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In martial arts, meditation on the past actions leads to the ability and skill in future actions

Myths and Legends

The disciple of Musashi
For Taisen Deshimaru
From the book "The Zen Way to the Martial Arts"

I will tell the story of the samurai who came to see the legendary master Miyamoto Musashi and asked him to teach him the true way of the sword. The teacher agreed. Once his disciple, the samurai used their time, as ordered by his master, carrying and cutting wood and fetching water from a distant spring. He did this every day for a month, two months, one year, three years. Currently any student would have started a week or even a few hours, but the samurai continued, and in the process formed his body. At the end of three years, despite everything, he got fed up and asked his teacher, "What kind of stepson is giving me?" I have not touched a sword since I arrived. I spend all my time chopping wood and carrying water. When I going to start? "
"Okay, okay," replied the teacher.

"As you wish, now I'll show you the true art."

Ordered him to the dojo and there, day after day, from morning till night, the pupil had to walk around the outer edge of the mat, step by step around the room without ever missing a beat.

So the student walked around the edge of the mat for one year. At the end of that time he told his teacher, "I am a samurai, I have a long experience with the sword and I knew other masters of kendo. None has taught me how you do. Now, please show me the true way of the sword. "

"Very well," said the teacher. "Follow me."

Led him away in the mountains to a place where a tree was a bridge over a deep ravine, deep rough terrifying.

"Very well," said the teacher, "Cross them."

The samurai did not understand what his master meant, when he looked down, hesitated, fell and could not be convinced to cross.

Suddenly he heard a rattling sound behind them, the sound of the cane of a blind man.

The blind man, without paying attention, passed and was guided tapping firmly above the abyss, his stick in front.

"Ahh," said the samurai, "I'm beginning to see. If the blind can cross well, I should be able to do so also."
Then his teacher said, "For a full year you have walked round and round around the edge of the mat, which is much narrower than the trunk, you should be able to cross."

He understood quickly crossed to the other side.

His training was completed: three years developed the physical strength, a full year he developed his power of concentration on a single action (walking), and finally, facing death at the edge of the abyss, he received his final training of spirit and mind.

Encounter with a snake
Translated from the book "My Way of Life" by O-sensei Funakoshi
Kodansha International

It exists in Okinawa a very poisonous snake called Habu. Fortunately, her bite is not as scary now as it was in my youth, where the only salvation for someone bitten on the hand or foot was immediate amputation concerned. There is currently a serum effective, but must be injected as soon as possible after the bite.

Our Okinawan Habu, that grows to 2 meters is still a beast to be avoided.

In the years before the development of serum, one night I went to the house of Master Azato for karate practice. This happened several years after my marriage, I asked my oldest son, then a primary school, and accompany me to wear the small lamp which lit our way through the night on the island.

While we were walking by Sakashita, between Naha and Shuri, we passed an ancient temple dedicated to the ancient and highly revered Goddess of Mercy, Kannon in Japanese called modern. Just past the temple I saw in the middle of the path an object that at first glance I thought was horse manure, as we got closer I realized that what I saw was life and not just alive but anrollada ready to strike, noting angrily us the two intruders.

When my son saw agujeantes those two eyes shining in the night and then that sharp, red tongue leaping from his mouth to the kuz of the light, screamed in terror and rushed at me, hugging my legs in fear. He quickly threw it behind me, I took the flashlight and began to swing slowly from left to right, with my eyes fixed on the snake. I can not certainly tell it how long it lasted, but eventually the snake, still watching, slipped into the darkness of adjacent potato field. It was only then that I could see how long it was and what was thicker than the Habu.

He had, of course, often seen several Habu before, but never before that night had seen a coiled ready to strike. Like all their nasty habits Okinawan knew, doubted very much that had gone so meekly without even trying to attack, so even terribly frightened, I took the flashlight ahead of me and I entered the field in search of the snake
As soon as I saw those two bright eyes reflecting the light from the flashlight, I realized that the Habu in fact I was waiting. I had set a trap and was ready to attack. Fortunately to me and the lantern swinging, abandoned their attack and this time it finally disappeared in the darkness of the crop.

It seemed very important to learn a lesson from the serpent. As we continued our journey to Azato house, I told my son, "We all know the persistence of Habu.

But this time that was not the danger. The Habu could find seemed to be aware of the tactics of karate, and when he walked into the vegetation, was not escaping us. He was preparing an attack. The Habu really understand the spirit of karate. "

Martial Arts Meeting of the Cats
Deshimaru Taisen
Translated from the book "The Zen Way to the Martial Arts", Penguin / Arkanai.

