Five Animals

THE 5 ANIMALS and TEACHINGS of SHORINJIRYU KENKOKAN KARATEDO

 Dai Ikkyo (First Teaching)

The first teaching stresses the mental state of mizu no kokoro (mind of water), and movement of the tiger (tora no ugoki). This teaching stresses techniques such as the cat stance (neko ashi dachi) with a middle-level Guard (chudan kamae), and attacking movements such as the lunge punch (oi zuki) and the lunge front kick (oi mae geri).
Meikyo Shisui
When calm, the surface of water is clear like a mirror.

Dai Nikyo (Second Teaching)

Aiming for the mental state of hi no kokoro (mind of fire), one should copy the movement of the crane (tsuru no ugoki). As such, the crane stance (tsuru ashi dachi) with an upper-level guard (jodan kamae) is stressed, and the major attacking movements are the twist punch (hineri mae zuki) and the twist front kick (hineri mae geri).
Denko Sekka
Fire ignites from the sudden spark of two stones colliding.

Dai Sankyo (Third Teaching)

The third teaching stresses the mental state known as chi no kokoro (mind of the earth), and the movement of the bull (gyu no ugoki). A front stance (zenkutsu dachi) is emphasized, using a lower-level guard (gedan kamae). Basic attacking movements are the lead straight punch (okuri zuki) and the lead side kick (oi yoko geri).
*NOTE* Historically, the movement and strategy of the third teaching were based on that of the leopard (hyo). However, Kaiso Kori Hisataka made a personal study of the movement and strategy of the bull and emphasized this in his teachings. So Shihan Masayuki Kukan Hisataka followed this teaching and incorporated such movement and strategy into the third teaching for Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo.
Sekido Seizan
Through constant effort the earth creates mountains.

Dai Yonkyo (Fourth Teaching)

The fourth teaching emphasizes the mental state of kaze no kokoro (mind of wind), and the movement of the snake (hebi no ugoki). The basic stance is the open-leg defensive stance (sotobiraki jigotai dachi) with the versatile guard (hasso kamae). Attacking movements are the downward knifehand strike (shuto uchi otoshi) and twist roundhouse kick (hineri mawashi geri).
Furin Kazan
Wind in a forest moves with the sound of a volcano.

Dai Gokyo (Fifth Teaching)
The fifth and final teaching is the highest level teaching of karatedo as it stresses a mental state of simultaneous nothingness and completeness known as ku no kokoro (mind of air). The movement is based on the dragon (ryu no ugoki), and natural stances and postures are emphasized. The basic stance (shizentai dachi) with the natural guard (shizen kamae). Attacking motions are the backfist strike (uraken uchi) and the back wheel kick (ushiro kaiten geri).
Shikisoku Zeku
Emptiness is the oneness of color.

Reference Sources:
“Essential Shorinjiryu Karatedo”,
Copyright 1994 by Masayuki Kukan Hisataka

Dojo Hyogo – School Motto

DOJO HYOGO

 (School Motto)

 

The dojo hyogo or dojo motto of our style is
” doku ji gyo sei ki “
which means
Spiritual Development of Individuality in Mind and Body.

Hanshi Shunji Watanabe explained the meaning of the Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo  motto, doku ji gyo sei ki, or “spiritual development of individuality in mind and body”; according to Kaiso Hisataka, Shorinjiryu karateka are like trees in a forest. All the trees have common characteristics, but no one tree is the same as another. In the same way, Shorinjiryu karateka share common techniques, philosophies, and knowledge, but no practitioner is identical to another. It is from this comparison that we can understand how each of us simultaneously learns from and enhances Shorinjiryu karatedo according to our individuality.

 

Copyright © 2000, SHI RYU KAI.
All Rights Reserved.

Protocol in the Dojo

The protocol we follow during our class is an expression of our interest in upholding Japanese tradition in our karate training.

Salutations are an expression of respect, gratitude, friendship, and appreciation.
Different Shorinjiryu dojo may perform more or less elaborate entering and leaving salutations in the dojo.

