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This blogg is to begin with my personal reflections, knowledge and opinion for you to take part off. I am not trying to convince you, it is just for you to have something more to reflect over when you create your own knowledge.
2016-10-13 Bujinkan, budo or martial art?
I recently read a bloggpost about Bujinkan where there where several good pointes drafted as for an example ”Showing up, train regulary and train on a consistent level 50-60%”.

This article or blogg will be questioning the way Bujinkan strike and move from the basic ”Kamae”. I will also declare that I claime to practice Bujinkan and sticking to it in spite a few changes concearning the subject. I will not leave and I will tell you why! I will try to create a change instead!

Background:
I have bin training in Bujinkan for 24 years now and bin to Honbu three times. I have during those 24 years bin in the army and there I went through Close quarter combat instructor course, several repetition courses and even the instructorcourse once more just a few years ago. I have bin a policeofficer for 9 years now and a instructor in selfdefence, shooting and tachtiches. I still stick to Bujinkan and how can that be?

Problem:
I started doubting early even before I went through CQB training, which means about 1998, because my sences told me something was ”wrong” and so did my teacher! My former teacher had made about ten years as a bouncer at the nightclubes in our town and had much excperience in handling violent people. And he said many times that you will not stand or use those stretchedout kamaepositions which we do in the dojo. People do not strike in that way in IRL as we do in the dojo. But he and I still keapt on going and stuck to Bujinkan. I started to use Jumonji kamae as my prefered kamae!! How is it possible? I will try to explaine!

I have made a note about it before concerning the reality we see in Sweden of a decreasing number of people getting in to Bujinkan. My guess is that we see the same in the larger part of the western world, why? As also mentioned in that blogg is that MMA has become wery popular (also on Swedish television this morning concerning women) and are pulling a lot of youngster and the same with different selfdefenceschools/courses. Most of them succed doing it because it ”promises” a quick fix and safety. Which in some selfdefencecourses is true because they focus on the problem, but it will not make you a fighter or a warrior.

The main part stick to it for a while until they get wounded or and realize that it takes a lot more time and effort to become a star in a cage than they thought, It is like CrossFit. BJJ is also a wery popular art and that is where many of the former MMA practitioners end up, why? Because of the risk of getting injured is less. Our chairman in Bujinkan Sweden told me once about a meating where other martial sportes where present and where they rejected Bujinkan and they where of the attitude that we are a non functional martial art. Why is that? Why is it that we then hide ourselves by telling ourselves aspecielly that we do a weaponbased art.

I have asked myself many times why I do stick to it? That is a question the blogger is mentioning to, thoe he with some right actually suggests that I should leave or just follow what is taught! But can it just be so that our information about the way we are taught to move was wrong and actually have changed! ”SEE WHAT I DO, SEE HOW I DO IT”(Hatsumi Soke) Whithout many highranking teachers seeing it or is it that they do not want to see it and reject it because of the risk of loosing face and looking like a deciever back home?

And yes it is a weaponbased fightingform, and in som cases with some longer weapons where we need to stand a bit different. With our side turned towardes the enemy. But the issue is that we still must be able to move with that weapon and with 20kg of armour as light and quick as possible and hopefully for many years through a lot of training and many battles without getting injured because of bad movementpaterns.

Solution:
I believe to start with that as it is writen about The ”nine different Ruya” within Bujinkan that they have ”survived” for between 400-1000 years is one good reason to stay, why? Because the key for survival of something in history and nature is that the strong survive and functionality is a key!

Sweden and Japan are rather uniqe in a way because we have bouth excperienced over 200 years of peace. Japan between 1650-1900. Sweden from about 1800 to present. I know that during peace fighting methodes turn in to sportes, shootingtraining for fighting turnes in to sportes. In sportes there are rules and changes startes to occur (ex. Sykes-Fairbanks and Weaver). When not used in fighting for life or death with excperienced instructors who has survived to tell, things start to change! ”Bujinkan denshos” are writen for an introduced instructor who had a hands on training by excperienced teachers. The denshos are as notes and drawings which will connect and be a reminder to that teacher who made them. As pictures they are at the most two dimensional and made with an more or less artistic talent. As you yourself might do when on a seminar or a lecture. The problem is as you for sure has experinced about notes and drawings that when time goes and you look back at them you probebly do not understand them yourself either!

