was the original hero. In the movie they changed it to one of the wandering samurai (Ronin) Hard to go wrong with a proven winner.
I have scanned the pages of MITOSE'S - WHAT IS SELF DEFENSE - JUST AS THEY WERE WRITTEN. I have not made any corrections to the original text. Where corrections (mainly spelling) should have been made I used RED for the words. Where you see blue letters indicates that I will be expanding upon what was said.
Teaching note: James Mitose will use many stories to illustrate "Moral Values" . Each of these stories is a "Classic" Zen story that has been around for hundreds of years.
Just last week I was re-watching on video the original Japanese "7 Samurai" - In it they had the exact same story of the boy being kidnapped. Kamiizumi Isenokami, the founder of the Shin-kage Ryu,
Also in many of these stories James Mitose will make use of his father's name- Mitose - to protect the real family name of Yoshida. Even up to the time of his death he refused to ever give any information about his family or any relatives. The only thing the government knew was his mother's name was Kiyoko!
Click for full size cover
Koshoryu Kenpo Coat-of-arms
Ko means old, sho means pine tree, and ryu means school. This particular old pine tree which was tall, strong and majestic, which my ancestors cherished above all other trees that grew in the forest back of our house symbolized great strength and health. With good health man can be of more usefulness to God, Buddha and to his fellowman.
Ken means fist and po means low. Thus Kenpo means low of the fist. Law is divine commandment or a revelation of the will of God, so Kenpo must be practiced according to the command of God, and no one should at anytime take into his own hands the law, but first try through the proper authority to settle a difference of opinion, and then only then should the Kenpo arts be used in defense of the human rights.
Should you be compelled, even in self defense, to hurt anyone, it is your duty to notify the nearest doctor and the police. It is your duty as a citizen and a human being. One should hate the wrong doings
of a criminal but not the man himself. No matter how bad a man may be, man Was the creation of God, to harm or to take a life is contrary to God's commandments.
Daruma was the founder of the Shorinjiryu Kenpo, and this art was slightly changed by the author's ancestors to a method suitable to *the Japanese people. After much meditation under the old pine tree, my first ancestor received the revelation to the secret of the art of Kenpo which he called Koshoryu Kenpo.
NO. 1 KENPO STANCES
(See Page 15)
(I HAVE ADDED THE FRAMES AND PICTURES TO MAKE IT EASIER TO UNDERSSTNAD
Ogami" means to pray and "te" means hand, the compound of which means "to pray toGod. "Ogamite" as illustrated with the palms of both hands held together signifies a feeling of deep humility and a prayer for God's forgiveness and aid should it become necessary to resort to the use of the Kenpo arts in the defense of the human rights. Likewise it is a prayer to God to intercede so that the problem of contention may be amicably settled, and to extend mercy to one's opponent for he knows not right from wrong.
"Mu" means empty and "te" means hand, the compound of which means "empty hand."
"Mute" as illustrated with both hands held together withpalms forward and a small opening made by the index I fingers and the thumbs indicates that one is without arms on his person and that his mind is 'Without ill will. The fingers, represent Mount Fuji and signifies lofty ideals, love for peace and beauty, and strength to defend the human rights. The opening represents a panoramic view through which one may see only that is beautiful and good.
"Hi" means to cover and "ken" means fist, the compound of which means "to cover the fist."
"Hiken" as illustrated with the right hand held as a fist and the left hand covering the fist signifies that the fist is like a treasure in the pocket and should not be displayed in public. It also represents a potent force as atomic energy and should not be used except in the protection and promotion of happiness among one's fellowmen.
Mount Fuji, at close view, does not appear as beautiful as it is from a great distance. Likewise it is with man, no matter how great, his faults are greatly magnified at close view), but at a distance we often see that which is good in him. We should not look at one's bad part but rather find the good that is in him.
an evergreen tree, tall, stately and majestic in appearance, prolific in growth, is one of the most useful trees to the human race. It symbolizes strength, courage, faith and success in the face of adversity, and is also used as a symbol of good omen, especially on New Years.
; tubular, nodular, straight and rhythmic in appearance, is very beneficent and protective to the human race. When opened one finds cleanliness and emptiness in it's hollow tubes. It symbolizes mainly a frank disposition. It also symbolizes honesty, dependability, purity and love for fellowman.
