Caveat: Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Line One: A person's heart is the same as Heaven and Earth


It often is said that only heaven knows. It also depends on perspective as to how a person or person(s) give interpretation. If religious, you may assume that the statement means only those in heaven, i.e., God, angels, etc., have the full picture and can provide us answers. IF non-religious, you may attribute this to the vastness of the heavens above, which consist of many unknowns to us here on the Earth. It might be implied that one must connect with all that is of the Universe, as referred to as Heavens above, to find answers.

In reality, it is within all of us to achieve knowledge and understanding to those questions that don't have immediate answers. Our conscious minds speak to the unconscious where our inspirations come from. Our ideas that are seemingly from out of nowhere, heaven provides depending on your perceptive filtering system, amazing you and those around you. The so-called "Oh crap, that's it" moment.

The subject of the first line is a "person's heart." It may have been the belief of the person at the time and place where this was composed that a person's heart is the connection to all that is in the heavens above and on the Earth - where we stand. As a person, we look within ourselves to find those connections that bring both the Earth and the Universe into a balance. A balance that connects and communicates to us through the connection of the subconscious, the intuitive mind free from past, future, emotions, etc. One that has achieved mastery over the past, future, emotions and all the myriad things of the great Tai Chi, the Universe, or the Heaven's above and in all dimensions of us.

Simply it is first understanding the perspective and meaning of who, what, when, where and how this goku-i came into existence. It is then discovering if that meaning is meant for us today or can this terse tome be translated according to the person studying it; the time, place and perceptive filters of today in governing meaning in this moment.

I believe that, much like the ancient classics of China, are translated such that they have meaning regardless of the time, place and person reading and studying them; they were written, it would seem, to transition from moment to moment and from person to person in a place where they all meet, that moment in time, place and person.

It therefore means to me that this person's heart is indicative of any person, any place and at any time under all present moment's circumstances. It is our responsibility to achieve knowledge, understanding and wisdom to benefit and find the moments balance.

The conduit that creates the connection and achieves the equilibrium of heart, Heaven and Earth is the self through the unconscious mind. It creates the answers and the inspiration to achieve balance. The secret is balance and the goku-i is the key to open the door between the Earth, Man and the Universe - all of them at ever level, every dimension and in all directions.

Reference to the person's heart is to connect the physical and spiritual as symbolized by Earth and Heaven. Heaven being more esoteric in nature does symbolize the spiritual, which is that something that is not physical, not seen and not touched. Earth represents all those things solid, touchable and seen by man.

The person's heart is symbolized, as the center of the human therefore is a good representation of man, or human kind, so to be the same as Heaven and Earth. This may mean that man must make the attempt to achieve a harmonious blending of mind, spiritually speaking, and body, physically speaking.


Seldom is time equated with our practice. We assume that time is merely the seconds, minutes and hours we observe when we look at our watches. The goku-i reflects a sense of time, for in ancient times, time was told by the position of the stars and observations of the Earth's rotations, etc. The "heaven(s)" above along with the passing of the seasons, etc. as the Earth rotated and spun around in our solar system, taught early man the concept of time. It showed when it is time to plant, time to observe wildlife for death, birth and migrations - naming just a few.

What I mean is the experiences of human kind, along with all of nature, told us the time. This came from the most important patterns, rhythms and forms to life. Earth, through its activity in the Universe as it spins on its axis as well as the pattern/paths it takes in our galaxy, determines varying seasons, etc., on each unique space or plot of the planet which gave each location a unique chemistry of time the pattern of life in that location.

It was early man's recordings of the sun, moon, and planets that were used to record time in the locations where observed by man.

How does this information equate to time for martial systems?

In this instance the human heart is a symbol for our connection to nature, Earth and the Heavens, which includes both sun and moon.

It is our bodily systems that are connected directly to the space where we live; the rhythms and patterns of that location and the seasons to include the position of the sun and moon with its influence on the Earth's rotations and how the seasons and weather cause and affect life.

