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BBWOW - Legend Tells Us That

Legend tells that the Ryukyuan king had always wanted to know whether a man could fight and win against an angry bull or not.

Sure, bullfighting was (and is, to some extent) popular in Okinawa, but rarely did men participate in these events, as it was always bull vs. bull. Ushi-zumo (bull sumo) it is called. 

Anyway, to test how a man would do, the king chose his closest bodyguard Matsumura to fight the bull. As a bonus he also got to see how well Matsumura could handle himself in a life or death confrontation, proving if he really was worthy of his “chief bodyguard” title.

Of course, the other Okinawan Karate masters advised him that he would be killed if he took up the challenge, but Matsumura accepted the challenge - he could never say no to the king.

After Matsumura had accepted the challenge, the king ordered fifteen men to construct a special bull-fighting ring for the fight. The news spread quickly throughout all of Okinawa that the great Matsumura would fight the king’s favorite fighting bull.

In turn, Matsumura asked the king for three weeks to prepare for the match.

The king gave his permission to this request, and Matsumura began his preparations to ensure his win and survival.

The next day, early in the morning, Matsumura took a short bamboo spear and headed to the stables where the bull was corralled. He told the keeper of the stable that he needed to be alone with the bull in order to make peace with it so as the bull’s spirit would not haunt him after he killed it. Okinawans are big fans of the “everything [animal, human, plant, house, tree etc] has a spirit” theory, so this was nothing strange. The keeper honored Matsumura’s wish and left him alone with the bull.

Matsumura then took off his sweaty, stinky cloak and rubbed it on the bull, to give the bull his scent. He then poked the bull’s privates with the bamboo spear, over and over again. 

The bull became very angry, of course, and since he could not get at Matsumura because of the strong corral! Matsumura simply smiled and continued to frustrate the bull like this for half an hour or so.

Day after day.

Every day for three weeks Matsumura visited the bull and jabbed its “crown jewels” until the mere sight and scent of Matsumura caused the bull to cry with fright!

Mission accomplished.

On the day of the fight, Matsumura wore his oldest and dirtiest clothes that had not been washed. The dirty clothes carried more than flies though – they had his body odor, his scent, and his expectations for survival.

The arena, which had been built on the beach, was crowded when Matsumura arrived at the appointed hour.

Almost all of Okinawa was there to watch “Bushi” Matsumura fight the king’s favorite fighting bull.

Matsumura approached the arena carrying his favorite bamboo fan and nothing else.

Not even a weapon.

As Matsumura entered the bull-ring, the bull was released. The bull began hitting the sides of the ring until it suddenly noticed that it was not alone.

Matsumura showed no fear and walked slowly toward the animal.

As the bull turned to meet him, it immediately recognized Matsumura’ s scent, his clothes, and what appeared to be a ‘sharp bamboo spear’ in his hands [the fan]. 

And just like Russian researcher Pavlov showed with his famous dogs in 1927 (how animals can be trained to respond in a certain way to a particular stimulus) the bull quickly turned and ran away, giving a loud cry!

The king, upon seeing this, said it was truly so, that Bushi Matsumura was the greatest of all Bushi (warrior) of Okinawa!

The end.

Here is a link with two Okinawan bulls are facing each other with 'coaches' and the first bull to run away loses (very humain): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-2LWDGV8Lw

Each and every one of us has the opportunity be be a warrior like Bushi Matsumura. Of course I don't mean that we can all go, poke a bull for three weeks, and face it but we can all learn from this short story.

In my book, Parenting Secrets From The Dojo, on page 32 I describe the Black Belt Cycle of Success and if we change the title to the Warrior Cycle of Success all of the five steps are covered in the above story.

Warrior Cycle of Success

1. Know what you want. (Defeat the bull)

2. Have a plan (Poke the bull) and a success coach (His Karate teacher). 

3. Take consistent daily action.(Everyday for three weeks)

4. Review your progress. (Does the bull cower when it seems and smells Matsumura?)



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