“The study of the martial atrs, and the study of life, through the way of the martial arts.”
The student feels that he cannot achieve real learning, despite having studied for a long time. He sees himself or herself as a failure and loses hope. When he or she decides to accept failure, the student must find a way to feel better about failing; therefore, he believes that most people are like himself. Furthermore, this person has lost his or her spirit. In this state of mind, this person is useless to himself or herself and to society.
THe student has made progress; he knows how much he doesn’t know. “I’m not good yet, but I know what I am lacking. I have improved enough that I can see other people’s weaknesses, as well.”
The student has made more progress. He knows what he is able to do. His success in technical things has given him confidence, and sometimes boastfulness as well. Because the student feels satisfied, he becomes very happy when he is complimented by others. The student has a good heart, and he feels genuine pity for those who are struggling, so he teaches and shares the knowlegde that he has.
Because of the number of people that look up to him, the student may feel that he has achieved his goal. This means that the student stops improving; it also means that, despite his usefulness to others, the student has not reached the stage of true Bushido. Most who study may reach this point and go no further.
The student has achieved a different outlook. He reaches the point where he can see the depths of the technique. Therefore, the student realises how much more he has to learn, and he keeps in mind what he is lacking. He has found himself; he is neither too humble, nor too arrogant.
The student knows that for him to achieve his ultimate goal, he will have to keep trying and training for as long as it takes. The student’s faith and belief that he will achieve this, keeps his desire and determination strong, even if it takes seven lifetimes.