Last night in my Togakure Ryu class my teacher was talking about a group of students who had started a discussion about the proper way to do Hicho no kamae. One cited teacher X does it this way, teacher Y this way but then looking at a senior Japanese teacher he does it completely different. Mark's response to them was that’s so cool.
Yes that is what is so cool about this art. I have trained in other arts. Those arts taught me and everyone else to do the exact identical thing for every kata and situation. Those arts didn’t take into consideration that my hands were smaller and that to execute the exact moves to create a wrist lock didn’t work for me or were very difficult. It had to be done that exact way. It was all about what I should be doing, not taking into account the relationship between the two people. Not taking into account the other side of the equation, my opponent.
This art is the exact opposite. What happens to your opponent stays the same no matter who they are but how the two of you get there changes. The principle of how to get them there stays the same. You have to create the same off balance, the same breaking of their shape so they fall into the lock. However the height, weight, flexibility, speed, intent, skill of your opponent matters. You don’t do the exact same thing to different people, you create the same thing happening to them.
With the Shinobi Formula you use your movement to off balance them. You adapt to the situation and person to create the outcome that keeps you safe. You learn to do what is appropriate at the time to keep you safe.
Learning to adapt and be appropriate in the moment allows you to be safe. It allows you to adapt if you become injured. It allows you to adapt to different spaces where a situation may occur. You learn to adapt to whatever is happening in your life to be safe. It is the freedom of movement, creativity and open mindedness that make this art so powerful. You are open to all and any possibilities that can be created to keep you safe in the moment.
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