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Character & Martial Arts Develpment - Articles of Interest - Man and the Sword are One

The Man and the Sword are One
“All people seek power, with which they might more successfully battle against life's challenges. 
Some take as their sword: a weapon, position, wealth, or 
authority - without realizing that ... 
All the power you will ever need, is self-created and lies within you ... to use as required. Thus it may truly be said ... 
The man and the sword are one."

- Shidoshi -

Thus was written the first teaching of the true source of personal power. It points within the individual - to his strength of spiritual character - rather than any external tool or position of authority. This is a lesson that must be learned by any mature martial artist, or anyone who seeks true power.

All people are faced with challenges, problems, or threats in life, and feel force or pressure from these. Those who chose to face these difficulties always feel a need for greater power to help them in these situations. Their basic mistake occurs when they seek an outside artificial means to give them an advantage - instead of relying on themselves to generate more personal energy or spiritual intensity, to have the personal strength to overcome adversity.

Some examples of this are as follows:

1) The young street thug who buys a knife or gun to gain more power – and uses it as his ‘sword’ (or source) of strength against others.

2) The employer who uses his position of authority and right to fire someone – his
‘sword’ and power - to make others do as he says.

3) The wealthy person who craves even more money - finding power (his sword) in its use, perhaps to buy his way out of trouble by hiring expensive lawyers; or being able to dictate unfair terms in his business deals due to the influence of vast amounts of money which others desire; or to gain a sense of protection living in exclusive neighborhoods or affording costly security services.

4) The performing celebrity - who uses the threat of withholding his talents (his sword, or power) as a way of intimidating others, to make them put up with his intolerable selfish behavior.

5) The politician - who uses the power of his office and his ability to dole out favors, or withhold them (his sword) - to pressure people into doing what he wishes.

All of these individuals have a source of power they use, but is not a true part of their own character, and thus could be easily lost. For example, if any of these individuals were unexpectedly cast into a survival situation such as:

A. A plane crash stranding the survivors in an isolated area
B. A sudden encounter against an armed assailant, in a deserted parking lot with no help around
C. A stock market crash or bankruptcy where the individual loses everything
D. Loss of your means of identification and credibility while traveling in a remote undeveloped foreign country, where no-one knows you or what important position you may hold
E. A riot, revolution, war, robbery, house intrusion, or any situation that places the individual into a new role as a victim...

… anytime the source of their power, the tool they usually rely on to be causative or to get their way with others by force or persuasion, is taken away - that person may have little left from which to draw strength to proceed. In such a scenario, this type of person is left with only his strength of character alone - what he is really made of - and cannot rely anymore on what he had, or even who he was before.

The person who is spiritually strong himself, will not suffer greatly at the loss of any of these tools, although they can be used to give even the weak individual a kind of power. A truly strong person who has great integrity cannot be made to do, or think what he does not choose, regardless of the forces brought against him. Such a person with unshakable intention will accomplish whatever he sets out to achieve, despite any obstacles in his way, or lack of opportunity. An individual whose conviction is based on total confidence and certainty in the rightness of his actions, has a special kind of strength, and cannot be deterred by anyone or anything. This is true whether in fighting or any forceful situation in life.

These personal attributes of the spiritual being always prove to be more powerful and effective than any other advantages a person may have at his disposal. This is the type of person who can ‘get tough’, or consciously raise his level of spiritual energy as needed, to do or face, any job. Many people, poor or lacking in opportunity, have relied only on their character and the strength they summoned up within themselves to drive forward - and have become world famous, powerfully influential individuals. People like Abraham Lincoln, John D. Rockefeller, Mohatmas Gandhi, Jesus of Nazareth, Bill Gates of Microsoft Computer, Ross Perot - presidential candidate and billionaire entrepreneur.

The list goes on even to include average people - like mothers who somehow have the strength to lift cars to free their trapped child; senior citizens with the courage to fight off armed robbers to save their businesses or purses; young boys who, without thought for themselves, fight off hungry mountain lions to save a family pet; and teen-age soldiers who perform extraordinary feats of self-sacrifice, being loyal to the idea of their countries needs and honor. When a person acts without an aid, with abnormal strength o£ character, the source of his great power is always spiritual in nature, and created by that individual, above and beyond his normal limits. A warrior must cultivate his spiritual strength - it is the only power you always have with you, and will never diminish, unlike the body and physical energy. To have this great power, you simply just raise your spiritual cause level and create the energy needed.

