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Blog

Welcome to my weblog (which most people call a "blog"). The opinions expressed herein are my own personal thoughts and opinions. Check back often for my musings and updates.

Feel free to e-mail me your comments on my entries or use our contact form. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 25, 2011

   The Seven Virtues of Bushido
1) GI (Right Action, Duty)
Do the right thing!

2)YUUKI (Courage)
To do the right thing requires courage!

3)JIN (Benevolence)
It requires to be tempered by benvolence!

4) REI (Politeness, Morality)
Our moral code also requires us to be polite to others, give way like the willow tree. To not be unbending like the Oak Tree that gets knock down by the winds of stubborness.

5)MAKOTO (Truthfulness)
Be truthful not only in word but deed, once again truefulness is temepered by both politeness and benevolence.

6) MEIYO (Honor)
Have honor conduct yourself in the dealing with others in the spirit of truth and benevolence tempered by politeness.

7) CHUUGI (Loyalty)
Loyalty temepered with truth in action and deed.
posted at 01:55PMcomments

Monday, February 14, 2011

   Intuition = Gut feeling.
Police officers talk about getting that gut feeling that something is not right! Many have learned to trust that feeling based upon experience that something “bad” is about to happen. I have personally experience this phenomenon on many occasions and can tell you that it has served it purpose by making me more aware of my environment. I had this gut feeling when I turn a street corner while on Patrol and saw a man walking down the street. I know something wasn’t quite right as I approached him in my patrol car he turn around and pointed a hand gun at me. Because I was alert to the sense of danger I placed my car into reverse back up a block and then confronted the subject. A minute late I was then forced to shoot him.

That gut feeling saved my life! Did you know that the Japanese believed that the soul resides in the gut! They called it the HARA or the center of being! That is the reason why when committing seppuku they would insert the blade in the stomach area. This is also the reason why when we are emotionally upset many times our stomach will begin to hurt. Here are a few facts about the Brain and gut connection.

One half of your nerve cells are located in your gut. Your gut is considered by many scientists to be a second brain. The second “gut brain” contains neurons and neurotransmitters just like those found in your skull. The “gut brain” is also able to learn, remember, and produce emotion-based feelings.

Your two brains communicate back and forth via a major nerve trunk called the vegus nerve which extends down from the base of your brain all the way down into your abdomen. This is how your two brains directly influence each other. Many believe this is where your sub-conscious resides along with the belief that this is the seat of higher consciousness.

The “gut brain” is known to scientists as the enteric nervous system, which is embedded in the sheaths of tissue lining your esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon.
Did you know that nearly every brain-regulating chemical found in your brain has also been found in your gut brain, including both hormones and neurotransmitters.

There are one hundred million neurotransmitters that line the length of the gut. This is about the same number found in the brain! Anyone who has ever become emotionally upset knows the immediate effect on their gut. Your stomach “ties itself in knots,” rumbles and growls, and stops digesting. Trust your gut feeling! This is your intuition at work!
posted at 11:49AMcomments

Monday, January 17, 2011

   Intuition
Carl Jung a Swiss psychiatrist who was a student of Sigmund Freud, states that “Intuition is perception via the unconscious”. Intuition was one of the four classifications of ego function, sensing being the opposite of intuition and the other two were feelings opposed by thinking. Neuropsychologist thought that intuition is a function of the right brain while analytical and logical reasoning was a function of the left brain.

Here are some other opinions given by other experts on the subject.
“Intuition is a combination of historical (empirical) data, deep and heightened observation and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding — a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science.”

Abella Arthur
Intuition may be defined as understanding or knowing without conscious recourse to thought, observation or reason. Some see this unmediated process as somehow mystical while others describe intuition as being a response to unconscious cues or implicitly apprehended prior learning.

Dr. Jason Gallate & Ms Shannan Keen BA

And of course my definition previously published on this blog.

“Being intuitive is merely the subconscious mind reading cues and patterns present in the environment that we do not see as they are hidden from our conscious mind. It is using the sense of sight, hearing, touching and smelling. It is when we sense danger yet we cannot identify the danger, but our subconscious mind is screaming at our conscious minds to “watch”.”

The latin root word “intueri” means to contemplate or to look inwards. And to knowing is to know oneself. Only when we become so in tuned to our bodies, with disciplining our bodies and minds do we truly develop our spirits. The term DO JO means the place to study the way. The way of becoming more in tuned to self and others. We attain mastery of ourselves by the process disciplining of the mind and body. We make our bodies do what we want them to do and in doing so we become capable of great physical feats. In the process we become better human beings that are in tuned to the “now” the present. Being present in this space and time which opens our sense to what is going on around us. Being in the now also allows us to see the suffering of other human beings and we become moved with compassion to help others in need.

