Musashi Miyamoto’s Nine Precepts

You are your own warrior following your own path. Let Musashi’s Nine Precepts be your map.

Here they are: (the additional comments are purely my opinion only)
1. Do no think dishonestly
Think honestly and truthfully. Do not harbor sinister designs.
I have begun to think that taking shortcuts can fall into this topic. So many are looking for attention and status that they use shortcuts to achieve their goals. Sinister designs will very likely ruin, if not destroy, the goals that you are trying reach before you get there.

2. The Way is in training
One must always continue to train.
There is no substitute work doing the necessary work that teaches the skills that you will need for life. Kwanjangnim Kim, Jeong Woo (World Haidong Gumdo Federation Director of Education) is famous for his phrase “Dashi Hanbon”. It translates as “Again, once more.” By continuing to train, you will ingrain the skills that lead to success.

3. Become acquainted with every art
By cultivating a wide range of interest in the “ten skills” and the “ten arts,” one can definitely find themselves following the Way and develop oneself.
The skills and arts referred to help ensure that a well rounded education and the development of proper social qualities. The ability to connect to people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences will provide insights into the society. Those who have chosen to serve the community must be able to understand the issues within the community.

4. Know the Way of all professions
Be knowledgeable in a variety of occupations, and learn the thinking of people who work in them.
If you have knowledge in a variety of occupations, you can develop a greater understanding across social lines and be of service in many areas of life. The path that you choose may be different from those of your parents and grandparents. Knowing what they did and being able to participate will keep family ties stronger.

5. Know the difference between loss and gain in worldly matters
Knowing when to accept loss and how to carry gain allows for sure step on the Way.
Yeah, this has NOTHING to do with trophies. While tournaments and sport will provide opportunities for loss and gain, the real world won’t have trophies to tell you how well you did. Physical losses (family member’s death) and gains (new baby) or motivational losses (failing grades, job) and gains (new job, promotion) illustrate worldly matters. The emotional strength and development needed to continue moving on the Way is much bigger than any sport.

6. Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything
Nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all matters. It is important to build up an intuitive judgment and understand true values.
When you get that “hair on the back of you neck standing up” or the “gut feeling”, you should be paying attention. Intentions are the truth of the situations and can be “felt” in the air. I regularly use the example of “feeling” people trying to sneak up on you to describe this. It does go much further. Your lizard brain (the one that controls your limbic system) monitors your survival. The further development of this and your intuition are used everyday that you drive during rush hour. Don’t limit your application of these skills to training and personal protection. Use them everywhere, everyday.

7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen
Be aware of those things which cannot be easily seen with the eye. Develop intuitive judgment and a mind that freely controls one’s body.
This has a strong carryover from driving during rush hour. The number of things happening around you lends itself to developing awareness and understanding of the way things happen. If you are paying attention, the decisions that you make will come easier and, more often, correct.

8. Pay attention even to trifles
Do not be negligent, but pay attention even to the smallest details. Keep them in mind all the time, so as to avoid unexpected failure.
The attention to the smallest details is very evident in your sparring capabilities. The details of how a body moves in order to perform a technique needs to become ingrained to allow their recognition. The faster these details are seen, the better your success (evading, blocking, countering) against them. This attention to detail goes far in life as well.

9. Do nothing which is of no use
Do not engage in useless activity. Do not argue about useless things. Concentrate on your duties.
Joe Hyams’ book “Zen in the Martial Arts”, he wrote about spending time and not wasting time. I believe that wasting time fits into the category of useless activity. Now, I on’t say that all video gaming is wasting time but there usually many things in your life that could be done. Making sure that you are working on and completing your duties (academics/career, daily responsibilities – clean your room, do your laundry, feed pets on schedule) to benefit your family and respect your parents.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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