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bujinkan information packet
 

KIMON

Lance
version: 1.1
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SOKE SAYS...
 
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DEMON GATE

The Kimon is the demon gate of a temple at the north east point which allows both the Oni and the Kami to enter the temple grounds. How does this pertain to budo? I have been playing with Kimon through Bo-ryaku in a matter of speaking.

By shaping and exposing an opening in the battlefield, or 1v1 encounter, one can shape destruction or salvation for the opposition. I learned this opening for good or evil wasn't just about an "opening" per se but rather an "opportunity" to choose (for both you and the opponent). A crossroads. He can flee or fight you further. You can snare him or give him an out. By doing so, it made me feel as though I was not fighting the opposition, but rather allowing the encounter to go as far as it needed to on its own and allowing both people a chance to part ways alive and unharmed. ...letting the encounter have a lifespan of its own. ...allowing both the oni and kami into the opening and letting the encounter reveal which one must resolve the conflict.

I had previoulsly been looking for where the Kimon was in a waza or encounter. I have since interpreted it as part of the taijutsu and kukan. It wasn't a moment for me but rather something that lived along with the movement or waza. It was a constant throughout; from the moment tensions started to throughout the waza itself. When the oni or kami reared was different depending on the encounter and Uke as a whole. It rarely was the same twice. Interstingly enough, it was by playing within this opening, the opponent ended up harming himself if he tried to attack me further but, at the same time, was safe if he just ceased his attack and took the way out. Through opening and closing this opportunity for him, I was able to prolong and worsen the outcome.

Justice without force is impotent, force without justice is tyranny.
We must reconcile them, either by making justice strong or force just.

~ Pascal,  Pensées, 1670

This interpretation of kimon has been helping me to tie in other concepts as well. A shihan I respect once told me a while ago about not fighting your opponent...about not trying to "win". It is something I really have been trying to embody in my training on many levels. Similarly, another talented shihan said it was a turning point in his training when he began to feel his opponent's pain. Perhaps this all involves Juppo Sessho too. Either way, work to take the movement, encounter, and pain you inflict only as far as the situation dictates. Any more is wasted movement, unecessary opportunity for escalation, and cruelty.

Understand? Good. Play!
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