“The Quantum Physics Language of Budo” by Nev Sagiba

The Human body-mind, the Hito Jinja contains all the forces of the universe whether we are conscious of this or not. Most will remain latent throughout a life.

Existence is a matrix of sorts but much more. Whatever the activity we are required to master the skill of it will enable us to navigate well.

There are some great budoka out there, don’t get me wrong. Articulating what I want to say in words is no small task. I recently got reproached by one such individual I had praised in my writing but apparently, he and his associates had understood it as badmouthing.

Facts are self revealing and words are mere signposts not usually understood without some degree of semiosis.

Having said that, getting on a horse just so you can immediately proceed to get off, does not constitute horsemanship. Nor does sailing a boat on dry land. Talking about growing food will not help you eat and reciting the ABC or repeating the 1,2,3 will not get you to quantum physics or composition of manuscripts.

And yet this is exactly how some people train. “If you do this, I’ll do that,” or they get lost in ego and contest and entirely miss the point.

Blind rote is not budo of any kind other than as a starting point for beginners and you don’t need to train to continue to move poorly. To progress through increased levels of capability you must continually challenge your steppingstones and refuse to fall into the trap of letting them become resting places.

True and lasting happiness is not found in stagnation, but rather in not losing touch with reality. All animals and people have blind spots. And overcoming them does produce some measure of discomfort indeed. But that is the price the universe exacts for the processes of awakening. If we fail to overcome our own blind spots, we will walk ourselves into our own problems.

For example: some people think that maai is the space between two people and then they stop thinking or pressing the envelope. Whilst this concept is good for beginners it becomes a trap. Closing the gap becomes an obstacle and that gap, the idea of it gets wider and wider and more insurmountable, when there is no collusion.

It is not until maai and musubi are acknowledged as being one and the same, that the beginnings of progress can start to emerge.

It’s the same with all the other budo concepts that are blithely bandied around and freely discussed to death by masters of the keyboard and not much else.

Budo has a context and is a language. A language is a dynamic set of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the elements used to manipulate them.

There is a definitive syntax for intensive interaction.

Ancient Greek – syn-, “together”, and – táxis, “arrangement”) is the study of the principles and rules for constructing sentences in natural languages. In addition to referring to the discipline, the term syntax is also used to refer directly to the rules and principles that govern the sentence structure of any individual language.

This applies also to the language of movement interaction.

An agreement, at law, is said to be a meeting of minds. By this definition a conflict could be seen as a clash of minds.

Put simply, the mind precedes the body and with intention generates action.

Budo training then, could be seen as an agreement to explore the possibilities of disagreement in a way that will result in domination over discord. In Aikido, a finer result is sought as reconciliation and enabling the fulfillment of integrity.

Rote does not unlock the infinite potentials held latent, but which can be unlocked in more courageous and questioning exploration.

Nor does contest unlock much more than fear.

There is a midpoint wherein dwells transitions and counters, henkawaza and kaeshiwaza. This increases skill. The increase of skill increases consciousness and depth of understanding.

Henceforth it becomes a Do, a means to awaken.

Paradoxically this generates a paradigm where increased perspective makes the diminution of violent expression possible. This is the Do of Bu or Budo, the Way of stopping conflict.

I recall the early days where I was fortunate to find accommodation when I had travelled across the country to practice with the then, only Aikido teacher in the land. The sweet Greek landlady could not understand the concept, that the reason I was practicing to “fight” was for purposes of peace.

She could not pronounce “aikido” and referred to my training as “I-killer,” bless her soul, and she lectured me incessantly about Pankrateon although she knew nothing about it, except that her ancestors were, according to her, invincible warriors because of it.

Shouting gibberish randomly will not communicate. Nor will entering gibberish as computer code get any functional result. Nor can you cook food by adding one or two ingredients then fearing to stir or add more. Or paint works of art by regurgitating simple forms alone. You must learn to COMBINE, mix and match with context. You must learn and know the LANGUAGES and ARTICULATE THEM. Hence the Kihon Waza, the alphabet of any art, are the ABC and the 1,2,3.

But there is more.

The languages of the Body-Mind, the Hito-jinja are subtle at the core and gross at the outer edges.

