Archive for August, 2010

Kihon Renshu

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

Soke recently stated at the end of class that everyone needs to practise the Kihon Happo and Gogyo no Kata.

It was also reiterated by Noguchi Shihan that people need to train in lower kamae and not become lazy in their movements.

We all have to develop a solid foundation in our taijutsu.

To do this, it is important to pick a teacher and stick with their teachings until you develop a solid fundamental grounding of the kihon.

From there, the body will be able to assimilate various movements from other teachers more easily.

It is therefore a good idea to find a teacher as your ” base” teacher. Please choose wisely.

From there, you can visit other dojo and integrate the movements of Teachers into your foundation to help you grow, gain a larger appreciation and hopefully a better understaning of Soke and the Bujinkan Ryuha.

“We must have strong roots and develop a solid core to grow into a tree with whipping branches and the resilience to bend with the winds of change.”

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San Diego Bushinden Kai

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

Arriving late in San Diego, I met with Lance and we travelled back to his home where my head quickly hit the pillows.

It is always a “homely” feeling returning back to San Diego. I am always so relaxed that I must bore Lance to tears with being so “zoned out” most of the time. After 5 weeks of travel and on a weekly basis teaching classes and Bushinden Kai, I was becoming tired and missing family.

I was chatting with Pedro Fleitas briefly on-line one day. We both talked about travel and family and the importance of friendship ( buyu ) and moving constantly with Bufu Ikkan or NIN. This is so important. Family is so important. Thank you Pedro for that conversation.

With Rhino comforting us with his casual loitering around the house, I settled in and relaxed the first day inside. Lance and I chatted and enjoyed catching up. Lance had travelled to Vancouver and Los Angeles to attend my Bushinden Kai. This time, I am on his door step teaching for his dojo.

He is very dedicated at improving his undertanding and practise of Taijutsu as practised in Japan. My hat goes off to him. I have gained great friendships with Lance and Coni. Every year they allow me into their home. Thank you so much.

That evening I was asked to take the class at the Anaguma Bujinkan Dojo. After meeting with some familiar faces, we commenced training. I concentrated the whole class on individual drills aimed at improving ones Shin Gi Tai.

The class was interesting in more ways than one. The people in attendance will agree, I`m sure. It is very interesting to see other peoples attitudes and understanding of the martial arts. Especially, with what people consider ” real fighting “.

There are those that believe that ” to be a man ”  you must stand and fight to prove ones worth. Self Defence and the martial arts is treasured as an art of self preservation. When we look at the techniques of Ninjutsu, we can observe that the methods are of escape. Now, these methods are often very deadly yet, it is the mind behind the techniques that removes the concept of ” fighting” from our hearts. This is the NIN. We see the sword over the heart. We must preserve the heart even when faced with the oppressive blade. The heart must keep beating. We must learn how to utilise the heart as it beats faster in times of adversity. When the heart beats, it tells us we are alive. It sends blood to our limbs so we can fight or fly. We learn the techniques of Budo and Ninpo to preserve our lives. This is the essence of the martial arts, is it not?

Within the dojo, we attempt to help people realise the reality of the training through various methods. I often practise striking with Shuto and then throw shuriken or a knife in the same motion to help them understand it`s variety of purposes/usages and devastating effectiveness. Yet, some people will never understand. They have their mind already made up. To them, real fighting is punching and kicking it out, one on one. They will see only what they want to see and believe in, even if it eventually kills them.

The last resort is to apply the movement with vigor and physically teach them. But, this could cause problems nowadays. Teaching is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. We cannot just go around and Hit people hard all the time to make them understand. Soke reminds people travelling and teaching of the potential issues that may arise. There are people who can cause problems for the Bujinkan. We must deal with these people well. Soke is teaching us how to conduct ourselves and stay alive. Foolishness is all around us. It is in these times that we as martial artists can learn how to deal with such behaviour for our own training to grow, stay safe, and survive.

The following day, Lance took me to Temecula Wine country and we spent the day tasting from various wineries.

It was such a wonderful time enjoying the ambience of the wineries and relaxing while learning about wines.

However, I don`t know how much I remember after our last stop! lol.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch and finished the day watching the sunset outside Lance`s home and finally catching up with Coni.

Thursday I was taken to Perris by Matt and Clarke. these guys are devoted students and support the Anaguma Dojo and Bujinkan training with great committment. Great guys too!

