Thomas Edison once wrote, “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.” When I look back to the start of my training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, restlessness and discontent were a major part, and still are. My first day of training was extremely challenging, as was my most recent day of training.
All training starts off with basic fundamentals, and in the Bujinkan it’s the Kihon and Sanshin. When I first observed Jeff demonstrating these movements, they looked quite simple. Ok, he stepped back, put his left arm up, moved his opponent a little, stepped in with his right foot, chopped his opponent on their neck sending them flying to the floor. Little did I know there are about twenty other things going on in between those five little movements that I did not pick up on. As time went on, I was able to pick up more and more of those subtle movements. Now, applying them is just as hard as seeing them. This is the restlessness and discontent of the art. I have heard Jeff say, “I can think of something in my head that’s badass, but when I physically apply it, it just doesn’t work.”
I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a martial arts documentary about the Bujinkan. I was able to learn about Jeff’s journey in this art, although not exact, it was somewhat linear to mine.
Training in the Bujinkan has become part of my life. It has helped me realize that everything takes time, and progression is a natural and necessary part of life. It’s much more than learning how to defend yourself and protect others. In the beginning it was all about the physicality and brutality of the art, now it has transitioned into the game of life. These are truly important ideals that I never thought I would obtain through a martial art. These are things that will resonate throughout the rest of my life, my journey.
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