Jibun de narai

Jibun de narai

a message from Soke


The following is part of an interview conducted by Sean Askew with Hatsumi Sensei for the BKR's upcoming book. Sensei asked Sean Askew to get this message out to as many people as possible. He translated this very literally to keep the manner in which Sensei speaks as best way he could.

Life and death are connected. Like In-Yo ( Yin & Yang ). This is my teaching theme for the year. Like a magnet and metal, life and death are attracted to each other, always getting closer. If you are born and given a life, death is inevitable. When death comes do not be surprised or shaken. Get on the rhythm of life. Get in balance with it.
This is the theme of the year.
That is why I tell my students it does not matter how skilled one becomes in martial arts or even Ninjutsu for that matter, If one can not attain this balance or rhythm. This is the basis for the Kihon Happo! Not the forms. If you keep practicing the form it does not produce any real results. Always doing the forms is a childish way to practice. There are even times when the form can be what gets you killed. Often I hear my students argue over topics like „the correctness of this form“ or „this posture should be this way“ and such. True battle or real fights are never correct. In form or spirit. It is not about that.
If you think the opponent is strong you will naturally go and get something such as a rifle and „boom“!!! Right? Very simple isn't it?
This type of common sense or „obvious ways“ are important. This is why I teach my students;

Jiyu-ni, atarimae-ni
Jibun de narai, jibun de ikiro!

Freely, common sensically,
Learn on your own, live on your own!

Even though I have many students, I do not need them. But they still come to see me right? Because I teach them how to teach themselves. This is why they come to me. But this is very different from just making up Ryu-Ha and such. This is the real path I teach. All around me I have many strong friends from many countries. Most of them are people who had to survive wars in their own homelands. They are all the real thing. Real warriors. We understand each other on a certain level. My training with Takamatsu Sensei has made me aware of these types of people. It is like we are our own species. Even you Sean, you had to fight for your own survival on several occasions, right? Even stabbed from behind. You had courage and a keen mind to help you survive. But your poor opponent! Ha ha ha!!!!
Bad guys are always planning something devious. They are „big-idea“ people. Always coming up with some kind of con. But it is important to develop the mind to withstand these types of people, learn to perceive them. My way is to never think about anything at all. You know me, I am usually not really thinking about any one thing in particular. It is just a matter of „keep going“. This is the best way to guide your students. This is the way it is when you train with me.
When my senior Japanese students make mistakes and go astray I get on them and scold them. It is the same with all my students all over the world. I have no borders. I do not hold anything back from the non-Japanese. I do everything on a man to man basis. This is the way it has always been.
If I do not teach this way my students may be killed when the time comes. It would be very sad for me. This is why I do not teach in a strange and unnatural manner. I teach people to teach themselves. Freely.

Masaaki Hatsumi – Bujinkan Dojo Soke

From Kamaemail – May – June 2001 issue 7 volume 2