So then we have to look at functionality and experience within the society and it´s surrounding within other fieldes where we create movementes again to check it out and in some way test what we learn. That is where the resistenceladder kickes in (5 levels of resistens) as a tool. As mentioned by the blogger, if we go a 100% (level 5-)in force we will have a big risk of getting injured as in an MMA-fight or worse and 50-60% would be level 1-2 (3). But if we are not able to get experience from an ancient battlefield or will not see or listen to what happens on the modern battlefield or in the streets Bujinkan will slowely die or become an art for ”liveactors” or the museeum (almost there already in Sweden).

I am sure that Japanees people did not move or function in a much different way than we do today. I will take two examples because it is actually the ”only” TWO issues about Bujinkan as I experience by those questioning the functionality of the system. The way ”we” strike and the ”traditional” outstretched kamae ”we” use.

Example 1:
In our arm we have biceps and triceps. Triceps is stretching our arm and biceps is pulling it back. Done in a distinct and more powerfull way as a strike there is an actuall reflex in our body that will automatically pull it back a little (through the biceps) with the purpose of protecting the arm from overstretching and just perhapes in a counter to prevent it from getting biten (or cut) of. So why are not Bujinkan doing this, I mean pulling the strike back? One say that it is because of we are doing weaponbased moves without weapons! But what? One can read in history that the ”Ninja” worked mainley as a spy, agent or as a scout who collectes information and even with assasinations. Did they in those asignements carry long weapons? Do not think so! So how do you think they where able to survive when confronted? I Believe by being able to move in a an effortless, relaxed and functional way where you use your bodys capacity to the it´s maximum. Using ”tourqe”, ”reflexes” and relaxed moves.

So I say: You can not stay out there with a spear or a naginata or a sword on a battlefield either because you will loose your weapon and you will not be able to move quickly enough and you will end up ”choped down”.

But! It is so that it is a rather good thing to do when in training and talking about the ”Budocode” and ”Kyori/Distance” (P2) and illustrate the use of ”Totoku/Sword and shield” (p5). The limb or weapon between you and the NEXT threat through the structure.

Example 2:
Also connected to the ”Budocode” is ”Kamae/bodyposition or structure” (p1). So what is the problem? We have to start connecting to our naturall way to move and that is something we in Bujinkan can start recruting people through again but then we must change! I have seen the claim and also claimed it, that we are teaching that! But in my opinion that is wrong! Some of you high ranking teachers out there are but very few!

In our western society today we have almost completly lost our basic and correct way to move because we are sitting way to much on chaires and not being active enough during the day. We move on flat surfaces and have shoes with thick padded soles or high heals. There is a long list! There are loades of ten yearoldes out there who can not squat correctly today because they are to stiff in there ”fascia” and already to to weak in there muscles. Which meanes that there hipes are not working as they should, they are loosing ”tourqe”. It creates problems as feet, knees, hipes, back and neckproblemes occures and in the longer run injuries and depressions. Which then most often leads to the healthcare with medicines and more ”padding” and early sickretirement and death.

So that is what the society is contributing to and in my opinion also something Bujinkan in many cases also are enforcing by teaching the wide stances (Kamae). Which we see in the dojo with the feet pointing in different directions we only at the most look rather cool with a sword in hand. But ”we” loose the capacity to move quick and with power compleatly because of ”loss of tourqe” in our hipes. Ask yourself: How do you push a car? How do you stand when lifting something heavy? How do you stand when about to jump? How do you run? When clinching with somebody, how do you maintain balance and structure? How do you dance with a partner? Where did the old samurai have his armour and where do a modern warrior or policeofficer has it today? The only time you turn your feet in different direction is when turning around!

In the blogg he mentiones injuries. What I have seen and do see among older Bujinkanstudents is that many have kneeproblemes, also hipes and lower backpaines. I would say it is not because of that they are training to much or to hard, no! It is because that they are moving wrong with bad ”Ugoki/movement” (p4) and not building there muscles for fighting! Deep and wide stances, kneetwist when striking instead of heal and hip. Loose of tourqe in hipes. Not moving in a way so that you land in a position which windes you up for the next move.

We have to start moving as we are created to do, to be able to last which means ”functional”. I will not say naturall! Because I believe in our society today, naturall movement is not to move! It is to sit, take the elevator then the hooverbord or monowheel to the car and so on! Our environment today is a constructed one and that inflictes our way to move and so are fashion.

