Balance



In search of balance ... between cultures, philosophies and traditions, so remarcably diferent ... it is necessary, all the care, attention and common sense, so that " knowledge" does not transport us, into the past and especially that our minds do not make us live in the past, because as the word indicates... "It passed", does not come back anymore, it is "now" that we live and as such, we will have to take a look at the World and at Life in a lucid and balanced way . I ask to the practitioners of Japanese Budo, that by any chance , read these short notes, that they take them barely as point of reference and not like a "doctrine" of life...

Thank you.

Sensei Alex DaCosta

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Uchi Deshi


.
......Uchi Deshi

First I would like to expose some “slight” differences of
the various meanings of the word Uchi Deshi, which
today is used with such lightness, that almost touches
"frivolity"...
Uchi Deshi " internal student " and truthful "apprentice"
in the traditional sense of the word, of professional
instructor, this Uchi Deshi with the formal and traditional
training, died really with O´Senseis of the past.
The truthful Uchi Deshi had an extremely hard training of
normally 35 hours weekly minimum, not only phisical but
mental and psychological, he had to be the first to begin
and the last to finish, the last one to eat, he had to clean the
Dojo dailly, the floor, the dressrooms, to dust everything,
clean the garden, sweep the the Dojo´s entrance and the
street side walk in front of the house, had to serve the
Sensei and the Senpai, he could not speak unless he was
asked a question, in travel he had to carry the luggage, check
the WC before the Sensei enter, had to check the hotel room
before the Sensei install himself, he had to prevent people
from crossing the Sensei´s way, he had to aply massage
when the Sensei had back pains, shoulders pains, etc... he
had equally to coordinate the courses, to assist the Sensei
and help the participants, he was however, Sensei´s
companion and confident. This was the training of the
Uchi Deshi, that besides being a "internal student", he
was more of an " internal disciple "...
One says that : " once an Uchi Deshi ... always an
Uchi Deshi " because few reached the level of Sensei and
the endurance of this training would be carved forever in
the personality and character of the "internal student".
Today, the tradition of the Uchi Deshi continues, but it is
now a lot more Soto Deshi (external student) with some
tasks in the Dojo, in terms of bureaucracy, attend visitors,
to coordinate courses, send letters, to organize meetings,
finally help in the extra tasks, he does not live in the Dojo
and normally he doesn´t have the tasks of cleaning and
maintenance of the Dojo, this is the today´s standard of
the Uchi Deshi in Japan and in the World, for last there
is the " title " of Uchi Deshi with the respective Diploma...
awarded by some Masters of several Martial Arts...
after a week-end´s Keiko or at the end of a Gashuku ...
So it is necessary, not to confuse the several meanings,
levels of difficulty, the depth and seriousness of the
traditional teachings based on effort, self-denial and total
delivery of the Deshi, Sensei and Dojo, what gives content
to the traditional function of the Uchi Deshi of the past.
.
I thank, Nambu Sensei for the opportunity, he gave me
in Paris (1967~1970), to be his Uchi Deshi and for all the
teachings he provided me, in the simple way, with
no " exoticism " or " maestro " like conduct.
.

I thank even more, my Master and friend, Hayabuchi
O'Sensei, (deseased 1998) for the rare opportunity, in
(1971~1973), of accepting me as his Uchi Deshi, in
a period when a Westerner, wasn´t even accepted as
a student in the Iaido Dojos, outside Tokyo, so, as an
" internal student " it was totally unthinkable and for
many, it was simply " unacceptable "...

