Samurai no Kokoroe – Lesson 5

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Samurai no Kokoroe – Lesson 5

Warrior Ways

Don’t make an enemy of yourself. (Mizu kara teki o tsukuranai koto)

Don’t be your own worst enemy. Jealousy, greed, envy, self pitty will all ensure you have plenty of obstacles if you try to accomplish something worthwhile in your life. If you treat people with respect and compassion you won’t add to the number of opponents you face with your own attitude.
Self image has always seemed to be one of those concepts that we all struggle with.
Have you ever had this happen to you. You’re writing something and you write a word, and you pause for a moment and stare at it. The longer you stare, the more wrong that word looks. Even when it’s completely right.
We often do the same thing to ourselves.
And it’s a constant balancing act. See, it’s ok to have pride. Pride in yourself, in your work, in your accomplishments. But cross the line, and too much pride becomes ego and is destructive.
However, a weak spirit with no sense of self worth or pride is also destructive.
We are our own worst critics. That power can be harnessed, and focused. To spur us on to accomplish things. To pick us up from our failures and to try again.
But cross the line and be overly critical, that is extremely harmful and damaging to the self.
At the Budo Shingikan school of martial arts, we intensely study the Bushido. It’s virtues are woven into every lesson, and every interaction.
The virtues of the Bushido are meant to empower us to live a victorious life and to guide our interactions with others.
But as I have taught before, you must first cultivate inside, what you wish to manifest outside.
How do you show honor to someone if you first cannot honor yourself?
How do you show compassion to others if you do not know compassion, by first being compassionate for yourself?
The Bushido talks about Heroic Courage. Do not be a slave to your own fears and insecurities. Be bold enough to be honest with yourself.
The only time you have is lifetime. Start now. Not tomorrow, right now.Stephen Ewing HanshiHanshi Stephen Ewing:  About the Author: Stephen Ewing, Hanshi 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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