Change and Evolution

We all have to take a minute to think about why we train. What are the real reasons we come to the dojo. Is it to meet new friends? Pass the time away? Learn the secret fighting arts of the ninja? Whatever your goals maybe; they may change over time. Yesterday at work, my new boss was talking to us about how he was an engineer out of college. When he got to the work force, his company wanted to push him into sales. My boss said that in the beginning, he was unable to give presentations, make connections with people, etc. These are key elements to being a good sales guy. However, overtime his thought process changed. He also found new ways to talk to people, and he was even able to give presentations to a room of 250 people.


This is the same with our budo training. Change or Evolution has to occur. I remember that I started training martial arts because of movies etc. However, now I have a hard time watching action movies, if the martial arts is not real. I have changed, I have evolved. Not only with my thoughts or ways of thinking, but also my taijutsu has changed as well. Change and Evolution is so important. It doesn’t matter how many martial arts you learn, or how many dojos you train at, or even how many seminars you go to. The Evolution of your mind, body and spirit has to start with you. You must have faith in what you do, and you must listen to those who have experience. I saw a letter from a student one time that only had 3 years experience training. He has jumped from teacher to teacher, art to art, and dojo to dojo. However, it doesn’t matter how many times you do this, it will not make you better. Nagato sensei told us that it is important for us to practice what we do. If you study boxing, then practice boxing. If you study judo then practice judo. We study Bujinkan, and we should practice and master just that. Too many people try to study 10 different arts at the same time. However, they are just holding themselves back from evolution in their taijutsu.


If you think about it, even people who left the Bujinkan, have stopped their evolution. People who still practice what they think the Bujinkan should be, instead of studying what Soke tells us to do, oftentimes have “Shit” taijutsu and do not understand why. Therefore, since they do not understand what is going on, they leave the art and practice what they do understand. I also knew another student who thought he knew everything their was to know about the art, because he read everybook and watched every video. This person had never been to Japan, and he felt that no one needs to go to Japan because we have all the information. However, he said this because he had no money to live life, let alone travel to Japan. So we can see how the way people think and live their life influence their decisions about training. I am not rich, but one day I will be. However, I make the sacrifices like many others to travel to Japan, teach seminars, and go to seminars as well. Hatsumi Sensei is giving us the tools to be successful in life. However, we have to make the right decisions for ourself. Soke teaches us to be leaders, not followers. Unfortunately, many of us only want to be lead and never want the responsability that comes with rank. This is another reason why people adapt the motto that rank doesn’t matter. However, this is not the case. We should all respect those who are higher ranking than us, even if we feel that their opinion is right, wrong, or indifferent. You have to choose for yourself who you will follow. This is also why everyone needs a teacher. It doesn’t matter who, but you must train with that person diligently and you should train with that person for the rest of their/your life. This is the martial way. Too many people try to become masters, before they are accepted as a student. Please keep these points in mind, and remember to stay true to the path, and have faith in both Soke and your instructor.


Chris Carbonaro
Bujinkan Shihan

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