Plum blossoms, which burst into full bloom during the bitter cold winter, symbolize durability, perseverance, patience, preparedness and beauty of spirit. During the spring, summer and fall it draws out of the earth all the rich vital elements that give it strength and energy, and brings' forth out of it's sturdy branches not only beautiful blossoms but fruits as food greatly loved by the people.
The Kenpo student should be like the plum blossoms by being lofty in thoughts, beautiful in spirit and carriage, and be loved as the 'plum fruits by the people.
THE MOTIVE OF PUBLICATION
I, the author, founded and opened the self-defense club. But I was not satisfied. There was an ambition yet unrealized. There was a plan yet to find expression. I wanted to make my teaching available to everyone in the world.
It is not easy to trace every step in the growth of this idea. Perhaps it had its inception long ago. But of one thing I am certain; the major part of its origin can be traced to December 7, 1941, to be exact.
On December 7, 1941, as all the world knows, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor and war was declared between American and Japan. I was living in Honolulu at that time.
It was one of those rare moments in a person's life when he stands face to face with destiny. When a problem, clear and plain in all its component parts, confronts him and cries aloud for solution. And on that morning I was obliged to sit down with the tangled skein of my affections, my childhood memories, my obligations and patriotism and make a momentous decision.
For my position was different from that of most Americans. I had lived happily in America as an American citizen. I loved America and its institutions I felt it was my duty to take tip arms for this country whose privileges had been generously extended to me. On the other hand it was not as simple a decisions as it would be for most. I had spent the formative years of my life in Japan, and had some relatives still living in Japan to whom I was bound by every tie of blood and experiences shared in common.
So on that day, when the sky was raining death, and bombs were ushering in a period of bloodshed and horror perhaps without parallel in history, I took stock of my position. I ran over in my mind the various factors in the problem. Then suddenly without effort, like the tolling of a far off bell that floats on the soft breeze to fall like a gentle benediction on the listening ear there wafted into my mind a memory of a story heard long ago, and that had been long forgotten, but that now came as vivid as when I had first heard it, to aid me in my hour of need.
One day a Kenpo master was lecturing his students. To the assembled students he asked this question.
"You are strong believers in Kenpo or Buddha. If the Kenpo founder, and Buddha came to attack and conquer your country
with soldiers, what would you do? Would you take up arms to defend your country? Or would you assist the Buddha in his design?"
Some students answered the question by saying that since they believed in Kenpo or Buddha they must give aid to the master. Others replied that even though they believed in Kenpo and Buddha they must defend their native land against his conquest. Still others said since they loved their master Buddha, but also loved their country, they would remain neutral.
While the students were debating the question the master suddenly decided to give them the proper answer. He held up his hand for silence. "This is our country so it is our duty to defend and protect it and in the presence of God we are right," the master said, "So naturally we must fight against the founder Buddha. We should take the invaders prisoner and make them realize the wrong they have attempted to do. This is the way of the true Kenpo man and this is the Kenpo man's duty." And after a pause, he added, "The Kenpo founder Buddha would appreciate this and sincerely praise you, for this action of yours would show that you had really mastered the art of Kenpo."
Afterreflecting on this story there remained not a vestige of doubt as to what course I should pursue. The following morning, December 8, 1941, 1 entered the Hawaii Territorial Guard. The preceding day America had suffered the worst catastrophe in its history. The issue of the war, at least as far as it concerned Hawaii, was in doubt. An attempted invasion by Japanese forces seemed imminent. I was prepared to do all in my power to repel the invasion, to give my life, if necessary, in defense of the islands; or to face the grim consequences that would almost certainly befall an American soldier of Japanese ancestry, if I fell captive to the enemy.
On entering the Hawaii Territorial Guard, I had expected that my national origin and background would prejudice my comrades against 'me. This expectation never materialized. The men in the ranks, and also my superiors, treated me with a kind understanding that exceeded anything that I felt I had a right to expect.
At first it was difficult for me to understand why I was accorded such kind treatment. Until I joined the Hawaii Territorial Guard, I was not convinced that such words as 'democracy, freedom and equality' were more than simple figures of speech. Now I found that these idealistic terms found actual expression in America. I found that Abraham Lincoln's spirit still prevailed.
