So what is a typical Bujinkan martial arts training class like?
This is a natural question of any martial arts class when one is exploring training options.
The best response is always to go check out a class- either sitting in and watching or taking a free class just to experience it first hand.
The martial arts are physical arts, movement arts, and the transmission of the Bujinkan and budo taijutsu is done through movement.
Come and see.
But for this blog post, and what we share on this blog is some of the training ideas and concepts we explore to give those seeking the martial arts an idea to begin that exploration- perhaps with us, perhaps with another Bujinkan school closer to them, or even another martial arts.
An example from our last training class, along with a few highlights for each training item…
We started with junan taiso- martial arts stretching.
In this exercise we bein at the top of the body with the head and neck, and work our way down with the shoulders, arms, back, hips, knees, and ankles stretching and relaxing each joint.
Half of it is injury protection by warming up, the other half is increasing our flexibility over time.
After this warm up- we move to the basics of or martial art- ukemi, san shin no kata, and kihon happo.
These explore ways of rolling on the ground, fundamental strikes, blocks, and ways of moving and holding the body- kamae.
The focus is not only on correct form, but also on moving in a relaxed manner, smooth, and without tension- building on the junan taiso excercises we just did.
Finishing out our study of the kihon was taihenjutsu muto dori- an exercise where a training partner cuts at you with a sword (padded/practice of course) and you use foot work to get out of the way.
Paying attention to keeping the spine straight and moving the entire body as one- the lower and upper half at the same time.
Taking a pause in class for a moment, we again explore some junan taiso- are there any areas that are tense or sore from incorrect movement?
Lets work on relaxing those points and move to the next part of class…
In these exercises a training partner grabs your wrists and holds you in place. With taijutsu movement you free yourself from the grab and use footwork to put yourself in a safe place where you can escape.
The key in starting these waza is *not* to fight your training partner, but rather free yourself- they are holding you in place and you can’t move, no footwork = no taijutsu so getting free is important.
For the last part of class we explore one of the kata (fighting patterns) from the jin ryaku no maki section of training.
In this kata one strikes with happa ken- a double strike at the same time, followed by jumping up and kicking with both feet, before landing with ukemi.
We explored the question of how does the happa ken strike set up or allow a leaping double kick?
Class ends with some Q&A either on what we explored in today’s training session, or perhaps a question that arose during the week when self-training outside of class.