For 50 years a small revolution has taken place in our modern world. We are moving towards the infinitely small. We miniaturize everything. Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said that his biggest mistake was to imagine computers occupying more and more space. Instead, they have become miniaturized to the point of holding in one hand (your smart phone). The engines of the cars have shrunk while gaining power. Medicine is moving towards nanotechnology, using micro-vehicles to bring medication to targeted locations. Everything becomes smaller.
Some areas have not followed this trend. Martial arts are part of that. In ancient times, one sought to go unnoticed. We minimized the gestures of defenses to the maximum so as not to attract attention. A thief assaulted us, a quick and discreet strike at the throat was enough to bring down the aggressor. Nowadays, most martial arts practitioners would use great gestures that, unconsciously, are associated with power and tend too often to impress the audience. They would chain several strikes rather than leave the scene letting the aggressor catch his breath. They want to witness their victory.
The more one moves along the path of the budo, the more we realize that our gestures become minimalist. If the opponent tries to impress us, rather than take a fighting position, we will calmly look at him without flinching (Fudoshin). No more need to force as a devil to neutralize the attacker. No need for large acrobatic movements to avoid an attack, we just move the thickness of a sheet of paper (kami no e). No more aggressive mimicry to discourage the opponent, one shows oneself vulnerable using kyojutsu, this art of giving a false reality to the adversary. No need for big keys to successfully project the aggressor, a simple twist on his wrist, twist that passes almost unnoticed and which will create an imbalance likely to cause the aggressor to fall by himself.
Instead of making great demonstrative gestures, we will simply retreat to the limit of the attack of our opponent in order to make it overflow of his movement (Yoyu). If the opponent strikes too hard, he will move at the last second causing him to get lost in an empty space (kukan). Then, when he is positioned as desired, with a simple press of a finger in the right place he will be brought to the ground (kyusho). If one is to hit him, what seems like a single attack will be several (Ikken hasso).
Of course, if he rushes at us like a devil, we can simply pivot by resting on his arm (kaname), easily deviating him from his target. And if he uses a knife, our mind will position itself in mode (muto taijutsu), we will become a weapon ourselves. And, using the (ko sakki), we will be able to know a fraction of a second before he moves, his intention to attack us. Then we will continue like a stone bouncing on the water (Ishitobashi) thus not leaving our opponent time to see what has just happened.
And all this will be done without our having to make a great gesture. In this way, most people around will not even have an idea what just happened. Small movements for a victory without glory and without witnesses. And you can you defend yourself without grandiose gestures?
Shihan Bujinkan Quebec