Archive for November, 2009

Walking with Soke

Posted in 1 on November 28, 2009 by Duncan Stewart

Last night at training we had many people in the dojo from around the world. They were here in Japan for Hatsumi Sokes annual Daikomyosai.

Soke transmitted that the videos and books that he as released and continues to produce are but mediums for those who wish to walk with him along the road of budo.

So, everyone please listen to the breath between this comment from Soke and hear the Bufu Ikkan and heart of the true martial artist.

I’m sure everyone here is looking forward to the three days of training with Soke and the Shihan next week. I will attempt to write something during the Taikai so those not able to be here can still have a sence of connectedness and walk with Soke through the training with the Bujinkan heart.


Shugyo Training is now available!

Posted in 1 on November 26, 2009 by Duncan Stewart

The Shugyo Training Clips from Japan are now available for download !

Go to  to create an account and subscribe!

We are in the early stages of this service. So, we hope you will be patient with us. It is our aim to continue to improve the quality of this service on a regular basis.

The training you will see on the clips is based on my experiences in the dojo. I am but a student living in Japan wishing to study correctly in accordance with the instruction of my teachers. Of course, what I do is purely my interpretation. So please do not take what I say and do as “gospel truth!”.

In saying that, if you view the clips and don’t like them, or disagree with what I say or do, I can’t help that! If you do see value in what we are providing, it is my sincere hope that it helps you with your Shugyo; learning budo for life.

The clips are not intended to be instructional. The clips are intended for those Bujinkan members who wish to maintain a connection with  training in between their trips to Japan,Taikai,or training with people who live in or visit Japan regularly.

The concept is to only give ideas to aid everyone in continuing their own personal training and stay close to the training as experienced in Japan.

We will concentrate on mostly “henka” and not that of  kata. Particular points that I feel as important will be generally expressed.  However, for  understanding of particular themes, specific training in techniques, philosophy etc, it is essential that everyone continues their own studies and maintain their connection with their Dojo, the Shihan, and Soke in Japan.

I must stress that it is very important for everyone ( no matter what rank ) to firstly purchase Soke’s DVDs and books and study them as well as you can. These are his wishes!

 I hope that the Shugyo clips can also help maintain a spark in your training and understanding of the importance in maintaining a connection with Soke,the Shihan in Japan, and the Jugodan around the world.

Note: There are pre-recorded clips dating back to September 2009 on the  tenguweapons/shugyo website ready for download. Please take advantage of the special offers so you can gain a better “feeling” of what was practised weekly here in Japan earlier this year.

I sincerely hope that you like and find this simple service to be of benefit to you and your training in the Bujinkan Martial Arts.


” the only way to get better is to train!” 


Posted in 1 on November 21, 2009 by Duncan Stewart

Soke moves in such a way that naturally captures the mind and desires of his opponents. Soke moves in such a way that he is nullifying peoples attacks before they can execute them. This is not a predetermined movement, or his search for weakpoints. It is but moving naturally in the moment.

Moving in ” the now ” with a sincere heart, keeps Soke alive and unaffected by those who move with desire. I believe that Soke can read intentions due to this. It is seemingly magical to us, and is viewed as mysterious, yet it is the fact that it is so natural, that it is supernatural!

The connection Soke holds with people is based on training and his ability to “let go” and move unrestricted by predetermined thoughts or desires for a specific outcome. Soke moves himself without he even knowing where or what he is doing. However, he always remains in control inside and outside of the dojo, regardless of his position in the environment.

Kyojutsu is the base here. However, many people believe that kyojutsu is a mind game and is delivered intellectually. It isn’t. By first learning to control yourself, you will then naturally influence other by just living out your life. This is life. Kyojutsu Tenkan Ho is life, and has been with man since the beginning.

True Kyojutsu works naturally. It lives through sincerity and pure living. Living that comes direct from a straight heart.This kyojutsu protects you even when you are not intending to use it. The base of kyojutsu is sincerity. Through sincerity, we are able to see the truth of people and their actions. The more you train, I believe this. However, it really depends on how we ourselves are able to keep on a true path and not stray from the teachings.

Soke moves without pursuing an outcome. He walks forward and finds the light of life from this action alone. With a heart beating strongly and a will forged by training and the understanding of mu and fudoushin, he defeats his opponents by pure naturalness.

He moves as natural as the wind blows. With this he captures the martial winds and they protect him like a charm in order to fulfill his duty to pass on the truth of budo. For those that do not possess or strive to study and cleanse themselves in order to have a pure heart, they will forever be captured by the sincerity and kyojutsu that flows with the true budoka of the Bujinkan.