.... video

Monday, 14 April 2008

Traditional Dojo


..........Traditonal Dojo


DOJO - Place of practice of the Arts of Budo, was initially a
mythical place, where the warrior would get ready both,
technicaly and mentally, to carry out his destiny of serving his
feudal Lord, in the most honerable and shortest possible way
(the Sakura´s flower, being of ephemeral duration, is the
symbol of the Samurai), it was suposed to be " the place of
awakening ", in connection with Buda´s word : " Wake up",
in other words " take conscienceness ", from therewhat Dojo,
meant, during many decades : "The Place of Enlightnment ".
JO = Place, DO = has a much deeper meaning, translated
normally as " Road " or " Way ", it will have naturally to lead
to the point of wakening of conscienceness or " enlightnment ".
So one of the fundamental elements of the Dojo, is the Kamiza
or place of the Kami (spirits), in other words an Altar, where
normally there is the Kamidana (miniature temple , where
the spirit of Masters, who developed the Arts, live in)
there must be two Sanbo (trays of the Shinto religion),
in which there are recipientes with salt and water as
purification elements , rice and "sake" as offering elements
to the spirit of the Masters, (Buddhist concept of offering food
and drink to their predecessors). The lines and direction of the
whole arrangement of the several elements of the Dojo, must
obey to the principles of Feng Shui, so the Kamiza and
respective Altar, must be at the point of sunrise, the Masters
pictures , must be in the line folowed by the Sun, as sign of
their help, for the duration of our lives, when such it is not
possible, then we should chose the most harmonious
arrangement. Nobody enters the Dojo, with his shoes on, not
in the physical space of the Dojo, muchless on the floors or
Tatami dedicated to the practice, is due to moderate the level
of voice and the subjects which we talk about inside a Dojo.
The Dojo as to be cleaned frequently, preferably by the
students themselves, before each training, and dailly if the
Dojo as an Uchi Deshi, otherwise it will be the Master to do it,
at liste the training spaces and important elements of the
Dojo. One understands as Tradicional Dojo , a Dojo where the
Master lives in, with total dedication, to his Art and total
concentration in his mental and spiritual evolution (it is not to
have a Dojo at home, but to live in the Dojo), living with total
delivery to the practice, the total extent of his day.
In general this was the rule, in the past, in Japan, in every Art,
not only in the Arts of Budo, but all of the Arts in general,
from Shodo to Shigin...
In a Tradicional Dojo , in general there are no " examinations "
of graduation, the changes of Kyu or Dan, are written on the
studend´s personal board, by the Master or by the Senpai
responsible for that task, it is only natural that, as time goes by,
the student is known " inside and out ", so the "examination"
is naturally unnecessary or just a simple protocol. So the student,
will concentrate on the Art and not on the degree that as been
awarded to him... obviously the degree reflects the level of
progress reached , but the level tells : the technique, the mental
and the spiritual ... and if in the beginning, we only see the
physical and the technique, much later we will value the mental
and the spiritual : " in Life as in Budo "
The hierarchy in a Tradicional Dojo is not based only upon the
graduation of the practicioners, the most important factor is the
seniority and the dedication to the Dojo, there are elements at
the top of the hierarchy, that do not practice any Art, but the
valuable services they do to the Dojo, have all the relevance
and give them an high status within the Family...
In Japan the Masters that followed this way and that
reached recognition, they were considered, by the Japanese
Government, living treasures or inheritance monuments of
Japan and they were compensated with a small pensions and
special discounts in public transportion, small hotels and even
in some restaurants. They had to participate, however in local
and national festivals , so they would transmite , the traditions
of the country, to the younger generations.
In current Japan this tradition, tends to disappear, it is however
very rare in the Western Countries, there are never the less
some westerners, who lived in Japan, that follow this tradition;
in Potugal we have, Hanshi Georges Stobaerts in Sintra and
Hanshi Alex DaCosta in Faro.
.
(I thank my wife Ana and my son Alexandre, for their great
sacrifice, that represents, living in a Tradicional Dojo, place that
is, to all intents and purposes, a public place...)

