– Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

In ancient times, a person who strve to learn budo would do individual keiko. After learning skills from his teacher, he trained himself to master those lessons. He had to have the determination to study through the techniques alone. Going into the mountains, he would repeat his solo training in nature, fighting with animals and trees.
These days, so many people forget to ” go into the mountains.” These people tend to desire the easy way out. If they are having problems that are complicated, they immediately ask someone older to solve it for them. Moreover, the elder gives them easy advice. Most people answer nicely because they think it would be good to help the situation along, but in fact, this often ends up hurting the individual`s growth.

It might be a little different from keiko in budo, but some problems can only be understood by the person who has the problem. An advisor gives suggestions trying to solve the problem through applying his own experiences, while the listner ( who does not have those same experiences ) listens to the guidance as if it were being recieved from some divine being. There is sometimes a serious danger in missing a lesson`s important point. Therefore, you should sometimes offer the advice, ” Ponder the dilemma yourself,”You may consider this ” coldhearted.” However, being cold illustrates the need to solve a problem ( finding warmth ).Perhaps some days later, the individual will return saying: ” I can`t figure out a solution…” and he will recount his problem in a totally different manner than his first telling. You will now be able to discern how to offer advice that is more appropriate by judging from his revised account.

In budo, we inform students of the proper answer after the “torment”, of making them think for themselves. Some things must be learned through suffering or they will be forgotten for the rest of your life. We must all learn to solve our own difficult problems.Furthermore, in budo, we suffer great pains to master the best techniques. It was throught the pains and labors of our ancestors, who became the founders of our traditions, that these techniques were invented.


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