Fudo-Myo-o Shugendo /Shinden Fudo Ryu

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Shugendō (修験道 ) is an ancient Japanese religion in which enlightenment or oneness with kami is obtained through the study of the relationship between Man and Nature. Shugendō literally means "the path of training and testing." It centers on an ascetic, mountain-dwelling lifestyle and incorporates teachings from Koshintō, Buddhism and other eastern philosophies including folk animism. Shugendo practitioners are the most direct lineage descendants of the ancient hijiri of the eight and ninth centuries The focus or goal of shugendō is the development of spiritual experience and power.

Shugendō (also spelled Shugendo) can be loosely translated as "path of training to achieve spiritual powers." Shugendō is an important Kami-Buddha combinatory sect that blends pre-Buddhist mountain worship, Kannabi Shinkō 神奈備信仰 (the idea that mountains are the home of the dead and of agricultural spirits), shamanistic beliefs, Shintō animism, ascetic practices, ChineseYin-Yang mysticism and Taoist magic, and the rituals and spells of Esoteric Buddhism in the hope of achieving magical skills, medical powers, and long life. Practitioners are called Shugenja 修験者 or Shugyōsha 修行者 or Keza 験者 (those who have accumulated power) and Yamabushi 山伏 (those who lie down in the mountain). These various terms are typically translated into English as ascetic monk or mountain priest. As a general rule, this sect stresses physical endurance as the path to enlightenment. Practitioners perform seclusion, fasting, meditation, magical spells, recite sutras, and engage in austere feats of endurance such as standing/sitting under cold mountain waterfalls or in snow. Another particular practice of Shugendō devotees is to set up stone or wood markers , Hide 碑伝 along mountain trails, presumably to leave proof of their mystical journeys up the mountain. There are also precise procedures the practitioner must observe when entering into any sacred mountain space (Jp. = Nyūzan 入山 or Sanpai Tozan 参拝登山), with each stage consisting of a specific mudra 確認印 (Jp. = Kakunin-in or hand gesture with religious meaning), mantra 真言 and waka 和歌

SHIDEN FUDO Shinden Fudô Ryû (the Immovable Heart School) 神伝不動流打拳体術

Shinden Fudo Ryu is one of the nine martial traditions in Bujinkan Ninjutsu. The origins of this art date back to the mid-twelfth century when the founder of Shinden Fudô Ryû, Izumo, learned Chinese Kempo boxing. As a result of being on the losing side of a battle, Izumo fled to the Iga province of Japan. It was there that he expanded on his Chinese Kempo training and developed Shinden Fudô Ryû into a formalized martial discipline. Elements of Chinese Kempo can still be seen in many of the techniques practiced today.

The Principles of Shinden Fudô Ryû
There is a twofold meaning to the “Nature” of Shinden Fudô Ryû. First, there is the secret principle of the school, the “Principle of Nature.” Instead of building a dojo and then training, students are taught to use nature to make the body strong. The legs and the hips are conditioned first. Then, rocks and trees are used to toughen the fists. Trees are excellent training partners for practicing dojime (body choke) and various strikes and kicks. Body throws can be practiced by bending supple trees. Rolling and falling on uneven ground with rocks and sticks provide a realistic training environment and help to teach situational awareness.

Shinden Fudô Ryû also uses “Nature” to emphasize the importance of moving in a natural way, without power or force. All of the techniques in this school (and the others in the Bujinkan Ninjutsu system) are practiced without utilizing physical strength as a means to overcome an opponent. The techniques are successful by using angles, distance and timing. Striking and kicking are done from a natural posture with no set-up or telegraphing. They should take the opponent by surprise from a blind angle.

There are no set kamae (stance, posture) in Shinden Fudô Ryû, with the notable exception of Shizen no kamae (natural posture), which holds no fixed form. A Characteristic of this Ryû can be found in its recognition of natural style as the only posture of defense. However, in reality, a person imagines a posture of defense in his mind and places himself on guard. As nothing in nature is fixed, so it should be with one’s movement. Nature is comprised of moment to moment changes, and these natural body changes become the kamae.

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Mornings, Daytime, Evenings, Week days, Weekends

HOW LONG: 1 Hours

LEVEL: Beginner


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