Effortless Perfection

In our striving to learn Jujitsu there is a spoken and unspoken truth that we all desire to perform a technique with grace and fluidity, perfect motion. To also have a state of mind in harmony and awareness. Past Masters say that Martial Arts can be felt both internally and externally perfect movement. For instance, Ueshiba always referred to his Aikido as a path to perfect Harmony in motion! The desire to be able to perform a movement with “Shibumi” I see as a natural drive inherent in all people. It seems innate to express whatever we are doing in a way that is as the Japanese say full of “Shibumi” or “Effortless Perfection.”

Okazaki says that first Jujitsu is a way to perfection of character, secondly self-defense. This is true, because hurting others as a reason to do the arts is never satisfactory. Mind you, we are a fighting art, of that there is no doubt! But the day to day practice of Jujitsu isn't supposed to be an experience in joy of seeing others get hurt. Rather, Jujitsu is our vehicle to put to rest the inner turmoil of fear, anger, tension, and many other dark aspects of our character. And to replace it with qualities such as calmness, satisfaction, compassion, centeredness, in other words heading towards “Effortless Perfection.”

For me, the practice or training in Jujitsu produces a feeling of flow, a grace within movement. Or as the Chinese say, an increase flow of Chi! This allows me to see the tension in my partner as never before, and this causes me to want to guide them through my movement versus destroying them. This has come as a natural development from years of training. Danzan Ryu therefore, is not about hurting others, rather, it is a way to find harmony in action. To find a way to resolve conflict by peaceful means, we always feel better for it! Again, Shibumi is a natural urge that needs to find expression.

So Shibumi is a way to conduct ourselves in all our activities to whatever extent we understand it, or can express it in our lives. Striving to develop Shibumi in our training is a noble cause and through Jujitsu is found to be a place of strength versus weakness as many may misinterpret it. We are lucky indeed to have an art such as ours to enable us to practice and find such wonderful qualities within ourselves!

Professor Hudson's chop