"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Providing a first step on a path to self-reflection." - C. E. James

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

"What is true today may be reevaluated as false not long after. Judgements are frequently based upon a set of "temporary" circumstances surrounding them. Conflicting ideologies can exist simultaneously. Antagonistic dualities are complementary aspects of a unified whole: are seen as mutually dependent mirror images of each other." - Nahum Stiskin

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

Kenpo Gokui

The lines of the ken-po goku-i are set from an atomistic aspect simply because it is the manner in which the brain learns. Its nature is completely holistic and like the I Ching must be in a form that promotes learning and understanding so a person can see, hear and grasp the nature of a holistic system. The gokui is a method to teach us how to be holistic. Its terseness is the best that can be done to convey its holistic meaning.

A person's heart is the same as Heaven and Earth while the blood circulating is similar to the Sun and Moon yet the manner of drinking and spitting is either soft or hard while a person's unbalance is the same as a weight and the body should be able to change direction at any time as the time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself and both the eyes must see all sides as the ears must listen in all directions while the mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen on all sides and not heard in any direction.

A person’s heart is the same as Heaven and Earth while circulatory system is similar to the cycles of the moon and sun yet the breathing methods are either hard or soft while one’s posture should allow one to advance, retreat, engage, and disengage as the body should be able to act in accordance with time and change so that one must enter a state of emptiness (mushin/zanshin) allowing the eyes must see all sides and the ears should listen in all directions while the mind must grasp all the tactual data not seen on all sides and not heard in any direction. - My rendition per translation from Andy Sloane Sensei.

Master Zeng said, "Am I preaching what I have not practiced myself?"

All Bottles are Truly Good

All Bottles are Truly Good

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Big Dipper | kata embusen | patterns | rituals

What is the connection? Let the kenpo gokui be represented by the hub of the wheel [Unity; spokes are bound to the common center; people are bound to their ruler.], the center or the one, which is connected to all these by the spokes since the concepts derived from these are the outer wheel that rotates and carries the myriad things of the Earth through the life cycle.

The big dipper is the symbol for the ruling home. Okinawa is the ruling home of the Isshinryu system. The big dipper pattern is representative of the hierarchical patterns of the Universe which equates to that of society and in the microcosm of Isshinryu the dojo with the honbu dojo of Bushi Tatsuo Sensei as the center or hub of that microcosmic wheel.

The kata embusen is a representation of the cosmic patterns of the Universe or the micro-universe of the Isshinryu world. This world teaches us on a smaller scale all the myriad things of the Universe so we can comprehend with out becoming overwhelmed by the vastness of it all. Embusen is also the pattern of the particular kata. Kihon is the center with the many spokes, i.e. ways of kata, that connect us to the outer wheel that equates the Way. It is the natural pattern of the kata which is the spoke that connects the center or "one" of Isshinryu to the world or live of the outer wheel.

It is the essence of kata and symbolizes the characteristics of the style that Bushi Tatsuo Sensei created. He was a man of the classics and believed in the symbolisms of the I Ching, gokui, and other ancient classics which he utilized in his meditations to achieve the connection that became the center called Isshinryu.

The patterns shown in the skies of the Universe as well as the patterns we encounter in life and in the microcosmic world of the dojo the embusen all relate one to the social, behavioral, and cosmic patterns that connect to the Tao. Bushi Tatsuo Sensei always told those who would listen that learning of other cultures was important.

The social patterns called culture is that relation most important to the new practitioner. Learn of others and see within their culture and beliefs the way of their unique behaviors called "conduct." Once we achieve a level of understanding and tolerance we achieve cosmic portents where we can see or hear something of a nature that provides us signs or patterns of life.

Patterns of Isshinryu can be symbolized by the distinctive patterns of the tiger which we find in the me-gami. In the ancient texts the patterns of the tiger are representative of a person who effects great change. Bushi Tatsuo Sensei was such a person in the great changes he created in all of us who practice, teach and transmit his child, Isshinryu.

It is said that the distinctive patterns/markings of the tiger as well as the leopard to the superior patterns of cultivation displayed by the truly noble person who is Bushi Tatsuo Sensei. The tiger is analogous to the superior person which is also in the megami by the depiction of the dragon flying in the night sky not to forget the tiger in the megami headdress.

