Nagato Sensei made an important comment on the reality of martial arts and the art of learning budo. Sensei mentioned that everyone was moving with the desire to produce a technique. Everybody was trying to hard to defeat their opponent. In reality, if we try to produce a waza, it will most likely fail.
If we train in the dojo to attain perfect waza and become conditioned to this way of training and thinking, we will be shocked in reality and be overcome. In real life we never know what will come and thus we can have no idea of what to do.
With correct training, we will train our bodies in such a way that whatever attack arises, we will naturally move to a position to minimise it’s effects and thus gain better control. Jissen gata is not about training in techniques that will work in real life, but infact training the body to move into places to continue ones life. The kihon teaches our body fundamental physical responces that over time and with correct repetitive training become second nature and thus we move more instinctively. We then enter the world of Mushin and move as dictated by our opponent, removed from the thoughts of winning and losing, being strong or weak, killing or dying.
Zanshin is crucial to surviving. We must keep going to the very end.
Moving with desire produces “what you want”. Nagato Sensei stated that what you want may not happen in a life and death situation, thus one has to remove that desire.
The most important thing is to be free and henka. However, there is something that can’t be overlooked in my eyes. There are peole that have not gone through basic training in ukemi, striking, kicking, etc.
These people who have entered the dojo and listen to their teacher stating that no power, strength, technique, kamae is necessary and believe it, are in a state of delusion. Within the dojo, one can probably progress well as most training partners are cooperative and can help give you a false sense of growth by physically pleasing your light, nimble, and free movements. I often see these people take the position of uke and are visibly surprised when they are hit, feel pain, dumped to the ground, or even just feel a slight sence of intention from their training partner.
Training is far from reality. However, ones mindset has to be deeply set on reality during training. If you do this, and develop this mindset, it will permeate during your training and psychologically affect your opponent. They will feel the conviction in your movements, no matter how subtle, light, or small, and be weary of you whole being. With Soke and Nagato Sensei for example. They move very lightly and manipulate everyone easily. However, for those who have been uke, we can sense a strength and real ability. A real grounding in their bodies and spirit. We can feel that any moment they could decisivaly end your life with skillfull attacks.
I think the truth of ones ability is shown through ones skill to control any opponent and the environment from “being” or from truly “knowing” oneself. As Sun Tsu stated, ” first know your self, then your enemy.”
For me, relinquishing ones preconceptions on the ” way things should be” and truly emptying ones cup to ” see what is real” is the essence to knowing oneself, life and budo. It is my desire to train as sincerely as I can whenever I’m in the dojo. Although I feel myself give way to weakness more often than not, I’m happy. I’m happy that I’m aware of these undesirable traits and bad habits. As a result, I can try to develop the courage to grow and learn. There are many things about myself that I am probably unaware of. I but hope my peers, teachers and the environment ( if I have an open heart ) can help me become aware of my shortcomings.
Many times we have felt in the dojo that what our teacher is commenting on relates directly to us. In this moment we can choose to accept this as a gift to help us move forward as budoka or, live in a state of denial, forever living in a false world of budo and learning.
Jissen gata is taught in the Bujinkan Dojo. Soke states he is teaching us to live. If we truly contemplate these words and watch, listen and accept Sokes teachings, we will discovere he is indeed practising what he preaches. As students, our goal is to follow this path as closely as we can. There are people who misunderstand the training in the Honbu.
People sometimes feel and report that the training is soft and not realistic. These people as we have heard before do not have the eyes to see real budo. Budo cannot be understood visually. It is only those who train sincerely, that the truth of budo can eventually be seen. This is the Jissen gata of the Bujinkan Dojo.
The truth is open to those with magakoro.