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Monthly Archives: August 2014

ARUKI

It is said that for centuries in Japan, a warrior’s method of walking was practiced early on by treading on rice paper. In the case of the ninja, if one could walk without tearing the rice paper, it was believed that he could walk anywhere without making a noise. For all warriors practicing the arts of combat though, the rate and rhythm of walking was to be neither be slow nor fast. One was required to walk as in daily life, without rupture. One always had to be centered, neither too slow, neither too rapid, neither too short, nor too far. Erratic rhythm in walking would show that one was surprised or unnerved. Slowness showed that one was afraid to face the enemy. Whatever the situation, a warrior was taught to never be destabilized.
Thus, it was about a walk which would not betray a warrior’s level of knowledge in the techniques of combat. This was of extreme importance, because to know how to pass unperceived in order to be able to observe the movements of a potential enemy has always been an essential aspect of the practice of the techniques of combat.

YAKURO

“The purpose of martial arts is to stop injustice, thus you must never have the intention to take up arms. A peaceful spirit is of utmost importance in order to have the proper mindset to learn fencing. To be a swordsman is to be a lethal weapon; the most fortunate scenario would be to never have to use your martial skills in your lifetime. It is permissible to use your martial skills with justifiable reason, but you must not speak ill of other schools of fencing and you must not boast of your own sword-fighting skills to people who do not know the art.”

– SAITO YAKURO (1798 – 1871): 4th Generation Headmaster of Shintō Munen-ryū – Edo Den