I have changed the way we move in our dojo, I am working hard to get my few studentes to have a kamae which is solid, where your feet, hip, shoulders are turned towardes the problem you have (corrected by Oguri sensei in 2010 too do so!) and so also when striking and changing direction. When striking we are pulling our arm back after the strike. In this way we are able to move faster and more relaxed and at the same time create power and maintaining a good balance. I have felt a remarkable change in my body after doing this, I have no more lowerback paines, my knees are not strained any more and I am much more free in my movementes.

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Look att the fighter to the right and the bodyalignment! I would say that he got his opponent in a ”broken structure/Kuzushi” or a ”zeropointposition” (p7).

I stick to Bujinkan because I love the atmosphere which we have in the dojo, connecting people all over the world and showing understanding towardes all different subjectes. I have taken a lot of it to me to become a lifestyle like Zenbuddhist traditions of meditation, which I am working hard to get in to as a philosophy in my life. I also believe it is a wery complete ”fighting style” if we want it to be and I want it so! I do believe it has survived because of it and for a reason! But if we want it to continue to attract MORE new young people it has to get back to functionality so that new students an people who come to us get some core in their confidence. In Bujinkan KUMA dojo Karlstad we firstly learn a functional and ”correct” way to stand and move our body which we posses (Kamae and ugoki). That create health and an injuriefree long life, secondly a good selfdefenceprogramming and mindset for the society of today and third a traditional or historical study of ancient Japanees Ninja- and samurai martial art. We are using the ”9 budocodes” and the resistensladder to reach what we seek.

So sometimes we step up in the resitenseladder to level 3 at the least and try our technique in a sparringlike situation to be able to tell if it is working. And if the technique is not, we do an analyzis with the help of the ”budocode” so that you get to know if it is you who is the error or if it is the technique which is bad!

”Be carefull so that you do not learn something that is wrong, because it might give you a hard excperience”

I believe in heart that I am on the right track and I know because I have information from many different directions which tells me so as to mention some: My CQB knowledge, CrossFit gymnastics and endurance, live situations from work. They all addes upp and tells me it is right and they create a good feeling in my body and mind. This makes me believe in BUJINKAN as a fightingstyle and a good selfdefence and worth training!

So ask your self: What is it that you are seeking? What is it your teacher are trying to learn you, is it really right, is it functional. Do you really believe in the way you learn how to fight?

”SEE WHAT I DO, SEE HOW I DO IT” (Hatsumi soke at every class)

Art is for the museeum so keap it alive, work on it and I will see you!
Marcus

2013-08-08 Ground up

My last blogg about time-information-people was about how it comes that some things do not get to you until it is time for it. It might be because of that you are not ready for it or the information/person has not just gotten so faar! But this blogg will be about reflections concerning the subject that struck me when it reached me. It reached me in kind of tzunami waves. The subject is positioning: Ground up-core out. I have, and the trainers in our dojo I am running has for a few month now put a lot of  time to understand this and get it to practice. The information I recieved bouth doing CrossFit Endurance and Bujinkan Budo taijutsu was about creating “TOURQE” in the body. All people out there I believe has “tourqe”. But I also belive that most people do not have it at the right place. Getting tourqe at the wrong place creats a wrog way to move your body in. We can move but it is not effective and might create pain and problems in your nervousystem and in ligaments and muscles. What we whant is to be as energiesmart as possible and ready to move and move quick to be able to respond to deaththreats. Today maybe the threat of death is not the first thing most people think about, but we perhapes think about moving fast and lifting heavy and so.

The information and the way to practice “Ground up” , I have recieved from CrossFit Endurance and Bujinkan ZERO point dojo and I believe it has developed me a lot and it will continue to do so for a long while. What ZERO point dojo or Rob Renner did was that he took it a litle bit further and told us how to train this. The thing to do is to create and get back to a natural way of moving! But first, do we not move naturally or maybe effective? Some of us do but what makes it change is: Social pressure (gangstyle, prisonstyle, militarystyle, baleestyle, hiphop style etc), injuries, bad habits. Socialy we whant to fit in and belong. For an example the fashion nowdays which some guyes have is wearing jeans below your bum. That creates a way to move which is not effective and which gives you a habit which might in the long run create injuries. Injuries might be the other big problem, a broken leg or a strained neck makes our body compensate for a while to be able to move. Fashion like this or injuries  a short time of unbalance and makes you strain yourself and in the long run it creates a “habit”, you normalize your movingpattern. You have adapted and you move “naturally” but not effective! So to stay effective and get back to basic naturall movement we must train. And the way we should do it as Rob told us is “positioning” our selves and we do it by training by creating maximum muscletention for a few seconds four time each day (or more).  After we have: 1. Put our toes/feet straight forward, 2. Straining or pushing our knees outwards, 3. Rolling hip forward and squezing our buttocks together, 4. Tentioning stomachemuscles, 5. Connecting cheast to “pelvis”, 6. Turning hands outwards and squezing your shoulders togehther, 7. Pulling chin in and 8. Straightning your neck.

