Soke stated recently at training with his back turned and facing looking at the Kamidana the importance of a phrase that was taught to him by Takamatsu Osensei.
GOKUI NO UTA
“Chihayaburu Kami no Oshie wa Tokoshie ni Tadashiki Kokoro Mio Mamoruran”
From my memory, Soke asked that Shidoshi from next year include this phrase at the beginning of each class with Shikin Haramitsu Dai Komyo following directly.
The phrase reminded me of Sokes desire for all students to continue budo for the sake of developing the true heart of a budoka.This is above all the most important point. Takamatsu Osensei stated to Soke ( I believe ) that ”Sincerity” is the most important thing. Therefore, I believe the words that are spoken by our Soke and are now being transmitted to the Shidoshi and Shihan are of extreme importance to ensure we train to protect the truth of budo.
We are told that the budo dojo is a place to repent and polish the heart. We should maintain this feeling close to our heart and train with conviction and focus, but with a light and happy spirit, open to the teachings of Soke and the masters who held the horses tail before him.
I think the creation of buyu is also important. Soke said that in the period that Takamatsu lived, the life of the “lone wolf” was common. However, the world is changing. We are now in a world of mass communication. The survival and development of the world is depended on creating a firm working companionship,common understanding and communication with the people of the world. Is this not an aspect of the Bujinkan code stipulating the importance of brotherly love, and delving deeper into the arts with balanced determination for the betterment of ones family and country?
Training encourages you to improve in all areas of life. We can justly say that it is indeed a holistic art for the betterment of all. Through training hard, we can develop in areas naturally. People will gravitate toward us, and we will have both good and bad aquaintances. Both are fertiliser for our growth, and we should view every moment as a lesson in itself. I remember hearing Nagato Sensei state that he was told by Soke to use more power in his training. However, Nagato sensei said to us that he saw it as a test from Soke. For years he had been instructed by Soke to use less strength, and now he was contradicting his words. As a result, Nagato Sensei decided to maintain his focus and train as he had been told. Soke was using no strength, thus sensei wasn’t going to either. Nagato Shihan is a true shihan and a man of his word.
Sensei developed a physical concern and spoke to Soke about it. Soke said, “congratulations!” Soke apparently said the percieved concern should be infact seen as a gift from the gods to help ones improvement in training. Sensei was then happy to hear this, and now trains with the feeling that his brush with bad luck was in fact good in disguise. A smile came to his face. It’s always good to see him smile.
That same class, I was training with a buyu who travels nearly four times a year to Japan and had not been ranked in quite some time. I mentioned this to Nagato sensei. Sensei replied to my friend, “congratulations!” Another lesson….
Patience is a virtue. It is something we learn in order to see what the gods see. Without patience, we will not develop Sanshin or Shin Gi Tai, the essential components of a budoka.
Kokoro is a kanji that generally means Heart. We can seperate the kanji into three ( sanshin ) and read kokoro with different kanji or kana to view various meanings. One form of ko means Child, a second form of ko can mean Lamb, while Ro can imply a fireplace or warm centre dug into the earth. Each seperate kanji eminates the feeling of warmth and love. We can see that the kanji for kokoro infact consists of three hearts ( sanshin ) and is teaching us that love is infinite and unconditional.
I have read that Takamatsu O sensei in his younger days when instructing budo and faced with a troublesome student would without hesitation ask them not to return to the dojo. However, according to Soke, in his older years he was much more accepting and allowed nature to take it’s course and weed out the undesirable students. The only student remaining was Soke.
We can see that Soke follows the concept of natural justice and allows the universe to discern who continues or disapears. In my eyes, to appreciate and respect the greatness and intern acknowledge ones place within the vastness of the kukan, is a sign of a true master. Soke is a true master and is definately living freely from the constraints of the normal man yet to understand the Gojo and be blessed as tatsujin.
Soke once stated that he trained physically 3 times harder, spent 3 times as much money, and put 3 times as much mental effort in learning budo than anyone else. It seems that he understood Sanshin and the concept of Shin Gi Tai Ichi right from the beginning (these are my own thoughts at present.) We can also see that this effort adds to 9, and can maybe gives us an indication of the capactiy required of a person to become the Soke of 9 ryuha.
Soke is indeed teaching us about life. He says that we need to fall in love with budo, immerse ourselves in the “feeling”, direct our energies toward the betterment of oneself and others, and move naturally to develop the capacity to understand the gokui, the kukan.
The essence of budo.
Happy birthday Soke!