Developing Fudoshin (by Shidoshi Fred Feddeck)

Fudoshin: A spirit of unshakable calm and determination, courage without recklessness, rooted stability in both the mental and physical realms.

Pretty standard martial arts fare, but how do you develop said fudoshin as a martial artist? Meditation? Hardship trials? Hanging from a tree upside-down in the elements? Maybe, but I don’t think I can last very long practicing the last…

My experience has been, like so many of the other “mysteries” of the martial arts that we all covet, the big secret is to just train. Quality training develops fudoshin without you even being aware of its gestation. Once day down the road you just have it, along with the courage to stand there and receive whatever comes your way.

If you examine these little bits and pieces of training you’ll find fudoshin in the making throughout every class. Like when you are practicing nage waza being thrown again and again. Flipped into the air, taken to that point where you know that even with decent ukemi skills it is going to be a tough landing. Knowing that sometimes there is no way to take ukemi other then a face plant and all you can do is accept it.

Also like the times you are called up in class as uke for the teacher to demonstrate a particular technique or idea…say like sojutsu, and where to thrust a spear. Standing there knowing that you are going to get impaled again and again. Even wood hurts, and how is it teachers can hit you in the exact same spot over and over again…

Fred Feddeck, Shidoshi, Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo