One of the really cool things about Taido is Shukumineâ€™s understanding that the measure of a martial art is in the behavior of its practitioners. Outsiders will judge Taido by the things they see Taido black belts do. Shukumine always taught that Taido should serve us in society as well as in combat.
As a young man, I remember hearing him speak about the necessity of equaling our Taido achievements in society. He told us once that a Taido black belt should be a black belt in his career as well. He said a school-age student should study his courses and practice Taido with the same degree of commitment and attention. A business person should apply Taidoâ€™s philosophy in negotiations (some business schools require students to read Musashiâ€™s Book of Five Rings). In short, we should be applying the lessons we learn in Taido to our daily lives in society as well. What Iâ€™ve been thinking over the past few years is that, maybe we should also start applying the lessons we learn in society to Taido.
I think there is a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom floating around in the world, and itâ€™s silly to segregate our experiences in one arena from those in another. Taido comprises a complete philosophy in concept, but itâ€™s implementation has some major holes – I outline many of them on this website. All of us bring experience and knowledge from outside Taido that can help fill those holes by refining our methods of practice.
Those of us who are teachers should apply our skills to the way Taido is taught. Those of us who are in business should be working on fixing the problems with Taidoâ€™s organizational structure. Those of us who know something about marketing should be busy making Taido better known and more popular. Those of us who are doctors should be making Taido practice safer (â€first, do no harm…â€) and conducive to health. Those of us who are students can look for ways in which our studies can influence our training (geometry and calculus were huge influences on the way I understand Taido).
Everyone has a talent, and every talent can be useful to helping Taido grow and fulfill its promise as the 21st century martial art. How can you help?