The following are responses from James-Shihan’s students when asked “What is training in Hoshin like?”:
James Shihan asked us to describe what Hoshin training is like like, but I find that one of the harder things to put in words. When I look at Hoshin in total, the martial art, the chi kung, KAP and the people I see a stream of dynamic life artistry. Hoshin is where I went from a martial technician to a martial artist while finding new ways to unfold my life.
I’d say one of the strangest experiences I’ve had across Hoshin comes from training with teachers that have their Kundalini running wide open. This is not something I’ve found in any other martial art. Each punch from James Shihan drives Shakti deep into the body where it can take a few seconds to a few days to unfold. This has to be experienced, but the effects over time are unmistakable, even for, as James has said many times, a “darn intellectual” like me.
– Rex Washburn Sensei, 3rd Dan
I’ve been thinking on James-Shihan’s request and I have written some on our private message board about Hoshin but here is my summation thus far. Imagine this, you’re a little child who has a great imagination and wants to be the warrior archetype of a Pirate, Ninja, Viking etc… and you go your whole life playing with modalities that do nothing but tease you or leave little to your imagination. Yet, you keep searching…
Hoshin training for me thus far has been a very intense and powerful learning experience that has brought about change in me like nothng I have ever been through before.
I liken it to how a sword is created. You know, raw material that may have just layed there until someone comes along and is able to work the material.
Through constant heating, hammering, and radical tempering, that material goes through a process that could never be fully written about, but immediately appreciated if felt. Those who do it, get it. I started off with the Distance Learning material and while it provides an avenue for those not close by a teacher, you really have to experience it in person to understand.
Learning the strategies and ways of Hoshing give you infinite possibilites, yet are simple enough that just matering a handful of things (5 to be exact) will provide you with more than enough to take care of your physical security. Couple that with the Hoshin attitudes and you have a lifetime of learning and exploring that will leave you with plenty of things to keep you busy.
Apply the teachings you recieve, be open to change and you will be a different but better person.
Hoshin Budo Ryu is the child’s imagination brought to reality and your archtypes are/will be happy!
Enjoy the ride!
– Jerry Fulford, Water Belt
I am in complete agreement with what Rex and Jerry have mentioned already. I had no idea what I was getting into when Rex and I started training. Initially, I thought I would learn a little more about meditation and get a dose of martial arts training. I have never trained in any martial art before so my first experiences were with Rex and then James. Hoshin, James, Rex, Jerry and the rest of the family have changed and continue to change my life.
Tiaso, Chi Kung, Ukemi have all changed my everyday life. The physical training in Hoshin is beyond explanation. A ton of hard work, but a lot of fun too. Opening my K was so much of an experience that I can not even begin to explain this ever unfolding experience. As Rex said, the energetic exchange when training is wild and cool!
Ultimately I will say that James and Rex are two major characters in the story of my life. I sometimes wonder if Hoshin found me instead of the reverse. Ask James to see the photo’s of my fire belt test… those photo’s will do a better job than these words could ever do.
Enjoy, your in for something very special!
– Ben Jarrett, Fire Belt
What is Hoshin like?
I have never trained a day of Hoshin martial art in my life. I have nearly 20 years experience in other martial arts & chi kung and was first exposed to Doc Morris’ Path Notes in 96 or 97.
I met James F Alexander in person for the first time in January of this year (2012). He recognized the connection between what i had already been doing, especially as related to feats of strength and taught/showed me some chi kung stuff and I proceeded to “do the work”.
I think of it as if I had a garage full of mechanical partsand that I kinda, sorta knew what they were. Then James visited my garage, looked at everything and said “If you put all these together you’ll have a fully functioning Ferarri. Here’s the Blue Print, have fun doing the work.”
23 days later I went through the Kundalini.
I am looking forward to learning the Martial and Healing aspects of Hoshin, as well as seeing where the Kundalini takes my feats of strength.
What is Hoshin? From my very limited perspective, it can be summed up like this: Focus on the activity, the result will come. Or put another way…”Do the Work.”
– David Whitley, White Belt