NANBUDO is defined as an Art for the “creation of Ki energy”, an energy, which permits the harmonious union between the body and the mind, for the total realisation of man.
Nanbudo draws its principles from natural laws, for the evidence of any great reality is in accord woth a scropulous respect for universal laws. So in Nanbudo the aim is to liberate man completly from his fears and anxietes, and to make him master of desires and passions. The aim is to help him not to stop at what is the first step in the perception of forms and realities.
This flow of energy leads to a physical and mental stability. It causes healing and prevents certain illnesses prevalent in modern times such as backaches, symptoms of stress etc.
“Nanbudo abolishes in essence all forms of extrovert strength” , resumes its founder Yoshinao Nanbu in his book “Nanbudo, the Martial Art for the 21st Century”. “However, it permits the acquisition of inner strength which is confirmed by a positive attitude in our daily lives. Nature speaks to us: let us address her, and especially imitate her.”
Ki Nanbu taiso is a foundation of Nanbudo. This gymnastics (taiso) is made of ten exercises inspired by real and imaginatory elements from nature. We practice it as a dynamic warming-up exercise preparing the body for training, and a respiratory and Ki (vital energy) exercise with stimulative effects. It gives us a meditative experience of imaginatory harmonization with nature and its phenomena. In a martial comprehension it is a special kata with effective bunkai (self-defence application).
Ki Nanbu taiso is unique and one of most important creations of master Nanbu. It is a form which is common to all branches of Nanbudo: Budo ho, Kido Ho and Noryokukaihatsu ho. Regular performance of Ki Nanbu taiso is a very significant part of every Nanbudoka’s daily practice.
Ten exercises of Ki Nanbu taiso are:
Nami, the wave, symbolizes the movements of water, the power of waves, the flow of the tide.
Kaze, the wind, imitates both strong blows and breezes by swinging the body following the force of the wind.
Iwa, the rock, symbolizes the stability, both physical and mental resistivity.
Matsu, the pine, symbolizes the suppleness of the pine that bends to the force of the wind, while it doesn’t break off.
Tsuru, the heron, symbolizes the balance of the magnificent bird, its ability to fly up freely.
Hebi, the snake, imitates the dance of the snake, its litheness and agility.
Ryu, the dragon, symbolizes the great power of a dragon rising up and falling on his prey.
Chou, the butterfly, imitates soft beats of butterfly’s wings, the symbol of physical and spiritual beauty.
Taki, the waterfall, symbolizes the force of the water when it falls.
Nichi, the sun, symbolizes immensity of the nature and its cyclic phenomena by imitating the sunset and the sunrise.
BU DO HO covers martial and self-defence technics, within which there are basic exercises and combinations, randoris (technique of coded assault and defense), katas (imaginary combat rich in symbols and energy), and jurandori, which is a strictly defensive system of combat.
Nanbudo aims to liberate man completely from his fears and anxieties which give rise to tensions and oppositions. To abolish all oppositions tenshin (dodging in Japanese) is the basics of every combat or form of martial exercise. It permits harmony amongst tori (the attacker) and uke (the defender) with empiric understanding of the flow (nagare) of the Ki between the two.
Randori no kata are sparring exercises performed between two or more Nanbudokas. Some of the randoris are:
Randori ichi no kata – a form of counter-attacking with a fist.
Randori ni no kata – a form of counter-attacking with kicks.
Randori san no kata – a form of unbalancing the attacker.
Randori yon no kata – a form of controlling the attacker and breaking free of a hold.
Randori irimi no kata – a form of throwing the attacker by penetrating the attack.
Ki nagare randori no kata – a form of fast and fluent accepting of the attack.
Kaiten randori no kata – a group of randories of counter-attacking with punches, kicks and sweepings from a turn.
Kansetsu randori no kata – a group of randories of armlocks and leglocks.
Umanori randori no kata – a group of randories of submition defences.
