used to transmit concepts and perceptions within of a “Koryû”. I am aware that the efficiency of the interpretation will depend of the depth of the practice that who read them; therefore they are concepts that belong to “the mysteries of the heart” in a martial art created between the line and the space that join the life and the death. In effect, the kanji have a depth as deep as the interpretation that can be given to the life or the death, is a question that goes beyond the written or spoken language, something that transcends the intellect.

The kanji used in the documents of transmission ( “densho” “傳書”) cherish life and value in the heart of the practitioner. This is based in the base on the depth of practice and in the type of activity and relationship that have the practitioner with his master, to the image of the master in the heart of the practicioner, and in the respect that develop the practitioner for the current of his art.

Therefore the term of “Ken Tai Ichi Jo” ( 劒 体 一条 ) has much more depth in his interpretation than the simple translation of the kanjis , this term could be interpreted as the depth knowledge of all the types of weapons used in a “koryû”: dimensions and measure, weight, different distances that can cover a weapon, the different ways and methods to hide the long and short weapons with the positions (“Kamae” – 构) and with the attitudes of the body (“Kurai” – 位) ( for example in the concept of movement of “Musoku no hô” “无 足 之 法”, a term explained in the Part 2 ).

At this point is very important to know and dominate the knowledge that in the instruction and the practice of the techniques and methods of a “koryû”, be wanted hide the measures and possible references of the weapon used in order that the opponent cannot collect this information neither before, neither during ,neither after of the technique. NOTE 1.

It is important to reflect also, on that before we can defend ourselves of “something”, we have the need of to know. It is very complex for example to defend against a “shinken” (真 剣) or real Sword without knowing the common root of creation, operation and use of these tools in the fight.

And here’s based on the two last paragraph written, another paradox in the transmission of any technique of a “koryû”, where when”uke” “受け” (or the term more usual in the written documents of “kobujutsu” , “teki” 「敌」enemy ) and “tori” “取り” face with the empty hands – “taijutsu”. As argue in the second part of the article, all the techniques in individual way are part of a holistic and systemic whole, creating an invisible link of information between all the techniques and the diferents levels of the current.

Apparently there are schools (currents) that do not have in their instructions for example techniques of “Mutô dori”,” iajutsu” or ” kenjutsu” , and I write apparently because is impossible that a founder master ,“sôke” or “shihan” of a “ koryû”not know all the essence of the science of the war. Another thing is the way of hide and create a confusion very similar to the war in the form of transmission for select the disciple able to see beyond the chaos and the misinformation ( this is part of the transmission of the “ura waza” (里 技) and “soto no mono” (外 之 物) explained in the PART 1 of the article).

However this way of transmission has a depth and a much more “mysterious” meaning. All and every one of the techniques of empty-handed, and here´s, the art and genius of the founders masters of the “ryûha” “流派”. All and every one of the techniques should be able to glimpse and be done with any type of traditional weapon used in a “Koryû” . Whether in favor or against of this weapon, in any situation, terrain, location, time, moment, one on one, one on two, three or four opponents. From the unity towards the multiplicity, the art is the capacity to adapt oneself to the present moment, the real here and now, this is the essence of “ mutô dori”.

An empty hand technique is part of the current, of the flow of transmission inside of a “ryu” or martial current, and leads inside the strategy of all the current and the transmission of the masters. And here is one of the terms used by the masters “rezoku waza” (连 続 技), which we interpret as continuity and connection of one technique with other technique .NOTE 2.

In this section of the article also enter the knowledge, of both in the case of being empty hand as with a small weapon in the moment of the ” Mutô dori “, of the domain and deep understanding of the ways to unbalance and control the vital points of the attacker’s body, using the control and the movement of our muscle structure, joint to the alignment of the bones attached to the weapon that we use. Understanding that the weapon can be a tool (weapon) or can be a part of our own body (hands, legs, etc) acting in unity with our mind and intention.

