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Shinden Yōshin Ryū Denshō Bungaku

Study Manual for the Traditional Willow Heart School

This text is a Master instructor's manual for the Shinden yōshin ryū school of Jujutsu. This document is my own instruction and authorship, a record of the things taught in the school and its dojos. Hence the term denshō-bungaku is being used to mean “study manual” in that it was meant to be an instructor's manual for teaching (any form of) Shinden yōshin ryū, or otherwise as a study manual for practitioners of Shinden yōshin ryū. That's why it's posted openly to the Internet – free access for all to make use of. As for the contents and body of the text: Certain parts of each entry (may) have relevant contributions from Japanese language documents translated by myself between the years 1982 and 2007, the text contains only potential quotes of my own translation of these materials, and my own remarks. Obviously, those materials being written in Japanese, the translation was done as my own work and so it's not possible to call it 'quoting'. The documents in question were written between 1952 and 1999 and consisted of the following: (1) School manuscripts and documents (shinden yōshin ryū and other relevant ryūha, budō kan and budō kai) a proliferation of these, (2) School texts and document facsimiles (photocopies, typed print and etc) a proliferation of these, (3) <Japanese language> Books, magazines and specialized newspapers on Japanese Budō (on relevant fields such as jujutsu, kenjutsu, iai-jutsu, kakushi buki and etc) a proliferation of these. (4) <Japanese Language> Texts, lists and magazines on Japanese history or specific periods of Japanese history (as relevant to the subjects of Budō.) This gives you an idea of where the information in the text came from (notes taken and memory on the remarks and contents of all these materials.) In fact, even the structure, titles and sub-titles of the subject matter of this text came from those various written materials (all or most titles and sub-titles are in Japanese language, clearly indicative of this fact.) The text shouldn't be disappointing by any means.

The text is highly structured, each entry and sub-entry appears in a purposeful and specific order. This order of information needed to optimize the transmission of budō instruction, whether using it as an instructor or personally as a student of jujutsu. It is suggested that you study the table of contents, entry per entry and also taking note of the order in which the sub-entries appear (do this even after you are quite familiar with the text and it will unlock the information further.)


October 4th 2008

龍虎ノ巻    Ryūko No Maki    Manual on the Transmission of Budō Instruction

Shinden yōshin ryū is the “traditional willow heart school” of jujutsu, The school and its methods are not spurious, they are rather straight forward and to the point. There is a matter-of-factness about it's approach and methodology, plain and simple movements, plain and simple instruction. Nothing held back. This is how the school must be approached when taught and also this is how the material must be approached when being learned. You must not teach shinden yōshin ryū for money-making since this would demean the straight forwardness of the school and weakens its effectiveness. This does not mean that you cannot charge reasonable sums for instruction but that you must not turn it into a business venture which would then require the schools techniques and methodologies to be repackaged (for sales to the public.) This would lead to degeneration of the effectiveness of its teachings. In regard to the teachings of the school, there are the techniques and the doctrines. The doctrines are by far more valuable than the techniques, but the doctrines are weakened in value if one were to ignore the techniques. Teach both equally, learn both equally thus deriving the full benefit.

This ryūko no maki, or Manual on the transmission of budō instruction, is only one section of the denshō-bungaku. It is the entire first section of this text and ends at the section of the text entitled 刀剣術ノ部 Tōkenjutsu no bu Section on the use of swords.This is exactly what any ryūko no maki is (it's a common Japanese language term that means precisely “manual of instruction”.) This ryūko no maki, like the rest of the text, is highly structured. Each entry and sub-entry appears in a specific order. One problem is that, really, any given subject or entry of the manual could have an entire book dedicated to it. So the object is to convey as much as possible in as few lines of sentences as possible, so that one can move onto the next subject. Every attempt was made to create a faithful and significant record, and one that would unfold over time to allow one to learn more from the text. Give the text a chance and it will work for you.

兵法ノ概論    Heihō No Gairon    General Remarks on the Martial Arts

The purpose of martial arts is preparation (junbi). There is preparation for any aspect of life. Preparation for personal business and private affairs. Preparation for military service and wartime. Preparation for self protection and defense. Preparation for competition. If one diverge from this purpose and intent, then the degree of effectiveness will suffer. The further one diverges, the more loss of effectiveness. If one does not prepare for personal business and private affairs, then all other preparations become fully worthless since how can one survive if they have not attended upon their personal business and private affairs? The purpose of martial arts is preparation (junbi).Yūsenjuni 優先順位 refers to priorities and to the order of priorities, doing yūsenjuni is really “ excel beyond the point of one's immediate standing or position.” It implies an advance of, or also, to look beyond, one's immediate position or [social] standing. I stress to you that it implies both: advancing beyond one's immediate position and social standing, as well as to looking beyond these (for planning purposes and for navigation purposes.) Since the first objective of preparation is by nature to prepare for personal business and private affairs obviously it includes the other fields of preparation, if and wherein one will encounter them. If one engages in competitions, then that becomes one item of personal business and private affairs. Similarly duty and service, if one gets conscripted or volunteers for such. The point then becomes that there must be priorities and the order of priorities (yūsenjuni) or failure is quite certain. One must be careful with preparation and with priorities, not to commit a “miscarriage of intention”, which is Hon matsutentō 本末転倒 this means something like “failing to properly evaluate the relative importance of a thing” and so the term “miscarriage of intention” really means to suffer or cause failure by mistaken priorities. But also it has other implications as “miscarriage of intentions”. I absolutely must point out to you that, in this term Hon matsutentō the components of it “tentō 転倒”are sometimes pronounced ten-daoshi “rotating throw-down” and that this is a known fighting technique (or kata) of jujutsu. The point? If one does not properly observe yūsenjuni priorities and the order of priorities, it is like you are attacking yourself and doing yourself harm on behalf of any potential enemy. To not properly observe yūsenjuni priorities and the order of priorities, is to turn and cast oneself down on behalf of the opponent. Your rivals and enemies are quite certain to enjoy such occasions. Do not commit Hon matsutentō or the "miscarriage of intention”. What good would it be to study martial arts at all only to end up having committed a miscarriage of intention by improperly prioritizing the relevant doctrines and teachings within the martial arts? The purpose of martial arts is preparation (junbi) and proper preparation requires attention to priorities and the order of priorities (yūsenjuni). This is fundamental budō.

柔半剱ノ概論    Jūhanken No Gairon     General Remarks on learning Body, Sword and Staff

Jūhanken is what this school (shinden yōshin ryū) calls the trinity of body, sword and staff techniques. In most schools this same thing is called jūkenbō or as in the case of Aikidō it is called 'riai'. The shinden yōshin ryū as taught in this manual teaches jūhanken as being the use of short-sword, short staff and unarmed combat techniques. Some branch schools (of shinden yōshin ryū) here in the United states did not teach short-sword and short staff but instead they taught longsword and cane (tachi and jōjutsu.) As far as I know, this is not original shinden yōshin ryū practice. These American branch schools were teaching adaptations of the kata of Musō shinden ryū jōjutsu and for the longsword doing kata from the Shinkage ryū school of longsword. A small number of them were also practicing the kata of an uncertain(?) school of Iai-jutsu (probably Musō eishin ryū.) This manual teaches the kodachi (short-sword) and the Hanbō (short staff) and does not include any longsword or cane techniques at all. There really is no longsword in the shinden yōshin ryū, none of it's techniques or doctrines were meant for longsword, they were all meant for short-sword.

