Archive for October, 2010

Ura ni wa Ura ga aru

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

I believe Soke mentioned something at training recently that resembled an old Japanese proverb.

Ura ni wa Ura ga aru.

“The reverse side has it`s reverse side.”

Sometime ago, I remember asking him to write a proverb for me while he was painting at the Hombu. It read:

Ke-bukai mono wa iro-bukai.

” A Hairy person is sexy.”

I wanted my wife to know she had made the right choice for her husband. Lol!

Soke smiled and, instead of writing the proverb, he painted the womans erogenous region with large amounts of hair!

Needless to say, everyone laughed!

This is Ninjutsu.

Nothing is as you believe it to be. There is always a reverse side to the reverse side.


Posted in Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

Supporting Peter at his 25th Dojo Anniversary is London. September 2010.

A great turnout by people throughout the world to help celebrate.

Togakure ryu Ningu 忍具

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 by Duncan Stewart


Kyoketsu Shoge

Blog by Mark Brown – United Kingdom

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

Bujinkan Ryūha 武神館 流派

Notes on some of the Bujinkan schools.

戸隠流忍法體術       Togakure Ryū Ninpō Taijutsu
玉虎流骨指術          Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu
虎倒流骨法術          Kotō Ryū Koppōjutsu
九鬼神流八法秘剣術 Kukishin Ryū Happō Bikenjutsu
神傳不動流打拳体術 Shinden Fudō Ryū Dakentaijutu
高木揚心流柔体術    Takagi Yōshin Ryū Jūtaijutsu
義鑑流骨法術          Gikan Ryū Koppōjutsu
玉心流忍法             Gyokushin Ryū Ninpō
雲隠流忍法             Kumogakure Ryū Ninpō

I am listing here the waza from several of the Bujinkan schools, those that we commonly study, for my own and others reference. I am not going to write explanations of the actual techniques, this is up to you the budoka to do for yourself in your own training.

Listed are the kanji, the transliteration and a translation. Due to the nature of martial arts, not all kanji are easily found in electronic form, often are not recognised by native speakers and may have a specific meaning in a budo context. The translations are based on my understanding of Japanese, various texts and dictionaries, training in Japan and ‘feeling’. As kanji are ideographic characters it is difficult to translate directly into English, along with spoken Japanese, where you will see different translators produce different translations – maybe a better word is ‘interpretation’.

A good source for the kanji in printed form is Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai, as long as you are aware of some of the typesetting errors. Also be aware that hand written forms are different from printed kanji.

As and when I feel the urge or discover something new I will update these pages or change them completely.

Reutlingen Bushinden Kai

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

” The most kissed girl in the world!” – Gottingen.

I caught the train from Gottingen to Stuttgart. It`s always interesting to catch trains in different countries. This particular train was clean,comfortable and quiet. A nice way to relax and enjoy the scenery.

I met Holger at the station and we travelled to his home in a village outside of Reutligen. I`d stayed there before and knew I would be warm, comfortable and well fed! I always look forward to Germany. It is in my blood. However, I always have to get back to my fitness and Japanese diet when I get home to loose the calories!

We trained at the dojo nearly everynight, except the night we went to the Oktoberfest in Stuttgart! Hic.

Holger has moved dojo and has found a very nice place with a great view. He shares the dojo with an Aikido practitioner. The dojo has an excellent feeling. Holger concentrates on the ” fundamental forms ” of the Bujinkan and trains extensively with Someya Sensei. Holger not only recieves good training in the waza of the particular schools but, returns to his own dojo and spends serious time and study in coming to understand and develop ability in the movements.

Influenced by this feeling of the dojo, we studied taijutsu from the Ten Chi Jin. It is obvious that we all perform the movements differently. There is no way we as individual human beings can perform the waza exactly as each other. Also, the manner in which we filter the waza and interpret the teachings differs alot too. As a result, it is important for me ( and I think many other teachers ) to make clear that the waza are individual interpretations of ones experiences. We may say that we learn from particular teachers in Japan but, we must be honest and not say ” this is the correct way”, especially in regards to waza. We may say it is the correct way as practised in XYZ dojo, however, to clearly state the way you do something is the only way, is dangerous for you.

Holger makes it clear that he studies from a particular teacher and attempts to absorb their teachings through his heart and body to the best of his ability. This cleary is shown in his movement. And, I truly believe that the greatest compliment when initially learning something for a teacher, is to move like them.

There must be a level of intensity to the training. However, it must remain controlled. People try to raise the intensity of the training and they loose their equilibrium. And, it just becomes “Childs Play”. Everything they learned or are trying to learn turns to nothing. They become lost. The intensity I speak of is a conviction and a focus. This is the ” Majime Asobu”. That is, we must play seriously like adults.

I think that the evolution of ones training in Shin Gi Tai Ichi is tested when one reaches 15th dan and, is asked to perform the test in front of Soke. One must have practised well to unify his/her spirit,technique and body in order to give the test. ( My jetlagged thoughts. )

There are people who are concerned if your foot is a particular angle or the like. What is important is, after training in the waza, to make them fit your own body. If you train well, then the structure is there to work with and break to adapt and keep you alive. The beginning is crucial to ones development. As with any foundation, if is is weak, we will eventually see it`s weaknesses as life and training continues. These thoughts could relate to the teachings of Shin Gi Tai.