They had arranged for us to go skydiving in a wind tunnel. We arrived, had a brief  lecture, and geared up. The amount of time we spent in the tunnel was equivelant to three jumps at a 120mph. What a sensation. I had never been skydiving before, and this was a great way to learn how. You really have to concentrate on your body posture and control of movement.

After we had finished, our instructor entered the tunnel and moved as if he was Spiderman! It was incredible to view his complete control and understanding of the body and, the dynamics required to move freely within the kukan.

http://www.skydiveperris.com/tunnel.aspx

I`m hooked, and will definately make every attempt to return at a later date. Thanks guys.

That afternoon, Lance I ventured downtown and dropped our luggage off at the Embassy Suites. With a great view of the bay, we ventured out for an evening meal before returning to sit on the balcony overlooking the Coronado Bridge with a glass of red.

Ten Chi Jin

Prior to returning to the hotel, we watched a man making a living form balancing rocks from the foreshore. He held a good audience as he picked up random rocks of various shapes and sizes and created towers with them. His ability to sense the moment of balance and correct position was incredible. not once did his rocks fall went he released them. There was no trickery involved. How amazing is it to do and use something so natural, but with a super-natural ability to create art for the eyes, mind and heart.

The next day we walked through the Gaslamp district, had lunch, and then rented some Wave runners. We returned extremely wet, yet enjoyed every moment. The weather and water was warm and it was a great way to finish the afternoon before we ventured on our evening cruise.

That evening we boarded the ” Hornblower ” for a luxury cruise around the bay. We enjoyed a three course meal and enjoyable conversation together with Coni. The cruise allowed us to view the city lights and the wonderful sunset.

The music was great. The lead singer sung renditions of popular tunes with great feeling. A great voice. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had. It was topped off by taking a “Cycle Taxi ” with a suprising soundtrack that had us laughing all the way back to the hotel!

The Saturday was the first day of the Bushinden Kai at the Anaguma Dojo. People from San Fransisco, Arizona and Las Vegas attended.

The day began with a look at the Gogyo no Kata and the usage of the Tachi within each of the five waza. To do so, is to help us understand the history and movements of the tachi during the warring states period when warriors wore Yoroi into battle.

We then moved forward and practised ways to utilise the Gogyo no kata with the tachi in a more neutral manner while considering Japanese armour and it`s weak points. This is where we consider the aspect of Chuto Hampa to gain a greater feeling for natural change as dictated by the opponent. The tachi is more of a hitting and thrusting tool rather than a cutting sword like the katana. In fact, many movements relate more to Hanbojutsu. It is therefore a good idea to train in hanbo to gain a better appreciation of the tachi and it`s usage within Kumiuchi.

At times during the  class I mentioned important concepts. I truly believed these concepts to be crucial to training and learning correctly as a martial artist. Later in the day, Lance passed me a copy of the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki. As I was going through this particular translation, I came upon a section that commented on important points to consider when practising. I was happy to see that what I had been teaching was in fact a part of the Ten Chi Jin.

These moments are wonderful, and also help you to see your direction and focus as a martial artist. This is why it is important to read and re-read Sokes books. Through his books, we come to see over the years our personal progression and understanding ( or lack of ) of his art. Also, if we deviate from the path, his books will enlighten us to our errors and give us a chance at returning to correct thought and training. This is the same with his DVDs.

The last day of the seminar began with a warm up using the Gogyo no Kata. We then studied ways to increase our understanding of the Koshi Kihon Sanpo until it becomes embedded into our spine. We simply broke down the gross motor movements to gain more self awareness, balance, flexibility, strength, and body control.

It is important to develop strong skills ( the best that you can ) in the movements that comprise these three kata. There is so much to be learned.

It is very important for us all to never become lazy in our training. Seek a balance in your training and be honest with your actual ability level. Please look at the way you train and ask yourself, ” will the way I train be effective outside of the dojo?” If we do not consider this with a healthy form of  self-criticism, then we may begin to develop into a martial artist with illusions of grandeur and have less than effective skills for the real world.

To ” keep it real ” doesn`t require you to train hard and fast with power. It does mean that we should be present with a mind deeply set in survival. In fact,allowing yourself to feel fear, is very important. Fear keeps you aware of humility and your mortality. Being Uke teaches you about mortality. If you come to accept being uke as a means for self discovery, then you are beginning to learn the ” art of giving ” and sutemi.