Friday, 11 April 2008

The 2007 BudoSai












...2007 BudoSai Bisham London

When in May of 2007 my friend, of long standing
(1970), Terry Wingrove, sent me an e-mail to
wonder, if I would have availability to participate
in the commemoration, of the English Karate
50th Aniversary´s BudoSai , in Bisham
London, with an initiation to the Iaido, I was
far from imagining, what I was going to find and
live in Bisham.
To start, the organization in terms of time-tables,
accomodation, transportation, support to the
participants, athletic facilities, everything was
of a fantastic quality... secondly the ambience,
between the Masters of the several Arts was
absolutely incredible, impressions were
exchanged, questions were answered, coments
,
exchange of information ... I had never seen an
event of Budo, in which there was Karate, Jujutsu,
Aikido, Taichi, Kobudo from Okinawa , Iaido, several
styles of Kung-Fu ... where the Masters were
sitting down, exchanging impressions and
historical knowledge, without any cloud of
politics or the certain ... "arrogance" of these
events.The Algarve´s weather that I took with me ,
which lasted only the days of the BudoSai, helped
even more the traditional ambience, the possibility
of training in the nature, near the Thames or
under the frondose trees, of which my favorite is
an 600 years old oak , absolutely colossal and
whose energy emanation, was inviting to the pure
practice of Budo. Each one attended the course´s
practice, that interested the most or the course that
had wakened the greatest curiosity, the ambience
between several nationalities, was the best, they all
were interested to know, of where others were from,
and others were exchanging impressions on the
several Arts , Masters, methods of teaching and
personal visions of the Arts, very constructive...
The meals and chats took place in an ancient
Hunting Pavillion that belonged to the British Royal
Family, very refined, which was almost excessive...
to serve Budokas, which normaly are acustomed
to the " Pure Hard Work and Very Little Confort".
Besides being an excellent host, Master Terry
Wingrove, is a man who always made part of the
great World-wide Organizations and it has the
objective, that the BudoSai, happens annually,
in this place and with this ambience, of " NO
POLITICS
" and that more and more people join,
Masters and practicioners, not only to extend
knowledge, but also to share the passion for Budo
within a Real Budo´s environment, which should be,
the goal of all Budokas.It would be impossible for
me to describe the beautyful ambience of the
dinner of farewell and that was, the true moment
of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of
the English Karate . The enormous quantity
of Masters and of ancient athletes, some of my
old adversaries of Championships of the past ...
I recommend a visit to the site: CiberBudo, where
you will find detailed articles on all the events and
respective participants.
This year´s BudoSai, will be even better, in
terms of Masters and in terms of number of
participants. I think that, BudoSai will
become a great European event .
I hope to see you all, in Bisham in September for the

