JU PO SESHO – JAPAN 2003 – first article
Author - Ofer Cohen


This year, Dr. Hatsumi Sensei is emphasizing the theme of Ju Po Sesho. Ju means "ten"; Po is the supreme way as in Ninpo and Sesho means negotiation. Dr. Hatsumi Sensei explains that the meaning of Ju goes beyond the ten possibilities of action. Here it actually means infinity. It is not just a notion of quantity; it is also a matter of quality. There is no restriction in our actions. We do not create any limitation to achieving conclusive subduing. Each situation that occurs in the encounter with the opponents is an integral part of the subduing process. Including the mistakes. Your mistakes are part of your open possibilities. Nagare continues; you don't stop and you are not held back by your mistakes! You use them to advance forward with your goals and movements to the point where it is best for you to be. This is the meaning of Ju in regard to non-restriction.

PO means, the supreme way of Ninjutsu. Jutsu, in this context, means an organized set of combat methods. PO is based on Jutsu in the same manner that Sesho is based on the Kihon. One of the important points here is to understand that in order to practice martial arts and stay alive, it is not enough to master Jutsu. We need PO. Technique is necessary; it is the basics of fighting. Yet, Dr. Hatsumi Sensei teaches us to be poets and choreographers: in other words, to be creators. Creators make free and fresh use of their resources. This is PO. In Ninjutsu there is Kihon and there are techniques, but those who master Ju Po Sesho go beyond Kihon and techniques. They make free, creative and unexpected use of everything available in the situation to achieve the best results possible from the Sesho process. Dr. Hatsumi Sensei instructs us that fighting with the intention to perform a technique is very dangerous. Ninjutsu students that understand Hatsumi Sensei's way in their body are like Jazz musicians. Each time they play a little bit different. They improvise and create something new each moment. But their improvisations are based on a very deep and wide foundation in music.

SESHO means negotiation. First, it is important to stress the human aspect as essential part of our training and living. In Ninjutsu we acknowledge the self-value of each person, even if he or she are bitter rivals. We don't act because of negative feelings, hatred, or by decreasing the value of others.
Negotiation involves in realizing the strength and the abilities of our enemy and also the balance between taking and giving. We are mingled with the enemy, entering his personal space, bringing him into ours.
In Ju Po Sesho, there is not just one possible result out of the Sesho. Everything is developing and dynamic. The end-results are not necessary killing or disabling. The core idea is to reach a state of harmony where there is no danger. The obstacles have been removed and the true and natural life of both sides can be fulfilled.

Ofer Cohen 6Dan, Israel
Student of Danny Waxman and Doron Navon.

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