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Mutodori

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Mutodori

Cette année, 2017, Hatsumi sensei a démontré qu’un mutodori n’est pas simplement le fait de se défendre à mains nues contre une attaque au sabre. Le mutodori est avant tout un état d’esprit. À mon dernier voyage au Japon, Hatsumi sensei a dit que la compréhension des mutodori était la base du vrai budo.

Le mot clé pour la maîtrise des mutodori est sans contredit le contrôle. Contrôler la situation, contrôler l’adversaire, mais avant toute chose, apprendre à se contrôler soi-même. Première erreur dans l’apprentissage des mutodori, cela n’engage que mon point de vue, c’est probablement le fait que la plupart des gens n’ont pas le contrôle de leurs émotions au moment d’exécuter ces techniques. Hatsumi sensei a répété à de nombreuses reprises que l’on ne doit pas faire de techniques, qu’il faut que les choses se fassent de façon naturelle. Je n’avais qu’à jeter un regard autour de moi pour réaliser que ce n’était pas le cas.

Beaucoup de gens désirent bien paraître aux yeux de Soke et des autres personnes présentent sur les cours. Plutôt que de faire ce que Soke enseigne et de se retrouver en terrain inconnu, ils préfèrent se fier à leurs mémoires et reproduire des pattern où ils se sentent en sécurité. Il faut apprendre à quitter sa zone de confort. Hatsumi a déjà dit de se fier à la partie divine qui est à l’intérieur de nous. Si l’on exécute la technique avec la peur de mal paraître, on manque une partie essentielle de l’apprentissage, l’échec.

Deuxième erreur dans l’étude des mutodori, le contrôle total de l’adversaire. Bien sûr, il faut maîtriser l’arme. Mais l’adversaire a deux bras, il est facile pour lui de sortir un autre couteau si l’on ne focalise notre attention que sur l’arme principale. Il faut prendre conscience du jeu de levier qu’offre le corps humain. Vous contrôlez un doigt qui a une incidence sur le poignet, qui lui-même en passant par le coude positionne l’épaule de l’adversaire de façon à orienter ses hanches changeant ainsi l’orientation et les possibilités de mouvements de l’autre bras. Tout cela aura bien sûr un effet sur l’équilibre et la solidité de la structure de l’adversaire.

Troisième erreur, l’état d’esprit. Lorsque l’on fait une technique, on désire gagner au point d’en faire une affaire personnelle. Le mutodori exige que l’on soit détaché de l’action. Lorsque l’on désire trop fort un résultat et qu’il n’est pas au rendez-vous, le cerveau se retrouve perturbé momentanément. Il faut être détaché du combat et laisser les choses s’enchaîner naturellement. Lorsque l’on regarde Hatsumi sensei faire une technique, il agit comme si l’adversaire n’était qu’une distraction sans importance sur son déplacement d’un point A au point B. Il ne focalise pas sur l’obligation de gagner son combat. Son visage ne montre des signes d’agressivité uniquement lorsque son corps a besoin d’énergie supplémentaire pour effecteur une frappe ou une clé. Aussitôt ce moment passé. Il reprend son aspect paisible et détaché. C’est shizen, c’est naturel.

Hatsumi sensei redirige souvent l’attaque de l’adversaire d’un seul doigt. Il exagère volontairement la situation pour nous démontrer que si nous mettons la pression au bon endroit et au bon moment, nous n’avons pas à utiliser de force physique pour contrôler l’adversaire. Au Japon durant les cours, il n’était pas rare de voir des personnes agripper fortement leur partenaire et tenter de les amener au sol par la seule puissance de leurs muscles. Le plus souvent, ces gens prennent tellement de place qu’ils finissent toujours par bousculer tout le monde autour d’eux. Ils désirent un résultat prouvant leur compétence à maîtriser l’adversaire plutôt que d’essayer de s’améliorer, quitte à mal paraître sur le moment.

Nous avons à apprendre énormément des mutodoris. Pour y arriver, il faut accepter que cela prenne du temps et qu’il faille laisser notre égo de côté.

Bernard Grégoire

Yushu Shihan

Bujinkan Québec

 

 

This year, 2017, Hatsumi Sensei demonstrated that mutodori is not simply the fact of defending unarmed against a sword attack. The mutodori is primarily a state of mind. On my last trip to Japan, Hatsumi sensei said that the understanding of mutodori was the basis of the true budo.

