Do not think how long it will take you to achieve a goal, but how you get there

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This interview with Igor Dovezenski is published (on 30.12.2014) in the most popular business portal in Macedonia –

The greatest regional classical martial
arts master and also teacher for ninjutsu and its
nine schools, live and works in Skopje. A regular and humble man
first sight, with an honest smile and warm look – but a great teacher in every
sense of the word and a real guardian, when comes to his
A deep philosophical value and practical knowledge are hidden within this young
man who lives his life unburdened by forced rules
and fake values.

BI: What is the Bujinkan? Where does
your love for the Japanese martial arts come from? Could you describe you
experience with starting your own

Dovezenski: Bujinkan
is an international organization found in the seventies (of the last century)
by dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, the only inheritor of the nine Japanese ninja arts.
This is an international organization located in the city of Noda, Chiba
province, in Japan. Bujinkan dojo can be translated as “The court of the divine warrior” or “The place
where the divine warrior practices”.

did I the love for Japanese martial arts start? As a child I was quite wild,
and my father started buying me comic books from the nearby shop, aiming to distract me and “tame” me,
preventing me from breaking something at home. To the contrary, once I read
about the adventures of Zagor, even more crazy ideas swarmed my head. In one of those comics Zagor faced enemies from
Japan. They wore tight black clothes and used strange weapons during combat.
That was my first encounter with
the word “ninja” and those black-clad characters took me over
completely. That made me start training karate, which was the only Japanese martial art, besides judo, that was
available in this city. Later, in 1986, because I was a good student, my father
gave me a present – a video recorder and a VHS tape with the movie “Revenge
of the Ninja
“. I remember that I couldn’t sleep after I
watched it. I dreamed with eyes wide open about being a black clad ninja myself who posesses their skills, armed with
their unusual weapon arsenal. Starting with those childish dreams, began my
love for the Japanese martial arts. But, aren’t all ideas born as a simple dream? Therefore, as a parent of
three wonderful children, I dare give advice to all parent. Do not interrupt
your child’s dream. Let them dream.
That is the only way to have their ideas become reality one day.

for starting a dojo of my own, I’ll say that the whole Path provided me with a
lot of priceless experience for anyone that wanders trying to find themselves.
Anyone willing to make the first
step on that Path has to be aware that the road is always long and filled with
various challenges. If you aren’t ready to jump and break the obstacles before you, step aside and
let those that are ready to step into the unknown pass. Do not try to find a
shorter Path. Its often slippery, and leads right back at the beginning. Don’t waste time thinking about how long it
will take you to achieve the goal, but how will you get to it.

BI: It’s a rare opportunity to speak
with a man such as yourself. Why do you avoid showing in public and speaking
about your dojo, considering the fact that
you’ve had hundreds of students through your dojo?

Dovezenski: Because
I don’t want to commercialize the traditional Japanese martial arts. Also, I
don’t feel the need to. Besides, a student should open the door and walk the
Path themselves, while the teacher
is here only to illuminate the Path.  The
ones that are willing to find us, but also find themselves, will always find a
way. Nothing in this world is a
coincidence, so if you really want something, there’s always a way. Contrary to
that, if we don’t honestly want something we always find an excuse.

the thought that we don’t show in public is an intentionally created illusion
by us. We are present, but not always and not everywhere. We show up from time
to time in some small mediums
“with a soul”. We avoid the big and offensive propaganda machines
which only poison and spread lies to the regular people.

BI: The traditional Japanese martial
arts are also training mental discipline. What rules and value apply to them
and are they applicable in the time we live in?

Dovezenski: The
value and rule of the traditional Japanese martial arts are timeless. They were
applicable, are applicable and will be applicable even after hundreds of year
after the time we live in.
Consider the classics, such as “Go Rin No Sho” (“The book of the
five rings”) written by the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. It is a
lot more about rules and
principles that govern out interaction with our environment and our place in
the universe, than it is about sword fighting techniques.

BI: You hold outdoor survival training.
What can be achieved with such a training? How does this training work? Who can
take part?

Dovezenski: Through
the seminars titled “Survival”, first and foremost we are putting our
mental discipline and preparedness to the test. They allow us to get to know
ourselves better.

the weaknesses surface when the body of a student experiences psychological
pain caused by the “punches” of the scorching rays of the sun,
dehydration, hard physical training
and sleep deprivation.

whole seminars lasts for two days, during the last weekend of July. The timing
has been carefully chosen to coincide with the warmest period of the year. The
students make camp in a rocky area
which offers no protection from the scorching rays of the sun, and there are no
shadows to protect the body. During the seminar sitting down is also forbidden. While the seminar
lasts, we eat no food and it is allowed for each participant to carry only a
liter and a half of water. The problem is that during the whole time we are actively training and the bodily
fluids are lost at an unbelievable pace. The liter and a half of water that are
meant for the two days are constantly tempting the student to waste them before the seminar is up thus reducing the
pain caused by the dehydration. That’s the most common reason for giving up in
the middle of the seminar.

for who can take part – in the past, we have been criticized because we
restrict these seminars for member-only participation. We even got a phone call
that we are so closed, resembling
a religious cult of some sort. That year we decided to allow anyone interested
to take part. We warned anyone interested that they should take a detailed
medial exam before taking part.
One of the external participants, a hiker, collapsed in the middle of the
seminar, going pale and starting to sweat uncontrollably. We had to call for help, and get some people to take
him to the closest house where he ate well and drank some water, regaining his
strength. From that moment onward, we unanimously decided the make the seminar members-only, regardless of any
criticism. I know out guys and girls well. I know how ready each of them is for
such a challenge, according to the
time practicing and their dedication to the arts.