These influence our levels of energy, health and thus mental state. Simplistically, when the sun goes down, the human body tends to display the fatigue of the day and a feeling of sleepiness thus requiring we sleep to regenerate. The goku-i, along with such classics as the Bubishi, act as reference; the I Ching run on these changes in life, down to the cycles of energy in our bodies.

The importance of time and its effects on us as humans make for determining when which strategy, tactic and specific technique is best applied, and to which part of the body most effective to apply too.

In closing on time, after the Bronze Age; clocks apparently came about from astrolabes, working models of the Universe, solar system, and use in astrology.


Buddhist Heaven: Often referred to in English translations as the "pure land." It is alluding to a place that has the ultimate blissfulness, a place without suffering. It is that place we try to attain that is an ultimate state of enlightenment and it occurs in some perceived dimension other than the one we live in. It is "void" or a formless place of peace, knowledge, love, and gratitude and is a place that few, if any, fully comprehend or understand. It is understood by Buddhist that it resides everywhere and in everything much like Star Wars "force." In my mind it resides within each person, in his or her heart.


Zen or Japanese Heaven: In Japanese Zen, a more direct answer given as to heaven being a state of an individual. In many stories of Zen Masters, the lesson is displayed by the emotional actions of the person asking the question, what is heaven and what is hell? To achieve a state of heaven then alludes to the previous explanations of Chinese views of heaven. A person's heart is a metaphor to seek truth and "heaven" within you by your actions and deeds. The following quote of "Takuan," a well-known Zen priest expresses this well:

"Are we controlled by our situation, relationship and condition, or are we in control of our situation, relationship and condition. Do you control your thinking or does your thinking control you? If you can’t answer yes to these questions, then more practice is necessary." - Takuan


American Heaven: In the U.S.A., it can be rightly assumed that the meaning of heaven is of a religious nature where it is a place humans go after death. It is also thought of as the place where God and the angels, as well as saints, reside.  Often when heaven is spoken of there is a tendency to symbolize it as something in the Heavens above, i.e., the sky, space, stars or Universe. As mentioned, it is a common thread that all views believe that it is a state of bliss and peace.


Chinese Earth Symbology: Chinese look upon Earth as a bit more than simply the planet on which we live. They associate Earth as one of five elements. The Greeks also looked to it as one of four elements, i.e. Fire, Earth, Air and Water. They looked to Earth first as our home and origin of humanity. It has certain spiritual traditions that are displayed in such classics as the I Ching, where it is represented by the trigram of six broken lines while Heaven is a trigram of six solid lines, the direct opposites.

Earth is a Chinese Astrology symbol. It denotes a type of person who is serious, logical and methodical; a person of foresight and deductive powers. They like to keep things in perspective. They are conservative and governed by their own interests. They are of sound reasoning; reliable, disciplined and steady.

Martial systems can be represented by these traits as by metaphor or symbology. The traits necessary to follow the path to martial prowess are also governed by the traits of the astrological Chinese sign of Earth. Without these positive traits and expectations, one may achieve a level of proficient physical ability, but to achieve a true martial spirit and apply accordingly the physical aspect takes more. The Earth represents what that more is, and relates that to the subject of the first line, a person's heart. If these are in a person's heart then they will achieve success in martial practice.

Japanese Earth Symbology: The five elements are also a part of the Japanese culture. They have two ways which one is directly related to the Chinese elements, referred to as "gogyo." The second is a Buddhist form called, "godai," with influences from Hinduism traditions. We see references in their terse tome of the elements depicted in the Go-rin-no-sho of Musashi Miyamoto.

The element in question is "Chi" or "Ji" meaning Earth. It is representative of the hard in the world. There symbolism is one of a stone that is hard, unmovable and resistant to change. In the human body it is representative of the bones, muscles and tissues which conduct the life energy called Chi. This version is associated with stubbornness, stability, physicality and gravity as to its effects on us as humans.

It also speaks to the mind for emotional stability and confidence. It usually is indicative of persons who are dogmatic in a belief and resist any change, regardless. It represents a karate-ka's ability to be aware of their physical presence and the sureness of the actions necessary to apply that physicality.

