Martial arts stories are handed down orally, later to be written down in numerous source books, often with small variations.

One such story is the tale of the tea master and the samurai, which can be found in several books cataloging tales of the martial arts, popular because it pairs the art of the sword with the art of serving tea, two seemingly disparate disciplines brought together by the Zen precept of living in the moment.

This story can be found in Martial Arts Teaching Tales of Power and Paradox: Freeing the Mind, Focusing Chi, and Mastering the Self, along with several other famous stories, such as "The Teachings of the Venerable Cat" (also covered in The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts, and "The Art of Stopping the Spear", which explains how the "bu" character in the kanji for bushido, 武士道, contains a spear and the kanji for "stop", 止 and the kanji for "spear", 戈. If you look closely, you can how they combine into 武 .