Denmarku Jūyūshi (デン マーク十勇士)
(Gift from Soke to Bujinkan Denmark)

Denmarku Jūyūshi デン マーク十勇士 (Gift from Soke to Bujinkan Denmark)

Denmarku Jūyūshi デン マーク十勇士 (Gift from Soke to Bujinkan Denmark)

We celebrated Bujinkan Denmark’s 30 year’s anniversary this year at the annual Danish Buyukai. When Erland Kamstrup was in Japan and told Soke in September, Soke was so happy to hear that so he decided to give us a gift. He asked the hombu staff how many Danish Jugodan there where and found out that we are ten. He then painted 10 shodo with the kanji for “ken/tsurugi” and then he has written “Denmarku Juuyuushi. Meaning “The 10 strong/brave Danes”. By doing this he referred to a legend from Japanese history. In sengoku-jidai  (warring states period), the daimyo Sanada Masayuki’s son Sanada Yukimura was a general that had a legendary group of ten ninja who helped him. They never lost a battle. They are referred to as 真田十勇士 Sanada Jūyūshi. The ten heroes of Sanda. Sanada Yukimura himself was referred to as “A Hero who may appear once in a hundred years”, “Crimson Demon of War”, “The Last Sengoku Hero” and “The Number one warrior in Japan”. Yukimura’s father and Daimyo was known for having defeated the powerful Togugawa army on two separate occasions.

It is a great honor to receive these shodo from soke with reference to this story. In Bujinkan Densho Sanmyaku #6, 1994 soke has written that he has named 10 Japanese teachers juuyuushi (the ten strong).

At the picture you see me with the gift from Soke. It is really a gift to all of you at the Danish Bujinkan family. It is the whole community of all of us students and the fine cooperation between all the Danish buyu that makes the Danish Bujinkan community so strong and wonderful. I am honorer to receive this together with all of my fellow Danish Ju-go-dan brothers. I love you all.
Thank you Soke.

Michael Schjerling

The Denmarku Jūyūshi (デン マーク十勇士) is:
Erland Kamstrup
Henrik Højager
Jasper Juhl Holm
Michael Kofoed
Michael Schjerling
Mikkel Treebak
Ole Kiilerich
Philipp Pihl
Rene Hvid
William Boesen

Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanada_Ten_Brave

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You have to become your kamae 構え

CRW_7722

by Michael Schjerling

It is soon the New Year of the horse 2014. It is time to reflect on the past, purify the present and prepare your kamae for a ride on the wild horse in the year 2014. Good luck my friend. I wish you a very happy New Year. (Michael)

People with strong kamae have an advantage in fights as well as real life in general. That is why kamae is one of the first thing we practice. Good kamae reflect that inner authentic presence, which comes from many years of purifying, emptying out and letting go. I have met very few people who has this kind of kamae and I myself still am a student on the way. The person with strong kamae seems to always control the space no matter if you practice with him in the dojo or you sit and eat a dinner together. He might be a garbage collector or rent out DVD’s at the local video store. That does not matter. Still he or she has an uplifted quality, which magnetizes you and commands your attention. He controls the space with his body, spirit and balls. When you meet such a person with such a strong inner authentic presence, you find he has an overwhelming genuineness, which might be somewhat frightening. I would often feel this when being close to soke. It feels very true, honest and real. This is not just charisma. The person with strong kamae and therefore inner authentic presence has worked on himself and made a thorough and proper journey. He has earned authentic presence by letting go, and by giving up personal comfort and fixed mind. He controls him self and there fore he controls the space.


The year of the horse 2014
Very soon it will become New Year. We reached the year of the horse 2014. The horse can help the human being to travel further and more quickly than he could do on his own. This shows a genuine relationship between human and animal. Horses are also extremely sensitive and should be taken good care of by humans. I believe that 2014 will be an interesting year in Bujinkan as it seems that we have come full circle with the themes. Am not sure what theme Soke will decide on for 2014, but I myself feel it is time once again to go further back to the roots and study Ten-Chi-Jin Ryaku no Maki and kamae which is the subject of this text. The horse has its kamae with its back horizontal whereas the back of the human kamae is vertical. When you take your seat in the saddle you and the horse becomes one, and form the Japanese kanji for ju (number 10), which is the strongest number, with your backs. When riding the horse you should let go of your ego and be sensitive enough to follow the rhythm as you would follow the rhythm of the fight. This is the way to ride the horse as well as the way to control the fight with out fighting.

