A warrior maintains a certain state of mind. One element of this state of mind is awareness. Another is preparedness. To be prepared for battle at all times requires a commitment to overall fitness. Maintaining a
life long overall fitness would be a trait of the samurai. One must be ready to
do battle at any time and place. "keeping the
sword sharp" didn't just refer to the katana.
THE WARRIOR MIND:
Maintaining a "Warrior's mind" may seem anachronistic
in our modern world. Yet such a mind set may have tremendous value even in the
absence of daily combat as experienced by a Samurai. There is plenty of
conflict to deal with daily, whether it be heavy
traffic, competitive business situations, or simply family disagreements. The
warrior mind can be helpful in any situation.
THERE ARE FIVE KEY ELEMENTS TO
(EYE-HAND, SOME TYPE OF SKILL)
SOME IDEAS COME TO
is that belief is powerful. If our belief system is negative, our outcomes will
tend to be negative. Henry ford said, "whether you believe you can, or
can't, you're probably right."
individual belief system, however it was developed (family, culture, peers)
forms our paradigm, or mental map of reality. If our map is inaccurate, our
belief system will be inaccurate. If our belief system is inaccurate, our
outcomes will be poor.
most important element of our belief system is what we believe about ourselves.
If we believe we aren't smart, we cannot act intelligently. If we believe we
are weak, we can't act with strength. If we believe ourselves to be unlovable,
we will live without love. If we believe there is no hope, we will not try to
change. What we believe about ourselves can either be a source of tremendous
power, or a crippling disease.
did a great samurai believe? (based on our lessons
from the dojo, and the available literature from the era of the samurai.)
Samurai believed that long, hard training would
make them better fighters. Why train otherwise? Lesson: our actions can change
Samurai believed, because they were taught, that
whatever they perceived their limitations to be, the perception was wrong. They
could perform, and achieve at a much higher level. Lesson: never give up too
early or too easily - perceived limitations are not real.
Closely related, samurai believed in absolute
persistence. Samurai would have understood completely Churchill’s "never
give in" speech. Lesson: apply a steadfast persistence in pursuit of
Samurai trained in a culture that respected humility.
There is the old Japanese saying "if a nail sticks out of the floor, get a
hammer and pound it back down." samurai believed that being overly
prideful is harmful to one's training. When we become proud, we no longer have
a reason to train hard. Why train like a beginner when we're atop the mountain?
Lesson: stay humble. Approach each training session with "beginner's
mind," and an appropriate humility. "people
with humility don't think less of themselves.. They just think of themselves
Samurai believed that the highest form of self
defense is a close relative of humility.. Deep
courtesy. Lesson: be courteous to all.
Samurai believed that they were 100% personally
responsible for their actions, and the results that followed. Lesson: we are
not victims - we are in charge of what happens to us, for good or ill.
Samurai believed in courage. The samurai put the
fear of death behind them, accepting its inevitability. Lesson: stop fearing
death - then you are free to live. Stop fearing failure - then you are free to
Samurai believed in service to others. I believe
that the word "samurai" actually means "to serve." lesson:
serving others gives life meaning it might not otherwise have.
Samurai believed in the concept of "be here
now." a conscious awareness of their surroundings was essential to
survival. A samurai would never be caught day-dreaming by an enemy. Lesson: be
authentic to, and aware of, each moment of life.
Samurai believed that our being consisted of
body, mind and spirit. Being a fully developed warrior meant investing time and
training for each. Lesson: have, and utilize, a plan for growth in each of
Samurai believed in controlling their emotions. Emotional control or lack thereof is paramount to succees and failure, life and death sometimes, and was an extremely important survival factor.
Too many people are controlled by their feelings. Feelings aren't facts. A
samurai had to assess the facts of every situation - what were the threats? Was
there danger at hand? What tactics/strategies would work best given what was
real? Lesson: Keep emotions in check. Act rationally. The origin and essence of
the concept of "cool" was the ability to maintain a level head, an
aura of calmness, and an ability to take quick and effective action when
everyone around was befuddled and baffled by their emotional reactions to a