Heiho

Act without Fear

Act without Fear of Consequence (aiuchi no heiho)

Aiuchi is mutual striking. This strategy is more useful in weapons training than in unarmed training. The willingness to utilize this heiho, however, makes one a very dangerous opponent. Consider the following story:

A chado sensei (a teacher of tea ceremony) was challenged to a duel by a wandering samurai. The tea master knew nothing of swords, so he sought out a friend who was a swordsman. The tea master explained the situation and why he could not refuse the challenge. He also understood he could not hope to survive it. The swordsman said he would help if the chado sensei would make him a cup of tea. As the sensei made tea his mind slipped into deep concentration and became still, all thoughts of the next day’’s duel was lost. He just made tea. His friend observing this cried out ““There you have it! Act just as you did just then. When you duel tomorrow raise the sword overhead as if you were serving tea. When he attacks, close your eyes and cut down strongly. Start by making tea for your challenger.””

The next day the two combatants arrived on schedule at the appointed place. The chado sensei offered to make the samurai tea. Seeing the chado sensei empty his mind, the samurai realized this was a different man from the man the samurai had challenged the previous day. He saw a very dangerous man. The samurai immediately apologized and withdrew.

A person who is not afraid to be hurt or even unafraid of dying is a very dangerous opponent. This is the spirit of aiuchi –– ““give up your life in order to keep it”.”