The car at the bottom of the hill needs a sustained gas pedal to move up and get to the top.

Tapping the gas pedal once or twice won't get the car up the hill.

Our martial arts practice, when sporadic also moves nowhere. Whatever we are practicing. In bujutsu, our waza needs almost constant input from our bodies and minds. At the beginning of learning bujutsu, we must repeat physical waza often. At least a few times a week. It is easy to put it off until next week or month.

Thinking of the car and the hill is helpful. We need sustained effort to go up the hill and get to the plateau. Even after surmounting the hill we need to have the energy for all the other hills. Plateaus as well are often more dangerous places to reduce the energy of the training. Practicing when we do not want to is part of our shugyo.

We do not need to rush, but we do need sustained commitment each day and week to move past the obstacles. Sustained application of thought is crucial. When in a negative mind that hinders progress, we must be aware of it and use energy to move out of such a state. Hindrances should be observed and overcome with mindfulness.

Learning in the dojo requires commitment. Learning iaido or kenjutsu online requires even more. We must try our best even during times of mental and physical duress.

sword instructor shinkan ryu



Saneteru Radzikowski is the head sword instructor of Shinkan-ryū Kenpō. He lives and teaches Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu from Nara, Japan.

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