From 無刀捕り(Mu Tou Dori ) to 無闘捕り

Having returned to Japan after spending some time training in the yogic arts in India, it is wonderful to see old friends and my martial arts master, Hatsumi Sensei.  How fortunate we are to be able to train with living masters, whose presence can be as a great fire.  In Eastern thought, fire is the element charged with the power of transformation.  It has the power to transmute the other elements and bring vast change.  Perhaps you have felt the fire of a great master?

The common Characters for Mu Tou Dori are 無 (not,no,) 刀 (sword) 捕り(to trap, catch) and is often translated as unarmed sword trapping/defense. It is perfectly reasonable  to translate it in this manner.  And in the beginning of our training journey, it is natural to be concerned with the dynamics and techniques of taking a sword unarmed. But as we progress on our path, and our feeling of the art deepens, perhaps our Mu Tou Dori couldImage transform to 無 闘 捕り。No Fight Catching.  A brilliant play on the Chinese characters by Hatsumi Sensei.

As we progress perhaps we should seek this Mu Tou Dori feeling in not only defense against the sword but as a guiding principle in our art and heart.  This idea of the Mu Tou feeling is essential part of Hatsumi Sensei`s teaching and one that is crucial for all practitioners to aspire.  From “No Sword Trapping” to “No Fight/Struggle” and perhaps we can change trapping to more of an image of enveloping or wrapping your opponent in that intangible yet undeniable presence or spirit.   When this takes root in you, it is as the dew drop that returns to the ocean.  You may start spontaneously dancing!

 

 

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~ by goshinarts on April 17, 2013.

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