The key word for the control of mutodori is undoubtedly control. Control the situation, control the opponent but above all, learn to control oneself. First error in the learning of mutodori, this is only my point of view, it is probably the fact that most people do not have control of their emotions when performing these techniques. Hatsumi sensei has repeatedly said that we must not do techniques, that things must be done in a natural way. I just had to look around to realize that it was not.

A lot of people want to look good in the eyes of Soke and the other people in class. Rather than do what Soke teaches and find themselves in unknown territory, they prefer to rely on their memory and reproduce pattern where they feel safe. We must learn to leave his comfort zone. Hatsumi has already said to trust the divine part that is inside of us. If one executes the technique with the fear of appearing bad, one misses an essential part of learning, failure.

Second error in the study of mutodori, the total control of the opponent. Of course we must manage the weapon. But the opponent has two arms, it is easy for him to take out another knife if we focus our attention only on the main weapon. One must be aware of the leveraging of the human body. You control a finger that has an effect on the wrist, which by itself passes through the elbow positions the opponent’s shoulder so as to orient his hips thus changing the orientation and possibilities of movement of the other arm . All this will, of course, have an effect on the balance and solidity of the opponent’s structure.

Third error, the state of mind. When making a technical, we want to win at the point of making a personal matter. The mutodori requires that one be detached from the action. When one desire too much a result and it is not at the rendezvous, the brain finds itself disturbed momentarily. It must be detached from the fight and let things happen naturally chained. When one looks at Hatsumi sensei to make a technique he acts as if the opponent was an unimportant distraction on his movement from point A to point B. He does not focus on the obligation to win his fight. His face shows signs of aggression only when the body needs extra energy to knock an effector or a key. As soon as this moment passes, it resumes its peaceful and detached aspect. It’s shizen, it’s natural.

Hatsumi sensei often redirects the opponent’s attack with one finger. He voluntarily exaggerates the situation to show us that if we put pressure in the right place and at the right time, we do not have to use physical force to control the opponent. In Japan during classes, it was not uncommon to see people clinging strongly to their partner and trying to get them to the ground by the power of their muscles alone. Most often these people take up so much space that they always end up jostling everyone around them. They want a result proving their ability to master the opponent rather than try to improve, even if it looks bad at the moment.

We have to learn a lot from mutodoris. To get there, we must accept that it takes time and that we must leave our ego aside.

Bernard Grégoire

Yushu Shihan

Bujinkan Québec

 

Source : https://bujinkanquebec.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/mutodori/

https://bujinkanquebec.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/mutodori-2/

 

Bujinkan Strategies of Control Part 6: 神経 Shinkei

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Ricky, Kiwa, and Michael on our way to the Bujinkan Honbu

I got up really early on Sunday to meet a new Japanese friend in the train station. He had been training in a Bujinkan dojo in Tokyo until his teacher died. I was sad to hear about the death of his teacher who had been Soke’s uke for many years. And I was very surprised to learn that my new friend had never been to the Bujinkan Honbu dojo to train with Hatsumi Sensei.

I decided to risk breaking some kind of Japanese formality or etiquette that I was unaware of and invite my friend to train with us today. I hoped that Soke would be happy to meet him. We never know what these connections might bring.

In Hatsumi Sensei’s class everything he taught was about using small points of connection for control. He demonstrated this with with his fingertips. In one moment he slapped the opponent in the eye with his index finger. Then he showed us how to line up the body and the shoulder behind one finger as if it was a sword.

Then you pivot around that point. When you pivot around this small point, you control the opponent’s kamae, his balance, or the point of pain.

Soke said,

“With the fingertips being able to 変えるkaeru. You’ve got to be able to do this just with your fingers. it’s not a technique. you don’t really feel like moving much, right?”

Soke said he was controlling through connection. Connect to the opponent’s movement, but also what he is thinking and feeling. Once you make that connection you can control him. Control his body, thoughts, and his feelings through this connection.

But he emphasized,

“You’re not controlling one specific point, you’re controlling everything. I said by the fingers, but it’s not really the fingers. It’s about control. It looks like it’s happening at the fingers but it’s actually happening with the whole body.”

