Lehrgang mit Inaba und Araya Sensei bei Berlin

Der Lehrgang in Straußberg bei Berlin war technisch dieses Jahr sehr viel mehr auf die Basis ausgerichtet - es waren immerhin viele neue Gesichter zu sehen, unter anderem eben auch viele Anfänger / Kyugrade.

Ich habe mich diesen Sommer deutlich mehr im mittleren Tanden, also das Herzbereich, versammelt und den Unterricht von hier empfangen und weitergegeben. Das Erstaunliche dabei ist: Wer mit dem Herzen sieht, urteilt nicht! Das wusste schon der Kleine Prinz ...

Es gibt zu diesem intensiven Lehrgang von mir keine Fotos, ich möchte aber einen Text ins Netz stellen, der uns von Araya Sensei  geschenkt wurde.

The power of constancy and variability
By Araya Takahashi

The use of power in Budo is very different from the use of power in sports. In sports, it is often the case that people mainly focus on strengthening the individual parts of their bodies because they have the scientific idea that their power equals the sum of the power of all individual body parts. In contrast to this, the Budo way of thinking is as follows: a higher level of Bujutsu (Budo technique) can be reached if the efficiency of the internal power is improved and if the powers which are dispersed throughout the body are unified to a greater extent. This is why there are many cases of people who reach their peak as Budoka after they passed their body peak.

The task in Budo is how to manage to “concentrate and control” the powers dispersed throughout the body. In order to achieve this, an important factor is to establish a “consciousness concentration point” (a point where your consciousness concentrates) as “the central controlling device” of power. 

Techniques to concentrate your consciousness into one place also exist in Zen meditation and other kinds of meditation; however, the difficulty in Budo techniques is to move the body while maintaining this state of your consciousness in one point. In other words, the concentrated consciousness is your power, and while preventing it from dispersing, you use this power towards the outside.

Once this Budo technique reaches an even higher level, you will be able to keep drawing not only powers dispersed inside your body but also anything that you touch into the power structure you developed. This means that even your uke or the weapons you use will be drawn into the movement of energy generated and emitted from your center. Those who have reached this point are commonly called “Budo no tatsujin”, the Budo masters.

In Budo, the seika tanden, the central point in the lower abdomen, is the body core and the “consciousness concentrating point” (the gathering point of your scattered consciousness); and through training, it will be possible to control the strength and direction of the power, which was generated and boosted from the lower abdomen, by controlling the strength of your consciousness.

So, what kind of body structure makes it possible to maintain this energy, which you concentrated into the center of your body, and boost it without loosing it? - In short it is the circulation of energy. The energy emitted from the center returns to the center without loosing its power. So the key is to build the circulation route for it.

This is something that cannot be explained by words alone, but you have to feel it and have the sense in your body. Ken-Jutsu is an example of something that is relatively easy to understand by watching. For example the principle of sword movement in Kashimashinryu is characterized by the spiral movement, and not by moving along straight lines. This is drawing with the sword the very moment of energy in circulation as it is emitted from the body core and returns to it. In this way, it is possible to build a structure that does not weaken or loose energy (because the energy is re-cycled).

Once energy stops in one place and stagnates, it will be weakened and lost. Deterioration of energy can only be stopped by circulating and reflecting it. Therefore, do not lock yourself up in isolation, but absorb energy into your body constantly keeping in touch with nature and society, and circulate this energy inside your body.

Here, the important point is that your core (the part of your consciousness which is the core of your power) must not be influenced or change its quality when contacting the outside. Once it collapses, your energy is scattered and ultimately lost, and you turn into something resembling an uncoordinated crowd.

In short, even while you are taking in the opponent’s energy, will, and intention, you should use it on him as your own power without changing your energy, will, and intention. That is the same in the Budo techniques: you act on the opponent with the power of his attack which you have turned into your own power while being attacked by him.

The origin of both the ideas of Budo power as well as the ideas of spiritual power can be found  out from here: It might be the idea that is based on the Shinto  view of nature, which takes the power circulation inside the body. This ancient view of nature and various concepts of society have been projected into Budo and inherited until today.

Identifying “changeable things” and “unchangeable things” in society

These principles and ideas can be applied to whole societies. Societies that grow and develop well are the ones that are constantly circulating energy without their core values being blurred.

In the past, Japan used to take in the values from outside the country such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and the modern Western ideologies. And by doing so, but maintaining the essence of the Japanese people, the Japanese were able to use these values as energy for the growth of the country and achieved its development.

Today, stagnation is hanging over the Japanese society, and there are two main causes for the energy loss: First, the core has been changed or forgotten, and second, people have stopped taking in new things. Expressing it the other way round, when these two factors are restored, the energy will be reactivated.
In the present society, trying to forcefully establish a new core would rather cause more opposition of their opinions. Society has been formed by experience, so through observation of the history of society, you will find out what the “changeable things” and “unchangeable things” are, and thus you will be able to (re)discover the true core. What has been left without any change from the ancient time, that is to say, the line of the Imperial throne, is the core of Japanese society.

What is important is to clearly distinguish between the factors which are or should be the true core and the ideologies and laws which keep changing over time. The latter ones are the factors that change and decline and that we have to change.

New energy will not be born if you force things that have to be changed not to change. Once you misunderstand what the core is, you will not be able to blow new wind.

In order to “take in new things”, which is another factor of reactivating energy, you need to challenge big problems to take up novel and original ideas and thoughts, the base of building a new system. As long as you are tied to evil customs, you cannot blow new wind.

A new energy will only be born by moving forward with newly made rules after deviating from the existing common sense, rules, and order.

A French intellectual once made a comment on the Meiji Restoration calling it a “suicide action”. However, the Japanese accomplished such a big reform. As long as you maintain a steady core, you do not need to be afraid of change. It is time for bold challenge not only for Japan but also for the world – to install the right core in society and to create a new system.