"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 Mind of Two Minds

When we first begin to delve into the terminologies of the martial arts we assume a certain directness associated with the physical. As we progress, assuming all things being equal or balanced, we begin to see a more spiritual or psychological connection. Take a look at the term, “Isshin.” It is often deciphered as “one heart.” In some character/ideogram translations it means, “One mind; wholeheartedness; one’s whole heart; oneself; one’s own interests; throughout the body, complete change; reform restoration; remodeling; renewal; first instance; first trial, etc. Then you look closer at the ideograms or kanji to narrow it down further to, “one mind; wholeheartedness; one’s whole heart.” 

If you delve even deeper to those great oceanic depths of philosophy and psychology you soon arrive at a meaning that drives both the mind and the heart in practice, training and application be it in combat, fighting, contests or duels or just “the way.” When one thinks of the “heart” they usually take a more “emotional approach.” When one things of the “mind” they usually take a “rational approach.” Here is where the fun and relevant stuff begins.

In reality, how we thrive and strive in life is about creating a wholehearted balance between the emotional and the rational. This is mind-state stuff and important to how one actually applies themselves in life and in a more micro-world, the world of martial arts (as would any similar discipline taken up by folks). 

It has been shown in “Emotional Intelligence” studies that we have two minds. It is two different kinds of intelligence, i.e. one measured we are all familiar with as I.Q. while the other is “emotional.” Consider how often violence is more about an emotional issue while the more pragmatic and peaceful parts of life are considered the “rational” way of the mind. We find difficulties when the two are out of balance. 

The two minds we have are “rational and emotional,” where any imbalance or disconnect, depending on which, results in conflict so it seems logical that we must achieve a balance that keeps both regulated for the good of the individual, their families and society in general. 

In our brains we have a complementary of the limbic system and a combination or interconnectedness of the neocortex, amygdala and our prefrontal lobes. These are what can, should and are the partners of living life within the brain, connecting the proverbial heart and mind into “one.” The results when balanced are both emotional and intellectual intelligence thus ability. The ability is where martial arts begins to “get the picture.” 

When you find the intelligent balance (emotional intelligence and rational intelligence) of the two you benefit from a harmonized head and heart - what I would and could define as “wholehearted” and “one heart.” 

To emphasize this a bit more from the Isshinryu perspective the first character for Isshin is defined as “one.” The second character is defined as, “heart; mind; spirit.” Notice in the use of these terms and characters there is a inter-connectedness in that which I provide between the “one heart and one mind.” If true and follows the beliefs of this systems creator we can understand why he chose the label, Isshinryu. It was to help the practitioners learn about both the heart and mind and then using other studies, i.e. like the kenpo gokui koan like silk certificates, bringing them both into unity and  balance. 

Here in lies the truth and belief behind such a system, bringing the human mind together into one wholehearted unit of life, the rational and the emotional. Both proven in studies to bring about a stable, intelligent and balance person benefitting him or herself, family and society. If you follow the “way” you might find this illuminating. 

“The Mind of Two Minds that are One.” - cejames

MacYoung, Marc. "In the Name of Self-Defense: What It Costs. When It’s Worth It." Marc MacYoung. 2014.
Goleman, Daniel. "Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]." Bantam. January 11, 2012.

Reference of Ken-po Goku-i: Within the “gokui” we are given a duality in the direct reading, i.e. Heaven and Earth; Sun and Moon; Hard or Soft; Weight and Balance; Seeing and Hearing, and so on. One can find, as I have, many references and inferences toward a balance of yin-n-yang whereby the yin as soft can be attributed to the heart and yang as hard can be attributed to the mind or brain. The entire martial art system can, if you are looking for it, inferences toward a balance of both sides. This can also speak to the balance indicated necessary for proper, correct and real practice, as traditional or classical ways, of martial arts. It may be that this very belief through cultural influences resulted in a movement, when dictated by society, its cultural changes and belief systems, from a “jutsu” model to the “do (doah)” one. 

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