Keep shining brothers and sisters.
posted at 06:24PMcomments

Sunday, November 28, 2010

   More on Mushin
Mushin is a state of being, a mind not fixated or preoccupied by thought or emotion. It is referred to as mind no mind a Zen concept.

It is a mind that is free from thoughts of anger, fear and ego. It allows one mind to flow and to see and feel the environment right now. It is a mind that is not trapped by the past and does not fantasize nor fear the future.

It allows us to be free to react and act towards an opponent's without hesitation and without being fettered by distracting thoughts. In this state one does not think what his or her next move will be. They move without thinking intuitively. It appears that you are able to anticipate your opponent's next move, to some it appears that you can read minds.

This is not magic, but a result of years of training, disciplining the mind and body. You must master your emotions, your mind and body to make it perform and do what you want to do. This requires dedication to the intuitive arts such as Jujitsu and Kenjitsu.

This is a state of being that is relaxed but not asleep, alert but not fixated. A state of being that is in the now, not fixated on what will happen a few minutes in the future or trapped in the past by regrets.

It is a mind that is clear and smooth as a still deep forest pond, reflecting all that is around it. Just as waves in the pond will distort the picture of reality, so will our thoughts we hold onto disrupt the true perception of reality.

It is a mind that is not slow, but working at a very high speed, but not fettered by the chains of intention, plans or direction. It allows us to react quickly and decisively in an emergency.
With practice you will become a person who no longer considers themselves as "fighters" but merely living beings moving through time and space.

“The mind must always be in the state of 'flowing,' for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and it is this interruption that is injurious to the well-being of the mind. In the case of the swordsman, it means death. When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy's sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man's subconscious that strikes.”

Takuan Soho, Japanese Zen Master

Next week we will discuss what Psychologist such as Carl Jung has to say about intuition.
posted at 10:38AMcomments

Saturday, November 27, 2010

   "Knowing" Becoming intuitive!
This is a new concept series that we will be exploring for the next several months. Come with me down the path of "Knowing!"

Remember to know is the ability to see beyond images, to hear beyond word and the ability to sense beyond appearance. People with this ability have been called psychics, mind readers or prophets. However there is nothing mystical or magical about this ability.

Being intuitive is merely the subconscious mind reading cues and patterns present in the environment that we do not see as they are hidden from our conscious mind. It is using the sense of sight, hearing, touching and smelling. It is when we sense danger yet we cannot as yet identify the danger, but our subconscious mind is screaming at our conscious minds to “watch”.

The conscious mind receives the information from our subconscious selves and then processes it on a conscious level. Hence knowing, this is not from an intellectual level but from a guttural level. This is the so called feeling from the gut, sometimes referred to as a sixth sense.

The aspects of knowing relates to the context of place, situation and the moment in time, being in the now (Tada Ima). It is where you stand, how you relate to it and what it is, it is to know yourself and knowing others. Knowing improves your ability to develop real discernment, greater associations, wise insight and better decision making.

Knowing is the cognitive abilities of noticing, scanning, integrating, sensing and patterning. In jujitsu while engaging your opponent it is the ability to beat the opponent to the punch, to predicate his next movement so that you can counter with out even thinking about the move. It is the kanpake Jitsu, the perfect technique which is executed based on the feel of the opponent not the conscious thinking of what are you going to do.

“Knowing” is doing. Knower’s are attentive, focused and ready to act. The benefits of knowing are situational awareness. It empowers decision making, Cultivates discernment and discretion. It reduces complexity and supports knowledge superiority.

In order to improve your intuition you must learn to listen and to feel. You must be in the moment, in the now. Hear the sounds around you, smell the environment, touch and open your eyes to your surroundings as each moment is unique in itself. See the world as you are seeing it for the first time. Breathe, fill your lungs with fresh air, and clear your mind of distracting thoughts. Practice the intuitive arts of Jujitsu, Kenjitsu and Iaido. All of these things will help you become intuitive and to know!
posted at 10:48PMcomments

Sunday, August 29, 2010

   A Candle Blowing In The Wind
Blowing out someone’s candle does not make your candle brighter. Only by bringing your light together with someone else’s light does it get brighter. Dr. Jigoro Kano motto was and is mutual welfare and benefit, you and I shining together. It is only when we join together to help improve our fellow student skills and put the other person needs before us to we truly benefit. Only then does our candle grow brighter within us. Keep shining my brothers and sisters!

Thank You Senpai Taylor Sarah for sharing this saying with us.

Robert Koski
USA-Jujitsu, LLC
Fountain Valley Martial Arts
709 B Dale St.
Fountain, CO 80817
719-963-7057
posted at 12:29PMcomments

Sunday, August 1, 2010

   Endeavor to know all things!
"Endeavor to know all things. Though you cannot ever do this, you will become more aware of the world around you, an essential strategy if you choose to be a warrior!"

