Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is not a traditional art, so why so much focus on tradition? The history and the tradition are respected and looked back upon, but not revered. The timeless lessons are valuable from time to time, however the true budoka does not allow oneself to be trapped in a time warp. Soke has said in so many ways and thousands of times that martial arts are not to be collected. So why so many collectors? The Bujikan is not timed, it is timeless. I can recall that every single time I have been shown an heirloom or piece of history, that it was done so as a real day lesson of what was done then, and then needs to be considered for how it should be done now.
Kata is a study of proper basics and timing, but one must be aware that distance is affected by the generation and the relevant weapons used. For the most part, the initial distance of typical Bujinkan taijutsu training is off, as it is attached to a traditional attack. The real question is can you alter this? Can you still control in a nontraditional setting? I think in order to assure that your training will protect you in a present day situation you cannot afford to not play with different and relevant distances. I’m my humble opinion, the most critical aspect of martial arts is distance anyway, so it must be played with in a realistic applicable situation.
Our martial tradition has come far not based on technique, but evolution of a timeless mindset. Technique must evolve with the times and the elements in place. Why does most of what we see in the Bujikan today look like the pages of a history book? It seems that more and more this is relied upon, there is a lack of real world ability. I’m not suggesting that we cast out the basics, but I’m suggesting that the 15th Dan generation consider the words of Soke and seek to establish personal capability and not associate oneself to something packaged or given.
Who cares if the attacker does not adhere to the specifics of the traditional attack or the steps of the kata. Soke challenges us every day to question this, so why are we not?
The Bujinkan is not a traditional martial art, but a timeless one.
Bufu Ikkan-The martial wind flows with the times, not through them.