Jiki (Timing) 2007 Japan Trip Review




On December 3rd 2007, the Tanuki and Shima Dojo embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. There were a total of 8 of us traveling to Japan, to train at our yearly seminar event the DKMS.  Jiki means timing, and the meaning of Jiki has never been so clear. First of all, there were a total of 8 of us that had to coordinate our flight times in order to meet up together. 7 of us met up in Newark N.J. and James met us at the airport in Japan. This is one type of timing. It took us nearly 14 hours to get to Japan. This is another type of Jiki.



When we finally arrived to the Tokyo Budokan, we were there early and we were ready to train. This year Hatsumi Sensei did not have everyone dressed in Armour for more than a half hour. We saw some nice demonstrations from some of the Shihan, regarding the Kukishinden movements in Armour. After the demonstration, Hatsumi Sensei had everyone remove their Armour. There were a few people who came in late, and missed the demonstration. This is also Jiki; because Hatsumi Sensei told us that if they were not there to see the demo, that they lost their chance.



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 DKMS is great, because not only is it a review of the year, but it also gives us a chance to meet up with our friends from around the world. After the DKMS, I took everyone to a nice Japanese restaurant. Everyone had a really great time. This trip was truly remarkable. We all learned so much and understood the meaning of Jiki. Three of my students passed the Godan test on their first try, along with Doug Tweedy from the Shima Dojo. It was funny, because the test was not given on the first day. To me, this is Jiki, because Hatsumi Sensei waited until it felt right for him. The test was a bit different, because Hatsumi Sensei had the Jugodan pick the person they had a connection with to give the test to. This was not done in the past. It always seems that things happen when the time is right. I also received my Judan this trip, and many things changed for me as well. For instance, I was invited to train with a few other Judan, as well as Jugodan during the week. This has never happened before. I was also used as uke by all the Shihan in their classes. I think that this is a big part of Jiki. Many people wonder when they will be used as uke, or why they are rejected in training from someone higher ranking then them? This is all about JIKI. We have to wait until we are ready to receive, participate or been involved in things.

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One interesting story is that we all tried to get a picture with Hatsumi Sensei during the trip. As you know, he is very busy during the DKMS and there is not a lot of time to take photos. It was also difficult for us to get all 8 people together to take the photo. However, we did have one opportunity to take a photo with Sensei, but when we tried to take the photo, both cameras mysteriously did not work. Everyone was really upset, but I told them that it was not the right time. So when we went out to the party that night, I figured that we can get a photo then. However, once again Sensei was very busy. We stayed at the party for a couple of hours, but we did not have any luck getting a photo. Finally I decided that it was time to leave. After about another 30 minutes or so, everyone met downstairs and waited for the taxi. There was no one else in the lobby at this time, and long behold Hatsumi Sensei and the Shihan came down the stairs. I asked Hatsumi Sensei for a photo and he obliged. Again this is Jiki. We had to wait until the time was right.


Overall, we were able to go to about 3 classes a day, and we had a lot of fun we trained with Hatsumi Sensei, Nagato Shihan, Noguchi Shihan, Senou Shihan, Oguri Shihan, Arnaud Shihan, and Lubos Shihan. This trip was definatley one we will remember for a long time.

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Chris Carbonaro

Bujinkan Shihan


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