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"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

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Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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What is Shugyo: Austere Training?

Shugyo is commonly used in martial practice to indicate a type of training that will take one to a mental and physical extreme where the degree of severity determines for the individual where that level resides within their mind and body.

First, it is not just a hard physical activity. The activity is not meant to just stress the muscles to a point of fatigue. The physical activity must be coupled with a mental intent. The intent is derived from the practice in general - for me it is karate.

Second, many are not completely sure as to its true meaning. It is both physical and mental with a benefit of a greater level of spirit - not of a religious nature. When we practice something wholeheartedly we are developing spirit. Spirit is like esprit de corps felt by Marines. Marines have a common spirit developed by group cohesion, enthusiasm, devotion, and a strong regard for the honor of the group. Martial practice can be that which brings the group, dojo, together, provide for fuel to create personal and group enthusiasm, and the practice over time does give a sense of regard and honor toward the spirit of the system through the spirit of the individual.

Third, it does also involve a type of abstinence where that type of abstinence is determined by whom? Abstinence of what can be stretching the mind away from the ordinary and mundane into a realm of the unknown. It can involve abstaining from thoughts of the past or future so we remain in the present moment. It means abstaining from thoughts of dominance and self-indulgence. It is a meaning that must be determined by the individual to achieve a stretch beyond what the mind and body assumes are its limits.

Shugyo is a personal journey of all those who train/practice a more classical form of the system where they achieve higher levels of endurance to sever discipline of extreme practice where removal of the typical and mundane with an opening of the mind for "kaigen: 開眼: opening one's eyes to truth achieving enlightenment."

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