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13 Rules for Disciplinants


  1. Ki training reveals to us the path to oneness with the universal. To coordinate mind and body and become one with nature itself is the chief purpose of ki training.
  2. As nature loves and protects all creation and help all things grow and develop, so we must teach every student with sincerity and without discrimination or partiality.
  3. There is no discord in the absolute truth of the universal, but there is discord in the realm of relative truth. To contend with others and win brings only a *relative victory. Not to contend and yet win brings absolute victory. To gain only a relative victory sooner or later leads to inevitable defeat. While you are practicing to become strong, learn how you can avoid fighting. By learning to throw your opponent and enjoy it and to be thrown and enjoy that too and by helping one another in learning the correct techniques you will progress very rapidly.
  4. Do not criticize any of the other matrial arts. The mountain does not laugh at the river because it is lowly, nor does the river speak ill of the mountain because it cannot move about. Everyone has his own characteristics and gains his own position in life. Speak ill of others, and it will surely come back to you.
  5. The martial arts begin and end with courtesy, not in form alone, but in heart and mind as well.Respect the teacher who teaches you and do not cease to be grateful especially to the founder who shows the way. He who neglects this should not be surprised if his students make light of him.
  6. Be warned against conceit. Conceit not only halts your progress, it causes you to regress. Nature is boundless, its principles are profound. What brings conceit? It is brought on by shallow thinking and a cheaply- bought compromise with your ideals.
  7. Cultivate the calm mind that comes from making the universal a part of the body by concentrating your thoughts on the one point in the lower abdomen. You must know that it is a shame to be narrow-minded. Do not dispute with others merely to defend your own views. Right is right, wrong is wrong. Judge calmly what is right and what is wrong. If you are convinced that you are wrong, manfuly make amends. If you meet one who is your superior, joyfully accept his teaching. If any-man is in error, quietly explain to him the truth, and strive to make him understand.
  8. Even a one-inch worm has a half-inch of spirit. Every man respects his own ego. Do not, therefore, slight anyone, nor hurt his self-respect. Treat a man with respect, and he will respect you. Make light of him, and he will make light of you. Respect his personality and listen to his views, and he will gladly follow you.
  9. Do not become angry. If you become angry it shows that your mind has wandered from the one point in the lower abdomen.Anger is something to be ashamed of in ki training. Do not become angry on your own account. Be angry only when the rights of nature or of your country are endangered. Concentrate on the one point, and become angry all over. Know that he who is easily angered loses courage at important moments.
  10. Spare no effort when you teach. You advance as your students advance. Do not be impatient when you teach. No one can learn everything well at one time. Perseverance is important in teaching, as are patience, kindness, and the ability to put yourself in your students' place.
  11. Do not be a haughty instructor. The students grow in knowledge as they obey their teacher. It is the special characteristic of training in ki that the teacher also advances by teaching his students. Training requires an atmosphere of mutual respect between teacher and students. If you see a haughty man, you see a shallow thinker.
  12. In practicing do not show your strength without some good purpose lest you awaken resistance in the minds of those who are watching you. Do not argue about strength, but teach the right way. Words alone cannot explain. Sometimes by being the one to be thrown, you can teach more effectively. Do not halt your student's throw at midpoint or stop his ki before he can complete a movement, or you will give him bad habits.
  13. Do whatever you do with conviction. We study thoroughly the principle of the universal and practice it, and the universal protects us. We have nothing to be doubtful or to fear. Real conviction comes from the belief that we are one with the universal. We must have the courage to say with Confucius: If I have an easy conscience, I dare to face an enemy of ten thousand men.
Written by Koichi Tohei in the book "Ki in Daily Life"