Also add at this point the judgment and knowledge of the different angles that can take the long and short weapons to be repelled by other small weapons used during the “mutô dori”, and the profound knowledge of the use of the hands ( “shinken Shiraha dome” – “真剣 白 刄止 め”) for catch or repel the weapons , and in final the assimilation and the understanding of the term of ” ken Tai Ichi Jo ” ( 劒 体 一条 ) or body and weapon are one until the paroxysm. NOTE 3 .

Why to the paroxysm? One of the form to inspire the disciple by the master in his “kuden” or oral transmissions , was a sentences similar to these: “Now that you’ve reached the end, starts again from the beginning and practice night and day “nichiya” (日夜) for find the form without form and the unity of your weapon with the no form. In fact the depth of the relationship with an art, the master and his current of transmission depends on the depth of the heart of the practitioner, the heart has reasons that the reason can never understand. ” (I will explain, argue and enlarge on about the information on the “formless form” of the founder masters at the 4th PART and final part of the article of” mutô dori” )

Is important to discern in this last point exposed, about that the founding masters used the concepts like for example “Kenjutsu” (剣 术) , ” Sôjutsu (槍術)” or “Yarijutsu” (槍術) of deep and holistic manner. Knowing that their art revealed deep states of the multiple control through of the unity .This multiplicity refers for example to the domain of the body, weapons, strategy or “Heiho” “Hyoho” – “兵法”. NOTE 4 .

Finally understand that the response of an armed aggression opponent has to be a movement of defense and attack in unison, accurate and precise. For example this can be seen in the traditional concept that some master of “koryû” call “jiyûjizai” (自由自在) . where who defends applied in a only one movement, the control of the “timing” and angle of the attack . I repeat this concept to lead to reflection who read me, the Form of a “Koryû” is the Form to solve a problem with a solution of a only one ( ICHI ) movement, a movement without intentionally, invisible, accurate, and without Form in the case of the techniques of “mutô dori”.

For example this Form of motion where is solved in one motion the attack of an armed opponent, is possible find in the Form of the “sanshin no kata” ( 三 心 の 型) from “Gyokko ryû” (玉 虎 流), this transmission contains within a strategy of three attacks and three defenses in a single motion that moves in the cadence of a rhythm of three hearts.

This triple heart rhythm controls the DISTANCE, the TIME and the SPACE (Ma Ai – 間合い) of the situation of danger. This is known in the currents of traditional martial arts like “San-byôshi” (三 拍子) that could be interpreted by the “three beats”. In fact this “sanshin no kata” is a strategy of the movement of the body that contains in his interior the secret of movement of all the traditional weapons of a “koryû” , and of course the unity of the body with the heart of the practitioner – NOTE 5.

This form of reaction in one motion is due too to the mastery of the techniques of observation, where the skills of the opponent are evaluated when the opponent hold the weapon in his hands or in the type of pattern of movement of his body. Concepts that can find in classical martial arts as for example: “Te no uchi” (手 之 内) or “Tai no uchi” (体 の 内).

And in union with the “sanshin no kata” “三 心 の 型” and the way of observation with “the eyes of the body” , exist the term use for the masters, the “Zanshin” (残心) that is a high state of awareness, vigilance and alertness, that could be interpreted for “stay with spirit”, in an state of vigilance and alertness, before, during and after of the execution the techniques. A state where the practitioners learn to be ready for any offensive, even when the encounter seems finished. This is “Zanshin no Kamae” “ 残心の構え”.

However there is a concept that I would take into consideration at this point, this concept gets the whole in a general way of a situation of “Mutô dori”. The term used by the founding masters is “metsuke” “目着” ( or 目付) .In my humble experience of practice I will define and interpret , for the ability to observe the physical and psychic conditions of the armed opponent from a look of anticipation. An ability to observe from a “formless form that allows you to see without being seen”, an observation that allows to collect information and destroy the opponent’s center , even before the opponent makes his first movement. ( for example the vital importance of control the center in the transmission of the master in different concepts like “Shinmyo-ken “ – “ 神妙 剣” , “ Naka-zumi” – “ 中墨 “, “ Seichû-sen” – “正中線” ) .