Miyamoto Musashi
The Book Of Five Rings
posted at 01:55PMcomments

Sunday, June 27, 2010

   Mushin which means mind, no mind.
Mushin which means mind, no mind, does not mean the absence of thought only no attachment to any one thought or emotion. This state of mind allows one to be open to all possibilities during a fight with out hesitation or mental activity. It gives you the advantage by not allowing your opponent to be able to read your next move. Mushin literally means empty mind.

If you are so focused on attacking you cannot be focused on defense at the same time. You have created an attachment to the ideal of attack and will fail to “feel” what your opponent is about to do. This then becomes a weakness.

In order to achieve this one has to let go of one’s fears, doubts and ego. You have to let go of any preconceived plan of attack and defense. Many times we will say to ourselves I will do this technique if he or she grabs or strikes me in this manner. The problem is that he or she never strike or grabs in the way you have thought out in your mind. One has to be open to all probabilities or your mind will not react openly. Mushin helps us become intuitive and facilitates the “knowing”. (Read previous blog on this subject for more.)

In Zen practice there is a term for being able to place ones self in a centered state of mind. It is called Joriki and a modern translation of that tem is “being in the zone” it is the same concept of “knowing”. When we train in jujitsu we should also be training to place ourselves in this “Zone”. We should not form any attachment to any particular technique but execute the technique based on the opening presented. How to we achieve this ability, by the three secretes of the masters, practice, practice and practice.
posted at 02:40PMcomments

Sunday, June 13, 2010

   Being intuitive, the “Art of Knowing”.
Being intuitive, the “Art of Knowing”.

To know is the ability to see beyond images, to hear beyond word and the ability to sense beyond appearance. People with this ability have been called psychics, mind readers or prophets. However there is nothing mystical or magical about this ability.

Being intuitive is merely the subconscious mind reading cues and patterns present in the environment that we do not see as they are hidden from our conscious mind. It is using the sense of sight, hearing, touching and smelling. It is when we sense danger yet we cannot as yet identify the danger, but our subconscious mind is screaming at our conscious minds to “watch”.

The conscious mind receives the information from our subconscious selves and then processes it on a conscious level. Hence knowing, this is not from an intellectual level but from a guttural level. This is the so called feeling from the gut, sometimes referred to as a sixth sense.

The aspects of knowing relates to the context of place, situation and the moment in time, being in the now (Tada Ima). It is where you stand, how you relate to it and what it is, it is to know yourself and knowing others. Knowing improves your ability to develop real discernment, greater associations, wise insight and better decision making.

Knowing is the cognitive abilities of noticing, scanning, integrating, sensing and patterning. In jujitsu while engaging your opponent it is the ability to beat the opponent to the punch, to predicate his next movement so that you can counter with out even thinking about the move. It is the kanpake Jitsu, the perfect technique which is executed based on the feel of the opponent not the conscious thinking of what are you going to do.

“Knowing” is doing. Knower’s are attentive, focused and ready to act. The benefits of knowing are situational awareness. It empowers decision making, Cultivates discernment and discretion. It reduces complexity and supports knowledge superiority.

In order to improve your intuition you must learn to listen and to feel. You must be in the moment, in the now. Hear the sounds around you, smell the environment, touch and open your eyes to your surroundings as each moment is unique in itself. See the world as you are seeing it for the first time. Breathe, fill your lungs with fresh air, and clear your mind of distracting thoughts. Practice the intuitive arts of Jujitsu, Kenjitsu and Iaido. All of these things will help you become intuitive and to know!
posted at 03:02PMcomments

Monday, May 24, 2010

   “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Action speaks louder then words. The early Israelites did not distinguish sharply between word and deed.

The Hebrew word dahbar is a combination of both word and deed. If a word was spoken and it did not produce action it was deemed a counterfeit word or a lying word.

Words are not empty but produces and creates, it bring forth things into existance. For the early Israelites “word” is in itself not only sound and breath but a reality. Remember we live and die by our words, follow through and create better conditions for your fellow human being. We must apply and do!
posted at 05:22PMcomments

Sunday, May 9, 2010

   Shoshin O Wasurubekarazaru Koto
Never Lose Your Beginner’s Spirit!

The final precept of the Samurai is never losing the beginner’s spirit. At our belt promotion we speak of the circle of life, the circle of knowledge, when we first begin our studies of the way of judo/jujitsu we put on a white belt. White is the symbol of purity, being clean, and innocence.