This you should go through four times a day and above that every time you start running or weightlifting or any training, even when you start to meditate.

What has bin kind of a discovery for me after starting working with this is to discover the “human system”, it all connectes! I started to meditate for about 15 years ago, I have bin running for alla my life but for the last two years I have bin working with barefootrunning or since the CrossFit Endurance seminar this year with “poserunning”. I have bin training Ninjutsu for 21 years and just recentley (2010) with the information Rob Renner has delivered for the last three years (I known the man) it has made me believe in Ninjutsu in full force. All those thinges connect, it did not before! My conclusion is that it must be right! What most of all makes it connect is using the positioning from sitting (meditating) to standing in a fighting stance and to running. It all of a sudden seems so easy and effortless. Why? Becuase it creats a correct breahtingpattern, a midline corestbilisation with tourqe on the right place. But it takes time and you must put in some effeort and i might hurt! Why? Because you are to change your current “normal” and uneffective bad habit moving pattern and that creatse a time in unbalance which will hurt and soemthinges will not work during this period but after a while you will see some light in the tunnel and you will start to develop a new pattern which I believe will be much more effectiv, naturall and energiesaving.

Welcome to a new world!

/Yamabushi

2013-06-04 TIME-INFORMATION-PEOPLE

What is time? Time is supposed to be invented by the human being. But who invented time and why? There is a saying within Bujinkan “Ninpo ikkan”. Which means kind of “The ever lasting flow” with an constant change. Strange why we humans or perhapes westerners tend to think and also try to conserve things as they are. As for one example youth! Nature is always changing, seasons, wheather, wind, temperature, day and night to mention some.

I read a book about Apache indians a few years ago and in this book it said that the whites was so amazed over that the Apaches did not see to have any awarnes about time. They could spend hours inside a small store, they could sit and talk long time after dark with no intention to stop. They said that as long the conversation was interesting, why stop! If you feel tired you go to sleep, if you are hungry eat!

The Buddhist do not seem to have some higher concern about time either, I mean do you need to have that when you reincarnate all the time? The important thing is what you do now! And even when you reach enlightment it do not say it is the finish, you just do not need to keap surching!

I have started to feel bad about our situation, we are hunting as lunatics to do everything and constantly try to feel bad becuase we need or whant to be somewhere else. But the interesting thing about it is that even if we we stress our guts out living like that we more sledom sttle timeappointments, we keap it more and more open to which direction we shall take. Youngsters today can not make any promises that they will be in time somewher because they do not whant to make that decision, if it turns up something funnier or more intressting or just because.

But what made me think especially about the relation between TIME-INFORMATION-PEOPLE was  that recently my son got sick in Diabetes 1 and at the hospital when under recover I told him about a friend of min who I was i Japan with in 2002. He had Diabetes 1 and he did a lot of training and feels wery good. Just a few days later while on “leave” from the hospital and down in the city, there he stands infront of us. He get to say a few words which I believe cheered my son up a little

Antoher situation receantly was about information, I guess information is a little like clothes. It becomes “Fashion” in some whey. I mean for example is the word “Functional training”  that kind of word today within the fitnessindustry. But hear I am at two different seminars which have totally different purposes. One is about running (CrossFit endurance) and the other is about Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and they deliever almost thesame message about positioning and the basic training and it is “Ground up” and “Core stability”. The messenger are bouth americans so I guess it is kind of a fashionword. But anywhey, this is with a few month inbetween and on different locations and purposes, but why does it appear now? I whould have liked that knowledge 30  years ago and it has actually alaways bin there somewhere.

