Recently, Soke was speaking about the importance of the connection of all things. We must realize and accept that all things are connected and therefore be able to utilize this concept in our Budo.

For example, as in a Japanese Budo related proverb 弱を示して強に出る, showing weakness will result in strength. Therefore, the connection of weakness and strength is accepted and the relationship and connection is utilized. Knowing this connection eliminates the focus on one point and therefore cultivates the mind of detachment.

This also can be considered to be similar, if not identical to the concept of duality that Soke often refers too, however, the slight nuance of the connection is actually very powerful image and therefore applicable to Shingitai.

Soke also spoke of the connection that he has felt on numerous occasions in his life. The most recent and relevant example that I have been lucky enough to experience was that of the speech that took place at Soke’s writers guild party. At the party, a well known Japanese author and actor spoke about a book that he is working on regarding the story of four exchange students who visited the US at the time the Meiji Restoration. He explained how much of their experience solidified the Japan/US relations at the time and how this further influenced Japan to look towards the US for many modern ideas and systems, including military. It so happened, that myself and one more American Shihan was invited to this party by Soke, and this Shihan’s past role was focused strengthening Japan/US relations for the purpose of defense.

Soke mentioned that it is mysterious to see these connections everywhere and that they are a very powerful, natural and integral force of our Budo study.

It is also important to recognize the connection with Kami or god and how this flows through us. In Japanese, it is often said that gods hand is the course of action. The just Budoka realizes that perfect outcome or luck is driven by more than pure ability, and gods will or gods action plays a tremendous role in favorable outcome.

Keeping this connection with our conscious self is also critical for remaining in the moment and therefore present. Spontaneous action is best derived from this ability to stay in the moment and therefore cultivate “Kami no Te” or the hand of god.  This should not be thought of as the western or conceptualized form of god, but the divine action that is derived from egolessness.

If you can accept the connection in all things then the aspect of Banpenfugyo becomes natural. With any action there is a reaction and knowing this will reduce or eliminate surprise or disruption of fudoshin.

Acceptance and understanding of the connection of things is critical to our study of Budo.

Bufu Ikkan