|A moral course and a means ...|
The Way which in Japanese is "michi" which means a way, a road, a street, a path, a lane, an alley, a route, a course, a moral principle and a means. To follow a path as a moral endeavor is to follow some pathway even if it does not have a literal meaning of following a route on a highway or road. Tho this character does indicate that literal meaning the one we as FA/MA practitioners use is to follow a course, a moral principle is involved, and the means by which we do this is the singular practice of the FA/MA.
All the classics I mention all have the same thread throughout of a moral guide to a sage like living of life. They mention a singular form whereby one promotes a way of living that meets the natural way of the Universe; by the Universe's natural laws which like the laws of physics are non-negotiable and unchangeable; the type of laws which we live with but choose as to its goodness or not-goodness, the law of opposites, the law of duality, the law of Yang-Yin, etc.
No matter which classics are studied the theme through out is the same but the message is conveyed as an individualized viewpoint of either a person or a group. Much like the variety of FA/MA systems we have today even though at their core they all are the same, i.e. striking, kicking, etc. Divergence occurs at the mental levels and those mental perceptions and translations provide the different systems.
I have posted on traditions and classical practice of FA/MA and if I am to understand the mental part these differences in systems is natural and traditional to all the past masters. Change is inevitable because of the human condition but the spirit core of life is the same for all of us even if our expressions seem "different" on the outside. The inner life is all the same; the outer life differs due to individualized expression.
All bottles are good, they all serve a purpose! - Shimabuku, Tatsuo Sensei
To truly see and hear one must be open and those who trained under the watchful eye of Tatsuo could not truly see or hear him for if they did they would not promote the dogmatic adherence to his demonstrations of old man kata on the 8mm films of the sixties, etc. The doctrine of having to show you practice and know his way of doing Isshinryu as interpreted by Americans who failed to "see and hear" his truth throughout the classical/traditional way of FA/MA are stuck in that rut stifling the growth potential of the practitioner and thus the spirit of Tatsuo's Isshinryu.
In my opinion the No. 1 trait of Isshinryu is its founders desire we not remain stagnate in his original beginnings but to see and hear his message of practice and training he demonstrated through out his teaching years. Forget the vertical fist, the double bone/muscle block, the short stances, etc and remember his spirit of Isshinryu teachings, practice and training.