When we all practice our kata we find within it a distinctive rhythm and pattern which assists us in creating a connection to the Universe which is life and the way. The energy created during kata practice are complementary and can be readily seen by the instinctive and natural rhythm and patterns. Each individual is unique and over time will develop allowable differences that are their unique pattern and rhythm.

Kata practice is a "ritual" which is developed over time with dedication and diligent practice. The classics talk about the ritualistic behaviors that keep society and people in balance with the changes.

Ritual requires proper internal attitude which is and can be established and developed through the practice of kata containing the various patterns of the style and connected to the Universe. Ritual practice of kata is a basis of self-cultivation and self-cultivation is the ritual to enlightenment.

Ritual has been a mark of great societies and cultures through out the entire history of mankind. Those who forgo their cultural rituals lose the way and soon succumb to catastrophe.

The Physical enactment of ritual becomes fully compelling only if it reflects a profound integrity of the spirit [the difference between just practicing the movements or practicing with intent and other sublevel layers of the kata where it touches the spirit and mind of the practitioner.]; it is this perfect harmony of form and heart that infuses each gesture with dignity and direction.

Ceremony that is perfunctory {casual, hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough.} or gestures that are mechanical, even if they mimic ritual well, are unworthy of the name. [merely dancing with false intent and understanding removes the practitioner from the core of the practice.] In so far as ritual implies spiritual wholeness, the graph for "ritual" relates to the cognate {related in nature; the universe} graph "body," which describes corporeal {physical form or substance} completeness.

Ritual, behavioral "steps." The steps of kata depicting a grounding to the earth with transitional movement much like that of the changes in life teaching us to transition between stances with balance and connectivity to the earth creating a solid foundation which is expressed through tensho and tenshin practice. When our outer expressions of kata reflect the inner courage and dedication it reflects positively. If the practitioner takes the inner expression of arrogance or egoistic posture than that is reflected outwardly.

Stepping on tiptoe or "high-stepping" in ancient belief was indicative of a person whose outer expressions were of inner arrogance so it is very important that practice of the Way and through the pattern and ritual of kata have the proper attitudes and intent or it becomes something of the dark side in lieu of the light of the sun.

One should not become fooled by thinking that the practice of the outer form in kata constitutes the "real thing" in its totality for they will find their practice "missing" something that they can not exactly define. It is imperative to stay connected to the core of the practice so it remains a basis to launch true traditional karate-do.

It is the inner commitment to goodness, not the mechanical imitation of certain prescribed gestures, that endows the ritual with power. Simply going through the motions teaches nothing.

Faithful imitation of the ancients intentions lies at the "heart" of good ritual. In order for the person to have "heart" that is the same as that of both the Heavens and Earth they must not forget where todays practice comes from and stay connected to the roots of that system for to dig out the roots and discard them as rubbish removes the spirit of the system and leaves it empty like a discarded shell on the beach, pretty to look at but really has no purpose other than to please the eye.

We must never forget that to practice the way of the empty hand is to remain open to the fact that what we currently know may not be the totality of the system for the system is like fish scales which symbolize the careful graduations or layers that when removed reveal more beneath. There is always more if you remain receptive to more and open the mind to the possibilities.

To go beyond ritual (in other words, to be over elaborate in one's practice) is to muddy the clear message ritual normally conveys. [Many of today's sporting aspects have subverted the kata into an elaborately over emphasized exercise much like gymnastics where form and physical difficulties to score scaled points for recognition trophies, etc. This carries over into the gaudy uniforms that are used in such demonstrations. Not to take this as a criticism of that endeavor but it is just NOT karate-do and does not follow the ritual of the ancients which has substance.]

Ritual are the posts and uprights to the house of karate-do. One uses the basics to tamper the ground so that the foundation of basics can support the posts and uprights which are kata. Then when the complete system is practiced properly then in time the walls, roof, windows, doors, etc are built in such a fashion as to last one's entire life. It is the only way and if not done this way ends which is why we see those who practice for a time and then quit.

Take the time to achieve greatness in your practice. Give everything the benefit of doubt by actively seeing and hearing so that you can either discard or incorporate it into you following of the way.

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