The typical Japanese stone lantern is a symbol of the Earth element.

American Earth Symbology: The earth is referenced by mathematical symbolism. In the European pectoral of the Peruvian man by DaVinci, there is a square, large circle and a man which is symbolic to this first line as the square represents Earth, man represents man and the circle represents Heaven while the space between the top of the square and the circle is exactly to scale for the moons circumference.
The square is used in this depiction to square the circle, or to combine symbolically the heaven and earth-spirit and matter - symbolically combined as in marriage. This view gives mathematical correlations to all the heavenly bodies that have influence on humans.

In America the Earth symbol implies vast complexities. It evokes a desire to "dig into the secrets the earth holds" for a person, for mankind and for the Universe. In a word the Earth symbolizes and is used as a metaphor for life. It is the accommodator as it provides the other elements necessary to man, i.e. water, fire, air. It teaches us that all threads (strings) of life are first woven with the very fibers of the Earth.

It is a unifying force, it reunites tribes, and native soil has begun wars for its importance to human kind. It represents community, which is the survival instincts inherent in all people, banding together as symbolized in dojo to survive, learn and prosper.

The Earth symbol can depict the four corners or four sides as in later lines - directions and sides seen and heard. In addition the "Ptolemaic system" depicts the Earth as the center of the Universe. The planets including the sun were spheres with the "moon" closest touching the Earth's realms. It infers that "heavenly" bodies are attached to crystal spheres, i.e. moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The Ptolemaic system was used, in those times, to explain the motions of the Universe. Plato explained that this system provided the why, of that time around the 2nd century, of the uniform circular motion and adherence to physics explanation. Galileo disproved this model about Earth as the center by the viewing of Venus going through its phases.

Still the circular, later to be a more elliptical, motions are connected to the circulation of energy in humans with effects being felt with all three, i.e. Sun, moon, Heavens themselves, i.e. other planets, and Earth with the motions and energies, i.e. gravitational influences, that drive our system and provide for life on Earth.


Let's take heart a bit further without reference to Heaven and Earth. We speak sometimes of when another persons "touches your heart." We can say that a person is "warm-hearted," "hard-hearted," "soft-hearted," "cold-hearted," or we can say the person "goes straight to the heart of the matter." In humans the heart is the center of being. It can be the soul of a person.

Nothing circulates in the body without the workings of a healthy-heart. We can't be perceived as hard working if we don't "put our hearts into it." In martial philosophy were are not reaching our highest level if we don't practice "wholeheartedly."

Spiritually a person can only be touched through the heart. The heart is, in this instance, the gateway to feeling heartfelt toward others. We can say they do things with heart-felt compassion.

In the goku-i stands a gateway to understanding ourselves by the inference and connections we perceive in the way to look upon heaven or the heavens as well as earth. Why would we say a person is "down to earth" if that had no significance to all the myriad things of the Universe, i.e. Heavens, and how can a person connect to those influences if the heart is not open to a receptive state of being. The goku-i leads us toward this heart-felt feeling that can and does drive our goals, strategies and tactics toward a better life through the singular practice of a balanced martial system.


In this there are larger differences in meaning and understanding; one constant as to a state of bliss, enlightenment and peace along with things like love, compassion, and gratitude. The next question is how this applies to the martial systems. That is the next question I will cover.


It might be said that the true practice of a martial system is one that comes from the heart.

How we might determine that meaning is subjective to the individual which is a core trait of the study your beginning with this book on the ken-po goku-i. Some systems speak of a responsibility to practice wholeheartedly.  How that is accomplished may be gleamed from the inner workings of the goku-i itself or through those ancient classics found to connect to this terse rendition of those classics.

Wholehearted can also mean oneness, where becoming "one" balanced human as perceived through nature, the Universe, in that the Heavens in relation to the Earth influences how the Earth and its inhabitants survive and thrive. Many Asian belief systems, such as Zen, speak frequently of this oneness.

