The secret to martial arts is that there is no secret. It continues to amuse me that there are so many products and programs out there that claim to be something special, something secret or never before taught or the “real thing”. 25 years in training in the Bujinkan and 15 years training with Hatsumi Soke in Japan and I can honestly say that there is no secret or special trick that is going to make you a more effective Budoka. The key is and always will be, training and even more critical-realistic training.
Proximity to Soke-Years of training-Time spent in Japan-The only one who knows how to read the scrolls. None of this makes or defines a warrior. What makes a warrior is the heart. The heart of the matter is that nothing matters when your kihon is not kihon. You must have a just foundation of ethics and stand for that of warrior. This is what will determine the degree of your heart. 15 Dans are wall paper unless they are indicative of your heart fused to your actual ability on a foundation of proper kihon.
Training is what will polish your heart and training is what will make you effective. However, it must be training in kihon that is kihon and effective dynamics that are tried and tested. Technique is not the answer and will not answer your questions.
A compliant uke-A fancy Dojo-A lack of actual ability does not make the heart of a warrior.
I’m grateful for the Bujinkan as I have met many fellow Buyu with great hearts, warrior hearts.
Are we seeking to develop a real life ability?
Or are we just seeking to accessorize with a 10th dan?
Soke is an amazing example of a man with a gracious heart and truly amazing taijutsu ability. I can never be him, I can only model him in my own training. I will and should have aspiration to achieve something different, as each and everyone walks their own path.
As this year’s theme is Kihon, are you practicing kihon happo or are you questioning your foundation?
It seems that it is your very foundation that will be constantly tested, not your technique.