Soke has also said that it is not a concern to study the waza from the densho. He said this is why he had no concern about publishing them in his previous book. The reason being is that budo cannot be understood through just the study of technique. The most important point in budo is to understand what it is that hides within the movements. From there, one can come to understand the Gokui of the martial arts. A student can only come to understand this by studying with a true teacher.

While speaking about teachers. I will mention that the Bujinkan, as everyone is aware, has levels that end with 15th dan.But this is not true. The learning never ceases.It is in fact the beginning of the training! 15th dan is when you begin! Soke has mentioned that the 15th dans are the people everyone must train with now. It is also important to understand, that among them are teachers that are both good and bad. The art of being a student is to first know this, and then discern by developing the “eyes of budo ” in order to see the truth.

The bujinkan grades hold within them the meaning of life. The grades are infact a life cycle that enlightens us to the truth of maruichi, and the harmony between life and death.

Obtaining the 15th rank is truly a beginning. It is to know that study never ends, and that we all must persevere with our own training for as long as we can. The connection and ability to communicate with people and the environment  is extremely important. This connection ( tsunagaru ) is the link between life and death. It is like the thickness of a piece of paper ( kami hitoe ). Soke wishes us to understand the connection between things and to help us do this, look at budo through the eyes of an artist.


He often asks his uke to explain the feeling. He has mentioned that this is to help us learn to express ourselves in ways that are unfamiliar to us. We must attempt to put into words the “unexplainable”. We are being taught to develop an acute awareness of things and not to take the trivial things that happen in our lives to lightly. There is a meaning to everything. Everything affects something. We must develop a mind to pick up on these things and see to the truth of them. From there we must find the connections.

Leaving behind the waza and entrusting ourselves to the void ( mu ), is where our training ultimately lies. From this point, Soke has stated that we then will understand the essence of budo.

In training, the aim is to match the rhythm and flow of the opponent while leaving no openings. This requires a transcendence of the ego. If we can not let go of ourselves, then we cannot “feel” what the opponent is doing or is planning on doing. Only by training with the right mind and heart can we hope to enter this state of nothingness and mould ourselves naturally and therefore correctly to the moment in motion.

Soke has also recently mentioned the importance for the jugodan to train with him. He is teaching the lessons of ukemi. The lessons of ukemi must be understood as more than just physically avoiding harm by taking breakfalls. Ukemi is far deeper in significance. It is the base of survival in all realms of life. We can see ukemi in the animal kingdom. Ukemi begins with the heart. It’s instinct. The knowing of how to take proper ukemi is to know the nature of man. Ukemi is in fact the basis of the ways of invisibility. Ukemi is the way of the ninja.

The rotation of the themes over the years within the bujinkan dojo have been a natural process. Sokehas said that he has never planned the themes to be in a set order. Everything naturally unfolded as it should be. We have had this years themes of nawa no kankaku, sainou kon ki, tsunagaru, etc. Next year will be rokkon shou jou. Soke has mentioned that this is another example of this natural linkage and that rokkon shou jou is but a theme to encapsulate and compliment the years prior.

Bufu Ikkan

Shugyo Bujinkan Training Clips On-line soon !

Posted in 1 on November 10, 2009 by Duncan Stewart

The Shugyo ” Bujinkan Training Review Clips” have recieved the final word of encouragement and sanction from the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Japan!

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As a result, we will commence the subscription service very soon!

Details of the service and how to subscribe, will be displayed shortly on the Tengu Weapons website and

It is our hope that you feel this concept is of value and assists you in your training until you return to Japan to train with Soke and his Shihan.

We aim to continually improve the quality of the filming and develop this concept in a professional manner. We also believe that the content is much more important than “flashy” productions. So, this service will be simple and straight forward in it’s filming and editing.

We sincerely hope that you benefit from this service and that it helps you in your studies of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.


Duncan & Craig.

The Path of Duty

Posted in 1 on November 5, 2009 by Duncan Stewart


This is the way for those who want to learn my strategy:

Do not think dishonestly.

The Way is in the training itself.

Become acquainted with every Art.

Know the Ways of all professions.

Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.

Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.

Percieve those things which cannot be seen.

Pay attention even to trifles.

Do nothing which is of no use.

Miyamoto Musashi


The Big Toad

Posted in 1 on November 5, 2009 by Duncan Stewart


A Big toad had spent his youth at the dim bottom of a deep well, bullying the frogs and growing ever more arrogant about his size and power.

One day the toad fell into a bucket and was drawn up itno the light where he saw a whole new world and creatures larger and more powerful than he. Amazed and fearful, he threw himself back into the well saying,

” Perhaps I’m not much after all, but these frogs will never know! “

Ura ni wa ura ga aru

Posted in 1 on November 5, 2009 by Duncan Stewart


Ura ni wa ura ga aru

                                                                                                                              ” The reverse side has it’s reverse side”