I was looking over George Ohashi page this stuck out and has me think…..please enjoy.

This week I have  been doing a lot of reflection especially after the poetry reading and these last few days of training.

Hatsumi, Sensei has said in the past I believe in “the Ninja Grandmaster’s Handbook” that he gives a little piece of himself to his students out there, when training with these instructors even separated by distance I can still hear and see him speaking through them.

So sharing..guiding..exploring..these are keywords for the upcoming year. We must drop our opinions, preconception, etc…to see the true. 

The true must felt with all 6 senses, if you train and only use one or two of your senses you miss essence of the teachings…thank you for listening.

Today, Soke talked about 3 things which are important for a martial artist. These 3 things may be thought of as a kind of ‘Sanshin’. He said that these things were going to become a bit of a theme for next year.

They are:

1) Sainou (Ability/talent)

2) Kokoro (Heart)

3) Utsuwa (Capacity)
While the first 2 are quite clear, the third one deserves a little attention and clarification.

The main meaning of the word ‘utsuwa’, its first definition in the dictionary, is ‘container/receptacle/vessel’. A secondary meaning, however, is concerning a person’s capacity or potential. My dictionary has the examples of:
“Utsuwa no ookii.” (a person of high caliber).
“Daitouryou ni naru utsuwa dewa nai.” (He [doesn’t have what it takes / isn’t cut out] to be president. / He is not of presidential caliber [stature])
So utsuwa can mean ‘caliber’, to have ‘potential’, basically to have the ‘right stuff’.

But if we look at the basic meaning again – ‘container’, we can take it in an interesting direction. Fish, plants etc. will only grow to the size of the container which they are in. Their growth is limited by the size of their container. Humans too have a ‘limit’ to their potential. If their utsuwa is small, they can never grow bigger than its limits. Having a large utsuwa/capacity is maybe what Soke is trying to say.

So, ability, heart and a capacity for growth is important for a martial artist. That is how I interpret what he was talking about today.

Mark Lithgow

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