24 | 06 | 2018
By Dr. Eric Templet Shihan

Dealings With The Teacher

Point 1.1 - It is the will of the teacher that must always be upheld. One should never do anything that undermines the authority of the teacher, or makes the teacher appear to be foolish. One should avoid bringing about situations that force the teacher to intervene, as this brings the teacher into dismay. One should remember that the way one acts is a reflection upon one's teacher.

Point 1.2 - When the teacher gives a command respond to it immediately with conviction in one's voice, and the teacher will think highly of you. But it is a dreadful thing when the teacher's commands are meet with grumbling and long faces; this angers the teacher and lowers one's value. If one's chief aim is to follow the teacher's commands faithfully and without complaint or apprehension, then one is indeed a student of bushido and one's wisdom will grow greatly.

Point 1.3 - One should never be lax or appear to be lazy around the teacher, rather one should appear to be on the constant ready for any commands the teacher may give. Those that the teacher sees as ready will be given responsibility, and the teacher will be at ease with trusting them.

Point 1.4 - One should carry out the command of the teacher as if one's life depended on it. One should be diligent in following commands and continue to follow them for as long as possible, until relieved or issued new commands.

Point 1.5 - Under no circumstances should one deceive a teacher. For in deception, how will the teacher have clarity in a situation? And when the deception is discovered the teacher will be greatly angered and rightfully expel those involved. Moreover, one's mind should always be on achieving that which the teacher has deemed necessary. When the teacher perceives that one is willing, much will be taught to one.

Dealings With Superiors

Point 2.1 - Superiors must be respected in order for one to be respected. Never quibble with or give excuses to a superior when they correct one. This will cause them do be distrustful of one. Treat what they have said as if it came from the teacher. If one is negligent in this, how can one hope to have others follow them?

Point 2.2 - One must remember that one is the servant of a superior. One's actions should not distract the superior else they be pulled away from more important concerns. Moreover, one should never be neglectful or insolent to the superior, as the teacher will correct any iniquity within them.

Point 2.3 - When one has a grudge against a superior one should discuss it privately. One should never openly criticize or defame a superior; if one cannot speak highly of a superior then one should remain silent. If one is respectful in this way then one's own honor will appear great in the superior's mind, and the superior will seek one out for important dealings and advice.

Point 2.4 - One should always preserve proper decorum with a superior, even under informal circumstances one should treat the superior with due reverence. When one understands that one's own honor is interwoven with the superior's honor then one will truly see the path of bushido.

Point 2.5 - One should always seek accommodation for the superior before one's own. If the superior is righteous they will look after one in return, but if not then one must simply accept this, and not dwell on what one does not have. For all unrighteous is revisited upon the superior tenfold in due time.

Dealings With Subordinates

Point 3.1 - When training with a subordinate great care should be taken to prevent injury, as it is dishonorable to injure a person below one's self. Moreover, one should see a partner as a whetstone; they're to sharpen one's skills, not to be destroyed in the process.

Point 3.2 - One must set a proper example for a subordinate to follow. Subordinates are not mindless, and their perception is deep when one may not think it so. They see what one does not think they see. As such, they will press the limits beyond that which one has pressed them. One should constantly judge one's actions from the viewpoint of a subordinate.

Point 3.3 - One should provide for subordinates, giving them all that is necessary to carry out commands. When one's subordinates feel that they are valued and will be provided for, their loyalty will be solidified.

Point 3.4 - One should reward and praise subordinates in public, though not excessively as others may grow to resent the subordinate praised. One should always redress and punish a subordinate in private. One should take great care in this, as the way subordinates are dealt with must be consistent in order for the subordinates to feel secure.

Point 3.5 - One should never be over critical of a subordinate or joke at their expense. For that subordinate, though inadequate, may be in charge in the future. They may then exact revenge for their loss of face, or because of everyone's low opinion of them they are unable to lead. One should treat a subordinate the way one would wish to be treated if the roles were reversed.

Dealings With Oneself

Point 4.1 - One should not be neglectful about the way one presents one's self to others. If one is though to look bad, then one will be thought of as bad. Moreover, one should refrain from excess especially in public. If one is seen as extreme others will believe that one's character is weak, and this will reflect poorly upon one's superiors, teacher, and dojo.

Point 4.2 - One should think carefully in the midst of others before speaking one word. If one speaks unwittingly and carelessly one will be seen as foolish and pig-headed. When one speaks it should have meaning and not be thoughtless jabber, as it is written, "In the midst of a storm, no one need point out that it is raining".

Point 4.3 - One should not be ignorant about important subjects. If one is ignorant, one's opinion will be flawed and much sorrow will be visited upon one. One should listen twice as much as one speaks, and when compelled one should seek further information from a reliable source, and then form a proper opinion based on logic.

Point 4.4 - If one feels that one has been dealt with unfairly, one should speak up politely and appeal to the proper authority. If the issue is not resolved, then one must accept that fate plans bad things as well as good.

Point 4.5 - One should cherish time, never being idle. If one believes that things of importance can wait one will quickly be in the midst of horrible circumstances. One must remember the impermanence of all things. One is not young forever, nor is one promised a long life; one must live life urgently. It is a shameful thing to have one's mind constantly chattering away while time irrevocably slips by unutilized. Keeping one's mind free from distraction will yield a mind of great focus, able to see a great many things.