Hi everyone, i wanted to touch upon training a little more, with the end of the month coming up, i wanted write about training with heart (shin).
For me, i do not train to be an awesome swordsperson, my goal is always to be an awesome person....
Something that i fail at daily, i am human and i have human frailties, but this does not stop me from attempting to achieve the unnachieveable. I am constantly polishing my technique, as if it is a sword, attempting to perfect that technique a little more with each, swing, deflection and resheathing, and that is what i take to my personal life...
Each time i meet another i try to understand them, as i understand the timing of the swordsman facing me during katachi or Harai-Uke, i rethink whether my response to a problem was appropriate, just as i would slowly (very) go through each stage of a waza.
With the sword we are given a choice, it is a simple yes or no question, to preserve life or to take it!
The sword has no conscience it does not waiver from our decision, and it does not disobey our command (so long as we have trained correctly), but this is the problem, how can we achieve a peaceful mindset when we constantly train for battle?
There is a maxim in japanese martial arts, that being:
'It is better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war...'
This is true to a certain extent and i personally agree with the sentiment. But i think it cannot end there, else everyone would become warriors, violence would rise and ironically we would all starve as there are no gardeners to tend the crops and feed us.
An appropriate military maxim created from this mindset is:
'An army marches on its stomach'
This demonstrates the significance of non-military roles within society..
And so it moves onto the point i would like to make:
That of taking our training away from the dojo and into other facets of our life..
As some of you know i love to perform (badly) the Cha-no-yu, the japanese tea ceremon, it is a non combative pastime yet i apply my training in Iai to each stage of the ceremony.
But also did you know we have students who actively spend their time with Bonsai.. and another student who loves to tie Sageo, a student who brings redundant wood back to life in creative art, and one who crafts with paper art.
Without learning other more peaceful parts of life, we only garner to the barbarian and the bestial: we do not fight for what we love, we fight instead for the love of the fight.
Any who have seen war will tell you that it is not a pretty sight..
This leads to the last maxim for this blog:
'It is good that war is so terrible, else we (the generals) would come to love it too much'
We must train as hard as we can, with all the seriousness we can muster, but understand that our martial skill means nothing if it is not going to be used grow us as complete human beings, to defend what we find dear and to keep peace.
Have a great day and i will so you guys all in the lines at training!!!