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Keeping promises, «Yakusoku o mamoru»

« Yakusoku o mamoru », Budo is this and this alone.

When my Shisho, IKEDA Shigeo Sensei, taught me this many years ago, I already held this  conviction dear to my heart, but I needed several years to understand its importance and true meaning.

For a long time, I thought that «keeping ones promises» and «keeping ones word» meant the same thing, but this is not so. The most difficult promises to keep are the ones that we make to ourselves, without any witness other than our own heart, our own conscience.

This can sometimes be very hard to explain in a world where most people around us have trouble honouring their own commitments that have been written and signed, sometimes even in presence of witnesses. The only possible response to such an attitude is to not give in to the temptation to do the same, even if this sometimes leaves a bitter and lasting taste in your mouth.

For many a year my life has been firmly pointed in this direction, and little by little, I have learnt to live with all the promises that are inside me, and that exist only for me.
When you know that the term «Yakusoku» also signifies «Rendezvous» in Japanese, you can fully understand the complexity of respecting this approach.

As soon as you make a commitment to Budo, you firstly adhere to this value that represents its very essence, and the Shisho, who is the guarantor for transmission, cannot accept significant failings on the subject without drawing conclusions. In certain serious cases, the Deshi is purely and simply rejected from the group «Ha mon».

When this type of responsibility is exercised, it is always difficult to make such a decision and whatever course of action is taken, ones heart is wounded for ever, because one always feels responsible for having been unable to detect earlier that the Deshi would not be capable of assuming his own choices in life.

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