At present, the entire world is fighting a war, in a way. A war against the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires us to have all the qualities of a good warrior, if we have to survive and defeat this opponent. There may be several means and methods to become a formidable contender, but there are a select few disciplines that guide you systematically to not just self-discipline, overall physical and mental strength but also towards a holistic sustainable self-improvement, spiritual, ethical and moral upliftment.
The BuDo-Way of life serves as a bridge to access the incredible treasure of knowledge accumulated over centuries, leverage and apply in our everyday lives and business endeavors. This makes BuDo (the traditional Japanese martial arts) the best possible material for a survival kit in the present day for not just followers of martial arts but also for all those who face mental stress in everyday routines or physical strain. In short, the BuDo is not just limited to an art of defense but is a solution to an entire fulfilling lifestyle.
In the BuDo way of life, the mental, physical and philosophical principles are explored, revealed, linked and applied to the 21st century lifestyle which can be implemented for your wellbeing and success. It is broad subject, but very relevant to our surroundings and present environment. The implementation can be done by following the program consisting of each principle with a step wise approach, systematically, almost religiously.
Out of the bigger BuDo-Way program, this particular article presents the core and important BuDo concept of Ho-Shin and its relevancy in this covid-19 challenging times.
The ability and acquired skill of maintaining a “Peaceful Mind” during stressful situations, when in doubt, under uncertainty and within a conflict situation are of great value in many life situations and specifically beneficial at this Covid-19 challenging times. The BuDo-derived “Ho-Shin” concept is the key and an extremely effective tool in handling such situations.
In BuDo as well as in many actual life situations, the ability to give everything to a given task at a given moment is critical, as it enables us to fully be within the situation recruiting all human mental-physical faculties for the best possible performance. Furthermore, and surprising for many, through such complete determination removing all doubt and hesitation we create space for mental flexibility and efficient adaptation to varying situations as represented by the Ho-Shin concept.
Life calls upon us to constantly make decisions - from relatively small everyday choices to bigger decisions including making financial investments, choosing a career path, changing place of residence or getting married… or then making changes to a marketing strategy, or other pressing ethical issues of salaries and maintaining manpower, in the given Covid-19 driven and changing economy.
Ho-Shin stands for “give everything to remain full” - making important decisions you should certainly assess the situation and consider carefully, - odds versus risks, consult the wise and experienced and avoid unnecessary haste. Yet, once decided, give everything with no doubt, hesitation or fear of failure. In other words, once decided “give your heart to it” as doing things “half-heartedly” you are always half in the past half in future – never fully here and now.
Now you might ask - don’t I lose my flexibility and ability to adapt and adjust, if I do things with such complete determination? Many people assume that complete determination contradicts and cannot coexist with flexibility and adaptation so they go "half way" doing things half-heartedly, presumably keeping their options open should conditions change, calling for a new direction - decision – action. This approach leads to an internal conflict – “I do it yet not fully, as I am keeping my options”.
Ho-Shin stands for the opposite - it suggests that by doing something fully, being completely one with your action with no doubt, hesitation, fear of mistake or failure you create mental space and thus you shall not only execute current task better but actually be more flexible to instantaneously and spontaneously adjust to the new unexpected situation or condition.
While it is important to gather information, plan ahead assessing various options and setting a corresponding strategy, life and Covid-19 teaches us that more often than not, actual events shall not unfold exactly as planned, hence the need to acquire the skill of (instantly) adjusting to unplanned at times unfamiliar scenarios avoiding rigid “emotional attachment” to our original plans.
In BuDo as well as real life and business situations we assess others and set corresponding strategy, yet often the situation evolves in unexpected ways so we must adjust in real time to new conditions and spontaneously act accordingly.
Adopting a “Ho-Shin approach” is key here as it appears (surprisingly to many) that it is by giving everything to a current task, removing all doubt, hesitation or mistake concerns that we can actually create the mental space to efficiently adjust to new situations.
The great Master Nishiyama sensei used to give the analogy of a glass of water being turned upside down – if you do it slowly, cautiously “keeping your options open” all water shall drop and the glass shall remain empty yet if you do it promptly with no hesitation giving everything to it, the glass (you) shall remain (at least partially) full.
Hence the lesson - Give everything, to remain full – is taken from BuDo to be applied in your life.
In your personal as well as business life you should think, consider, consult and assess possible decision options. Yet once decided (for that moment) act with the Ho-Shin spirit avoiding any doubt, hesitation or failure concerns.
This approach shall let you be at your best executing your decision, as well as effectively adjusting to new unexpected situations within an ever changing dynamic reality.
In follow up articles we shall present more BuDo tools and actual exercises for developing “Ho-Shin” such as through the use of KiAi (for complete determination) combined with AiKi (for flexibility & adaptation), TanDen (mental-physical center) awareness, MuShin (empty mind) training and breathing.
Sensei Eyal Nir
Founder, BuDo-Way Program
An Electrical Engineer with a MSc degree, Eyal Nir has had a long rewarding career in the hi-tech industry managing R&D projects. During his work in the global technology market, he has analyzed and understood the need and reasons how Corporate organizations can function with improved efficiencies, teamwork and results for better success.
He is now a fully occupied lecturer at academic institutes and a highly sought-after international motivational speaker. Audiences from Poland to HongKong, even from Siberia, the USA and Africa have all tremendously benefited by his workshops and seminars.
With more than 40 years of martial arts experience sensei Nir now heads the Traditional Karate Federation of Israel (“Dento Karate Israel”) and is a Traditional Karate World Champion.
As the Founder of the BuDo-Way program, he dedicates most of his time to many thousands seekers of this wisdom, worldwide, He has also authored the book “Breakthrough in Business & Life” which is now an Amazon bestseller and now translated into 5 languages.
To learn more about the BuDo-Way program, join or host a corresponding workshop you may please visit his web site: www.budo-way.com