Nouryoku Kokoro Utsuwa


It seems that Soke hinted the theme for the following year last Sunday at Honbu. However, it is still unclear exactly ( as always ). Soke mentioned the following words to conteplate. The translaters did well on the spot to pass to us all what Soke was trying to say.

It was mentioned that these three points are crucial for development in the martial ways and aslo life in general. We can observe them as having a relationship with Shin Gi Tai and Sanshin aswell. Soke has always mentioned that the controlling / knowing / or utilising of three points is necessary to maintain control over your opponent and inturn your life. However, in regards to the following, we can maybe think and view the points below as  the three essentials for knowing the secrets to a happy life ?   

Nouryoku – this is translated as ability,power,talent,competence or capacity.

Kokoro – kokoro is generally translated as heart, but can also mean mind or spirit.

Utsuwa – translates generally as a container, holder,receptacle or vessel. However, according to the dictionary, it can also relate to caliber,capacity, or a person of high/low caliber.

I think if we view these points as entities to teach us the truth of truly living life to the fullest, we can appreciate that the three must be unified  ( shin gi tai ichi )  in order to become a tatsujin.

harmonious and positive unification of the three is crucial. The person may be in the best position, but have a bad heart. Thus they will only be able to reach a certain capacity and have little power, or true capability. We can have a large amount of ability and a great heart, but not be in the correct environment ( utsuwa ) to fully develop our true / innate potential. We must be able to unify the three  to fully express our true capacity and power in life. It’s no use being meek and mild and not expressing oneself. This is a sickness and hinders ones true potential. Many people have these necessary traits to fully achieve their true potential. However, they are unable to tread the right path or feel for the right way due to an inbalance in of the three components.

As budoka, it seems Soke wants us to delve deeper and encourage everyone to find the truth of their lives and follow the direction chosen by the Gods. It’s often that we meet wonderfully talented people who have progressed naturally but do not continue to reach their full potential. Many people rely on their natural talent. This will only get them so far. It’s important to understand this and forever research and learn new things. We as friends try to support our gifted friends by giving praise and advice on what WE see as needed for them to reach their true potential. However, we cannot make people do things. There is a saying. ” You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.” It all depends on the person. It depends on how thirsty they are for real growth and development as a human being. Also, this topic may  help us appreciate the story about the big fish in the little pond. Both goldfish and plants are greatly affected by the environment  in which they live. Eg: fish bowl, or pot. If we increase the size, we can influence change, and they are able to expand and experience more, gaining a greater capacity.


Soke also mentioned at one Taikai that there are people of varied qualities and therefore influence different people in different ways. Some of these peole will naturally grow into large trees, and some will only become small trees. This does not mean that the large ones will become the best and the small ones will have no influence. It just means that everyone has a capacity. Some people have a larger capacity than others, but the affect they have on their students is no different to the teachers with a smaller capacity. We attract those who can relate to us. The connection is the most important thing. 

We can stand and wonder at the Californian Redwoods that grow to 90 feet, or stand and wonder as we look down at the beautiful bonzai that grow  proudly at our feet. It’s the same.

Soke has said that  ” the larger capacity you have, the more you can accept.” I think we can relate these words to nouryoku kokoro utsuwa.

For me, what is important is to trust ones inner self and learn the art of discernment. That is, we must “know”  and “see” instinctively what is good for us and make a decision that will truly assist in developing ourselves further as a budoka and a complete human being.


11 Responses to “Nouryoku Kokoro Utsuwa”

  1. Duncan,

    Great Post!

    F.Y.I. It is Nouryoku. The kanji for brain and power.

  2. Duncan Stewart Says:

    Cheers. A slip on the keyboard does wonders doesn’t it.

  3. Rob Hartung Says:


    能力 -

    Careful Chris you are confusing two different kanji with the same pronunciation.

  4. Thomas Curran Says:

    When Soke said “No Ryoku” I think he meant 無力 🙂

  5. Duncan Stewart Says:

    Pleas see my page titled “sainou shin ki” for another perspective.

  6. Hello!
    How are you Shihan Duncan?
    I´m Fabricio Vegini of Brazil, friend of Joel (los tres amigos0. do you remember?
    I hope find you in Japan next year.
    One a great new year and happines christmas.
    A big HUG!
    Buffu Ikkan!!!

  7. It seems to me that Sensei has always used Martial Art as a way of living Life more fully and effectively. None of us are islands, we do need the contact and relationships with our fellow human beings or our quality of life crashes. It is in this that Martial Art can be so effective, making us in the Art capable of doing so much good, so much to make life better and more just for all. That is a wonderful asset! It becomes our own responsibility to craft our own “container” into one that can hold the attributes that aid in this creation of a better life for all. There will always be some who do not work toward the goal of mutual advancement, only concerned about what they alone get. That is a mistake for them. If we aid each other we all gain, if we help others grow our whole world improves.

  8. Patti Doyle-Bedwell Says:

    Hi, thank you for your post. Your comments and discussion on the three points brought forward by Sensei offers much food for thought. capacity IHMo also resonates with me interms of openess and letting go of old ideas and perceptions.
    Again thank you.

  9. Good one mate….Better mention Tamashii…. Thought I’d get that in before you did 🙂

  10. good post than you catch me on face book

  11. Excellent post. Please do more.
    Mike Reina, Shidoshi

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