The Base of a Mountain

Martial Arts Foundation

Martial Arts Foundation

“In this world, if you start at the base of a mountain and travel far enough, you will find yourself on the other side at the base of the mountain again;  you are still at the base of the mountain, but in a completely different place.  This is the same for any path of study.  You start at the beginning and struggle uphill.  You go deeper and deeper into it until you find yourself on the other side with a heart of understanding.  This is the way of all learning, and it is the only path to enlightenment.  

Understanding this, I do not hold back knowledge from my students because they have not trained long enough.  Each person is different and understanding comes differently to each of us, so I try to gauge the student’s level of understanding and teach each one what he is ready for at that time.  I do not like pledges or oaths of secrecy.  There are no secrets.  Knowledge is open to all, but few truly want it.  There is no need to hide things; most people go out of their way to avoid the truth.  

With this in mind, teach the students everything they can handle and hide nothing, because very few of them will ever come to real understanding anyway.  Leave the knowledge in the open and only true warriors will find it.  Give them everything you have and help them past whatever shortcomings they have.  The teacher should help the student come to his own enlightenment.  Only this way will the student truly know strategy.”

Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), founder of Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship.  The Book of Five Rings Trans. D.E. Tarver

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