The 14th sôke of Hontai Yōshin-ryū (本體楊心流), Ishiya Takeo, leave two famous “kuden” that connect with the term of “metsuke”:

“1 eyes, 2 speed, 3 courage, 4 power” and “soft on the surface, strong inside”. (the interpretation of the word speed, is very different from that gives in the sports circles, in the “kobujutsu” the speed is the elimination of everything unnecessary, whether physical or mental, ergonomics of movement and intention ).

“Mutô dori” represents the highest status within the practice of the “kobujutsu”. The founding masters defined this ability to observe and take precedence over the danger in his writings documents or “densho” ( 传 书), with the term of “sacchi suru” (察知), which we could interpret as predict or sense the danger, is the ability to anticipate ,read and perceive the opponent’s movement or a danger situation.

The founders masters had to find a way to discover a state of unity of the body and the heart ( eyes of the body) in situations of extreme danger, in the battlefield, in wars and armed conflicts, in losses and lost. In a state in which a human being discussion in the madness and in the imbalance of the mind and the heart through of the cruel experience of the war, and the emotional and psychological scars that remain within of the “apparent” winner.

The harmony is vital in the heart (spirit) body and mind of the master, all connected in our universe, like is inside is out and vice versa, from subtle and invisible until the vast and visible, from life to death, from love to hatred, from peace to war.The master seeks to control and can be able to evaluate the midpoint of the opposite poles, the master want know the nature of the danger and his influence in his heart,body and life.

And it is at this point where the founders masters, created an art, a martial art that was in balance with the nature around them and the environment that they inhabited, and at the same moment with the inside and the beating and beliefs of his heart . Here´s the great mastery of the founders masters in the art of ” Mutô dori ” , they expect the opponent’s attack with an open and flexible state of the body, mind and heart .The art is the art of perceiving and predict the opponent’s movement from a internal state of zero or empty.

A condition that connects the vision of the eyes of the subconscious with the movement of the body to the unison. Therefore there is no space for the ego and a nature that is not the essential nature of the human being in the transmission of the levels of ” mutô dori “, the duality of the ego separates the union that connects the heart and the body with the original nature of the human being.

The depth of the transmission of the founders masters and his lineage is a treasure for those who ” observe” ( metsuke ” “目 付” ) and practice with the” eyes of the heart ” . A current, a ” ryû ” is an art that expresses the connection between mind, the body and heart with its reflection in the IN-EX-TERIOR , any subtle change that ocurred on the outside and in the environment could be perceived by the subconscious mind and the heart of the master in the art.

However, realizing of that this type of transmission based on images, concepts and paradigms that cover a “esoteric” space and that are complex to explain in written words, I’ll leave writing the only basis that can serve to the practitioner and the honest and sincere seeker of the art: THE FORM FOLLOWS THE FUNCTION.

Is very easy for the follower or practitioner, lost in the illusions of the ego . “The formless form” is a state of practice that begins to discern or glimpse in more than 30 years of practicing the basics, until that this basics is part of the bones and blood of the practitioner, and this is not even a guarantee that the practitioner came to “the elite of the elite” .The art of “Mutô dori” of a “koryû” is something extremely serious , techniques of life and death.

For this the real practice begins and ends in our hearts ….. The environment and nature around us (ryû) is the true witness of our practice, we cannot fool to the image reflected in the mirror of the image of the master, the mirror of our more intimate solitude, where we are naked of filters and conditioning of the ego ……….. in that space is where the art resides .

“The heart of the Form is the sword of the disciple. It is with it that he fights his enemies and by it that he pushes back the calamities that threaten him” Toda Shinryûken.

I say goodbye of this part with a few words of the Dr. Kacem Zoughari, hoping once again that my very humble words have served to inspire to penetrating into the art, into the practice in a sincere and a deep Form.