Tai kamae – 構え
One of the first concepts we are introduced to as warriors is the kamae. In the beginning we see kamae as physical fighting positions as they are indeed. Kamae are, from a biomechanical point of view, the most efficient positions to be in during different parts of the fight applied with the right distance and timing. As such this tai kamae gives you physical protection and balance your structure so you have a solid and well protected base to receive, move and deliver from. This is the starting point, the physical part which in my opinion most students have not practiced enough. If you master tai kamae you have strong positions and good advantage in the battle.

Kokoro kamae – 心構え
Moreover the kamae should be a reflection of your heart or your mental state. You have to become your kamae so to say. This is called kokoro kamae. This is where life is blown in to you. Your kamae needs to be more than biomechanical and physical beneficent positions. It needs to become alive and a reflection of whom you are being. A reflection of who you are truthfully from moment to moment. This is where this art of Bujinkan becomes an interesting life journey, because your kamae will only be as strong, clean and pure as your heart. If your mind is filled with ego (yourself), your personal projects and schemes, instead of concern for others, then you become preoccupied with your own egofulness. The expression that someone is “full of himself” refers to this kind of arrogance and false pride. This is very dangerous for yourself, your loved ones and your country. Through the teachings from our soke we learn that the correct way is to keep our heart true and protect. One way is to always make sure to let go of the ego. Do things for others and for the greater picture. I believe that it is impossible to become a warrior unless you have experienced egolessness. The ego acts as a kind of shield. But not in a good way, more in an illusionary way so you FEEL safe but actually ARE less safe because you are slower and not able to adapt because your mind is closed and full of yourself. There is no mushin (無心) and openness to Jin Tsu Riki 神通力. When you work with yourself and purify your heart then you naturally remove the illusionary shield and open yourself up to an invisible force we could call Divine. This cleares up your eyes and speeds up movements. It is here our taijutsu becomes alive, unique and here the so called miracles happen. It is just a matter of letting go, relax and dare to open up yourself.

The ideal state of fudoshin and tranquility comes from experiencing your body and mind being synchronized. If your body and mind are unsynchronized, then your body will be slump or weak and you will feel awkward. The method of synchronizing your mental state and your body is training you to be very simple and to feel that you are not special, but ordinary, extra-ordinary. You sit in your kamae simply, as a warrior, and out of that, a sense of individual dignity arises. You realize that the earth deserves you and you deserve the earth and that you are ready to protect her with your whole spirit when time is ready.

Looking at a picture of a person in a specific kamae at two similar situations could be the same biomechanical outlook but the strength of the kamae could be very different depending of the spirit of the two kamae. At situation one the person could be full of himself and therefore not be in a mental calm and grounded state. At the other picture which looks the same the person has no ego and the kamae is filled with heart and spirit which makes it strong and flexible as bamboo. The secret to let that spirit in is to allow yourself to let down your ego-shield and let yourself open up as that beautiful flower you are so you can perceive and shine. This is easier said than done. But I truly believe that it is the way. Having good perception is the only way to master any art as well as Bujinkan. Having good senses and strong nerves are more important that to be physical strong.

Minamoto Musashi wrote in his book Go Rin no Sho about kamae something like:  Your kamae when fighting should be a natural every day kamae, and your everyday kamae should be your fighting posture. I think this is very important because then you have reached shizen kamae, meaning that your kamae is a natural part of you. From this point only I think it is possible to make kage no kamae (影の構え) effective (The shadow kamae where you conceal your mental attitude).

When you open up to or reach this level of kamae you are also more open to be conscious and aware and are therefore not so easily sucked in to dark world. The warrior’s awareness is not based on the training of ultimate paranoia. It is as shown based on the training of ultimate solidity (Fudoshin) – trusting in basic goodness. You now belong to the world of warriors. When little things happen – good or bad, right or wrong – you don’t exaggerate them. You constantly come back to your saddle (your posture). You have good neck and shoulders, you sit in your saddle and are never amazed. If somebody comes up to you and says: “I am going to kill you”, you are not amazed or “I will give you a present of one million USD right now” you are not amazed. You simply assume your seat in the saddle.

