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My Duty To You

I am a Sensei in Jiu Jitsui. Sensei in Japanese means “guide.” What does this mean? Most Westerners do not truly comprehend the concept as it was originally understood in the East. Being a Sensei is a tremendous responsibility. It was tradition that when you achieve a black belt, you must try to follow the unwritten Samurai code of conduct; i.e., the code of the Bushido. The code is similar to the medieval concept of chivalry that originated in the 1100 to 1200s in Western Europe. In simple terms, it is a value system that you must try to do what you say and lead by example, rather than, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

There are Seven common virtues associated with bushido as described by Inazo Nitobe in 1899.
• 義 – Gi – Rectitude – (moral righteousness)
• 勇 – Yū – Courage – (the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation)
• 仁 – Jin – Benevolence (unbiased kindness to do good)
• 礼 – Rei – Respect (attitude of acknowledging the feelings and interests of another party in a relationship
• 誠 – Makoto or 信 - Shin– Honesty (stating facts and views as best one truly believes them to be)
• 名誉 – Meiyo – Honor (perceived virtuous conduct and personal integrity)
• 忠義 – Chū – Loyalty (faithfulness or a devotion to a person or cause)

Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: The Soul of Japan, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, 1969. ISBN 4-7700-2731-1

The teacher in Japan is viewed as someone who will assist you in your climb to the summit or the mountain (success). The teacher is willing and able to show you the best way to the summit. He can lead you along the path. He can give you advice. He can tell you how to avoid certain mistakes that will slow your progress. The teacher can’t make the ascent for you. Many students expect the teacher to do it for them. Many students fail to follow the teacher’s advice for fear of success or for fear of failure or fear of loss of control. You should expect the teacher to be honest, diligent, intense, and motivated in his teaching responsibility to you. You should not get frustrated in the beginning of your journey. The Western white belt usually expects instantaneous results with little personal effort and wants to learn the advanced techniques in the beginning of training. Over time, as you get more successful at achieving your goal you must demand less of your teacher and more of yourself.

My duty to you…to help you improve yourself. Your duty to humanity is to improve yourself and to help others once you start feeling better.

Experience= learn by your mistakes, this can take years or you may never conquer the problem.
Wisdom= learn from someone who has already make the mistakes or who has put the time into learning how to correct the problem. This is usually the safest and quickest road to success.

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