We already mentioned “Shugyo” publishing the article about “Shu-Ha-Ri”. “Shugyo” is a term that seems to have different meanings. Time ago, a “Shugyosha” was a Budoka, travelling from Dojo to Dojo to learn.
The word “Shugyo” is built from two syllables: “Shu” meaning as much as “discipline”, “respect” or “learning” and “Gyo” as much as “art”. Maybe the meaning is “to learn the art”.
To translate the meaning “Shugyo” is difficult and seems to also mean to “polish one´s spirit”. It means to unify spirit and body and to challenge oneself. This also means to be honest, to work at your own ego and to go beyond the limit. To recognize and reflect your own mistakes and to get out of the comfort zone.
“Shugyo” seems to be related to “Misogi” (purification). It is obvious that we can practice “Shugyo” every day, by solving tasks we do not like, i.e. to make your bed, wash your own Gi, do the washing up. But in actual fact it means to open your spirit, purify it and be honest against yourself. Not to give up but to mature.
On the physical level “Shugyo” can be practised by repeating movements like cleaning the Tatami, concious seating and breathing accompanied by discipline.
In Germany “Shugyo” in life often seems to be unknown and uncomfortable. It starts at school where someone throws away his rubbish or does not clean his shoes entering. The cleaning of the school is left for somebody else to do. In Japan the pupil do clean their own school. This is a way of discipline and challenging oneself, that helps being honest with oneself and going beyond the limit of laziness and impurity.
“Shugyo” can also mean to learn something new, to visit a new Dojo and to behave with respect and discipline. To visit a strange seminar with new challenges which can only be learned by being humble. Humbleness never can be wrong anyway as we all make mistakes and can purify by practicing “Shugyo”.
In our understanding everybody visiting a good Dojo, that is not a school of comfort, is practicing “Shugyo”. Everybody visiting a good Dojo is reaching beyond one´s own limits, trains regularly and tries to mature conciously or unconciously. The more you practice, the more intensive the “Shugyo” and therefore the maturity.
“Shugyo” seems to be connected with asceticism, to concentrate on the important things, to purify the mind, to challenge oneself and to mature. As little as we can read about the meaning of “Shugyo”, the meaning seems to be different for every one of us. All in all it seems with keeping one´s mind open we reach another form of awareness, and with the help of “Shugyo” we get closer to “Shingen“, the highest form of awareness.
If you know more about the meaning of “Shugyo”, please do us a big favour and comment this article. We are working hard to find out more about the meaning of “Shugyo”.