Practicing your kamae
During practice of the kamae there are some important points. First of all I will say that you should make your daily posture your kamae. Meaning that you should always be conscious of your posture and make sure that it is a reflection of your heart, meaning that your body and mind is synchronized. In that sense you are always practicing not only in the dojo but also outside and as such your world becomes your dojo.
Second, it is extremely important to have an upright posture. From Hatsumi soke we know that Takamatsu O-sensei also emphasized a straight back. Having an upright back is not an artificial posture. It is natural to the human body. When you slouch, that is unnatural. You can’t breathe properly when you slouch, and slouching also is a sign of giving in to neurosis. So when you have an erect kamae, you are proclaiming to yourself and the rest of the world that you are a warrior, a complete human being.
To have a straight back you do not have to strain yourself by pulling back your shoulders. The uprightness comes naturally from a calm mental state, a sense of natural pride and a sense of dignity. You feel that the earth deserves you and that you deserve her. You let down your shield of egofulness and open up your chest and heart. Imagine that you take a seat in a saddle, naturally and straight. Strong and flexible as bamboo and beautiful, open and sense-able as a flower. Then because your back is upright, you feel no trace of embarrassment, so you do not hold your head down. You are not bending to anything. You develop a good sense of head and shoulders. The above described pride is acceptable and good. It is the natural pride of being an extra-ordinary human being.
Thirdly, it is important to move from your hara. Always maintain a sense for that. Whenever you sit on a chair, move in or out of your car, you are walking with shopping bags or you are giving or receiving punches, you should always have a sense of a good sound hara. Move from the center.

The kamae is a direct mirror of how well you practice and who you really are. Don’t lie to yourself. Practice well and sit back down in your saddle and be ready for the ride of that wild horse. Happy New Year.

Written on a cleaning day 28’Th of December 2013

(Michael Schjerling)

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Seminar: Junan Taiso and the Kihon of Natural Holistic Health 7th July 2013

A talk about Natural Holisitc Medicine and Health at Tartu University, Estonia.

“For a long time I have thought about doing such a seminar for my Bujinkan family. To share what I find most important concerning your health and physical body. Your body is the foundation from where you deliver your kicks, strikes and throws from and should also be suited to receive powerful impacts. In my opinion health comes before fitness and most important for health is the mind. One could argue that all or most diseases starts in the mind”. (Michael Schjerling)

This years theme is incorporating Amatsu Tatara, as Soke has written in the scrool in Hombu. I have always been interested in what soke transmits when it comes to health since I started out as a really weak child. Over the years I have learned more about how to get healthy and strong. My professional job is to lead top- and world-class athletes to higher athletic performance through prescribing training programmes, diet programmes, mental training, sleep regime etc. Beside that I help chronic ill patients with holistic medicine. Over the years I have experienced that all of sokes methods have worked extremely well on all clients including my self.

2013

The kihon of a strong and flexible body

This seminar is about how to create, maintain and protect your health and vitality and how to make your body flexible and super strong (The kihon of a strong and flexible body).

As a martial artist it is important that you learn and use the principles to protect not only your body, but also your mind and spirit. All are connected. This seminar takes the physical approach, but since your body are connected to your mind and spirit, aspects of those areas are being touched as well with references to what I have picked up from mainly soke and the japanese shihans.

Soke have often said that health is foundation for taijutsu. I have done my best over the years to find out what soke, and the japanese shihans says about how to take care of the body, make it flexible and strong and protect it from injury and disease. It is absolutely the same conclusions I have made my self working with natural holistic medicine full-time since 2000. This approach works not only in my own life and with my own body, but also with all the top and world-class athletes I have been so fortunate to work with over the last 13 years. I am happy to say that I believe that it is sokes methods that enables me to out-perform many of the top athletes I work with at now 42 years of age. I am forever grateful for sokes teachings.