By way of explanation, the mechanics of using the short-sword and the short staff are more or less identical, and require extensive usage of body techniques in order to apply them. So fundamentally there is no real difference between the taijutsu (body techniques), kenjutsu (sword techniques) and hanbōjutsu (cane techniques.) The body techniques are absolutely required to effectively apply the short-sword and short staff techniques. To make the matter clear, the term 'taijutsu' is applied when speaking of the mechanics of body maneuvers as opposed to the unarmed fighting techniques of jujutsu. This usage of the term (taijutsu) is consistent with the practices of both Judō and Aikidō as well. The mechanics of doing a jujutsu move are described as 'taijutsu' (the body mechanics used to execute the jujutsu trick.) But also and likewise, the physical mechanics of doing a sword or staff technique, since they require cooperative body movements, is also described as 'taijutsu'. This is all to say that taijutsu is the science and art of body motion and physical mechanics. In fact, originally, the term 'taijutsu' was an archaic form of the word “physics” as that term applies to the physical mechanics of things in operation. The true and correct meaning of the term 'taijutsu' is thus not really separate from this.

Finally, I should say that any pursuit of swordsmanship, even if only as the short-sword, always entails the study of kakushi-buki Hidden or 'Pocket' weapons which are small implements used to equalize against the superior advantage of a better armed opponent. Jūhanken is certainly not different in this respect. In fact, it can be said that, through the alternate form of it, 十判剱 JūhankenSword of 10 Judgments” it means to have the good sense of judgment to have made and employed just such equalization of (any) disadvantage [this is certainly not restricted to swordsmanship or combative encounter since the school has the relevant focus on preparation (junbi) even for life itself.] One must make the advantage. That is the core truth of jūhanken. The following sub-entries are highly relevant to and a part of this jūhanken and its core truth.

初心ノ心得    Shoshin No Kokoroe    Knowledge of Initial Intent

Shoshin means original intention; initial resolution. This addresses the purpose of martial arts. The purpose of the school. The purpose of the instructor and the purpose of the student in engaging in the practices of the school. It is very important as to why you study and practice either shinden yōshin ryū or the martial arts in general. How can one really understand this when they do not understand the school, or the martial arts, themselves respectively? Suffice to say that in order to understand one then the others must be understood as well. The old saying is that: “...if you're off by an inch now, then you will be off by miles, later down the road.” Hence the subject of initial resolution and intention are paramount to avoid error and loss of effectiveness.

The purpose of the martial arts is preparation (junbi), the purpose of the school is to assist us by helping to provide some of the more relevant and necessary teachings, techniques and methodologies by which to successfully prepare for and conduct the affairs of life and duty. The purpose of an instructor is to have studied and acquired the means and methods of the school (as is also attested to within these web-page documents) both for his own usage and to assist the men of the school whom are still learning. The purpose of the student is to learn the orientations and methods of the school for personal use and to thus become 'men of the school'. You can be a man or woman of the school, it is without reservation and the teachings of the school are provided clearly in such as these web-page documents. Make a copy for yourself and practice these methods, then you can be a man or woman of the school. Also along similar lines, you can become a man or woman of martial knowledge (or, of martial arts if that is your preferred terminology.) What do you think the initial intention was in our having posted these documents to the Internet? Make yourself a copy and good luck to you, no matter what your school or martial art is.

精神的供与    Seishinteki kyōyo    Furnishing One's Mental State

This refers to emotional and psychological preparations for the reality of what will be encountered. I have heard the explanation of another school for this subject (seishinteki kyōyo) but it was not quite the same definition, I think, the subject is rather simple and straight forward. It is merely a necessary preparation for the emotional and psychological reactions likely to occur.

Knowing what to expect or what might be encountered, for example, should one be conscripted into the military, whether or not it will be peacetime service or wartime. Or in the event of a physical attack, or in the event of encountering personal troubles. What your emotional and psychological reactions are likely going to be. How to handle these reactions. Etc etc. It is a straight forward and simple matter. But it also covers how to recognize and handle any unexpected emotional and psychological reactions. So the subject is both the management of expected reactions and unexpected reactions. To a lesser extent it also provides some background info on how to recognize emotional and psychological reaction on the enemy's part, mainly in that our own reaction thereto makes it relevant. As part of this subject the following:

無念無想ノ弁    Munen Musō No Wakimae    Distinguishing the state of Munen musō

This means avoiding and being free from worldly or worthless thoughts, such as might hinder or negatively effect one's conduct. Wrong thinking can quickly sabotage one's performance (whether in daily life or in duty.) Sabotaged performance can lead to failure and in a case of defense or of wartime service could easily result in injury or death. Worldly thoughts of, for example, making a lot of money of such and such a thing (or for another example, entertaining lustful thoughts about women) can serve to distract and thus sabotage performance and conduct. Munen musō is all about not entertaining certain kinds of thoughts or emotional impressions. Self control. Abstaining by self discipline from wrong thinking, the subject is not really as esoteric as some sources seem to portray. Also I would remind you that this applies whether in matters of daily life or of service and duty, war and peacetime.

十悪ヲ弁    aku Wo Wakimae    Discerning the 10 Abominations

This is about refusing to engage in certain kinds of conduct and instead fostering courage(-ousness) in conduct and performance. Although the subject is actually Buddhist in origin, anyone can appreciate the validity of the concept. The 10 abominations (of Buddhist tradition) are: Murder, Stealing, Adultery, Falsehood, Bad Talk, Double Tongued, Flattery, Greed, Anger and Wrong Views. This is not being approached as a religious matter but as a necessary life matter and sometimes more as an essential (para-) military matter wherein such conduct not only distracts you but also generates unnecessary problems within the rank and file during such as military service or police duty and etc. It is a simple and straightforward matter: improper social conduct can only lead to trouble and generates, even if merely in your daily life, unnecessary difficulties that over-complicate the circumstances. 'It is considered an act of courage and the conduct of courageousness to avoid these misconducts in favor of the ten good deeds. But really, it's a simple matter of keeping things straight and functional (in other words, avoiding unnecessarily over-complicating one's life or duty.)

柔半剱    Jūhanken

Here, on this subject, Jūhanken does of course refer to the facts of violence and artifice being used especially in the course of warfare (military service) or in the line of duty for police-work, as well as in any given incident of self protection. Suffice to say that there is a certain shrewdness to consider and conduct. After all, the object is to win, or to succeed. Cunning device. Shrewd measures. Artifice. The mind set for these, and the necessary psychological and emotional preparation for these. Please do not lose sight of the fact that, to this point of the text, these are the remarks of the ryūko-no-maki → (General remarks on martial arts) thereof → (General remarks on body, sword and staff) thereof → (Knowledge of Initial Intent) thereof → (Furnishing One's Mental State) thereof → (Distinguishing the state of Munen musō) as relevant thereto → (Discerning the 10 Abominations) as relevant thereto → (Jūhanken). This context of the ongoing discourse is extremely important if one is to truly understand the subject matter as presented. All of this has really been said as “general remarks on the martial arts.” Beyond the literal and obvious meaning of using body, sword or staff technique to defend self by, it has further, more important meaning. The sword is the symbol of the conduct of justice and a symbol of (paramilitary office – even the authority vested upon an individual citizen is a relevant fact.) The staff is even more so, an ancient symbol of office and station. So here also, jūhanken. It is the recognition and conduct of relevant authority and station (even if only as a man or woman in society – there is always social orders of authority and station which we have to exercise.) Not the least of which is the right and privilege by which to defend our persons and properties. Facts and stations of the universe itself (even when our own immediate society has perhaps divested us of the privileges otherwise.)