200 years ago in Japan before the Meiji Restoration, there was a master of Kendo Shoken called his home was infested by a huge rat. This is an unusual history of cats and rats.
Every night the big rat came to the house and kept him awake Shoken. I had to sleep during the day. He consulted a friend who was devoted to raising cats, something like a stepson of cats. Shoken said, "Lend me your best cat.
The coach gave him an alley cat, extremely fast and a very avid hunter of rats, with strong claws and muscles of great strength. But when he came face to face with the rat in the room, the rat stood his ground and the cat had to turn and run. There was definitely something special with that rat.

Shoken then provided a second cat, a ginger-colored, with a ki incredible and an aggressive personality. This second cat stood his ground, so the cat and the rat struggled but overcame the rat and the cat had to make a hasty retreat.
He sought a third cat, a white and black, faced the rat but not fared much better than the previous.

Shoken provided a cat, the fourth, was black, old and not stupid, but on was as strong as the alley cat or cat ginger color. Entered the room, the rat looked a little advanced. The black cat sat very undisturbed and remained motionless. One hesitation crossed the mind of the rat. Cautiously approached slowly; was just a little scared. Suddenly the cat grabbed him by the neck, killed him and dragged him.

Shoken then went to see his friend Cats coach and said, "How many times have I chased the rat with my wooden sword, but instead of hitting me scratching; your black cat as he could get rid of it?"

The friend said, "What we should do is summon a meeting and ask him directly to cats. You are a master of Kendo, you do the questions, I'm pretty safe enclosure that everyone understands about martial arts."
So there was a meeting of cats, was presided over by the black cat was the oldest of all. The alley cat took the floor and said, "I'm very strong."

The black cat said, "Then why do not you beat him?"

The alley cat replied, "Believe me, I'm very strong, I know hundreds of different techniques to catch rats. My claws are strong and my muscles are far reaching. But the rat was no ordinary rat."

The black cat then said, "Then your strength and your techniques were not compared with those of the rat.'ll Nutsche wasa much muscle, but ability alone was not enough. No way!"

The ginger cat spoke, "I am enormously strong, I am constantly exercising my ki and my breathing through zazen. I eat vegetables and rice soup, so I have so much energy. But I could not win the rat. Why?

The black cat replied, "Your activity and energy are great, true, but the rat was beyond your power: you are weaker than the big rat. If you are by looking in your ki, proud of her, turns into something as fat. Your ki blast is only temporary, can not last and all that remains is a cat. Your ki can be compared to water flowing from a faucet, but the rat is like a huge geyser. That is the why the rat was stronger. Even if you have a very strong ki, is really too weak for trust in yourself. "

It was his turn to speak to black and white cat, who had also been defeated. He was not very strong, but was smart. He satori, there wasa completed and used all his time practicing zazen. But it was not mushotoku (that is, without goals or desires of profit), and he also was forced to run to survive.

The black cat said, "You are extremely intelligent and strong as well. But you could not beat the rat because you had a target, so the intuition of the rat was more effective than yours. The moment you walked into the room understood your attitude and mental state and that's why you could not beat him. I was unable to bring your strength, your technique and your active consciousness, fell apart instead of uniting into one.

"While I, in a single instant, I used all these three powers unconsciously, naturally and automatically, and so I was able to kill the rat.

"But I know a cat in a village not far from here, which is even stronger than me. He is very, very old man and his mustache are gray. I met him once, and certainly there is nothing to indicate that it is strong ! sleeps all day. Never eat meat or even fish, only genmai (rice soup), although it sometimes takes a few drops of sake. has never caught a single rat as you have a mortal fear of him and tear as the leaves wind. shall be maintained so remote that never has a chance to catch even one. One day he entered a house completely infested with rats, well, all the rats disappeared that moment and went to live in other houses. The scare was at its dreams. barbagris That cat is mysterious and impressive. should be like him beyond the positions beyond breath, beyond consciousness. "

To Shoken, the master of kendo, this was a great lesson.

In zazen, and positions are beyond, beyond breath, beyond consciousness.

Against a Typhoon
By Yukio Togawa
Extracted from Karate-do My Way of Life.
About Gichin Funakoshi

The sky was black, and from it came a howling wind that destroyed everything that stood in his way. Large branches were torn from the big trees as if they were delicate branches, dust and gravel flying in the wind, banging painfully human faces.

Okinawa is known as the Island of the Typhoon, and the ferocity of tropical storms defies description. To bear the brunt of the winds that regularly ravage the island each year during the storm, the Okinawan houses are low and they are built as robust as they can, they are also surrounded by high stone walls, and ceilings board are bonded with cement. But the winds are so terrible (sometimes reaching speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour) that despite the precautions, houses vibrate and tremble.