Why is this important?

Well it should be pretty obvious, but from looking around at people it is not. You simply can not do much of what soke does if you do not free your skeletal bones from all those tight muscles that ties it up. You simply can not kick well and generate good power from the legs and hips if you do not have the flexibility. Also your ukemi and overall taijutsu is affected if you walk around in a “tight suit”. This flexibility comes from knowledge and regular practice, wich I will transmit to you at the seminar.

Moreover you can not train hard year in and year out if you do not know the principles of nature (mind, food, deep breathing, sleep, age and purifying) wich this seminar will also cover.

In and Yo

Takamatsu sensei said that you can do what you want as long as you do something to counterbalance it. I find that extremely true and important. If you train hard you need to rest hard. From sokes books we know how much sleep Takamatsu sensei got and at what time also we know much about what kind of food he would suggest and what he found important concerning our mind and spirit. From my own professional work and studies I have experienced that all is totally aligned with what we know from modern science.

Place is Bujinkan Kuki Taisho Dojo from 9-17.

Price is 450 DKK. (If you pay later than 1/6 the price is 550,-).

You will sign up to the seminar by paying to 0260 4545505975

(Write “”your name”+ MS”” on the transfer)

Questions to bujin@bujin.dk

Painting by Soke april 2011. "The Precepts of Perseverance in the Martial Ways"

Painting by Soke april 2011. “The Precepts of Perseverance in the Martial Ways”

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The Way of Natural Fighting

By, Michael Schjerling

The title is ambivalent itself. The question is: What is natural fighting or is fighting natural at all? Yes and no. Let’s study nature.

If we accept that human beings are part of nature we will see that fighting and wars are a part of our history. If fact only 1 out of I believe 336 agreements of peace are being held in history. Animals also fight. The reasons might be different between humans and animals. But does nature fight? Does the water, the wind, the earth trees and the sun fight? I do not see that. Actually nature in that sense always follows the path of least resistance to find balance. I see the same in our own micro cosmos in the cells of the human body. What we call the immune system is actually not fighting bacteria and viruses. It is enveloping, wrapping up and controlling with as little effort as possible, securing harmony and peace in your body. This is very intelligent and natural as I see it, something to study and learn from.

Soke often talks about nature and show us natural movements and lifestyle. To study fighting and to follow the path of budo might seem quite ambivalent. What is the point in studying battle to prevent battle? How does that give any meaning? Well how often do you see big strong dogs being aggressive and fighting compared with small dogs? Mabe you should study nature a bit more if you are against everything that has to do with warrior ship. Actually being against is to be aggressive and not seeking harmony.

The true meaning of Budo

Yari & kodachi in Tartu Estonia

What does budo really mean? We usually translate budo with martial art, martial ways or warrior ways. But what we often forget is; what is the way of the warrior or should I say the bujin (divine warrior)?
We then can go to the kanji for budo. It is compounded of two characters; the character for Bu and the character for Do. Do come from the Chinese Tao or Dao meaning “The way or path”. Actually I feel it means the true way, the correct way, the natural way and the spiritual divine way. Also I have read it as meaning: “the way of the whole universe”. The character of Bu is made up of two separate characters. The first character means “to stop” or “to halt”, and the second character means “spear” or “sword”. My interpretation is that Budo therefore means to stop or halt the weapon. In conclusion for me budo is about not fighting it is about making peace and to follow the peaceful way, the way of natural harmony. For me that is one of the meanings of being ambiguous with both the pen and sword, only using the sword as a last resort. Behave correctly with heavenly justice obtaining the shin shin gan (mind and eyes of God). When following the martial way we should do everything to prevent fighting and to maintain peace. If that is totally impossible we should use our weapons as a last resort knowing that there were no other ways, to regain peace naturally and with as little harm as necessary.

The important lessons of serving as uke for Hatsumi sensei

When trying to explain the way we fight or train in the Bujinkan one easily gets lost. It is like trying to explain the whole universe. There are so many small important factors that make up the whole picture. Therefore luckily enough many people have written about different aspects to try to help others and them self to better understand and grasp this art. This article is just one in the flood that contributes to all the other water drops.

