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You can defeat ego

Or more accurately, people who have an ego. If you have an ego, winning at all costs becomes your modus operandi. This is why ego is so dangerous, you try so hard to win, you lose sight of the real reason to play the game in the first place; to play the game and learn to be a better version of your yesterday self.

The ancient Japanese (while borrowing from the Chinese) were right in knowing things were a way, rather than a black and white win and loss.

There are no winners in Kendo, the ‘way’ of the sword. Instead there is the concept Utte hansei, utarete kansha. Hit, and analyze (were you just lucky? Where could you improve?). Get hit, and appreciate (the lesson). This idea is taken straight from centuries of samurai warfare.

People with an ego think they can do one thing to ‘win’. ‘Winning’ is not the aim of the game, the aim is to play the game. As long as you’re still in the game, you’re still in the game.

This post was inspired by the recent Japan Experts podcast on Kendo. If you haven’t, I recommend you give it a listen.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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