Back From Japan Review Feb 2010

Some of the members of the Tanuki, Shima and Hidden Mountain Bujinkan dojo traveled to Japan for our yearly training with Soke and the Shitenno.  Soke was unable to make class on the Friday that we arrived, so both Noguchi and Senno Shihan taught class together. This was the first time ever two of the Shitenno taught class together.

My teacher Nagato Sensei brought up a good yet interesting point during the break in one of our classes. Nagato Sensei said, “I am not sure why, but is seems that when everyone comes to Japan to train it is like a cleansing takes place.” “The Hombu dojo is like a clinic, and everyone who comes here to train gets cured after coming here.” I find this to be very true. I have been lucky to have so many of my friends and students travel with me to Japan.

 I have been studying martial arts for 18 years now, starting with Tae Kwon Do under Grandmaster Sung Bok Nam, Aikido with a teacher who studied with the Ueshiba dojo in Japan, and Ed Parkers Kenpo Karate under Paul Dye. I was fortunate enough to fulfill my childhood dream of living and training martial arts in Japan. I am happy that my students are able to take part in this wonderful budo training called Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

 Soke was very Genki, and really stressed the importance of everyone going out to buy a tachi to train with. He explained that if people do not buy a tachi, that they can never get good at using one. Soke puts out themes for us to study each year, and it is important for us to follow that.

(The tachi I bought on Soke’s request, and a painting from Nagato Sensei)

Soke also mentioned that he will begin the construction of the new Hombu Dojo next year. Soke really hopes that all the Jugodan will get together, to teach there, and for everyone to train with the Jugodan from around the world.  We had a very interesting chain of events on Sunday’s class with Soke. After Duncan gave Shidoshi Doug Tweedy from the Shima Dojo a shimenawa for his dojo, Soke saw the shimenawa in Doug’s bag, and handed him a large Okazari for Doug’s new dojo as well. If you plan on attending Doug’s grand opening seminar this weekend, you will see the Okazari hanging up in the front office. Doug’s wife Michelle Tweedy passed her godan test with a perfect test for both Michelle and Morton, the one who gave her the test.

 After speaking with Soke on the side, I explained to him that Doug was having his grand opening seminar, and it was great for him to receive the Okazari from Soke. Soke spoke with Doug for a while, and after finding out Doug has been training for 10 years, Soke promoted him to 8th Dan. Soke then promoted me to 12th dan as well. The Bujinkan also received recognition in the Japanese news paper under the name of Togaure Ryu Ninpo. One of the Japanese female practitioners was attacked and used her Taijutsu and an umbrella to defeat her attacker. This brought up another conversation between Soke, Chief and me. I was explaining to Soke that Chief understood very well about these types of situations. After some more conversation, Soke then promoted Chief to 7th dan.

During this class, Soke called me out as Uke, and I threw two punches, and thought I hit Soke. So much to the point that my heart felt like it was going to explode, because I thought I struck Soke. Soke then asked me to explain what I had felt. On Tuesday night training, Soke was using his fingers a lot. The feeling was that of Tamashii. Soke found some very painful points on my face, and the right side of my face swelled up.

On Thursday, I took some photos with Nagato Sensei, and he also grabbed my face. My face then swelled up even more. The swelling and pain on my face did not go down until one week later. We have to realize that budo involves combat, and training is sometimes unbearable. However, we as budoka find a familiar bond with one another through our training. It always amazes me that so many people from around the world travel to train with Soke. In the presence of Soke, it seems that everyone is bonded like a brotherhood, no matter what everyone’s individual agenda maybe. Soke is like glue that is holding us altogether. I am very happy to have met so many great people since I started studying martial arts. I am looking forward to training another 50 years, and I hope everyone will continue to do the same. I have been invited to teach at Doug Tweedy’s grand opening seminar along with my good friend Jay Zimmerman. It looks like we are going to have a huge turnout and I am looking forward to meeting up with new and old friends.

I truly wish that more people will come to understand the importance of training budo. If we look at the Juppo Sessho Kuji, it teaches us to erase ourselves from danger. We cannot fight what we cannot see, hear, or understand. Soke also made mention of the importance of having luck in one’s life.


Chris Carbonaro

Bujinkan Shihan

~ by tanuki123 on February 18, 2010.

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