Then we have come to the “final”! If time do not actually exist atleast not in universe Imean, it is just a constant change then it will be hard for us to interact witheachother in a planed whey. So that is why we have probebly created time. So the life as I know it can be drawn as a line on a whyteboard and on that line I can apply a lot of memories/situations that I remember and also memories other people have which I do not remember. But anywhey here you can make markes concerning information and people who crosses your timeline. You can go many years next to a person without knowing he or she is there then suddenly he/she crosses your line and you discover that you have lived in the same appartment and know almost thesame people. Then perhapes the person dissapears again for a long time in to the indefinable future. Sometimes a person tend to show up several times in a short while! Then you must ask yourself: Why is this happening now? what am I to learn now? why now? Has the person something to tell me? Am i about to learn something?

You should also be aware that it might be you crossing his timeline! Which means that you might be the one who is going to tell that person something!

So our destination or the end of your timeline as you know it, what can we do about it? Is it preset or can we do something about it? There is two things only certain in life, we have to make descisions and we are going to die or move on to the next level, zone or whatever your beliefe or religion tells you. But to be able to decide where you whant to go, you must know who you are and that is knowing where you have bin and you must be in the present and “here”, if not you might miss some vital information. If you miss it then why did you? Good luck with your journey!

/Yamabushi

12-09-02 Physichal training in relation with Budo training

”Budo means learning the best techniques with which to kill people. If you want to make your body stronger, then go for walks, lift weights and eat plenty of vegetebles. What good would be accomplished by becoming strong in budo? In true budo you can not win any trophies or make your riches” (M Hatsumi, ”Ninpo Wisdom for life”)

At Bujinkan Björn dojo we most often finish our trainingsessions with a 10 to 20min workout of some kind  and obstacle passage training. Our workouttraining is CrossFit inspired because I believe it is the most suited kind of physichal training for our purpose thoe it is “Constantley varied, high intensity and functional movement” it preapers you for not only the unexpected but the unforseen!

What i belive Hatsumi Sensei whants to state above is that your mental attitude towards “budotraining” and at “budoclass” is that you are there to improve your skills to kill in combat or learn how to defend yourself in the street and be able to detect danger before you end up in it. To many people are at a “budoclass” and doing movements just for the healthbenefits of it or with the beliefe that this will make you stronger and give you a good cardio. They might be better of as Hatsumi sensei say´s because when your att a “budoclass” you also train your partner and without being able to give him or her the right attitude or mental spirit he or she whill not learn to detect or act in the right way. Because there will be as someone comes up to you and ask for dance instead for a fight!

But still there is indeed an excpetionall nead to have a good physiche in a fight. Bouth before, during and after. Before a fight, to be able to handle the prestress reactions which you get and be able to work with a higher puls (stress related puls) during a long time while perhaps waiting, or preapering. During the fight, a fight on the street lasts only about 30 seconds after that you will if your training was useull be safe and sound. It will be so because you where able to detect and run away or it might be because you hit harder and faster. Perhapes you where able to withstand a few strikes or kicks yourself and still changed the fight to your benefit. But it might be that you actually end up on the street unconcious. Whatever so during those 30s your body and mind will be focused a 100% on the situation and the will to survive with other words “fight or flight”.  One use to say that you hav a max heartrate in about 220 minus age. But during a fight or flight situation one mention a heart raten in about up to 300 beats/minute. That might be why people who has bin in those situations mention that everything seemed to be going in “slowmotion”. Your body is on “maximum overdrive”. Then we get to the after fight situation: In all different three scenarios you must deal with “after fight reactions”. If injured you will heal better and be able to cope with your injuries if in good condition. You might get stressreactions as a kind of depression even if you know that you did everything right. That depends on the “noradrenalin” which takes care of your overflow of adrenaling and stresshormones. You will get low for a while. Then it is also good to be in a good condition. It makes it also easier to start over again and by training get thees hormones out of your body.

Then we got the overall generall benefit of having a good to wery good physiche, your daily life is getting much easier and you will always be performing better than they who are not!

In our training we mostley do body weight or gymnastic excercises with an high intensity which gives us bodyawarness, agility, flexibilty and corestreangth. During our sessions we hardly never use barebells or things like that. Partley also because we do not have it at our location. You will come a long way with bodyweight movements and it also gives you the opportunity to do your own training using weights. We can not do everthing, time is a limit and so are equipment.