重犯剱    Jūhanken    Sword of Offense

This reminds us not to conduct our personal or our servile duties and obligations along criminal lines and thus generate social offenses. There is flexibility, and the recognition of the fact that merely because an action or conduct is deemed criminal doesn't make it criminal. This jūhanken cannot be used to perpetrate such fallacies because then the fallacy and its perpetration become themselves the “sword of offense” whether perpetrated by individuals or a society (it is irrelevant.) Recognition of these truths leads to...

十判剱    Jūhanken    Sword of 10 Judgments

Proper judgment and conduct, whether in personal matters or servile affairs. Beyond this simple idea, the more complex concept of recognizing and deploying all available to oneself, the number 10 it means “complete (-ion)” and hence this jūhanken is one of making use of everything available. Generating the full advantage by exploiting everything available. Notice that this sub-entry ended the section on jūhanken.

食生活ノ戒    Shokuseikatsu No Imashi     Dietary Instructions

This broad but simple subject need be addressed for several reasons. Improper diet will impact one's physical and emotional abilities, and hence can impact conduct immediately. Both for one's own sake and for the sake of group conduct: one must observe a proper diet and eat sufficient quantities of food at timely intervals. Taking responsibility for one's consumption habits and not intaking what one should not intake. Not drinking too much alcohol, nor using illicit and dangerous drugs. THIS WHETHER OR NOT AS A MATTER OF PERSONAL CONDUCT but what does this mean? Perhaps you would understand if I reminded you that, sometimes in wartime service, an army is known to prescribe certain stimulants to its soldiers. Abstaining from such devices often proves advisable (American soldiers returning from both Korea and Vietnam often had developed addictions to morphine or other substances that plagued them and their households for many decades thereafter.) In regard to shokuseikatsu no imashi: Victory and/or success (in group and personally) can actually be a simple matter of observing proper diet and not consuming what one should not.

気合ヲ掛ケルノ弁    Kiai Wo Kakeru No Wakimae    Distinguishing when to Produce Spirited Shouts [Kiai]

This addresses the use of the well known martial arts practice of uttering spirited shouts (kiai.) The use of kiai-jutsu in this school is very specific and our approach to this even more specific. Our approach as an American branch of this school is specific by necessity. There is a right way and a wrong way to do kiai-jutsu. Doing it wrong doesn't work. Kiai is a specific thing and what is not kiai is also specific. There is kiai, and what is not kiai-jutsu. To clarify these things I will now make definitions of the relevant material. The Definition of 'Kiai-jutsu' and 'Aiki-jutsu' -- the meaning of the term 'kiai'. The meaning of the term 'aiki'. These are terms that come from the arts of kiai-jutsu and aiki-jutsu. Trying to explain what kiai-jutsu and aiki-jutsu mean is not easy because these arts have multiple applications. The simple explanation is best: (1) Aiki-jutsu is to merge with the energy, flow and direction of a thing, event or circumstance as it already exists and redirecting it from there. Passive acceptance of the flow and direction for the sake of merging with and redirecting it. An 'aiki' is a vocalization, action or deed that is used to effect aiki-jutsu. (2) Kiai-jutsu is the opposite approach, to interrupt intrusively and/or forcefully the energy, flow and direction of a thing, event or circumstance and preventing it from going in those directions in favor of redirecting it according to one's own wish. A 'kiai' is a vocalization, action or deed done to effect kiai-jutsu. Please note that the Japanese verbal construct Kiai Wo Kakeru actually means "to be Cautious; Take precaution" so really, the title of this subject of entry should be translated "Distinguishing when to [practice] precaution" meaning such as during possible trouble points when coming and going. But like many schools of Jujutsu, the Shinden yōshin ryū quite often uses it to refer to the aspects of disciplined use of the methods and techniques of kiai-jutsu. The description here of those elements, taken in conjunction with the techniques of the jujutsu kata as a means of handling danger and preventing one's own injury is really the gist of the thing. So kiai-jutsu being the more direct sort of intrusion and redirection using it involves making such vocalization, action or deed done to effect kiai-jutsu.

In either case, did you know that there are even magical symbols which are drawn in these arts? There are both aiki and kiai magical symbols, a form of a hex or spell meant to be drawn on a wall or posted to a tree. Among others, these signs include the magical signs drawn for kuji-kiri and etc. Obviously, there are comparable applications in our own cultures which could be used (and in fact, always were used like this.) All of this helps to demonstrate that the subject is definitely not what most people believe it is. Most people know what a kiai is [supposed to be by common definition], but most do not know that an 'aiki' exists hence the knowledge and skills of any such martial arts exponent necessarily suffers. Just like there is 'kiai' there is an 'aiki'. Kiai are NOT meaningless shouts or fierce screams, the Japanese are not uttering meaningless vocalizations or shouts. They are saying such as “No!”, “Yes!”, “Is that so?” etc etc in their language, as a means of redirection and manipulation. Kiai-jutsu and aiki-jutsu. You are NOT really doing kiai if all you are doing is uttering meaningless vocalized shouts or screams – the Japanese rarely ever do this. Kiai-jutsu and aiki-jutsu, both application make use of body language, para-linguistics and proxemics. In formal practice the Japanese use specialized forms of their language, and are uttering the following 'objectives' (as the spirited shout itself] which are a special formal language pronunciation (archaic): { Iietsu } [ sounds like “Eeigh!!” high pitched “ee” sound ] “Nay; no”, { Eitsu } [ sounds like “Aaiigh!!” ] “Aye; yes” , { Hōtsu } [ sounds like “Hogh!!” ] ”Oh!!; Oh boy!!; Oh no!!”, { Saatsu } [ sounds like “Ssaagh!!” ] ”Come on now…!” , { Uu } [ sounds like “oogh!?!” ] “Huh?; Uhm? Eh?”, { Haatsu } [ sounds like “Hahtch!!” ] ”Ha! Indeed! So!!”, { Hatsu } [ sounds like “Huhtch!!” ] ”Begone!!; Leave!; Go away!!”. Each one of these 'objectives' is in (archaic) Japanese language and to be used for different and varied purposes... but this is where we, non-Japanese, must diverge or enter into error. Japanese language and culture is specific and markedly different than our own. In order to emulate the actual practices of kiai-jutsu and aiki-jutsu we CANNOT do it the way the Japanese do. We must use our own language and culture, but since we have the exact same remarks of language and can use them in similar ways – nonetheless it is very close indeed to what the Japanese are actually doing. This is true of most Western languages. Our tonal speech patterns and intensity differ in our cultures but it is not a difficult task to adopt it otherwise. LEARN AND PRACTICE THESE METHODS and you are using shinden yōshin ryū school technique. The rules of kiai-jutsu and the proper use of kiai: RULE ONE: we speak directly to the opponent howbeit in a controlled and very specific fashion (do not engage in banter, do not prattle with an opponent – it's dangerous.) RULE TWO: Volume and tone of voice: Actual kiai aren't shouts, only some kinds are shouts. Most kiai and almost all aiki are spoken with the voice only slightly raised and then only to make sure that the opponent or target heard. Voice quality and tone are extremely important, since the opponent or target must be able to hear and understand, it is very important. RULE THREE: Timing. When to say these things as kiai-jutsu or aiki-jutsu. When the kiai is given within a kata. Pay attention!! The Japanese culture and language is different, where they might have placed a kiai differs from where we might need to. Notice how I worded that? “...placed a kiai...” that is exactly how the Japanese word it (in their language)  気合を掛ける  Kiai Wo Kakeru. Although this language construct in Japanese means "to be Precautious; Take precaution" under standard dictionary and language definitions (jujutsu schools often use slight adaptation of meaning, however.)  Using the artifice kiai-jutsu and the techniques of the jujutsu, being precautious and aware of the surroundings when coming and going so as to be aware of relevant threats and dangers. Presence of mind (zanshin). Including to have had the presence of mind and forethought to practice mindful attentativeness in learning the jujutsu techniques and other preventatives by which to keep oneself safe from harm. There is much more that could be said, in fact one could dedicate a book to this subject alone but the allotted space in this one is now full.

