Message from Mark Lithgow (April 2016)


From Mark Lithgow:
“Really good training with Hatsumi sensei today!

I really liked how Phillip started the class before Sensei came. He spoke of how several people mentioned at the recent memorial event about the importance of kihon, and started the class with the Sanshin no Kata. He counted us through it, 10 times each technique, much like many of the classes in Japan in the past used to be started. The speed he counted was pretty much a standard speed that we always used to warm up to. I was a little shocked to look around the dojo and see how much trouble many people had keeping up. Several people were just standing, looking around with confused expressions.

Much of what Sensei taught today involved being ‘solid’ and strong. He likes to say “Don’t use power”, but people can take him a little too literally sometimes. What he is really saying is “Don’t use unnecessary power… Don’t use power all the time, but you always have to have (structural) strength”.

Near the end of class, after we’d been doing some sword stuff, he did a kind of chiburi technique, then, with a mischievous look on his face, licked the blade. He talked about knowing the difference in taste between male and female blood. He then went on to say that on a battlefield, you had to be able to recognise the smell of male and female blood. I translated that to the class, and after a short pause, he turned to me, with a big smile, and said “Of course I’m messing with you!”

“Don’t believe everything I say!” he said. “Believe half of what I say, but use your own judgement too!” As an example, he said that he might say “Don’t worry! This sword isn’t sharp… It’s just a training sword!” But really, it IS sharp, and you are in danger. Even though he tells you something, you have to make the final call yourself!”

Check out our member website for the latest in training from the senior-most Japanese Dai-Shihan, myself and other recognized seniors from around the world. Nagato Sensei and Noguchi Sensei are now giving me huge support for the website and we will be releasing a ton of their video training sessions over the course of the year. We just released video of both of these Dai-Shihan on our website last week that was captured during train last October. See for yourself why we are considered the very best Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and Shinken Taijutsu reference website in the world.


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.