NGC 7635: Bubble in a Cosmic Sea. Nasa Picture: 04/28/2006.
NGC 7635: Bubble in a Cosmic Sea. Nasa Picture: 04/28/2006.

After Peter’s class, our group waited in the same room for Arnaud Dai Shihan. We only moved to the other side of the curtain. Arnaud started asking “So, what do you want to learn?”. I trained with Arnaud before in France, and I had opportunity to answer this question dealing direct to my gaps months before. It is great! He has an amazing understanding of Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki, and Schools, so it is a really nice opportunity to ask to him something directly.

Someone answered him, asking for Ganseki Nage, then showed his own way to do it. Exactly, a basic technique. When someone asks for more insights about a basic technique, and we always do this, it does not mean that he or she doesn’t know how to do it. In fact, it is because there are many ways to do it, and it is very interesting ask for insights of experienced masters. When you have this opportunity, get it. Arnaud showed us many ways to do it, and ideas around Ganseki Nage.

What we describe in a post is always a small piece of what really happened. A kind of memory we have about what happened and some main concepts. In order to really get it, you have to practice with teachers in opportunities like these. In the beginning, Arnaud opened our minds to three concepts: Ganseki Nage, Ganseki Otoshi, and Ganseki Oshi. Giving us some examples, and understanding of Ganseki Oshi as Ganseki Geri (old stuff), for example. Reminding us, that we were not studying the basic form, but practicing it to make it alive, he showed us some weaknesses that our body has, in order to help us to understand Ganseki locks.

Ganseki Locks
Ganseki Locks

He also reminded us the importance of understanding how body works in order to deal with these weaknesses. Knowing these key concepts, power becomes unnecessary and we start to flow in proper way. We have to be free in our movement, and after these key points we are one step further to make it alive.  He also emphasized the importance of standing in a proper distancing that helps us to “fit” better those locks, giving us some examples regarding arm’s bones.

Making connection to “Harai Goshi”, Arnaud gave us more insights while twisting Uke’s spine and mind. He also shared his experiences with Japanese Dai Shihan (old times) about this technique, teaching us many different possibilities, and what he understood of these different perspectives.  A short class with Arnaud is an amazing time travel! You can learn about: culture, history, biomechanics, budo, martial arts, people, religion, science etc. In a very short period of time! I feel very blessed when I have an opportunity to learn from him. Of course, every experience of learning is a blessing, but what I’m mean is that it was special moment for me. It breaks my logic, always.

Brain Lobes
Brain Lobes

By the way, afterwards, he asked us to forget Ganseki. So, when the guy is not ready, the magic begins (breaking the logic). Then, he taught us more of these micro expressions that confuses our surviving reflexes through masking techniques. Giving us an overview of human brain, he gave some examples how to play with it. Also, giving examples of Hatsumi Sensei too, he showed us some situations when Uke stops facing our own attitude or Kamae (“To Ate” / “Fudo Kanashibari”, maybe?). He nicknamed as “Cosmic Ganseki”, what we were doing at that time.

“You have to be full and empty” by Arnaud Dai Shihan

Still, he taught us, but preventing us to do it in wrong situation. This kind of thing works to sensitive people (case-by-case). After all, when you ask to a lower rank uke to attack he just attacks, he doesn’t feel anything, he is not sensitive to this kind of thing. We get more hit by lower ranks, than higher ranks in this kind of practice. That’s why it doesn’t work anytime we want.

Though, he reminded that we have to be full and empty (depends on circumstances), reminding that Hatsumi Sensei often teaches it.  Also, at best, the ultimate goal is survive and not to be a very good martial artist with very good techniques. Of course, regarding the context (combat), and please do not generalize. We have to be aware of opponent’s micro expressions too. “It’s not about doing a nice technique, it is about surviving”, he said. Afterwards, he gave us fantastic examples of how to play with different parts of the human brain, using proper Kamae.

Between Shiho, Happo, Juppo Sessho, In Io, Jellyfishes, and many other examples, and connections, he ended the class. I feel very inspired watching it again!

With Arnaud after class

I would like to thank to Arnaud again for your attention sharing with us, answering questions, giving us insights, and correcting us as much as possible, even our understanding of the art and its history. For all of this great opportunity. Also, thank you. All teachers, buyu, and people involved in this event! For all teachings, supporting, and help in everything. For me, it was unforgettable experience, fantastic learning opportunity (Ichi Go Ichi E, 一期一会).

“You have to break the logic!!”
Arnaud Cousergue Dai Shihan
Paris Taikai 2015

(Bufu Ikkan)

Pedro Henrique