Katas are divided into four groups of level and approach:
Shihotai tsuki (the moon), ten (the sky), chi (the earth), hasu (the lotus), ki (the wood), mizu (the water), ku (the air).
Taikyoku shodan, nidan, sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, of which the applications base on the Ki flow consideration.
Nanbu shodan (image of spring), nidan (summer), sandan (fall), yondan (winter), godan (the four seasons).
Master kata: ikkyoku, seienchin, hyakuhachi, seipai, sanposho.
KI DO HO covers exercises for health maintenance and improvement. They are based on the ancient knowledge of the Ki (vital energy) and its flow through the human body. Continuous flow along meridians is important for psychophysical health and existance of an individual. Kido ho exercises use bodily movements, breathing, and mental activities to invigorate both, the body and the spirit, to maintan health, and to create happiness.
Nanbu tenchi undo is a set of seven floor exercises of gymnastic relaxation. It is also ligamentary, as well as muscular stretching joined with the study of breathing. They create agility which is generally a base for a good state of health. The seven exercises correspond to Seven elements of nature:
Tsuki, the moon creates ebbing and flowing tide, the breathing rhythm of oceans, the origin of life.
Ten, the sky is a symbol of vastness, it provides us our vital space.
Chi, the earth with its telluric forces discloses energies important for man.
Hasu, the lotus is a symbol of plants with their fundamental quality of transforming carbonic gas into oxygen.
Ki, the wood is an integral part of our everyday life and has no equal in its benefitial properties.
Mizu, the water represents life, and symbolizes adaptability, tranquillity, and great power.
Ku, the air evokes the universe, the great whole of omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence.
Nanbu keiraku taiso is an exercise composed of seven forms of active relaxation and respiration. It has a therapeutic effect of illness prevention by stimulating energy centers along meridians. Each of the seven forms works on one pair of main meridians: ichiban (works on the central and the governing meridian), niban (the lung and the large intestine meridian), sanban (the stomach and the spleen meridian), yonban (the heart and the small intestine meridian), goban (the bladder and the kidney meridian), rokuban (the master of the heart and the triple heater meridian), nanaban (the gallbladder and the liver meridian).
Nanbu shizen no ki undo is a set of seven simple and effective exercises of exhanging energy with natural environment, accumulating and redistributing it within ourselves. Similary to Nanbu tenchi undo these exercises also correspond to Seven elements. This makes Nanbu shizen no ki undo a practice of natural phenomena consideration as well.
NORYOKU KAIHATSU HO covers meditative and philosophical part of Nanbudo. It guides us to apprehension and understanding of ourself and of the nature, and to development of intellectual and perception capacities.
In Noryokukaihatsu ho there are different kinds of active meditations to the three principles (Nanbudo mitsu no chikara) and to the seven forces (Nanbudo nanatsu no chikara).
Nanbudo mitsu no chikara aims to unity of three basic elements of human existance: the body, the mind, and the way. Since these three elements are in a constant interaction it is important that relations between them are in harmony. This creates happiness that leads to a centered, focused, capable, and healthy person.
Chikarada, principle of force, which relates to our body, to what we are.
Yukida, principle of courage, which relates to our mind, to what we know.
Shinnenda, principle of conviction, which relates to our way, to our action.
Nanbudo nanatsu no chikara is an exercise of active meditation which strengthens and confirms our capacities, abilities with realization of the seven forces of Nanbudo.
Watashiwa gankenna tai ryoku-o motte imasu. My physical force is unshakeable.
Watashiwa kijona tan ryoku-o motte imasu. The strength of my courage is tenacious.
Watashiwa seitsushita handan ryoku-o motte imasu. My power of judgement is precise.
Watashiwa kyoryokuna danko ryoku-o motte imasu. My force of action is dynamic.
Watashiwa sekkyokutekina sei ryoku-o motte imasu. My force of energy is positive.
Watashiwa mujinzono no ryoku-o motte imasu. My intellectual skill is inexhaustible.
Watashiwa mugenno seimei ryoku-o motte imasu. My vital force is infinite.