気中リノ大事    Ki'atari No Daiji     Important Affair of Striking Ki’

Ki'atari may also be called 'ki-ate' and this is the subject of striking with ki force, how to employ ki when striking or attacking, and as such is integral to the subject of kiai wo kakeru (making discouragements). Sometimes it is mistaken as being the same thing as kiai itself, the Japanese sometimes say that they are [about] the same thing but this is not quite true. It is instead the subject of “attacking/succeeding by means of ki” (mood; spirit; cadence). So what the Japanese mean is that they are the same subject, more or less. Truth be told that isn't what the term ki'atari (ki-ate) means, it is a standard language term and means more like “succeeding decisively” or “definitely right on target” or “nailing the thing fully”. That is exactly what the language term “ki'atari” actually means (as does the variant form “ki-ate”.) The usage of “shouts” as kiai and their relative aiki is not the totality of the subject, in that there's more to this subject. There is then the necessary juggling of the two subjects, kiai and aiki, as relevant to ki'atari (ki-ate) attacking with ki, and to be sure both kiai and aiki are relevant (but not necessarily as “shouts”). Since the subject is how to attack or strike with 'ki' it's necessary then to explain that what the Japanese call and mean by the term 'ki' is not exactly what most Westerners seem to think it is. One could give the usual 'hocus-pocus' definition of the term “ki” () but to do so would actually obscure the subject rather than explain it. In the shinden yōshin ryū, that definition falls under the usage of the term genki () “force of illusion”. The word 'ki' simply means “force” or “energy” but refers to any of a number of forms of rather subtle force and energy. In some connotations, it is used to describe the mechanics of what are essentially a form of magic trick. The 'mechanics' are considered one of the various 'forces' or 'energies' which may be defined as being 'ki'. So this term 'ki' actually is nothing mystical, it is instead rather difficult to identify types of subtle energy, force or mechanics by which a thing may be achieved (including mood; cadence and spirit). It refers to subtle mechanics, subtle forces or subtle energies which by trickery or manipulation may be used to achieve a thing by. In fact, trickery itself is a form of 'ki' and most people do not fully appreciate this fact of the definition. Therefore, many principles of basic stage magic definitely apply (especially the vectors on misdirection and presentation.) In Aikido, there is the standard ki trick of the “Immoveable arm”, which is achieved by means of holding the joints, muscles and muscle tension of one's own arm so that it is impossible or extremely difficult for another party to bend that arm. The mechanics of the trick are what are being labeled as 'ki' and this is accurate for the meaning. But the genki definition as a distractory illusion is also used when doing the trick (and indeed this then becomes one of the 'mechanics' by which the trick is executed. And so becomes part of the ki to execute the trick, it is 'genki' illusion.) The genki “hocus-pocus” explanation is part of the 'ki' of the trick, since if you told them how the arm was being made “immoveable”, certainly with a simple twist of that arm they could move or bend it – the “hocus-pocus” distracts them from being able to accomplish the defeat of the trick. THERE ARE MARTIAL TECHNIQUES TO DEFEAT AN OPPONENT BY THAT ARE THE SAME THING, exploitation of little recognized subtle mechanics, energies and forces. This is the essence of true ki'atari (ki-ate). Using also the genki, force of illusion, whether as the standard bullshit definition of 'ki' to mask how the technique was done, or by any other device of deception and illusion. One becomes like a magician orchestrating the downfall of a threat, danger, opponent or enemy, whether as an immediate combatant or as that of toate-no-jutsu and defeating before they can appear before you to challenge or attack. This toate-no-jutsu is also an extension of ki-atari (ki-ate) in many relevant applications. For a martial artist to hold as actual the standard “hocus-pocus” definition of ki is unthinkable. That definition is reserved for non-initiates to prevent the matter from becoming common knowledge and so defenses against the ki'atari not easily constructed. This all having been said, one begins to understand the true mechanics of ki'atari “striking with ki force”.

There are a number of potential ways that Japanese language writes the term ki-ate (ki'atari from the verb ki'ataru), the kanji construct 気中リ (“caught up or in the midst of the spirit; cadence or mood”) is not the most common, the common construct would be 当リ The construct used by Shinden yōshin ryū has the kanji which has the usual meaning of “middle; center; inside; in touch with; being on the mark with.” One could say that it is a reference to being “in the middle of the thing” and acting to exert dominance and control from the inside. That is how it's understood. There is the term genki () “force of illusion” but this term 'genki' is also a spin-off of the Japanese term genki 元気 which means health(y); robust; vitality; stamina; spirit (which has also relevance to the subject.) Suffice to say that in this context this form of genki means that one's presentation, actions and motions must be vigorous and lively, and that this is [literally] one form of 'ki' applied in ki-ate. And so I should explain that, in Japanese, when one finds the term 'ki' () in such a construct (as second kanji in the construct) it usually has the definition of : “-like (sharing in the nature of)” and this can help one to understand what the martial technique or methodology is, if one knows this. I felt as if this idiom 'ki-atari' (in it's various forms) was not sufficiently explained so I added these lines to further assist: the language term means essentially “contact with or to be caught up the the spirit; cadence or mood of a thing” but in the martial arts (especially the one form of the idiom that does not use “middle” to write it) the meaning includes “attacking; manipulating or controlling by means of the spirit, cadence or mood of both the opponent(s) and any on-lookers.” The various forms of the Yoshin Ryu schools are famous for techniques and methods to manipulate and control 'ki'... it means to make use of spirit, mood and cadence (one's own, the opponent(s) and any on-lookers.) It is commonly said that one can defeat or even kill the opponent by means of ki atari alone (no need to lay hand to the hilt of your weapon.)

