Martial Arts of Ft. Wayne

“Kihon Happou by Soke Masaaki Hatsumi”

I have trained myself and instructed others in Kihon Happo and felt that thosewho have had previous training in Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kung Fu, and otherfighting techniques tend to stay with those forms and have trouble learningBudo Taijutsu from a “blank slate.” The fighting forms stay with the studenteven though he starts the training of Budo Taijutsu. When do the previouslearned techniques disappear? I think it is up to a person’s individual talent.The phenomenon is just like a dialect disappearing after one lives in a differentpart of the country.

No matter how hard one tries, he will never be a professional announcer if hespeaks in dialect. The same can be said for Budo. I also studied various martialarts such as Judo, Karate, Aikido, old-style Budo, and Chinese Budo. In otherwords, until I encountered Takamatsu Sensei, I was a Budoka (martial artist)with many dialects. One day I began to wonder why and when did I lose those”dialects?” I realized that it was after I lost all my muscle tone after five yearsof illness.

Discovery of your own dialect is one way of improving Budo. When one reachesa certain degree of skill, he comes up against the “wall,” something he hastrouble overcoming. This is the so-called dialect of Taijutsu.

I want to write about how to train yourself when you reach a higher rankduring Budo training. I would like to use a Cat Competition as an example. Ihave had lots of experience in the competition because my wife served asjudge of the World Cat Club and I was also vice chairman of the club.

Suppose five top cats are chosen out of hundreds of cats. All of them arewonderful and beautiful, but that alone cannot be judged. With no other way tojudge which cat is more beautiful then another, the judges start to look forfaults. The one with the most faults drops to fifth, the next, fourth, then third,and so on. The one with the least faults becomes Grand Champion.

Bugei is the same way. If one reaches to a higher rank, he need only eliminatehis faults. It may sound easy, but eliminating faults is very difficult toaccomplish, because we tend to think we are faultless. Faults can be translatedinto something different in Budo. They can be suki (unguarded points), orcarelessness, presumption, arrogance, etc. they all become our fault. No fault,zero condition is the best. I am zero. I joke that the Soke has no Dan. Zero, nofault that is the target of Bufu Ikkan (living through the martial winds).”

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