Wholehearted can also have symbolism in its inference to whole where one achieves the one whole through the unity of mind, body and spirit. To achieve a whole system you practice the physical to achieve the spiritual resulting in balance - equilibrium, the whole oneness of both the conscious and subconscious mind.

This also alludes to the possibility of achieving the one whole or wholehearted effort to perceive, learn and understand. When one system can achieve the key feature of martial systems, wholehearted brings the heart of the practitioner, the spirit if you will, into the system separately and with distinct parts that must be assembled into "one whole" system.

This is the method and purpose of following the way in martial arts. This is the method and way - wholehearted.


In the training facility, the Dojo, I speak of "Reishiki" which to me means something like "courtesy, consideration, respect, etc." It is an action that reflects what is in my heart. This can be faked by performing flawlessly those outward actions that promote the idea of Reishiki but how do we "know" if one is actually a wholehearted person?

Time! No one can keep up that type of face all the time and for long periods. We are human and a human will always drop back down into that true space of what is in their heart - good or bad as the case may be. Bad folks can display charismatic personalities yet sooner or later the true heart of a person comes up like bubbling water from a natural spring.

One reason we might say, it matters not what you say but what you do, show me on the dojo floor. Even this brings out the truth, in "time." Time reveals actions as wholehearted or simply a false front that is "fool-hearted."

I train and practice and study to achieve a the way of the "wholehearted person." It requires many things but a chief one is balance in all things - seeing, hearing, feeling, and sensing both sides of the coin of life.

Another meaning that enhances the reference to Heaven and Earth in the ken-po goku-i is by practice, achieved in conjunction with understanding of the goku-i, we reach a greater "heavenly" element to our very nature. This is the true heart of a person, where wholehearted practice is achieved. This is true personal power above and beyond that which is physical.

When we read about how a person's heart is the same as Heaven it can only be determined by understanding the time and place of the author's writings. It is not the same as we interpret the word today. But by "heaven" there is not intended "the blue sky" above us, nor any personal power above it, but the Tao embodied in our constitution, the Heavenly element in our nature.

Tao is heaven; heaven is the void that the myriad things of heaven exist...

The rhythm of life energy is influenced by the rhythm of Heaven and Earth. As will be shown elsewhere that heaven and earth are the patterns, rhythms and heavenly body influences against one another achieve life. In martial systems the same applies.

We can look at it another way as well. The first two lines of the originally numbered tome were of Heaven and Earth in relation to a person's heart while the sun and moon reflect the person's circulation of energy as referenced by blood circulating in the body. Those two stand-alone and can be represented by the two line of the four, that comprise the eight trigrams, and that make up all the hexagrams. 


The Japanese believe that "truth" lies "only" in the inner realm as symbolically located in the "Heart" or belly (Hara). The Japanese believe that what is important and what is true toward human interactions lies in silence that is a kind of virtue similar to "truthfulness."

The words, "haragei and Ishin Denshin" symbolize Japanese attitudes toward human interactions in this regard. To understand the "Do" of a martial system as it relates to the Japanese view you should look to the Zen practice associated with traditional arts and the spirit of do (the way or path) which is characterized in the silence of meditation or mokuso.

Zen is understood only at a deep and intuitive level. It can't be understood by words but through the constant practice taught in the dojo and this is the actual explanation of the "why." Constant practice is focused toward meditation, quietude, and the emptying of our minds. It is a teaching of truth through a Zen connection that helps explain "Chinmoku" or silence in Japanese communications.

As you may be able to determine by this it is important to learn the customs, courtesies and beliefs of a system both historical, especially as to traditional martial practice, and current are necessary to fully and completely understand the "what and why" of Asian martial systems and practice. It becomes critical if one actually goes to a traditional or Koryu based Dojo where the Sensei may still practice diligently these traits of the Japanese, so one will understand and comprehend.

It is interesting that the Japanese look between the lines, into the void or spaces, for determining communications while we Americans tend to look directly at the lines seeking there what is actually in the white spaces between the lines and words. It is like the great symbol of the Tai Chi, duality as in one side of the Earth the Japanese do it one way while at the opposite side of the Earth we do exactly the opposite.


