While demonstrating a technique the other night, a new student said to me ” I am nervous about doing that technique, Sensei. I am afraid I might hurt my partner”. I replied ” You should worry about all your techniques causing injury. You are studying combat arts.” While I am happy that the students are concerned with the safety of their partners, and I try to instill concern for their true attackers, sometimes the student must sit back and realize that what we do is not a game. This is a school of combat. This is serious.
Although many educated people might catagorize differently, Martial Arts schools could be categorized into 2 broad classifications; schools who teach Bujutsu (Martial Tactics), and those who teach Budo (Martial Way). Schools of Bujutsu emphasize one thing; victory on the battlefield. They learn tactics and techniques for the goal of disposing of enemy personnel . Budo, on the other hand, teaches combat techniques for the goal of self-development, of becoming something “more”. Most modern Martial Arts schools have chosen the Budo-type of school, as it applies to most people better. Both schools can offer excellent training and significant mental and physical benefits to their students. Some schools of Budo start to focus only on the self-development aspect, and consequently lose something in their training.
Here is the secret that those schools of Budo miss. In order to become a better person mentallly-physically-spiritually, you must train with deadly seriousness – you must train as if you are on the battlefield – you must train with Bujutsu – you must train for “life or death”. Only then will you push yourself beyond your own boundries. Only then will you push your physical and emotional limits. Only then can you become something “more”. If you make it “life or death”, you will bring your training to a whole new level.
Now, training with deadly seriousness doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and enjoy yourself. It is OK to laugh with your partner at your mistakes, and enjoy the fellowship of the dojo. But you also must be able to switch back into “training mode” quickly and train seriously.
So, go to your next class at the Dojo, and have fun. And train with deadly seriousness.