Explaining Martial Arts Movement


Cooling down from the summer heat, movement practice had ended with a mediation and we were laying on the ground, relaxed and half-asleep. 

I was in no hurry to get up, a rare breeze washing through the elevated open windows of the dojo. 

Just happy to exist like this for as long as I could. 

He will explain it to you, roll over and ask him. 

A question directed from one of the students, tasked by one of the seniors to try and explain why we are doing what we do each week. 

Part of it was a transmission for me, could I take the *feeling* of the movement, the complexity of what it is transmitting and communicate that to another? 

Another who was at a point in the movement where they have a few years in, and could see brief flashes of it. 

Could I ignite that flash. 

An awareness of somebody laying next to me, equally as exhausted. 

Think of your body of memory regarding how to interact with the world. 

Most of this memory is based on evolution, what worked to keep us alive as an animal, and for the most part it worked most of the time, as evident with us still being here. 

But for the individual, *most* of the time is not good enough. 

Layered over our flawed-but-just-good-enough survival instinct is a further layer of social constructs and ways to act in society- unwritten rules which again are flawed for survival, but work most of the time. 

Our bodies act to this inherited and conditioned programming without thinking, as there is no time to think when trying to survive. 

Thinking can be antithesis to it. 

How would you respond to this situation before you time here in the dojo? 

Bringing your hands up to cover your face, freezing in place, and closing your eyes. 

How about now? 

Keeping the eyes open, natural and relaxed, just move out of the way. 

Exactly. 

The movement, those first few years of it, undoes the defects of time, it clears the body of the faulty evolutionary movement and resets the body to a neutral state. 

Next begins the transmission of just *how* to move the body correctly. 

That is the state, the gate you are at now, and decision that you are soon making. 

Just clearing the memory is enough for most people, resetting to that neutral state so one can make a decision of how to move and act is often enough in itself. 

Beyond that, stepping through that gate, leads to learning how to move with the *correct* response based on the transmission of the teachings. 

Did we both understand?

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Located in Westchester New York, the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial art of Masaaki Hatsumi through the lessons of the Bujinkan dojo.

As friends (buyu) we come together to grow, learn, and share our individual potential in this wonderful martial art.

Questions, comments, feedback, and inquiries may be emailed to the group here: BujinkanShinmyoken@gmail.com.