I remembered the Great Emancipator's Gettysburg Address, and the phrase, "All men are created equal." I found that the equality that Lincoln so eloquently expounded was really applied to my case. This touched me deeply. I was greatlyunhardened to learn that it is a principle by which people here govern their lives and actions.
An air of cheerfulness and good fellowship pervaded the camp. The special company commander, and the other officers as well, seemed to be always joking, and to be jolly and friendly. Our spare time was spent in games and in outdoor sports. At those tense moments when the air raid siren sounded, the men performed their duties with perfect precision. But even at such critical times they did not lose their sense of humor, and they were still able to joke. There was no discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin. Since all were cooperative I never felt amoment's uneasiness.
My company commander, Nolle R. Smith, Jr., who was formerly a University of Hawaii football captain and all the other members of the company were lovers of sport. It came to me that the good fellowship and fine teamwork that prevailed found its source in the appreciation of sport that existed among the men. From this company commander I learned the value of teamwork.
After my honorable discharge from the Hawaii Territorial Guard,I volunteered for the Labor Battalion which did such fine work on engineering projects, working under the direction of the army. I also donated blood to the blood plasma bank that was used to give transfusions to America's wounded servicemen.
But I felt that this was not sufficient to show my appreciation to my company commander, and to my country, nor to my fellow members of the Hawaii Territorial Guard who had shown me so much kindness. There was another way in which I could serve, and in which I could attempt to discharge my debt.
Finally I was able to act upon this plan of which I had been dreaming. I founded and opened the Official Self-Defense Club.
In this club I trained servicemen and civilians regardless of their race, color, creed or religion. I feel that the younger generations are the future backbone of the nation. I wished to develop them and to give them the faith that would make them better citizens, and I made the training of these young people my specialty.
But, as I said, I was not satisfied. The idea that had been born on that unhappy day of December 7, 1941 had grown until it gave
me no rest. It was my wish to do whatever was in my power to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again.
I wanted to teach everyone in the world the true meaning of self-defense, For I know that if everyone could know this meaning there would cease to be racial trouble, and there would cease to be strife among nations. No matter what difficulty confronts them people would be able to live in harmony and happiness. There would be mutual understanding, cooperation and friendship between America, the countries of Europe, and those of the Far East. There would be peaceful participation by all in religion, physical culture and sports.
Finally, through the writing and publication of this book, I have been able to achieve my ambition to carry my message to all who will listen. I hope that this book will be read by people in all parts of the world. I hope that the true meaning of self-defense, which this work expounds, will be understood by all who read.
Kenpo does not mean violence. If you were to ask me who, in American history, was the best master of Kenpo, I should say Abraham Lincoln. I should choose Lincoln because of his honesty and gentle disposition. He was gentle as a woman and his faith was like that of a child. But to protect human rights he fought wholeheartedly and with unwavering determination to win. Though the odds were overwhelming, he would still fight for the right. This is the mark of a true master of Kenpo.
Now this troubled world needs a second, a third, and a fourth Lincoln. Are there other Lincoln's somewhere in the world? I believe there are, especially in the younger generation. I have writ-ten this book in the humble belief that it may assist such persons in finding their proper mission, and the proper direction for their talents.
I write in a borrowed tongue and the composition of this book may fall far short of perfection. I commend the reader to this work's intrinsic message. I beg his indulgence for unavoidable technical errors.
boundless-truly beyond the explanation of words. As an art of self-defense, Kenpo should prove invaluable in the present world.
Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu is an art of self-defense practiced in the Far East, since the earliest days. Among the arts of self-defense in which weapons are not used, no other can surpass the art of Kenpo.
In considering the situation today, we find that modern civilization has created formidable weapons and has brought about an era in which the superiority of arms proves the deciding faster between victory and defeat. However, in any civilization, physical encounters between individuals are sometimes unavoidable and to enable one to emerge victorious in self-defense is the essence of the art of Kenpo.
Kenpo enables a person to defend himself with one fist against an aggressive adversary. A person can put a man in a helpless condition by merely striking to the right or left. Kenpo's power is miraculous and
The innermost and true spirit of Kenpo lies in humility and self-restraint. It is tremendously effective in the building of character. Itsmis-use is strongly discouraged. It must be practiced according to ones conscience and the dictates of God.