I have had a few opportunities to serve as uke for Hatsumi sensei and for that I am totally grateful. Often after soke has shown a specific movement or should I say control he asks the uke to explain the feeling. This is often extremely difficult and the students often use metaphors to best describe the feeling. It is very much like trying to explain love to a person that have not felt love or trying to explain how miso soup tastes to a person not knowing. The reason why it is so difficult to explain is, in my opinion that the language is not made for this. It actually is impossible, so what we should learn is what is between the lines, the thing which is not visible or sense able to the 5 senses. Actually what is not said is most important. Watch how easily soke controlles uke and how confused uke is when asked to explain the feeling. This is the essence as I see it.

Control without controlling

I heard that if you throw a frog in to boiling water then it jumps out because of pain, but if you throw it in to cold water and slowly heats it up, the frog will not notice and eventually get killed because of thermal stress to its body. This small example very much describes the feeling I have when being uke for soke. I do not feel any pain before it is too late. Then the pain usually is unbearable and total. A very hot pain or sometimes now pain, but it is impossible and too late to escape. You are totally wrapped up. Also I do not feel any action from sensei or reaction from sensei, so he is impossible to control and it feels like he just guides you and let you do your own mistakes that leads you to your downfall. There is no resistance in any of sokes movements. It feels very gentle with no power, yet you feel his extraordinary inner power, his spirit when being uke. It is like he can paly with you any time. It feels very natural. In a way like he is making peace with your actions and kills your fighting spirit.

How nature works

This is actually a natural principle. Nature works the same way. With least effort. Water never runs uphill. Trees do not lean towards the wind. Nature responds naturally to the environment to live a natural balance. In fighting this is the highest level. Actually it is the level of no fighting. Fighting is struggling. But at this highest level you do not struggle but the techniques emerge naturally by them self as needed, very natural. You do not create them. As soke says, they come from the divine, from nature.

Being a super human or an ordinary person

Then how can we get to this point of so natural movements that everything always is imperfectly perfect?

I think the only way is to study as close to soke as possible and work hard and dedicated, driven by a strong purposeful and sincere heart. All aspects of shin gi tai should be practiced. Too many people focus at the technical part not understanding the power of a super strong body and spirit. And too many people does not study the technical part and practice but just copy the shihan in the dojo not being aware of doing the hard work the teacher did to reach this level. Students all over lack hours of practice in the kihon wasa. Work with your spirit, your technique and your body. Nothing is to be neglected. Here is where the article can be heavy. Therefore you need to study other sources of this elsewhere to get the keys as how to do this. Learn from soke. It is very much about being honest to yourself and work hard on the areas that are your weak spots. For me that changes all the time. Everything needs constantly work. Like you cannot maintain any level. You cannot take a break from watering your plants. If you want them to grow and change you need water them and care for them. This is very much the same as a warrior. You need to constantly focus on being better naturally without forcing the process too much. Then eventually you will not need to fight any more. You will be a tatsujin and a divine warrior. This should go for your all aspects in life as well.

As for my own life I make sure to work with my spirit every day. I do this throughout the day by being aware of my thoughts, words and deeds. I do this by being aware of the 5 precepts from Toda sensei, by trying to be aware of and open to divine guidance, by being grateful for my teachers, parents, ancestors and the wealth in general I have in my life now and by purifying. Also I make an effort to always use the fruits of my hard work to serve nature and humanity the best way I can. I believe this is important and a part of behaving correctly and with heavenly justice.

I also make sure to polish my taijutsu every day by training in the dojo, and when not training in the dojo my taijutsu is being polished with self training and by being a conscious part of my movements throughout the day. When I walk or work with my clients etc. I try to work from hara and my heart and feels this helps my taijutsu in the dojo.

