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Shizen Shigoku no Kata: Cultivating Natural Movement and Spontaneity in Shindenfudō-Ryū Daken-Taijutsu

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Shizen Shigoku no Kata

The Essence Unveiled: Shizen Shigoku no Kata and the Art of Natural Movement

Understanding Shizen Shigoku no Kata: Embodying Natural Perfection

Shizen Shigoku no Kata, the pinnacle of Shindenfudō-Ryū Daken-Taijutsu, represents the ultimate expression of mastery in this ancient martial art form.

It goes beyond the physical techniques and delves into the realm of natural movement and spontaneity.

By exploring the key principles and philosophies behind Shizen Shigoku no Kata. Practitioners can unlock a deeper understanding of how to embody natural perfection in their practice.

Shizen Shigoku No Kata

Nature’s path we tread,
Techniques merge with the wind,
Soul and nature blend.

The Pursuit of Naturalness: Unveiling the Essence of Shizen Shigoku no Kata

Shizen Shigoku no Kata centers around the pursuit of naturalness in movement. The term “Shizen” embodies the concept of aligning with one’s true nature and embracing the innate flow of existence. In the context of Shindenfudō-Ryū Daken-Taijutsu, this means moving in a way that feels organic, effortless, and harmonious.

The essay explores how Shizen Shigoku no Kata guides practitioners on a transformative journey toward discovering and expressing their natural essence.

Takamatsu Sensei using the Tessen on Hatsumi Sensei

Moving with Spontaneity: Enhancing Fluidity within Shizen Shigoku no Kata

Spontaneity is a vital element in Shizen Shigoku no Kata. While kata typically follow a predefined sequence of movements. Practitioners strive to infuse their execution with a sense of natural spontaneity. This requires attunement to the present moment, adaptability, and a deep understanding of the underlying principles of the art.

By exploring various methodologies and training approaches. Practitioners can enhance their fluidity and cultivate an intuitive, spontaneous expression within the structure of the kata.

The Way of the Samurai is one of immediacy,
and it is best to dash in headlong.” – Hagakure

Training Natural Movement: Exploring Methodologies and Approaches

Takamatsu Sensei doing Onikudaki

Motor Learning Principles: Developing Efficiency and Natural Body Movement

Motor learning principles offer valuable insights into training natural movement. By understanding how the body acquires and refines motor skills, practitioners can optimize their training methods. Deliberate practice, focused attention, and repetition play crucial roles in developing efficient movement patterns.

By breaking down complex skills into smaller components and gradually integrating them. Practitioners can enhance their motor skills and movement efficiency, leading to a more natural and fluid expression in their practice.

Mindfulness and Body Awareness: Deepening the Connection with Movement

Mindfulness and body awareness practices provide a gateway to deepening the connection between the mind, body, and movement.

By cultivating present-moment awareness, practitioners develop a heightened sense of body awareness, attuning to subtle sensations and nuances within their movements. This level of awareness allows for a more intuitive and natural expression in the Kata.

By integrating mindfulness and body awareness exercises into their training, practitioners can further enhance their connection with natural movement and spontaneity.

Shizen Shigoku no Kata - Kumiuchi

Do nothing that is of no use.” – Miyamoto Musashi

Fostering Spontaneity: Embracing Creativity and Adaptability

Hatsumi in Sannindori

Dynamic Systems Theory: Harmonizing with the Environment

Dynamic Systems Theory offers valuable insights into fostering spontaneity and natural movement. It emphasizes the interaction between multiple systems, including the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and environment.

According to this theory, natural movement arises from self-organization, with the body adapting to changing constraints and conditions. Practitioners of Shindenfudō-ryū can apply this theory by training in various contexts and environments.

Shizen Shigoku no Kata - Ukemi

By exposing themselves to different challenges and adapting to diverse conditions, they develop the ability to respond spontaneously and naturally to the ever-changing external influences. This integration of the environment into their practice enhances their overall fluidity, adaptability, and harmonious movement.

