"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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Kata and Gokui

In a recent posting on FaceBook Advincula Sensei provides some data he got from Shinsho (Tatsuo-san’s second son), i.e. “What is the most important thing to teach karate students?”

His answer was that karate had two parts. First part is show karate, i.e. he and his father understood that to draw in students you needed to put on a demo, i.e. where Tatsuo-san would drive a 16 penny nail through a plank and others would demo tameshiwari, etc. Second part was “kata and gokui, i.e. these two were to most important parts of karate training and practice. 

Show karate, said Shinsho, includes sport karat and tameshiwari. 

Where I question things is, “When you make a statement like ‘kata and gokui are the most important aspect of karate,’ you have to consider what they mean by making that statement.” How kata has gokui and what that gokui is may be the most important aspect of karate training and practice. Just accepting the statement without finding the essence and meaning of how these two come together into one wholehearted practice is important. In my view, how can you understand what you are doing without this knowledge.  

I have studied, my perspective, the gokui for years now. I took it beyond the obvious and made connections that would support such a statement. I actually believe that the gokui is the most important aspect of karate and kata is born of that aspect. When you think of the fundamental principles of martial systems, i.e., “theory principle and philosophy principle,” you get a sense of how the terse karate koan of the gokui can lead to support the practice, training and application of karate in life. Even the other two major principles of physiokinetics and technique come from theory and philosophy which are all reflected in the gokui as presented by Tatsuo-san (note: there are more than one interpretation of gokui in karate circles and this is just the one Isshinryu studies). 

I feel strongly, my feelings and sense of things, that the gokui is a key to lead us toward the fundamental principles of martial systems that also are about life, morality, humility, decency and many other traits that make for a whole holistic person. I feel this is important since that drives how you apply your training and practice in the real world. 

The gokui is also a koan that helps practitioners to reach a level of focus and awareness that allows us to separate the wheat from the chaff, i.e. where a practitioner could detect the rhetoric that drives commercialized martial arts to see the value of classical or traditional martial arts. 

The gokui is that key that leads us to the underlying connections and interconnections that unite the seemingly separate and different approaches to the martial arts. It is this teaching of the underlying factors that make all martial arts function and provides them the value I believe we all search out in our study of this physical and spiritual discipline. 

As I allude to in this post there are connections and interconnections that make the study of martial arts valuable and holistic. It is this teaching that leads us past the mere basics and provides guidance toward mastery, true master of martial arts. This is how gokui and kata lead toward a complete and wholehearted study of Isshinryu, Karate and all Martial Arts. 

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