Kouketsu Dojo Blog




There is a state of being that is the goal of Zen training, called no mind...Our goal in the martial arts is similar to this. We strive to become so proficient at our techniques that they happen without our conscious bidding, manifesting themselves at the right time, correctly executed, and achieving proper results. Many students believe that they must consciously suppress their intellect in order to reach this state, but in martial arts our approach is different. We try to reach a state of no-mind by forgetting about trying to attain it. As in every area of Budo, the key to understanding no-mind is hard training...

By throwing yourself into your training, you become more and more skilled at your art. Techniques that were difficult at first become easier, the more difficult again as you find new aspects to practice. with time, an upward spiral of learning takes place. Eventually, some techniques become reflexive . If you practice enough, there will be occasions during which you will be attacked when you are not expecting it, and your body will act out its trained response. Your aim in training should be to develop all your techniques to this level, which is a lifetimes's work.

Some students misapprehend the idea of no-mind in a way that results in their becoming lazy. They choose to adopt a state of mental passivity, thinking that this is somehow close to the desired condition. As with most excuses to avoid hard work, this takes the student away from good technique and incisive thinking, making it harder to excel rather than easier. Stop yourself from being lazy in training, mentally and physically, as soon as possible. If we assume that you are in the Dojo because you want to be good at Budo, doesn't it make sense to work for progress rather than stagnate?

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A Person of Substance....

For a man of substance, there ought to always be more on the inside than on the outside. Baltasar Gracian

Character if need be, is to study the traits which you want to incorporate into your life. Study the traits of the superior men of the past. What made these men “men of character?” Why do you admire them? What traits set them apart in your mind? By studying the lives of warriors, sages, and men of character, you can get a good picture of what it takes to be a man of character – a superior man.

These men sought to live lives of honor and integrity. They took life seriously and lived life to the fullest, at the same time, they did so without compromising their character. These men were not perfect. Nobody is perfect. They simply worked at being men of character. They made a firm decision about the way they were going to live their lives and followed through with that decision.

When they found that they had fallen short, or had faults that needed to be corrected or removed, they made the effort to make the necessary changes. Everyone falls short on this quest. The key is to not give up when you miss the mark. When you are sighting in your rifle and you miss the bull’s eye, you don’t give up; you simply adjust your sights and refine your technique until you are able to place your shots where you want them to be.

The same principle applies to the development of your character. When you miss the mark or find that you have a habit that is not in sync with the person that you want to be, you should simply make the necessary changes to bring your actions into harmony with the character that you want to cultivate.

This is an ongoing process. Although you may develop your character to that of a superior man, you will never reach a point where you will not have to make adjustments from time to time.




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