Conduct within Dojo:

Always bow before entering or when leaving the dojo and to your Sensei (Instructor) and fellow students.
Bowing is a Japanese custom for displaying respect, humility, and lack of arrogance.
It is not a matter of “bowing down” to a superior; you will notice, black belts bow to lower belts and vice versa. Some compare it to the military were soldiers will salute each other.
Perform a Formal standing bow facing Shomen, as a sign of respect for everything that the dojo means to us. Shomen is the front wall of the room; sho means “true” and men means “face”.
In some Japanese dojo, where the instructor is a follower of Shintoism, a kamiza , a miniature Shinto shrine, may be placed at the Shomen, making it into a somewhat reverent area for Shinto worship.
Alternatively according to the instructor’s religious belief, a Christian instructor may have a crucifix.
Other items might also include a hata (club flag), the dojo kun (school principles), a picture of the founder, a picture of the current Chief Instructor, also the national flag of Canada, or a provincial or municipal flag, or even the flag of Japan.
Training: Everyone must train both the body and mind.
Always participate with complete concentration, determination, spirit, and sincerity. Never fidget, yawn or look disinterested.
Listening:
Do not talk among yourselves or lean against the wall. Listen to what is being taught. When sitting, lower yourself into seiza position first; then relax and cross your legs in anza position. Be respectful and pay complete attention to the instructor and his/her teachings. If you are standing off to the side and are called upon; quickly acknowledge yourself, bow and move to a ready position with purpose and confidence. Never wander aimlessly about.
Conduct with Partner:
Everyone must treat his/her partner courteously and with proper etiquette. Always challenge your partner to a degree that is beneficial to his/her learning. Never patronize your partner but always remember your control.
Everyone participates in the cleaning of the dojo floor prior to the beginning of class.
Considering that we train barefoot and breathe in any dust that we may raise as we move about, the floor of the dojo must be cleaned prior to class.
Starting the Class Ending the Class
Senior instructs students to line up saying “seiretsu“.
When lining up, each person is to stand shoulder to shoulder with the person to their right. The line is to be as straight as possible.
When bowing, bring your heels together and point your toes in a 45 degree “V” position. Place the palms of your hands at the side of your thighs. Bow to approximately 20 degrees, while keeping your back straight. As you bow, your eyes must follow your bow. Never stare into your partners’ eyes as you bow. This shows disrespect and distrust.
Senior instructs students to line up saying “seiretsu“.
When lining up, each person is to stand shoulder to shoulder with the person to their right. The line is to be as straight as possible.
When bowing, bring your heels together and point your toes in a 45 degree “V” position. Place the palms of your hands at the side of your thighs. Bow to approximately 20 degrees, while keeping your back straight. As you bow, your eyes must follow your bow. Never stare into your partners’ eyes as you bow. This shows disrespect and distrust.
Senior instructs students to kneel one after the other by rank saying “seiza”.
From attention stance proceed left knee down first, then right knee, toes touching but not crossed. (remember,… Left behind)
Sit with a straight back, do not slouch or show fatigue, remain still.
Senior instructs students to kneel one after the other by rank saying “seiza”.
From attention stance proceed left knee down first, then right knee, toes touching but not crossed. (remember,… Left behind)
Sit with a straight back, do not slouch or show fatigue, remain still.
Senior instructs class to meditate by saying “mokuso“!
Senior instructs class to meditate by saying “mokuso“!
The Instructor will end meditation with a single clap of the hands and then by saying “mokuso yame“.
Instructor will end meditation with a single clap of the hands and then by saying “mokuso yame“.
All turn to the Shinzen
Senior says “Shinzen Ni Gasho”.”
All execute a single clap.
All look to the instructor
In the Kenkokan dojo, the instructor says the following which is repeated by all
Nichi getsu sei shin
Sun, moon, stars and mind.
Ten chi chin mei
Heaven, earth, god and life.
shuhai
Respect
All execute two claps.
Senior will say “(Shihan/Sensei/Sempai) ni keirei
all perform the kneeling ceremonial bow.
All turn to picture of “Kaiso
All look to the picture of “Kaiso
Senior says “Kaiso ni keirei
all perform the kneeling ceremonial bow.
Senior says “Kaiso ni keirei
all perform the kneeling ceremonial bow.
All turn to the instructor.
All look to the shinzen.
Senior will say “(Shihan/Sensei/Sempai) ni keirei
all perform the kneeling ceremonial bow.
Instructor says the following which is repeated by all
Nichi getsu sei shin
Sun, moon, stars and mind.
Ten chi chin mei
Heaven, earth, god and life.
shuhai
Respect
All execute two claps.
All turn to the center of the dojo.
All turn to the center of the dojo.
Senior will say “otagai ni rei
all perform the kneeling ceremonial bow.
Senior will say “otagai ni rei
all perform the kneeling ceremonial bow.
The instructor first rises from kneeling position, (remember,… Right up), then senior belt rises and the next rises and so on by rank.
The instructor first rises from kneeling position, (remember,… Right up), then senior belt rises and then the next rises and so on by rank.