Soke used the word 神経 shinkei. This is a sensitivity through the nerves.

“Study this way of controlling through connection. Connect with what he’s thinking or he’s feeling. It’s not technique. you have to be connected with him like this. You can’t teach this. If you try to avoid, you’re going to break that connection.”

This is not something you do with your own human intention. Shinkei is instinctual like an autonomic response that your body has if you are sensitive enough.

You use the small parts of your body. To demonstrate Soke began to wiggle his ears and we all laughed. Then he said to take the small things and connect to the big things in the kukan and then use that connection.

This is the correct 空間利用 kukan riyō or use of space. When you connect with a finger, it is a small thing or point. But it connects to a big thing which is the conflict or your opponent’s aggression. You use that small connection (NOT the finger… the connection itself) to control.

Hatsumi Sensei said we create a vacuum and have this “mood.” Soke used a play on words between English ムード muudo and Japanese 無道 mudou or even 武道 budou. You are being led by the martial arts into zero. Going between mood and the way of emptiness or formlessness. We are led by the martial arts into zero and become zero through the martial arts.

During the break, Hatsumi Sensei painted a dragon for my new Japanese friend. Many of our other Japanese Shihan and buyu were very friendly and welcoming to him. Maybe in time he will find his new teacher in the Bujinkan.

Michael GLENN

A Pattern 荒む Growing Wild: Bujinkan Strategies of control Part 5

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Nezu Bamboo. photo by Michael Glenn

Have you ever leaned against a tree and felt the wind blowing the whole trunk? It is an interesting feeling because the trunk feels so solid, yet it sways in the wind. Even a small breeze can shift the whole thing.

One Tuesday night in the Bujinkan Honbu Dojo I felt this from Hatsumi Sensei. It was so soft and subtle that it would be easy to miss. And at this point, Soke said,

“Don’t do too much. Whether it’s in contact or not, you’re moving away. But you’re not trying to do it. 力を感じさせない chikara o kanji sasenai.”

Chikara o kanji sasenai. This means you don’t let the opponent feel your power.  You don’t let him feel any technique from you. Or any force, or power. You may use force and power, but you want to use it in a way that he cannot feel it! Then when it affects him, he has no idea where it comes from or how to counter it.

That afternoon I had spent some time in a bamboo grove near 関さんの森 Seki-san no mori. The breeze was quite strong. I stared in wonder at the movement of the very tall bamboo as they swayed and squeaked against each other in the sky above me. I placed my hand on one of the culms. I felt it move my palm softly.

In this way you do not telegraph or give away your intent. This is a fascinating way of using taijutsu. You are responsive to your opponent, but not fighting.

Hatsumi Sensei showed this again when his opponent grabbed his wrist. He told us,

 “He will have the tendency (勝ち gachi) to relax his grab so you wait for that. Then you move with 雅致 gachi (artistry or grace) to control with your feet. Study this connection.”

He then told us we should float the opponent in the kukan. What does that mean? Well, imagine a heavy object like a bundle of bamboo. It would be hard to push around with one finger. But if it were floating as a raft in the water, you could push and turn it through the water with very little force. Even if someone were sitting on it, you could still move it easily.

This is what happens to your opponent when you float him in the kukan. Hatsumi Sensei said that one of the themes for the Jugodans in this type of training was to be able to apply a technique without really doing it. He told us to not use any technique, yet have it happen anyway.

He described it as 荒むのパターン susamu no pataan. This is a pattern of wildness. There’s no pattern but it’s all connected.

This is challenging to get your mind around. If you think of a technique like omote gyaku, or ganseki nage, these are techniques that you normally have to do yourself. And we train hard to learn to apply them correctly. But for us Jugodans, we have to have these techniques happen without actually doing them ourselves.

One clue for how to do this was when Soke told us to break the balance in the space. You do this by becoming the kukan yourself. If you become the kukan, there is no pattern and you can be free. This is the kind of control he wants us to embody.

