Eleven Mottos

座右の銘十一個条

Mas Oyama summed up his entire martial arts philosophy in his Eleven Mottos, known as the Zayū no Mei Jūichi Kajō 座右の銘十一個条, which are central to his teaching:

  1. The Martial Way begins and ends with courtesy.  Therefore, be properly and genuinely courteous at all times.
  2. Following the Martial Way is like scaling a cliff – continue upwards without rest.  It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.
  3. Strive to seize the initiative in all things, all the time guarding against actions stemming from selfish animosity or thoughtlessness.
  4. Even for the Martial Artist, the place of money cannot be ignored.  Yet one should be careful never to become attached to it.
  5. The Martial Way is centered in posture.  Strive to maintain correct posture at all times.
  6. The Martial Way begins with one thousand days and is mastered after ten thousand days of training.
  7. In the Martial Arts, introspection begets wisdom.  Always see contemplation on your actions as an opportunity to improve.
  8. The nature and purpose of the Martial Way is universal.  All selfish desires should be roasted in the tempering fires of hard training.
  9. The Martial Arts begin with a point and end in a circle.  Straight lines stem from this principle.
  10. The true essence of the Martial Way can only be realized through experience.  Knowing this, learn never to fear its demands.
  11. Always remember, in the Martial Arts the rewards of a confident and grateful heart are truly abundant.
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