Now that I have covered the necessary definitions, I may proceed. There are techniques (waza) and formal techniques (kata) which are used to demonstrate ki'atari (ki-ate.) They are, from one perspective, arbitrary in that really any technique can serve as an example. And that being the case, not every instructor would list the same kata technique. Characteristically, it is 'momentum' of certain types which gets employed against an opponent which is the 'ki' being employed. So momentum is itself, as a phenomenon, literally one of the things which is described as 'ki' (or more specifically, it is the exploitation of momentum which can be described as 'ki'.) The term iki'oi 勢合 is used to describe 'momentum' and the exploitation of momentum in this type of case. For example, there is a sword technique in which one reaches up, sword in hand, and with the fingers on the hilt one grabs the rear of his collar and lightly snatching the man off his feet so that the momentum of his falling body causes him to fall along the back-of-the-neck upon the blade and he slides down it being cut, as one draws the blade back across his neck. Iki'oi is any kind of exploitation of any kind of momentum. Iki'oi is one principle and form of ki'atari. For example, tricking the man into running himself onto the blade, or tricking the man into cutting himself on the blade (by positioning the blade in such a fashion that if he moves in any direction – he gets cut because it has his flesh being drawn across the keen edge of the blade.) Another form of momentum and exploitation of momentum that differs from iki'oi is called kūki 空気 which actually means “empty air” and is the form of manipulation or trickery which exploits space (empty space). To exploit empty or available space, to exploit inertia and momentum within said empty space – that is kūki To make him, or even his attack, hit or fall through empty air or to get cut by falling through empty air. Kūki frequently doesn't involve grabbing the man's body or clothes, but can include unexpectedly tripping him so that he stumbles and or falls headlong or even backwards. Iki'oi often involves grabbing his body or manipulating his body personally whereas kūki takes advantage of open space between you (not really grabbing his body or clothes.) Iki'oi is the more common since there are many more forms of iki'oi than of kūki. Another form of iki'oi exploitation (of momentum) is called akke-oi 呆気合 which is to make and exploit a state of dumbfounded confusion so that he doesn't know what to do – often thereafter causing him to be cut or stabbed. Akke-oi is just a form of iki'oi. Another form of iki'oi is called abunake-oi 危気合 which is to provoke a sense of threat or danger so that his reactions will be off and lead to his defeat. Similarly but in the opposite direction is anki-oi 安気合 which is to provoke and/or exploit his sense of NOT being in danger or under threat. There is, to a lesser degree, onakke-oi 女気合 which is to take advantage of their potential reaction to extant female presence – which is to say that some people respond differently to the presence of females on the scene and it's exploitable as a reaction. There are many form of iki'oi exploitations that are like this, the reason that they are “momentum” manipulations is because they provoke movement , actions and reactions which have definitive “momentum” which can be then manipulated for ki'atari. Suffice to say that one has the kiai applications and the aiki applications in any of these things. You may have heard that ki'atari (ki-ate) also means to strike with 'ki' itself, and by no other thing? These examples of iki'oi help to clarify that (among other things) “striking with 'ki' (alone)” is very much manipulation and trickery. One time, my instructor was confronted by a man who's intentions were dubious, and in the course of his assault, my teacher purposefully stepped aside, doing an adaptation of kūki (“empty air”) and the aggressor ended up lunging straight into a spanish bayonette plant (long stiff broad-bladed leaves that end in wicked long black thorns), the thorns of it quickly convinced the man not to pursue that course of action (but to instead seek out some medical attention.) My instructor never said a word and never touched him at all. HE ONLY WATCHED THE WHOLE THING... then just walked away resuming conversation as if it never happened.

Beyond all of this is the subject of sakki 殺気 which is (from this perspective) to be able to tell when another intends to harm you. Or when another can tell that you intend to harm them. Largely, sakki is both to be able to tell from body language and conduct that another is wanting to attack, as well as being able to tell by means of what is perhaps best described as a “psychic premonition”. But even here, there's nothing 'psychic' about it, since the fact is that the stated examples of sakki in the record clearly indicate that it is recognition of the formation of an intent or thought to attack and kill – which can fairly easy be detected when one knows what body cues, voice cues and activity cues to look for. This figures into the subject of ki'atari too: suffice to say that, on one hand it is to prevent the usage of ki'atari against yourself (a kind of opposite direction application of the knowledge) whilst on the other hand, for a master of such skills – it can be your own application of ki'atari seeing that you manipulate the person emanating the sakki into attacking early or late (thereby throwing him off and doing ki'atari thereby.) Finally, from all of this one can tell that ki'atari (ki-ate) is not so much about literal or straight forward brute force and conduct in defense. It is the mechanics and methodologies beyond the mere physical mechanics of brute force. The manipulation of behavior and manipulation of other subtleties and intracacies. For example, one hears tales of certain Japanese masters whom defeat such animals as wild bears by means of 'ki-ate' attacks. Ki'atari is really very simple but tricky techniques and methods. I think “tricky” is the key adjective here, and considering the the usual definition of 'ki' is by our school called a 'genki' definition (e.g., a bullshit snowjob meant to mislead the receiver) one can see why we might say that ki'atari is all about being “very tricky”. To help illustrate this point further, and to help illustrate the need for proper execution of device and timing: the examples of ki'atari used against bears often sites that the bear's breathing and movements were watched and in certain timing with their breathing, the kiai shout was uttered. So timing, presentation and device are three crucial elements. I might point out that this is true also of the genki definition used to describe 'ki' energy, executed wrong and improperly timed (botched presentation), the genki attempt to distract by definition will not easily succeed. But fortunately, this genki definition is so commonly known that most people who believe in 'ki' energy... actually believe that definition. It is all: Presentation (表現 hyōgen), misdirection (筋違い suji-chigai), manipulation (手捌き te-sabaki), initiative (先手 sente) and timing (拍子 hyoshi) along with distancing (間合 ma'ai).

Conclusionary remarks: all of the yōshin schools are notorious for their emphasis on the development, employment and manipulation of 'ki' energy, and I hope that from this lengthily and detailed description, entered as the ki'atari (ki-ate) part of the kiai wo kakeru entry, you have learned that:

#1) There is really nothing 'mystical' about this subject, the standard presentations and descriptions of 'ki' and ki-waza (ki tricks) are a smokescreen to distract from and increase the effectiveness of the ki-waza themselves.

#2) Ki () and the ki-waza applications refers to the subtle mechanics, subtle energies and subtle forces being exploited to down a threat or an opponent. As such, the term myōjutsu "subtle art” is applied by the Japanese. Whereas Ki () refers to proper mechanics and dynamics of a technique, it's opposite is called Sha (?kanji?) which is both improper technique application and the result of improper technique. Ki is proper technique and the result of proper technique. Sha is incorrect technique and the result of improper technique.

#3) The yōshin schools and tradition focused not on hocus pocus bullshit in the development and practice of 'ki' energy, but instead amassed significant material and viable technique for application. Many other forms of ki-jutsu ('ki' arts) exist within these schools and tradition which were not mentioned in this manual. They are veiled in masked language and initiated symbolics that one must be able to decipher. When one knows how to do so, the material is always factual scientific known phenomenon being exploited quite cunningly. All while being hidden behind a mask of hocus-pocus bullcrap definitions that sound superstitious, flowery and strange. But this is an “open transmission” school so we speak in direct terms and not symbolics.

体中リノ大事    Tai Atari No Daiji     Important Affair of Striking the Body’

Tai-atari can also be called tai-ate but it is rare to see it called this. Difficult to explain since it has several meanings and inflections. Clashing (in-fighting), opposing forces (enemy and allied) clashing at arms, but for our purposes: it addresses the reality of the circumstance of combative encounter or threat. Direct confrontation and contact, the reality of two parties or forces engaged in physical assault [ one against another], the reality of facing and mixing it up in the “body” of the encounter, circumstance or event. It is fairly important not to contain the definition of tai atari to merely physical clashing of two bodies in self defense or combat. It goes far beyond that mere (and obvious) fact of circumstance. This is a yōshin school we are talking about here (shinden yōshin ryū) and this terminology and concept comes from the yōshin martial tradition. It's broadest and base meaning is that of facing and engaging (in) the body of the conflict/event/episode/circum- stance” Actually the term 'tai-atari' is a common language term that means “to nail it all” or “to succeed in and beyond it all”, it can also be said to mean (as a language term) something like “to pull off the whole thing” but I think it's easier to explain it by the definition “to nail it all”. This is the true meaning of the term and concept, it actually doesn't mean clashing one against another, but it does mean to clash or act within the body of an episode, event or circumstance (even if that be a fight for life and limb.) This is where most people confuse its meaning as being “to clash one against another”, it doesn't, it means to engage in the body of an event, episode or circumstance and to prevail thereover. The subject is sometimes scaled down into a mere fighting kata (bearing the same name “tai-atari”) but these kata are of little consequence to the concept itself.

