Soke recently made the comment that the world is changing and that as martial artists we have to evolve and understand these changes in order to survive.

He mentioned Mujin. The kanji for Mu is the same used for Mushin.

Jin is the same kanji for “person”.

Soke combined it with “warfare” to describe the realm of unmanned warfare machines ( such as drones ) and also the use of chemical weapons.

The world is changing. The basis of survival is “henka” ( adaption/change ). If we cannot change with the world, we will be killed. This is a constant truth for all living entities.


In light of the recent outbreak of the “swine flu” and other health concerns and diseases, we must reconsider the manner in which to approach the martial arts. Those who are concerned with just becoming strong and powerful will be easily killed. We are in an era where ” invisible weapons ” are being used against us. It is not just man to man combat, it is germ vs man, chemical vs man, lazer vs man, etc.

It is important to develop the “sense” required to become aware of and deal with the ” hidden attacks ” from sources other than man. Eg:  a virus. This is why Soke talks about ” attacking from unseen places ” and also learning to ” defend against unseen attacks “. These teachings are not just for physical man to man combat scenarios.

In order to develop this ” sense “, Soke admonishes us to seek and develop the “feeling ”  required for survival. This is most important. A balanced manner of study is important to be able to discern and ” see ”  the truth in many things. This is stated in the rules of the dojo – study budo and the literary arts with balanced determination.

Through training in physical techniques, we aim to become more sensitive to our surroundings and come to naturally understand what is good and bad for us. This comes from the subconscious. The fifth dan test is a medium that teaches us to trust in this hidden realm.

This feeling is innate in all man. The fifth level test is but a manner to awaken the recipient to the power of the subconscious and the connection we all have with fellow man. In regards to this connection, I’d like to express something that I heard once in the dojo.


When administering the godan test, many people just try to think of  ” killing ”  the opponent. This is only one aspect. I heard that the person administering the test should do so with a sense of  ” compassion “. The Sensei should be in fact  ” willing ”  the student out of the way of the blow. So, in a sense, the person cutting from behind is actually protecting the person recieving the test.

If we look at this manner of testing in a greater approach within society, we can see that it has a more beneficial nature. If martial artists only develop strong killing intention ( sakki ) than they will end up being no more than ” killers “.

If we develop the skill to ” move people with compassion “, we actually gain the power to protect people. This is a type of Sanninjutsu ( mind control ). For example: If we know that someone close to us is in danger, we may be able to make them move from the danger  by our ” will ” alone.


Therefore, developing as a person in a balanced way is extremely important. According to Soke, the Amatsu Tatara Hicho Buki Goshinjutsu is about having the ability to heal and kill. More importantly, it is being able to discern when each is necessary ( kanjin Kaname ). The development of  ” killing intention ” and also a deep sense of  ” compassion ” toward man,  is essential for developing as a true bugeisha.

Bufu Ikkan.

3 Responses to “Mujin”

  1. Duncan,

    The perspective of compassion written about in this blog will have an immense impact on my training. For the past two years in my personal pursuit, I have had a very hard time committing to the idea of intent. I was always under the impression that “killing intent” is what we should be practicing in order to imply the feeling needed for our partner to catch what they need to move. This idea raised moral concerns for me. The idea of imparting compassion makes so many things that Soke talks about clear to me now. Thank you very much for this post.

  2. Mariusz Says:

    thanks you! fantastic text…

  3. Superb post, Duncan. Your description of administering the godan test is exactly how I do it; and it does indeed have implications/applications far beyond the test itself.

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