“It is a question of a system of survival forgotten, plunged in the depth of the BEING, and this one slightly worn out, or better, frequently concealed for an EGO that assumes the control of the BEING. If the danger resides in each one, how do we want to detect it in others without being able to detect it in us themselves?
It can be said that to understand the nature of the danger and to understand the nature of the man, in all that it cannot control her turns into hostage of his fickleness. This self-knowledge, by means of the cancellation of the EGO, is the heart of the ninjutsu”
NOTE 1 –
A little more information about what development in the paragraph corresponding to this note:

NOTE 2 –

In a practice of a “ Koryû” the more important is the “Kihon” “基本” , the “Kihon” can be translated as a foundations or basics.
In “Gyokko ryû” we can find the “Kihon happo” (八 法) that meaning the eight laws, methods, models, principles, rules. According to the Sôke Masaaki Hatsumi the “Kihon happo” can also be interpreted as (∞) infinite, referring to the number of “henka” “” 変 化 “or changes, variations, mutation, transformation or metamorphosis that may arise. It thus we can understand the “kihon happo” with “the basics of martial arts.”
This famous infinity (∞) is the union of one technique with another and the continuity in the “kihon happo” in the concept of “renzoku waza”.
“Renzoku” (连 続) means continuity, this continuity in the context of a “Koryû” is to indicate the sequence and flow of the techniques “Renzoku waza” (连 続 技).

NOTA 3 –

A little more information about what development in the paragraph corresponding to this note:

NOTA 4 –

NOTE 5 –

In this note I would add a article that I wrote in the past, and I think that can give more information about the “Hachi” “八” and the “Hasso” (八 相) of the “ kihon happo” and the union with another foundation of the current of “Gyokko ryû”, the“Sanshin no kata” “ 三心の型”.
En esta nota quiero añadir un articulo que escribí en el pasado, y que pienso que puede dar más información sobre el “Hachi” 八” y el “Hasso” (八 相) del “Kihon happo” y la unión con otro fundamento de la corriente de “Gyokko ryû”, el “Sanshin no kata” “ 三心の型”.

The martial artist seeks the control of the mind, emotions and the body through of the mastery of the five strategies of war inside of the “Sanshin no kata” ( 三心の型 ).

The practitioner manages to support the necessary distance in front to that is difficult or painful, experiences the sadness but he does not remain caught in her, the internal and external enemies are simply thoughts, emotions or persons who still have not woken up to a more illuminated reality. These thoughts, emotions and persons live in his own hell, the intention of the martial artist has to be it of helping to that these thoughts, emotions or persons discover his real potential and come to his fullness across to the correct practice to the Form of the current ( ryû ).

We can understood this like the “Sanshin no kata” “ 三心の型” ,where thoughts, emotions and persons (body) they find the harmony. Note 101.

This is deeply link to the transmission of the attitude of the body of eight transformations “八相之位 “” Hassô no Kurai “ Note 102.

The terms “Hassô “”八相” comes from the esoteric Buddhism, is inviting us to penetrate into the octuple ( 8º) noble way, or at least to know it.

Note 101 – chūshin「中心」- center
Note 102 – ichi「位置」situation, position.

NOTE 6 –

For example in the term used in some “koryû” in the “ Iai jutsu kata” (居合術形) like “ Enzan no Metsuke” (遠山の目付) that can be interpreted “one looks as if staring at the mountains in the far distance” , but in the moment of the danger the practitioner looks are directed towards the essence of the cut.

MUTÔ-DORI – 無刀捕 – END OF PART 3 ( The end in the 4 PART ” 死 / 四 ” ).

Note of the author: Everything written is written from the humility of a personal way, with a spirit of communication and expression with me. I consider myself as a HUMBLE practitioner, student and instructor of the art. I am conscious of my basic and immature movement, knowledge and vital experience. I am in the encounter of my answers to my own way across of the practice of a martial way. If what you read is useful to inspire or to extend your paradigms of practice or of life, I will feel very grateful, thank very much for your attention and company to read me.

To the mountain it is possible to rise from infinite ways, and from all of them it is possible to see the MOON.

Most sincerely
David Esteban Guzmán


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