Playful Exploration: Cultivating Spontaneity within Shizen Shigoku no Kata

Playfulness and improvisation play a significant role in cultivating spontaneity within Shizen Shigoku no Kata. Just as engaging in play and improvisation fosters creativity and spontaneity in other domains, practitioners of this school can embrace a similar approach. By adopting a mindset of exploration, experimentation, and joyful expression, they can discover new dimensions within the kata.

This playful attitude allows for the expression of natural movement without constraints, further cultivating spontaneity and creativity within the structure of the form.


Takamatsu Sensei doing Uragyaku

Harmony in Motion: Unleashing Natural Movement and Spontaneity through Shizen Shigoku no Kata

Shizen Shigoku no Kata represents the pinnacle of mastery in Shindenfudō-Ryū Daken-Taijutsu. Delving beyond technical proficiency into the realm of natural movement and spontaneity.

By embodying the principles of Shizen Shigoku no Kata. Practitioners strive to move with effortless grace, aligning with their true nature and embracing the innate flow of existence.

Through training methodologies such as motor learning principles, mindfulness, and body awareness. They develop a deep connection with their movement, enhancing their ability to express naturalness and fluidity.

Fostering spontaneity within the Kata involves harmonizing with the environment and cultivating a playful mindset.

Shizen Shigoku no Kata - Jigoku

Dynamic Systems Theory highlights the importance of adaptability and responsiveness to the ever-changing conditions. Allowing for a spontaneous and natural expression of movement. By integrating playfulness and improvisation, practitioners can explore new dimensions within the kata. Unlocking their innate creativity and enhancing their ability to move with spontaneity and authenticity.

In the pursuit of Shizen Shigoku no Kata, practitioners embark on a transformative journey. They uncover the essence of natural perfection, unveiling the beauty of harmonious, effortless movement.

As they embody naturalness and spontaneity within their practice, they become living embodiments of the profound connection between martial arts and the human spirit. The Kata serves as a powerful path to unleash the harmony in motion, enabling practitioners to embrace the full potential of their martial arts journey.

Training with Mats Hjelm summer of 2023

This will be my training theme for the summer of 2023. I will also be teaching the Rokushakubō and Bokken in preparation for the Noguchi Taikai in August.

I will be teaching, training and exploring all these 12 Kihon techniques plus the 24 Urawaza techniques at Kaigozan Dojo the following dates.

June 13, 20, 22, 29
July 11, 18, 20, 27

Keiko no Shudai – August 5’th
We will summarise and train on the Shizen Shigoku no Kata.


  1. 体流 (TAINAGASHI)
  3. 不抜 (FUBATSU)
  4. 両手掛 (RYOTEGAKE)
  5. 鵲 (KASASAGI)
  6. 鈴落 (SUZUOTOSHI)
  8. 狼倒 (RŌTŌ)
  9. 不動 (FUDŌ)
  10. 鶉刈 (UGARI)
  11. 不諱 (FUKAN)
  12. 自然 (SHIZEN)


  1. 自然 (Shizen): The combination of the characters 自 (self) and 然 (natural) represents aligning with one’s true nature and embracing the natural way of existence.
  2. 至極 (Shigoku): Comprising the characters 至 (ultimate) and 極 (extreme), this term signifies reaching the highest level of mastery and accomplishment.
  3. 感性 (Kansei): The term 感性 combines the characters 感 (sensation) and 性 (nature) to refer to one’s sensitivity or responsiveness to their surroundings. In the context of Shizen Shigoku no Kata, it highlights the importance of developing a heightened sense of awareness and adaptability to the environment.
  4. 創造性 (Sōzōsei): The term 創造性 combines the characters 創造 (creation) and 性 (nature) to signify creativity or the ability to create something new. Cultivating 創造性 within Shizen Shigoku no Kata encourages practitioners to explore different interpretations and variations of the form, allowing for spontaneous expression and individualized movements.