"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?"

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Water: Symbol

The symbol of water as depicted in the I Ching denotes gradual advance, like the soaking in of water. In the "Zen" like symbolism of the martial arts water is used to denote strength, flexibility, and the state of one's mind to name a few. The moon reflecting on a still pond, a still water reflects, etc. all present some example of what a martial artist strives for in the practical application of use in combat, both civil and war based.

There is the crystal clarity of pure water vs. muddy water. Water denoting a peaceful practice of tranquility. How water seeks the lowest places. How water is soft enough to flow around all things but can be focused to a point where nothing can withstand its onslaught. Water is one of the five elements of the I Ching.

The stillness of water with purpose vs. being active with meaning/intent. Water is flexible in that it remains a liquid, can become solid as ice, it becomes gaseous as steam, and water except if some cases remains flowing. Water is also that one element that supports and maintains life itself. We are made up mostly of water in our bodies, etc.

Water flows over, under, around all things. It does not jump. Water is water is karate is life is both yang and yin thus not surprising utilized as a symbol for a consummate martial artist or budo-ka.

The I Ching uses water to give a sense of gradual advancement as a natural order to life. The idea of advance/progress is used to teach us that this process is natural and done in a gradual manner with and by successive steps and other conditions as denoted by the particular hexagram. It can be hypothesized by the readings that to do otherwise results in calamity. What this means today is the short cuts many take to achieve the glory of the cool stuff may give immediate satisfaction but for longevity it will open the practitioner to fault and instability of the entire system. To follow proper natural ways is to build strength and stamina while "cheating" leads to weakness and instability.

We can learn from the yin side of the coin we call karate-do or any "Do" for that matter for they all lead to the truth of life, living, and self improvement, etc.

Just see how many times water is used to convey some meaning and ability to achieve proficient levels of expertise in the combative arts of both FA and MA. After all, symbolism is a way to "teach" others by expressing ideas and knowledge in a way that will allow understanding not to forget the ability to convey that over generations.


Water has a universal undertone of purity and fertility. It is also seen as a source of life which in reality it is since we are, as I have said, mostly water and lets not forget that we look to "water" as an indication of life or possible life on other planets. Some mythological stories use water to indicate where live emerges.

Let use also the water flowing as an symbol to represent circulation where the ken-po goku-i also alludes to circulation by saying blood circulates similar to sun and moon.

Taoism, Tao-te-ching, also uses the symbol of water to indicate aspects of sagely wisdom. They let us know that water, unlike most other elements, assumes an form that it encounters to flow in, over, or around objects. It forms with what ever contains it and when unconfined if follows a path of lease resistance and seeks the lowest area.

It also symbolizes to us the innate ability to morph or change. Water was so important to life that whole tribes would create homes adjacent to sources of water.

Water can be symbolic of transformation, the subconscious, fertilization, purification, reflection, intuition, renewal, motion and life to name just a few.

In astrological symbolism the water sing of Cancer symbolizes purity, clarity and refreshment while for Scorpio mystery, stillness and reflection. Pisces is depth, motion and life.

As to the references of the moon and sun of the ken-po goku-i the moon reflecting off water can be reference to the subconscious. The sun and moon circulating deals with the harmony of the cycles.

Water deals with these cycles of life, the revitalization, the generosity and also dreams and visions.

Water as it relates to natures animal life give us a means to add persecutive to our daily lives as can be seen in the Chinese martial traditions which use animals to symbolize fighting systems and styles.

Of current note is water frozen where the crystals seen with microscopes display designs that can be related to many of life's cycles and systems which include our human form. 

As you can see water does symbolize many things not only in the martial arts but in philosophical teachings from all over history and the world. These existed long before we achieved the ability to travel and to get it from the Internet ;-)

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