Robert Lawrence, in founding a system, is considered the Ryuso of the Fudoshin Combat System (Fudoshin Ryu). As the system grew larger in the form of more Dojo in more areas in and around south-east England, he also formed the Association of Oriental Fudoshin Arts (making him the Kaiso - or founder of a group/organisation). After a few years of operation, this soon became the British Fudoshin Association, with Soke Lawrence as the chairman/president (Kaicho).
Every year, on this day, we try and remember Soke Lawrence specifically in the form of training hard. We try and touch the essence of what he believed in so much - the truth of Martial Arts. As our Soke says to us often, "Only a true attack warrants a true defence", which send us down the path, what is the truth? What is this 'true way' that so many styles profess to teach, fewer styles profess to search for, and even fewer actually achieve?
The 'true way', or Seido, of Martial Arts is an entirely relative concept. Some people say that it relates to the most ancient of traditions. Sometimes this means that the ABC sword school is more 'true' because the XYZ school is 100-years younger. This, in my opinion is petty and politically motivated slander. What makes a style, a technique, a sensei or a student 'true' is in how that person or technique is applied. If there is any doubt in ones mind about the focus, power (both internal and external) and commitment one puts into any action or thought, then it is not a true technique.
Unfortunately this leads some to believe that in order for a technique to be 'true', it must be done as fast and as visually powerful as possible, and that unless it could kill a man, or break through 4 inches of wood. Nothing could be farther from the 'truth'.
Shakespeare was on to something quite profound when he wrote "To thyne own self be true" (Hamlet), and the same goes for the spirit or 'truth' in Martial Arts. When we enter a Dojo, we are leaving all worldly thoughts behind us. All of the bother, stresses and anxieties of our daily lives behind us. The Dojo is a sacred place, a very special place. Not because it has the spirits of the ancestors residing in it, or something magical because of the 'energy' that goes with the name Fudoshin. There is no special qualities about my belt, my sword or my Dojo that make them more mystical. The thing that makes them special, or 'true' is what I myself do with them. I make my training special. I make my belts special. My sword, my spear, my club, my teacher, my students and my Dojo. They are special because they are special to me. Much is the same with the often elusive 'truth' we are searching for. It is nowhere external to be found, but it resides inside each of us, waiting to be awakened. How to awaken it? Now that is something for your Sensei to worry about, and something for the student to look forward to.