"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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The Ken-po Goku-i Translations

I have posted on this before. I thought it prudent to cover this once again because it is important, from my perspective, that one understand the fluidity of any translation especially coming from an language most difficult to understand even for those born to it. 

The gokui has been written and spoken of as an important aspect of martial arts, karate, from Okinawa and its origins are born from Chinese influences. The Chinese thoughts and writings are even more difficult so this will give a tiny bit of perspective as to the difficulties but alas the real point is how each individual will interpret the gokui as it applies to them. 

This is similar to the karate koan or gokui I use in my philosophies of karate-do. It is that something one must contemplate and study as they progress. This part is important as well because how we perceive, believe and live changes from moment to moment. What you get from the gokui in those beginning years will be different from what you get in the middle years and then again different as you enter the winter years. It is just how it is. Take a look at the characters provided for the Isshinryu gokui as passed down from Tatsuo-san depending on who presented them to you. 

人心同天地 [人の心と同じ天地] person heart same heaven earth (person; heart; equal; heavens; earth)
血脈似日月 [血パルス似た日光の月] blood pulse similar sun moon (blood; pulse; becoming; sun; moon)
法剛柔呑吐 [方法ハードソフトドリンク串] method hard soft drink spit (principle; strength; weakness; drink; spit)
?進退離逢 [重量前進後退外れるが従事] weight advance retreat disengage engage
[?]? [身体追従時間が変更に適応] body follow time adapt changes
?空則入 [手の時間空規則は入る] hard time empty rule enter
目要視四面 [目は4面を見る必要があります] eye must see four side (insight; essence; see; four; face)
耳能?八方 [耳の能力は、8つの方向を聞く] ear ability hear eight direction

In the above I provided as many of the characters as I could find from the six or seven translations. It is important to remember that the characters/ideograms may not exist as they may have changed or are actually characters/ideograms either used exclusively for the Okinawan dialect or originate from Chinese characters/ideograms. 

Notice that I give the characters/ideograms I was to understand came from Tatsuo-san then in brackets I give a translation that actually comes from inputting the English words that follow the bracketed characters/ideograms. In parentheses I provide my translation work as to the characters/ideograms that start each line as given to me as I understand came from Tatsuo-san. There are noticeable differences. 

One should note that there were about three characters I was unable to find using all the English translations you will see above and none of them actually match up with what follows:

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.

Translated to ideograms/characters, etc. 


It makes me wonder who translated the characters from Tatsuo-san into English. It may be that the person involved took liberties and that Tatsuo-san accepted them readily simply because he expected, as was his prerogative, all his students both Okinawan and American to continue their studies and learn more about the esoteric aspects per the gokui and other teachings. 

I actually put down over eighty pages in a iBook or eBook for the gokui. Even then as I went through it and edited it over and over again I either came up with new idea's or I came up with changes necessary to convey meaning to the reader as to how I perceive and interpret the gokui in my practice of Isshinryu. 

I am not doing this to dissuade or disparage other translations because those are also valid. This is why it seems difficult to the Westerner and Western mind. It is vastly different in the method of thinking that it takes considerable study and contemplation to come to any unique rendering. This may explain why there are so many versions from other systems/styles of karate, etc. 

In the end it is best to accept them all and consider what applies meaning to you and your practice without adhering to any one way so that your way can achieve its uniqueness along with fluidity through out your live as a karate-ka. 

Interesting stuff!

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