When we first entered the dojo there is an eagerness to learn, humility of the spirit, the emptying of our cup to learn new things. When we achieve our black belt we speak of returning to that state of the beginning, to that state of purity. Interestingly until 1882 there was no colored belt system. There was only white and black. As an initiate in the way of Jujitsu (gentile techniques) studies and as the years past the belt eventually gets soiled from sweat, blood and tears, the belt turn black. Right about the time the initiate starts the process of mastery. As he enters that gate of learning and truly begins to understand from an intuitive level the principles behind techniques, he looks down and sees his coveted black belt begin to turn white, to that state of awe and innocence. The master has become the student and the student has become the master.

Thus the cycle is complete. When you want to find the end always look to the beginning. Never lose that openness to learn, to have a humble spirit and appreciate those simple yet complex things and the beauty of our existence. When difficulties arises the solution is never complex it is always in the basics (Kihon). The basics is the foundation, build a strong foundation and you will have the strength to endure storms of life.

The 21 precepts of the Samurai have a common theme. It is humility and compassion for others. When you are searching for answers go back and review the 21 precepts, ask your self have I been true to myself? Have I followed thru on my commitments? Have I been disrespectful to anyone? As you work your way down the list and you are truly honest with yourself you will find the cause of your difficulties.

Keep shining my brothers and sisters.
posted at 01:01PMcomments

Sunday, May 2, 2010

   Jinsei no mokuhyo o sadameru koto.
Jinsei no mokuhyo o sadameru koto.

Have a plan for your life

Do you know where you are going in life, how will you know when you get there. Do you have a blueprint, a roadmap that can help chart the course of your life? Less then ten percent of us have a written plan for our lives. We spent more time planning a holiday or what we are going to do for the weekend then we spend charting our course with objective and miles markers to measure our progress. For those who do have a plan generally it only concerns financial matters and not goals for those other aspects of life. Once you thought about what you hope to achieve in life write it down. It does not have to be detailed an outline will suffice. You can then use that outline as a road map to help you to stay the course and keep your eyes on the prize. Your plan will help you finish the course of your life. Your plan will help you leave a legacy to those that you leave behind. A legacy built not in stone but written on human hearts, an everlasting legacy that will cherish your memory and what you have taught to the next generation or warrior/scholars.

A good plan should cover key details of your life and timetable or mile markers to help you measure you success. They should include the following;

1. Family goals; Issues such as family relationship, marriage, children, where you want to live and build a home. What will your lifestyle be?
2. Social Involvement: This includes clubs, social status, political involvement, community involvement.
3. Personal accomplishments: This is your mark on the world. How will you be remembered and by what?
4. Financial objectives: This part of your plan focus on your income and expense you generate. All parts of your plan subject to change as your income grows. Your financial plan should include a budget, financial objectives such as planning for college, a house and retirement. How will you earn money.
5. Intellectual development: This will include goals for formal education and informal education. Formal goals such as achieving a bachelor degree, master and maybe even a PhD. Informal goals such as mastering an art such as jujitsu.
6. Emotional Maturity: How will you insure your continual personal growth and improvement of character? Will you attend course, continue your studies in Judo/Jujitsu. Take a course in art or photography. Read self help books or take a course in self development. Work out your code of ethics, the code your will live by and die by. Your code of ethics will guide you in making those difficult decisions that affect the lives of those around you.
7. Spiritual growth: You will not be whole, one with integrity unless you have resolved your quest for meaning in this plane of existence. You must decide for your self is there a God what does that mean for me. Does that affect my ethics, my life and behavior? Is there life after death? What will become of my spirit after my body dies? Is there more to life thane satisfying carnal pleasures. Are there moral absolutes. By what spiritual path can I find these answers? These are the questions that require careful self reflection and soul searching along with personal investigation. Seek truth rather then what is popular, self serving or convenient to believe in. Always keep seeking until you find, for in seeking you will find and what you find may astonish you and then you will find peace for yourself.

Life is like race; once you have set out your course you mush finish the race. Plan out things thoughtfully have realistic goals. Run the race keep your eye on the prize so that you may be able to say at the end of your life that you have fought the good fight and have finished the course in this very temporary existence.

Keep shining my fellow Jujitsuka!
posted at 03:49PMcomments

Sunday, April 25, 2010

   ISSHO KENMEI MONOGOTO O SURU KOTO
Make a desperate effort.

Make a desperate effort as if your life depended on it. A strong effort only yields mediocre results. Whenever we are attempting to do anything worthwhile our effort must be if our life depends on it. This attitude and effort will produce the results desired. This is an effort that will drive us beyond what we thought we were capable of-this will ensure us to live a victorious life both on and off the mat. This is the key to success in all of our endeavors. . Always fully consider your actions and the consequence of each action along with non-action. Always do the right thing. Then be decisive once you have plotted your course of action. And give it “the desperate effort” and you will succeed!

Keep shining my brothers and sister.
posted at 11:49AMcomments

Sunday, April 18, 2010

   HITO YORI SOSSENSHI KODO SURU KOTO
Be first to seize the opportunity.

