Late last year, just before the year -end break, Noguchi Shihan approached me at training and said, “before, training was different, we used to really hit each other and Soke used us as experiments for what he learned from Takamatsu sensei”. I stood there, with an obvious smile on my face, and asked him, “can I ask why you are telling me this?” and his response was “I don’t know, I just thought that you might want to know”. Funny how things work, but the days of being surprised are long over-Banpen Fugyo.
He continued to explain that in the early days of training, the Shihan tested everything that was taught, and Soke did the same by beating them silly, using them as experiments for what had been taught.
Soke once weighed close to 100 Kg and was very strong. There was a time when he was giving the Godan test and his Sakki was so strong that he flipped the circuit breaker and the room went black.
Noguchi Shihan explained to me that those days training was different and therefore the kihon happo is even more important. I asked him, “So how must we get this type of training?” and he replied “it is up to you to get this training, Soke is not teaching this way anymore.”
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
So look at the timeline of the Bujinkan and see where you fit in the continuum. If you missed something, it is your responsibility to fill the gaps. Some of us have been there and some of us have not, but don’t make the mistake of assuming who has been there and who has not.
Soke ofter states that the biggest sign of immaturity in Budo is to jump to conclusions.
If you are here to train, then do so, if not then step aside because there is no other way up the mountain. (Merci Arnaud!)