Samurai no Kokoroe – Lesson 4

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Samurai no Kokoroe


Precepts of the Samurai Lesson 4 – (Kankyo ni sayu sarenai tsuyoi shinnen o motsu koto)

Lesson 4 – Hold strong convictions that cannot be altered by your circumstances. (Kankyo ni sayu sarenai tsuyoi shinnen o motsu koto)

This is a personal one for me.

I personally have had the privilege of serving in the US Army. I’ve served with some of the bravest and finest men I have even known. What made these men truly brave was not the fact that they carried a weapon and charged into gunfire. It was the fact that despite how difficult or how bad things got, they held onto their convictions.

It’s one thing to develop strong convictions, it’s quite another to maintain those convictions when it appears foolish to do so either in the eyes of the world, or in our own eyes when our circumstances change dramatically.

When people are openly ridiculed for not adhering to what is considered to norm, it creates an environment of fear. And convictions become harder to hold on to.

Let me put it in these terms.

No-one wakes up in the morning and while staring at themselves in the mirror thinks, “You know, today I’m gonna fail everyone I know and everyone I care about. I’m gonna fail myself and abandon my own principals. And by the end of the day I won’t even be able to look at myself in this mirror.”

It doesn’t happen like that.

It’s a slow fade. It’s one short cut here, one compromise there. And time passes so fast. Before you know it you’re neck deep and don’t know how you got there. And don’t know how to get back.

We are not faced with life changing events every day. It’s the little things in life that we must encounter and choose to maintain our convictions over. So when those life changing events hit, we have the strength to persevere.

In the Bushin Ryu system, you will meet other people who have chosen the path of the warrior. In that environment you will be mentored and encouraged. The old saying, Iron sharpens Iron, is what you will find there. You will be given the tools and skills to choose for yourself. And to follow through on those convictions.

Stephen Ewing HanshiAbout the Author Hanshi Stephen Ewing:  Hanshi Ewing is a professional martial artist and former Army Ranger with over 30 years of experience training and teaching. Hanshi Ewing has extensively studied Japanese martial arts with a focus on Tenshin Koryu Ninjutsu as well as Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai and Kenjutsu (Japanese Sword) before finding his true passion in Bushin Ryu Aiki Bujutsu. Besides being Kaiso’s right hand man in the Kyokai (martial arts organization) he is the Chief Instructor of the Godai Shinshu Dojo. He brings both an analytical perspective to the study of martial arts (he was a math major at the University of Arizona), as well as a deep perspective on connection and feel. You might possibly spot him somewhere in northern Arizona (if he doesn’t see you first!). You can read more of Hanshi Ewing’s articles at: or

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