Honbu Class with Soke

Hatsumi’s class was unique. As usual. He did many things that seemed very similar to the year before and even the year before that, but there are subtle differences. I thinks he’s trying to get a message or a feeling across, perhaps many people aren’t getting.

There was lots of manipulation of the opponent's hands and limbs, with tiny movements using only your fingers or thumb. And only minimal movements. Sometimes you can’t help but think "is this for real or is this bull shit"; but then I think of my own situation with my own students looking at me when I show something. Are they saying to themselves "is this for real or is it bull shit." In many ways, they have to trust me, that I am taking them to a place they want to go.  In the same way, I’m trusting Hatsumi Sensei to show me where I want to go.  I see the end product and that’s what I want.  I can’t always second guess him or else I’ll never arrive at my destination. Sure, in certain situations, what he’s showing would never work, but what doesn’t make any sense in the right situation under the right conditions, it will work perfectly and I will have to remember that, the same as when my students look to me, I have to remember that they may be wondering or questioning or what-if attitude or "that would never work", or look of confusion.

I saw Hatsumi Sensei doing a technique and there was a women sitting on the floor in the back ground, a Kyu rank and she had this puzzled look on her face and she could even be heard going "huh?"...so you have to wonder what is she thinking at that stage compared to what I’m thinking at my stage?  But after practicing what he shows, you can see that it certainly has its place. You wouldn’t just go into a confrontationutation with that goal in mind because, as we know, things never go as planned and you have to let it flow organically, but it has opened my eyes to the observation that my students may be looking at me with a "is this for real" out look, so I have to remind them that we're taking baby steps to a larger goal and that this is never to be memorized; and that this is not an all inclusive technique. This is a tool in the tool box, as I always say.  Arm chair warriors that type away on their key board are always quick to condemn actions that have a "is this for real" look, but you have to remember that they don’t have the years in training in our style to appreciate where Hatsumi is taking us, where he is driving the bus that were all on.  We can get off anytime, but, I for one would like to get where he is taking us. Once I get there and Hatsumi is no more one day, perhaps the Bujinkan will be no more one day. Then, and only then, I will have the right to make changes if it’s necessary. It’s true that you should never blindly follow a person because you could have a fool for a teacher, but if you have a teacher who is wise and patient and shows you why things work and when they could be used and how to use them in great detail in contrast to some teachers that say “do this and shut up”, then it helps you to appreciate the larger picture and move toward your goal like moving like Hatsumi moves and doing what Hatsumi does.