Martial Arts of Ft. Wayne

“Words from Masaaki Hatsumi Soke”

“I would like to state clearly to all people treading the way of the martial arts: if you do not possess a Budoka’s heart, leave the martial arts! I say this on the basis of what I have gained from decades of teaching, because it has all been proved by the words Takamatsu Sensei spoke.

The martial arts are not something you can learn. The starting point is your own effort and endurance, and if you do not realize this, no matter how many years you train and what grade you reach, you will lack the value perceptions of a martial artist. Without this self‑awareness, even l0th Dans are equivalent to people without either Dan or Kyu. This is the Shinken‑gata of the Bujinkan grades.

People who do not grasp the true nature of a martial artist may well go to some trouble to knock on my door and request training, but unless they search for the heart of a martial artist, my teachings will fall on deaf ears. Yes, let us write Budoka as “Martial flower”, and leave it as one solution to Kaj`o‑chikusei, the puzzle of enlightenment which you are all questing after.

Now, as a Doctor of Human Sciences, I would like to analyze the symptoms and morphology of various diseases which people searching for combat techniques are prone to contract without being aware of it.

1. Number One type

A hypoplastic (underdeveloped) form; self‑centred, fussy about grades, and always wanting to be “Number One”.

This is an awful type. They do not even know how bad they are, and could be killed before they realize … a real nuisance.

2. Business type

A type which develops from the conception of earning a living by the martial arts; they forget the Budoka’s heart, and theirs is transmuted into the heart of a merchant.

They may end up believing that someone with many students is great ‑ and if a student runs away from them they may feel as though they have lost some money. Furthermore, they do not notice that as a martial artist they are a failure.

Let me clearly state that in my experience no Tatsujin’ of Bujutsu or Bugei ever develops from such a type. ‘ . . . , .

3. Reporter type

Someone who comes to me, but finds “collecting materials” more important than training, and takes notes and photographs which they‑then sell once back in their country.

This really is deplorable. They are already incapable of going beyond the amateur’s view of the martial arts ‑ the “set forms” or “this is right but that is wrong” mentality, etc. They do not even get as far as realizing they have fallen into such a state.

There are many more types left the “Sensei‑Shihan” type, the “Mood” type, the “Collector” type, the “Violent” type, the “Animal” type; the “Religious” type, the “Philosophical” type…

The important thing is to understand that the true nature of the martial arts can only be perceived once these types have all been made transparent!

The flow of Takamatsu Sensei’s Budou started with: training in the transparent, beautiful and natural flow of Shinden Fudo‑ryu. The berg for me was following an invisible flow of light as it flowed through space, to knock on the door of Takamatsu Sensei’s Bufu. My encounter with Takamatsu Sensei in some ways resembled the old tale of the opening of the cave door on Shinshu Mt Togakushi.                                                        ‑

Until recently people have tended to see the Bujinkan as being only Ninjutsu and to use Ninjutsu as a catch‑phrase, but it is about time we became aware of the full scale of the Bujinkan.

The Bujinkan martial arts incorporate the entire flow of nine schools of martial ways, with a history of three thousand year. You should not forget that you are martial artists on a space shuttle. Do not be distracted from the training; you must persevere to the end.

“Single‑mindedness” can be thought of through its sound “Sennen” as also meaning one thousand years. “If one thousand days pass the techniques will appear by themselves” is a common phrase in the scrolls, and I believe that from this you can hear sounds joining you to a space beyond.

If I also rewrite “Ikkan” not as perseverance but as joy, then the sound waves can spread out so that some gladness, health and happiness is discovered.”

Masaaki Hatsumi Soke


Zentai Martial Arts, Ft. Wayne Indiana




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