Recently, a Budo inspiration came to me. I realized that when playing and wrestling with a two year old child, I had to be extra present with my hands in order to avoid inflicting injury. I noticed that from my training it seemed that naturally my hands, even without specific intention, often ended up entering in vulnerable places with the right timing to inflict injury.
I began to think about the aspect of Ikken Hasso and Soke’s words regarding that one must rescue the opponent from injury. This lesson became very clear and apparent in this opportunity. Reflecting deeper on this concept, the kenjutsu concept of Satsujinto (殺人刀) or satsujinken（殺人剣）life taking sword and Katsujinken (活人剣) life giving sword came to mind. Changing the character for sword “ken” 剣 to “ken” that of fist拳 binds this concept well.
In our physical training, we are focusing on the concept of satsujinken and I’m sure everyone who trains agrees that those incidents exist where we accidently slip and strike the training partner by accident inflicting injury. (although, some may view this as success 🙂 These are obvious and well noticed and sometimes embarrassing. However, there are also those times where we unnoticeably assist our partner to avoid injury and this goes undetected
Thinking of this further, this is also a strong analogy of the mindset of the Budoka. In order to be able to perform and control without notice or detection requires a great amount of selflessness and confidence. To inflict pain with satsujinken can be viewed as violent a need to be noticed or recognized. The one that helps does so unoticeably and without need for recognition. To truly help someone would be to do so without need for reward.
It can be seen that the highest achievement of martial arts is to avoid conflict or inflicting pain; therefore those that have achieved this level often go undetected and do not possess the need to standout.