This type of person does not run at the first sight of danger; does not give up when discouraged; does not sacrifice his principles or his honor under any circumstances; and is one who will give his life if necessary, to do what is needed or what he believes is right. This is spiritual strength, true character - comes only from within - and knows no limits. Any opponent, with a weapon or not, will feel intimidated by such a person - and will be put at effect in the face of such power. This type of individual readily perceives the magnitude of the force against him and simply raises his own spiritual resolve and energy to a 'higher level' - and then does what he must.

In combat - neither knife nor bullet can stop this individual - he will keep coming regardless of injury, until he accomplishes his purpose. This is the Brown Belt viewpoint and the power from which it springs. The martial artist has the ability to focus his total attention on a single minded intention - to overcome his opponent - he cannot be stopped or deterred until he ‘gets the job done’. If he has a weapon, fine; if he does not hold one in his hand, he still possesses and uses a far more powerful weapon - his spiritual strength and conviction. His strongest weapon, his true sword, is himself - the two, are one.

The more recent teaching of these ideas can be found in this verse:


- Shidoshi -

As we have previously seen, a coward, even with a weapon will still be small and cowardly by nature - and certainly so if the weapon is taken away. A bully who has his gang to back him up, can easily become a weakling without them. But in combat, a true warrior - one who is strong in character, and trusts in himself with unshakable resolve - will seem neither more nor less fierce, with or without a weapon. He himself is the strongest weapon he could ever find. If he faces a violent opponent, he raises his cause level as necessary, to be powerful enough to do the job. If that opponent then pulls out a knife and becomes more dangerous - the trained warrior creates even more spiritual strength and increases his ferocity until it becomes awesome. Power is created as required by having an intention to win, intensifying that intention, raising your cause level, and creating enough spiritual energy to overwhelm the opponent spiritually and physically. One may even pick up any nearby object, like a trash can lid and swinging wildly, hold off six attackers. The weapon is not the decisive factor - within himself is the greatest weapon anyone could possess. Many a stronger opponent has suddenly been turned back or unexpectedly defeated by a weaker adversary who is suddenly infused with a burst of wildness or focused intention. The warrior knows the unstoppable value of out-creating the opponent - whether engaging in actual physical combat, or marshaling his inner strength to conquer his fear of speaking publicly.


Where there is a will, there is a way. A sword, even in untrained hands, when driven by a strong spirit will become a deadly, effective force to be reckoned with. If one desires to hit, the effective way to strike with that object at hand, will magically reveal itself. With the intent to defend, or if necessary to harm another, one will do things never learned or thought of before to accomplish those ends. The fighting spirit leads a warrior - anything available will be used as an effective weapon. If you do not know how to use a weapon, including your body - just start to fight. Guided by your spirit - your intention, courage, and resolve - the way will be found to be victorious. Any trained strike will be only as successful as the persons cause level (or spirit) which

delivers it. One’s physical power will be no greater than the spiritual power behind it. Be single minded in combat - focused only on overcoming the opponent - and your body will become a hundred weapons; or with a weapon at hand, invincible. Fight with intention first and foremost - weapons will be forthcoming, and serve you as needed.


The person who would stand up and claim his place in the world, must cultivate his own power. He must assume the highest cause level he can create and maintain himself at that level of personal power or beingness, throughout the day as he conducts his affairs. Never assume a timid or junior position to another in any circumstance - it is neither necessary nor desirable. If you ever feel you are operating at less effectiveness or power than you are capable - you must immediately create more beingness and presence, with greater energy and focus. Eventually this heightened state will become more normal for you. You thus create the magnitude of your own character.

One must follow the way of virtuous thought and deed, because there is certainty and a special power in the virtues - and ‘that which is right’. To do wrong, or be less than you are capable of being, begins a downward dwindling spiral for spiritual awareness and ability. This must be guarded against. Develop a ‘moral consciousness’ and closely monitor and direct your every action along a virtuous path - one which inspires others to aid and support your efforts. Real power and spiritual development go hand in hand with increases in responsibility/ awareness, and right conduct.

Finally, and most importantly, one must develop a sense of integrity - the ability to hold intact one's beingness, ideals, convictions, intentions, and actions - as chosen, impervious to change from outside undesirable influences. With this unshakable determination, one chooses to do that which he believes is right - that which is virtuous, or best for all concerned. Any level of superhuman strength in confidence and certainty, can only be found coupled to right thinking and right action.

Hence we arrive at a full understanding of our verse. With a self-generated powerful cause level, and the confidence and certainty which come from acting virtuously, one uses the strength of his integrity to hold this beingness together, to be courageous and powerful enough to always do what is right. Thus the warrior/sage is born, and serves as an example of the potential of mankind.



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