If we confuse the meaning and do not maintain that perspective (of definition) it becomes increasingly unlikely that we can actually do tai-atari. Having abandoned the actual and broader definition, we are sure to fail in any attempt to carry out tai-atari. The Japanese themselves can scarcely foul up like this since it's their language and surely they know what the term means right away... but with us non-Japanese, it's easy to get confused and mis-define the concept and therefore to misconduct any attempt to do tai-atari. Most explanations of tai-atari that one encounters will fail to point out the true and broader meaning, largely due to a failure to comprehend Japanese language, and when written or expressed by the Japanese themselves – they rarely bother to spell it out for you since they naturally tend to presume that the subject matter is fundamentally understood (after all, it's a common language term and idea in their culture... why would they spell out what is already common knowledge from their perspective?!?)

Having provided the essential and actual definition then, that of “to engage in the body of an event, episode or circumstance and to prevail thereover...”, I will provide an excellent and simple example (non-combative) that will... nail it all on the head for you. I am doing tai-atari to do so, can you see what I mean? The example: Mr. So-and-so enters into initial business dealings with the party of Misters Such-and-such, as Mr. So-and-so involves himself therein it comes to a point where he realizes the ability to make significant amounts of money and accomplish significant business reputation for himself should he take certain actions. Perceiving this, he quietly proceeds to matter-of-factly execute these steps and in the course of the episode(s) must turn this way and that to pull it all off. At times, it is not that easy, and perhaps he must sacrifice certain things to make the accomplishments – but he preservers quietly not boasting or attracting undue attention to himself (lest another perceive the opportunity and take it from him) – in the end nailing the piss out of the whole thing and making good money and a decent business rep for himself. He remains quiet and matter-of-fact, even through to the other side of the episode and walks away into whatever new opportunities and circumstances arise. THIS IS TAI-ATARI to the hilt. Should one change the context to combative application (or any other context) it is tai-atari. Tai-atari is true of any context, not just combative applications. That he remains, for tai-atari, “...quiet and matter-of-fact, even through to the other side of the episode and walks away into whatever new opportunities and circumstances arise...this is zanshin. Why should one always remain quiet and matter-of-fact in all conduct? Well, for one thing (but not limited to it), should another perceive the opportunities or openings that you do... they may take the initiative (sente) and steal it away from you. You have not “nailed it all” if you tip the hand or otherwise don't properly follow through. Maybe you'll get the picture if I tell you that should one wrongfully hold that the subject of tai-atari as being merely combative context application, or even worse (to hold the scaled down definition of a mere single fighting principle , that of “clashing together”, as being the true tai-atari) then you cannot accomplish tai-atari even upon the subject of tai-atari itself. This will always see you falling short and never pulling off the whole thing. Do these explanations not seem to agree with what you believed the thing meant? Your definition then would not agree with the actual Japanese definition then – which is precisely what I have entered here in the denshō-bungaku. Tai atari means to pull it all off, to accomplish it all, to nail it all. That is precisely what tai-atari means.

I wish I could tell you more, and provide examples, but the fact is that you don't really need any. Having the proper definition and knowing that it applies to any context, condition, circumstance or event should be good enough. I could provide combative examples, but the one example above I provide contains all you need to know: go look it over carefully and think about each element and if you have sufficient martial knowledge: you will see that such things as metsuke, kuzure, kuzushi and etc are all spelled out. Furthermore, if you perceive the reality of their application outside of a combative context then you can achieve tai-atari in regard to many many things (including the subject of martial tradition as well.)

修業ノ心得    Shūgyō No Kokoroe    Knowledge of Ascetic Practise

Ascetism and Ascetic practise can be difficult to explain since not every nation held these ideas in an identical fashion -- and yet at their core they were identical concepts. Despite the usual definition of 'asceticism' ("the condition or practice of self-denial") this subject is really better defined as "power attainment". Self denial does come into play, but in this context it is more denial of (the sense of) safety and comfort. This has a very specific context and purpose (it never seeks to deny actual safety, which is then to risk unnecessary harm and injury -- damaging either the mind or body intentionally or by omission is expressly forbidden under all reasonable tradition and law. Shinto-buddhist law the same.) The purpose of the self denial in these contexts is paramilitary preparation (interpersonal). Personal paramilitary preparation as well as personal emergency preparation. One denies themself the (sense of) safety and comfort, along specific and safe lines, for the purpose of learning how to operate under adverse circumstance such as are likely to be encountered during the course of war or conflict, or otherwise if not, during immediate personal threat and danger.

Wind and rain, bright sun and heat, wet and cold, dark and silent -- such adversities as these are faced under controlled circumstances to familiarize oneself therewith. Many people have an adverse reaction to being alone, in the dead of night, out in the middle of nowhere alone. But often a soldier is asked to stand guard under these very circumstances. Or a person may find themselves thus stranded due to emergency (circumstances of personal threat or danger.) People often have an adverse reaction to being alone, in a torrential rain storm, out in the middle of nowhere alone. But a soldier may be asked to stand guard under these very circumstances. Or a person may find themselves thus stranded due to emergency (circumstances of personal threat or danger.) People might have adverse reaction to being alone, in bright unshaded sunlight and great heat during the day, out in the middle of nowhere alone. But soldiers might be asked to stand guard under these very circumstances. Or a person may find themselves thus stranded due to emergency (circumstances of personal threat or danger.) It's all about experiencing these kinds of circumstances beforehand and learning how to operate under such adverse conditions. It's not a religious practise but, believe me, when the adversity comes for real: it can become as religious as ever it gets!! So religion often is included (literal and religious formulae to which one is native are addressed because sometimes they might be required due to reaction within the adversity.) People break down and become inoperable, unable to function. This must also be addressed in Ascetic training practises: dealing with the adversity when not alone, when the others present are freaking the hell out. This is what is meant, and practised within shūgyo no kokoroe.

體意ノ論    Taii No Ron     Theory of Physical Intent [“body feeling”]

On one hand the Theory of Physical Intention is about how to interpret the katas as a fighting context, how to adapt them to actual situations, what your physical intention is within the context of the fight. And, for example, making sure that you move, act and think in accord with your physical intention. It also includes the idea of sanshin, or emotional absorbtion (a Buddhist concept), which is to say that one's emotions, thoughts, feelings, actions, movements and intentions should all be one: unified. This is the simplest and most effective explanation of this theory and concept. Beyond this, it is the same thing with the school and its methodologies, the physical intention of conduct and action. The documents spoke of the physical intention (tai'i) of the form of the school, not of the katas mind you, but of the material content and doctrines as 'form' (this word also means 'example' or 'model'.) Aligning to this intent and purpose, carrying out the model or example of conduct exhibited in the teachings of the school (in regard to the conduct of personal business and private affairs, civic duty and etc.)