2008 BudoSai

For more infomation please contact: CiberBudo




Thursday, 27 March 2008

Bushido




This is a short attempt, to give some content to the word
Bushido, which is used with much lightness and easiness,
when one talks about, Japanese Arts of Budo. I believe
that, we should understand the philosophical concept,
but take into consideration, the times in which we live...
today.
.
Sensei Alex DaCosta
.
Bushido
= Way of the Warrior Kamakura (Shogun) 1192 =
Warrior principals of the Minamoto Clan
.
The three eras of Bushido
.
1 = Kyuba No Michi = (Way of the arch and of chevalery)
it begins in the period of the Taira - Minamoto rivalry
XI - XV _ 1600.
2 = Reformed Bushido = Tokugawa (Shogun)
1603 - XVII.
3 = Modern Bushido = Restoration of the Imperial regime in
the beginning of the Meiji Era (1868). Bushido becomes popular
for the book " Bushido to soul of Japan " of Nitobe (1899).
One treats the Bushido as the result (name that was gaven much
later) of a long inheritance of precepts, Shintoists, Buddhists,
Confucionists, Nationalists, Chinese or diverted from the
severe customs of a rural people, where there was , the
reverence, for ancestors, the obedience to a Sovereign, the trial
of the spirit, the patience, the resignation to the inevitable and
to scorn for death. In spite of all the influences, Bushido
is the expression of the Japanese pure and hard character.
Giri=Duty, Correction, Rectitude. Budo Shoshin
Shu = Elementary Readings on Bushido. Daidoji Yuzan
(1639-1730). Buke Sho Hatto = Tokugawa Ieyasu (Shogun)
codification of Samurai Ethic . Koyo Gunkan XVII = Kosaka
Danjo Nabumasa e Obata Kagenori (1572-1662). It takes, as
model, Takeda Shingen, of Kaishu island (unbeaten) .
The main ideia of the Gunkan, is " that any begun battle, has
to be own ". Hagakure 1716 = Hidden under under the leaves =
Yamamoto Tsunetomo ( Saga clan) = Kyushu.
HAGAKURE = The death is the central subject =
It comes to the conclusion of which, Bushido means the
death. When it is needed to chose between life and death,
what matters is, to be able to choose without hesitation,
without weighing, the pros and cons, in infinite indecisions. It is
necessary, to be able to decide simply and ... to act. The idea,
according to which it is absurd to die, before the proposed
objectives have been reached , it is despicable and frivolous,
characteristics of those persons from Kyoto and Osaka.
That we all, would prefer life over death, it is an undeniable
fact and therefore, so many people believe that, what we
prefer, is what is just. In fact, he who cannot live assisting the
defeat of his ambitions, he is a "whiner". It is unnecessary to
think, that we would not be able to die, leaving objectives
to be carryied out. It is false, it is not a shame . It is there
and only there, that passes the true Way of Bushido . If
the Samurai practices the introspection and to autocriticism,
at every moment, and if on the other hand, he is disposed
to abandon life, when and where it is necessary, he will be
perfect, in all the Martial Arts and it will live, a life pure as
a diamond.
CONCLUSION = Between two solutions : life or death, it is
always worth choosing death. Between an expressed love
and a secret love, it is better, to choose to be concealed and
choose the secret love.
SEPPUKU (hara-kiri) = Ritual of suicide by opening of the
belly. Opposite to the normal current of Shinto, who sees
death, like something very unpleasant. But the rules of the
Bushido : despise death, total submission and loyalty to
a Feudal Lord, when allied to the idea of the Hagakure, that
made Seppuku become a common ritual among the Samurai
class . Buddhism accentuated equally, the foundation of this
custom of personal immolation as " sign of loyalty ".
The Seppuku was effectuated :
1 = To release oneself from a mistake or fault ;
2 = When the Lord died, to show him loyalty ;
3 = To show one´s displeasure on any decision or
attitude, in this case the Seppuku, was effectuated in front of
the Lord´s front door . Example of this, was in 1945 after the
Surrender of Japan to the Allies, numerous hight personalities,
committed Seppuku in front of the Imperial Palace. This ritual
was very rarely approved by the Great Masters. In 1663 the
Bafuku (feudal government) forbid the Seppuku, and it imposes
very heavy santions on the familie of the suicide,
withdrawl of all the belongings and the fault would fall on the
children, (the men would be condemned to Seppuku and the
women would be banished).
In 1882 a complement to the Edict of the Seppuku, will prohibit
totally the practice of this ritual. The last two famous suicides
were, general Nogi and his wife, during the funeral ceremonies
of the Emperor Meiji. The most recent , was that of the writer
Mishima Yukio, in protest against the evolution or for the
direction that the evolution of the Japanese took . The Seppuku
was a punishment of the Emperor, as in 1868 in Kobe, for the
soldiers, commanded by Samurai, that fired on foreigners in
the port of Kobe.
SAMURAI = officially the Samurais appeared in the Heian Era
(794-1192). When the Fujiwara family , "took" the functions of
1st Minister and the insecurity reigned in all Japan, even in
Heian Kyo (Kyoto), it is then that the chiefs of clans, owners of
lands and farms, employed people for " protection ", so Samurai
appeared , (word that means " to feel beside ").
Two great rival families, distinguished at this time, the Taira
and the Minamoto. Yoritomo Minamoto destroyed the Taira,
in the celebrated naval battle of Dan No Ura (1185).
ANCIENT BUSHIDO = Kamakura Era (1192-1333)
Yoritomo Minamoto, reorganizes Japan and reinforces
" Kyuba No Michi ". The capital. is Heian Kyo, and the Zen is
introduced to reinforce the moral principals of the Samurai, it
is introduced then, the strict obedience to Feudal Lords.
Mongol Invasions = 1274 and 1281.
Mongols, Koreans and Chinese try to invade Kyushu the island
South of Japan , but they sudenly went away, after losing
around 13.500 men, in a sea storm. The Japanese built then,
defenses along the sea coast, walls of 2.10m of height for 2.80m
of thickness. In 1281 again in Kyushu, two immense fleets
appeared one of 50.000 and another one of 100.000 men. The
battle lasted forty nine days. The Mongols would have won
again, but a Typhoon, destroyed their armys in two days .
The Typhoon was called : " Kamikaze " in other words ,
"God of the Wind" . Japan maintained a close vigilance, held tight
up to 1320. After the death of Kubalai in 1294 the Mongols
abandond the idea of conquering Japan.
Muromachi Era = (1336-1574) period of anarchy due to the
ruling of the Ashikaga clan . During fifty years, up to 1392,
Japan will have two Emperors : one to North, imposed by the
Shogun and another to the South, considered the oficial one. In
1392 Kyoto, was destroyed, due to the war between clans and
families. 1574 sees the appearance of three dictators:
Oda Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. All of
modest origin , up to that time, all of the great figures, were
of noble origin. It was especially Hideyoshi that fixed the rural
people to the fields and imposed extemely hard laws .
REFORMED BUSHIDO = A blend of Conficiunismo and Zen,
began with the Tokugawa Shogun in 1603. This government
lasts 264 years and it is basicly a Samurai government .
It is the Edo Era (1603-1868) period of peace, in which the
Samurai had the right over life and death, over anyone of
inferior class.
Due to the peacefull times, many Samurai became farmers,
craftsmen or Ronin (Samurai without a Lord) or " Samurai
without a job " and many became military officers .
The Ancient Bushido, was already, not corresponding to the
new realities. The famous monk Zen Takuan (1573-1645)
explains Bushido, from Zen´s point of view ; many authors
write Confucionist versions. The Tokugawa Era sees the start
of the repression over foreigners: Englishmen, French,
Americans, Portugueses, Spaniards and Russians
who were trying to establish commercial relations with Japan
and they where confronted with an absolute opposition. 1854
Comodore Perry, in command of a strong fleet, will impose a
heavy defeat, and took Japan to sign a treaty, that included
most of Western nations, and finished the long period of
isolation. So suddenly Japan takes conscience of his retard,
(200 years), in relation to the Western countries.
In 1868 (Shogun XV) the Shogun returns the political power
to the Emperor. Between 1803 and 1867 , there would exist ,
between 450.000 and 500.000 Samurai.
MODERN BUSHIDO = 1868 marks the end of Shogun Era, in
1870 the Emperor Meiji, abolishes feudalism formally ; 1872
the Samurai, are obliged to stop wearing their traditional hairdo;
1875 carring the sword, is prohibited and it´s teaching as well .
Saigo Takamori revolts, with 42.000 warriors, but it was
defeated by 60.000 soldiers of the government, in 1877.
Bushido, keeps on being the fundamental aspect of the great
business, the economical competition was driven by a small
number of men that pass the interests of the " Great Japan "
above particular interests. The Bushido is the unwritten law
of Japan, the Japanese mentality are still strongly impregnated,
so the change is very dificult. The society is established, upon
the idea of blind loyalty and interdependence.
The unity of the family is still very strong. The diffusion
of Buddhism and Confucionism, is the deep sense of the Shinto
Spirit itself, and it reinforces this state of mind .
The " Great Japan ", led to what we know as :
Japanese Militarism .


