We have all been hearing and reading about the new theme for this year, Kaname. The small metal pin that holds a fan together. In typical Soke fashion, he named the theme of the year as Kaname. Painted the kanji for it on a huge scroll and hung it on the wall in Hombu. The kanji he used for Kaname are the same kanji used for Shin Shin Shin Gan, what we refer to as the mind and eyes of god. Since setting the theme of the year, Soke has really not talked much about Kaname to students in hombu. As per usual, he has left us to work on the theme during the year and to experience for ourselves many little kinsho (small enlightenment or bright idea) that invariably happen as we train and ponder Kaname.

For me, its been not so much the one essential piece or thing that holds the technique (using the fan metaphor) together. Rather its what is holding the technique together at this point in time and space. Now change the time and/or space and find the next “thing” holding the technique together. I am finding out that Kaname is fluid and is dramatically influenced by both time and space. Think about our art for a moment. Soke likes to say that this is the martial are of timing. He also likes to say its the martial art of distance (space). Then consider the Kukan (space or void) that he constantly refers to.
We know that our art is constantly in motion, constantly changing, constantly in henka. So why not the Kaname?
I am interested to hear your thoughts on this. Cheers and keep going!
Phil Legare
Strength through superior training


Phil Legare

Dai-Shihan Legare is the recipient of 4 Bujinkan Gold Dragon Awards and the Bufu Ikkan lifetime award presented by Hatsumi Soke for martial arts excellence. He is the only recipient of the BuyuSho award from Hatsumi Soke recognizing his benevolent warrior spirit. Additionally, he is a combat veteran having spent more than 44 years of combined service in the USMC and the Department of Defense. Joanne Legare, Phil’s wife and a Dai-Shihan in the Bujinkan who often co-teaches at his seminars, is also the recipient of a Gold Dragon Award. Phil and Joanne lived in Japan off and on for many years. Phil is recently retired and they now reside in Hawaii.