If you cannot throw yourself away, then you will forever be heavy and not transcend the ego. I feel sutemi is a crucial lesson to be learned from being uke. In fact, an important point written in a densho states ” being uke often has more lessons than that of being tori “.

It is almost a manner of being re-institutionalised. The teacher constantly performs movements on his uke that ensure that uke always is on the loosing side of the battle. He will never win. The uke must never give up and always attack knowing he is entering certain defeat. This is sutemi.

The uke comes to the point where he forgets himself. It`s a transcendance into the kukan. Within the kukan, he is thrown and struck, yet he always survives. He is nurtured ( the budo way ) by the teacher and develops the spirit of the warrior. This is the beginning of the real training.

” Your Ukemi is getting better…. You are starting to understand the martial arts now. “

I believe that Takamatsu Osensei said something like this to Soke  ( as written in one of his books. )

We then moved forward and looked at the Torite Goho and various Gyaku waza as found within the Gyokko Ryu.

I think it is very important to continually work at gaining a better understanding of the Kihon Happou. If you neglect it`s importance, or feel you are beyond the Kihon, then I urge you to think again. Noguchi Sensei is making an attempt to ” up the ability ” of students with his basics classes at Hombu. Why? Because most of us around the world have no real understanding or skill in them!

We also moved on and practised with a feeling of Tachi Kumiuchi while contemplating wearing yoroi. We also looked at incorporating the Yari and Yoroi Doshi and entering into the weakpoints of the armour to control the opponent.

We considered the lack of visibility when wearing a Kabuto and looked at how to take advantage of this. To do this, we had to train slowly so the mind can move with the body to create technique Shin Gi Tai Ichi.

Hicho no Kata Henka

The day finished well and everyone trained hard. Thank you to everyone who travelled and attended the two days. I hope you enjoyed the training and will take something back to your dojos worth working on. Good luck.

Thanks again to Lance. You are a real mate. Cheers!

I look forward to seeing you both again sometime soon.

Regards,

Duncan

Vermont Bushinden Kai

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

What a beautiful place. Vermont is a magnificent destination for those who enjoy nature and natural living.

I met with Jessy ( thanks to his students ) at the dojo. The sun was setting and I was captivated for a moment by the color of the sky and the serenity of my surroundings. The grass is green and before us with the sun shining on their backs stood a field of miniature horses.

The Kongoshin dojo was built by Jessy and his students. The dojo boasts extremely talented people who with passion and research developed their own Yoroi, chain mail, and weapons.

The quality of the items are extremely high and are for sale by order. If you wish to purchase quality items, please visit the Kongoshin Dojo website.

http://www.kongoshindojo.com/

We adjourned to Andrea`s home where for every day of my stay I was treated to some of the most delicious home cooking with fresh, local and organic produce. It was my first taste of Vermont hospitality and, it was an absolute pleasure to accept it. Thank you very much Andrea for all of your efforts and fantastic cuisine.

On Friday we did some sightseeing and relaxed during the great weather. We visited the Shelburne Farms and wandered around the magnificent gardens and land.

http://www.shelburnefarms.org/

That evening, we trained outside of the dojo on the grass. As a rule, we generally bow toward to east, yet the warmth from the setting sun turned me around and we bowed to Amaterasu and the wonderful view before us.

I began the training with the Ten Chi Jin. We practised the Kihon Happo and essential elements required to perform these movements. We practised Shi ho Keri, Jodan Uke, Uke Nagaeshi, Daken Uke, Ken Kudaki, Ukemi,Kaiten, Taihenjutsu Muto Dori Ichimonji no kata, Te Sabaki, Tai Sabaki, and more.

Daken uke Renshu

The seminar moved naturally forward on Saturday and Sunday with a look at the importance of kihon within henka. We briefly looked into Shuriken jutsu and the importance of good kihon and taijutsu to throw effectively and freely.

Shuriken Nage Renshu

I looked at the Gogyo no Kata and it`s relationship to Tachi Kumiuchi and Yoroi Kumiuchi. We then studied each kata and moved with the feeling of wearing armour while considering the Tachi. We also looked at the usage of the Shoshin no Kamae and it`s evolution since bajutsu.

Zenpo Keri

Naturally we came to make use of and become aware of how the kihon evolves and is used in a more neutral setting free from structured kata. Soke often tells us that we must look beyond the techniques and see the living potential within them. To do so, we need to build our imagination and seek inspiration from within and be open to all that is around us. In saying this, I have a long way to go.