Acting impetuously with out weighing all the consequences of each action is unwise, and leads’ to plans that have not been thought out carefully. However after all the options have been weighed and a decision has been made we need to act quickly and decisively with out hesitation. We must seize the moment. As the old saying goes, “opportunity knocks but once.” This is the lesson we learn in both Jujitsu and in kenjitsu. Our opponent will make a mistake and give us and opening which will last only for a few short moments. We must be decisive and without hesitation execute our move. We seize the opportunity as soon as the moment arrives. This is true even in business and other aspect of our lives. Seize the moment, live life to the fullest and keep shining my follow Jujitsuka. “We study the art and science of Jujitsu not to dominate others but that others will not dominate us!”
posted at 02:11PMcomments

Sunday, April 11, 2010

   KANSHA NO KIMOCHI O WASURENAI KOTO
Never forget to be appreciative.

A sincere word of thanks goes a long way and is often better then payment for a favor done. Most of us enjoy giving a helping hand. And many of us have been the recipient of someone who has done us a favor.

Now, of course we help others because it is the right thing. We shouldn’t expect thanks or any type of monetary reward, if we do then that is all the reward we will receive. But when we are the recipient always offer a sincere word of thanks. If we show genuine appreciation for the assistance of others there will always be friends to help us in our time of need.

Do not take the generosity of others for granted. Go out of your way to give thanks, and return the favor when they are in need. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Keep shining my brothers and sisters!
posted at 04:10PMcomments

Sunday, March 28, 2010

   Chiisa Na Koto Demo Taisetsu Ni Suru Koto
Even little things must be attended to!

A common phrase or saying is “attend to the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.” There is a lot of true in this saying, when the little tasks and duties we have in life are ignored or left not to be done they have a way of compounding to become huge mountains in our lives. Small things and details such as personal and financial can add up to become serious problems if we to not attend to them. A series of insignificant emotional hurts will escalate into major conflicts.

It is not always necessary to personally perform the little task, it is only important that they get done. If your duties require you to attend and focus on those big things you may have to delegate those small tasks to someone trustworthy to insure that they are not ignored. Or that small thing will become may become the mountain that is insurmountable.
posted at 12:28PMcomments

Monday, March 15, 2010

   Karuhazumi Ni Koto o Okosanai Koto
Do not be impetuous.

The Samurai of Japan lived by a strict code of honor and lived in a culture where the slightest insult could result in a fight to the death. In a society in which loyalties were constantly shifting and changing with the ebb and flow of the power of conflicting clans, warlords and vassals one had to fully consider the implications of your words and actions. The slightest mistake and you could lose your life along with ruining your family.

Today even though the consequences are not as severe, it is not so different today. Rash decisions or words can have a negative impact on your career, finances and those around you. Fully consider your words and your actions. Think things thru before acting or speaking. Do not let you emotions and impulses dictate your decisions. Be the eye of the storm. Keep shining!
posted at 08:56PMcomments

Sunday, March 7, 2010

   Hito Ni Taishite Omoiyari o Motsu Koto
Have compassion and understanding for everyone.

True compassion is from knowing and understanding the human conditions and the motivations of people. In order to have genuine compassion you must come to know and understand people. This is especially true for those of us who are in leadership roles. Great leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Takada Shingen, Yeshua (Jesus), Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi all had compassion for the human condition and chose to take the moral high ground even if it meant the laying down of their life for others. No greater love then this!

Those who take a genuine interest in the lives of others also inspire loyalty, desire to succeed and dedication. Some of the greatest military leaders took great interest in the wellbeing of their solders, making sure that their needs were being met. And those men led those leaders to victory!

Compassion is the key to understanding what motivates people. Compassion is the key to developing healthy and harmonious relationship with family, friends and coworkers. It is the key to appreciation and validating points of view and feeling of others even if they are different then your own.

As the Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13 (New King James Version)

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Have compassion; do not be so quick to judge others, for the standard that you judge others will be the standard that you will be judged by. Keep shining!
posted at 12:25PMcomments

Sunday, February 28, 2010

   HITO NO O SONCHO SURU KOTO
HITO NO O SONCHO SURU KOTO

Respect the Opinions of Others.

The opinions of others have been shaped by their education, culture, life experience and a lifetime of thought, just as yours have. It is important not to let our bias and prejudices to filter the content of someone else opinions and declare that they are wrong. The other person opinion may be just as sound, based on the principles of logic and reason as your opinion is. When we set aside our desire to be right and focus on the opinion that has the most value you will find that this attitude cultivates an environment were others will be encourage to freely express ideals and thoughts. This will contribute to your growth by providing greater insight and more opinions to consider. You therefore will be able to make a more informed decision on any given subject.

