What’s All This, Then?

Why silence?  And more particularly, why learn silence? Isn’t keeping quiet one of those skills we already know, at least since we got caught speaking out in grammar school?

Actually, no.

Silence, real silence, is something quite precious, and like most things of value, can be rare and fleeting. It is a thing to be treasured, like a hidden jewel.

It suggests a calm center, an absence of ego, and a wholly present state of mind.  It is, in other words, essential to the practice of budo.

And for the pedants out there—I am, of course, referring to my fellow conspirators on the mat—it reminds us to listen, not just to our teachers, and our partners, but to our technique as well.  What is it that nage is trying to do?  What is uke telling me?

And lastly it suggests, courtesy of our friend Hoshin, that we not take ourselves too seriously.

On behalf of Sensei, welcome to our blog. Be as loud as you want.