Nine Moods (Attitudes) For Martial Artists (& Jazz Musicians)

  • Ruthlessness – Do not have pity for yourself. Self-pity is nothing more than self-importance. Ruthlessness is unattached focus, not coarse behavior.
  • Cunning – Relates to a type of sagacity that is closer to intuition than to intelligence. It does not imply cruelty.
  • Patience – Everything has its proper time. There is always a right moment to take action. Patience is active waiting and requires alertness.
  • Sweetness – Is not taking yourself too seriously. The power to laugh at yourself permits you to be gentle and compassionate when called for. Sweetness is not to be confused with ignorance.
  • Attitude – Consider each situation as though it were your last. Do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed. When you encounter forces greater than yourself, retreat for a moment and let your mind scan while in a state of open awareness.
  • Relax – In difficult situations, relax, abandon yourself while fearing nothing. Only then, will the powers that guide you open the way for you.
  • Spiritual Bearing (Musashi) p Be determined but calm. When your spirit is calm do not let your body be lax. When your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken.
  • Gaze (Musashi) – The gaze is large and broad. Meditate on the “Two-Fold Gaze of Perception and Sight”.
  • Stance in Strategy (Musashi)- Keep your head erect, neither hanging down, nor looking up, nor twisted. Do not wrinkle your forehead nor the space between your eyes. Do not blink nor roll your eyes. Keep the line of your nose straight with a feeling of slightly flaring your nostrils. Lower both shoulders and, without the buttocks jutting out, put strength into your legs from the knees to the tips of your toes. Brace your abdomen.

Compiled by Sensei Ted Jungblut, hachidan