Master's Wisdom - 2


(Wisdom and Practical Advice of Great Martial Artists)

by Sensei Vitold Jordan

Calligraphy: "Masakatsu_agatsu" -True Victory, Self-victory!


Fūrinkazan (風林火山),

literally "Wind, Forest, Fire and Mountain", 

was the battle standard used by the Sengoku period Daimyo Takeda Shingen,

quoting chapter 7 of Sun Tzu's The Art of War:

"Move as swift as a wind, stay as silent as forest, attack as fierce as fire, undefeatable defense like a mountain."


TENSEKI-RYU (School of Swordsmanship)

“The Three Rules for Practice”


I. The Three Prohibitions:

1. To give up

2. To misbehave

3. To be clumsy


II. The Three Joys

1. Vicissitude

                                                                                                2. Honesty

3. Skilfulness


III. Three Evils

1. Fear

  2. Doubt

        3. Confusion



"The Ten Evils for a Practitioner of Martial Arts"


1. Insolence

2. Overconfidence

3. Greed

4. Anger

5. Fear

 6. Doubt

 7. Distrust

 8. Hesitation

 9. Self-contempt

10. Conceit



"The Ten Virtues for a Ninja"

1 Loyalty

2. Bravery

3. Strategic

4. Diligence

5. Trustworthiness

 6. Good Health

7. Responsibility

8. Ingenuity

9. Knowledge of the Teachings

10. Gifted Speech



TEMPU NAKAMURA (1876-1968)
Martial Artist, Philosopher, Author


"If the spirit is strong, one can accomplish anything.

You only live once. Keep yourself in the present. The past is gone, and the future is unknown.

Do not think of work - any work - as duty. If it is a duty, it will become a burden. How do you turn a burden into a pleasure? Live respectfully, correctly, positively, and boldly.

When you rise in the morning, greet the day with vigor. During the day, refrain from thinking or saying, "I'm confused", "I'm weak", "I'm sad", "I need help". At night before you sleep, release all thoughts of sadness, anger, or irritation.

Think of pleasant things.

Reflect constantly on your state of mind. Approach others in a positive, bright manner. Always be grateful, honest, kind, and pleasant. Speak truly and honestly.

Your attitude towards life determines its outcome.

The best attitude is based on respect, boldness, truthfulness, and purity.

"Foster the life force (Ki) by being healthy, courageous, decisive, resolute, and vigorous".


JIGORO KANO (1860-1938)
The Founder of Judo
"Six Principles"

1."TANDO" - Search for the Way.

2. Carefully observe oneself and one's situation, carefully observe others, and carefully observe one's environment.

3. Seize the initiative in whatever you undertake.

4. Consider fully, act decisively.

5. Know when to stop.

6. Keep to the middle.


The Father of Modern Karate
"Twenty Principles"

 1. Never forget that Karate begins and ends with respect.

2. There is no first attack in Karate.

3. Karate fosters righteousness.

4. First know yourself, and know others.

5. Rather than physical technique, mental technique.

6. Let your mind roam freely.

7. Inattention and neglect cause misfortune.

8. Never think that Karate is practiced only in the dojo (training hall).

9. Karate is a lifelong pursuit.

10. Everything you encounter is an aspect of Karate; find the marvelous truth there.

11. Karate is like boiling water; if you do not keep the flame high

     (with continual training), it turns tepid.

12. Do not think about winning; think about not losing.

13. Respond in accordance to your opponent.

14. Wage the battle with natural strategy.

15. Regard your hands and feet as weapons.

16. Step out the door and face 10,000 foes.

17. Learn various stances as a beginner, but then rely

18. The traditional forms must be practiced correctly; real combat is another matter.

19. Never forget your own strength and weakness, the limitations of the body, and the relative quality of your techniques.

20. Continually polish your mind.


Founder of Aikido


"Aikido is the principle of non-resistance. Because it is non-resistant, it is victorious from the beginning.

"In Aikido we never attack. If you want to strike first, to gain advantage over someone, that is proof your training is insufficient. Let your partner attack, and use his aggression against him. Do not cower from the attack; control it before it begins.

"Techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space. If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with. water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing, Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.

"I am never defeated, however fast the enemy may attack. It is not because my technique is faster than that of the enemy. It is not a question of speed. The fight is finished before it is begun. When the enemy tries to fight with me, the Universe itself [I am in perfect harmony with the Cosmos], he has to break the harmony of the Universe. Hence, at the moment he has the mind to fight with me, he is already defeated. There exists no measure of fast or slow.

"In true Budo (martial art), there are no opponents. In true Budo we seek to be one with all things, to return to the heart of creation [Creator]. In real Budo, there are no enemies. Real Budo is a function of love. The Way of a Warrior is not to destroy and kill but to foster life, to continually create. Love is the divinity that can really protect us.

"Aiki (Love and Harmony) is the universal principle that brings all things together; it is the optimal process of unification and harmonization that operates in all realms, from the vastness of space to the tiniest atoms.

"Aiki reflects the grand design of the cosmos; it is the life force, an irresistible power that binds the material and spiritual aspects of creation. Aiki is flow of nature.

"Aiki signifies the union of the body and spirit and is a manifestation of that truth. Further, Aiki enables us to harmonize heaven, earth, and humankind as one.

"Aiki means 'to live together in harmony', in a state of mutual accord. Aiki is the ultimate social virtue. It is the power of reconciliation, the power of love.

"Aiki is a form of prayer for peace that generates light and heat. Forget about your little self, detach yourself from greed and objects, and you will radiate light and warmth. Light is wisdom; warmth is compassion.

"I have given my life to opening this Way, but when I look back there is no one following it...

"Victory right here, right now! - An ideal state of perfection and completion of the warrior... True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”


BRUCE LEE (1940-1973)
Founder of Jeet Kune Do, and Actor

 "Because martial art is my career, I want to use it as a means to express my ideals. A real fighter should fight for righteousness. He must be sincere and fight wholeheartedly to the end. Only in such a way can he develop good character and total truth and sincerity.

"Martial art can help you in your process toward growth. I don't like cults or sects in the martial arts. Use Karate, Judo, Aikido, or any style to build your counter-offensive, your confidence. You've got all the advantages when you think about it.

"An animal jumps at every sound.., a leaf responds to every push of air.., but an enlightened warrior in combat moves only when he chooses - only when necessary - actually, the movement before it is necessary. He is not tensed but ready; he is never set but flexible.

"Fighters must have alert eyes like an eagle, a cunning brain like a fox, swift action like a cat, fierceness and toughness like leopard, swiftness like a cobra, and patience like a camel. He who obtains all this qualities will be a perfect fighter.

"In real fighting, we have to keep our brain calm. Don't let your mind be conquered by stupid thoughts. Just regard the fighting as if it were nothing... If the enemy is cool, stay cooler than him; if the enemy moves, move faster than him; be concerned with the ends, not the means; master your own manipulation of force, don't be restricted by your form. Freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond any system.

"It takes perception, practice, and willingness to train the mind into new habits and the body into new habits of action. Action is our relationship with opponent... Quick temper will make you fool of you soon enough... Anger blinds!

"The man who pulls a knife on you is at a disadvantage. He will clearly lose the fight. The reason is very simple. Psychologically, he only has one weapon. His thinking is therefore limited to the use of that single weapon. You, on the other hand, are thinking about all your weapons: your hands, elbows, knees, feet, head. You are thinking 360 degrees around him. You've got all the advantages when you can think about it.

"Thoughts are things.”As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" [Prov.23.7] contains the secret of life. A man is literally what he thinks. Everything is the state of mind... I am the captain of my mind...

"Visualize success rather than failure, by believing 'I can do it' rather 'I can't'. Negative thoughts are overpowering only if you encourage them and allow yourself to be overpowered by them... Thoughts backed by faith will overcome all problems. The possession of anything begins in the mind. All riches begins as a state of mind. You have complete control of your mind and your positive mental attitude attracts wealth. Your mental attitude is what counts.

