Tom and I were having some deep conversation about what should be our first blog entry. We decided that it should be our school creed and precepts. This is what we strive to be all about.
Creed信条 (Shinjo) By this path I develop myself for success in life:
1. I am a Martial Artist and Scholar.
2. I seek mastery through moderation. My journey towards excellence is unending.
3. I strive to be a person of positive character. I treat others with respect, courtesy, and benevolence.
4. I discipline my thoughts and behaviors. I take responsibility for my actions.
5. I complete my daily tasks purposefully, with correct action, pride and humility.
6. I keep my eyes open to see the truth and listen with an open heart.
7. I am mindful to nurture wellbeing through the balanced cultivation of mental, physical, spiritual and environmental health.
8. I maintain a spirit of gratitude.
Code of Self-Cultivation for the Martial Artist Scholar: 道場訓 (Dojo Kun)
1. Cultivate the spirit of Respect, Courtesy, and Honesty
I am truly respectful and courteous at all times. I choose my words carefully and am honest and forthright. I do not belittle others. I choose kindness and courtesy over indifference and disdain.
2. Cultivate the spirt of Continual Striving, Effort, and Commitment
I develop myself mentally, physically, morally and spiritually through hard work, reflection and correction. I eliminate harmful behaviors, attitudes and actions and cultivate positive attributes.
3. Cultivate Honor through Virtuous Living
I study the meaning of virtue and carry the obligation to live virtuously. If I fail to do so, I dishonor my parents, my teacher, and my school (Dojo). I am careful to affiliate with people who share these values.
4. Cultivate the spirit of Discipline & Responsibility
I develop self-discipline, self-control and responsibility in thought, deeds and words in order to bring out the best of myself and others. Only I am responsible for my actions, and I do not blame others for my shortcomings. I think before I act knowing that life, my own and that of others, is precious and cannot be replaced.
5. Cultivate the spirit of Humility
I act with humility. This is pride without arrogance. I do not show off or think myself superior to others, andI strive to rid myself of vanity.
6. Cultivate a lifestyle in harmony with nature
I work to live in harmony with nature and my environment so that I may cultivate health and contribute positively to the community and society for the present and future generations.
7. Cultivate the spirit of Right Action, True Courage, Restraint & Benevolence
I take action with courage and restraint and the judgment to do what is right. Benevolence is my manner and my first choice. I do not act violently, abusively or impulsively. A violent action can never be undone. I understand that true courage will allow me to face my deepest fears and challenges in life, with positive action physically, mentally, and spiritually.
8. Cultivate Awareness, Power of Perception, Understanding and Wisdom
I strive to be aware of my surroundings, society and myself. I hone my perception and study deeply. I learn from experience so that I do not repeat my mistakes, and I strive to use wisdom in decision making. Power without perception is without value to me.
9. Cultivate the spirit of Stoicism, Fortitude, Endurance and an Indomitable Spirit
I am strong in my path and do not give up even when there seems no way to go on.
10. Cultivate the spirit of generosity and gratitude. I know that giving is better than receiving, and I nourish my spirit of gratitude.
The Four Elements ofCorrect Movement
精神 seishin(spirit)-to engage in an action with a sincere intention and a commitment to proper action
意識 ishiki (consciousness) - to have presence of mind and to concentrate one’s senses to be fully attuned with the action
呼吸 kokyuu (breath) - to unify the breath with the action
姿勢 shisei (posture) - to maintain proper posture and mechanics through the full action