It is possible to say that so far this has been a somewhat challenging year on several levels and there are still several months that remain.  The year of the rabbit has been truly unpredictable and maybe even cruel in some ways.  However, as Sensei often explains, nature is a force that cannot be controlled and we as humans and martial artists must learn how to live in harmony with nature.  Nature will naturally find a way to restore balance regardless of the cost to human impact.

I have intentionally taken distance this year and done so with the purpose to review the foundation of my own motivation and reasoning for dedicating 27 years of my life to study of the Budo of Hatsumi Sensei.   In doing so, I have specifically chosen to distance myself from the organization of the Bujinkan and focus only on the teachings and philosophy of Hatsumi Sensei.  In this period of silence and reflection, I have learned some very valuable lessons and although these are personal to me, they may also have positive inspiration and impact on others.  I feel that the timing is right to emerge and share some of these ideas as they may be the catalyst to some paradigm shift for some.

Hatsumi Sensei always possesses a high level of intuition and it has truly become an aspect of banpenfugyo when I experience his multifaceted intuition.  In a recent conversation, he told me exactly what I have been feeling internally  and that is to not be a follower of the Bujinkan, but be your own martial artist.  In these few months of silence, I have truly come to understand that a true martial artist  is not of something, but is oneself.  Furthermore, one must not simply judge their value by what they can do in a dojo.  The true judge of life achievement and success is based on consistent achievement of success resulting in happiness, and achieved through constant experience and wisdom.  It seems that at times one must experience varying levels of hardship in order to come full circle in realizing that the simplest things are the most valuable in the wild pursuit of alchemy.  Unfortunately, human’s unnatural nature make this difficult to grasp, as we tend to be driven by ego, desire and materialism.

Hatsumi Sensei mentioned to me in a recent example that a true Martial Artist must obtain the Sanshin of wealth.  That of the heart, wallet and mind.  True wealth goes deeper than ability or technique.  What is this true wealth? Maybe a simple message, but often forgotten.  Furthermore, he mentioned it is ironically those that can do who cannot truly achieve. I laughed to myself inside, as I agree that sometimes the perception of success or happiness is based too much on the material.  The confusion of this statement can only be understood using the mind’s eye or the feeling of the aspect of seeing.  That which you cannot see you must feel and even though you can see, the feeling becomes ever so critical to judge the truth. Kan-Kan-Kan (間感観)三心館

There can be no substitute for presence in the study of martial arts or any apprenticed art or skill.  To achieve something in this pursuit is not something that will be easy worn on your sleeve or mounted on the wall.  The true value and achievement will remain still and deep within, maybe not something even worth sharing with others.  This can be seen as selfishness, but also a form of self protection as in with ninjutsu sometimes things must be hidden.  Neko No Myojutsu.

Looking at this, I believe that it can be said the Bujinkan has come far, but how far have we of the Bujinkan really come?  That is the real question.  In the end, there will be no ultimate recognition and possibly no clear leadership.  The platform is too vast and if Pareto where here, he might apply his law to the 15th Dan title. Furthermore, the sense that too many take Hatsumi Sensei for granted still somehow remains.  Although a rich man in the sense of the Sanshin of wealth, he is also truly generous at the same time.  Yet, a few are here to still take for their own gain.  This is not a martial art of information (although information gathering is a form of intelligence) but you must also have a kihon happo foundation to process this information, otherwise it remains only information.  In a simpler sense of the term, makimono mean nothing in the absence of kuden.  Why take when you can give?  Is this not the ura and omote of the martial arts?

The path is lonely and passing is not possible with CliffsNotes.

Bufu Ikkan