Friday, March 29, 2013

Mutual Progress

Let's help each other progress toward improving Mankind.

No matter the schools - ryu and methods, practitioners together form a great family.

In the past, Martial Arts were used on battle fields for warfare and to train samurai warriors.

Nowadays, Martial Arts are still used to train samurai, but only those who fight for peace. 

The goal of Martial arts is now to cultivate peace.

Hiroo Mochizuki - Soke, Yoseikan Budo

Hiroo Mochizuki lives in Aix en Provence, France. He is the son of Minoru Mochizuki, founder of Yoseikan Budo, who had trained directly under Jigoro Kano, Gichin Funakoshi and Morihei Ueshiba, the founders of modern Judo, Karate and Aikido. 

After World War II, the emphasis in the teaching of Martial Arts switched from practical warfare applications to one of moral improvement of the student. This had always been the goal of Jigoro Kano when he designed Judo based on traditional Ju Jitsu tradition, but had been lost when the military clique had militarized Japan after World War I.

Martial Arts are a wonderful way to train better people. It is important however, to not lose sight of the fact that they should always be a martial discipline, and stay realistic. Unfortunately, it is not always the case... If you are serious about your practice, you should always question what you are doing, try to make sure it works by asking practitioners better than you to attack you, and see what happens...

The original quote in French :

Aidons-nous à progresser mutuellement pour améliorer l’humanité. 
Quelles que soient les écoles et les méthodes, les pratiquants forment ensemble une grande famille.
Auparavant, les arts martiaux servaient sur les champs de bataille à faire la guerre et à former des Samouraïs.
Aujourd'hui les arts martiaux forment toujours des Samouraïs, mais ceux représentant la Paix. Les arts martiaux servent à cultiver la paix.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Voice of Nothingness

I don't normally advertise anything or anybody, but here is a man - Thomas Roth -  a German film maker - who is trying to raise money to make a film about the Japanese Kyoto School of thought. I like his project, and I would like to help him.

Members of  the Kyoto School were professors and scholars teaching various materials at the University of Kyoto, Japan, before WWII. Although all of them had been deeply marked by their practice of Zen, they were people of different backgrounds, did not always share the same views and did not hesitate to criticise each others' work.

One common point of their work was the investigation of "nothingness" and its influence and importance in the history of philosophy.

The title of the film is "The Voice of Nothingness".

If you have a moment, click on this link and watch the short video to present the project. It is well done, and to the point. If you like it, please contribute by sending any amount you can afford, and share the page with your friends on Facebook or other social media.

Thank you

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bow and Musket in Japanese warfare.

The first images picturing the distinct Japanese asymmetrical longbow date from the Yayoi period (ca. 500 BC–300 AD). The first written document describing Japanese archery is the Chinese chronicle Weishu (dated around 297 AD), which tells how in the Japanese isles people use "a wooden bow that is short from the bottom and long from the top." The bow was used a a weapon of war as well as for hunting. 

When the Portuguese arrived in Japan in 1543, they brought with them muskets or harquebuse. Within 20 years the Japanese blacksmith were able to manufacture their own muskets usually called tanegashima.

The bow kept being used alongside the tanegashima for quite a while because of its longer reach and accuracy and mostly because its highly superior rate of fire. A good archer could fire 30 to 40 arrows during the time it took a musketeer to reload his musket. 

However, it was much easier and faster to train a musketeer than it was to train an archer. This allowed Oda Nobunaga (and his ally Tokugawa Ieyasu) to annihilate the traditional samurai archer cavalry army of the Takeda clan with an army mostly consisting of peasants armed with tanegashima in 1575 at the Battle of Nagashino.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Education of a Young Samurai

Below is an other excerpt from the Book “My Narrow Isle” by Sumie Seo Mishima. She was born at the beginning of the 20th century on a Samurai family. Although at this period Samurai had lost their privileges, their spirit was still very much alive. After the death of her father the author was still in third grade, and she went to live with one of her maternal aunt in Tokyo. Here she explains a little more about her Uncle, and the education he received as a young samurai.

Uncle had a very serious face. He seldom smiled and almost never laughed or got angry. His movement was slow and ceremonious. Whenever I showed any sign of haste or feeling, he told me that it was most unbecoming to a samurai woman. 

Once I was struck in the street by a signboard blown off by the wind. He said it was most careless of me to be struck by such a thing as a signboard. One should train oneself to have self control enough to dodge any unexpected attack.

When he was young, he ans his two brothers were disciplined by their father under a rule that anyone in the family might strike any other person at any time of the day and night even when the victim was asleep, provided in the latter case the attack was made with a sufficiently loud cry preceding the blow. The one struck was not to make any complaint, however severe the blow might be. 

In this way the young samurai were trained to self composure coming from supremely trained watchfulness, which Uncle said had proved useful in saving him from various possible accidents even after samurai sword-fighting had been made illegal.

His swords had long been put aside, but anyone could tell he was a samurai by his lordly carriage. 


If you think this was harsh, consider the attitude these young men were able to develop. This kind of upbringing makes you become totally responsible for yourself. Something happens to you, you have nobody else to blame but yourself. 

We are surrounded by sorry people - of all political horizons - who keep blaming society for how unfair life is to them. Not much can be done for them. If you try to ease their pains, they will find something else to feel sorry about. If they had received this kind of education, they would probably not have this kind of attitude. 

And let us be clear about this. We are all responsible for this, not just their own parents...

Beside that, I  am also a firm believer in letting kids fights at school – open hand fights – no knives or guns of course. Fights allow testosterone and resentment to be vented before they accumulate so much that you feel the need to kill someone with a gun. 

Before we ask teachers to carry guns, we should let kids settle their disputes with their fists.

But this is another story...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The new KNBK Website is live

The KNBK – Kokusai Nippon Budo Kyokai is an international organization dedicated to the preservation and continuation of the teachings of traditional Japanese koryu and gendai martial arts. Our primary focus is the preservation of the teachings of Masaoka Kazumi of Seito Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai Heiho through it’s direct transmission over 21 generations.

The KNBK also preserves the teachings of Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu and the associated sogo bujutsu, Ono Ha Itto Ryu Kenjutsu and other modern forms of Japanese and Okinawan martial arts.

The organization was established in 2007 by Hanshi Masayuki Shimabukuro at the request of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai and Hanshi Miura Takeyuki Hidefusa.

KNBK Founding Chairman Emeritus & Soshihan – Miura Takeyuki Hidefusa

KNBK First Chairman & Soshihan – Shimabukuro Masayuki Hidenobu

KNBK Current Chairman & Soshihan – Carl E. Long

Visit the KNBK site and learn more about our history and activities.