In Japanese 心得 knowledge is kokoroe. Interestingly it is made up of two kanji 心, “shin” which is kokoro (heart, mind) and 得, “u” that has the meaning of: to get; to acquire; to obtain; to earn; to win; to gain; to secure.
Therefore, acquiring kokoroe (knowledge) is seen by the Japanese as obtaining things through a better heart, a better mind and not “intellectual knowledge” as we see it in the West.
And this definition reminds me of what Takamatsu sensei in wrote in a text called: “Essence of Ninjutsu”, in which he defines the 慈悲の心, the jihi no kokoro or “benevolent heart” of the ninja.
He writes: “Stronger than love itself, the benevolent heart is capable of encompassing all that constitutes universal justice and all that finds expression in the unfolding of the universal scheme. Born of the insight attained from repeated exposure to the very brink between life and death, the benevolent heart of Ninpo is the key to finding harmony and understanding in the realms of the spiritual and natural material worlds”
But then, if knowledge is linked to the heart it is not linked to the learning of waza and kata. This benevolent heart will develop through therepetition of these waza and kata but these forms are only the Omote and not the ura. Over the last thirty years I have trained an lot in order to understand and master the forms of theBujinkan but in the process I noticed that these forms ans techniques were not tthe answer. In fact the more I train in Japan the more I iunderstand that there is nothing more important than the feeling of the situation.
So we we come to see a huge paradox. We have to learn the forms in order to discover what lies beyond them. It is similar to trekking where the next hill might unveil a fantastic panorama. But before reaching this hilltop there is no indication of what lies behind. Walking the path of the Bujinkan you will come to understand this type of thing and be able to apply them in your daily lives.
The Benevolent heart of the Bujinkan is not something you can learn, it is given to you once you have polished your “brain knowledge” to turn it into a “heart knowledge”. And when you think about it, the concepts developed by Hatsumi sensei over the years, such as: “feeling, no strength, no waza, be happy, don’t think etc, make a lot of sense.
If you want to develop the 慈悲の心, jihi no kokoro, learn the forms, train hard, then destroy the forms and feel the moment; and do not rely too much on your knowledge.
As Sensei repeated many times: “in a real fight, a waza will get you killed!”
*benevolent heart: http://www.winjutsu.com/source/hatsumi.html