Allowing ourselves to enter situations that we are unfamiliar with can ultimately help us to understand Banpen Fugyo. This is one important aspect of henka training. The more we can discover,the larger capacity we can develop to deal with life and it`s constant changes.

Kihon Renshu

Within henka training we also come to see our shortcomings and our real understanding of the Ten Chi Jin. During our training, we will come to moments where our movements are not effective any more. It is at these times that we must be honest and go back to the kihon for further understanding.

Many people train in henka and think that they have been given an ” artistic license ” to do whatever they want. This is a mistake. Henka can only be freely played with when a certain level of basic mastery has been met. Before then, training in henka can actually be detrimental for the student.

There are many ways to train. Sometimes it is good just to ” go for it ” and see what happens. This is ok but, I feel that what is more important, is to initially train slowly and correctly in the Kihon of the Bujinkan.

It is vital that we all come to develop control over ourselves, our body, and our techniques ( Shin Gi Tai ). To do this, we need to move at a rhythm where these three aspects can move and learn together as one. Please think about this.

The last night of our seminar was completed with a nice dinner at a Japanese restaurant with family,friends and participants of the seminar. It had been a while since my last margarita, so I indulged in just one.

The seminar was a great reminder to me that training is forever ongoing and you can always improve. I`m pleased to always have the feeling of ” needing more training ” and am looking forward to returning to Japan.

It really is quality and not quantity. I think this is also another reason to slow down when training.

I`d like to thank Jessy for his support,hospitality, and incredible knowledge in Sports Science. Thanks also again to Andrea and the gentlemen from the Kongoshin Dojo.

It was a pleasure.

Montreal Bushinden Kai

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

Arriving in Montreal with the rain and wind, I met Manolo at the airport and dropped my bags off at the hotel. From there we went to his home where I met Estelle and their new dog, Yume.

We sat and talked and then had dinner. The storm thundered and the sky lit up with flashes of lightning.For a moment, the lights in the neighbourhood went out. We sat around the table by torch light. An interesting and electrifying evening. Lol.

The next day Manolo picked me up and we drove to Magog, Quebec. We visited Philippe and his wonderful family. Eating a healthy lunch and then relaxing at a local spa was just what the Doctor ordered. For a few hours, we talked and rested in various pools,spas, and saunas. A great afternoon of indulgence.

We then visited Saint Benedict Abbey. A picturesque monastery.

http://www.st-benoit-du-lac.com/selecteur/chooser.html

The day finished with a few nice glasses of wine and then back to Montreal. What a great day.

Thanks to Philippe and his family for your hospitality!

The next day I was asked by Manolo to teach their ” Ninja Kids ” Class and also the following adults class.

The Children of the Montreal Dojo are extremely skilled, not only in budo, but in the Japanese terminology!  I think I was speaking in Japanese for most of the class. We concentrated on tenchi shiho tobi, ukemi/kaiten, kamae, and the Gogyo no kata. It was a great class with great kids.

In the adults class, we  firstly performed some basic Junan Taiso movements. We commenced by concentrating on jodan uke, daken uke, and Uke nagaeshi training drills. We also practised various Te-sabaki and ashi-sabaki drills to help our body understand Ken Tai Ichi Jo. We worked on Taihenjutsu Kihon as well. As a follow on, we studied Ken Kudaki and Keri Gaeshi / Kudaki.

Let me first say that I am no master when it comes to the kihon of the Bujinkan. This is why I practise the basics within the basics to really allow the art to enter my spine and become one with my bones. After all, we are studying koppo. We are learning about the structure of things to take away structure.

Unfortunately, people attempt to move forward too quickly in their training before their spine understands. When I say spine, I`m referring to the whole being ( shin gi tai ichi ). These people quickly return to bad habits and in-effective movements without even realising it.

The most important thing is to develop a balance in ones mind and body. A martial balance. This balance to me is one that understands naturally what is required for real growth in the martial arts. Again, this all depends on someones Sainou Kon Ki. We are all different and on our own Shugyo. We have to respect this and, concentrate on our own training first and foremost. Once we understand Koppo, then we are able to assist others more effectively.

Again, these thoughts are but my aspirations typed and naked for all to see. I hope to one day live these aspirations and ,forever have more to keep me on a true path.

How hard is this? How do we know if we are on the right path or not? We should ask ourselves this constantly. Yet, allow yourself to live. Within that space of living, move and  naturally recieve the teachings and answers. From there, it is up to us to acknowledge the signs from nature and trust our subconscious. We have to learn to trust in our real self.

