Togakure is chosen by Hatsumi as the theme of the year 2008, and its timing has special meaning, as it is the year of the Rat and the Santo Tonko kata is about the Rat escaping form.
Throughout the chain of learning in Bujinkan, we have encountered the Togakure-Ryu, already several times, albeit this year the encounter was different.
The sense of the maturity was the first thing to be noticed. It feels that Hatsumi Sensei reaches high levels in his teaching, as well as demonstrates much patience, calmness and happiness. His words sink straight into the heart. Amazingly, he is lighter and stronger in his movement.
Seeing him I ponder, the sky is the limit?
Next observation is the Way that Soke instructed to learn the principles of Ninpo. Learning through Jin Ryaku no Maki and through other schools in the Bujinkan, thus the principles of escaping, hiding and surviving become crisp clear.
An important happening this year is the publishing of Hatsumi’s new book, “Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai”. The book was published at the middle of the year, and holds in his pages most of the information about the nine Bujinkan Ryuha.
Hatsumi words for the publishing event were “I give you everything you looked for – it is all here, now you do not need to put effort in collecting techniques”. Then added a remark, “martial arts are not an academic issue”, meaning, put your energies in training.
I have been fortunate to receive the book before the official publication, been helped by the translator, Doug Wilson. Thereafter Hatsumi kindly wrote me a dedication on the front page, meaningful for me, (that appears herewith, BUGEI KAIDO AYUMI).
This year was a turning point personally. I have retired from my work at the government. It brought me the opportunity to dedicate more of my time to Mind & Body Education. I feel fortunate having my curiosity to motivate me in searching and learning further.
Travelling to teach Martial arts seminars around world proved to be above all rewarding for me, as I have met many new friends that comprehended my teaching and shared their knowledge with me.
Teaching with various Shihans around the world was enjoyable, as with Pedro and Arnaud at the Finland Taikai in Helsinki; with Bud, Sheila and Roy at the USA Taikai in Atlanta; as with Ed and Dean at the Yushimi Taikai in Budapest, Hungary. It was a rewarding time of gaining much learning at those mutual events.
Travelling outside Israel did not harm my teaching in Israel and its importance. Those lessons are my laboratory, where my students take part in analyzing Hatsumi’s ideas and techniques.
The spirit of Ninpo is most important for keeping walking the path of martial arts, gradually, with awareness and consciousness.
Be Safe and Happy.