技能ノ修得ノ心得    Gino No Jutoku No Kokoroe    Knowledge of being Skillful

The objective is to develop and have 明哲保身 Meitetsu hoshin wisdom and skills for self-protection. Meitetsu hoshin really means something more like 'securing oneself' or perhaps 'securing one's own needs and interests' and this is more how we understand it. In our school, and many others, this subject is definitely not limited to mere physical self defense. Really, the subject of Hoshinjutsu (self protection) itself isn't limited to this either. So the school endorses the pursuit and development of many many types of skills and experience (as some of the other web-page documents indicate.) Having various capacities and abilities is a foundational subject in budō and in the relevant vectors of society as well (and also in one's life.) After all, budō is all about having skills and knowledge pursuant to ability, don't you think? Beyond this, the strict subject of skill and ability is a matter of their being valuable and useful. One must value his/her inherent strengths and abilities to accomplish or perform a thing by, the result of valuing this is to seek training to learn new acquired skills and power. To increase one's abilities and power. However, the capacity to use these newly acquired strengths is limited in value compared to the fine skills and abilities already possessed. There are the "general skills" of the martial arts. Then there are skills which can be obtained by special efforts and are the "special skills" of the martial arts. So then, skills can be divided into two categories:. General skill levels and special skill levels. General skills are common occurrence skills, stuff that most people have some degree of proficiency at. Special skills, sometimes called 'specialized skills', are something that most people do not have any proficiency at. Special skills can be learned through education and apprenticeship, or they might be the bestowal of nature and inclination. In such case as by natural inclination, it is considered a violation not to pursue and perfect these skills for deployment..Every field that exists in life has both sets of skills, general and specialized skills. In regard to fighting techniques (martial arts) it is considered flawed to try to deploy developing skills, one should only deploy existing and reliable skills. Similarly, the specialized skills should not be demonstrated too much or they become recognized and surely an opponent will find a way around them. This shows the need for special considerations in regard to certain types of skills and abilities. What is this subject similar to? The national security of a country: one cannot be too obvious about certain things or let out certain secrets. So we see that this consideration has a private vector.

武術必勝ノ論    Bujutsu Hisshō No Ron    The Theory of Martial Arts Certain Victory

This addresses the concept of certain victory, how to achieve certain victory, both over any enemy or any adversity -- specifically through the principles and path of Budō. The primary means is by having gained knowledge through training and study with which to develop skills. In short, preparation (junbi.) It is an active thing, not an intellectualism or abstraction. However, the common mistake of the unlearned is to presume that all victories must be physical, brutal or at least precise. Victory is victory and there are many kinds. Success is success and there are many kinds. Limiting one's view, perspective or understanding means that these many forms will not be recognized and therefore become unobtainable (decreasing the likelihood of attaining victory at all.) There is to be cunning, to be shrewd, to be of sharp wit and intelligent. A primary doctrine of the school teaches the Gogyō P Five elemental destruction and creation cycles to help clarify that either victory or defeat have about five developmental stages, and as events do not really end but instead continue on developing into new events and circumstances. Thus a victory might deteriorate into a defeat if not maintained, likewise, an immediate defeat can be turned into a victory. Perhaps you will understand if I say that, when an event is in the fire stage, water douses fire and such tactics used to re-secure. When a thing is in the metal stage, fire melts metal and so those tactics are applied. Etc etc. In conclusion, many of the principles and subjects within this denshō-bungaku cover the necessary elements to afford the very bujutsu hisshō martial arts victory or success of which this entry speaks – and because these are but martial traditions, it is not restricted to combative contexts, the material itself indicates that these principles and subjects hold true in any vector of life itself (because that medium is the substance of the martial traditions themselves.)

試合ニ可打塩合ノ事    Shiai Nika Uchi Shiogō No Koto The Matter of the Worth of Exchanging Blows in Shiai

Shiai is the Japanese word for combative or competitive matches or 'bouts'. Simply put, one can learn much by engaging in such bouts (whether for practice, competition or as actual bouts wherein one is truly defending himself.) It is a very reliable way to learn how to handle physical violence and how to prevail thereover. But it is also a form of dueling when it's done as dueling is (and in fact “shiai” is one of the Japanese words for the custom of dueling.) Dueling is actually no longer considered practical or advisable (it was abandoned by the martial traditions about a century to a century and a half ago.) Do not engage in dueling or what resembles dueling – this is prohibited by the martial traditions as being foolish, frivolous and unhealthy. As far as shiai 'bouts' goes, there is no contact (striking into the air alongside the body), light contact (touching but not actually hitting the body) and full contact (hitting the body with moderate but not injurious force.) Wherein contact of any kind is employed, many people wear armor or padding, or both. Weapons practise also includes using a weapon constructed of flexible material (such as bamboo slats covered with leather hide. If not covered with leather and contact occurs the bamboo will definetly cut flesh.) Full contact practice affords better results since one can easily see and experience near-conflict like results. Emotional and personal control is paramount, but experiencing one's emotions and reactions in this practice are useful since they will certainly be encountered in an actual defense. Shiai practise is an attempt to familiarize oneself with the intricacies of physical contest and assaultive encounter, and in a safe and controlled fashion. If one is to develop any actual skill at self protection one must have engaged in some form of shiai (even if as 'bouts' of actual self defense.)

勝法ノ大事    Kappo No Daiji     The Important Matter of Resuscitation of the Fight

This is a simple subject, a method of gaining victory when the fight or circumstance are not going your way. This kind of circumstance can occur, they are very common. One needs to have some way of redeeming the potential loss. The first key is to realizing that no event is really isolated in time or space: it will continue, he will be re-encountered. This being the case one definitely needs to have prepared for continuation (it is certain to have a continuation.) To resuscitate the fight or situation: one must regain composure and prepare to collect the debt, remove the thorn from your side and stop the bleeding (that the situation has led to) by removing yourself to a safe position and taking note of what is available and not available. The intention is to put an end to the situation, becoming the originator of your own victory or success. Hang the fucker out to dry and put him under great heat. Drown him in it. Take the situation by the collar and bask in the shadow of your own victory or success after the fact. Fundamentally it teaches a simple and logical five-part formula: 遁走 tonsō -- escape, retreating even a short distance or completely; 取直 tori na'oshi -- regroup and regain composure; 出欠 shukketsu -- taking attendance (assessment of surroundings), 切返 kiri gaeshi – counterstrike and 残心 zanshin – any relevant follow through.

当身ノ心得    Atemi No Kokoroe    Knowledge of Combative Physiology

This is how to exploit and make use of the kyusho and certain other things, sometimes kyusho are called 'vital points' and other times they are called 'attack points', depending upon how one employs them. In the shinden yōshin ryū, the standard takagi-kukishinden names for the kyusho are used (as one would find in Judo and Aikido, as well as many ryuha of jujutsu.) For the most part, kyusho are: 1) Vital organs, exterior. 2) Vital organs, interior. 3) Musculature (especially junctions of tissue) 4) Nerve courses 5) Skeletal structures. Attacking any of these has specific ways, many can be attacked more than one way -- these methods and techniques are also described, or at least listed, in the sections following this one. The study of combative physiology and to some extent, combative psychology (as relevant to human reaction during assault) are one and the same, so it involves more than merely addressing the kyusho. It is literally to study ways and methods of attacking and exploiting human weaknesses (physical, emotional, psychological and intellectual.) It also, by necessity, must address how to do so when the foe is wearing body armor or protective clothing. Or is at a distance and cannot be reached. The subject of Atemi no kokoroe is literally “knowledge of how to attack” and hence it definitely addresses the various ways of successfully attacking (even preemptively.) It's about how to attack, not how to hit a guy. A quick review of the school katas demonstrate just this idea: oikage-dori (how to attack a guy from behind), kaigo kudaki (how to attack a guy who's attacking you from behind) and etc. They usually do show this sort of thing (attack the guy from behind) and it's opposite (attack the guy who's attacking you from behind.)