Michael GLENN
Source : https://bujinkansantamonica.blogspot.fr/2017/04/a-pattern-growing-wild-bujinkan.html

Des produits sans nom/Products without name

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3 avril 2017 par bujinkanquebec

Beaucoup de gens qui ont pratiqué d’autres arts martiaux et qui viennent s’entraîner à notre dojo sont surpris de constater qu’un grand nombre de techniques que j’enseigne n’a pas de nom. Au début, plusieurs de ces personnes ont l’impression que nous sommes une école désorganisée, qui semble manquer de rigueur. Bien sûr, nous avons un grand nombre de techniques codifiés. Toutes celles qui nous viennent des 9 ryus portent un nom. Mais lorsque l’on regarde Hatsumi sensei enseigner, on réalise qu’il va bien au-delà de ces techniques qui sont codifiés. À mon point de vue, le fait que nous ne nous sentions pas obligés de donner un nom à chaque technique n’est pas une faiblesse, mais au contraire, c’est une force qui nous permet une grande liberté de création. Demander à la plupart des shihans occidentaux du Bujinkan de vous enseigner une technique de défense contre une attaque qu’ils n’ont jamais vue, la majeure partie d’entre eux pourront vous surprendre de l’efficacité de la technique qu’ils vont créer pour vous. Codifier chaque technique, donner un nom pour chaque mouvement devient une entrave à la création et à notre faculté d’adaptation. Ce n’est pas pour rien qu’à de nombreuses reprises, Hatsumi sensei nous a dit de ne pas demeurer prisonniers de la technique. Lorsque je donne des séminaires de défense contre couteau, la plupart des techniques n’ont pas de nom. Mais elles fonctionnent et ont fait leurs preuves en situation réelle. En donnant un nom à chaque mouvement, on se sent obligé de demeurer dans les limites du système. Plutôt que d’improviser de nouveaux concepts, les pratiquants d’arts martiaux retravailleront continuellement les mêmes enchaînements en essayant d’améliorer la vitesse, la précision et tous les paramètres que l’on pourrait programmer chez un robot. En travaillant comme nous le faisons, il peut arriver que nous fassions des erreurs lors de l’exécution d’une technique de défense. Mais si cette erreur arrive, la créativité que nous avons appris à développer nous permet de nous adapter et transforme cette erreur en quelque chose de positif. Les nouveaux étudiants qui passent outre ce premier préjugé constatent rapidement la force et la richesse de notre art martial. Malheureusement, ce n’est pas tout le monde qui peut se sentir bien dans un tel système. Beaucoup de gens ont besoin d’un encadrement sévère, de balises qui dictent les limites de leurs fonctionnements. En nous enseignant comme il le fait, Hatsumi sensei nous amène à nous dépasser, à participer à l’enrichissement de notre art. Notre art martial est vivant et il évolue. Par le fait même, il nous permet une amélioration de notre conscience martiale comme peu d’arts martiaux peuvent le permettre.

 

Many people who have practiced other martial arts and come to train at our dojo are surprised to find that many of the techniques I teach have no name. At first, many of these people have the feeling that we are disorganized school, which seems to lack the rigor. Of course, we have a large number of codified techniques. All those who come to us from 9 Ryus have a name. But when looking at Hatsumi sensei teach, we realize that it goes far beyond those techniques that are codified.

From my point of view, the fact that we do not feel obliged to give a name to each technique is not a weakness, but on the contrary, it is a force that allows us a great freedom of creation. Ask most Western Shihans of the Bujinkan to teach you a technique of defense against an attack they have never seen, most of them will surprise you with the effectiveness of the technique they will create for you. Coding each technique, giving a name for each movement becomes a hindrance to creation and our ability to adapt. It is not for nothing that on many occasions, Hatsumi sensei told us not to remain prisoners of the technique.

When I give seminars of defense against knife, most techniques have no name. But they work and have proved their worth in real life situations. By giving a name to each movement, one feels obliged to remain within the limits of the system. Rather than improvise new concepts, martial arts practitioners will continuously re-engineer the same patterns, trying to improve the speed, accuracy and all the parameters that can be programed in a robot.By working as we do, it may happen that we make mistakes when performing a defense technique. But if this error happens, the creativity that we have learned to develop allows us to adapt and turn this error into something positive.

New students who ignore this first prejudice quickly discover the strength and richness of our martial art. Unfortunately, it’s not everyone who can feel good in such a system. Many people need a strict framework, tags that dictate the limits of their functioning. By teaching us as he does, Hatsumi sensei leads us to surpass ourselves, to participate in the enrichment of our art. Our martial art is alive and evolves. By the same token, it allows us an improvement in our martial awareness as few martial arts can allow.