......... video

Budo Trip to Japan



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...............Masters at 2007 BUDOSAI Bisham London

Sensei Alex DaCosta
2008 Agenda
.
January.............26~27 ...........Quarteira Algarve.... Portugal
June ................. 21~22........... Gdansk....................Poland
June
..................28~29............ Hull... Yorkshire... ..England
September.2008 BUDOSAI.5/6/7.....Bisham...............England

For details please e-mail CyberBudo
.
============== ////////////////===============
.
CyberBudo
Is very pleased to annonce A TRIP OF A LIFETIME
a superb package deal to include direct flights, 3 centre (Kyoto.
Kobe & Tokyo),top hotel accommodation with breakfast ,
Bullet train tickets, training with top masters and tickets to the
World Karate Championships in the Budokan,Tokyo
(if required). Plus guides and sightseeing trips. This is suitable
for all serious students/instructors to benefit from this lifetime
opportunity. To provide the best service we have to limit this
group to 40 people whio will be accompanied by Hanshi
Terry Wingrove (resident in Japan for 21 years) The total all
in cost will be £2000 and we would ask those interested to
e-mail us ASAP at at sensei@cyberbudo.com ~
ref JAPAN TRIP for full details.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Budo



These rudimentary notes, were accumulated along my
stay in Japan of 70/73, with the intention of serving, some
day, to be part of the material, to be published, some time
around the year ..........? They reflect a lots of conversations
maintained, in a quite serious environment and with sincerely
interested people, in the deep study of Budo, with some
Masters of several Arts but specialy with Don Draeger, perhaps
one of most serious Ocidental Budoka , which, during 25 years
settled down in Singapur, where he established the magazine
" Martial Arts International ", of which I was a correspondent.
The world of sensations, that these notes hardly emerge, was
brought to me by the familiarity, with Mtr. Hayabuchi Iai-Do
9th Dan , National Monument of Japan for his knoledge in the
Arts of Kembu, Sho Do and Kabuki,( died in 1998) and whose
memory and spirit will accompany me for the rest of my days.
These notes are like the route drawn in a small map of the
Oceans, so they have a tiny dimension, when compared
with the real dimension of the World of the Budo ... "