Let me tell you a story. There was once a great King who was surrounded by incompetent advisers who only want to tell the King what he wanted to hear. They would agree with the King even if they knew that the King was committing a grave error. One day the King wanted to go for a ride on his magnificent stallion. He saw a meadow near a great river and thought it would be perfect to run his horse. He was warned that there was a dangerous precipice by a young Captain.

The King replied that he did not see the precipice and asked his advisors, all generals in his army. The Generals wanting to please the king told him that the young Captain was ignorant and that there was no danger. As the King ran at a full gallop towards the direction of the precipice the young Captain caught up to the King, running along side of him. And just as the King was about to go over the cliff the Captain pulled the king out of his saddle saving his life. Do not be afraid of the opinion of others who may not agree with you. It may just save your life.
posted at 02:10PMcomments

Sunday, February 21, 2010

   Ikanaku Koto Ni Oite Mo Osorenai Koto
Do not be afraid of anything.

Fear robs us of the ability to act and think clearly. Fear triggers the fight or flight response of our nerve system. Yet often this is not the appropriate response. This is especially true many time of our flight response since our avoidance of all but physical danger usually takes the form emotional barriers or escaping into drug and alcohol use.

When riding a horse and the horse spooks at something in the brush, we turn the horse towards the thing that spooked it. The horse is force to confront its fears. We too must turn and face our fears if we truly want to live life to the fullest and experience everything that life has to offer. It is always preferable to face our fears rather then turn our backs.

In jujitsu we always teach to “never give your back”. We teach the guard position so that you may face your opponent while in the most vulnerable position on the ground. So that you may be able to fight to a better position and win. As a Samurai you have already conquered your fear of death by pursuing the path of the noble death. So why fear anything else?

Shin Ken Ichi (The Spirit and Sword are One)
posted at 01:10PMcomments

Sunday, February 14, 2010

   HITO O ONSHITSU SHINAI KOTO
Do not speak ill of others.

When some one has offended us or harmed us in some way, it is easy to begin to gossip to others about how horrible that person is. We begin to nit pick at everything that the person says or does. We begin to take as gospel truth every negative thing that is said about that person. We also say things that will eventually get back to that person furthering the divide. Things may escalate into a negative confrontation that only hardens our hearts against that person and that person against us.

We will talk to everyone else about that person thinking that by gathering the vultures over the dead carcass we will prevail over that person. Instead only hate and evil intentions arise in our hearts instead of love and compassion, and forgiveness. We will talk to everyone else except the person who can solve our problem, the person who gave way to the offense and or emotional harm. Compassionate confrontation to clear the air is the first step in redemption. Go to the person who has offended you in humility and compassion. Explain that you were hurt. Ask for forgiveness for any offense you may have committed against that person. Be assertive about how this has affected you and that you wish to clear the air and amend the divide. You may find that the person who offended you is not so different from you after all. Keep shining!
posted at 02:10PMcomments

Sunday, February 7, 2010

   Hito Ni Tayoranai Koto
Don’t depend on other people!

This is a paradox. But we can learn great truths from paradoxes. It is a contrast and from the contrast we can see, what is hidden is plain in front of our face. We are social beings and we need other people to help us in the journey of life. To be successful and content with ourselves many times we need the help of others. Yet we must not become dependent on others. We have to take personal responsibility for our lives. We have to take responsibility for our own emotions to include the way we feel.

People will say well so and so caused me to have a bad day, you make me feel this way. When we do this we surrender our sovereignty of ourselves to others. We have surrendered our will and sense of well being to the whims and moods of other people in our lives. We then are in danger of becoming codependent on that person. Co-dependencies are not healthy and only lead to enslavement to the whims of others.

Now children depend on their parents’ to meet their needs and this is necessary in the early stages of life. However as we get older and become more independent we learn not to rely on family, friends or government to take care of us, direct us or make us happy. Once we have realistic expectations of others we will be truly grateful for their contributions to us. And we will avoid the feeling of anger and disappointment when others let us down. Keep shining my friends!
posted at 02:03PMcomments

Sunday, January 31, 2010

   Yakusoku O Yayoranai Koto
Never break a promise!

A person with character says what he/she means and means what he/she says. It is a simple concept. Stay true to your word. Do not make any promise that you cannot or will not keep. If you make a promise, do everything in your power to keep it. One broken promise and the distrust and disappointment that it causes can wipe out ten years of kept promises.
posted at 11:57AMcomments

Sunday, January 17, 2010

   HITO TO NO DEAI O TAISETSU NI SURU KOTO
Be certain to make a good impression.

Have you every heard the saying that the “first impression is the lasting impression”? When we meet someone for the first time the impression that you leave with them, will remain with them. The first impression is the impression people will measure you by in all subsequent encounters.