Recently I have been working hard on my weak spots in my body. I have tried to learn from soke and nature (no difference) about how to get the body strong, flexible and healthy. All over the world I see that people in the Bujinkan especially do not have a strong, flexible and healthy body. I feel embarrassed with the little effort people put in to this when looking at how strong and healthy soke and the Japanese shihan are. They are all super strong. Recently I have worked at getting super strong as well and have found that the more healthy, strong and flexible my body gets the easier taijutsu gets. How I do it would be too long a text, but the short version is that I do it with focus on my total lifestyle as described in many of sokes books. A natural holistic approach to health working with nature. The result I can say is that I now at the age of 42, (the unlucky year 😉 can outperform most of my top athletes at my work (Working with world class and Olympic athletes from many different sports). I say this to honor soke and to tell you how special the knowledge is that this man possess. I am very grateful and all the thanks for what I have in my life should go to this man. We should all be really, really grateful for all the gifts he has given us and continues to give us. I often feel embarrassed by how stupid many people are and how greedy many are trying to suck everything out of him not paying attention to the atmosphere. Soke will usually not say no when you ask him for a favor. He is Japanese, so please be aware of the atmosphere to feel if it is appropriate to ask him for that favor. If you are doubtful you might be better off waiting even if this means that you have to wait a year more. I talk from personal experience where I myself was too egoistic and not aware. Luckily enough for us soke has a very big heart to vessel. Sometimes I feel he sees us as his children. Children do stupid things but as parent you always understand and have patience with them. Love them no matter what they do. Soke has a lot of patience with us.

My experience when getting stronger, more flexible and healthy is that my taijutsu is getting easier. It is much easier to not use power and to enter this state of least effort. I feel that there is more energy for perception and feeling because I do not struggle with a weak, stiff and unhealthy body. Before, I did not have flexibility to copy, or power in my legs to make use of proper kamae. Therefore I was much focused on the restrictions and pain in my body and was not as able to feel and naturally respond. I see it as a big tree. The bigger the tree the larger roots and the stronger the tree is. It does not have to be concerned about storms and can easily endure compare to the small tree.

I hope we will all be like big trees and shining stars that inspire people to live natural healthy lives with love and respect for each other and mother earth by living the gifts from Hatsumi Sensei.

Written on a beautiful summer night the 9’Th of august 2012

Michael Schjerling

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Dojo Code – “Precepts of Perseverance in the Martial Ways”

The followig is from a document written by the 33rd Grandmaster of the Togakure ryu. Its titel is “Precepts of Perseverance in the Martial Ways” and it contains a set of guiding principles drawn up by the 32nd Grandmaster, Toda Shinryuuken. In just five articles, it manages to encompas the essence of Budo and og Ninjutsu.

  1. Patience comes first. Know first of all that whatever hardship you may have to endure is but temporary.
  2. Know that the path of man is justice. Always behave correctly.
  3. Do not fall prey to avarice, indulgence, or egoism.
  4. Sorrow and hate are both natural part of life. Understand that they too are gifts from the gods and seek fudoshin.
  5. Never stray from the path of faith (the spirit), nor that of budo; be ambitious in the ways of both pen and sword.

Meiji 23 (1890) 1’st day of spring, Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu
Showa 33 (1958), an auspicious day in March, Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uoo
Transmitted to Hatsumi Masaaki Byakuryu

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Do you have the heart?


My teacher would often emphasize the importance of the correct heart. The correct heart is most important in life and for the warrior. Without it you would be misled into a pour life of ego and illusions and you would experience continuous frustration, desire, jealousy, greed, anger and the like.

My teacher would also often mention that it is not the technique that makes you win or survive it is the heart. I totally agree and would like to add that it is not techniques and abilities that change the world or people it is the heart. If you put your heart in to things s… happens. The heart which burns with love, compassion and honesty. Techniques do not touch us much but heart does.

Do you have the heart to continue no matter what?

Do you have the heart to do what is right even if it hurts you and others?

Do you have the heart to get things done even when it seems impossible and is really tough?

Do you put your heart in to your life and the things you do?

Do you have the heart to look people in to their eyes and say: “I love you”?

Do you have the heart to do what is universally correct even if it is against what all others around you tells you and even if you are warned not to do it?

Do you have the heart to connect with people and make those connections really deep, strong and loving?

Do you have a compassionate loving heart that cares for others?

Do you have a good heart?

Do you have the heart to stand up for and protect what is valuable – your world, family, loved ones and yourself no matter how bad the odds are?

Do you have the heart not to be afraid and the heart to do things even if you are afraid?

