Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Understanding Martial Arts Distance

They stood across from me in complete darkness, the two of us frozen in the moment. My training partner assuming a downward posture, while I stood ready to shift my body to a flying bird posture if needed.

In that moment that the attack came, the moment my training partner swung the stick at my legs, I shifted away and avoided the attack in that moment.

The training drill was to practice movements against attacks in the darkness where one could not see the training partner fully, or they type of training tool they were using.

Why did some of us avoid the attack, while others did not?

Early in our taijutsu training one begins to study the rokushaku bo- the six foot stick. One of the reasons this historical training tool is explored early on is so one can understand distance. Distance being one of the movement laws of the martial arts: distance, timing, rhythm, and balance.

Distance can be hard to understand, as each technique has a correct distance between you and your training partner to work. Correct distance and it works correctly, if the distance begins to be off, it might work with some adjustment or chance, distance completely off and not only won’t it work, but also it can be easily countered (kaeshi waza).

The six foot stick allows one to see distance at a large and long model, big movements are easier to see, and through the use of angles one learns when on is in distance with the stick and out of distance.

Martial arts of distance.

Over time and by experiencing taijutsu, one naturally learns the optimal and correct distance for techniques and training tools.

In the darkness of that exercise, as your training partner stands across from you, while you are not able to see the training tool as it is hidden in the darkness, be it a sword, stick, or spear, you can *see* and feel the distance.

Correct distance for the correct training tool dictates how to use taihenjutsu (body changing skills) to get out of the way.

All one needs to know is the correct distance.

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The aim of the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo (school of the life giving sword) is to understand nature and the movement of being zero through taijutsu- martial ways of using the body. The school exists to create and transmit this feeling and method through the experience of isshi soden.

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 arts of Masaaki Hatsumi through the movement lessons of the Bujinkan Dojo.

Training is supervised by Fred Feddeck who has been studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu since 1993.

Classes are held on Saturday Mornings from 9-11 AM at a local park in Yonkers New York easily accessible by car, train, and bus. Additional training times are held for workshops and seminars each quarter.

Questions, feedback, and inquiries may be directed to the group here: bujinkanshinmyoken@gmail.com.

Those interested in finding more about our training are invited to join our meetup and event mailing list below.

This mailing list is used to provide updates regarding upcoming seminars and workshops, along with meeting times for our once a month martial arts meetup to discuss and explore various topics in our training.

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 email contact: bujinkanshinmyoken@gmail.com