Kangeiko

Quite literally this means cold training and is more synonymous in Japan with the first lesson in the New Year rather than the literal meaning of austere training outside in the cold. Its purpose is to set the agenda for the year and once again bond the student to the teacher whereby the student is ostensibly asking for the teacher’s tuition and commitment for the...

Chikara

Translated as power this is what all seek and train for in both mental and physical dimensions. There are many ways to define and many proverbs both in the West and East that point the way in this pursuit. A well-known Japanese proverb is “Keizoku wa chikara nari ”, to Continue is power. For many the mental side is forgotten or taken for granted but...

The Ways of “Three” in Budo

  In my time spent on the path of training and study it has become increasingly evident that the relationship to approach and numbers in the Japanese ways of martial arts is very much bound by the denominator of 3. I have listed below some examples relevant to the practitioner, which are not complete or the span of extensive usage but act as examples to...

Dentoteki

Translated as “Traditional” it imbueds emotions of ages gone by and roots that have grown trees and flourished to the point of change. In martial arts we need to often look back to see where we have come from and recognise the development and journey the original intention has taken. Age has a way of defining change and then making one reflect back to see...

Kamae

The word literally means posture both mentally and physically and is a prerequisite to success in Budo. The setting of the mind and the body to receive and deal with an attack is and often will be the difference between success and failure. This understanding can take its meaning into a more profound usage in life but perhaps this should be left for another time....

Reigi Tadashiku

Without knowing and understanding the meaning of humility you can never be a true martial artist! This is translated as correct etiquette and manners and forms the backbone of good students and a good Dojo. The word Rei comes from the word “Reigi” meaning manners and the word “Tadashiku” means correct. When entering a Dojo you must always bow (Rei) and enter without shoes on....

Genri (Principles)

Kata no Genri Principles of Kata Kumite no Genri Principles of Kumite  1. Zanshin Usually translated as awareness it literally means to leave the spirit there or retain the spirit.   It can also be associated with concentration Zanshin Usually translated as awareness it literally means to leave the spirit there or retain the spirit.   It can also be associated with concentration 2. Tsukuri...

Shin, Gi, Tai

Mind, Technique, Body (Shin/Gi/Tai) I have always known that we go through mental and physical phases in our life on the path of study in Bujutsu. It is natural of course but many are unaware of the clarity of shift in this tenuous balance between the mind and the body. When you are young you think little of the physical well-being and ability, you simply...

Sensei (He who walks ahead)

It is a term used by so many but understood by so few. The standing of the teacher in Martial arts is much given creditability by the status of many of those before us who insist on being called Sensei! Some receive it because they earn it but many demand it. So what does the term mean, what responsibilities come with this term and why...

Hitori Keiko

There is a Japanese proverb “beginning is easy, continuing is difficult”. This is very true of training and epitomises the challenge all face in martial arts, and all pursuits for that matter. In martial arts initially students start with great enthusiasm and promise, vowing to train every day and fulfil their dream of becoming a black belt. Alas, for most this is never realised and...