What is important for us beginners

Articol de Ryo Onishi, Bujinkan Shidoshi – Shishiku Dojo, London, UK

First of all let’s focus on rolling/Ukemi (Taihen-jutsu). I believe it’s really important. Some people might think differently but if you can’t roll, you won’t be able to do Ukemi out of any of the techniques that we practice.

And second of all it is vital that you have a certain degree of flexibility. When you’ve seen the techniques you have an image of the techniques in your head. What stops you from doing it EXACTLY right is (most of the time) the stiffness of your body as well as your mind. So you need to work on your flexibility before you try anything. You don’t have to be able to do isometric stretching, but we should be able to do dynamic stretching to a certain degree. We don’t need the “Splits” per se, but we are not getting any younger. With age we tend to lose flexibility a lot so please work on that.

Thirdly you need to be fit. I know what we do shouldn’t rely on speed or power, etc. However, being fit will give you more options. So why not!

Finally, how’s your Kamae, punching, kicking and blocking? Although they might look simple to you, to do them PRECISELY right is very hard. Everything has to have “body” behind it and have to have good “posture/structure” as well. Do not need power.

And also it’s important to:

  1. Keep your spine straight and keep good posture in all circumstances.
  2. Don’t do big steps.
  3. Practice them slowly first. And when you know the movements, then you can speed up. Do not change the speed in the middle of the movements. It should stay at the same speed.
  4. If you have to use your strength to make your techniques work then it is because you are probably doing it wrong.
  5. Breathe!!! Do not hold your breath.
  6. During the technique you should always be STRUCTURELY strong.
  7. Do NOT use hip. If you have to use hip movements, that’s NOT Taijutsu!
  8. Watch the whole picture not just the punch or kick that is coming at you.
  9. RELAX!!!!

Hope these can help you in some ways. Believe in the art cos all the answer we seek is in it so keep going!


Yours in Budo,
Ryo Onishi