Do you have the heart to put your life in danger if needed?

Do you have a heart of harmony?

Do you have a heart of persistent training?

Do you have the heart to die for what you love and believe in?

Do you have a heart of self confidence?

Do you have a righteous heart that beats the same rhythm no matter what changes occur in your surroundings?

Do you have an immovable heart?

Do you have the heart of endurance and patience to keep going?

Do you have the heart to apologize?

Do you have the heart not to judge?

Do you have a heart that unites?

Do you have the heart to trust?

Do you have the heart to be an artist?

Do you have a healthy heart at peace and harmony that beats slowly, strong and harmonious full of love?

Do you have a heart that is full of love for the earth, heaven and mankind?

Do you on a regular basis make sure to keep your heart true?

Do you have the heart of pursuing, protecting and preserving peace?

Do you have a correct heart?

Do you have a heart of a warrior?

Written on a beautiful gray day 29’Th of July 2011 –
Michael Schjerling

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Michael Schjerling – Kihon Happou 季翻初崩 12-13’Th of February 2011 – Copenhagen Denmark

– The foundation of protecting what is valuable

With Michael Schjerling 15’Th Dan

Background
This is a special seminar. The inspiration to do it came pure and very strong to me today the 25’Th of December 2010. Reflecting on the theme our soke has put out for 2011 I got inspired to do a different seminar which takes off from my believes about “correct training”. Words I have often heard in Japan.

I believe
I believe that we should study and train correct and use the appropriate effort at each of the SHU-, HA- and RI-levels. We cannot jump to the Ri-level without the first 2 levels. Kihon Happou and Sanshin is key to protection and survival. It is key to winning not only on the battlefield but in life as well. It is the many hours of investment in these fundamentals that makes the difference between good and bad taijutsu and the results we can harvest during the process called life. Are you willing to let go of your own ego and believes and open yourself up to faster growth and transformation by going deep in our basics with an open mind for learning?

Is this seminar for YOU?
This seminar is for you who believe and have understood that without a solid foundation your techniques will lack power and bite and without a firm base you will not be able to implement techniques and your chances of survival in a true battle is poor. Your “house” will not last a real thunder storm”. The seminar is for all levels as it will be a in depth study of your own taijutsu. You will start from where you are now. So no matter if you have practiced for one month or for 20+ years you will study and perfect your current level of your basic skills. In fact I should say that the more advanced you are the more time you probably should use in building up your foundation stronger and more firm and secure.

What will you get out of the seminar
This seminar is an opportunity which is rare in Bujinkan. An opportunity to open your eyes and take total responsibility of your own training. And through correct practicing of Kihon Happo to bring you taijutsu to the next level of transformation. Your will in short words get a more stable and secure base to receive and deliver from and therefore get a step further in your ability to survive a true battle-situation.

You can expect this seminar to be tough and hard as you will spend many hours in perfecting the skills. That means working with the kamae, te sabaki, ashi sabaki etc for many quality repetitions. You can expect to be very fatigued and tired at the end of the day. At the same time you can be sure to learn at all three levels. The body, mind and spirit. At the body level it is my intention that your body naturally will understand how to kamae and move with more certainty, confidence, bone and freedom. On the mind level it is my intention that you will have a better whole understanding of correct training and what it gives you and that you have gone a step further to mushin (no-mind) by building up confidence in your taijutsu to let go. At the spirit level it is my intention that you will feel stronger and have moved some limits.

Last but not least you can expect to get some ideas on how to do self practice and find your inner motivation to go home and do a lot of self practice that will give you a huge improvement in your taijutsu.  

