Friday, May 18, 2012

The 9th Rule and Shimabuku's Code of Karate

There is much more involved to understanding than just reading something and comprehending the words.

Isshinryu’s Code of Karate is such an experience. While I learn it decades ago, recited it for my sho dan examination it is only recenty after brief meetings with John Kerker the past two years that it is really becoming meaningful day by day in my practice.

So much so, today it struck me there is a 9th rule that should be added, and it comes from the USMC in a round about way.

Rule 9 must be “Slow is Smooth, and Smooth is Fast”.

I was John making a similar observation (not with those words) during his last clinic on how to respond to attacks of different speeds, and then watching extra material on the movie ‘Shooter’ dvd, on sniper training. They really tried to make the sniper work in the movie as accurate as possible according to USMC Sniper doctrine. In the extra material they explained why this is the USMC Sniper motto.  The movie is a gem and that extra material you owe it to yourself to see to fully understand the concept.

That explanation fits 100% into the points John was making too.

I’m going to leave it to John if he wishes to expand on this further, on how Harrill Sensei made this work for his art. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, if you really want to experience something, you should train with John Kerker, or other students of Harrill Sensei.

To promote thought I offer the following:

 Master Shimabuku's Code of Karate
 Bubishi – The Eight Precepts of Quanfa  (Patrick McCarthy translation)
Bubishi – The Eight Essentials of Kempo (Ken Penland translation)
Eight Important Phrases of ‘Karate’  from Karate Jutsu (Funakoshi Ginchin)
 translated by John Teramoto

They all should be considered. The translations of McCarthy and Penland show two different efforts to translate and present the original Bubishi material. Funakoshi Ginchin included this code in his books on his art, the first public acknowledgement of the Bubishi’s existence. Shimabuku Sensei’s use of the Code of Karate must be a fundamental core of our Isshinryu.

Master Shimabuku's Code of Karate

1.A person's heart is the same as Heaven and Earth.
2.The blood circulating is similar to the Moon and Sun.
3.A manner of Drinking and Spitting is either hard or soft.
4.A person's Unbalance is the same as a Weight.
5.The body should be able to change Direction at any time.
6.The time to strike is when opportunity presents itself.
7.The eye must see all sides.
8.The ear must listen in all Directions.

Bubishi – The Eight Precepts of Quanfa  (Patrick McCarthy translation)

1.The human mind is one with heaven and earth.
2.Our blood circulation parallels the solar and lunar cycles of each day.
3.Inhaling represents softness while exhaling characterizes hardness.
4.Adapt to changing conditions.
5.Response must result without conscious thought.
6.See what is un-seeable.
7.Expect what is unexpected.

Bubishi – The Eight Essentials of Kempo (Ken Penland translation)

1.Man and his mind are like the heaven and the earth.
2.The blood and the veins (rhythm of the circulatory system of the body) are like the cycle of the sun and the moon.
3.The law of the breath is hard (Go) and Soft (Ju), in and out
  a.Fu (to exhale): The air that is exhaled is like an arrow. When punching make sure you exhale one half of your air in order to release your Chi (intrinsic energy) properly
  b.in (to inhale):  The air that is inhaled is like a returning wave. When the punch is returning you should inhale and swallow one half of your air and one half of your Chi. One half of the air swallowed and lowered down into your tan tien (a point three inches below the naval).
  c.Go (hardness): While inhaling the inside of the body becomes like iron. You should learn to channel your Chi into the bones of your body using this strength to absorb the blows of your opponent.
  d.Ju (softness): While inhaling the outside of the body becomes like cotton. The body becomes relaxed outwardly so that movement of technique can come from the natural reactions and no muscles are tightened in order to have freedom of instant  movements.
  e.Goju (Hard/Soft): Combine hard and soft for true power. This is how to break your opponent’s thoughts by relaxing outwardly but becoming like iron inwardly. Anger and fear must be banished when facing an adversary. Always use your physical and mental strength combined. This will make you ready to win the fight.
4.Your body must harmonize according to each situation.
  a.Chi (Controlling your opponent): Make your opponent’s movements your own by flowing with his movements.
5.When your hands meet, you must enter Ku (emptiness). Techniques will occur in the absence of conscious thought. Face your opponent squarely and solidly without deviations, but not giving away emotion or intent.
6. Advance and retreat with the proper distance (maai) when the opportunity presents itself).
  a.Nen (Awareness): If your opponent comes to attack, move away with his actions. If your opponent moves back, follow his movements and actions.
  b.Sen (Attacking): All preparations for your attack must be completed mentally and not physically, otherwise your opponent will ready your actions causing you to fail in your attempts.
7.The eyes must wach all four directions (Left, Right, Up and Down). Do not become so engrossed in your ow techniques that you fail to observe your opponent’s actions. This will cause you to lose.
8.The ear must listen in all eight directions (Left, Right, Up, Down, Forward, Behind, Left Angles and Right Angles).


Eight Important Phrases of ‘Karate’  from Karate Jutsu (Funakoshi Ginchin) translated by John Teramoto

1.The mind of Man is the same as Heaven and Earth.
2.The circulatory system resembles the sun and the moon.
3.The Law includes hardness and softness, ingesting and expressing.
4.The body adapts to changes in time and situation.
5.Techniques occur when a void is encountered.
6.Ma involves advancing and retreating, meeting and departing.
7.The eyes miss nothing.
The ears listen well in all directions.

1 comment:

Charles James said...

I added "tactual" as number 9 to Tatsuo-san's ken-po goku-i, i.e.

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.