“One day, Takamatsu-sensei was walking along the river when he heard a woman’s voice cry out, ‘My child fell into the river!’ Takamatsu-sensei leapt into the river and managed to pull the child to safety. Immediately, he observed that the child had swallowed a large amount of water. He realized it might not be too late to save this child and pulled on its lower lip with his fingers. It jerked back right away. This is one way that a ‘budoka’ tests for life and death. If the unfortunate person’s lower lip jerks back right away when pulled down, there is hope that the person will survive. Takamatsu-sensei then applied ‘suishi no katsu’, which forced the child to throw up water, along with another ’kappō’ (resuscitation method), called ‘taikai no katsu, that promoted the child’s breathing.
On another occasion, Takamatsu-sensei was taking a moment to unwind from an arduous day, by watching the sunset over a nearby lake. Suddenly, he witnessed a young man leap into the water, attempting suicide. Sensei leapt into the water to rescue him. Though sensei attempted ‘suishi no katsu’ and ‘taikai no katsu’ on the young man, he was without success.
Takamatsu-sensei told me, ‘When the child fell into the river, he was fighting hard to survive. He wanted to be saved. His spirit was vibrant. The young man, on the other hand, was determined to die. His spirit was dead before he even entered the lake. This is why nothing I did would revive him.’ Here, we can all understand how important it is to have inner power and the will to live. You must have a strong spirit to live in times of illness and sickness. In time, the sickness will be forced to leave your body, pushed out by your willpower.”
- SÔKE MASAAKI HATSUMI (初見良昭)