The student should train diligently with the development of the spirit as the primary aim. When the student has mastered the fundamentals of Kenpo, he should experiment by himself with the object of offering practical contributions to the art. Recalling the old adage "When in Rome do as the Romans do," the author hopes that eventually Kenpo will be Americanized.
I have placed a special section of self-defense arts for women and girls in the last section of this book. Kenpo is not only for the strong but also for the weak and infirm. By this system a woman or girl may protect herself against a would be attacker. (There have been numerous cases of women and girls being molested lately.) women who practice the art of Kenpo, as shown in this volume will find their safety enhanced thereby.
I have limited the amount of exercises, as this book can be only a short introduction to Kenpo, the subject itself being of a deep and exhaustive nature. Later on, if interest has been stimulated, I shall publish a more extensive work. I hope that this book will be of value in promoting the science of self-defense and in promoting the corollary of self-defense: the prevention of strife. I believe this art will be useful in helping to preserve public peace and order, and prove beneficial to all who give it their attention.
WHAT IS GO SHINJUTSU (ART OF SELF-DEFENSE) ?
The fundamental principles of Go Shinjutsu (Art of Self- Defense) are the preservation of the human rights vested in us by God, the insurance of peace and order, and the promotion of the happiness of mankind.
Among human beings there is no one who does not feel the need of Go Shinjutsu. The principles of Go Shinjutsu include belief in God regardless of what one's personal religion may be, respect for virtue, obedience to the law, respect for parents and elders, submission to instructions of the teacher (for it is conceded that to study hard and to gain knowledge redounds to one's own benefit and security). The principles include pursuing one's occupation to the best of one's ability and in accordance with the dictates of one's conscience (for to gain success and security in one's work serves to protect one's future). For example, a soldier must maintain military discipline, and he must defend his people and his country. A police officer must perform his duties faithfully in protecting his country and his people. There have been numerous cases of women and girls being molested lately.) women who practice the art of Kenpo, as shown in this volume will find their safety enhanced thereby. (Soldier and police officer, in fulfillment of his desire to live in peace and security in his country, must perform his duties faithfully, for thereby he not only protects others but also protects himself). A person must avoid accidents and protect his life for the benefit of his family and loved ones, so when crossing a street he must pay heed to the traffic and to the signals of the police officer on duty. In brief, to live in society respectably is the essence of Go Shinjutsu.
A violation of the laws of society is a direct violation of the principles of Go Shinjutsu. A person who violates the laws of society, instead of protecting himself, is actually destroying him-self, both physically and mentally, and sooner or later the law will curtail his freedom. Even if such a person escapes the retribution of the law he does not escape the retribution of his conscience; his conscience will keep him in a turmoil from which he will suffer in spirit and mind. For example, if I assaulted you I could gain nothing but harm from the encounter. If I beat you, I might be confined at the police station or forced to pay a fine in court. If the court did not punish me, I should receive injury for the knowledge that I had unjustly injured a person would have a permanent effect upon me and cause me suffering in mind and spirit.
Avoid trouble. When angry regard your conscience before taking drastic action. Or look into a mirror, for a mirror reflects your conscience. Impress upon yourself that the fist is a treasure
in the pocket and that it should never be displayed in public. However, in unavoidable cases exert your every effort to defend and protect not only yourself but others as well. Defend the law and the human rights vested in us by God. (In other words, believe in God, obey the law, live in society in peace and happiness). This is true Go Shinjutsu.
WHAT IS KENPO (LAW OF THE FIST)?
Kenpo is an art of self-defense that protects the human rights derived from God and promotes the happiness of men. It is an effective method of defending one's rights and of maintaining the public peace and order.
Originated by the Great Priest Daruma, (Buddha 28) Kenpo is considered more complete than any other art of self-defense. Although comparable in some ways to boxing, jui-jitsu, judo and wrestling, Kenpo has its own unique techniques. When unarmed, with the use of Kenpo, one can capably fell an aggressive foe by striking, thrusting, kicking or hurling down and strangling him. Experts claim that nothing can surpass this art.
There are many books on boxing, judo, jiu-jitsu and wrestling. I believe that this is the first English work on Kenpo. A short explanation of the difference of boxing, judo, jiu-jitsu and wrestling to Kenpo is necessary to a complete understanding of this book.
