Unsui

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Message from Sensei (2005)

Jan. 2005

To all members; best wishes and a Happy New Year.

This year will be, after a four-year absence, my first new year to spend in Japan. Thus, I have some good news to tell you all. That is, the long awaited Honbu Dojo will open in February. Also, at this time, I also want to talk about ways of teaching and ways of practicing ( keiko in Japanese).

I am finding myself at times reflecting, looking back and thinking deeply to come to an understanding of things. It can be said that if an average person trains hard, without compromise, and continues to exert effort, that in the end, after many years, this person will acquire extraordinary genius that will be noticed and praised by others. Regarding the methods of " keiko": it is pointless to train aimlessly, because even after 10's of years, one will have acquired nothing. Only after one has performed a movement some thousands of times can the body naturally come to remember it. Then, after this, one must do everything possible to add in a sense of originality into one's " keiko." This is extremely important.

One must always have the image of an opponent in one's mind, trying to change his movement, break his balance and have the feeling of flexibly and spontaneously changing one's technique.

Once one can do this considerably well, I think it is good to add one's own flavor to your "keiko" and "waza"( technique ). Once you attain this level, others cannot follow where you go. Others cannot reach you. You become untouchable. I think that which will come forth after this stage will have value equal to a priceless work of art or that of a great enlightenment.

Everyone, please strive this year to continue to better yourselves. I am still pushing myself to train as hard as ever.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho

Apr. 2005

To all members,

Now the construction of the Japanese Honbu Dojo has been completed as planned. At this time, I would like to once again relate to you the Jinenkan Budokun.

When I first created the Jinenkan, I also created this Budokun. The back ground for this is, as I always relate and tell you, there is a way of natural movement. Therefore, for people studying the martial arts, even more than just learning martial arts, I pray that you will learn to live in a way so as to not be destructive to yourself.

Jinenkan Budokun

1. Sustain your presence of mind…Wrath and impatience cloud your vision, and deprive you of your natural movement.

2. Avoid overconfidence in yourself…You will be unable to adapt properly to circumstances.

3. Accept the whole universe without protest…In this way, you will not fall into the opponent's strategies.

4. Have no stagnation in your technique…In this way, you will not be taken advantage of by the opponent.

5. Bring out the "flavor" of the technique…At such times, you will be able to move at your best.

Practice proper basics repeatedly and you will be able to always have natural movement.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho

July 2005

Bowing

To all members,

This time, I would like to discuss the ritual of aligning the hand and bowing before the Kamiza or Kamidana and the general way that we do this. Also, as I have just established a new dojo, I have decided to renew and update this procedure.

To begin with, we sit in Seiza facing the Kamiza and bow twice. In prayer position, bring your hands to a place in front of your chest and lowering your right hand to where the fingertips meet the first knuckle joints of your left hand, clap twice. Then , return your right hand to where the fingertips are aligned. Then to end with, bow once more. This is a typical method. However, there is much significance tied in with this ritual. I will explain further.

Your left hand is "You"(yang) and represents the spirit. Your right hand is "In"(yin) expressing the body (or the physical). Thus, by joining both hands, you are creating a union, a harmony of the spiritual and the physical. By lowering the right hand to first knuckle of the left hand, you are receding "In" to one place behind "You". In other words, the body is paying respect to the spirit. Also, when clapping the hands, based on the myth of Amaterasu Oomikami and her hiding behind the "Amanoiwato", you are summoning her to come out. Also, prayed for is for the heavens to be opened up and for the flooding light to enter into our midst. By bowing, we are paying respect and venerating a supreme being. More than this, this meaning is being interpreted (heard) by god.

I myself, pray to gods that we proceed free from injury and at the end of training, when we have finished, I give thanks for our safe passage through training without injury. However, I understand that there are many members practicing their own religions and thus I do not want to push, in any religions way, any connotation upon you. As this is just one way to learn Kobudo, I would like you all to treat this as an etiquette prior to your normal warm up.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho

October 2005

This year, both at seminars and at the hombu, I've had the privilege of doing keiko with quite a number of people. Everyone has improved greatly. Nothing makes me happier than this. Next, if people pay close attention to the following points, more improvements will be made.

1. Insert power into your tanden. Eliminate all tension in your body, particularly your shoulders. By doing this, your footwork will improve. Even though I have said this all too often, regarding budo, once your feet become stagnant then so does your heart.

2. Beginners (until 1st kyu): In order for your body to adapt and familiarize itself with various movements, it is important to repeat these same movements over and over again. Rather than memorize kata, place emphasis on making the body move naturally. However, when testing, one must learn the necessary kata correctly.

3. For intermediate students (up to 2 dan): Carefully study your opponent. With whomever you practice, use the same speed. You must not use the same ma-ai every time.

4. For advanced students (3 dan and above): Assume realistic combat while performing your waza. Make a special point of realistic (Jissen) kakehiki(Strategy) in waza. Particularly, kan(looseness/gentleness), kyu(speed/immediacy), kyou(strength) and jyaku(weeknesses).

Moreover, although I have mentioned this in previous articles, that which is most important is the continuation of your training. As I have said before, instead of training 10 hours in one day, for only once a month, much more progress will be made if one trains every day for 10 minutes a day. It would suffice even if you could swing the bo or a sward for those 10 minutes. It is very important to teach your body no to forget the feeling.

Well, I eagerly await the next opportunity for us to train together again.

Unsui Sensei

Jinenkan Kancho