|Discarded Tabi Along Route 3, 県道3号線. photo by Michael Glenn|
Hatsumi Sensei gave directions of how to do a kata. I needed these instructions desperately. Because the opponent has his sword ready to cut me down, and I do not have a sword. How do I not get killed?
Soke’s instructions are,
「門空一閃、十方軌喝で取りをとる」 “a flash of nothingness, the art of disarming with juppo kikatsu.”
Yes. Right. That’s what I was going to do anyway.
But, before my opponent kills me, can I ask a question? What does that mean? I’m not dead yet, so I will try to understand.
I was working on this in my class the other night. I surprised one of my students with the way I captured him. He said, “It didn’t feel like you had anything until you had everything.”
A flash of nothingness. You yourself become this emptiness. Zero.
This is what allows the room in the kukan and in yourself for this year’s theme of Shin Gin to be real. This has a funny effect on your opponent. It may cause him to falter or freeze. Like a flash across his mind he is trapped in a moment.
Then you take the entire space, his body and weapons, and the entire spirit of the opponent.
If you’ve ever seen one of Hatsumi Sensei’s opponents afraid to move, this is because he feels attacked from all directions. There are threats from ten different angles. Every escape appears cut off or filled with pain.
When I’ve done this to someone, it is amusing from my perspective. Because it feels like nothing. But the opponent is wrapped up in it and can’t move. This is Juppo Kikatsu.