Copyright © 2000, SHI RYU KAI.

Mokuso – Meditation

Shorinjiryu Genbukan Karatedo classes begin and end with a brief meditation period. Some people prefer to substitute ‘meditation’ with ‘prayer’.

Really it is whatever works for you to calm your mind and find personal peace.

At the Shi Ryu Kai dojo there is no mysterious chanting or anti-religious meaning to meditation. It’s only purpose is to calm the mind and to prepare to focus on the practice of Karate.

If you constantly juggle thoughts about daily details such as paying bills, getting some assignment completed at school or work, taking the pet to the vet and returning unread library books, it is often written in various health and fitness books and magazines, that regular meditation can ease your mind and body.

Meditation can help anxiety levels drop and reduce the physiological markers of stress – particularly blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. Best of all, the effects occur fairly quickly, says Stephen Bodian, author of Meditation for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons Canada, 1999).

“Even just a few months of regular meditation can bring about measurable changes in the brain that correlate with increased positive emotions, such as happiness and serenity,” he says. “Meditation reduces your stress, makes you healthier overall and significantly enhances your enjoyment of life.”

Meditation is very simply the act of quieting the mind or directing it to be still and focused for a measurable period of time. And while it sounds simple, it requires much practice.

The basics of meditation include:

Selecting a posture.

Using breath awareness to help you develop a “less cluttered” mind.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Set a time limit (even five minutes may feel like an eternity at first).

Avoid large meals and mind-altering substances like coffee, alcohol and tobacco.

Choose the most appealing, quiet spot available.

Acquire a meditation bench or cushion or use a favourite chair.

Seiza

Seiza is the basic kneeling position used at the beginning and the end of martial arts classes and is associated with bowing in respect for teachers and other students. In this posture the knees are bent 180 degrees with the calves tucked under the thighs so you sit on your heels, insteps flat on the floor with toes pointed inwards.

Few today, however, give it more than a momentary thought, other than the pain so often felt in the ankles and legs, or the growing discomfort felt when sitting this way for long. And when westerners sit this way for very long often their legs go to sleep.

So why do we sit this way and what is its value? After all, in the west most people sit in chairs or lounge across their sofas. There is no history or lifelong adherence to a method of kneeling on the floor. Is seiza anything more than a quaint Asian cultural artifact?

In Japan this method of sitting has always been associated with proper etiquette. In modern karate-do, aikido, kung fu and in many other arts, the role of proper etiquette is a vehicle to show respect, develop discipline and train the mind and body. By being respectful you show appreciation for your art, your study, the teacher and other students. It becomes a triumph of spirit over ego, an acknowledgment of the importance of others and the group over the self. In this form etiquette represents willful discipline of the mind and development of spirit.

Seiza and proper etiquette, however, did not always serve this same purpose. Many elements of etiquette that developed during feudal periods of armed warfare (roughly the 12th through the 17th centuries) — such as where to hold your hands, how to bow, walk, move, or sit, where to sit and the distance expected from others — all at their core were intimately linked to the practice of sword and other weapon arts, as well as to strategies of self-defense and the ability to react instantaneously.

Warriors were almost always armed and even when they slept a weapon was always close by. At any time warriors had to be ready for immediate reaction and mobility — when outside, in town, when visiting others, in the presence of their superiors or lord, when eating and drinking with friends, when escorting others or on campaign or in battle. Necessity dictated constant awareness of everything around them, the position of others, their environment and always their ability to react or defend themselves.

The principles of traditional seiza are simple. Upon sitting, the left leg is bent and moved behind, the toes of the left foot maintaining contact with the floor as the shin in lowered, the right leg being forward and bent. As your buttocks sink the right leg is likewise pulled back — both feet now being supported by the toes. Only then are the toes allowed to move backward so the instep lies flat, the feet pointed in an a angle (they can be kept apart or the big toe of each foot can touch). The hands are then positioned across the thighs.

The toe position is critical. If the leg and instep are placed flat with the toes pointed, mobility and balance are lost if you try to move forward to one leg, or otherwise move. For a warrior, such a technique would be dangerous since stability would be sacrificed, and a foe observing such behavior would be alerted to an interval of advantage.