"All types of knowledge ultimately means self-knowledge... The true power of our skill is a self-knowledge - the liberation of self - not a weapon... To me, I have no other self (not to mention thought) than the oneness of things of which I was aware at that moment.

"Growth is the constant discovery and understanding in one's process of living. Be flexible so you can change with change. Flow, my friend; flow in the total openness of the living moment. Empty yourself! Open up! After all, the usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness.

"Swordplay is the most difficult of all martial arts. It requires at least ten years of hard training to be master of it. The sword must be united with the mind, and be used as the limb of the body".


Martial Artist, Actor

 "Discipline is absolutely demanded by each martial art, an attitude is everything...

Avoid confrontations. If you get to the point where you have to fight, you've already lost the battle. With nothing to prove, there is no need for a confrontation. Try self-effecting humor to defuse an unpleasant encounter.

Never underestimate an opponent. Overconfidence is your own ability is a mistake because when you're overconfident you don't mentally prepare for whatever it is you intend to do. You can be defeated as easily by overconfidence on your part as by another person's skill.

Regardless of your age, cherish the company of good friends, because you can be relaxed with them. At the same time, seek out the company of positive-thinking people, because you can learn new ideas from them that will broaden your own horizons. Try to avoid negative thinkers and thoughts.

Continue to make new friends. Cherish and nourish your friendships. Friends can be your strongest personal support system in difficult times. Always be alert to the possibilities there are in any meeting with a stranger. It can change your life and help you learn... Always remember it's just as easy to make a friend as an enemy.


Be open to learn new concepts and ideas. Don't be judgmental. That's easier said than done, especially if you feel you have the advantage of wisdom because you are older than the people you interact with. Learn to listen with the third ear in order to hear both what is being said and what you believe the other person is really saying.

Retain an open mind. Even if you think the experience of years makes you wise, do what has to be done with a disposition open to change or chance. Sometimes what seems to be a detour will turn out to be the fastest way to your goal.

"Listen to your heart. [Good martial artists] believe that intuition, as opposed to intellection and rationalization, is the most direct way of reaching the truth. I have learned to listen with an open mind without interrupting or having a prepared response. I hear the words in my heart and my gut as well as in my head.

"Don't let material things possess you. Difficult as it may seem to accept for young adults who grow up in materialistic society and want everything at once, the truth is that the things that are most important to a rich life are intangible - health and love of family and friends. Many people, as they get older, also consider possessions to be more important to their sense of self-worth than the intangible things that really make for a happy and fulfilling life.

"Make the best of every day.

"The center of your life should be living. Appreciate every moment of life that God allows you, because life is fragile. Do not sacrifice today for tomorrow that may never come or for yesterday that is gone. Learn from yesterday and live for today. While you are living and striving, do it to the fullest because today will soon become yesterday, and you won't have the opportunity to experience this moment again.

"Never be ashamed to say "I love you". Those three words that mean so much are not said often enough".




"The Scroll presented to a Young Samurai"


1. Never lie.

2. Never forget to be grateful to one's Lord (Master).

3. Never forget to be grateful to one's parents.

4. Never forget to be grateful to one's teachers.

5. Never forget to be grateful. to one's fellow human beings.

6. Do nothing to offend your God, and one's elders.

7. Do not begrudge small children.

8. Do not burden others with your own troubles.

9. There is no place for anger and rage in the Way.

1O.Do not rejoice at the misfortune of others.

11. Do your best to do what is best.

12. Do not turn back on others and only think of yourself.

13. When you eat, be mindful of the hard work of the farmers who grew the food. Never be wasteful of plants, trees, earth, or stones.

14. Do not dress up in fine clothes, or waste time on superficial appearance.

15. Always behave properly with good manners.

16. Always treat everyone like an honored guest.

17. To overcome ignorance, learn from as many people as possible.

18. Do not study and practice the arts just to make a name for yourself.

19. Human beings have good and bad points. Do not dismiss or laugh at anyone.

20. Strive to behave well but keep good actions hidden and do not seek the praise of others.

Calligraphy: Katsu-jinken - Life-giving sword

To be continued...

"The Way Of The Warrior Is To Stop Trouble Before It Starts" 


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