BI: In you book “Conversations
with the students”, you say that the ego is out worst saboteur. According
to you, is there a way to reduce its influence and putting it under control?

Dovezenski: There
are different techniques to put ones ego under control, and I touch upon this
topic in the aforementioned book. I don’t think this is the appropriate place
to elaborate on the techniques and
ways, but without being humble and being downright vulgar I can recommend all
of your readers to get the book, after which a lot of these questions will be clarified. However, the first
step towards putting one’s ego under control is developing the ability to
“own” it.

BI: What is pain? What is failure?

Dovezenski: Pain
is our friend. It show
itself as a warning in time we do things wrong. It is a messenger of the need
to change on every level.

is most commonly a result of impatience. It goes hand in hand with the lack of
dedication on self-sacrifice.

explain this through an example in martial arts.

of our students attend training with a single goal – to learn a part of the
arts and one day open their own dojo where they can teach. That’s not bad at
all, in fact, it is the only way
for the arts to continue their existence through time and space. However,
sometimes the student becomes impatient and wants to become a teacher before the time is right. They try to
circumvent the rules and speed the process which isn’t measured in time, but
with the amount of knowledge. If the student isn’t ready, the teacher mustn’t allow the student
to open their dojo too early. There are a couple of reasons for this.

martial arts, the line of transmission is of utmost importance. It signifies
“through which teacher the art has come into your posession”. At the
same time, the line of transmission
is important to the teacher because of the direction in which the knowledge
will transfer onward. That’s why we seek capable and responsible people with whom the teacher will take pride in
saying they’re a student. Simply put, if the student isn’t able to carry the
burden, the teacher will not accept the risk that maybe one day it will bring shame upon them and
their dojo.

lot of students “screw up” when they think they see the end of the
Path. They rush to decisions that only show they aren’t mature enough to teach.
It is then they show their true
character, because often they spread lies about their teacher standing in the
way of their development. The truth however, is that the goal of every teacher
is to create teachers, and not
eternal students who’ll always depend on their teacher. But there is a way for
everything and time should pass to achieve such goals.

of the great Budo masters once
said: “If you tighten the string of the kite, and not let it fly
far enough from you, it will never take off. But if you loosen the string completely, the kite will fly away and
get lost”. In other words, when a student wishes to finish the Path
themselves and become a teacher, they need encouragement to leave the dojo and gain some experience which will be of
immesurable value later on in life. At the same time, the student should never
forget who showed them the Path,
because that is the only way they can lean on and utilize  the rich experience of their teacher. It is
this exact balance that mentors and learners should understand, if they wish to succeed in their
career. This applies to doctors, lawyers, bakers, carpenters etc.

BI: What qualities should one possess
in order to be complete, successful, fulfilled and content?

Dovezenski: You
should enjoy what you do or at least find a way to achieve that. If you don’t
enjoy what you do or have no idea how to enjoy it, find a new hobby, get a new
job, find a new challenge.

burden yourself to achieve success on a scale of some kind, instead give
yourself the task of doing the best and achieving results as perfect as you can
with what you do.

the little things that surround you. Smile and get a smile back. When you have
a lot, give to those that don’t. When you are in a need, don’t be ashamed to
ask for something.

humble and don’t give off the impression that you are an important part of
society or the community. Understand that, like everyone else, you are just a
small and insignificant part of
the universe, someone who has the possibility of making someone else happy or
sad. Make a wise decision.

yourselves with people that create, move forward achieve success and spread

you can’t influence them, stay away from those that gossip, imagine bad
scenarios and sprad bad blood among people.

BI: How can business people find
balance in their life, leaning on the principles of traditional martial arts?

Dovezenski: I
partially answered this question in the previous one 🙂

if you’d let me quote the great sowrdsman Yagyu Tajima no Kami (1571-1646) and
if your readers have the wish to read between the lines, I’ll add:

and knowledge are meant to be forgotten only when you realize you feel
perfectly comfortable. No matter how well one is trained in kenjutsu (sword
fighting), a swordsman can never
be a master of their technical knowledge until all the mental obstacles are
removed and their mind kept in a state of emptiness. It should be purified, no matter the technique you are attacked
with. Only then, your whole body together with your for limbs, will be capable
to show the whole breadth of you knowledge gained through years of training for the first time.
The body will move automatically and without a conscious effort from the
swordsman. Your whole training is at work here, but your mind isn’t at all aware of it. The mind has no
idea of where it is. When this comes true, and the entirety of ones knowledge
is thrown through the wind and the mind is completely unaware of its actions  and it disappears without anyone knowing
where it is, only then your skill with the sword will be perfect and you can be
called a complete person.”