 

Bernard Grégoire

Yushuu shihan Bujinkan Quebec

Source : https://bujinkanquebec.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/des-produits-sans-nom/  / https://bujinkanquebec.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/products-without-name/

Muto Dori With Marishiten

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Michael Glenn

at 摩利支天 徳大寺 Marishiten tokudaiji

The other night in Hatsumi Sensei’s class I ran to grab a bokken from the weapon rack. When I returned, my training partner was waiting for my attack so he could try the muto Dori technique that Soke had just demonstrated.
When I cut down I had a great surprise. Hatsumi Sensei appeared from behind my training partner. He pushed my training partner aside so that I was cutting at Soke instead!
I thought that I hit something but Soke was beside me laughing. Somehow I missed. He said that I should learn this feeling.
This year one of the main themes of the training in Japan is Muto Dori. Anyone who has cut at Soke will tell you that he disappears or even splits in two.
That was what I experienced this time. It was like there were two of him. I hit one but that was an illusion.
I’ve often struggled to understand the reality behind this. Even though I can sometimes do this with my own students, the act remains elusive from any explanation.
But today I was lucky. Hatsumi Sensei gave us a big clue later on in the class. He showed a knife evasion and he said to move like the heat wave from  摩利支天 Marishiten. He said this as an aside to his uke and then he moved on.
Marishiten is a goddess I have some familiarity with. One of the very first shrines I visited in Japan was  摩利支天徳大寺 Marishiten tokudaiji in Tokyo. This place is a bit hidden in the middle of a very urban market.
Marishiten is very important for warriors and for ninja. She protects because she uses illusion to help us disappear from our enemies. In Mikkyō (esoteric Buddhism), there are mantra and mudra which are said to make a warrior invisible.
Marishiten appears like a ray of light or mirage. Her image is like a shimmering heat that bends light. Under her protection, anyone who attacks us would be blinded by illusion.
The illusion comes in rays of shimmering light. When you look, it is like staring into the sun, and Marishiten charges from within this brilliance.
When Soke said this a subtle light went off in my brain. This ineffable feeling he wanted me to understand was now more than just an odd experience I feel when I attack him.  You have to see more than the illusion.
Maybe my training is to grasp the nature of the mirage and illusion that arises from Marishiten. This is one aspect of Hatsumi Sensei’s lesson to me. But an odd side effect of this knowledge it is that I can now learn to counter this.
The mirage of Marishiten is a type of blindness. Once you can see and pierce through this veil, what lies beyond it grows clearer. I do not know what surprises Soke has waiting for me when I see past this layer, but I suspect it will open like the lotus blossom.
Marishiten is often depicted standing on a lotus. But her more angry form is shown standing on the back of a wild boar. Hopefully I will see flowers instead of beasts!
Michael GLENN

Repousser l’espace/Pushing the space

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Lors de mon dernier voyage au Japon en février, Hatsumi sensei a parlé d’un principe un peu obscur: pousser l’espace ou le vide sur l’adversaire au moment où il nous attaque. Comment peut-on interpréter cela?

Au milieu des années 80, j’ai reçu mon diplôme en hypnothérapie. S’il y a une chose que les hypnothérapeutes connaissent bien, c’est sûrement les craintes inconscientes. Celles qui viennent nous hanter à partir de notre côté obscur du cerveau. Quel rapport y a-t-il entre cela et le concept que nous a enseigné Hatsumi sensei? La compréhension des mécanismes du subconscient.

Lors de séminaire que je donne ou même à l’occasion avec de nouveaux étudiants, je fais un petit jeu qui démontre bien ces deux facettes de notre personnalité. À moins d’une distance de bras, j’explique à l’étudiant que je vais le frapper d’une tape sur le dessus du front et qu’il devra bloquer mon bras sans reculer. La personne se place les bras en garde tout en me laissant un espace pour l’atteindre. Dans tous les cas, il parvient à bloquer mon bras. Puis, je le regarde droit dans les yeux et lui dit qu’à partir de maintenant, il va devenir plus lent, que son bras ne pourra pas arrêter mon attaque. Dans presque 100% des cas, au grand étonnement de l’étudiant, je parviens à le frapper.