気心論    Kigokoro No Ron     Theory of Disposition

Military, combative or life dispositions and the relevant disposition of the enemy or threat as well as one's own allies or troops. Paramilitary dispositions of the civic authorities and the relevant disposition of the rivalric criminal element or threat and one's own police forces. Personal dispositions and the relevant disposition of the enemy or threat and one's own household or party members. The term "disposition" is defined by the dictionary as:  "the Usual mood or temperament. Habitual inclination or tendency. Physical characteristic or tendency..The power or liberty to control, direct, or dispose."  So Kigokoro-no-ron, the "theory of dispositions" means how to recognize disposition (i.e; tendencies and inclinations) and how to exploit them. How to control disposition (one's own and that of others.) This entire subject has many uses in life, it's great for one's private life and judging matters by, determining courses of action and etc.

陰陽強弱ノ論    Inyō Kyōjyaku No Ron    Theory of the Strength of Cosmic Dual Forces

This is a study and address of the differences and characteristics of duality and the characteristics of dual objectivity. The difference between male and female, between male role and female role. The characteristics of, and differences between light and darkness, day and night, etc etc. For example, this includes the facts of nocturnal features in nature as opposed to those creatures which are not nocturnal. How to recognize and exploit the features and characteristics of duality in nature and it's conduct. The difference between operating during the day and at night. The difference between the way a female operates and the way a male operates. The theory address three 'objects': the positive 'polarity' the negative 'polarity' and the feild or area between the two (by some accounts this is called 'neutrality'. In some other contexts, this is called 'interaction' or 'exchange' instead of 'neutrality' but that is neutrality which has been filled by the interaction and exchange of the male and female aspect, otherwise called the positive and negative 'polarity'. ) So there are three places or characteristics which actually get addressed: the 'negative', 'positive' and the 'neutral'. This is how the objects are addressed when learning how to recognize and exploit the differences between male and female roles, for example, the interaction between both roles produces a third thing, the product occupies what the theory calls 'neutrality'. It is a separate item itself produced by the exchange of both parties. The same is true of day and night, this relationship has 'dusk' and 'dawn' in the 'neutral'.    The most important aspect of this entire subject, as addressed in the martial arts, usually gets ignored completely by western martial artists: the defender and the foe, uke and tori (uchidashi and shidashi). The interchange and exchange between these two, the difference between the attacker and his motivations and the defender and his own motivations. Recognizing truth from fiction, realizing the truth in an exchange. The first and most obvious use of Inyō Kyōjyaku No Ron.

一心ノ心法ノ論    Isshin No Shinpō No Ron    Theory of the Core Method of Single Mindedness

The subject of addressing things whole heartedly, not with division of intent or feeling. Action or conduct. It teaches us that to approach in a divided fashion is to waste effort and energy. It is antithetical to achievement and accomplishment to approach with divisionary thinking, feeling, intent or action. That is why it's called a 'core' method. The object is to ascertain victory or success, this objective must be approached whole heartedly. Ultimately, division is self-defeating and hinders the potential accomplishments along all relevant lines. Whether approaching budō, or some other aspect of life -- wholeheartedness.

奥入ノ弁    Okuiri No Wakimae    Distinguishing the Level of 'Entrance into Secrets'

There are three ranks of involvement in our school, Shōden no tachi (Initial transmission level), Chūden no tachi (Middle transmission level) and Okuden no tachi (Inner transmission level). Okuden no tachi is sometimes referred to as Oku-iri (Entrance into secrets; Entrance into the interior) and when it would have been issued by Japanese standards it is called Oku-yurushi. Another common way of referring to these as levels of induction and experience is: (1) Te hodoki -- Initiation, (2) Kaishi -- commencement, (3) Oku-yurushi -- confiding in the secrets. In this sense, it's not the same, these are levels of induction and experience, not rank or title. If I understood the Japanese customs correctly, okuden no tachi is not quite the same thing as oku-yurushi, an oku-yurushi is certified and has learned even the hiden (whereas an okuden no tachi is not and has not.) But this does not constitute a fourth rank or title, instead, okuden no tachi is considered the first half of the relevant rank and upon oku-yurushi the rank and title is then completed.

These three ranks in the school, Shōden no tachi, Chūden no tachi and Okuden no tachi are all three heavily documented by Japanese standards. These customs and practices of the school were and where relevant still are emulated more or less directly by the American dojos and branch schools, but not transliterated in our conduct. That is to say that we received and give documents comparable to what the Japanese gave, but the documents were no attempt to look or feel “Japanese” and were always in English or at least all material content translated to our English (it was impossible to mistake these documents for anything other than American martial arts documents – no attempt to falsify or look at all like 'bonifide' Japanese documentation was ever conducted.) We had and often still use American English document equivalents to the Japanese budō documents – in fact I may post templates to this web-site of our common class documents, should any of these be of use to the others who practice or want to take up this system of jujutsu. Of course, as any reasonable person knows, these American documents are of no consequence to the Japanese themselves, they are not received as anything other than what they are – the documents of an American martial arts school to it's members. But this is natural (what else would they be received as?)

What documentation is used? There are a variety of what the Japanese call Menjō 免状 diploma certificates and licences that indicate what has been learned, when the rank was achieved and entered into the instructors records, etc. On average there are five such Menjō (in our case, American certifications equal thereto) up to the rank of Shōden no tachi (among these would be the Shōdan and Nidan belt rank certificates plus three Menjō / Certificates marking the transferal of the Jujutsu kihon sanpō, the transferal of the Shōden no kata geiko, and finally the bestowal of the rank itself Shōden no tachi.) Also, certain teaching documents were given along the way through each of the three ranks of the school. The material content of these, in an expanded form, is what these web-pages of mine were based off. They contained elements of the teachings of the school. At Chuden no tachi likewise, but also a Mokuroku / Curriculum listing document containing all material up to the chuden no kata geiko. So chūden no tachi has about three or four documents marking it (depending upon what rank one had at the time, dan certificates would be considered a relevant part of the package of documents.) Okuden no tachi has menjō / certificates likewise but the Oku-yurushi is itself a separate document class when that is the subject of address. The full mokuroku / curriculum listings and certain other school documents are given at oku-yurushi. The American dojo schools of course emulated these practices with English equivalent documents and the regular belt ranks, but of the inferior mudansha ranks (below blackbelt) we have never used more than four belt colors: white, green, brown and black (with tips placed on each of these.) Many instructors these days at fifth dan or greater will sometimes wear red and white blocked belts, especially at formal functions such as martial arts meets – but this wasn't common in our school until after 1984. Our belt ranking customs came from the original practices learned by our instructors while stationed in Okinawa, at the time (1950s-mid 1970's) nobody really used more colors than these belts because the Japanese didn't. It was the Korean fighting arts that introduced and propagated the rainbow belt system.

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