If you are grumpy and or rude when you first meet someone that is what they will remember of you. When we meet people for the first time we need to show our best manners. This is the barometer of the kind of life you are leading. If you leave a good impression with everyone you meet it is the fruit of a fulfilling and positive life you are living.

How do we make a good impression? First we should always practice good hygiene. We should wear clean attire that is not worn or torn. We should choose our words carefully, saying what we mean and mean what we are saying. We should have a firm handshake and look people eye to eye when speaking to them. And always wish people well. Leave a good impression and people will respect you for having assertiveness and manners.
posted at 11:55AMcomments

Sunday, January 10, 2010

   Koto Ni Oite Kokaisezu
Koto Ni Oite Kokaisezu

Live without regrets

We can get mired in the guilty feelings of our past mistakes. We can become so focused living in the past that we forget to live in the present. The past is gone it only exist in our memory. The present is now; this is where we live our life. Do not wallow in the mistakes of our past, take responsibility for your errors and learn from the lessons that life is teaching you. Have compassion for yourself, this will lead to an understanding of yourself and the acceptance of yourself. And then move on and let the past go where it belongs in the past! Then think things through before you do an action.

If you think you may regret an action that you do, then do not, until you fully explore the consequences of your actions. Your conscience is warning you! Listen to that inner voice; it will keep you out of doing something that you may regret later. Do not react on emotions, instead understand your emotions, acknowledge you emotions and then keep yourself in check. This is called controlling your emotions. The old Samurai Maxim is “Control your emotions or they will control you.” Live life with out regrets!
posted at 12:41PMcomments

Sunday, January 3, 2010

   MIZU KARA TEKI O TSUKURANAI KOTO
MIZU KARA TEKI O TSUKURANAI KOTO

Have you every heard the phrase “You are your worst enemy?” This week’s precept in our twenty-one precepts of the Samurai deals with how you treat yourself. Do not make an enemy of yourself!

Jealousy, greed and self pity will ensure that you will have plenty of enemies if you try to accomplish something worth while with your life. Treat people with respect and compassion. If you do this you won’t add to the number of your opponents.
posted at 12:57PMcomments

Sunday, December 27, 2009

   Kankyo ni sayu sarenai tsuyoi shinnen o motsu koto
Hold strong convictions that cannot be altered by your circumstance.

Convictions, principles are the anchors and moral compass the guide us in facing an increasing world system that does not value morals.

In a society that glamorizes promiscuity to the extant those sexually transmitted diseases are epidemic, where money is worshiped and valued over hard work and compassion, where commitments to family and religious values are publically ridiculed.

Convictions are our calling to a higher standard as moral and spiritual warriors. Convictions are not situational, but are principles that guide us in making right choices.

A conviction is the glue that holds us to our commitments. Commitments made to us, family and trusted friends. Develop and hold on to those convictions, stay the course and run your race with an eye on the prize. As Sifu Bruce Lee has said “Walk On My Friend.”
posted at 12:58PMcomments

Sunday, December 20, 2009

   Ikanaru hito demo sonke suru koto
Respect everyone! Respect your loved ones, respect your opponents, and respect your elders (for they have the wisdom you will need).

Respect is not something that you grant, respect is not automatically given to you, respect is earned by you, but you must give respect first. This is a paradox, but do this and you will earn respect for your humility to others.

True respect is putting the needs of other before your needs. Respect for others, for their ideals, beliefs, culture, and human rights. This is the bridge to human understanding and the foundation of living in peace with your neighbors.
posted at 01:20PMcomments

Sunday, December 13, 2009

   Jibun no kimeta wa saigo made jikko suru koto
Always follow through on commitments! Never make a promise that you cannot keep. It is far better to not to commit then to break a commitment. Your word is a fruit of your integrity, if your break your promise, your commitment, you have lost your integrity. We stand of fall by our word.

Every time we fail to fulfill our commitment we have experience a personal failure that can be disappointing and damaging to our own self worth as an individual. Think carefully before you make a commitment. Make only those commitments that you can honestly keep. Do not appease people with what they want to hear. You speak what needs to be heard not make promise that cannot be kept.

Don’t take on to many commitments. Once again be careful and always follow through on your commitments.
posted at 12:49PMcomments

Sunday, December 6, 2009

   SAMURAI NO KOKOROE
Precepts of the Samurai


This series will explore and how to apply to our lives the Samurai No Kokoroe. Each precept will follow with my thoughts and insights on how to apply the principles to your life.

The first precept of the 21 precepts of the Samurai No Kokoroe is; Jiko O Shiru Koto (Know thy self!)

Once we truly understand our strengths and weakness, recognize opportunities and deal with threats we can move to make a difference in the lives around us.

