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Bushi Dojo

Like children

El artículo original en español lo encontrarás más abajo, el día 28 de Abril.
The original in spanish is located little lower, on April the 28th

One day in April 2005, in the afternoon in Hatsumi Sensei's home we
commented to him we would like to renew the membership licenses and some
grade diplomas for some of our students. Sensei said that would be alright,
and that it was good moment, so we went into his office. Immediately without
saying another word he reached for his personal computer - the famous well
handled files where every one of the Bujinkan's Shidoshi's information and
history is conserved. My God, I don't ever want to think what would happen
if this was lost !. Well, straightaway Sensei found my details and said to
me "Ok, juichi dan !" (that's to say, one grade up, 11th dan) and then
signaling to my partner Kim he then also bestowed upon him a further grade,
in this case 13th dan. We looked at one another with great shock. With my
precarious Japanese I politely requested in an urgent voice "Ie Ie Sensei,
kekko desu, irimasen, irimasen", something said when politely refusing a
thing you feel is not necessary. It seemed as if he was listening to rain
and then continued to write the date and new grade onto the diploma, Sensei
literally said whilst smiling and brushing my protests away like a fly with
his hand "Ok, de nada, no problem" and gave me a pat on the back.

A few days later, whilst chatting with Nagato Sensei during a break in one
of his classes, he asked me what grade one of my students had, this I
answered and a short time later he asked "well, what grade do you have?". I
explained to him that last year I achieved judan thanks to him promoting me
2 years before that and that just two days before Sensei had awarded me 11th
dan. Also that I had tried to refuse but Sensei had just ignored me. Then
Nagato Sensei fixed me with a serious look and said:

Nagato Sensei: "You must not and cannot refuse a grade given by Sensei".

Me: "But it's something we don't need, we didn't come here for this......"

Nagato Sensei: "No way !, maybe the grade isn't important to you but it is
important to the Bujinkan. The grade is a present from the Gods and you must
accept it as such. You cannot say to Sensei "irimasen"!.

Me: "I'm sorry Sensei...."

Nagato Sensei: "Don't worry. You have to accept things as they come. We are
in comparison to Sensei like children. Look Danni San, you're an 11th dan,
this means that, in Hatsumi Sensei's Budo, you're like a child of eleven
years old. And you Kim San, you're like a child of thirteen. And me? I'm a
young boy of fifteen. Ha ha ha ! Keep up with the training, you're heading
in the right direction.

This made me think of what Hatsumi Sensei said some time ago about the 15th
dans. According to Sensei in times past when you reached fifteen you where
then considered a man and could go to battle and die in combat. So when
Sensei awards a 15th dan this means that this person has reached maturity,
and is now ready for the real world. If you later die or not -figuratively
speaking- this now isn't his problem, and he will not feel remorse.

Well for my part I'm going to continue playing and enjoying my martial
childhood. And you, what are you going to do, how old are you, do you want
to come out and play with me?

Train and be happy !

Dani Esteban -Kôryu-

Translated to english by Chris Bound, Bujinkan Bushi Dojo student.
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