"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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iBook on Philosophy of Ken-po Goku-i [拳法極意]


The number nine is significant in Chinese numerology. It made me wonder why there are only eight lines in the gokui (ken-po goku-i 拳法極意). As you are aware I added a ninth to cover another sense used dominantly in the empty hand art that is Ti or Te of Okinawa. I also have spent time considering the English translation provided in my system of Isshinryu. 

As I contemplate the gokui and the English translation along with the translation of the Japanese kanji that make up the gokui I wonder just how much as changed in translations when one sensei hands down the gokui to his student and that for each giving the translation makes a shift from what Tatsuo-san wanted at its first presentation to his students whether Okinawan or American. 

As I have stated in previous postings I feel it is a Zen like martial art koan for each person to contemplate and connect with their training, practice and application of the system of Toudi or karate. This is just another note or post to remind us that maybe the nature of this terse zen-like karate koan is to allow for change and discovery as we progress and mature as karate-ka regardless of age, level or dan-i grades. Maybe it is that which helps us humble ourselves to ourselves to maintain grounding in life and the practice and teaching of Isshinryu. 

It is not about us as a person. It is about interactions be they violent or simply societal in relations between one another. It is possible a means by which a karate-ka tempers their steely personalities or warrior-like personas. Maybe it is the teachers guide so that what passes from sensei to practitioner is tempered with humility and morality. 

Look at the eight English translations, the below graphic with English translations and then compare them with not just the physical or spiritual as indicated by the last six lines and the first two then let it settle and slowly cook in your subconscious. You may be surprised just how much you can achieve from contemplation and consideration of this terse writing of karate-zen-koan. It is one of the many that makes the journey interesting and enlightening. 

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.
The blood circulating is similar to the moon and sun.
The manner of drinking or spitting is either hard or soft.
A person's unbalance is the same as a weight.
The body should be able to change direction at any time.
The time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself.
The eyes must see all sides.
The ears must listen in all directions.

Click for larger view. This graphic pulled from AJA Sensei's FB Wall.
In closing, my efforts and study resulted in my personal translation and meaning of the ken-po goku-i in an eBook or PDF that is available from other sources. A simple effort of a mere 84 pages. It remains as simple as possible much like the gokui's nine lines as redacted in my interpretations. 

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