Tsunagaru: Stay Connected!


A week ago, my last class with Sensei for this trip was another great one, with many insights to bring and to train at home. Before we began, Hatsumi Sensei spoke about the new statue of Kannon that he acquired recently. More than a statue, it is a symbol. When Takamatsu Sensei stayed one year…

Piano And Budō


A few years ago, Sensei said that if you wanted to control the opponent, only one finger was enough, or Yubi Ippon Jūbun. In fact, since then, he has been insisting a lot on the piano-like manner with which we have to play with Uke, using only the tips of our fingers as if writing…

Read Between The Lines


強弱柔剛あるベからず “Kyojaku Jūgo Arubekarazu” One must not depend on strength or weakness, or softness or hardness. It is a sentence from Toda Shinryūken Masamitsu, Takamatsu sensei’s uncle. (1) And Hatsumi Sensei repeated it once again in his last class when he was explaining the importance of moving slowly without stopping. Some Bujinkan members misunderstand the…

Don’t Xerox The Master!


Each class, Hatsumi sensei speaks about moving “Yukkuri”, slow. This is different from training slowly. (1) Training slowly: Study level/acquisition/Dōjō Moving slowly: high-level/reaction/fight Training slowly is part of the learning process, reacting slowly deals with actual fighting. When you train slow, you create new mental/body patterns that will be useful in a real fight. When…

Please Pronounce Correctly


I don’t speak Japanese, but I do my best to pronounce it correctly. Too often, I can see t-shirt written “Gyokko Ryū Koshi Jutsu” instead of “Gyokko Ryū KoSShi Jutsu.” (1) Twelve years ago in a Nagato sensei’s class, he asked what we wanted to study as he always does. An American teacher jumped in…

Mumei And Yokenai


Hatsumi sensei is getting deeper, every class, into the world of Mutō Dori. The majority of you is now familiar with the vast complexity os this concept that we have been training on and on for nearly a year and a half now. As he explained here, Mutō Dori is not only the “unarmed defence…

Don’t Be A Selfish Ninja!


Don’t be selfish! If you have the chance to train in Japan, let the Bujinkan community know about what you learned. Every year, about 5000 Bujinkan members come to Japan to study the Bujinkan techniques under Hatsumi sensei and his best students. The majority of these Bujinkan members are Shidōshi. So why don’t we have…