What will we study
We will work mainly on the SHU and the HA levels of the SHU-HA-RI . The seminar will cover pure basics as I understand it now after 22 years of consistent practice in the fundamentals of Bujinkan. It will be my tree in the forest. It will not be about how to make henka number 9999. It will not be about quantity but about quality and depth. We will study each of the eight basic waza in depth. That means that you can expect to study the following:

  • How to compose and structure your body, mind and spirit to be able to fight against your opponent in a protected, faithful and strong way. This is Kamae and To toku yoshi.
  • How to use your weapons without hurting them and with great power and bite to really have an impact on your attacker. This is ho-ken ju roppo and target practicing with the powerful pure kamae (body and intention). In other words we will study and practice how to punch, kick and grasp the opponent most effective.
  • How to block. We will study the 3 basic ways of blocking. When and how to apply them and what opportunities they gives us. These are: Jodan/gedan uke, Uke nagashi and uke daken.
  • What is correct distance and how to obtain it with correct timing though angling, moguri, sabki and juppo sessho.
  • Why the positioning is key to survival. This is kuden of kurai dori.
  • And how to use all above to control space (kukan) and the fight.

The seminar builds on all the themes we have had in Bujinkan since we started the area of themes for around 20 years ago.   

Who am I?
See this for full description

I consider myself a student of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, Soke of bujinkan and his transmissions and do my best to stay close to his teachings every day. My first teacher from 1989 who I consider as my sensei and mentor has been a great source (I believe) to the backbone of my taijutsu and spirit. The man is Sveneric Bogsäter who I have made sure to study from several times every year since I began to practice Bujinkan.  When studying in Japan almost every year. Often more times a year my teachers beside our Soke are the four japanese Shitenno. I do my best to study very close to each of them and grasp the keys I can.
I started martial arts training 1983 when I was 13 and did various styles until 1989 where I started Bujinkan training in Copenhagen.
I have studied thai boxing, kick boxing, tao te ching gung fu, jiu jitsu and aikido. I also did close quarter combat in the army. I have participated at 13 Taikai (worldwide seminars with the Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi).
In 1994 I passed the godan (5th Dan). My first Bujinkan Dojo was founded near Copenhagen in 1991. In 2003 I was awarded 10th Dan by the Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi.
Today I teach regular classes in my dojo in Copenhagen and have taught seminars in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Estonia. I was awarded 15th Dan by the Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi 25’Th of October 2009.
I have worked with security for a number of years in Denmark. My Bujinkan training has given me the opportunity to practice with and train professionals working with security and members of special military and police units from all over the world. This includes governmental bodyguards.   
Besides MA-training I work with Health and High Performance optimization and have great experience in creating high performing results. I coaches and trains top athletes from several teams and have coached and trained top and Olympic athletes in hand ball, power lifting, triathlon, Taekwon-do, badminton, cycling, gymnastics, sprint canoeing and Road Racing.

 

Why did I put together this seminar?
Simply because I think it is needed. I see people from all countries all over the world who do beautiful and fluent movements in the dojo with a very compliant Uke who do not seem to understand true fighting.  I often reflect on how some of these people would be able to manage and survive a real situation. I do not think you should be an un-compliant uke most of the time. What I say is that you should polish your eyes and get to know about fighting and battle. One way of doing this would be to find a good teacher and study this teacher in depth as a way to be a better uke so you can give yourself and your training partner the gift of a better opportunity to study and practice from.  A good uke is in my opinion a uke who understands true terror and battle. It is very visible to me that too many people lack this understanding and therefore lack good taijutsu. What I mean is actually that most people lack good foundation. In my opinion the foundation provides security, certainty and better opportunity of luck. I do not point fingers. I myself still find joy and new opportunities while practicing Kihon Happo.  It is just my which that we all should grow up (or should I say grow back down) to the point where we understand that it is a must to constantly return to the basics. As Soke often says:  “Taijutsu begins and ends with Kihon Happou”. For me this has more meanings. One of them is that it is a never ending process. You could never stop building your foundation.  The more hours you train the more important good foundation is at many levels. It rusts if you do not use time in them and the stronger you get and the more power you can deliver the more stable structure you need to deliver and receive from.

Practical information

  • Location is Frøbelseminaret, Grundtvigsvej 11, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
  • Time: Saturday 10-17, Sunday from 10-16
  • We will have a dinner at a restaurant in Copenhagen after the saturday training.
  • Price is DKK 600,- (One day is 400) to be payed in advance at account: 0260 4545505975 no later than January the 31Th. If you pay later the prise is DKK 650/450.

Look forward to see and study with you at the seminar.

Bufu ikkan,

Michael 🙂

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