This year's Theme

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The theme of 2014

Shin In Bu Dou

There are many ways to interpret these words or characters, it all depends on your understanding and life experience, but simply put it might say 'Inspired Martial Leading', or 'Spirited Warrior Guidance'. In more depth we find the divine rhythm of words pointing the way for the warrior.


god, deity; mind, soul


rhyme; elegance; tone


martial, military arts, chivalry.

Bu or Mu refers to the warrior, Bushi or Musha


leading, guiding.

The theme of 2013


Ken is the first element of the theme for 2013. Ken 剣 (also 劍, 劔, 劍 or 剱) means sword. The word Kenjutsu, ‘sword skill’ is derived from the word Ken, the straight double edged sword that is from an earlier period than the Tachi or Katana.
The Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (草薙の剣) is a famous Japanese sword, one of the three imperial regalia of Japan.
The name literally means grass cutting blade.

Log february 10 2013: 
Today we had good training with Soke, more Ken and Taijutsu.
Soke now actually did refer to the Kusanagi no Tsurugi.
And a huge wooden ceremonial Buddhist sword was brought
into the Dojo and Soke made a drawing of one after class as well,
as you can see in the picture. The wooden sword stands behind the scroll,
only part of the Dordje or Kongo of the handle can be seen.
This sword in general symbolizes cutting through ignorance.

Soke also said: "If you do not understand the workings of nature,
then you will not be able to do this.
Forget the sword. The Ken is part of the body.

Feiko Mintjes, Noda, 10th of february 2013

Today, Maurice smoothly passed the Sakki test for his fifth dan 
under my sword in the Honbu Dojo with Soke present. 
Right after the testing Soke declared that "now we have, 
in Bujinkan, practised so many weapons, the Ken, 
the straight double edged sword known worldwide 
serves as the key to connect, in oneness, 
our mutual traditions, now to be globally shared". 

He further stated: " In order to be able to use the Ken we need to 
withdraw from our strength. This is the reason the Ken 
is the theme for this year"

Before Soke also expressed that the Ken stands symbol 
for creating unity. The Ken cuts on both sides. 
When wielded by the right hand it creates peace. 
It is ours to choose which side we're on. 
It is a message to all Shihan. 

Both strength and weakness are part of being a true warrior.

Feiko Mintjes, Noda, the 8th of February, 2013

The theme of 2012




"To be true to the essence" 

 - the most essential point -

"One must protect the essence of all things"

神龍要護 Shin Ryou Kaname Mamoru - To stay true to essence of the divine dragon 

Written by Soke at the Bujinkan Hombu Hatsu Keiko on January 10th 2012.

神 しん Shin

Divine, mind, soul

龍 りょう  Ryou

Dragon, imperial

要 よう、かなめ Kaname / Yo

Essence, main point

護 ゴ、まもる Mamoru / Go

To be true to, Protect

Ken (sword) and Kihon Happo will be studied through the balance point of Kaname. 

Ken is a general term for a blade, any kind of sword. 

Kaname , stands for main point, pivot or center-line, it could refer to the essence, or pivoting point in the Kukan. 

Soke compared this to the point that holds the leaves of a folding fan together, (Sensu 扇子)

This years theme also involves the concept of Futsu (経津).

Ken 剣 (剱, 劔, 劍, 劒) sword, saber, blade

Kaname 要 pivot, the main point, the key (to), as ‘You’ it stands for main point, essence, aim, secret, need.

The concept of Kaname, if calling it a concept is about the essential point that could be taken for the aim, a focus point, but it is not about the mind and can not be grasped by it. It is like trying to capture essence. Pivoting around it it is like the eye of the tornado where there is no movement and everything around moves around the center. There is not such a thing as something more essential than anything else. There is no more or less in essence. Essential is essential, essence is essence. It can not be seen by the naked eye. Kaname is connected with Shin Shin Shin Gan, Divine Heart, Divine Eye. The essence can be perceived by the heart. The point is that what could be called essential is not a set point. In technique, in time and space, this point can change from one moment into the next. It changes as we change, this may be essential...