Wrestling is an art but requires great strength. Jiu-jitsu, roughly translated, means soft or gentle art in combating an aggressor. Professor Kano made an exhaustive study of jiu-jitsu. He eliminated parts of jiu-jitsu, that were not suitable for his purpose and made the remainder into a sport which is called judo. Judo as taught by Professor Kano, in his school of Kodokwan, is, as he explains, an eclectic system of jiu-jitsu.
The art of judo is divided into four main divisions: Nage Waza (throwing arts), Katame Waza (the arts of holds and locks), Shime Waza (choking arts) and Atemi Waza (the arts of attacking vital spots). Atemi is the art of attacking vital spots by punching, striking, chopping, thrusting and poking. In judo, atemi is taught only to advanced students who first take a vow not to reveal its secrets.
Kenpo art is similar to judo atemi, but the art and philosophy is different. How to maneuver and have your opponent place himself into a position to be attacked is taught by Kenpo.
Masters of Kenpo and also the true masters of jiu-jitsu number their arts, in the order of their importance, as follows:
4. Throwing and locking
The reason for this order is that punching, striking and kicking are faster than throwing or any other art. If it is possible to grab the lapel, or any part of the body, of an opponent for the purpose of throwing him, it is also possible to punch, strike or kick him, and not only is it possible, but it is much more practicable since it is easier and faster.
Punching, striking and kicking are the best methods of self defense. A person who is attacked should strive to preserve his physical resources and to use his strength and energy economically; in actual combat he should not risk exhausting himself by attempting to grab and throw his opponent. For a person to use throwing tricks and thus leave his vital spots exposed to his opponent, is very dangerous; and this danger is multiplied if he is faced with more than one opponent.
Locks should be used only when the opponent is not dangerous. They maybe used on intoxicated person, for example. On a friend who has attacked in a fit of anger it is permissible to use a lock.
It may be well to note here that a Kenpo student, before using dangerous tricks on his opponent such as breaking a joint or at-tacking his opponent's nerve centers should gently ask his attacker's name, if he does not know it and the, reason for the attack. In speaking to him gently, it might help to calm down the attacker. This rule should apply, especially, in the evening or in the dark where neither the student nor the attacker can be recognized. The attack may have come because of some word misunderstood, or because of a mistake in identity.
Kenpo is similar, in some respects to boxing, but it differs in the fundamentals. Kenpo is purely an art of self-defense. It should not be treated as a sport or game.
Boxing, in the Japanese language, is Ken-to. Ken means fist; To means fight. Thus Kento means fist fight. In Kenpo, Ken means fist; po means law. Thus Kenpo means fist law. Law is a divine commandment or a revelation of the will of God, so Kenpo must be practiced according to the command of God.
Kenpo does not simply teach the tricks of self-defense. Kenpo's
primary purpose is to infuse or strengthen, in the student, whether he be young or old, a feeling of faith in God.
The younger generation is tired of being reminded to attend church services, to read the Bible, to do right and shun wrong. A new approach to their problem is needed and Kenpo supplies this approach. As young people learn Kenpo, gradually, almost without their knowledge of what is happening to them, faith in God is instilled in them. Kenpo builds up confidence in them and their characters become molded into something fine, clean and good. Without being forced, they are willing to undertake whatever tasks they are confronted with, and thereby, they become upright, respectable and law-abiding citizens.
THE VALUE OF KENPO
It is characteristic of Kenpo that a person not necessarily need equipment to learn it. In this respect, it differs from most other sports.
Furthermore a person does not need a partner, he does not need long practice periods. There are two ways to practice Kenpo. One way is KEIHO or Kata form. It could be practiced as a sport or exercise by yourself or in a group. The other way is JITSUTE (real combat) to be practiced with a partner for purely self-defense
I have mentioned that Kenpo should not be treated as, a sport or game, but it could be arranged into a sport or game if there is a covering made for all the vital spots. There are also some very interesting exercises that one could practice by himself in his own back yard or an entire school may practice just as easily in the playground or school ground coached by a leader, but since the pages in this book are limited to self defense only, I am unable to give any except for those special exercises for the development of the fist and kicking. Later perhaps, if interest has been stimulated, I shall publish a more extensive work.
