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Lance Hendershot
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These two words are so frustratingly overused during the life of our training yet so wise in their simplicity. Inside them lie all the verities to our training questions and obstacles.

You may love training, but you will hit days where family, work, or stress take their toll on your desire to go to class. You will also experience "plateaus" in your training. These symptoms are ok and natural. But if you still believe in what you originally set out to find through training, keep going. You will be glad you did.

These next principles are vital. Please read them carefully. First, training gaps can be like adding poison to the reservoir. We must make training a part of our lives without letting it take over or fade into the background. Budo is meant to travel with you beyond the dojo and into your character, personality, and relationships with those around you. Those that treat it like a class and/or leave it at the dojo door on their way home have never seen this true art. Take it with you. When it becomes a part of you, it isn't possible to let it go. Secondly, train honestly and effectivley. Unfortunately, people will see that statement and justify what they are doing even if it has left Budo and become something else rooted in technique. We are not learning a system. When we stop training effectively, our direction falters, and we stop progressing toward the truth I hope we all started out seeking. It is always easy for many to let rationalization, ego, or pride fill gaps or justify direction in their training. But, this lack of humility can lead to directions we convince ourselves we deserve, are ready for, or are capable of undertaking. Budo evolves, but it is always based on the same principles and concepts. It can never become a system of techniques.

Each one readily believes what he fears or what he desires.
~ La Fontaine, "The Wolf and the Fox,"  Fables, 1694

Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu training is a funny thing. The more you train well, the more you realize how deep the rabbit hole goes. You believed you were beginning to understand something only to find out there is constantly a bigger picture casting new light on what you thought was already there. The lessons tend to reveal themselves when the student is ready and not when the student feels an answer should be there. We must all be humble enough to accept this. A Shodan is merely a ticket to begin learning in the Bujinkan and a Shidoshi and above is, in essence, a license to do the same. Keep going. The secrets rest in the training.

Nana korobi, ya oki. Gambatte.