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Message from Sensei (2008)

30 issue ( Oct. 2008)

Dear all members

With the occurrence of the Olympics in Beijing this summer, I am sure there were quite a few of that enjoyed themselves watching it. This summer, coinciding with the Obon festivities in Japan, I was able to take a break from keiko and relax, spend time with my family and watch the Olympic games. Out of the hundreds of athletes only a very few were able to obtain a gold medal. Athletes prepared themselves for the games by placing themselves through a strict and severe training regime. They maintained peak performance and endeavored to perform at their best in light of the tourname! nt. By unleashing their best they were able to win and receive a gold medal.

Out of all this preparation and training the hardest aspect I believe would be "self-maintenance". Being able to follow and obey the training regime set to you by coach and supervisors would be possible for more than 70% of the time but self-maintenance would be another matter entirely. The fact of the matter is, that humans succumb easy to temptation and thus a reason for not breaking a world record or gaining a gold medal could probably be attributed to this I think.

Self-maintenance applies directly to Budo in the same manner. Maintaining or preserving ones emotional or physical condition or in other words striving to achieve an excellent state of human nature is something very difficult to accomplish.

Furthermore, the highest goal for a Budoka is "Meikyo Shisui" and "Wa wo Nite Tattoshi wo Sasu" (A mirror without any fog or impurities, calm and serene waters, not having a guilty conscience, having become completely clear and settled). In order to arrive at this state one must perform keiko intensely and diligently (shugyou) and when one does, struggles and conflicts will cease to occur.

I would like to think that athletes aiming to become the world's best are also arriving at this state. I saw athletes push themselves to the limit in order to win, but inevitably  losing. Overcoming their misfortune they were still being able keep a strong sense of camaraderie and at the end of the event, they shook hands, hugged each other and praised their rivals victory. I was very moved by this.

September 2008
Jinenkan Kancho
Manaka Unsui

29 issue (July 2009)

Dear all members

As summer begins its long awaited approach, I pray that you are doing well. This time round, I'd like to talk to you all about health.

In Japanese it said that humans, once being born cannot avoid old age, sickness and finally death (生老病死:shoro-byoshi).

At this, our health, which has maintained our life, inexorably fails us and as a result we die. Firstly, as you all know well, the three desires or wants that are inherent to humans are the desire for food, the desire for sex and thirdly, the desire for sleep. As of course us humans are a cluster of these desires, and although there are other desires apart from the aforementioned, I would like to focus on these primary three.

Out of these three desires, the first to leave us is the desire for sex. The next is the desire for food or gluttony, and lastly, the desire for sleep. As humans become tired, it is a necessity that we take rest, and thus sleep serves us this purpose. Remarkably, this desire cannot be replaced by any medicine or drug. No matter powerful the drug, it cannot compromise a human's need for sleep. Thus, a normal human when tired, will without defiance sleep.

The desire that maintains health and allows is us to lead an enjoyable lifestyle, is that of eating. In Japan, there is a saying "eat till 80%". No matter how delicious and enjoyable the food is, no matter what you do, never over eat! If you do so, you will simply harm yourself and bring on obesity. One more piece of advice I would like to give you all is that if you really dislike a particular food, where swallowing is impossible, simply ignore and do not eat it. If you try and do so, then you will place unneeded stress on the body and no good will come of it. As much as possible, when sitting down for a meal, relax, calm yourself and enjoy the meal in front of you. The ideal would be to allocate fixed times for your meal each day and be sure to eat till your 80% full. By doing this your stomach should have emptied itself to the right degree by the time the next meal time arrives and you can once again enjoy a tasty pleasant meal.

Feeling happy and giving thanks to the people who produce the food and made the meal will not only make for a pleasant meal but maintaining these emotions will make for a rich and fulfilling lifestyle.

In this day and age stress is abundant. At the very least, make your meal time one where you can relax and have a good time.

I for one, allocate 2 hours for every meal time and make sure to enjoy it to the fullest.
To all Jinenkan members, in order to live an enjoyable lifestyle, look after your health and be sure to eat well!

June 2008
Jinenkan Kancho
Manaka Unsui

28 issue (Apr. 2008)

It is the season now in Japan where we have begun to see signs of the cherry blossom. This cold winter will at last come to an end and the rebirth of all things will begin.

It is with this feeling that I would like to talk with you all about wasteful movement (muda na ugoki) and composure or having enough to spare (yoyuu).

First I will begin with a discussion of the cog wheel. As you will all agree, the cog wheels or gears align and bite into each other and turn, but, if there is no gap (sukima) within each cog wheel, they will not align, instead slide and not turn. This is what is called "having no leeway or margin" (yoyuu ga nai). On the other hand, having too much space within the gaps of the cog will, instead, produce a rattling sound and prevent the cog wheel from turning efficiently. This is what is called "wasteful" (muda). For the wheel to turn efficiently, the correct amount of spacing or margin (yoyuu) between the teeth of the cogs paramount.

In Takagi Yoshin Ryu, I regularly teach you that, "the feeling of holding a bee in your hand is very important". If you clasp too firmly, it will sting you, if you clasp too loosely, the bee may fly away.

I, via all the JinenRyu waza, am teaching you "Kou Un Ryu Sui".

Move like a cloud floating through the great sky!!! Flow like water flowing through the great lands!!!

In other words, move without any wasteful movement and do not insert any wasteful energy or strength in your technique.

This is having yoyuu (margin or composure). This is developed by the "shin-gi-tai" that is fostered via training. Once you start to create this, then you will begin to have "yoyuu" in your movement.

Everyone, please treat each and every waza with importance. Perform keiko strongly and steadily, and acquire (put in your body) this feeling of "yoyuu".

2008 March  
Jinenkan Kancho         
Manaka Unsui

27 issue (Jan.2008)

"MinnaSan, Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu" (I wish you all a Happy New Year). "Kotoshi mo yoi shougatsu wo omukaeni natta kototo omoimasu" (I hope you all welcomed the New Year positively and with much joy). "Honnen mo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu" (I ask once more for your support this year also).

This incidentally, is the standard greeting used by the Japanese people during the New Years period. The meaning and nuances suggested in this greeting include; "sympathy, kindness and consideration towards others", and also, "This year, as before, I may ask of your help or of a favor, so please look after me".

Japan, from time immemorial, has centred and based its social structure around the production of rice. From the planting of seeds to harvest time, the borrowed and mutual help of surrounding neighboring families has been very common. Mending of ones house also required the collaboration and help of ones neighbors. To look upon the present now, society has changed to a degree where one can live without needing and requesting help from others.

In other words, as long as one as the money, anything can be done, any service can be fulfilled. This saddens me deeply. Money, however is only money, and definitely cannot prevail over Jo (emotion, feeling or passion).

There isn't anyone who can live without receiving help from someone in one form or another. We all require help from someone whether we receive it directly or indirectly.

A wish you all, as Jinenkan members to practice Sessa Takuma (work together to help polish and refine each others spirit). Develop your human character as both people, and as martial friends. These are the bright and hopeful words I wish to express to you all to start off the New Year.

2008 New Years Day.
Jinenkan Kancho
Manaka Unsui