Kenpo is not dangerous to the participants and they reap great benefits in improving health and increased longevity. It does not matter if the participant is man or woman, young or old, weak or strong. Moreover, in this age where the wearing of weapons is prohibited, Kenpo is the most suitable, civilized and manly art. It is of the finest materials for the education of the people and it contributes greatly to the cultivation of the spirit. The practice of Kenpo is to advance with suitable speed to a certain clear-cut objective, a person's entire strength concentrated in his fist or
foot. The flexing of the limbs and the bending of the body, by the use of various techniques, is also accomplished at a certain speed.
When regarded as a systematic exercise Kenpo can be per-formed swiftly and vigorously without strain in moving the limbs. The respiration and circulation becomes rapid; the regeneration of the body becomes active. Even a short period of practice is beneficial.
The methods of practice are a succession of thrusting, striking, and kicking motions. A person gathers his whole bodily power in his fist and thrusts. Or he concentrates his entire body weight on one foot, the other foot free to kick high his opponent's body. In movements such as these all the muscles are used economically, not only the back muscles, but the foot and other muscles acting in harmony. Thus the movements of all parts of the body is done physiologically, swiftly and vigorously. So whether the participant be man or woman, old or young, the practice of Kenpo will cause them no physical harm. Moreover, this active systematic movement proportionately affects the pulse, the blood pressure and the breathing more than the required nerve power. It is healthful exercise as is evidenced by the long life of the people who practice it.
The practice of Kenpo is the execution of swift and vigorous muscular movements of the limbs and body. It comprises the movements of advance and retreat, leftward and rightward movements, and the upward jumping movement. These movements are per-formed spontaneously and activates the physiological regeneration of the respiratory system and of the circulatory system. It causes a coordinated movement of the feet, thighs, shoulders and back; the effect it has on the pulse, blood pressure and the breathing springs from the suitability of these movements.
When regarded from the standpoint of defense art, the characteristics of Kenpo are as follows:
1. It is the practical and complete application of body, mind, spirit and eye; namely the fist point (kento), finger point (shito), palm edge (shoto), palm, elbow, foot and arm, and the advantageous and effective use of these weapons.
2. It is the promotion of the offensive power through the rational use of spirit and body. A person never recklessly grabs his opponent's body and thus put himself in a dangerous situation. He does not expend time and strength un-economically as it is done in wrestling. He does not compete in trickery or strength or exposing his vital spots to his opponent.
3. Mainly by the methods of thrusting, striking, kicking, grabbing and fending, a person uses the atemi, shime and gyaku (breaking of any joint) of judo and decides the issue in a twinkling.
For a person who has trained continuously for a few months with the punching stick, it is a very easy thing to break several boards placed together, with one punch. This being the case one need not comment on the great power possessed by a person who has many years of training. If attacked from any direction, a person who has trained himself in the art of Kenpo will be able to defend himself with one fist. Masters of Kenpo can hold a green bamboo in his hands, crush it and make it into a rope; he can strip the bark of a tree with his finger tips.
Kenpo develops confidence in one's self, builds up good and clean characters in a person, infuses the feeling of faith in God, develops keenness and sharpness of ones eyes, develops ones mind to quick judgment, thinking and concentration. He will be careful when crossing the street, his concentration and quickness in thinking will make him bright in his studies. The art of Kenpo can be useful in business or in your daily task.
WAZA OR TRICKS
The waza or tricks in the following pages are but a small number of the thousands in this amazing art of Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu. After you have finished the exercises and your speed and ability in-creases, you yourself can invent and practice them in your own way.
Kenpo is sense. Sense is more important than tricks so try to build up your senses. Kenpo should not be used in any petty conflict but only when you are in a corner, so to speak.
The following stories will convey my meaning more than volumes.