Feiko Mintjes

Sunday February 12th 2012

The theme of 2011

丰  Kihon Happo  

Kihon Happo is the Source

With Kihon Happo it all starts. It is the fundamental and the offspring, the root, the source from where clear water sprinkles to the surface. Kihon is the fundamental, and it is infinite. Happo meaning 8 directions could indeed be understood as infinite, in our case an endless expression of the Taijutsu of Ninpo. Kihon is like the center, Happo like free movement in all directions. Kihon is the seed where Happo is the flower.
Soke referred to Kihon Happo as a tree, once firmly rooted in the earth its branches reaching for all directions, like the Henka of Ninpo Taijutsu, growing steadily with the change of the seasons, every ring leaving a trace of years foregone. 
The movements of Kihon Happo are natural movements. The character for Hon can mean the root of a tree. Hon can also literally mean ‘the present’. There is the sanshin of past, present and future.
The Kihon Happo that may stem from the past is to be practised with the present in mind. 
Kihon Happo has many layers.
source: FM Shiki 9 - 2008

Kihon Happo in 2011
Soke wrote 'Kihon Happo' in different sets of Kanji and made it the theme for 2011. The following translations give an idea of what this year's theme might be about. Whatever meaning you extract from it is what is in your understanding, and the source providing the information. 
Kihon Happo did not change. It is our understanding of Kihon Happo. Life did not change. It is our understanding of it, while living and experiencing, that changes.
Kihon Happo could mean anything when moving away from the source. When moving towards the source, it is unquestioned. And yet there is the constant element of natural change as we are in the process, whereas the origin, the inner self, the essence, the inner soul or the source all stems from, stays unmoved, untouched. Nature, everchanging in appearance, ends in a new beginning, and it is this process we tend to call the cycle of life.

Kihon Happo  

 Ki - mysterious

 Hon - source or root (of a tree), current

 Ha - beginning (Sho), origine

 Pou - grow/bountiful 

Kihon Happo  

 Ki - season ending, last age

 Hon - turn over, change 

 Ha - beginning, new.

 Pou - collapse, die 

The theme of 2010


Rokkon Sho Jou 

"Purification of the senses through laughter"

Soke altered the characters changing the meaning of the traditional Shugendo concept 六根清浄

Rokkon Sho Jou - "purification through the detachment of the six senses"

In the Shugendo tradition Rokkon 六根 in Rokkon Sho Jou stands for the six sences and Sho Jou 清浄 is about purity, purification. Rokkon Sho Jou  六根清浄 thus refers to the purification of one’s self through the detachment of the six senses: vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and perception (awareness/consciousness).

It is said that by refining the 5 senses, from those 5 the sixth sense will develop.

"Rokkon Sou Jou has nothing to do with Shugendo practice. It has more to do with living and being able to smile which, incidentally, is a natural consequence of forgetting about Budo.”

Changing the kanji for Roku 六 it could  mean ”Regal Dignity”, eventhough I'm not sure about this translation.  Kon is written as 魂 Tamashii, or ” Soul “.

The Kanji used by Soke for Shou 清 is written as 笑 Shou (Warau) , or “ Laugh/Smile”.

It could also mean "blooming in full", jolly, funny or even "ridicule".

The Kanji used for Jou 浄 is written as  and translates as “ pure, clear, being cleansed or purified “. It also refers to "noble" or "innocent". And eventhough "it has nothing to do with it", the character Soke chose for Jou is also used for the name of paradise in Japanese Buddhism 淨土 Jou Do, the pure land. Perhaps a coincidence?

Simply put: Purification of the senses through laughter.

"Rokkon Sou Jou".... " being able to smile" ... "a natural consequence of forgetting about Budo.”

"...forgetting about Budo."