With every stage and rank in the martial arts there are always two components to explore and master.
The first is the physical side, what many think of in the martial arts- strikes, locks, throws, way of moving the body. The physical aspects of the art.
But there is a secondary side- an ura side in the Japanese martial arts.
Fighting spirit, immovable spirit (fudoshin), awareness, etc.
Concepts that can’t be *taught*, but can only be cultivated in the dojo and continued by training correctly every day.
As a martial arts teacher I can instruct in the first set of skills, and only lead in the second set of skills.
They were not my student so it was not my place, but in hearing the story as it was told, if they weren’t already a black belt, I would have given them one right there.
They had been riding in the car for a few hours, stuck out in stop and go traffic on Long Island.
Hungry, and needing to be sharp for the presentation, there was now going to be no time to stop and eat beforehand. Pulling into a gas station/convenience store they grabbed some quick food and got on line.
While waiting online, the person in front of them started to act up, argue, and raise their voice with the attendant, before quickly leaving the store. A real bad energy in the air.
They had a feeling- a sense to leave the store.
What did they do?
The put the food down, left, and got in the car.
The rational thinking mind- the complete opposite of mushin often shuts down these feelings.
They picked up on a feeling, and without thinking went with the flow of it.
That is a black belt.
That is ninpo. I can’t teach that.
The *best* I can do is set up and offer the transmission of it in class, and leave it to the person to capture and experience the feeling.
Building on martial arts awareness and feeling- *always* trust your feelings.
Feeling first, thinking second.