Kokoro Me No Michi – Ninkage Ryu comes to Dragon*Con

I’m supposed to give a lecture right now. I don’t do lectures. This is about mayhem. Anyone here want to see mayhem?”

A forest of hands sprang up at Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi’s question, and the fun began. Grandmaster Musashi’s demonstration included open hand techniques, weapons techniques, and blindfolded weapon techniques where he demonstrated the use of the sense he calls “feeling,” which is the awareness of space around you and the people and objects within it.

Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi began his training as a young boy in 1966 under the tutelage of his adopted father, Grandmaster Yoshiaki Musashi. When Yoshiaki Mushashi died, Sabutai inherited the title of Grandmaster from him, a title which he retains to this day. Ninkage Ryu, a complete martial arts system unto itself, includes weapon techniques, empty hand and internal arts. The Grandmaster himself has a patter reminiscent of Jerry Doyle’s Michael Garabaldi from Babylon 5—acerbic, clever and just a bit self-effacing.

Grandmaster Musashi’s primary demonstrations were the weapon techniques, primarily katana katas as well as a jo stick kata by one of the three students who were assisting, and blindfold techniques. The blindfold techniques were the most impressive to this reporter because of the fact that the grandmaster was double blindfolded and was successfully defending himself from random attacks by his students. Not only defending but counterattacking and landing what would be killing blows with the practice weapons. His final demonstration is perhaps the best part of his demonstration and I was completely floored by it.

Grandmaster Musashi’s crowd presence is great, his speeches are polished, and his techniques are incredible and really should be seen to be believed.

Author of the article

Back for yet another year of hassling celebrities, ogling anime girls and occasionally writing things, Russ Matthews is now fully entrenched in his journeyman tour of the Daily Dragon staff. Russ grew up in the wilds of central Mississippi but has managed to overcome this rather significant limitation. After moving to Atlanta in 2000, Russ immersed himself in his "geek culture" and hasn't looked back since. Besides being a chef, ranconteur, and showman, Russ has been published in several college newspapers that no one has ever heard of, a couple of equally obscure college literary magazines, and is a dedicated LiveJournal writer. Russ cites Ambrose Bierce, Spider Jerusalem, and Peter Jennings as his major journalistic idols.