This interview was arranged and given by Pavel from the Bujinkan Prague Dojo.
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“To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”
13th Century Zen Master Dogen in a passage from his Genjo-koan
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In 2009 I visited the Tanuki Dojo in New Jersey.
A DVD of that Bushinden Kai will be available soon!
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Shuhari is a Japanese martial arts concept, and describes the stages of learning to mastery. It is sometimes applied to other disciplines, such as Go.
ShuHaRi roughly translates to Learn, Detach and Transcend.
Shu (守:しゅ, “protect”, “obey”) — traditional wisdom — learning fundamentals, techniques,proverbs.
Ha (破:は, “detach”, “digress”) — breaking with tradition — finding exceptions to traditional wisdom, reflecting on their truth, finding new ways, techniques, and proverbs.
Ri (離:り, “leave”, “separate”) — transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural, no form, no constraints.
Shu Ha Ri can be considered as concentric circles, with Shu within Ha, and both Shu and Ha within Ri. The fundamental techniques and knowledge do not change.
During the Shu phase the student should loyally follow the instruction of a single teacher; the student is not yet ready to explore and compare different paths.
Often people view this process within the realm of physical skill training only.
However, I’d like to look through a wider and deeper lense to view how this process possibly relates to the evolution and future of the Bujinkan during Sokes reign as Grandmaster of the nine schools.
It has often been mentioned that Tanryoku 胆力 or “guts” is an essential element to understanding the world of budo and advacning as a martial artist.
Depending on the kanji, Tanryoku 弾力 can signify ” elasticity,resilience, and adaptability” as well.
Let us think about the relationship of the varying kanji and look through to the hidden and essential component required to understand the bugeisha’s heart.
隠 要 武 心
In Yo Bu shin
In 隠 signifies to hide or conceal.
Yo 要 means the “main point” or “essence”.
Bu 武 translates as ” warrior “
Shin 心 Signifies ” heart” or “spirit”.
隠 要 武 心
Soke has recently mentioned this.
photos by Sheila Haddad.