In Byakko Dojo we strive for the spirit of Budo. We want our Aikido to be effective, without falling into the trap of winning and losing, or the desire to be stronger than the others. We use Budo as a method for developing tranquillity and dignity of character, compassion and generosity in human relations, and as a gateway into the wonderful world of Ki. We take the ideal of the traditional Bushi (samurai) as our example.
On a rock in the garden of a primary school somewhere in Kyushu, Japan, we found the following description of the Bushi ideal. It is still used as a guidance in education. We can subscribe to it wholeheartedly.
The original text in Japanese has a poetic quality that, unfortunately, has been lost in the translation.
“Code of conduct of Izumi Bushi
A Bushi keeps true to his principles. This means that he never tells a lie, never puts himself forward. With a straight heart he always shows good manners and keeps the correct attitude (Reigi Tadashii).
He doesn’t kowtow to his superiors, nor looks down on those below him. When he sees someone in distress he doesn’t turn away, and he never fails his promise. He puts his heart in his work, is reliable, and gossip never comes over his lips.
For example, even in danger of having his head cut off, rather than face shame, he doesn’t falter nor retreats even one step facing a certain death.
His mind is like steel or rock, but his heart is tender and full of love and, understanding the ephemeral quality and fragility of life, he is full of compassion.”