My Philosophy

The reason I wrote this book.

My life has been steeped in the history and practice of the traditional Japanese martial arts over the last twenty-eight years. They have had a major impact on me from a spiritual, physical and mental point of view. The many things that I have experienced, both in and out of the dojo, have also played a significant role in my attitude to life and people.

In some ways, it has been like living a second life as I have continually developed new perspectives about the Far East, its people and their cultures.

Unfortunately, these days, relatively few people practise the traditional Japanese martial arts and their pervasive philosophies about living life. It takes a lot of time and commitment and not everyone is prepared to do this type of training.

One of the results of this situation is that many of the older styles have become more sport orientated. To a large extent they have lost the true essence of their martial art system as the traditional techniques of the old masters have been “modernised”. Unfortunately, this is an ongoing trend in our so-called modern society.

Some years ago, I came across a few words of the Kalahari San people and I realised how quickly the memory of the traditional martial arts can be lost in our modern society.   It left an indelible impression on my mind, apart from the fact that it is a deeply poignant piece of philosophy from Southern Africa where I have lived all my life.

“THE DAY WE DIE, A SOFT BREEZE WILL WIPE OUT OUR FOOT PRINTS IN THE SANDS.  WHEN THE WIND DIES DOWN, WHO WILL TELL THE TIMELESSNESS THAT WE ONCE WALKED THIS WAY IN THE DAWN OF TIME”

(From the ancestral villages in Southern Angola of the !UE and KHWE tribes of the San people.)

Footprints in the sands of time

I firmly believe that the traditional martial arts and their masters must never be forgotten. In their own way, they have cast a deep shadow over our modern civilisation that has affected the way we deal with each other in times of war and in times of peace.

My main purpose for writing this book is to ensure that the soft breeze does not wipe out the footprints of the traditional martial arts, in the eternal sands of time.

This book is essentially a telling of my experiences in the world of the traditional martial arts called YUISHINKAI KOBUJUTSU and the effect they have had on my life.

Intertwined with the telling of the events during a trip to Japan n 1996, are thoughts on the meaning and significance of the traditional martial arts, their history, their methods and concepts and the impact that they have had on my life.

You will also get to know how these traditional martial arts have been carried forward over hundreds of years into the 21st century. This is important because the philosophies behind the traditional martial arts of the Japanese Samurai and their connection with the zen part of Zen Buddhism are an inseparable part of today’s traditional martial arts.  You will also learn how much of this is tied to the history of Okinawa.

You will also find excerpts from the history of a great warrior family, the Tanakaminomoto and how they have affected me on my martial arts journey.

As you read the book, your questions will inevitably be “Did they really live? Did the events that I describe really take place?”  Well, this is something that I will leave you to answer for yourself.

If you are willing to “empty your cup”, this is a book that will not only take you beyond martial arts technique, it will actually help you to follow the foot prints of the masters who have walked across the sands of time – in the traditional martial arts.

JAPANESE HISTORY

There is a detailed historical record at the back of this book that shows the names of the Japanese eras and the main military and political events of those times. It will help you to place a time frame and more fully understand the events that take place in this book.