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Budo and Harmony
By H.E. Davey
Many individuals embark upun the study of Budo, or the martial way, with a desire to master its "secrets".
When these so-called secrets are explained they are often fairly simple to grasp intellectually. Yet, when
the new student tries to duplicate the teacher's movements, failure is frequently the result. Although one's mind perceives what is needed, the body does not want to coorporate. Thus, the secret behind Budo
lies not only in its techniques, but in the coordination of mind and body which makes all technical skill
True Budo waza, or techniques, demand and develop a state of harmony. In this state the mind and body function as a single whole. It is surprisingly difficult to make the mind and body work as one. Simply cutting downward in a straight line with a sword can be amazingly difficult. To stop that same fast moving sword without wavering is equally challenging. Both actions can only be accomplished through coordination of one's faculties. Of course, the same ability to coodinate mind and body is found in any skillfully executed activity. In turn, psychophysical coordination is needed to completely realize one's latent abilities.
Harmony is present when a strongly focused mind controls the body, and a relaxed body acts as a refelction of mental movement. All traditional Japanese fine arts, healing, music, dance, or martial arts require mind-body unification. Few have not experienced a lapse of this unity. Striking one's thumb with a hammer is an example of this. Budo, ideally, represents the highest example of harmony in thought and action. It serves as a means of demonstrating this unity as well as providing a path for developing it.
Therefore, before seeking to control an opponent, one must study how to control his or her own mind and body. All masters of Japanese Budo, past and present, have stressed this. For when one can concentrate his or her entire mental and physical strength toward a single objective, an extraordinary power is the result. this powerful, but seeminly effortless strength can be applied to daily living as much as Budo. It represents humankind's true and greatest potential.
About the author: H.E.Davey has been studying traditional Japanese Jujutsu since the age of 5. He joined the Kokusai Budo Renmei in 1987, and is the Director of the Sennin Foundation. He also teaches classes in Shodo - Japanses calligraphy for personal growth.