Recently, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Soke to attend his writer’s guild monthly party. At this event, I was surrounded by several artists, writers and various other creative types. It was an admirable experience to socialize with Soke outside of the typical Bujinkan event and learn more about this environment and how Soke interacts. Soke is truly revered by the creative crowd as an accomplished artist.
Soke mentioned several times that is it is important to surround yourself with creativity and to learn from this, allowing it to influence your study of Budo and ultimately your life. Without creativity, there is no life.
If you look at the history of the Bugeisha you will see a constant connection to the arts. In fact, the warrior class in Japan were as equally adept at Budo as they were with the other non military arts, such as tea, Ikebana, calligraphy, sumie, etc. There are tremendous parallels in Budo and the creative arts, both paths equally seek and accomplish to polish the heart and allow for egoless inward reflection of self. Creative expression of the Bugeisha is critical, and fortunately the majority of that expression is peaceful.
For the Budoka, the creative means are the ability to innately control the space in a time of conflict. This is no different from a painter who fills the blank canvas with the colors of the pallet, or a writer who fills the pages with a story, or a musician who fills the hall with a beautiful melody. The aspect of space is equally important in all cases.
We cannot forget that in all things the process of internalization takes a lifetime, and the most accomplished artist will be the first to admit that what is truly achieved is nothing and just a start of a new path that leads to another level of discovery. The only way to stay true to the path is to constantly and diligently maintain a focus on training and practice.
Truly, human kind is at its best in a time of creation, and expression is critical to experiencing the fullness of life.
Be creative in your Budo, but be true to yourself as well. Nothing cannot come from nothing, it must come from something.