Sensei Alex DaCosta


" There are two mountains .... where there is light and wisdom,
the mountain of Nature ...... and the mountain of the Gods,
between them stretches out ... the gloomy valley of men...
When once, one of them .......... looks at the top,
he feels a sign...................... an inextinguishable nostalgia,
he, who knows that............. does not know anything...
for those, who do not know ... that, they know nothing...
and for those, who know .......... that they, know everything .... "


Budo

The Great Masters taught that man does not live, in the past,
not in the future, but he lives in this moment ...(here and now)
BUDO = Way of the warrior ( includes all M.A.), it associates
closely the spirit and the body in a transformation or total

change. It is not possible to practice Budo for amusement or
pastime. We cannot approche BUDO lightly, it is a serious
decision. As soon as our feet touch the Dojo´s surface,
we are committed forever.
The Westerners need to understand and to analize, with a
critical spirit and to draw conclusions. Qualities that become
rapidly an enormous impechement, if we maintain this
attitude. An agitated and very occupied person cannot
understand or listen to the "silence". We can not learn if we
imagine that a discipline is, " by itself ", the finality of
all the things. If we oppose the body to the spirit, the
technique to the spiritual , if we believe that we will be able
to keep for us, everything that was been given to us :

" a received idea, will become a wall before the horizon " .
Every teaching presupposes stages (levels), but it is not
" to reach a goal ". The objective is to reach that moment
where the change operates, where the movement
produces movement, where man becomes his own Master.
Therefore the traditional teaching, puts the importance on
"practice", avoiding the verbal explanations, for reasons
that are obvious ... (words are obstacles).
What does it mean, the search, of the efficiency, at all cost ?
Such discussions, that oppose the “white” to the “black”, forget
that the body is a debate in itself, that we will not be able to talk
about real efficiency without the total power of the body and the
spirit. once we carry out this power, even a little bit, the man
notices, by himself, what is the sense of the "Way" and of the
"Search". Any discussion becomes a superhaste.The modern

myths of Supermen, the Invincible ones, they are a
dangerous invitation, stretching the arch of the energy to the
point in which the rope breaks, moment in which the man
"implodes" totally. Even if such Men become, commercial idols,
which are imposed to the wonder of the public, they will remain
on being disarticulated, animated by unreal energies and
powers, that because of not having been really assimilated, it
will turn, fataly against themselves...The "energy" is ... what we
do with it. It can become a fountain of life or a fountain of
death, of creation or of destruction. It does not exist a
particular wisdom in Budo, but Budo does not escape, to the
Universal Wisdom, which finality is not, nor the retraction
neither to dissection of the "Being", but realy, the plenitude and

harmony. To "Be", it is in this sense, to know, and to know, it
is to add energy to the energy, life to the life, love to the love.
This is the " Universal Way ". Those who really look for
" the way ", realize that, what is true teaching :is the "hard"

practice (witch is, the apprenticeship of the essential techniques),
it must allie with the "gentle" practice, like the movement must
be the expression of "breathing". If the practice is unilateral,
there will be, blockage and sooner or later the " road accident ",
(the diviation from the right direction ), will hapen...

Budo expresses life, it is therefore why, many Masters adapt
the received teachings and create new personal synthesis.
Such synthesis leed, frequently, to "perfecting", to "clarify" and

to "simplify" the fundamental "nucleus" and not gather new
techniques, to other techniques. If many Masters practice
different disciplines, (Iaido,Judo, Karate, Bo, Kyudo, etc.), it is
because, they are fascinated to find in the different Budo, the
same basic principles. The great tree of tradition, has a trunk
and inalterable roots, but the branches, they express, at the
same time Life and the "Become". The emanation of all realities
(the famous ”here and now”) it joins, with respect and deep
reverence the Universal Laws. When the feeling of the sacred,
is born, it is nothing rare at all or mystical, it is an everyday
life´s fact, a glance that includes the individual inside a "Whole".
Such feeling is born of the participation of the complet “whole
being", in this Universal fact, with which it links, it feels in deep
harmony. This harmony, is not another thing than, life itself.
The life integrates itself in the "become", what expresses the
law of the rotation and also the vibration of the continous and
discontinuous. The dialectic reasoning, the mechanic, the
quantitative thing ... everything that is the emanation of the
Western modern culture, breaks the natural "become" of the