Finding the core is a life journey. It contains pitfalls, tests, trials and tribulations, and also immense rewards for the persistent.

But it requires a questioning mind and the courage to explore potentials and experiment with variables and also repeatedly returning to the centre found at the roots, which are in the basic foundational techniques.

The basic techniques are the keys that unlock everything else and must be known and understood well at a practical level.

Then they become a launching pad into infinite possibilities.

Nev Sagiba


  1. bruce baker says:

    In our attempt to bring out a certain skill, or set of skills, for students in a learning situation we often overlook the possibility that they are not capable of coming up to our imagined expectations. Maybe it is something in their genetic structure, or their physical structure, or in the way their brain and body interact with each other on a chemical level, but realize that each human being has their own strengths and weaknesses based upon natures experiments with our human race.

    Within the basis of nature experimenting, each of us has a different level of connection to the forces of nature and our perception of the world around us.

    Much the same as we classify the behavior of different animals because of their obvious physical traits, the traits of our own animal bodies and mind determine the skill level we are capable of.

    In pursuing the skill level we wish to achieve in whatever we are pursuing, we may find that behavioral ticks, physical illnesses, and personality disorders are magnified as either the physical body rejects our pursuits, or the mind is disjointed by these pursuits. Simply put, it is like the old saying,” … I went to the doctor and told him it hurt when I did this, so the doctor told me to stop doing this.”

    There is both a mental and physical ceiling for what each person can do. If we push beyond that ceiling we must expect either physical or mental abnormalities to magnify themselves sometimes causing us to be a danger to ourselves and others.

    I may very well be pointing out the central flaw of going beyond one’s boundaries not just for student but for the teachers held in highest regard for their skills. One must clinically and scientifically step back and examine a highly skilled technician of any martial art and one cannot but find that human beings, people in general, are constantly battling their own personality flaws along with trying to stay healthy.

    I diverge, but we also must remember that each human body is a receptor of a particular set of stimuli from the world around us, even though we train to activate our lessor senses that may lie dormant, I think that the point of this blog was being able to use both the left and right hemispheres of the brain so we are both articulate in thought/ speech while we are also able to physically able to show what we are thinking with our actions and skills.

    The combination of words articulated, and actions shown in physical instruction must be integrated into the body and mind. The body is not just a tool of action, but an antenna to the world around us. The world around us is sending signals to the brain at light speed, sometimes those signals are interpreted and acted upon before our waking mind even knows we have processed that information into action. This ability to develop those senses beyond the narrow capacity of that small part of your brain that you use when you are awake, when you speak, when you walk about this planet earth, is the smallest fraction of your brain function. In effect we are learning to use that light speed function and bypass the slow-witted logical waking mind.

    Now, this is my opinion from what I sense, not from a scientific study, but based upon statements that we use about 10% of our brain capacity it sure makes sense.

    What I propose is that for every human being there is a limit to both their ability to connect with the maximum capacity of their brain function, a maximum capacity of their physical skill level, before they must adapt and change to compromise to appear to have greater skill levels than they naturally possess. Despite what any teacher says that anyone can reach the highest level of what they teach, we must give up something in that pursuit because of the restrictors built into our genetic and physical structure.

    Improvement from nature is possible, but only on a practical level that your improvement will be higher than most of your peers on average.

    Yes, techniques are the keys that unlock everything else as far a becoming the launching pad for infinite possibilities, but we must also remember infinity is only infinity because of the finite level of the human mind and body.

    That non-thinking non-feeling connection you sometimes tap into that is beyond the waking thinking talking mind …. that is the rest of your brain you have not tapped into that often sees, hears, feels, and connects your mind/ body to the world around you in ways your normal 10% can’t quite grasp. That is what you try to grasp as you learn words in Japanese that are so difficult to explain in your own cultural language.

    You wanna bet that in 1,000 years English includes many many words from many other languages as a natural part of English if it is still around by then? Yeah, I know .. it already does.

  2. Bruce,
    I like your blogs.
    As blogs.
    As responses I find myself searching for a point.
    Mind you, I’ve been guilty of it myself :)
    I would like to engage discussion, but I’m no longer sure which point we would be discussing.
    Could you please clarify what you are making a case for?

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