New Year Message 2017

Posted: January 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

Happy New Year all!

Normally at this time of year people are looking forward to things that they want to accomplish in the new year, but if you think about it, it’s really by looking back that we actually see where we are going. If I could pick out one saying for the Bujinkan Dojo, “Keep Going” or Gambatte would be it. So let’s look back and see where we’re going this year:)

2016 was a year of kids classes. We started with a few folks the previous year, but in 2016 it came full on. Why is this important? For one, it is good to see those who have taken to and committed to the training. Also, maybe others found something that fits them better. We have settled in to a nice group that has grown not only in martial skill, but with each other as a community.

By building community in training we start to trust one another. After all these are dangerous techniques we are learning and we need to know that we can trust our training partners.We need to keep working on being the best “Uke” we can be by being good at falling, realistic in our attacks, and not letting someone throw us when they really don’t get it right. It’s a fine balance.

By building a community of skilled warriors we then go out into our towns, schools and homes with a greater ability to protect ourselves and one another from harm. These others may be our family, friends, the environment, and even those who may try to do us harm.

You need to be strong to be a protector so we will continue our Junan Taiso exercises into the new year too!


NIN is the Japanese symbol for endurance and stealth. NINjutsu is the art of enduring, and keep going-ness.

My teacher as many of you know is Jack Hoban. You can link to some of his stuff here. Jack is a great martial artist, but even more important in my mind is that he THINKS before he acts.

A warrior is a person of action, but we have a lot of Facebook “warriors” out there, calling one another names, feeding in to the divisive culture we seem to be having in this country. Jack doesn’t say “this is right and this is wrong”. Instead, he says “think about this…” I encourage everyone moving into the 2017 political scene to take this idea to heart and to be a thoughtful warrior working towards building community, and when you can’t build community, be a Ninja and don’t let others “throw” you.

In 2016 our dojo had a training theme tool, the Kusari Fundo.


Weighted chain or Kusari Fundo

We didn’t practice with it a whole lot because we had a lot of new folks, but in 2017 we will give it a go again, with a little “twist”. In Japan the 2017 theme is supposed to be Control and Muto Dori, which you may remember is being unarmed but protecting yourself against someone weilding a weapon. We’ve already started practicing this with sword attacks from behind.

How would you disarm an opponent twirling a 3′ weighted chain at your head? We’ll explore this and other Muto Dori topics this year along with our community of martial art friends (BUYU) in Japan and around the world.

Keep Going!



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