九無、苦無、空になり (kunai, kunai, becoming the void)

          (New Tanuki Bujinkan Dojo)

 Last night we had our first official class in the new Tanuki Dojo. Many people are traveling from quite a far distance to train. I am happy to see that my students are practicing Banpen Fugyo, (10,000 changes, no surprises). Many people would complain of the far drive or the gas prices, but my students understand the value of training, and have just continued on their path. This is very important not only for training, but for life itself.

My parents are not risk takers by any means, and if the wheather is bad outside, they stay inside. However, I can not live my life like that. Even in some of the worst storms, I had to go to work. This is what the study of martial arts gives to us. It gives us the ability to take control of everything in ourlife, instead of being controlled by the circumstances in our life.

We studied the theme of Ku, or becoming nothing, disapearing, and becoming zero. However, it was much diffferent then how we studied this concept in the beginning of the year. When we went to Japan in January, Soke gave the feeling of disapearing, both in the physical and non physical sense. The feeling was that when you punched, your opponent was gone either out of sight, or detached from the fight. Oftentimes Soke would position himself behind the opponent, or in his blind spots.

In this last class, we studied the idea of erasing the form, not thinking about the technique. I showed that when we think about doing something, this energy can be read by the opponent. Therefore, we must learn how to become zero. We must allow our movements to be natural, and not try to take omote gyaku, but allow it to happen naturally, and at the right time.

Timing is very important in our training, as well as our lives. If we decide to go for a throw at the wrong time, it could mean getting stabbed, or struck from another opponent. The same in life, if we decide to quit a job at the wrong time, it could mean losing your home, and possibly your family.

              (New Tanuki Bujinkan Dojo)

There is also the idea of Kunai. The first meaning is the tool that we used during the year of Jupposessho no Justsu. However, Soke talked to us this year about Kunai, in this sense the kanji is changed and means to get rid of bad things in one’s life. So what does this mean? The idea is that by constantly polishing our techniques, only the good will shine through and the bad will fall away. It is the same idea when doing pottery. First you start off with a piece of clay, but when you are finished polishing it over and over, you are left with a beautiful piece of art work. However, if you do not perfect your technique, your bowl, dish or glass may be deformed. Therefore, it is important to keep a good heart, hence the words: Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo.

I was also very impressed with all of the students, because they are really polishing their techniques. I had asked Craig, Amir, and Chris to show a technique last night. They did not show a technique from any scroll, but rather they showed something that had been shown in previous classes. I was very happy to see this, because they showed me that the information is getting transmitted from teacher to student. I saw that my students have cultivated their eyes to see the key points in training. This is the first step to being able to truly understand budo.

I remember during one of Soke’s classes in 2003, Soke said that everyone’s ukemi is now at the point that we can start to train in the third and fourth dimensions. I am seeing this same type of evolution in my own training as well as the training of my students. The funny thing about this art, is that if you stop training even for a second, you are left in a moment of time. If you stop long enough, you will never be able to move into the future. Many people live in the past, and with taijutsu it is the same.

皆さん頑張ってください (Minnasan, Gambatte Kudasai)

Sincerely,

Shihan Chris Carbonaro

www.tanukidojo.com


 
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