Kiado-Ryu Karate

Sep 11, 2017 - Feature of the Week

Feature of the Week: True Power Flows, Not Shows

From The Black Belt Book of Life: Secrets of a Martial Arts Master.

From dusk to dawn the world goes
circling sun with highs and lows;
within this journey Greatness knows
True Power Flows Not Shows.

Learn this from the waters: in mountain clefts and chasms loud gush the streamlets, but great rivers run silently.

Things that are empty make a noise; the full is always quiet.


This is a very simple truth which needs no great explanation. If we are truly powerful, our power will flow from us as easily as water down a mountain. It will not be forced. It need not be announced. It will just flow and it will flow silently as great rivers flow silently.

It’s a sure bet that those who make a great effort to be powerful, to be dominant, to be imposing are simply trying to express externally what they lack internally—a healthy, whole and integrated sense of self. To repeat Margaret Thatcher’s statement: Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. Likewise, in being a Black Belt if we have to tell people we are powerful to substantiate our confidence, or make some external show or create some “noise” to validate our achievement, we would be well-served to evaluate our substantive sense of self. In other words, true power should flow from a Black Belt naturally with neither declaration or exhibition. So should it be for all intrinsically powerful people. If they are truly powerful, their power will flow from them easily, effortlessly, quietly.

On a personal note, in my competitive days, the fighters that gave me pause and coalesced my attention to action were not the ones with the loud mouths and ostentatious displays of power, but those who were relaxed, calm, composed, quiet, confident and self-assured. They needed no show. They knew who they were and what their skills were. They were true warriors. Their power was genuine and they knew it. Subsequently, their power flowed … silently, and never showed until the moment of truth when the battle engaged.