This precept is the foundation of personal growth. It is the key to mastery over our destructive emotions; it is the key to understanding those weaknesses that plagues every human soul. It allows us to capitalize on our strengths to make our world a better place for all.

In order to change yourself you must have an understanding or your own faults. Only then once the fault is defined for us can we begin to change those character flaws.

Remember take a good look in the mirror, reflect on who you are and begin to recognize that you are, the image of the living God.
posted at 12:55PMcomments

Saturday, July 18, 2009

   jita kyoei
Contest Randori helps in the development not only of fighting skills but assist in character development of humility. One should not gloat just because when does well against a fellow student during contest. Gloating only shows one's immaturity. Remember next go around you may have to grapple with a more experienced and or stronger student.

One should not view contest randori as a competition but an opportunity to learn your own strengths and weakness and help your fellow Judoka expose his own strengths and weakness. We learn together from randori, to better ourselves as practitioners of Judo & Jujitsu and as human beings. Be humble!

Remember jita kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit) requires one to act not just in one's own interest, but rather with consideration for one's fellow humanbeings.
posted at 12:26PMcomments

Monday, June 15, 2009

   SAYA-NO-UNCHI
A great swordsman of Japan named Tsukahara Bokuden was crossing a river in a ferry. While Tsukahara was resting in the boat, a tough and rough looking Samurai who was boosting of his skills in swordsmanship noticed Tsukahara sleeping. This irritated the Samurai who then grabbed him, and challenged him stating "You have two swords, say you nothing?”
Tsukahara replied in a quite but confident voice "My school is different then your school, our techniques consist of not defeating others, but not in being defeated." Tsukahara told the young Samurai that his school was named the Mutekatsu School (which means to defeat the enemy without hands, that is, without a sword”.

This immediately enraged the young Samurai who then challenged Tsukahara to a fight. Tsukahara suggested a nearby island so that no bystanders would get in the way and hurt. The young Samurai agreed. As they were about to dock the young Samurai jumped out of the boat and drew his sword. Tsukahara meanwhile took off his swords and handed them to the boatman. He then took an oar and pushed off the dock leaving the young Samurai stranded on the island. Tsukahara then smiled and yelled to the young Samurai this is my "No sword school!"

Several lessons are learned from this story, first lesson is if a fight had a occurred the young Samurai would have been cut down by his own arrogance not knowing that he had just challenged one of Japan's greatest swordsmen. The other lesson is that he was able to defeat the young Samurai by strategy, thus winning the conflict with striking. He avoided putting himself in a position where he would have to kill the young man.

The final thought is one that "we learned the techniques of Jujitsu not to dominate others but in order that others do not dominate us."

Reflect my friends.
posted at 07:17PMcomments

Thursday, June 4, 2009

   TADA IMA
"Tada ima" means only now! There is no other, the past is gone and the future hasn't occurred.

In overcoming our fears of physical confrontations too many times we are focused on what is going to happen a few minutes in the future and we miss what is actual occurring now.

By being in the moment. "In the now" we can utilize that mindset the Japanese warriors called mushin. Mushin means "no mind". Which is not to say that we are not thinking but instead acting on what our senses is telling us from a gut level. Not thinking or anticipating but moving and flowing into the perfection of each technique. The master Bruce Lee states "we must empty our minds."

"TADA IMA, this moment in time.” There is no past, no future, only now.
posted at 05:00PMcomments

Monday, April 13, 2009

   Mizu no kokoro
Mizu no kokoro

Mind like water, water is like a mirror in that it reflects the image of the beholder. Master Sifu Bruce Lee speaks that you must empty your mind and be like water, water is shapeless and formless, but flows and moves and becomes the shape of whatever holds it.

Just as an opponent cannot beat its own reflection no matter how hard or fast he or she tries, you must reflect the image of the opponent back to them. It is not a matter of winning or losing but a matter of reflection.

Master Sun Tzu say’s “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

Be water my friend.
posted at 05:58PMcomments

Saturday, March 28, 2009

   Discipleship
You have heard me say on many occasions that their are no masters in Jujitsu, only disciples. But exactly what do I mean when I say that? Am I saying that you will never master the techniques of jujitsu? No, what I am saying is that you must always have a beginner’s mind attitude within yourself.

We are all students in life, the journey is what is important not the destination. Keep an open mind, investigate new horizons, and keep learning.

Jujitsu is a philosophy and a way of life, a way of gentleness thru strength. We learn and study the techniques of Jujitsu not to dominate others but that others may not dominate us. What we learn we must pass on to each generation that comes after us. I expect that many of you will teach others what I have taught you in the way of the warrior, the techniques, and the philosophy behind the way of gentleness.

"Thus the principle of Judo, from the very beginning, is not one of aggression, but of flowing with things." Carl B. Becker, The Martial Arts Reader.
posted at 05:25PMcomments

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