Comment cela est-il possible? Une simple technique d’hypnose qui permet de jeter un doute dans son subconscient. Même si son intellect est persuadé que je ne pourrai pas l’atteindre, si je réussis à semer un doute dans son subconscient, son corps va s’adapter à cette programmation négative. Mais, pour parvenir à ce résultat, moi-même, je ne dois avoir aucun doute sur ce que je vais faire. En regardant l’étudiant, je dois projeter une confiance en moi qui soit absolue. Je ne dois laisser planer aucun doute sur ma réussite. Mon visage, mes épaules sont décontractées. Mon sourire jette les premiers doutes dans son esprit. Le doute crée l’échec.

À plusieurs reprises en tentant de frapper Hatsumi sensei, j’ai eu cette sensation de perte de contrôle. Quelque chose en moi m’empêchait d’attaquer efficacement. Soke venait simplement de manipuler mon subconscient. Lorsqu’il a parlé de repousser l’espace, le contexte était d’expliquer le feeling mutodori. En fonçant sur moi comme il l’a fait, il n’exprimait aucune crainte, que de la certitude. Mon esprit conscient voulait avancer, mais mon subconscient a eu un doute et a préféré battre en retraite devant tant de certitude. Impossible de résister à autant de confiance en soi.

Bien sûr, le concept mutodori est bien plus que ça, mais je trouve intéressant de voir comment l’hypnose peut s’intégrer aux arts martiaux de combat. Dans mon travail en sécurité il m’est arrivé de me retrouver dans des situations de combat dans une ration de quatre à cinq individus contre un. Seule mon attitude de confiance absolue que je projetais, croyez-moi je ne me sentais pas confortable dans cette position, me permettait de déstabiliser les fauteurs de trouble et d’éviter la confrontation.

Repousser l’espace n’est pas simplement le fait d’avancer sur l’adversaire, c’est l’état d’esprit qui l’accompagne et cela, ce n’est pas évident à faire.

Bernard Grégoire

Yushuu shihan

Bujinkan Québec

Dans le livre Maître et disciple, la naissance d’un guerrier, il y a plusieurs de ces concepts psychologiques qui y sont traités. Lors du dernier voyage, Hatsumi sensei a dit que frapper était le niveau inférieur du budo. Maître et disciple nous fait réaliser que le travail du corps n’est que le début du chemin.

 

 

On my last trip to Japan in February, Hatsumi sensei spoke of a somewhat obscure principle: pushing space or emptiness on the opponent as he attacks us. How can we interpret that?

In the mid-1980s, I graduated in hypnotherapy. If there is one thing that hypnotherapists know well, it is surely the unconscious fears. Those that come to haunt us from our dark side of the brain. What is the relationship between this and the concept taught us by Hatsumi sensei? Understanding the mechanisms of the subconscious.

When I give seminars and even on occasion with new students, I make a small game that demonstrates these two facets of our personality. At a distance from my arm, I explain to the student that I am going to hit him with a slap on the top of the forehead and that he will have to block my arm without retreating. The person puts his arms on guard while leaving me a space to reach it. In any case, he manages to block my arm. Then I look him straight in the eye and tell him that from now on he will become slower, that his arm will not be able to stop my attack. In almost 100% of the cases, to the astonishment of the student, I manage to hit him.

How is that possible? A simple hypnosis technique to cast doubt in his subconscious. Even if his intellect is convinced that I cannot reach him, if I succeed in sowing doubt in his subconscious, his body will adapt to this negative programming. But, in order to achieve this result, I myself must have no doubt as to what I am going to do. Looking at the student, I must project an absolute confidence in myself. I must leave no doubt about my success. My face, my shoulders are relaxed. My smile throws the first doubts in his mind. Doubt creates failure.

Several times trying to hit Hatsumi sensei, I had this feeling of loss of control. Something in me prevented me from attacking in an effective way. Soke had just manipulated my subconscious. When he spoke to push space, the context was to explain the mutodori feeling. By running on me as he did, he expressed no fear, only certitude. My conscious mind wanted to move forward, but my subconscious had a doubt and preferred to retreat before so much certainty. It is impossible to resist so much self-confidence.

