OC Bujinkan

Presented by Kuroyama Budo OC Shibu

Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu - A Brief Overview

Guidelines for Participation in the Bujinkan
 
The following is a direct quotation from Bujinkan.com, and may be found in it's original print at http://www.bujinkan.com/guidelines.htm
 
"1.  The Bujinkan shall be open to only those who agree with and uphold the guidelines of the Bujinkan Dojo. Those not doing so shall not be allowed to join. Specifically: Only those who have read and agreed with these guidelines shall be allowed to participate. 
 
2.  Only those able to exercise true patience, self-control, and dedication shall be allowed to participate. A physician's examination report shall be required. Specifically, individuals with mental illness, drug addiction, or mental instability shall be barred from joining. The necessity of such a report concerns individuals who may present a danger to others, for example, those with infectious diseases or illnesses, individuals with clinically abnormal personalities or physiology, and individuals lacking self-control.
 
3.  Individuals with criminal records shall be turned away. Trouble makers, those who commit crimes, and those living in Japan who break domestic laws shall be turned away. 
 
4.  Those not upholding the guidelines of the Bujinkan, either as practitioners or as members of society, by committing disgraceful or reproachable acts shall be expelled. Until now, the Bujinkan was open to large numbers of people who came to Japan. Among them, unfortunately, were those committing violent drunken acts, the mentally ill, and trouble makers who thought only of themselves and failed to see how their actions might adversely affect others. Through their actions, such people were discarding the traditional righteous heart of the Bujinkan. From this day forward, all such people shall be expelled. 
 
5.  Regarding accidents occurring during training (both inside and outside the dojo), one should not cause trouble to the Bujinkan. This is an extremely important point. Those unwilling to take personal responsibility for accidents occurring during Bujinkan training shall not be admitted. Reiterating for clarity, the Bujinkan shall not take responsibility for any accidents happening in the course of training, regardless of the location. 
 
6.  All those joining the Bujinkan must get an annual membership card. This card not only preserves the honor of the Bujinkan members, it indicates you are part of a larger whole--one whose members come together with warrior hearts to better themselves through training and friendship. It evinces the glory of warrior virtue, and embodies both loyalty and brotherly love. 
 
7.  The tradition of the Bujinkan recognizes nature and the universality of all human life, and is aware of that which flows naturally between the two parts:
 
•"The secret principle of Taijutsu is to know the foundations of peace.
 
•To study is the path to the immovable heart (fudoshin)."
 
Recently, the Bujinkan has become truly international. Just as there are various time zones, so exist various taboos among the world's peoples and nations. We must respect each other, striving to avoid such taboos. We must put the heart of the warrior first, working together for self-improvement and for the betterment of the Bujinkan. "
 
The 9 Schools of the Bujinkan
  • Togakure Ryū Ninpō Taijutsu (戸隠流忍法体術)
  • Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu (玉虎流骨指術)
  • Kuki Shinden Ryū Happō Bikenjutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術)
  • Koto Ryū Koppōjutsu (虎倒流骨法術)
  • Shinden Fudo Ryū Dakentaijutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術)
  • Takagi Yoshin Ryū Jūtaijutsu (高木揚心流柔体術)
  • Gikan Ryū Koppōjutsu (義鑑流骨法術)
  • Gyokushin Ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法)

The Kanji to the Left and Right of the Page

Two sayings, koan, gokui no ji, or whatever you might call them are printed to the sides of the page and are of some significance in the Bujinkan -- they are uttered at the beginning of nearly every class. Please keep in mind that Japanese is an ideogrammatic language -- characters describe concepts and are associated with sounds... Reading is a matter of deciphering the ideograms. I've included the kanji as I've learned them so that you can draw your own conclusions.

To the left is the phrase, "Chihayafuru kami no oshie wa, tokoshie ni, tadashiki kokoro, mi o mamoruran" (千早振る神の教えは久遠に正き心身を守るらん) which can be understood to mean "Now with 1,000 shakes the divine teachings, for eternity protect one who has the right heart." The "1,000 shakes" can be understood as representative of a purification ritual, making "Now with 1,000 shakes, the divine teachings..." the immediate ritual being performed -- the chant itself, or the whole bow in. The 1,000 shakes may also, given the Mikkyou backgrounds of the art, be thought of as parallel to the 1,000 arms of Kannon -- every motion unified and without thought. Takuan Sōhō (沢庵 宗彭, 1573–1645), Japanese Zen Buddhist, comments:

Senju Kannon (the thousand-armed Kannon) is represented with a thousand arms, each arm holding a different weapon, but despite having a thousand arms, if his mind ‘stops' with the one that uses a bow, for example, all the remaining 999 arms will be of no use whatever. Only if his mind does not ‘stop' with the use of one arm can his other arms work efficiently and the thousand weapons be useful.

As for Kannon, how can it have a thousand arms on one body? This figure is intended to show us that when a man realizes immovable wisdom, even with as many as a thousand arms on one body, he is able to use each and every one in one way or another.

The use of "immovable wisdom" may be translated as "Fudo Shin" (不動心), "the immovable heart" that will be learned in association with the Shinden Fudo Ryū part of the curriculum.

To the right is the phrase, "Shikin haramitsu daikomyou" (詞韻波羅蜜大光明). We can translate this as a number of things, depending on how we understand it... The most common translation you'll hear is something like "Every action in our quest for perfection brings us to enlightenment." Shikin might be understood as "poetic words", but can carry the connotation of "every breath". Haramitsu can be "Paramita", the Buddhist virtues perfected; but the kanji also allude to something soft and sweet. Daikomyou is a little complicated... It can be understood as a great ray of light. Being prone to metaphor, one could think of it as Plato's Sun, wisdom, or enlightenment. Literally they are "big light ray". It seems somehow fitting, though, that "Poems, sweet and gentle, [bring] enlightenment" when we're about to train in such violence.

 

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