2009 Sainou Tamashii Utsuwa Dai Komyo Sai

Soke entered the main dojo with grace and dignity. Everyone showed their appreciation by clapping as he made his way to the main demonstration area.


My memories from this point onwards have faded just like a dream. I would hope that some other people who attended the Taikai could also post to add their own feelings regarding the three days of training.

Soke mentioned that he wished the 15th dans to demonstrate their abilities a lot over the three days. This years theme is Sainou Kon Ki, and it is about expressing your true potential. Soke many times spoke about tsunagaru ( connectedness ) and the importance of this. He made reference to big game fishing and musical notation as examples of this feeling as well.

Photo by Sheila Haddad

Many western shihan were asked to express something that they found was important to them, or their memories of training with Soke. I think Jack Hoban made a very good comment. He said something like  “We are all trying to move freely, but we forget our kamae. But, Soke moves freely while using kamae.”  I thought this was a wonderful comment. It’s true. We all would like to perform taijutsu with the ease of Soke. However, we cannot develop his understanding and transcendence of formal technique and visible movement or kamae without first training very hard and correctly to absorb it deeply into out heart.

Oguri Shihan and Noguchi Shihan mentioned the severe training that Soke put them through. They said that probably noone in this age has ever experienced this type of training. They said Soke was truly terrfying and even more so when he used a weapon! The pain was so intense that they couldn’t tap out or make a sound. Soke used to tell them to ” forget the pain. Pay it no attention!”

Nagato Sensei also said that at his first class with Soke, he saw him walking and then suddenly drop into ukemi. Nagato thought to himself that this looked like ninjutsu. It was after this that he new the reality behind Sokes reason for taking ukemi. Soke revealed a tac stuck in his sock. As he walked, he felt the tac and took ukemi. It had barely pierced the skin. This is what left without a doubt that Soke was the real thing and that he wanted to learn from him.

Photo by Sheila Haddad

Soke says we must have the kamae in out heart. I believe soke moves in kamae. I feel it in his presence. However, sometimes this disappears, and you feel nothing. And then, it returns again. This follows the saying ” If you think there is something there isn’t. If you think there is nothing, there is. ” Soke also maintained the importance of moving with no intention. This was an important point.

In regards to tsunagaru, Soke talked about the importance of maintaining the connection through correct living. Soke mentioned this tale. 

Photo by Sheila Haddad

 A sinner called Kandata has been suffering tortures in Hell. When Buddha appears on earth, the light shed by him reaches Hell and sinners there soften. Buddha sends a spider as his proxy to Kandata, who takes hold of the web and begins to climb up. Soon he feels the thread trembling, for many sinners are climbing after him. Kandata becomes frightened and shouts, “Let go the cobweb. It is mine.” At that moment, the spiderweb breaks, and all fall back into Hell. The meaning of this story is that it is essential to follow Buddha’s teaching, according to which there exists no such thing as man(self). Kandata falls back into Hell, because he has not thrown away the illusion of man, saying that the cobweb is his alone.

Paul Masse displayed his art work for all to view. Paul is indeed an artist of the highest ability. Thank you Paul. Truly inspiring!

There were excellent demonstrations from women practitioners of the art too.

Soke had us also stand in the middle of four people and train with the feeling of “billiards”. We had to move as dictated by them and just bounce from one to the other. Good training.

I found the last session to be very enjoyable. Soke asked many of the Japanese Shihan to express and interesting and sometimes humorous time that they had with him. I will not tell any stories here. You need to buy the DVD!

Above all, I had a very memorable experience from this Daikomyosai and enjoyed spending time with friends and making new acquaintances.

Manolo & Brad

Holger Kunzmann

It was great to ” just hang out ” with fellow buyu. We were all careful to stay well rested and healthy during this period. Influenza is spreading easily in Japan. We were encouraged to maintain good hygiene as much as possible.

Soke often passed on his feelings in regard to the status of the Bujinkan in the world today. He believes the 15th dans have now matured and become adults. Everyone now has the responsibility to carry on the teachings the best they can. Hence, the importance of developing a working knowledge of ones own Sainou Kon Ki.

A Party Flick !

I strongly suggest you purchase the DVD when it becomes available. Soke was in excellent flow and the three days training was enjoyed by all.


There was obviously much, more seen,felt, and heard over those three days. I’m sorry, but like I said at the beginning of this page, it is just a blur to me now. I invite anyone else who attended to please post a comment on your feelings about the Daikomyosai for those that were unable to make it this year.

Noguchi Shihan also said that it is important to have a

” Compassionate Heart.”

Bu Shin wa Wa wo Touto Nasu

” The heart of the warrior holds Peace Righteous “

By Paul Masse 2009



5 Responses to “2009 Sainou Tamashii Utsuwa Dai Komyo Sai”

  1. Thanks so much for running and maintaining this valuable blog, Dunc. It is an awesome source of knowledge and inspiration especially when all travelling buyu have returned to their shores.

    All Taikai and DKMS are special events. And they always seem to outdo eachother as they accumulate and pass by. Soke has become ever more fleeting, subtle and mysterious as he drifts from here to there to over there in his technique. It is impossible to mimic the movements he performs, but through almost (and not nec literally) ‘squinted eyes’ one can “see” principles as opposed to dynamics. This for me in particular is vital as the physicalness of technique or kata are often simply just beyond my reach. Therefore I try to see the whole picture of each of Sensei’s demos and imagine them as vessels containing concepts applicable to all and any arena. Give this notion the technique, my interpretation can be allowed a playful freedom of expression.

    Thanks so much for taking the pain on our behalf. You along with the other Shihan present are truly wells of inspiration.

    ~ Thank you too for your commendation. It truly meant a lot and I’ll work hard within the space between home and travelling here to reach, maintain and improve on the exceptional qualities I identify as foremost for that particular and special group of Bujinkan warriors.

    steve j morgan

    ninpo ikkan

  2. With this years theme being Sainou Kon Ki, perhaps one question we should be asking is “How do I set out reaching my full potential? And, how do I create a space in which others can reach their own potential?”

  3. Thanks for all the information, thoughts, and connections in this very interesting year of 2009.

    Looking forward to all of what 2010 brings!


  4. Matthew Krause Says:

    DaikomyoSai was a great event. Soke looked as if he was reborn. Soke’s movement was magical!! I was very happy that I was able to attend and to have seen so many Budoka from around the world sharing the Bujinkan spirit.

    Matthew R. Krause

  5. Maryuu Niewcas Says:

    Sensei said that the three days would be like a sandwich. Second day being most tasty/juicy 8-). From the viewpoint of “connection”, first day we spent on many relatively short “waza” that for me underlined various aspects of finding connection, maintaining it and vanishing into it. Tastes of different ryuha were served. Third day, the connection was taken into a broader context, with the social context (outside of physical conflict) on one hand and the concurrent changes in of many connections (multiple attacker situation) on the other.

    There was something very “different but the same” about the rhythm and progression of this DKMS. I had a feeling that Sensei was showing us an invisible rope that can be useful in many ways. 😎 It seemed like I saw many of these things earlier but i did not really SEE them. This observation was shared by several other buyu with whom i talked about it…. Definitely: get a DVD once it is out.


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