Of course, the mutodori concept is much more than that, but I find it interesting to see how hypnosis can fit into martial arts fighting. In my work in security I have found myself in situations of combat in a ration of four to five individuals against one. Only my attitude of absolute confidence that I projected, believe me I did not feel comfortable in this position, allowed me to destabilize the troublemakers and avoid confrontation.

Pushing the space is not simply about advancing on the opponent; it is the state of mind that accompanies it, and that is not easy to do.

Bernard Grégoire

Yushuu shihan

Bujinkan Québec

In the book Master and Disciple, the birth of a warrior, there are many of these psychological concepts that are dealt with in it. On the last trip, Hatsumi sensei said that hitting was the lowest level of the budo. Master and disciple make us realize that the work of the body is only the beginning of the path.

 

Source : https://bujinkanquebec.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/pushing-the-space/

https://bujinkanquebec.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/repousser-lespace/

Evade Without Evading: Bujinkan Strategies of Control Part 4

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五條天神社で、お焚き上げ otakiage preparations at Gojoten jinja. photo Michael Glenn

Last time I attacked Hatsumi Sensei, he disappeared. It left me very confused. But Hatsumi Sensei described it this way,

“This is a way to control. You’ve got to be a shadow. He won’t believe that I’m avoiding.“

The next day I ran some errands in Tokyo. The local shrines were already beginning their new year’s preparations. I stopped and stared at a pile of wood that was made ready for the お焚き上げ otakiage bonfire. Fire can purify and burn away problems from the previous year.

I kept thinking about what happened in yesterday’s class with Soke. How did he disappear? That was what I was stuck on.

I thought, next time I get that chance, I am going to really try to hit him and see what happens. If anything goes wrong, the year is almost over and I can throw myself into the fire.

In Hatsumi Sensei’s next class, he asked me to punch at him. I decided this time I would go for it! I really tried and he disappeared. Then I was kind of hanging there in space. I felt a finger (I think it was his thumb) very light on the back of my hand. And somehow this threw me. He said,

“This muto dori feeling is very important. One finger. Just kind of pass by. This way of moving through the kukan is important.”

What Hatsumi Sensei was teaching was how to control. I discovered much later that this type of control arises neither by evading or NOT evading. It is hidden in between.

Hatsumi Sensei told us over and over, “Yokeru yokenai!” This is getting out of the way without getting out of the way. Not evading while evading.

This is hard to understand. Obviously you don’t want to get hit by your opponent. If you can’t evade or stand still, then what?

Hatsumi Sensei gave us a clue when he said “人間の意識からない ningen no ishiki kara nai.” Don’t do it with your own human intention.

That is the problem with evading. The human intention or thought takes too long. Soke said, “I’m not avoiding. Not thinking.”

This creates a special kind of distance that is connected to nature. It is not something that you came up with yourself. If you’re trying to get out of the way, then you won’t be able to control anything because you are preoccupied.

You don’t want to get hit, or cut by the weapon. But if you try to evade, or try NOT to evade, you will fail. No matter how good you are. There is always someone better, faster, sneakier. So the answer lies in between evading and not evading.

What is in between? Connection and zero. This has long been how Soke describes his budo,

“You control him like this. This is the theme. Connect these ideas. It becomes zero. Connecting zero.”

You can find the middle way between evading and not evading by merging with this universal space (Hatsumi Sensei said shizento and uchuuto). Then he called it a 玉 gyoku or egg ( I don’t know what that means, but if you do, please contact me).

Your whole body becomes like the mist. I wouldn’t believe any of this, except I tried to hit Soke and that is what happened. I have been holding onto that feeling ever since.

In my own training I have discovered that in the moment you evade, you break the connection and become trapped in your efforts to evade. You escape this through play. Play sets you free. Hatsumi Sensei described it,

“This is the idea of freedom. This is the strength of freedom. The power of freedom. Because it’s very wide, it’s very vast (宇宙 uchuu). You want to go up into space.”

The flames from the bonfire rise above the shrine, sending sparks past the 鳥居 torii, and up among the stars. I would burn with them. There I learn the freedom of this distance.

Michael GLENN
Source : https://bujinkansantamonica.blogspot.fr/2017/02/evade-without-evading-bujinkan.html