Ninja obstacle passage or as more popular spoken parkour excercises is something we use as a part of our training it must not be connected to our workoutsession because in our warmup we  wery often do “ukemi” or rolling techniques or breakfalltechniques. But this might be a good start to a workout where we begin by studying technique and working on a certain move in how to take an obstacle in the smothest way. Then it might come back in an easier form in the workout doing many repetitions. A Ninja´s skills is a lot of being able to sneak and peak, jump and run. Doing so one must be able to climb, jump, roll and twist. You also must be able to know your limit, selfknowledge and also to always surch to improve it and in a fight or flight situation be able to overcome problems in your way forward or backward. A lot of this training is about developing your mentality and beliefe in yourself. Your body is always able to performe more than your mind is! So it is about training your mentality.

The purpose and aim with our physichal training as a complement to our technique training is to create a person who will be able to withstand a fight whereever it might occur, be able to handle reactions before, during and after action.

But most important of it all it is to have fun during and be able to feel that that I improve myself and I am feeling well in daily life!

/Yamabushi

2012-02-20 ”Food and what to eat”

Why is he writing about food, is this blogg not about fighting and a martial art? Yhea it is! BUT! Eating is the most basic thing and a must to be able to live in the first place and to be able to train to fight and fight to win. So what should one eat? I mean ther are a lot of different messages out there, what is right and what is wrong! Some people tell you that you should live only on fruits and vegetebles (vegans) and some say only meat and fat (Atkins).

So what is right? As ususall probebly somewhere in between would you not aggree? But then it kind of depends also as usuall! My conclusion after doing LCHF-diet for almost half a year and reading a lot of websites and a few books in the subject is: Treat sugar as alchohol and stopp eating flourbased products to start with. Check out all facts in the subject and you will findout that as white flour and sugar makes it´s entry in too our diet the population start rocketing  upwards in a obesepedimia and sicknesses of all kinds starts to develop. Some examples are allergies, cancer and diabetes 2. Above that we also have all other substances the foodindustriess put in to our food as E-substancess and glutamat. Some things we might even not give to our animals becuase of there way to react up on it.

I have become more and more aware of this through out the years and first I was trying to get low fat products, eating lots of protein and carbohydrates (good carbs as I thougt: Pasta, potatoes and rice, bulgur, quinoa). I have never bin so found in candy, chocklat was ok. But my reall weakness was all kinds of bakeries, cakes and different breads. Then we decided back home to go all in and do LCHF (Low carb High fat) as an experiment. All of a sudden after a few weeks I lost weight and got thinner, feeling a lot stronger and in a better mood, no bloodsugar dips or crashhungerattacks, no nead do get something down my throut of any kind just to have something to eat! After half a year I can have a cake and get the feeling of that I do not mind being without it becuase it is not so tastefull and even get a feeling of headache from it. But then what is LCHF, as mentioned earlier, it is LOW Carb and High fat. It is NOT non carb Mcdonalds fat and I will make it a point: NOT non carb it is low carb. Check it out the webpage: www.kostdoktorn.se or www.dietdoctor.se . To take it just a bit further is to go Paleo or “stoneagediet”, checkout webpage: www.whole9life.com . This is simply told LCHF without milkproducts and geting your food as clean as possible and close to where it is grown or lives.

My advice to you who is reading this is to think about what mankind has eaten for millions of years except for the last 50-150 years and then descide if you and your loved ones are eating good food!

Good food is something you most often find in perimeter of the grocery store, avoid the ayles.

Good food is “everything” without an ingredience list and it will get bad after a few days or weeks. With other words unprocessed food.

Good food is eating fish, meat, chicken, nuts, seeds, eggs vegetables, limited amount of fruit, some specific oiles as oliveoil, cocconut fat, sweet potatoes.

My suggestion to you is to start reading the ingredinclists when shopping and try to be aware of the amount of sugar you get in to your system when you believe you are eating healthy! We do not nead sugar or flour.

/Yamabushi

111128 “Does it work?”

It is a point where many Bujinkan practitioners come to wonder whether  the art is actually working. I did and I now that a few other high ranking people has as well. I kind of felt that there was something wrong. I have never doubted it fully because I had a wery good teacher before who had a lot of real life excperience as a doorman. I am nowdays also in the line of work wich gives me real life excperince of conflict so I know what I want and I also have corrected it and I am now teaching things I feel and know is working and training my self in that way.

