The first week of training has uncovered more detail on the “no” theme of this year’s theme.  Soke has mentioned that we will focus will be on Ken and the Rope.  However, it must be seen that the rope is not necessary always the weapon, but the connection to the space.  All things have a connection, as stated before in my previous post about connections.  It is important to maintain the connection with our legacy and the ties with the teachers of the past.  This concept is critical for the Bugeisha and the study of martial arts.  The feeling can only be transmitted via kuden.

 Another important aspect in Budo that Soke was discussing with me recently is “unorthodox justice” 非常識の正義 using uncommon ways to achieve and maintain ethics.  Most fight for justice or the justice of common sense, but not the Ninja, who thrives in a world unorthodox.  Understanding this connection is critical to proper understanding of Budo without fixation on the world of from which stifles creativity, freedom and life.  Simply speaking, this aspect is of the same rope, weaving each end freely to create infinite form.

In the capacity of kyusho in this aspect of the rope, it can be understood that all kyusho are connected and infinite at multiple points.   Alternatively, focus on a specific kyusho will often result in failure or fixation.  The opponent’s kyusho must be seen as connected and if one action is not effective, then it will follow the path to the next connected kyusho.  In a sense, we must render the opponent to effect his own kyusho-mind control.

Continuing further on this subject, the necessity to maintain unsevered connection with a just training process and just teacher who possesses depth in the three aspects of saino, kokoro and Utsuwa is prevalent.  It is clear that those who understand this concept will prevail in their training.  As Soke stated last week, we must surround ourselves with good people and control our space and environment for the good of our own development.

What is important is balance and seeking to develop a level of equilibrium with all three aspects.  Naturally, people will have strengths and weaknesses.  However, for the purpose of training equal development is important.  How many can claim to have a balance and level of depth in all three aspects? Those that do maybe can be considered to have a reasonable understanding of Budo.  It could also be possible that we are given rank in Bujinkan for one or more or all of these elements.  Understanding and recognizing a weaknesses or strengths is a personal responsibility and very large aspect of the study of Budo. 

When asked “What is your rank?” Takamatsu Sensei answered, “It is not my rank that matters, but my reputation”.  There is a tremendous lesson here and truly representative of the Saino, the Kokoro and the Utsuwa.

Bufu Ikkan