There is a story of the Kendo (Swordmanship), student who came to a master for training. The master was in his mountain retreat but he agreed to train the student. The student was given menial tasks; such as cooking, sweeping, making beds, etc. This went on for several months, so the student began to tire. One day he approached the master and asked him to teach him Kendo. After all he came here to learn Kendo and not to be hired as a servant. The master agreed. The young man could not now do his work with feeling of safety. When he would be cooking rice, the
master would sneak up on him from behind and give him a blow. He would be sweeping and a blow from nowhere would fall on his back. He had no peace of mind and would have to be eternally on the alert. Some time passed before he could dodge the blows from the crafty master. But the master was not yet satisfied with him. One day the master was bent over his vegetable pot in an open fire. The student thought he would take this opportunity to give the master a blow and get credit for his attack. Taking up a big stick, the let it fall over the head of the master. Fast as the blow was, the master caught the pupil's stick with the cover of his pan. The pupil's eyes were opened to the secrets of this art which had been kept from him. He then for the first time appreciated the kindness of the old master. He was handed a diploma which was nothing but a blank sheet of paper with a plain circle in the center. This circle represents a mirror which must be the condition of your mind, that is clear and clean.
In this story the master, in giving the student menial tasks, was testing the character and spirit of his student. Having qualified he agreed to teach him. It also teaches that no matter what you undertake, learn to master the art, for example if you are a cook, try to be the best. If you can master this art, then you can master the art of Kenpo. Keep your eyes and ears opened and be always on the alert.
Your most dangerous enemy is being off your guard. For ex-ample, if you are a driver, drive carefully and concentrate on your driving, be on your guard so you can avoid accidents.
Bokuden, another master of Kendo, trained his three sons in this art and wished to see how they had progressed. He place a wooden pillow over a curtain at the entrance of his room and had it arranged so that the slightest touch of the curtain would cause it to fall on one's head. Bokuden called his eldest son first. When he approached he noticed the pillow so he took it down and after entering carefully replaced it. The second man was called in. He touched the curtain to raise it and as soon as he saw the pillow falling down, he caught it with his hands and entering the room, replaced it on the curtain. When the third son entered the room, the pillow fell on his head but he cut in two even before it reached the floor. This was Bokuden's judgment of his three sons; "Eldest, you are best qualified for swordsmanship." Saying that, he presented him with a sword. To the second son, "you must train yourself some more." The youngest was severely scolded for he was pronounced to be a disgrace to his family.
What lesson of kendo can we derive from this story? It teaches us, great principle of Zen of always having our senses alert before danger strikes us. The eldest son had this high intuition because he avoided the danger before it could harm him. The second son defended himself after this danger was about to fall on him. But the third son did not have enough physical qualifications, and lacked the spiritual element. In the following tricks the spiritual element is more important than the physical qualification.
One day when Kamiizumi Isenokami, the founder of the Shin-kage Ryu (a Kendo school strongly influenced by the philosophy of Zen) was passing through a small village in a mountainous district of Japan, he found the people in great excitement. A desperate Kidnapper had snatched a little boy with him and threatened to kill the child unless he was paid ransom. Traveling with Isennokami was a wandering Zen monk, who was engaged in the same method of training. Isenokami knew that he had to act quickly. He asked the Zen monk to let him use his robe and after shaving his head, he approached the hideout of the kidnapper. He had with him two lunch boxes. He told the outlaw that the child's parents did not want to see the child die of starvation so that had commanded him to deliver one of the lunch boxes. "As you yourself may be hungry," said Isenokami, "I have brought this other box for you. 'When the kidnapper reached out to receive the box which had been thrown out to him, Isenokami the great swordwoman, struck him just above the elbow paralyzing his arm. While the kidnapper was in this condition he applied a lock on him and completely took him prisoner. When Isenokami returned the robe to the monk, he was highly praised "You are truly a man of the sword," said the monk, who handed him a diploma. "A man of the sword," is a phrase much used in Zen denoting a zen monk who has gone beyond the principle of life and death. While the great swords-man Isenokami could have taken up his sword and made short work of the desperado, he chose the easier way of causing his opponent to overreach himself. Do not oppose force with force, but allow force to defeat itself.
There was a Kenpo Master training many students. He wanted to find out the progress of his students. He was old and wished to retire but before he could do so, he wanted someone to marry his daughter and take his place as master. He tested and tried each student and he finally chose four students who qualified. He waited for the opportunity to test further these four students and pick the best.
It was during the time when kidnapping and robberies were
being committed that the opportunity presented itself. The district police asked the master for his help to which he agreed. Within four days, three kidnappings and a robbery were committed. The master sent each of his qualified students out to get them and each time he followed from behind and watched. Let us follow with the master and see how each student put to use his knowledge of Kenpo.
