March 7, 2020

A young girl training in Aikido with us is leaving to go off to college.

Amidst the trepidation of being far from home for the first time and leaving familiar faces, she’s bombarded with hysteria over the COVID-19 strain of respiratory virus dominating the news.

While good hygiene is always advisable, avoiding illness is a strong motivation to take precautionary measures.  You probably already know the standards: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze, avoid bodily fluids (especially those of other people), and disinfect high contact surfaces. 

My advice for the flu season is proper nutrition, exercise, hydration, hygiene, and adequate rest.  These are also wise policies for every day of the year.

But I digress.

The last thing to do is fall into the hype pushed by “paid programming” media outlets.  The run on hand sanitizer and toilet paper indicates there are multitudes of people mentally and physically unprepared for flu season.

It saddens me to see this young girl, who trains her heart out in Aikido, wrapped up in the fear mongering. 

As she sent her farewell message to our dojo chat group you could feel the anxiety behind her words.  It doesn’t translate well from Japanese, yet you could tell coronavirus weighed heavily on her mind.

What does translate beautifully, however, is some wisdom from one of our senior members.

While listing some of the big hurdles ahead of her, like meeting new friends, training at a new dojo, and studying, he concluded that all of this can be done with the strength of her will.  

The poetry of his phrase actually means much more than that:

“魂で乗り越えられると思います。 (Tamashi-de Norikoerareru to Omoimasu)”

“I think you can overcome it with your spirit.”

The first character I’d like you to focus on is “tamashi” and it means spirit or soul.  It’s the animating energy of every living thing.

The second is “noreru” to get on board planes, trains, and automobiles.  It also means to be carried, to participate, or to take part. 

The third is “koeru” which means to cross over, to go beyond, or to surpass.

Taken together this means you can ride the flowing energy of spirit to surpass any obstacles on your path.

Of course, this skill applies to all aspects of life, not just interpersonal combat.  

The image of surfing comes to mind. 

Training yourself to get into this flow state isn’t just some metaphor, there are tactical implications for the modern warrior.

Taking from Igensho: The Book of Dignity, “spiritual training, or mental conditioning, is a method of educating the nervous system to cope with the consequences of…an imminent or actual life threatening event.  Fight or flight.”

The main threat that plagues humanity is stress and the sensationalized media, freaking out about COVID-19, is one of the main culprits. 

Training to ride your spirit over the trials and tribulations of life takes practice, to be sure, just like all martial arts and physical skills.  

Yet it need not be hard.  In fact, mental conditioning can be as easy as floating down a river on an inner tube, that is, when you have the right tools.

That is why I recommend the Rise Above audio track.  

Designed to help you rebound from challenges, radiate resilience, and release stress, this self-hypnosis tool lets you take the easy way to a satisfying life, empowered by a winning mindset.

Having a strong mind and elevated spirit is the perfect way to ride out any season.

To your victorious life!

Ken Yamarashi


P.S. Stress really is a major killer of modern warriors. 

The suicide epidemic among cops, soldiers, and other first responders is staggering.  Recently there was a report of 29 British soldiers killing themselves within two months of returning from Afghan deployment.  


Yet like most things government touches mental health services are inadequate because resources are squandered by politicians and bureaucrats.

If there’s going to be any positive action on this issue it’s going to come through individuals and private groups making the right choices. 

The Rise Above audio track uses positive autosuggestion from a clinical hypnotherapist.  Don’t wait.  Take action to improve your mental fitness or for someone you care about.  Do it now.