Vermont Bushinden Kai

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.

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.

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.

2 Responses to “Vermont Bushinden Kai”

  1. awesome!

  2. Ducan, Thanks for the post, and THANK you for the photos!

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