One Month Later

By Pete Reynolds

One month has passed since the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001. It seems the world is only now starting to come to grips with the reaching effects of that day. Reflecting on those events and their relation to the Bujinkan, I'd like to share the following thoughts:

We should take this violent and tragic event as a call to rededicate ourselves to our training and to really focus on why we train. We should all take another look and ask ourselves, "Why do I train?" Our training should help us become a force for good and justice, for at any point we may be called upon to protect our family, friends or even our country. We need to think about more than just protecting ourselves.

The moment of truth can come at any time, which is why we must raise our level of awareness and become more vigilant. We must always be in a state of readiness, banpen fugyo, ten thousand changes, no surprises. We should also pay closer attention to Soke's warning not to teach people with bad hearts. How would you feel if something that you've taught was used in a bad way? As martial artists, we are not only responsible for what we transmit, but how what we transmit can be used in the hands of our students.

Don't let this attack turn to hatred, fear or pessimism. Don't embrace fear, embrace life. Although this has been a horrible time for mankind, we should never lose our hope or our optimism. This is a time for having and developing fudoushin or an immovable heart/spirit. This is a time when we need leaders who will stand up for justice and who will be a source of stability.

Now is the time for rededication, vigilance and optimism. We need to be aware that all the choices we make have an impact on not only those around us but also on the future. "What we do in life echoes in eternity"1.

Gambatte kudasai!!!