In Björn dojo we always has worked with “Shizen no kamae” as a basic stance, it means the naturall stance. It is the stance which you walk and stand in, in everydaylife. What we have changed is “ichi moni no kamae” which was a very wide stance before and is the stance which many start to question if it is actualy correct, I know I did and I have slowely corrected it because I have had my doubts aswell. This is also a thing I found had changed in Japan between the times I was there 2002 and 2010. So why is it like this that many end up in this thinking, the ones who actually question it all to often get an awoiding answer from there instructors telling them that it all depends on etc! Actually it is just to try, put on some protection and go high speed and higher force. And still at the same time it is not the only anwer because in a game or match you are fighting for points. If someone steps in to a fight on the street most people when they make an attack and strike they expect to hit which makes them vulnerable and that does the attacker know. Thats why most fights and beatings on the street is from either a friend to the aggressor who comes from the side or behind or the aggressor himself attacking a little later from the side or from behind. There are few people attacking head on because that is a risk and takes guts or anger!

A few principles we are following in Björn dojo is:

1. Keaping a strong frontal position where you can use bouth your fists just as long in front of you, so you are able to strike just as far and fast with bouth hands. Imagine your car neads to be pushed, place yourself in fron of a wall, bend your knees a little, feet a bit apart and toes pointing forward and with your hands towards the wall, then you will get a rather good picture about this stance.

2. Distance: What you can not do with one step in towards your opponent you shall not do, then it is better to keap distance.

We are also working with positions connected with our primal neuroloicalresponsemechanism, the way to react when surpriseattacked or getting something thrown against you, Hoko no kamae and Doko no kamae. Which means that you start the movement by covering your head and chest with your armes and then connecting other techniques of throwing, striking and kicking.

Ther major difference between sport and a fight is that you never know when the fight will seek you up! Read my reflections about ”threat assesment”.

/Yamabushi

Saturday 29/10-11 ”Threat  assesment”

I have earlier made reflections about reaction and action and on todays seminar with Dean Rostohar sensei we touched the subject but in another way. The theme for the seminar is knife and pistol in all different  wariations. Dean sensei shows many good techniques and are wery professional but what one must remember is that he is talking about combat. The all day we have bin acting  against an obvious enemy. If you have an other role for an example in the securitybuisness or the police or just being an ordinary ”Joe” out on the streets trying to have fun, there is something that you must do before you actually kill some one or harm him and that is to be sure that you have the right to do it.

Well! What will make you sure? You know that is just the problem. When in combat you just have to descide if it is a friend or foe, a foe you can  emedietely kill. When in another roll or situation you must detect two things. First is if the person really is a threat towards me? Second is, is the person armed? The problem is to get the time to see if the attacker is armed or not, it might be so bad that you will discover it first when the fight is over and your adrenalin is emptying and the pain will start coming. Probebly when you discover your own blood!  That is where distance comes as an factor, you see distance is time. A potential aggressor is also depending on distance because it is harder to hit correct and with effect the further away he is and aspecially if you as a target are moving also.

A person who pulls a gun or starts to run towards you with a stick or a knife or with just his fists creates a threat towards you (a problem). There is a breaking point for descionmaking in your distance in the way you should act, defencive or aggressive. I would say that this breaking point is just around 7m.  Something to remember is that to move sideways against or away from the shooter and get out of the line of  fire or attack, that will make it harder for him to hit you. This is where your awarness of your surronding kicks in and awarness for change and odd behaviour, because that can make you do the important dicoveries which makes you preaperd in the right way and also to take the right action as to use a correct, or more rightly said a defendable level of violence. If under 7m I am of the oppinion that it is more right to advance towards the attacker and let him have it and do what you have to do with what you have in your hands, not grabbing for a tool and take action according to the message from todays seminar which not actually included to kill the attacker. But just take his breathing or seeing away or break his knees. Because as Dean sensei said to day which will conclude this reflection: ”You have to see or bread to fight and if you can not walk or run then you can not fight either”  Be sure to  finish it with the first two when he is armed with a gun…………….

Yamabushi

Tuesday 20/9-11 ”The way to strike”

Just back home from a wery good TAIKAI in Stockholm with a lot of impressions. Reflecting about two of them is the way to strike and also ”kamae” or stance”. We in Bujinkan Björn dojo are working mostly with Shitzen no kamae which means naturall stance, the way you stand in ordinary lif and thats where we start our defense or attack. In ”Shitzen no kamae” you will not show anything and thats what the opponent or the enemy should feel until it is to late. When the fight is unavoidable and you are under attack, then to protect yourself and be able to counter you need to get in to a ”kamae”.