RISE FROM SEIZA
To stand from seiza the right leg moves first. But first as the buttocks begin to rise the toes of both feet pull back with the tips of the toes on the ground,
Thus as the right leg moves forward, the toes of the opposite foot support a quick, balanced, powerful forward motion — the movement of the body forward, supported with the right leg providing momentum and mobility behind any sword cut, parry, empty hand defense or transition to standing (in empty hand self-defense situations, however, sometimes the left leg comes up first).

Try this experiment. Sit in seiza with your toes pointed. Try to move quickly and powerfully forward or quickly rise. Now try the same with the toes turned to the floor. You should feel a dramatic difference.

An alternative exercise is to start to sit, just by collapsing your legs, or by moving one leg back but with the toes pointed. See how you can react to an attack from the front, or a push backwards. Check the stability in this position against that evidenced during traditional kneeling.

It is true that in judo, karate-do, taekwondo and many other arts there is no longer an active link to the sword arts or necessity to practice self-defense from seiza. But the practice of traditional seiza does force a heightened state of mental readiness, and awareness, and attention to position and balance. It also maintains a combative link to self-defense scenarios of our warrior heritage and by doing so creates an atmosphere of seriousness around practice that can be easily forgotten — an integration of attitude with technique.

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The Benefits of Martial Arts Training.

More and more adults and youth are using Martial Arts programs as a way to get into and stay in shape, because it is fun.

Every lesson provides you with a full body workout, plus you are learning while you sweat. Students really appreciate the difference between Martial Arts training and standard exercise programs.

· Our workouts are a great way to get in shape: Martial Arts is like an exercise program with a bonus. You learn to a life skill; the ability to defend yourself, while you get into shape.

· Our classes relieve stress: Martial Arts are well known for their stress relieving benefits. We believe that developing and maintaining a sound body and mind are critical to getting the most out of life. The unique combination of using the power of the body and the mind is the key to increased energy, self confidence, self discipline and fitness.

· The reason our program is so successful is because we make learning fun and exciting and they are participating together as a FAMILY. We learned along time ago that if people are enjoying themselves they learn much faster and will want to continue. 

Physical Benefits Include:

Improved reflexes and coordination – which increases your performance in all physical activities.

Increased strength, power and stamina so you feel great all day long.

Increased flexibility and weight control for better overall fitness.

Great cardiovascular work out that keeps you healthy. 

Mental Benefits Include:

Improved concentration for better work and study habits.

Stress reduction and increased level of relaxation for a longer, healthier life.

Increased self-control, a positive attitude and self-discipline that helps you develop a “I can do it” attitude towards life.

The knowledge that you are able to protect yourself and your loved ones should a threatening situation arise.

Q & As

Can anyone learn Karate/Martial Arts?

Yes – anyone who can walk or engage in regular physical workout can learn karate. It is open to everyone regardless of race, age, sex, or religious affiliation. It is never too late to begin practice. There is no limit in the learning and mastery of karate techniques. You do not have to be a gifted athlete to learn Karate/Martial Arts. The more one practices, the more he or she will improve and each day he/she will be better than the one who has never started. To progress in karate, repetition and determination are the MOST IMPORTANT tools you will need.

How many classes per week are there?

Currently we train once per week on Wednesday at 6:00 pm to 7:00pm. It is encouraged that students also practice at home.

What is being taught?

Structured classes provide safe purposeful challenges and include:.
general physical conditioning, basic techniques (kihon), forms (kata), pre-arranged sparring (kumite), sports competition sparring (shiai) and self defense.

Is the training safe?

There is always the chance of an injury in any type of sport. To minimize injury a thorough warm up period is alloted. Martial Arts in general are considered to be High Risk sports because of the physical contact involved, however safety gear and practice equipment are provided to minimize the risk of injuries.

Is Karate/Martial Arts Fun!

Not only do you benefit from learning the techniques and routines that karate provides, you do it with other people that share a common interest. Any extra curricular activity you involve yourself with should be a release from the stress or anxiety that is built up in our daily routines. People involved in karate can established friendships for life.

Will Martial Arts training make me more aggressive?

The emphasis of all Martial Arts training is that it is for self protection only. Stress relief and physical fitness are benefits of mind and body development that in the end leads to other positive attributes. The individual will be more confident, self disciplined along with improved concentration, coordination, strong moral values and good character.