This is and old post but…Today was the first day of training for 2007 at the Hombu. (hatsugeiko)Soke showed us the bud that will eventually flower into this year’s theme.The theme for 2007 is Kukishin Ryu and the aspect of Kimon (demon gate) or direction.The aspect of Kimon is Buddhist and said to be native to Japan. The Kimon is the gate of a temple at the north east point which allows both the Oni and the Kami to enter the temple grounds. It is necessary to have this duality as Oni in though demons are actually kami. The characters in kimon can also be changed to mean birth gate therefore bringing in the new. This concept will develop further as the year goes by, but good information on kimono can be found on winkpedia.Sensei also wrote the calligraphy scroll for this years training (pictureattached) for Ku (Nine) Ki (demons) Tai (big) sho (smile). The meaning of this is that you must be able to smile at the demons and enjoy training even though it can be painful at times. Don’t think of training as always easy.You must train to survive. Tai sho is also can mean the top of an organization, for example an army general, the boss of a company, the owner of a top sushi bar.Sensei said that you have to become a demon in your training at times. You have to be tricky and even brutal if need be. This type of mindset and strategy is essential for real combat situations.Sensei made other comments today regarding the other martial arts of Japan and their fixation on the sword. He was not bad mouthing them per se but was using them as an example to illustrate that you should be set on one weapon (in this case the sword) because Japan also had guns, so how can you expect to fight sword against gun? Sensei commented that the sword masters were writing of the heart and not of the sword per se.The first waza that we did today was SEION and focused of the feeling of the waza and not the step by step, because kukishin ryu is the art of 9 demons so why should we trust the scroll?