things, it breaks the expontanious order. Conceptual and
abstract systems, have substituted this order.The rule, the
implicit "play" of life, have no longer place any more, the gentle
hierarchy stays away, (and by this fact), counter-nature is
produced and only conflicts result. It is significant to see how
the idea of "play", meaning, apprenticeship of the things on
their own, which exists in Budo. The custom, (that all Great
Masters, from Musashi to Ueshiba, practiced), of walking from
school to school, facing adversaries, to measure their efficiency,
this custom only has a time. What happens, when the Master
feels that he is the strongest ? He leaves the struggle, the
competitions and searches to know more. The meditation,
(abstinence), and the retirement, very often, during several
years, they substitute the fighting. And sometimes the
"enlightnement" is produced : that means the perception, at the

peak of the volunteer effort, of a non-will, even bigger and more
efficient, but this time, it does not look to cut the enemy, since
there is already, no adversary,"the other, became the Oneself "
The reality is not but a efect of mirrors, reflecting exactly what
we put infront of them. The " Enlightnement of the Masters " is
the expression, this time, of a vision of totality. Fundamental
experience, putting out all the oppositions, the interpenetration
of all the things, the indiscribeble movement of " becoming ",
the institution of one atemporal space-time, imperceptible
sliding of energies that are at the same time : light, vibrations
and sounds, all that, translating a strength so powerful and
sudden , that only the word Love in it´s most absolute sense,
can answer . The Orientals, very little inclined, to talk about
even simpler things, guard deep secrets of such experiences,
and precisely in Japan, there is a whole secret power of Budo,
and numerous Masters, who have taken refuge in the
Mountain, continue their lonely retirement.
.
...... video

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Iai-Do



Iai-Do

The spirit of the Martial Arts is not different, from the spirit
of the traditional Budo . The Budo is a Way, is to start a
discipline, a science, a technique whose essencial principles,
can be found through all the other disciplines.
The times changed, but the fundamental principles, the deep
science of the movements, the gestures, the breathing, the
energy, the tactic ... remain immutable. Those principles, are
the root, ( secret enough, in some cases), of the tree of the
Martial Arts known today.The unitary vision of the principles,
continues be an alive reality. Our Western spirit has a big
difficulty, in conceiving, how the idea of the Sword, that
symbolizes, precisely a weapon of death, can be connected to
a plan of wisdom and more still, to the notion of Way.
Therefore, certainly more than the traditional wisdom, to
which we are acustomed, more than the idea of
contemplation, back to itself , to resign the world, to resign
the material things of life and more than the septic idea , that
she points to, the Way of the Sword, in her final definition,
includes in it, all of the essential paces of the wisdom, and
in a certain way, takes their expressions to the Absolut.
Evidently, we do not already have the necessary conditions,
and it is even extremely díficult to conceive, what would be
the definition and the application of the Way of the Sword in
Japan. Therefore the texts that arrived to us and the tradition
that remained in certain old schools (Koryu) give this idea,
more or less close or a representation than what could signify
this Way. Only the practice and the total endeavor of oneself,
gives the true sense to the Way.
.
== Ki == Universal energy

The spirit and the body are two apparently distinct entities,
however the spirit command the body (what is one of the
rules of Budo). The interior achievement, the real efficiency,
the fulfillment of all the action, commands the union of the
body and of the spirit. The energy that carries out that union,
is called the KI, this energy obeys to the spirit that can orient
it, control it in a point, make it flow. ..etc. The Ki is the secret
of all of the Budo, there is not possibility of some progress in
any Martial Art without the control of the Ki, it is defined as
original vital energy, be it as "breathing", be it as spirit. It is
necessary to understand, behind these words, lays an unique
reality, therefore the Ki, fundamental energy of the Universe
(what links, what unites everything), is also the true body of
the things in it´s subtle sense. So the Ki can unite to the
"breathing", to the spirit and be at same time the emanation
of the "breathing" or of the spirit. Ki is the life, while Ki exists,
the life continues, when the vital energy disappears the life
puts out itself. The domain of the Ki signifies in this way the
control of life, of health, of harmony and therefore of the
energy in general. The death is the ending of the Ki, it´s
therefore the hopeless detachment of the body and of the
spirit. Inversely, the more we will maintain the Ki, the more
we will prolong life. If the Ki gives, at least that immortality,
it is because, it is the energy or original power that manifests
itself, since the creation of the Universe, and that is why, the
man being to emanation of the Universal Nature, all the
knowledge returns and comes back to the Nature, thit is for
all men the Golden Rule
.
== HARA ==

