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  • Alessandro Vadalà

Word up

The first post is a needed generic but synthetic presentation of who we are and what we do.

We are a study group of a martial art called Budo Taijutsu located in Milan. We train on Mondays and Thursdays from 8.30 to 10.30 pm at the Elite Training Center in Via del Carroccio 13 (MM2 Sant'ambrogio).

Bu-do means “way to stop a fight”, while taijutsu it’s the ancient name to describe martial arts, in short, of contacr. These two combined let us understand how important the use of the body is, in both hand to hand combat and armed, while being animated by values of peace and justice and respect for life. This art was borned from 9 ancient warrior traditions (ryu) combined and mixed in a contemporary key by Soke Maasaki Hatsumi (Soke=patriarch). Bujinkan (home of the divine warrior) is the Mondial organization founded by Hatsumi, to honour his teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu, to divulgate and to practice Budo Taijutsu. The organization counts today more than 400.000 practictioners in the world.

Here are the mentioned schools:

Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu (戸隠流忍法体術)

Gyokko-ryū Kosshi jutsu (玉虎流骨指術)

Kuki Shinden Happō Bikenjutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術)

Koto Ryū Koppō jutsu (虎倒流骨法術)

Shinden Fudo Ryū Dakentai jutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術)

Takagi Yoshin Ryū Jūtai jutsu (高木揚心流柔体術)

Gikan Ryū Koppō jutsu (義鑑流骨法術)

Gyokushin-ryū Ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法)

Kumogakure Ryū Ninpō (雲隠流忍法)

These traditions come from bujutsu’s world (military techniques from feudal Japan) of which we could count 6 as “samurai-jutsu” and 3 as “ninpo e ninpo taijutsu”, the component of close combat if a much vaster discipline called Ninjutsu. This last word deserves a post of its own, that you will find soon, to try to give you an exhaustive explanation. The mainstream ninja figure is extremely deformed by completely wrong ideas and preconceptions. Descriptions that show ninjas as mystic, bloodthirsty, murderous or supernatural are wrong and misinterpreted. During the years, considering the unclear origin (caused by being a controcultural activity in Japan history) we saw and we still see the proliferation of ninjutsu schools, to say so, that have no historical base and programs invented mixing elements from various other martial arts, without neither tradition or culture.

Many people would be surprised to know that Hatsumi Sensei’s ninpo taijutsu (and budo in general) main function is to “protect” and give value to people’s life. It is not a coincidence that among the people who practice it we can find civilians and militaries that do complex job connected to secret services and security…

Back to the program… in the didactic, besides the study of hand to hand combat we can find almost the entire collection of feudal Japanese weapons. Moreover, the attitude to change and to adapt that this discipline inspires allows us to study the world of improvised weapons and to bring the practice to a personal defense situation. Mind and body’s training is our daily way of searching for a life, to use Shiraishi Sensei (a Bujinkan Dai Shihan), "better,".

Bujinkan program is vast and on this topic there will be more explanation and we will give details. Besides we have, as well as every dojo, our own training formula, that keeps a core directly in what we do and we study every year in Japan and with others western teachers, with also those elements that we think help make the formation of a true martial artist. We work a lot, for example, on the physical training (with elements of functional training) and we tend to do an intensive training but not only… our curiosity moves 360° towards everything that helps to improve ourselves on a daily basis. At the end of the day this is Budo: “an educative way of life” (cit. R. D. Villalba).

On every word of this introduction could be possible to write one or more posts but we hope we gave you a generic idea on what we do. But the key question now is: why this blog?

The blog wants to be a resource for all Budo Taijutsu students and people who wants to know more about it and more in general for every martial artist who wants to study esoteric and exoteric aspects of Budo that we will try to touch. Particularly we will discuss about ideas, concepts, budo literature with books reviews and activity sharing, experience, videos and interview… some kind of open diary of our path…

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