Majime Asobu – ” Serious Play.”

From the beginning of the year, We have heard about the concept of ” Serious play.” This is majime asobu. I think the important thing to realise here is that the spirit of the bugeisha must be made constant during the training. If we literally take ” play” to mean ” do whatever you like and have fun”, well, that is rather naive.

When playing in training, it is a ” play ” where numerous things must be taken into account. One important point is to ” play ” with no openings. This requires a person to slow down and focus on training yet, allowing for the “play” in the movement to be sensitive to change or henka. This is Yoyuu.

Imagination from both the tori and uke is very important for gaining a realistic ” play ” in training. We are learning to respond as humans, but also as martial artists. Training is all about removing your openings, not that of defeating your opponent.

We must play with each other to maintain a safe environment yet, we must do so with serious intent and purpose, knowing that our understanding of  majime asobu is the link between life and death in a real conflict.

Please enjoy the training with focus, purposeful intent and, a manner appropriate for a Bugeisha.

The following day, We went to downtown Montreal.

We casually walked around and Manolo allowed me to wonder while wandering through the streets and shops.

Relaxing

With Manolo Serrano in sunny downtown Montreal.

The Montreal Bushinden Kai commenced on a sunny Saturday and finished on a rainy Sunday. The seminar was a great experience for me. With new friends and old, we all had a true feeling to train and discover ( shirabe-gata ).

The important consideration at the beginning was to develop an understanding of the feeling we were going to try and train with for the weekend.

As with most classes at the Hombu, Soke begins by asking someone to perform taijutsu. He often states that the person should consider the years theme and the amount of people in the dojo. This is very important. Soke is giving that person a ” heads up “. However, how many people actually understand?

It was good to see that people were considering Yoroi / Tachi Kumiuchi within their taijutsu. Moving in a balanced way, attacking the openings in the ( imagined ) yoroi, and maintaining a surrounding awareness ( as if on a battlefield ).

I asked people to always move and consider using the armour of their opponent to control them. There is not much movement needed. Yet, I saw people still ( through habit ) moving as they always have.

As a result, I mentioned that Rokkon Shoujou is about purifying your senses so you can eventually see the truth. We need to develop our eyes and ears to see and hear what really is happening. Until then, we will be plagued with our own misguided thoughts. The transmission of the martial arts from our teacher will not be absorbed and we will walk a path where the radio waves ( denpa ) will forever be distorted and out of tune.

Our goal is to tune in and develop a direct connection with our teacher where there is no interference. We need to develop a clear radio wave to hear ( with all six senses ) the true teachings – Rokkon Shoujou.

I think we should think about this well.

In other aspects of the training, we considered the use of hidden weapons and the responses of the opponent after they become aware of them. We then trained to discover how our movement is dictated by the opponent and our kamae maintain the kukan to control the changes.

We tried to develop a working knowledge of training within the three stages of shu ha ri. Many people rush forward in their training before they understand and have basic movements imbedded into their spine. You could say that everyone is trying to ” run before they can walk “.

Before you can move forward, you need to understand your body. You need to train slowly in order for your spirit/mind, technique and body to develop and move together ( shin gi tai ichi ).

If we train too quickly and just consider flow ( nagare ) before we have developed sound kihon,our movements will be weak and have no structure.

Structure is learned from kata, or the forms. This is the starting point. Next, we come to integrate the principals of training. These principals bring the kata to life. The principals are like a sanshin and awaken us to the kukan.

The kukan is where we move to give us opportunities. Distance, angling, and timing are one in the same.They are the crucial elements that must be made transparent and masterfully expressed through consistent training. If we master the principals, we will develop a consistency in everything we do. Look at the Shitenno. they move very similar all the time, yet their taijutsu works on everyone. They do not have to adapt their body and move unnaturally. They have mastered the principals. As a result, they move neutrally and in a relaxed manner, almost like a dance. With mastery comes confidence.  These principals are our guards or shields to help us stay alive so we can walk through our lives as gentlemen and live freely.

It is imperative that we train well to discover this.

The hearts of Manolo and Estelle are large and warm. We could freely speak our truths and quickly develop friendships. Many times I saw a sparkle in our eyes as we talked of matters from the heart.

