“Stealing” techniques

In Japan, since ancient times, people have been told to steal, not being taught, when it comes to passing on skills, not just in Budo. Teachers or instructors do not teach verbally . They show you by doing and let you steal.

Techniques that are taught by verbal are not easily acquired. You are taught, you think you could understand, you are satisfied, and then forget. On the other hand, what you steal with your own purpose and intention becomes your own.

Stealing is not easy. Without the basics, you can not even understand what to steal. The ability to steal is proportional to your skill level at that time. In other words, you can only steal within the scope of your skill level.

Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to practice the basics first. At first, rather than stealing, you should trust your teacher and repeatedly imitate him or her without question. Then you can build the foundation for stealing.

Those who practice Budo must have that attitude. More important is the attitude of the teacher. The teacher must show the basics, guide to build the foundation, and wait patiently for recognition of each practitioner. Must not get drunk with teaching (teaching is sometimes fascinating).

However, this attitude is getting more difficult in modern society. Practitioners and even teachers are accustomed to being taught and having answers given to them. After all, we live in a period where most information can be obtained by simply searching the internet.

I would like to value the attitude of stealing, even if it may be regarded as antiquated. The insights that you have gained over time and beyond many falls will never betray you.

Hideto Usuyama
Vice Headquarters Director and Setagaya Branch Chief
Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu