The teacher lives in the students heart – the lessons taught…live in their mind to be shared – long after the Sensei is gone – an immovable mind…Is more then just calm in the face of battle – it’s leading others on their pathway to a similar place wherein an overwhelming calm is found…Fudochi.

Fudochi is one of the five minds of Budo. It’s considered by some to be the highest representation of The Budo minds – Fudochi is a term borrowed from Zen Buddhism meaning “immovable wisdom” or other interpretations define it as the “ongoing ever persistent mind of the Master”…in essence it’s persistence, but persistent what?…Persistent mind or persistent Wisdom – an immutable truth or truths.

It was first coined by the Zen priest Takuan Soho who was famous for his teachings of Bushido (martial way). “Although he himself never practiced any martial art, his realization of ‘self nature’ enabled him to point the way and many famous Samurai and warriors came to him for instruction; including, Miyamoto Musashi – arguable the most famous of all Japanese swordsmen.

Immovable wisdom according to Zen is a reference to a disciplined mind. Wisdom or truth are immovable, unchanging and everlasting. Once the mind is seated in this realization…it can become immovable, changeless and eternal, knowing all phenomena to be reflections of itself…at peace…a moons reflection on still water is still the moon.

An example – Bruce Lee spoke of water…water is still by nature, yet it moves. Water becomes the cup. Flows around, envelopes and overwhelms. The waves have no real existence, yet they are still waves – and if Frozen, water is solid; heated it boils and becomes steam.

Yet in all these forms it was still water – not once does it stray from its original nature…it is always just water. So it is with the mind. The mind can change thought from internal to external reflections…as in mindless mindfulness – but constantly without once changing itself…still the mind…still the heart and touch the spirit of the Devine.

Another example, as I myself am aging and dealing with the unceasing decline of the physical nature of gifts given and later taken by time – I relate to O’Sensei in his older years. O’Sensei is in many ways still with us…A story may help here – my son and I attended a test at a dojo I’d founded thirty five years ago. Many of the things they did were curriculum I’d written…and it was the same because it’s foundation worked…my point is my influence was still there and it was strongly evident because it was well crafted…from things Jhoon Rhee taught me – immovable practical functional…knowledge.

O’Sensei gave his gift of his martial principles to us over his lifetime – he passed away in 1969 and yet his influence persists and even grows today – like the ever present unending persistent mind. He is still greatly influential and his mind is a part of each of us – a universal gift of an unceasing growing Living Wisdom we collectively call Aikido…or whatever you choose to name it today. In a thousand years it will be called by a different name but profound Wisdom is and always was immovable and unceasing…Fudochi.

This ‘changeless nature of true mind’ is the realization of Fudochi as this living gift we give our students…the lessons we teach them may be the living embodiment of an “immovable Wisdom” transferred from teacher to student – if true…they never change, they persist endlessly generation after generation – as your contribution to the martial storehouse of Wisdom.

Applicable knowledge for any Warrior is the same irregardless of when or where in time it transpires. Real Wisdom is just that…timeless – and if we as teachers can begin to teach that then we will begin to understand Fudochi…an immovable minds product can be transferred for an eternity in the lessons we painstakingly learn and the lessons we lovingly share…

The teacher lives in the students heart – the lessons taught…live in their mind to be shared – long after the Sensei is gone – an immovable mind…Is more then just calm in the face of battle – it’s leading others on their pathway to a similar place wherein an overwhelming calm is found…Fudochi.

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Dane Harden

Colonel Dane Harden holds numerous Black belt ratings and instructor certifications in Tae kwon do, Yoshinkan Aikido, and Goshindo sword. Sensei Harden owns and operates Western Masters Martial Arts, Inc. with locations in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. He is also a medical professional and an Army Veteran with numerous combat deployments.