Sensei writes in his book Ninpo Wisdom for Life “the first step of Shugyo is to endure the pain your teacher assigns you”, I would like to expend on this point. Today there is a tendency to be over protective so people often try to avoid hardship. This type of attitude or approach prevents one from growing. It is sad to see so many young people looking for the easy way and give Shigoki (hard training) a bad name. This concept is not only important in becoming a good martial artist but also developing in to a good person. Sensei always taught me that the harder the hardship the greater the growth forthcoming. You just need patience and endurance (Shinobu) and the rest will follow naturally. According to the teachings written in the scrolls of Ryusen no Maki “A hardship serves as an omen of future growth if one learns to ride the wave of life”.
During my years of training I experienced Shigoki on many levels but never let myself neglect my training. I don’t think of it as a great achievement or even my own rather then my ability to “empty my cup” and let Sensei fill it in every opportunity I get. In other words I do my best to endure the pain that Sensei assigns me with humility and compassion. The words “I am teaching you to teach yourself” still echo in my mind everyday. For this reason I teach my students in the same manner so they may capture the essence that I am trying to teach so one day they may stand on their own two feet.
10 years have passed since the Dojo opened its doors to the public and through endurance and growth is starting to bear fruit. It is very encouraging to see a good number of students who are starting to understand what I am teaching. All of whom have been with me for a while now and have being going through their own Shigoki. Rudy was tested for his Godan this past trip and passed successfully. He was tested on many levels, and I know he will represent the Dojo well.