The Superior Art?
November 23, 2008 · 8:00am EST · Posted by Fujiyama Dojo
Fujiyama Dojo
P.O. Box 20003
Thorold, ON, Canada
L2V 5B3
(905) 680-6389
As many new students approach us with such common questions as, "Is ours the best martial art?" or "Is our art superior?", many senior instructors grow accustomed to raising their eyebrows and engaging in a lengthy account of the history of bujutsu, trying to make the point that all Ryu have valuable techniques and noble traditions.

However, we may not always be fortunate enough to have that much time on our hands, and it becomes necessary to simplify the answers.

First of all, there is no superior art. All classical Bujutsu and Budo have good things to offer. All that is needed to make a technique great is to invest much time and effort into developing it. All it takes to make it poor is to not train with all our hearts. It's that simple.

Love your art and it will develop in you. Respect each technique enough to polish it until it is as sharp as a sword's blade and you won't need to wonder if the time comes when you need to use it, regardless of the Ryu. A lukewarm attitude would make any technique mediocre, as a poor swordsman would make the best sword look blunt and awkward.

Refrain from bragging or criticizing since it is a foolish waste of breath. Use it instead to train.

Measure the value of what you learn by what you are willing to invest in it, in time, effort, dedication, etc. If your art is not your priority, do not bother comparing. You are not only a budoka, you do not have a martial art but pastimes that you feel free to toss aside as circumstances come. A superior art is the one that we have in our hearts, technique by technique, percept by percept. If you would rather be playing cards that training hard, what you learn, regardless of how good in itself; is in the end, a pitiful waste.

Wonder, then, what is in your own heart, because that is what makes the difference ultimately. All Ryu deserve respect, all Ryu require the courage of absolute commitment.

There is an axiom from an old scroll, often quoted by Tanomo Saigo, that states; "Develop the spirit and the sword will follow. Neglect the spirit and the sword will become false and useless."

Follow it. Train diligently, train with all your soul, and your art will be superior in you. The only honorable short-cut is the one we could take between our home and the dojo, to begin training at the earliest possible moment.


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