During a typhoon in particular, which I remember, all the inhabitants of Shuri hidden in their homes, praying that the typhoon passed without causing too much destruction. No, I am right in saying that all people were hiding in their homes: there was a young man on the roof of his home in Yamakawa-cho, who determinedly fought against the storm.

Anyone who had seen this solitary figure, surely that person would have concluded that he had lost his sanity. Wearing only a loincloth, stood on the slippery tiles of the roof and held between both hands as if to protect themselves from the wind howling, a tatami carpeting. He must have fallen several times from top to bottom, as his almost naked body was covered with mud.

The young man appeared to be about 20 years of age or possibly less. He was short, just over 5 feet tall (1.60 cm + -), but his shoulders were huge and bulging biceps. Her hair was arranged like a sumo wrestler, with a bow and a small silver needle, indicating that belonged to the shizoku.

But all this is of little importance. What mattered was the expression on his face: eyes wide resplandecín with a strange light, a high forehead, a coppery red skin. Clenching his teeth as the wind whipped, radiating an aura of tremendous power. One might have thought it was one of the guardians of Deva kings.

At that moment the young man took a low stance, holding the straw mat crazy wind. The position taken was very impressive because he stood as if on a horse. In fact, anyone who knew a little about karate, he would have realized immediately that this was the position of the rider (kibadachi), the most stable of the positions of Karate, and that was using the raging typhoon to refine his technique and further strengthened physically and mentally.

The wind hitting the mat and the boy with all his strength, but he maintained his position without any hesitation.

Matsumura and Bull
R. Kim, "The weaponless Warriors"

A very famous story told (of different manners), which was very important to win the title of Bushi Matsumura.

The story took place in the reign of King Sho Ko, reign marked by court intrigues, corruption and distribution of power in the hands of the king of a small group of subordinates. This is a usual story when power falls into the hands of a leader of weak character.

To keep people calm in face of constant tax increases, the king instituted an annual bullfighting and martial arts to entertain the populace. Quickly became one of the cusps of the local calendar time.

In a particular year, after the king had received a bull of the Emperor of Japan, decided to do battle with the best martial artist of the island, Matsumura. The proclamation of the meeting was sprinkled throughout the island, creating a stir. People forgot about their problems and waited anxiously for the battle of the bull of the king and in Aizo-Shuri Matsumura.

Upon hearing of the meeting by order of the king, Matsumura decided not to take risks. He walked toward the stables of King and visited the caretaker of the bull at home. The man was completely stunned when he saw Matsumura, a man idolized by the Okinawan, regarded almost as a demigod. He could only stare at him with unfocused eyes, hold your breath and mouth open.

"I could see the bull?" Matsumura said, trying to relax man.

"Whatever you say," finally answered uncomfortably caregiver and started to lead to the stable Matsumura
"Please do not mention to anyone that I have come to see the animal," Matsumura said, "and make sure it is tightly tied up."

The keeper looked at him strangely and nodded his head as he saw his team put Matsumura battle and a mask. First making sure that the bull was securely tied, Matsumura entered the corral and approached the animal carefully.

In his sleeve pulled out a long needle and pierced the bull with her on her nose. The reaction was loud, the bull bellowed deafeningly and tried in vain to attack his tormentor. Matsumura satisfied with the results, repeat this process every day until the bull learned to recognize and fear.

When the day of the meeting, people from all over the island traveled en masse to Aizo-Shuri, from as far as Hama-Higa. The air was full of festivity and people forgot all about their taxes, however, prepared for the greatest show on Earth: Matsumura fighting bull breed the king.

When the bull trotted to the Arena, there was an expectant silence and a collective sound of admiration. It was a truly magnificent animal. Even the king must have wondered if a man could beat such a beast. The bull snorted, pawed the ground and savagely and cheers emanated from the crowd. In one corner had appeared Matsumura.

He walked slowly towards the bull, dressed in his battle equipment and mask. When the bull finally sniffed the aroma, gave a bellow of fear and ran from the Arena.

The audience gave a thunderous roar, no one had seen or heard of anything like it in their lives, even the king was astonished, could not explain how she managed Matsumura bull come out without even being touched. When he finally regained his composure, he announced to the public:

"Today, by royal decree, Matsumura is named 'bushi', in recognition of his unusual skill in martial arts."
Matsumura Sokon thus took the title and name of "bushi" to the story.

By Richard Kim.
"The weaponless Warriors", 1974. Ohara Publications, USA.

