“HONE O ORERU” is a Japanese term that translates literally as “BREAK THE BONES”. It is an essential concept of true SHUGYO and a central theme of a true Budo Dojo. What this term means at it’s essence has EVERYTHING to do with the forging of an iron will and a determined resolute SPIRIT. Hone O Oreru epitomizes the nature and purpose of true Budo as expressed in physical “keiko” or training.
Hone O Oreru is an admonishment to constantly strive to TRAIN HARDER. To train until “ONE’S BONES ARE BROKEN”! What does this truly mean? And what does this “teach us”? On the foundational level it forces us to endeavor fully with all our physical powers to “go the extra mile”. To squeeze every last drop of blood, sweat and tears from our training, to fulfill a mandate of absolute accomplishment! To train with such dedication and single minded purpose that we are assured of having given our all. To train HARDER and then HARDER again and again until OUR BONES HAVE BROKEN! This is of course a metaphor, but its central message is clear, do NOT accept anything less than a fully honest, totally dedicated striving for accomplishment. More often than not, excuses are simply lies that we tell to ourselves to abate the sharp sting of acknowledging our OWN shortcomings.
On a different level we can apply HONE O ORERU to virtually any aspect of human endeavor. From pursuing an education, to raising and fully providing for our family and loved ones, from being a true, honest and abiding friend through both good times and bad, to comforting, caring for and loving an aged and dying parent, from writing the “great American” novel to seeking a cure for cancer, ALL these require a dedication and single-mindedness of PURPOSE that exemplify HONE O ORERU.
To give ones ALL, and NOT to half-step, backslide, regret or give in to fear, failure or excuse is the ONE lesson that lies as the cornerstone of ALL great accomplishment and human achievement. To do a “thing”, anything, with all of one’s heart and soul is to touch, even briefly, the essence of our creation, the core of our humanity.
ANY undertaking only becomes worthwhile and POSSIBLE when we are willing to accept “Hone O Oreru” as our chosen path for achieving our goals and ideals.
Another important thing to consider when understanding Hone O Oreru is the inherent aspect of “RISK”. To strive for a goal, either in life or in training, with such ferocity of determination that we are willing to “break our bones” in the process is to FULLY accept and FACE the RISK of truly fighting to attain our goal. In this ever increasing climate of politically correct namby-pamby “feel good” mediocrity (aka “steaming pile of bullsh#$”) the central message of Hone O Oreru is that GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS entail by their very NATURE, GREAT RISK!
We all have a limited amount of time as we pass from cradle to grave. We can easily harbor or rut ourselves in that which is safe, content, familiar, and mediocre OR we can live FULLY and ROBUSTLY! Actively embracing and even openly welcoming HONE O ORERU as OUR STANDARD in the pursuit of GREAT ACHIEVEMENT.
NONE of us have any choice in the FACT that one day we will ALL be, as Willy the Shakes so eloquently put it, ….. FOOD FOR THE WORMS.
BUT we DO have a choice as to how we walk our walk until that fateful day when Mr. Reaper does knock soundly at our door. And THAT does, dear ones, make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
HONE – O – ORERU may very well be the key!