The Three Primary Rules of Ukinju-Ryu Budo Practice:
Don't Be There - From a practical perspective it is wise to be absent at the intended point of contact when your opponent attempts to strike you. Further more it could be said that a wise strategy would be," Don't be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person, for the wrong reason." Following the spirit of this rule, with applied discipline, will reduce a multitude of poor decisions and their consequences in one's life. In the physical this concept is first manifested in our posture/stance practice in avoiding conflict in our alignment with force. We express this rule on the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual levels as we navigate through our world and the conflicts and challenges we face. Remember that the word in the Japanese/Chinese for WAR means , not to conquer or vanquish but to ultimately "cease conflict". This conflict is first, and foremost, met in the mind of the practitioner! What is life but the application of awareness and self discipline in the growth and perfection of one's self in the pursuit of our highest version of ourselves so as to step into the destiny Heaven has foreseen for us. The contributions to society we make towards it's elevation to art and an existence based on love, respect and justice demands the best from us in our training for those who then possess the ability are then charged with the protection of these indispensable virtues and the rights of those unable to do so for themselves.
Choose Choice - In this age of immediate gratification, high speed communication and ever changing fortunes the pressure to make choices on a moment to moment basis is immense. Choosing the most effective, economical position coupled with the most direct and efficient defensive action combined with a decisive physical response thereby assuring your maximum safety would seem a good course of action when attacked. In addition Choose Choice for the Ukinju-Ryu practitioner refers to his or her commitment to making informed, responsible choices based on the budoka's ethics, morals, beliefs, and values and resisting the temptation to make flippant, momentarily expedient and potentially irresponsible decisions without regard for the repercussions to others and perhaps the world at large. In training, the discipline and confidence we seek through continual exposure to stress and the forging of our bodies and our will strengthens our skills and helps us implement our intent as we engage the challenges we encounter regardless of the arena.Belated regret undermines our current resolve when we face the fruit born of poor choices we have made void of council from our higher selves.
E-3 (Engage, Engage, Engage) - In other words, engage the body, engage the mind, engage the spirit. In any given instance, we may face a need to act in response to an exterior stimulation, some internal stress or perhaps a moral imperative thrust upon us. The multidimensional practice of our martial arts requires us to use these three filters through which we experience our world in evolving our practice. If we, as Okuma-Ha followers, are to look to the refinement of our selves in the balancing of our bodies, our minds, and that of our spirits we then must resolve also to unite this triad of our core training in the entwined engagement of our selves to the tasks that lay before us as warriors. To fully engage the world around us from the time we awaken to the time we take our rest daily is one of a warriors most honorable challenges. To commit any less than all our selves to a meaningful endeavor is to condemn ourselves to mediocrity.
Ingredients of a practitioner, elements of a seeker, signposts on the journey:
Always strives for improvement.
Faces fears/ dangers and mistakes.
Risks his/her own ego for the betterment of self.
Is compassionate towards others and has the courage to believe ones own convictions, regardless of peer disagreement or pressure.
Always strives for his/her possibilities, not his/her limitations.
Recognizes that non-action is also an action.
Brute force is the measurement of the instinct, but the spirit is the measurement of the infinite.
Continue to seek the lesson to be learned in each moment and release win/lose habits.
Change is the natural order of things. Nothing is destroyed without simultaneously creating something anew in the transformation.
Energy is within all that exists in our conception. Each entity has its story relating to our own. Within that relationship we exist. Even our ignorance of this fact can’t alter its cycle.
To think on things when the moment of action is at hand is SUKI (mind stopping) and creates a break in the armor of ones defenses and is therefore a weakness one must correct.
The body may be the sword, but the will is the tempering. The more times the sword is plunged into the fire and water, the stronger the tempering.
Remember, the wheel of life has a way of turning back to the lesson you passed on the last time around.
Find the challenge in the work, not the work in the challenge.
Consider curiosity being the leading edge of intuition and knowledge, not to mention wisdom.