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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kyudosha [求道者]

The characters/ideograms mean "investigator; one who seeks the way." Kyudo means, "seeking the truth." The first character means, "request; want; wish for; require; demand," the second character means, "road-way; street; district; journey; course; moral; teachings," the third character means, "someone; person." 

Kyudosha, much like Yudansha, is a term used to describe a person who seeks the way and in my case as in many others this means seeking or investigating the way of the warrior. There are two methods also described as to how a person goes about seeking the way. 

The first is Renshu [練習]. The characters/ideograms mean "practice." The first character means, "practice; gloss; train; drill; polish; refine," the second character means, "learn."

Renshu is made up of two kanji, the first pointing to the personal discipline required to practice, polish and refine yourself and thus keep the true essence of karate, and the second kanji meaning to learn. The notion of renshu is a resolve, the discipline and the diligence to keep going, Shugyo, in the face of adversity both in the dojo and in life itself. 

The second is Keiko [稽古]. The characters/ideograms mean "practice; training; study." The first character means, "think; consider," the second character means, "old."

The first kanji in keiko, means to practice, train and study, i.e. to think and consider about what you are studying as in the discipline of karate. The second kanji, means old, as in the study of what comes before, i.e. that study that leads up to your practice and studies. The meaning of keiko, is to study wholeheartedly that which has gone before, i.e. the history and philosophy of the discipline you have chosen in martial arts. 

It is what takes the mere physical practice to the full or whole of practice, training, and application in martial arts. It goes beyond the discipline that masters techniques in order to develop strong, solid and sound karate. You endeavor to go beyond and ask about the history and the what, when, where, how and why of karate so that you may learn at a greater depth and breadth and that you may preserve it by passing it down to your students. 

Renshu-Keiko: This kind of cultivation of your mind, through keiko, and your spirit, through renshu, should not be taken lightly, as strong and lasting karate is not possible in conjunction with a weak mind. The mind always comes first; and whatever your body does, it does so only because your mind allows it.

Clarke, Michael. "Difficult Research in Developing Karate." YMAA. Internet. 2013

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