How to set the Ki? How to learn how to feel it, how to
exercise it and how to Project it ? All of the Budo Arts agree
about a point: the control of the energy passes through the
Hara. The control of the Hara, translates itself often, wrongly,
by control of the belly. The Hara can be imagined as a circle,
that would be the center of a diffuse energy. It is evident that
the center of gravity is always dropped, if we will relax the
body, the force comes down naturally to the lower body, and
this location is the Hara, that is situated two centimeters below
the navel. However if the Hara represents a circle, his central
point is called Seika-no-Itten, what means "The Unique Point"
and that is the true balance point of the Ki, or of all the vital
energy of the body. This point, is the geometrical,
psychological, spiritual, location, where the laws of the spirit
and of the body conjugate.This knowledge alone, permits the
physical and mental coordination, without the which, all the
power is barely momentary and illusory
.
== Fundamental Rules ==

The "Nuki" should redress itself of a most supreme, deep ,
and wise form. The natural expression of itself , therefore the
" Nuki " should be the unit of the three principles : "Real,
Beautyfull and Right". Fundamental rule: "One unsheathe...
one life...". Put your life, in the hands of one unsheathe of
sword, "Nuki" is learned without Verb. If you want to live in
the harmony of heaven and earth, agreement that is the Way
of the Iai-Do, don´t try to reach the objective, don´t try to
find the pleasure of the objective, take the road of the union
between the soul and the body. The identification of the
conscience of the "Nuki" and the action of "Nuki", this is the
true form of the "Nuki". All the training that does not have the
Spirit of the Way, can contain violence, the "Nuki" without
the Way, becomes mediocre and degenerated, because the
true "I" or the "I" authentic, is the divinity, the Buddhism or
Inner Self, is especially the immortal soul that resides Fìsicly
in the Belly (tanden). This pure soul that exists in the Tanden,
works efficiently, and is correctly what should be called the
true "I". The disciples of Iai-Do that want to live on this, most
supreme and noble Way, should never forget, neither by an
instant, that only the big spirit of desinteressament, and the
abandonment of themseves , can permit to enter the Sacred
world of the Absolute "No Ego" and "There" achive the
Supreme Beautiful. It is therefore necessary to separate the
Way of the Iai-Do and the technic of the "Nuki" = Iai-jutsu.
The Iai-Do is a Test of the "I", created for the relation that
exists between the adversary and the "I", while the Iai-jutsu is
the handling of the weapon aiming at to kill the enemy. To
grab the moment of vulnerability is the point of the Great
Masters. That is why it is said, that the adversary should
continue transparent and that at the same time is necessary
"to see and not see the adversary, look at him, as you look at
the Mountain in the distance"..." the adversary is the mirror
of himself ", it is therefore a fight against oneself that the Arts
of Budo, invite in its purpose. It is therefore necessary the
meditation and the silence to obtain the calm of the "clear
water", a state of mind without tension, a total interior
calmness, an Absolute Disatchement. "Pure mirror, Quite
water" or "The refletion of the Moon over the water",
healthy examples of the state of that one, that being a
Master acquired a similar, interior harmony, to the subtle
union of the refletions of the Moon over the Water.
The Kiai in battle can be definite as a force of union between
the spirit and the body (or the sword), so we can say, that the
totality of the physical body...is invested in the Art, as the
totality of the spiritual functions as well.
Finally the Sword represents the vector unique of those
forces, unifying them and concentrating them in one point.
This "point" is the final objective that decides to Way of a
progression, at the of which, the Sword and the Battle are
only the instruments of a different achievement,diferent
and inexpressable of the Life Itself.

............ video