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Kyushindo Budo
the kyushindo philosophy of martial arts

Kyushindo individual
Extracts from 'Kyu Book' essays (unpublished ) by Sensei Ray Wood, edited by Gary Robinson

 

That which enriches human character and the essence of all that distinguishes us from other animals, is not merely our superior intelligence, or the power it gives us, but the special ability we all posses to cultivate moral action.

Moral understanding cannot be enforced or achieved by training, and discipline can do no more than bring about a very superficial appearance of 'right' moral behaviour. In order to cultivate morality, it is necessary to educate the individual. With this achieved right behaviour evolves knowingly and freely from the self, rather than being imposed by external rule and regulation.

Morality, is simply the ability to distinguish between that which is right and that that is wrong and the ability and/or will to act accordingly. To determine that which is right is one thing, but to be able to act in such a way is quite another matter. Confucius wrote that a "lack of courage" was simply the failure to act when a course of action was seen to be right. The Japanese word "Bu", which we translate and understand to mean "martial" originally meant courage. Thus Budo does not mean "martial arts" but actually means "the way of courage".

The thing that causes confusion between right and wrong is rarely the inability to distinguish the difference, but rather the calculation that is made with regard to profit and loss. Hesitation arises directly out of the consideration you give to self-interest. A moral person has perfect freedom to act without restraints. Although aware of such factors, they are nevertheless able to dismiss them and follow what is seen to be right, regardless of the consequences. This is the fundamental teaching of Japanese Budo - a simply matter of courage, not intellect.

A famous Japanese Samurai maxim was "to know and to act as one". In other words, there is no separation between the moment of knowing and the action taken, because no profit and loss intervenes.

The saying "money is the root of all evil" attempts to say the same thing, but misses the mark. What causes evil is not the grasping of money itself, nor even power or some other goal, but simply is the fundamental fact of calculation over profit and loss. This does not mean that profit should not come to you, but simply that this idea should not be allowed to influence your actions and decisions. A scripture from the bible reads - "let thine eye be single". This means not to complicate your actions with the double confusion of what is good or bad for you. A simple right or and wrong is always clearly apparent when removed from context of what is likely to bring the most favourable result for you.

By removing the shackles that restrict your course of action you will gain a greater freedom as an individual. This gain will behold a deeper clarity of perception that strives toward the highest of human endeavour. All mechanical techniques, theory, philosophy and teachings within Kyushindo Budo have this single object in mind. Right thought brings right action, and right action brings about right spiritual progress, evolving to a complete inward change in the self. The path of the "Way" reveals itself only to those who have the courage to walk it.

The virtue of martial discipline therefore lies in the fact that it is an excellent means of awakening courage. But unless such courage is directed by means of some form of philosophy and correct moral doctrine, the whole process is a complete waste of time. Physical courage is easy to develop and this should only form the basis and starting point for asking further questions on the subjects of general morality and social behaviour.

An important feature of any martial discipline is the very fact that it attracts people of a violent and aggressive nature. These people, who might otherwise never have come under the influence and a deep moral teaching, discover their personality changing as they continue training in a martial discipline. Training leads to education. Teachers of Kyushindo Budo should never forget this principle.

The first and most fundamental principle of Japanese martial philosophy is that force and violence are always immoral. This does not mean that force and violence are only justified in certain circumstances, but they are never justified no matter what the circumstances may be. The only permissible (although still morally unjustifiable) conditions under which an act of force or violence should occur are:

A. As fulfilment of duty. This was the condition under which the majority of Japanese Samurai fought.

B. In protecting the weak. In which case such action, although morally wrong, is undertaken in a non-selfish context.

C. In self-defence. In which case the skilled practitioner has the moral responsibility to protect attackers from the consequences of their own actions.

To fight simply for a sense of personal honour, from hatred, from anger, to enforce your own will, or even to prove superiority over others are all entirely outside the moral principles of Budo. Contests fought under controlled conditions as part of martial training have the objective of educating the loser, and leading them toward a more correct way of study.

If you confront a violent attack with the idea of defeating it with a violent action of your own, you descend to the same low-level of morals as the attacker.

 

 

To fight simply for a sense of personal honour, from hatred, from anger, to enforce your own will, or even to prove superiority over others are all entirely outside the moral principles of Budo. Contests fought under controlled conditions as part of martial training have the objective of educating the loser, and leading them toward a more correct way of study.

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