Martial arts can be tough to follow there is alot to do just to attain or or understand the the information in front of you.
The three things you need it to listen, listen to what the instruction is to the important pieces. The principles of what is being provided for you to help understand the movement being taught. Learn to understand and read between the lines (comprehend) not making your own story up with a few of the words the instructor is saying.
The next thing in your understanding is to watch, look if you can at different angles to see the movement. Watch the feet, the body and see how the uke responds to what is happening. Watch close and try to follow the movement instead of creating whats easier for you.
The last and most important is to learn. This means you need to open the mind up and see what you watched and re follow what you heard. Even at a lower level if you see a strong common principle you should follow it Don’t change what was done by the instructor . But see beyond what your eyes show you by adding the other information and processing it and move slow to follow the movement . Budo is a constant study as we try to decipher movements and verbal instruction to better our budo skills. Then work on them over and over .With the right attitude of learning there will always be a piece that you can shine and make new .
Life is always a beginning or so you should want it to be, if not you are dead ,life is stagnant.
As a budoka you need to train and look inward to yourself testing yourself and conquering your surroundings . Every gain and every fail is in truth a beginning . The journey doesnt end you just keep moving around ,over top and through and you mentally store your information and decipher it .
So this is the way you should be looking at your training at any level you are or feel that you are . The more you train the better skill base you have the more mistakes you can make so that you can adjust to get better . Training with other higher ranks,women and children will teach you or give you a fresh look and perspective on your path or journey that you are on.
To hope that something clicks and you understand your rank or what to do next is like looking at a diner but not walking in to eat in fear of it having no food. There will be something that will come out of what you strive for even if it is finding out that diner is empty.
You need to look at your basics and re teach them and watch high rank and re learn them. It is all the same lines and angles relative to distance and timing.
You can only learn to run by learning to walk and you need to fall and re access to understand how to walk better
Shodan,Godan,Judan and above the journey begins and ends with you and it only ends when you stop.
遠路 Take that journey
You must learn your basics first. Budo is a very beautiful piece of art if you are trying to just do budo you are missing key points to your training. You cannot paint or do art without first understanding shapes as simple as circle,square,triangle basic geometric composition . And basic colors yellow,blue and red that later can be transformed into a great piece of art.
In your training you can look into the movement of budo (warrior art) but go back to your basics and study. Look into your 9 schools and look at the structure how your body shapes and moves to create kukan. You will learn that your body and movement will create the openings . You will always need to go back to the basics to become new or fresh again in your own movement that over time will create better budo .
Real budo isn’t the the technique (waza) or variation of movement (henka) . True budo has a depth that penatrates your soul. It has its grounds set deep in repedative motion and understanding the human body from is psych to its muscles, yours and your attackers.
Your budo requires you to go beyond your senses to a place that we seem to all have lost till good true budo or an event draws it out . It is a primal function in life that is no longer needed in our overly complacent lives . Our will to see beyand, to survive and perceive danger . This is Saiki ( 佐伯). It is used in the Bujinkan during a test administired at the 5th degree ,godan level . Where a high level instructor sends his intent to strike you while you kneel infront of them. He then chooses a moment to strike you with a bamboo sword. Your job is to know the distance to sit for the test and receive it without flinching or worries. Your minds eye should be in tune and perceive this and move only when the danger is at its worst.
Dont hesitate or stay too late ,if you move to fast you could be cut . The attacker will see your movement and change with you . Move too late and your senses need to be honed..you are not intune yet with death or life.
At our dojo we train this sense by training blindfolded. There are many levels of this training. And you are the one with the answers. Be true to your self ( 自分に忠実 )and your budo .
The levels to depth:
Sense the attacker
Sense the threat ,when he moves closer or readies to punch
Kwow where he is ,do not loose him and his angle of attack
Sense the timing of his attack
Block or move defensively
Knowing all this know your ditance to the danger and you can reach to touch the punch
This is basic to the Bujinkan godan and it can help to elivate your awareness. No a punch or an attack is much easier to deal with . You can loose many of the thoughts that might interupt your movement and reaction of the oncoming interuption in your movent . And this is not just for physical attacks this goes deeper to your heart and handling life and situations . Your death is your life and your life is your heart to understand the metaphysical.
Too many times there is too much of a connection in what we are trying to do. We are thinking of a result or worst yet an end (エンド)to the begining. The begining is just there but the end is endless . If you are searching for the end than you are too busy to see everything betweeen. Your mind must stay clean of vituous and unvertuous thoughts Munen, zero no thought( ない心 ). Allow the journey to carry you don’t be carried by the journey .You may be keeping yourself closer to death than you know ( 成句) meaning that if you are looking to far into the future you might see your demise,your death .Stay alive in the moment and keep living it .
Think along the lines of Kihon Happo The end is the begining and the beging can be the end .. From spring blooms growth till falls death nourishes the soil for the next spring .Make both ends meet ( 収支を合わせる, 収入の範囲内でやっていく ).
This is life this is your budo connection from one to the next never really ending just continuing in another space or time ..without end ( 果てしなく［い］).
Soke Hatsumi has said to not give 100% give only 60% and save 40 for what comes next. Keeping yourself alive is key and not just through budo and training in all matters of your life . Blinders on horses are ment to keep them only looking forward giving the horse a false sense of its journey . We are far greater than a horse but some still enjoy blinders by seeing only one thing or consentrating too hard on future endeavors . Work hard,stay true and keep your techniques simple. Allow the future to wash over you and take note of it allow life to flourish and and your eyes ( mind, senses )open to all.
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Martial arts is a long journey for most of us . It doesn’t end within years or a belt rank. Infact sometimes you can’t even set a goal to move towards . I was talking to a student the other night after training. He is very diligent in showing up for training. And it was nice to hear questions and answers I seek at my level in the conversation.
When you start in your budo the answers and questions are pretty clear..maybe blurred a bit but your guide book or instructor can help. High levels on the other hand need Japan,Shihan or constant training and self evaluation to keep you on the right track. The lines are very obsceure and you have to keep reminding yourself of the basic principles as a guide.
Look into the basics
Stay offline (distancing)
Less movement and less muscle
This doesn’t seem like much but when you create te pyramid off of each waza ( movement) and then add henka it is a lot too look into. The hemka like a good drink shouldn’t be diluted till its weak without content. And if you add too much it is just yours but as a whole it isn’t Budo or Bugei. Be wary of this you are your worst problem. Accepting movement of your own without any of the principles is very bad. Search for the basics in your movement at all levels.
Last but not least sacrifice ( 犠牲 )one of the toughest parts of training is sacrifice. We all have a life,school,family and jobs. But it is the sacrifice you make towards self study and training or teaching that will keep you right. Many times you will need to miss a family event take time away from school or work. The people that do show there true spirit of Budoka ( 戦士の学生 ) warrior student. This sacrifice isn’t simply for your benifit it is there for all around you.