|Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei Explains 師逢和瀬 Shiawase. photo by Michael Glenn|
I had a simple plan to teach 片腕遁走型 Kata Ude Tonsō Gata. But during my preparations for class that night, I was overcome with gratitude toward my teachers. It seems there was a secret power bound up in this kata.
It can be described as 師逢和瀬 Shiawase. Let me tell you how I discovered it.
The Bujinkan has made my life rich. I have made so many friends all over the world. Thank you to my students who come to class and allow me to study with them. Thank you for reading this and for watching my videos or subscribing to my training website. Thank you to everyone who invites me to teach seminars.
I prepare for every class I teach. I feel I owe it to my students to do my home work. But I don’t just owe it to them, I owe something more to my own teachers.
I have studied the kata I was planning for this class with many teachers over the decades. But one of my favorite moments was studying this with Hatsumi Sensei under the Japanese maples during the year of the rat. I wrote a 5 part training series about this for Rojodojo members that begins:
師逢和瀬 Shiawase is a play on words. Normally it uses different kanji and means しあわせ shiawase: happiness; good fortune; luck; or blessing. But with the kanji Soke uses it suggests that by meeting a master teacher you will find good fortune and happiness. Or even, that simply finding a master teacher is good fortune in itself.
As Soke told us that day under the Japanese maples, don’t sever your connection with the kukan or you’ll suffocate. His playful admonition is really telling us that the kukan is full of mystery, and it holds all the history, teachings, and connections that I share in the 5 part training series published on Rojodojo. I don’t know why anyone would choose to break away from this rich heritage.
For me and my students, the circle is full when I teach something like 片腕遁走型 Kata Ude Tonsō Gata. My own students can trace their introduction to this fundamental form of ninjutsu from me directly to Hatsumi Sensei, and then to Takamatsu, back through the generations. This is the secret power hidden in a simple kata.
We are very fortunate to have these insights available to us. I have to humbly thank my teachers and my students for keeping this connection alive so we can receive this treasure and great history of our art.
If you do not understand what you are missing, then get connected. This is how you cultivate good heart and spirit. Then the Bujinkan will be better with you in it.