In his books, Hatsumi sensei is often playing with the various possible meanings of a given Japanese term.
Even though I tried to state it clearly, some were very critical about Mutô Dori not being only a technique done when you have no weapon. So here are a few more explanations that might shed some light to my previous explanations.
“Many people think that Mutô Dori is about the opponent wielding a sword while you have none, but this is not the case. Even if you have a sword, Mutô Dori starts with the development of the courage to face an opponent with the preparedness of not having a sword.
This means if you don’t thoroughly train in taijutsu you will not obtain the knowledge of the refined skill of Mutô Dori. Therefore, you must first know the purpose of the path of training. If you are unaware of this and proceed down the path of thinking that sword training is only about cutting and thrusting, then there is a danger that you will go down the path of the evil sword. The sword harnesses a pure essence that is life-giving – one who cannot live the way of the sword saint will foolishly think that the sword is only a tool for cutting. Those who do this can never achieve enlightenment.
The warrior’s heart is ruled by preparedness, and nature’s heart, or god’s heart, is fundamental. The heart also governs the warrior’s physical kamae. Therefore if there is no unity in spirit and body, you will never understand the reason for being a martial artist. You will leave no vulnerability or opening (suki) if you remain consistently prepared.(…)
Many people do not fully understand Mutô Dori, and believe it is simply the knowledge of defending against a sword attack, but I would urge you to understand that it is the mind and skill of disarming the opponent, whether they wield a yari, naginata, bô, shuriken, or gun.
You must understand the mind of “ten thousand changes, no surprises” (Banpen Fûgyô), and attain the knowledge of Mutô Dori in response to infinite variations.
Attaining knowledge of real Mutô Dori means you will earn the protection of the gods.”
I hope that this text clarifies definitely the previous entry of this blog.