First one found the kidnappers hideout. As he approached, the kidnapper saw him and came with a sword softly behind him. He lifted his sword to slash him but the student quickly covered the attack and struck the kidnapper's nerve center paralyzing him. While he was in this condition, he tied him up and delivered him to the police.
Second one followed the trail of the kidnapper into the deep woods. As the student approached, the kidnapper heard him and hid behind a tree. As the student passed by, the kidnapper at-tacked him with a stick from the back. The student quickly covered the attack and grabbing the kidnapper's arm, broke the joint. In this condition he delivered him to the police.
Third one found the kidnappers trail leading into a cave. As the student was about to enter, the kidnapper who was hiding and watching from above, threw a big rock down at the student. The student covered the attack but was not fast enough, so the rock slightly grazed his head. He fell to the ground. The kidnapper, thinking he was dead, approached him. When he did, the student jumped up and struck hard the nerve center causing his death.
The people and the police chased a robber who in desperation snatched a child as a hostage and hid in a house. The fourth student approaching the house, called out to the robber and gently asked him to release the child. He told him that the parents were worried and full of anxiety about the safety of the child, especially the mother. He asked the robber to put himself in the parents place and he will know what the parents were going through. The student asked the robber the reason for his robbery. The robber told him that he had been out of work and have not eaten for a couple of days and he was hungry. The student promised to give him food and help him if he would release the child. He finally agreed to release the child. When the child was safe in his parents arms, the student entered and tried to catch the robber. He fin-ally cornered him and the robber in desperation took out his knife and waited for the student's approach. The student smiled and told him to give himself up quietly. The student told him that he
was a Kenpo man, if he wished he could capture him very easily with one punch even if the robber had a weapon. But he wanted him to give himself up with his own free will. He told the robber that the law was like a large fish net, no matter where he escaped he could never get away from the law for sooner or later they are bound to catch up with him. Even if he escaped the net of the law, is conscious would always bother him and his mind would never be at peace. Personally he wanted to let him go but one must obey the law. If he gave himself up and paid his debts to society for what he has done, the student promised to do what he can and help him. All this time the robber watched the stu-dent's face and seeing his sincerity and kindness, he thought over the words of the student. He got the true meaning and feeling of the student, so with tears in his eyes he quietly gave himself up. The impatient people outside wanted to beat up the robber but the student quieted and calmed them. With the police permission, he brought food to the robber which he had promised.
Now this is the master's judgment. First student, he qualified in his art but not enough in his sense. If he had spoken to the kidnapper, he would have known the direction of the kidnapper from his voice and would not be caught off his guard by letting the kidnapper attack from the back.
Second student, he did not qualify enough in his art and sense. Although he covered the attack, he injured the kidnapper, which was not necessary.
Third student was disqualified. Although he had saved the child and covered the attack, he was not alert and fast enough to avoid the falling rock. The fact that he had killed the kidnapper which was really not necessary disqualified him.
Fourth student, the master was happy and highly praised him by saying, "You are a true master of Kenpo." He had found one worthy to take his place.
Kendo and Kenpo is very much alike in the training of the art, but Kenpo is a higher in intuition and sense. Compare the Kendo story of Isenokami and the Kenpo story of the fourth student, one can quickly notice the difference. If Isenokami had missed, he could either injure the kidnapper or the kidnapper would in his anger harm the child, besides the kidnapper was forced and brought in to the police. Forcing the kidnapper will not change or reform him. While on the other hand, the fourth student without using any trick made the robber realize the wrong he had done and made him give himself up on his own free will, kept his promise, gave
new hope and life to the robber. This is the way of Kenpo. Now you know the true meaning of Kenpo. As I have said before, Kenpo is not the trick itself but sense. The main purpose is to give faith to man and reform him into a new man.
One should hate the wrong doings of a criminal but not the man himself, for no matter how bad a person, man was created by GOD, so if it is possible, one must try not to injure or take any life. Try not to use any dangerous tricks, unless it is really necessary. Do not oppose force with force, but allow force to defeat itself.
Remember that Kenpo means "law of the fist" and the fist is "a treasure in the pocket." Never display in the public.
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