I am reminded during these times of the amazing power of the Bujinkan. Without the Bujinkan arts, I would never have been able to experience meeting people from around the world and be accepted into their homes and countries as a friend. We should all be thank full of been given this life from Soke.

Thank you so much to everyone for making my first trip to Montreal such a pleasant time.

New Jersey Bushinden Kai

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

For the second time now I have ben hosted by Chris Carbonaro of the Tanuki Dojo. He and Nao welcomed me to their home again and made me feel very comfortable as always. With a constant licking from the dogs, it was sometimes hard to concentrate on conversations ( lol ) but, it was nice to relax and take things slowly in between classes.

Chris & Nao

My first class was held at the Tanuki Dojo. We all had a good time training. It was great to meet up with Steven Schmidt ( Danger, High Voltage! )

Also a very good friend of mine Oliver Piskurek from Germany. He was on holiday in New York. We found out that we were going to be both in NY at the same time. So, this was great timing.

Tanuki Dojo Training

The Tanuki Dojo is now gaining popularity and support by the local Japanese community.

On Wednesday, many of us met in New York at the Tanjiki Dojo. With our tour guide Chris Chen, we went for lunch and then proceeded by bicycles to Central Park.

I had never been to Central Park. It was great to leisurely ride and get lost in and around the park. I was surprised at how green and clean everything was.

We ventured to the New York City Museum to visit an exhibition regarding the first visit by Samurai to New York City. It was very interesting.

http://www.mcny.org/exhibitions/current/Samurai-in-New-York.html

That evening, after recovering from our bike ride and saying goodbye to Oliver, we had class at the Tanjiki Dojo. Members from various dojos attended. The Gokui Dojo,Maten Dojo,Seion Dojo,Tanuki Dojo, New York Dojo, Musoza Dojo, and the Tanjiki Dojo.

The dojo was small but, it was a good size to install the feeling of training in Japan. It also required people to change their habits and move according to the environment. soke teaches this.

We were therefore having to be very mindful or our surroundings and possible injuries. i therefore asked people to consider Chuto Hanpa as a means of protecting your training partner and those training around you. Needless to say, there were no injuries, and people trained well.

After training, it was great to meet, sit ,and chat with senior members of the Bujinkan Community from around the New York area. We drank and ate while chatting and laughing, making time transparent.

Thanks everyone for a great evening.

The next day, we relaxed and had a second class at the Tanuki Dojo. We covered the Sanshin no Kata as a warm up and then worked on variations using the feeling of the sanshin tsuki. It was also good to see Anthony Lucas who has recently moved to the New Jersey area.

We all went to a pool with Anthony to relax in the sun the next day. We were very relaxed and I felt it was a good thing for the body and mind before the Bushinden Kai on the weekend.

The 2 days training at the Crowne Plaza hotel convention room was fantastic. People from New York, Florida,Canada, Arkansas,Virginia,Philadelphia,Washington DC, Pennsylvania,and New Jersey attended.

The weather ( ten ) was fantastic, the location ( chi ) was great, and the people ( jin ) were beautiful Bujinkan buyu.I felt that we moved toward training that complimented the environment we were all in. There was great improvement seen in all participants during the training.

Maybe the regal feeling of the room with persian carpets and chandeliers made people more light on their feet and dance freely in heart like a Grande Ball? lol. The manager of the hotel was also very impressed with the feeling and manners of everyone and expressed his devotion to helping with any future seminars or functions.

It is very interesting to notice the disharmony of the group when bowing in. Everyone arrives to the dojo with minds pre-occupied from life outside.The timing of the claps as we say Shikin Haramitsu Dai Komyo! are often not in sync. Yet, it is very interesting to note that at the end of a class, when we all bow out, everyone claps in unison. Together.

Training brings people together and develops the Bushin no wa or, a harmony among us. We are training to understand about “connections” and the “human sences” to find true happiness.

It`s great to be able to nourish this alongside buyu and to really see the positive effects of training together.

Rokkon Shoujou

2nd day

I am now on the way to Montreal. I will meet Manolo and Estelle for a week of relaxing and training. Who ever is coming to the Montreal training, I`ll see you there!

Tanuki dojo

Thank you again to Chris Carbonaro, Nao Carbonaro, and Chris Chen, for their hospitality, conversations, and support during my weeks stay.

The Tanjiki Dojo will sponsor me for a 2011 Bushinden Kai. This will be held in the New York City / Manhattan area I believe. I am looking forward to returning next year and training again with everyone.

Bufu Ikkan.