Bujinkan Taka Seigi Dojo Vancouver

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Choices, Choices, Choices!

The modern human species is believed to be around 200,000 years old – the Neanderthals about 600,000. That’s a long time for a species to undergo natural evolution and manifest change. But DNA analyses show that there is only about ~0.2% difference between the Neanderthals and us today. When we consider that there is ~0.1% DNA variation amongst just our species today, the 0.2% seems rather small. So, if DNA markers are the right metric to use, then our species has evolved very little in the physical sense since the Neanderthals! Could the same be said for our emotional bodies?

When we dissect the psyche of the modern human, I’m sure no one will disagree that we all possess some degree of the following undesirable traits: Anger, Hate, Greed, Jealousy, Rage, Self-doubt, Ego, etc. It seems that if left unchecked, these emotions will continue to evolve at the same slow pace as our physical bodies.  These emotions are likely what allowed life to evolve in the first place; however, these negative emotions will ultimately manifest as disease in our bodies.  So, what do we do? How do we free ourselves of petty conflicts, needless stress, greed, and ego?

The answers lie in “Ninpo” – the wisdom of Ninjutsu.  If you are interested in exploring this concept further, please contact our dojo.  Otherwise, here’s some food for thought:

1. The emotions you feel are all a matter of choice and what YOU choose to experience. If you are met with negative energy, it really is your choice to allow yourself to get caught in the petty conflict, or to ignore it and maintain your state of “fudoshin” (immovable heart).

2. Where Fudoshin escapes, Ego enters. The ego indeed has a place in this world – it’s what allowed us to survive this far – but that is a primitive emotion and its use must be limited. Ninpo provides a different interpretation of our world…

To learn more or  join our dojo, please contact us.

(c) Paul Mann, 2016

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The Secret to Controlling Balance

Taking your opponent’s balance is absolutely essential for effective execution of many techniques in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.  This is especially true when your opponent is much bigger and stronger than you.  Done properly, your opponent will not recognize that their balance has been taken until it’s too late for them to recover; however, done incorrectly, your opponent will sense the attempt to take their balance, and will make the necessary corrections to re-align their body into a position of strength.  And more than likely, it’ll end badly for you.

The secret to taking your opponent’s balance lies in the fact that balance is handled by the cerebellum – a primitive part of the brain.  And, much like taking candy from a baby requires finesse, so does taking your opponents balance.  This skill takes many years to master, and requires high-quality instruction.

Physics, psychology, and geometry provide the theory behind this subtle but critically important skill – the significance of which can be best illustrated by an analogy: “forcing your opponent off-balance is like using a sledge-hammer to swat a fly – the only person that’ll be thrown off-balance is you”.

To learn more or  join our dojo, please visit our main website at http://www.bujinkan-vancouver.ca/

(c) Paul Mann, 2015

 


The difference between Power and Strength

This is a question that is not asked often enough in many martial arts because there is an assumed understanding that power *is*  strength. After all, it takes strength to throw a 100 kg human, right? Well, yes and no – but it’s not in a way that you may think.  Yes, there is a certain amount of strength required to hold your body together, and even more to keep your wrist from folding when you punch, for example. But beyond that, it’s not strength that enables a person to throw another much bigger and stronger person.

In Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, as with other balance-based martial arts like Judo, Jujustu, and Aikido (just to name a few), power is developed by using natural body dynamics.   It really doesn’t take much for us to lose our balance.  So, when our biological operating system senses that we have lost our balance, it’ll direct all of our mental processing power to that one critical task (to prevent injury) – dropping guards in the process.  This allows trained martial artists to keep their opponent constantly off-balance by using whatever controls the next opening offers – be it a pressure point, a strike to a vital area of the body, or a joint lock.  And therein lies the secret to generating power without using strength.  If you understand that “power” is “doing more with less” and “strength” is “doing more with more”, then you can appreciate the difference between the two concepts.

To learn more, join our dojo at http://www.bujinkan-vancouver.ca/

(c) Paul Mann, 2015