In Nagold ( The Black Forest ). My mothers birthplace.

I have many weaknesses and am often very lazy at trying to overcome them. In fact, the more I train, the more I realise my lack of true ability. Ones ability is measured by his surroundings and life. This is an aspect of Saino Kon Ki. I feel very immature in life and only hope that my experiences and trusting in life will enable me to protect and keep my family healthy.

The Bushinden Kai in Reutlingen was a great two days. People from Austria and Switzerland also attended.

We moved forward with taijutsu and some ways to incorporate tachi into our training. The two days went very quickly and the training was very enjoyable. Thanks to all for their time and effort.

Also, a Big thank you to Holger and Raphaela for their friendship and hospitality. Two beautiful people who I am glad to have as good friends.

Bujinkan Enfield Dojo

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2010 by Duncan Stewart

This dojo is highly recommended. The instructor has over two decades of teaching experience in the Bujinkan and offers a wealth of knowledge.

Gottingen Bushinden Kai

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2010 by Duncan Stewartöttingen

It was my third trip to Gottingen. Oliver has been so gracious to invite me on nearly a yearly basis to share my experiences with his dojo. He has a wonderful group of students and friends who share a love for the Bujinkan and learning. Oliver is an excellent teacher and this is evident with the loyalty from those in the dojo.

This trip was a wonderful trip for me. This year I had travelled a lot throughout the world. I was tired, but the German Hospitality kept me going.

Together with many friends, we enjoyed just relaxing together at home and around Gottingen. We visited some interesting aspects of Gottingen. While on a city guided tour I learned about the many Nobel prize recipients, University culture and famous individuals like the Grim Brothers.

The man who invented the concept of + and was also from Gottingen. His name was George Christophe.

We visited a 1000 year old castle, ate and drank traditional German food and beer and, listened to some great live music.

We also went Bow shooting one day.

Rene and Oliver incorporate their Taihenjutsu when shooting too. It was great fun.

There were over 60 people at the Bushinden Kai from Germany, The Netherlands, And the Czech Republic.

We concentrated on refining our movements through trying to become aware of the connections with the Kihon Happou and the Gogyo no Kata.

It is true. All our movements are derived from these kata. The more we train, the more we become aware of this. I find the more I train, the more intrigued I become with how natural these movements are. Everything we do in life makes use of these fundamentals. In saying this, I remember hearing Soke mention that he believed that he had learned more about life from the Kihon Happou than that of fighting.

I found myself realizing that my movements were becoming simpler. However, I`m not sure if they have gotten better! lol.

I attempted to hone in on walking and, using the natural structure of the body to produce power in basic skills such as Jodan and Gedan Uke, etc. The Gyokko Ryu is Koshijutsu. We are not only using the hands and feet to strike the weak points but, we are using the hips ( koshi ) to deliver them. The use of the hips means we are using the structure of our body to generate striking power. The hips are the center and form the core of our movements. To use the hips, it makes us concentrate on developing more flexible,relaxed bodies and limbs. We need lose shoulders to allow the hips to whip our strikes forward like a snapping chain.

I believe it is also very important not to change the training to suit your personal desires. Many people are devising new and improved methods. I disagree with these things. You are fighting against culture and tradition, battles and blood, the lives of those who went before you.

What we must do is train and naturally evolve with our environment. The training is to maintain a close connection with the traditions while being flexible and open enough to change with this new era.

I think people want to change the art too much. What is important is good training and correct repetition. With this repetition, the body and mind relaxes and becomes aware of the self. From there, we can discover important secrets needed for training with weapons, etc.

If we do not study the basic Bujinkan punch well, we will not develop good skill and understanding of the body to master the use of the spear,staff, sword or the like. Recently I watched the Saino Kon Ki Daikomyosai. I was uke for Soke at times and used the footage to also investigate my own training and habits. I was very unhappy with my punching. I commented this to Noguchi Sensei one day at class. Without pleasing my ego, he stated, ” Well, at least you are aware of what you feel you need to work on, many are not.”

In regards to punching, I see many people not punching well. When I see the Shitenno punching at Soke, they perform the ” Classic Bujinkan Punch”. Correct punching is necessary for future development and understanding of this art. We have to remember that this Art is based on weapon usage. This should be a hint.

I was approached by one student who had been practicing a dojo for three years. He said that he had never been taught how to punch. The instructor apparently told him that the body would know how to punch. I was amazed.

The training on Gottingen was great. It was fun to catch up with good friends and train together again. Together with Oliver, I spent good moments with Cavin,Mirek,Anthony,Perry,Lars,Rene,Ricardo and others during my stay. Thank you to also those that I have forgotten to mention here.

The second day of the training was great. It was also nice to meet with a man who had been training for over 25 years in the Bujinkan. When I first saw him train, it was evident that he had been training for a long time. He is a fourth dan and has never been to Japan. We all encouraged him to go to Japan for his godan test. When travelling, you meet interesting people of varied backgrounds and experiences. It is great to meet people of high quality. It really helps you keep a good perspective of your life and keep your training and thoughts real.

I`m looking forward to seeing everyone at Daikomyosai very soon.