Tuesday, August 21, 2012

QUOTES: Issai Chozanshi - "Secret things are for the sake of beginners."

Have you ever wondered why there are "secrets" in the Martial Arts? Wonder no more!


Yet another in the group asked, "Swordsmanship is the mysterious function of the mind. Why then are there secret techniques?"

The demon said, "The principles of swordsmanship are the principles of Heaven and Earth. How could there be no one else in the world who knows what I know? Secret things are for the sake of beginners. If they were not kept secret, beginners would not believe in them. This is one of the expedients of teaching. Thus, the things that are kept secret are just the tail-ends of techniques. They are not in some deep principle. Beginners understand nothing, listen arbitrarily, grasp things poorly, and decide 'This is it!' on their own. So contrary to what you might expect, they cause damage when they speak to others."

From "Tengu Geijutsuron"
Written by Niwa Jurozaemon Tadaaki (1659-1741) under pen name Issai Chozanshi
Translated by William Scott Wilson
"The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts", pgs 148-149



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