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
"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.
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.
8 Ken-po Goku-i & 8 Trigrams
Lets see what is most obvious first. There is a reference to the Earth. There is a reference to the Sun. There is references to both the eyes and the heart. There is a reference to the moon and there is a reference to Heaven.
One trigram has hips and buttocks which relate to changing directions, balance, and both hard and soft depending on its use. Another trigram refers to the abdomen or the seat of power with our interpretation as the center of the body. This is the spot we tend to refer to as the starting point of movement or the central axis both vertical and horizontal that relates to a persons balance and weight.
Another trigram refers to hands, spine, and small bones. After all, isn't karate about the empty hands? Doesn't the spine connect the center axis to all parts of the body that when aligned properly provide power to the body and thus the application of techniques?
All eight trigrams make some reference to the elements, family relations, a body part and a group that relates to nature, i.e. east, west, north, south, etc.
When we talk of our practice we talk about balance or equilibrium and for the trigrams the number eight represents perfect balance. So, eight goku-i and eight trigrams equals balance. The body references in trigrams depending on its line arrangement can indicate positive and negative issues of that body part or area so striving for balance promotes health and well being much like striving for balance in martial practice promotes ability and confidence, etc.
All the trigrams represent nature and the Universe while the goku-i also references the Universe with direct and indirect connections to the person, the body, the mind and the spirit. Person and body being one, the mind is the next and the spirit third for the trilogy of life, i.e. spirit, mind, and body with no particular order asked or required.
Also notice that the spirit-mind-body are the trilogy correspond to the three lines of all eight trigrams. The example I use is heaven-man-earth with heaven at the top; spirit-body-mind with spirit related to Heaven, body related to man and the mind related to Earth. Man receives the benefits of Heaven and Earth, i.e. that person's heart being the same, i.e. heart of the body, for a balanced or healthy body that comes from the spirit being in balance with Heaven and the mind being steady and strong as is the Earth resulting in a strong body.
Also when sorted in a particular order there is now a matrix of three x three resulting in the eight trigrams. The eight goku-i relate the same way and when put in the order of three by three form a matrix for the various martial systems and relate to all systems. All bottles are good, they all serve a purpose. All eight goku-i are good, they all serve a purpose. All eight trigrams are good, they all serve a purpose. Connections ...
The trigrams are further governed by the elements; wood, fire, earth, metal, water; and they lead to the twelve hexagrams, primary hexagrams, of the I Ching. How far the rabbit hole goes is up to the practitioner and how far they wish to take their studies. Like anything done in martial practice the extent, depth, and breadth is totally up to the person practicing the discipline, any discipline regardless of its being martial or something else.
Out attitudes of the mind must be governed much like the mechanics of the martial systems. Martial systems have specific natural fundamental requirements that must be taught, learned, practiced and followed for it to work much like the inferences from the I Ching, the Trigrams, and the Ken-po Goku-i that assist us in the practice of the physical so that we apply them in a positive and beneficial way to ourselves, our tribes and our society.
Tom Sanders, in the Isshinryu system, has provided a great deal of material on his studies as to connecting the art of the empty hand to the goku-i to the trigrams or Tai Chi, I Ching, etc. I can say that it applies to his studies and practice yet what he provides may influence other individuals in how they approach their practice and training.