Kodo - Ancient Ways - Lessons In The Spiritual Life Of The Warrior & Martial Artist

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Author: Kensho Furuya
Pub: 1996 by Ohara Publications
Pages: 223
Ranking:Four Star Rating
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Interesting collection of various martial art legends. The only major distraction of this book is that it IS a compilation of articles, so it has no unifying theme. I would have really enjoyed this book had it been written and composed as a book. And although I've run into many of the stories before, there's alot of interesting stories and tidbits that were new to me. The author is quite knowledgeable, and altogether, this is a very worthwhile book to own and read!



 THE MASTERY OF TRAINING                               18
 THE SECRET OF INNER TRANSMISSION                      22
 TESTS OF TIME                                         26
 THE SWORDSMAN'S SWORDSMAN                             30
 RETURNING TO THE SOURCE                               34
 SIGNS OF THE TIMES                                    38
 LEARNING IS ONLY THE SECOND STEP                      43
 LESSONS ON THE EVERYDAY MIND                          46
 LEARNING, TECHNIQUE AND THE WAY                       50
   Training Realistically and the Reality of Training  54
 TRAINING BEYOND LIMITATIONS                           58
 THE POWER IS ALREADY WITHIN YOU                       63
 YOU NEVER GET GOOD IN MARTIAL ARTS                    70
 MAKING OUR TRUE SELVES                                79
 WHAT DOES A BLACK BELT REALLY MEAN?                   84
    Can We Keep the Martial Arts Tradition Alive?      90
 EXPECT TO LOSE EVERYTHING                            101
 JOURNEY FOR PEACE:                                    
    Speaking Before the United Nations                105
 EVERYTHING WITHIN EMPTINESS                          110
 THE TROUBLE WITH TRAINING                            117
 WHAT IS TRUE STRENGTH?                               132
 MAKE MISTAKES CORRECTLY                              139
 WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MASTERY'?                         146
 BEND THE BAMBOO, NOT THE WIND                        151
 TRUE LEARNING IS INCOMPLETE                          158
 BECOME A "REAL" MARTIAL ARTIST                       166
    The Sword of Life, The Sword of Death             171
 A HALF-INCH WORM, A HALF-INCH SPIRIT                 175
 CULTIVATING INNER STRENGTH                           179
 THE FACE OF HUMILITY                                 184
 REALIZE YOUR GREATER SELF                            195
 THE QUEST FOR HEALTH                                 200
 WHAT MAKES A TRUE MASTER?                            205
 A FRIEND FOR LIFE                                    209
 THE HIDDEN TASTE                                     213
 WHAT IS A BLACK BELT?                                218
 A FEW CLOSING WORDS                                  223



Reverend Kensho Furuya is the Resident Chief Instructor of the Aikido Center of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Sword & Swordmanship Society Kenshinkai. He currently holds the rank of 6th dan from the Aikido World Headquarters and the rank of 6th dan Kyoshi (master status) in iaido. The publication of KODO Ancient Ways landmarks for him 35 years in the martial arts.

Furuya sensei was born in Pasadena, California in 1948 and received his degrees in Asian Studies and Eastern Religions from the University of Southern California and from Harvard University in Cambridge with a grant from the Carnegie Project under the Federal National Defense Act in 1968. He became a student of Mitsunari Kanai of the New England Aikikai in 1968, and in 1969 studied under Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba at the Aikikai Foundation, Hombu Dojo, in Tokyo. Returning to the United States, and after traveling around the country training for several years, he opened his first dojo in 1974. He established his permanent dojo, the Aikido Center of Los Angeles, in Little Tokyo in 1984. In 1989, he was ordained as a Zen priest under the Most Reverend Bishop Kenko Yamashita of the North American Headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism, Zenshuji Temple, and received the name, Kensho, from his teacher, taking one character from his name. In 1991, he and his zen master spoke before the United Nations. Furuya sensei is a prolific writer and lecturer on aikido, the Japanese sword and martial arts, and he has served as president of the Southern California Sword Society and several terms on the Board of Directors of the Japanese Sword Society of the United States. In 1992, he established the Los Angeles Japanese Sword Society. In 1993 and 1994, he served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Little Tokyo Anticrime Association. In 1995, he was elected President of the Southern California Yamanashi Prefectural Association. In the same year, he served as chairman of sports and exhibitions and board member of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, participated in the review panel for the City of Los Angeles Multi-Cultural Arts Grants Committee, and was elected to the Advisory Board of the Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's College. Currently, he resides in his dojo and teaches every day, living a simple, monastic life as a martial artist-teacher and Zen priest.

Furuya sensei is actively involved in the Little Tokyo community and participates actively in the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, Obon festival, Lotus Festival, Children's Day Festival, spring and autumn festivals, the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center's Kids Discovery Program and their New Year's Kotohajime Celebration.



This book is a compilation of articles written between 1988 and 1995 as the Ancient Ways column in Martial Arts Training (or, as it is more popularly known, MA Training) magazine. In the forty-one essays included in this book, you will find that these lessons are inspired from the teachings and wisdom of the ancients. They are lessons from teachers and martial artists who have devoted their lives to instruct us, and I believe they should be preserved as treasures for us and future generations. I hope these little bits of wisdom will inspire and guide you, in some way, in your training and in your life as they have inspired and sustained me over many, many years.

The world is changing very quickly. In the martial arts world, in our desperate search for something fulfilling, we have, to a great degree, cast away our traditions in search of something new and innovative. In this day and age, I hope these notes will be a refreshing and revitalizing step back into the past to rediscover the ancient ways.

The true warrior looks to the future, but does not discard what he has gained from the past, living each moment in the present.

Namu Marishi Sonten.
Namu Kasuga Daimyojin,
Namu Hachiman Daibosatsu.

In Gassho,
Kensho Furuya
January 1, 1996, in the Year of the Rat



My student, Kensho Furuya, has been writing his Ancient Ways column for over eight years, and I am happy to see that it has been elected as one of the most popular columns in the magazine Martial Arts Training over the last two years. My congratulations to Ohara Publications, Inc. for publishing these writings in the form of this book.

Because of Kensho Furuya's background in aikido and martial arts, I encourage him to continue writing about traditional martial arts and its philosophy for everyone today.

As we advance in our technology and science, we are, at the same time, becoming more materialistically oriented people. Although we have advanced the physical aspects and comforts of our existences, we have made little progress in our spiritual lives. If we only consider the physical aspects of martial arts, it is quickly outdated and useless in light of the type of weapons we have developed today to destroy our fellow man. By considering the wealth of wisdom and knowledge which has been handed down to us from the masters of the past, we can preserve a way to enrich and fulfill our lives. I hope Kensho Furuya's writing will teach and inspire you in your training and in your daily lives.

Bishop Kenko Yamashita
North American Headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism
Los Angeles, California



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