Before that if the need to strike gets there, you should do it as your hand are pulling your body. Why? Your mind will discover large movements first, then siluetts and third coulor. Follw up the first strike with a quick second or several others. In Bujinkan Björn dojo we work with a more ”boxing” like stance in generall thoe not armed with sword, Bostaff or spear. When armed with a long and heavy weapon you must be able to move your body with the help of your legs with a much deeper stance as a result, you will need the power in your legs to be able to thrust a spear for an example.

As they said at this TAIKAI: ”Bujinkan is a weaponbased system”. That is why we sometimes move as we do, in deep wide stances. But it is wery importent to remember that it will not work in an unarmed fight because you will be much to slow! When without a weapon or bodyarmour you will have to move light and fast and adapt to the tempo in the fight, if not you will be dead! One of the main instructors at the TAIKAI quoted Nagato sensei: ”Bujinkan must adapt to the present tempo in a fight to be able to survive as an art”. You must place your body in a stance so that you are able to bouth strike and kick just as far and as hard with bouth sides of your body towards the main threat. The time to strike is when your opponent is in a weak situation and is in need of you for balance. Befor that we should avoid fighting .

The art of Bujinkan is to survive, not fight!

Yamabushi.

Wednesday 7/9-11  ”Controlling the KUKAN”

Kukan is a word which is often mentioned within Bujinkan and aspecially ”controll of the kukan”. What is ”Kukan” and how do you controll it? When in a fight between two persons or in a battle between units or armies there will thrue time be more or less space between the two, that is the ”kukan”. It is a distance where my opponent should have a hard time to step in to because that will be the distance where I  will  reach him and inflict harm on him. When armies meet it will be the terrain where one has to dominate in some way or otherwise the other part will use it and inflict harm on the other. A struggle or a battle is most about controlling the space. The one who is in controll of the space is the one controlling the fight or battle and most often the winner. And now to the point!

Controlling the Kukan is  to disturb or to be in controll of the  opponents or the enemies descisioncycle. That is true from individualls to armies! If you take your opponents structure by touching him on his cheast he will have to react, by creating tension to get it back otherwise he can not develope any force to counter. His descionmaking is disturbed by reaction, reaction to keap his balance. So he is forced to set his mind to be concentrated towards gaining his structure back (organisation when in units or armies) and find a way to be able to take  action in an otherway. At this time, just before he gets his structure back I will manipulate him in an otherway and disturb him again, hitting him, changing direction or giving him something to lean on or perhaps an oppening. In that way I will take my opponent down and also controlling the ”kukan”. Kukan is translated to space. Space is distance and distance is time. Time for action or reaction. The goal when fighting or going in to battle is to either make your enemy react or act in the way you want! This you can do by being deliberately defenscive, illusive or aggressive.

Remember attack is the last defence!

Yamabushi

Sunday 21/8-11 ”Ki”

During our training session this sunday the subject of ”KI” came up. KI is defined as the power within which you already posess. KI is about energy and everything around us is energy, we are energy! Our energy can be high or low and which it is depends on a lot of things. Some examples: Your motivation, what food you ate, recent excperiences, things to come, surrounding/enviroment and there we get to other human beings.

You, yourself can influence how you will feel and you can build up a good KI by surrounding youreself with positiv people, eating real food and  positiv thinking by using words which you connect with your overself. When discussing more around it we got into a lot of what Ninjutsu is about, detecting and concealing. Because if you you have an intention to do something or a strong feeling then most probebly you will in some way reviel it!  And if being a spy or an agent with a mission as the old day ninjas where, then you can not show your intention because trained people will detect you and others will become suspicious and eventually kill you.

So when you train, try to talk as usuall about for an example what you did yeasterday and simultanusly do an attack with intention to hit your opponent. Most probebly your opponent will detect a change in you and act uppon it. Most for certain the attacker will become silent just before he hits you and that is an obvious change. It is very much there when someone is in an angry state of mind when he is changing his verbal attack to a physichal one. What makes him silence is the process of decission and that will also create a change of KI. That is also what happens when doing the 5th dan test.

Bouth the examiner and the student becomes ”zero” just before the cut, which is to say they balance their own inner KI. And when the examiner attacks he will give as much killintentions as possible and that will  inflict on your KI/balance and you feel the change of energy around you and you will move.

See ya! ”Yamabushi”