I just had the pleasure of training with a Sensei who was visiting Canada, and who has been training many years in the Bujinkan Dojo, both in Canada and Germany.
What I found stands out, was his absolutely relaxed method, which has iron power underneath. He would demonstrate a movement by going into an average pose, such as leaning on a post, or laying sun tanning, and from there show the simple power of fluid and relaxed motion coming from the core of the body to alleviate any hostile situation, while protecting both himself AND the attacker from harm. I am certain that his advice is echoed by every experienced teacher and is useful for every art and lifestyle to apply, it was a welcome reminder in his own enjoyable and humorous expression.
Some of the essentials were:
- Keep the body upright and relaxed, use the power of both the core, gentle turning and stepping, along with bending of the knees and elbows to apply techniques.
- Do not use “force”, (grabbing, pushing, holding, raising the limbs etc.) in your initial actions, relax and do not create a defensive response in your opponent.
- All techniques using your opponents limbs can be transferred fluidly to use with any object as a weapon, by extending it as your own limb.
- Be open and creative, life never happens like the classroom. Be playful in your training, never “muscle” or tense against each other.
- Smile and keep your eyes on your target, while remaining aware of your surroundings and any other potential opponents.
- Keep your own limbs close to your core normally, loose and focused. Once you drop into a technique, do not stand up.
- Do not grip or tighten against your opponent, no matter what they do.
- Always protect your opponent from more harm than necessary.
I am very grateful for a new perspective and a wonderful evening which flew by with this Sensei’s guidance. I feel enriched to add his gentle and relaxed methodology into my everyday training.