I have just returned from an excellent trip to the UK and Ireland. The seminar in Ireland was a blast and the people there are superb. I felt that there was a very high level of skill and feeling. The leaders have a real success story when it comes to cooperation for the sake of training.

Thanks to Alex Meehan and the whole crew.

We worked on several aspects of this year’s theme. Addressing the various elements of Ninpo and the associated mindset and taijutsu as taught by Hatsumi Sensei.

I do believe that the most critical and important lesson of the training was the focus on kihon. Kihon, not Kihon Happo waza.

I have been lucky to develop an understanding from my exposure to Soke that there are three basic elements that make up kihon. Distance, Angles and Timing (DAT). These 3 simple elements combined into one constant, internalized over decades of training are the secret to the control of the space (Kukan) This concept, yet very simple, are in my opinion the key to control of the space and ultimately effective shinken gata. Again, I’m sure that this is no new discovery, but I believe that maybe this concept is lacking focus these days.

If we are going through the motions of our kihon waza, without being mindful of the 3 above elements of Distance, Angles and Timing, then we are cheating ourselves in our training of the effectiveness of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

To take this to another level, I often like to say that sword work is “taijutsu under a microscope”. The taijutsu associated with kenjutsu is unforgiving. I slight miss move or opening in your DAT will be most likely fatal. If you are practicing kenjutsu without solid taijutsu, then you are developing severely bad habits.

As Soke teaches us, effective control of the space is done by internalization of the DAT in the capacity of Shingitai 心技体.

This concept cannot be lacking strong confidence or the guts for the fight. There is no secret technique or no shortcut to effectiveness. Only many years of training with keeping it real with the correct kihon leading to eventual internalization, backed by unquestionable Dokyo度胸 and fudoshin 不動心

Be honest , there is no perfect outcome, there is no flashy budo. The fight is plagued with mishaps, bad luck and basically good old Murphy ‘s Law. The faster you accept that, the more effective you can be. Look at Soke, all things turn into something else. Therefore attachment to a technique can be detrimental.

There are no secrets, and no surprises and DATs the truth.