By Martin Hansen 4.kyu Yakami Shinsei-ryu, 3.kyu Kodosoku-kai Gensei-ryu Karate-do, in January 2012
On Friday the 27th January I went directly from work to Måløv, to the first module of “Project Old Modern Warrior” course …
Kimu Sensei has wrote three articles on the website, which explains the background for introduce firearms as part of Shindenkans skills and toolbox. The message is straightforward: The history has shown that if your opponent has a superior weapon technology, and you cannot relate to it, you will lose the fight, although you may be the best warrior! Since Shindenkan is a multi-track martial sports system, which recognizes, that the wheel is already invented, it is natural for us to learn from the past history, follow the times tenders and relate to the weapons an opponent on the street might have! It is logical, but still it is controversial. Not only among ordinary people, who is not practice martial sports, but apparently also in other martial sports systems that do not think guns belong in the martial sports world! I must admit that I also had to get used to the idea. When Jens Hanshi-dai, in connection with brown belt training, gave us a presentation on POMW, I have to admit that I was a little bit provoked. Mostly because it had not occurred to me, that martial sports training could include firearms, but now also because it was really on another level than the other weapons training. After all there is far between, when we hear that people have been killed with a sword, but the death and injury due to firearms we almost hear about it on a daily basis! Am I ready if my opponent has a gun?
Thus to the inner conflict, I sat with 30 other Shindenkan members when Kimu Sensei welcomed us all and invited us on a journey.
It’s not the gun that kills; it is the man behind it! It is a statement, which we have heard many times during the rest of the weapons training we have in Shindenkan, but now the proposition got a new sound, since this was precisely what the firearms course was about. There is always a human behind a weapon and use of weapons, will require clarification and not least internal clarification! Be clarified so you can act, because if you hesitate it could mean that you lose benefits and potentially gets death. Be clarified about your attitude and your skills. This is your true level of competence! The DO – Michi way or the self-discovery process is expressed in the old Densho degrees.
Kimu Sensei told us about one of Soke Sensei Tonegawas masters: Minouchi Sensei, who claims that the normal path to martial arts is through martial sports, if it has been planned from the beginning. If it has not been planned, and a martial sportsman has achieved success, it is extremely rare that he goes on. Simply because theirs ego is too big. But Minouchi sensei also says that it doesn’t have be that way. The bridge between martial sports and martial arts are going from Joden to Menkyo level. Martial sportsmen under Joden level can fill more in their “tool boxes” by learning about modern weapons. This is why Shindenkan offers the POMW project to the TG4 (black belt) group and up. A complete “toolbox” that paves the road to empowerment ~ to be your own leader, a whole person in thoughts, words and action! It is … the martial arts toolbox!
How do I know if I am clarified? The answer is as simple as it is complex: I know it when I have it!
The last part of the course was a review of the firearms development from old smooth guns over to modern guns and sniper rifles. And especially the fact that there are approx. 750,000 registered and at least 250,000 unregistered weapons in Denmark was contributed to the feeling that it is very much a reality that must be taken seriously. Kimu Sensei finished the course with reviewing his own shooting training and the beta version 1 of the POMW shooting training with Jens Hanshi-dai, seasoned with a little video of IPSC shooting, which is practically shooting, which we students are going to try on the later modules of the POMW courses.
“Are you confused or clarified?” Kimu Sensei asked. I am clarified with the course’s purpose and relevance! But am I ready to pull the trigger in an extreme situation? … I do not know, but then again, I’m not yet on Menkyo level.