During the Satsuma occupation of Okinawa, a Japanese Samurai who had lent money to a fisherman, took a trip to the province for harvesting Itoman, where the fisherman lived. Not effectively being able to pay, the poor fisherman fled and tried to hide from the Samurai, who was famous for being short of genius. The Samurai went home and not finding him there, I looked all over town. As he realized that was not turned furious. Finally, at dusk, he found under a ravine that hid it from view. In his anger, drew his sword and said: "What you have to tell me," he shouted.

The fisherman replied, "Before you kill me, I would say something. We humbly ask that possibility." The samurai said, "Ungrateful!" I'll lend you money when you need it and give you a year to pay me and I rewarded this way. He speaks before he changes his mind. "

"Sorry," said the fisherman.

"What he meant was this. I just started learning the art of empty hand and the first thing I learned is the precept: 'If you raise your hand, restricts your temper, if your temper rises, restricting your hand. "

The Samurai was stunned to hear this from the lips of a simple fisherman. He sheathed his sword and said, "Well, you're right. But remember this, back in a year from today, and you'd better have the money." And he left.

Samurai Night had fallen when he got home and, as usual, was about to announce his return, he was caught by a beam of light from his room through the open door.

Sharpened his eye and saw his wife lying asleep and vague outline of someone who was sleeping beside her. Very surprised and angry exploiting realized I was a samurai!

He drew his sword and quietly approached the door of his room. He raised his sword ready to attack through the door when he remembered the words of the fisherman: "If your hand is raised, it restricts your temper, if your temper rises restricts your hand."

He returned to the entry and said aloud. "I'm back." His wife got up, opening the door she went out with the mother of the Samurai to greet him.

The mother dressed him in clothes. She was wearing clothes to ward off intruders Samurai during his absence.

The year passed quickly and payday arrived. The Samurai again made the long journey. The fisherman had been waiting. Just saw the Samurai, this ran out and said: "I had a good year. Here is what you owe plus interest.

I do not know how to thank you! "
The Samurai put his hand on the shoulder of the fisherman and said, "Stay with your money. You owe me nothing. I'm the one who is in debt."


"All the birds of the Universe used to gather to sing hymns in praise of nature and God. There were nightingales, canaries, thrushes, singing ... and also massive crane, with its unpleasant squawk! Both resolved to exclude other birds of group.

Then suddenly there was the King to inquire why they no longer heard the voice of the crane ... When they explained, the king replied: "They have done very wrong! The singing of the crane is part of the concert setting and tune notes serve to enhance the beauty of harmony notes."

When we feel we can not tolerate certain people or certain things, certain religions or philosophies that we are strangers and judge that disrupt our way of thinking, and therefore should be eliminated, when we believe that only our ideologies and our guidelines, or of our compatriots and sympathizers, are what should prevail under any circumstances, remember this Hindu legend and let the harmony and equilibrium is established in us to project outwardly, in our relationships with others.

From useless for us to talk about peace, beauty and light, if in our internal disharmony reigns, chaos and darkness. Let a self-analysis and whenever we find harmful desires and longings in our hearts, we try to remove them sincerely for our own good and that of others.

That our actions and words are translated into a balance between intellect and feeling, a way of life that must be constantly transform evening for us, on a smaller scale, a reflection of the Great Harmony governing the universe!

Kuwada and Kata
Kim Richard, "The weaponless Warriors", 1974. Ohara Publications, USA.

Where lack of morality of karate, karate there.

There was once a man, let's call Kuwada.

Kuwada had begun his martial arts training with a desire to be feared by all men. But he soon discovered that there were no shortcuts on their way from beginner to master.

Discouraged by the continuous training of kata, Kuwada asked his sensei, "When we learn something else? I've been here long enough and kata, kata, kata every day."

When your sensei no answer, Kuwada went to the teacher's assistant and asked the same question. He answered, "The training of kata is to polish the mind. It is better to shave your head than your head. You understand?"

Kuwada protest did not understand and left the dojo, embarking on a remarkable career as the best street fighter in Shuri. It was hard, no doubt. "A fight night," was his word, always bragged about "not afraid of any living man."

One night, Kuwada saw a stranger walking calmly along a rock wall. Kuwada was angry to see such composure in another person. He ran quickly to the crossroads and wait out man.

When he did, Kuwada jumped and threw a punch, but he ducked and took her arm. As Kuwada was shooting at him, looked him straight in the eye. Kuwada tried to escape, but could not. For the first time in his life he felt a strange sensation Kuwada, fear of defeat.

When he let go, Kuwada ran, but looked over his shoulder to see the man walking calmly as if nothing had happened. Kuwada subsequently found that the man was a master of kata, a martial artist who never in his life he had fought.

That is mastered himself is the greatest of warriors. This is the most obvious thing for a martial arts master.

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