Usuido

USUI-DO
Unity of self through harmony and balance

Usui-Do is a way of achieving

Empathic connection with the self and all of creation
Unity of self through harmony and balance
Transformation
Unconditionality
Liberation
Deep peace

The daily pressure of modern life is a major contributing cause of poor health. For a solution not involving drugs we can turn to ideas developed thousands of years ago in Asia. Around 600 BCE, Taoism emerged in China, offering suggestions on how one can live a long healthy life by following simple concepts. The highest concept was called "wei-wu-wei" - do as little as is needed for the current task - in the words of Lao Zi: "Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river."

Over the centuries, these thoughts of Taoism developed into what is known as Traditional Chinese Medicine. As Buddhism swept through China it absorbed these ideas. As Buddhism made its way to Japan, it absorbed ideas from Shinto, itself a celebration of life rather than a religion. Around 1920, a man named Mikao Usui started to experiment with these ideas. He came up with a simple system that could improve the quality of one's life. Like Taoism, it has a set of concepts that form the basis of the system. It uses movement and sound to connect to our ancestral self. The movements resemble those of of Taijiquan (Tai Chi). We make a journey into the unknown and maybe we will find our true selves on that journey if we travel with an open mind and heart.

Usui simply called his teachings "My System". Some of his students began to use the term Usui-Do or more accurately Usui-no-Michi. We have retained this terminology as a way of identification. This spiritual art, like the martial art judo, is presented in a formal dojo, where it became known as Usui Teáte. The main difference between spiritual and martial systems is that martial arts are derived from ancient fighting systems. Most of the spiritual arts are derived from practices of Zen Buddhism. Usui-Do was developed by its founder, Mikao Usui as a way of achieving unity of self through harmony and balance.

Amongst the many Japanese traditional martial arts, such as judo and karate there are many other, more spiritual, arts which also developed in Japan. These include Usui-Do as well as ikebana (flower arranging), shodo (calligraphy) and by far the most well known chado (the Way of Tea, sometimes known as Tea Ceremony). Each is practised in a mindful yet precise manner that honours Man's connection with nature.

The system remained active after the death of its founder in 1926. Some of Usui's senior students including a teacher named Toshihiro Eguchi and a retired naval captain called Chuujirou Hayashi, continued to present the system in its original form. The teachings were to remain hidden away in rural Japan until 1971 when Yuji Onuki, a student of Toshihiro Eguchi, decided to travel the world in order to pass on what he had learned. In December 1971 we had the honour of studying with Onuki-san. In 1995 we had an opportunity to expand our understanding of Usui-Do in rural Japan when we chanced upon Tatsumi-sensei, who had studied with Chuujirou Hayashi from 1927 to 1931. Since then we have kept in contact with a Buddhist nun who studied the system directly with Usui and has provided a valuable insight into the day-to-day activities of Usui's dojo.

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Site revised on 24/11/2002 and last updated 30/11/2016 05:38:53 PST


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