The "do" practices also emphasize quietude and a grave atmosphere in which a controlled attitude contained within silence leads practitioners to the development of skill and success. Could this be because the silence or space between promotes present moment awareness where one looks toward the inner self to find and improve while the practice of the physical with a silence allows present moment awareness to perceive and feel the variances of the body so it may find balance and connect to the mind and thus the spirit of the person?

Silence in the dojo may also come from the Japanese identification with groups where the role of silence is the creation of harmony and the avoidance of conflict. I can see this because most of the conflict I have witnessed usually rises to inadequate communications, words, that folks exchange in a heated fashion.


I Ching: Heaven; there are various connections to the I Ching regarding the four significant symbols; heaven, earth, sun and moon. In the I-Ching Qian stands for Heaven, Kun for Earth, Li for Sun, and Kan for moon. Besides Heaven and Earth, sun and moon were the two most important symbols to the ancient Chinese. The sun and moon up in the sky were the first two natural objects they noticed to display the principle of yin and yang.

The Sun was a source of heat and light or most yang or the hottest, the brightest. The moon itself had neither heat nor light; its light was merely the reflection of the sun or most yin or the coldest, the darkest. The waxing and waning of the moon derived the principle of change and also that of the continuity of change.

Heaven and Earth sun and moon were the four deities that the ancient Chinese revered the most. Heaven and Earth, respectively, represent the pure yang and the pure yin. Sun and moon represent yin within yang and yang within yin, respectively. The ancients named these four gua as the symbols of the four cardinal directions - Qian for south, Kun for north, Li for east, and Kan for west.

Yin and Yang exist in everything.

Sun and moon, fire and water, brightness and darkness are the most obvious examples of yin and yang. The symbol of the sun is Li, meaning the Fire or Brightness; the symbol of moon is Kan, signifying the Water or the Darkness.

When darkness comes which represents a situation of difficulty or danger one can know that no matter how dangerous or dark the situation, if one is able to follow the way of Heaven, one can pass through the danger as safely as water passes through a ravine.

Every ending follows a new beginning. This is the course of Heaven. Turn over a new leaf and make a fresh start. You can still live within the Tao by changing attitudes to remedy things.

The I-Ching says before starting you should carefully plan; after finishing deeply reflect. When in action do so with out undue haste; get out of the rut and forge a new path; find contentment with temporary successes. Hold the principle of the middle path (balance in all things for success; achieving equilibrium). Walk the central path and look forward to the future within the present moment.


Qian in the I-Ching represents "Heaven," which the ancient Chinese referred to as a symbol of the firmest, healthiest, and purest yang energy in the Universe. When you view the character/image in the I-Ching you will see it is an image of a rising sun (Sun is represented by the I-Ching character - "Li") radiating its light and energy - chi - and nourishing the whole world (Earth is represented by the I-Ching character - "Kun").

In the time the I Ching was created, i.e. Zhou dynasty about 1045  BCE, heaven was the deity of the sky. There were no references to what westerners believe as a place they went upon death. It dealt with the sky and those entities that were within control of the sky.

Underneath the sun symbol is another that represents the root of a plant that penetrates deep into the ground (this brings the connections of Heaven and Earth, etc.).

On the right the symbol is dispersing chi from the sun that is spread out under the Earths sky (this brings the connections of the Sun and Earth, etc.) denoting health and vitality.

Qian represents the nature and function of Heaven. Its functions deal with originating, developing, maturing, and declining, referring to spring, summer, autumn, and winter (when we think of ourselves this is birth, adulthood, maturity, and death; in Te this is a beginner (Kohai), novice (Sempai), student (Kyosei), and master (Sensei), etc.)

Qian tells us that the purpose here is to study so as to apply instruction, philosophical and physical, to life. (this may be where we get the ken-po goku-i and Tatsuo Sensei references to the study of not just the physical but the spiritual aspects of the art as well in order to find balance in training and practice.)

Qian asks us to remain present yet to always "see or look" toward the future and to "see or look" into the past. The "Way" or "Way of the I-Ching's Qian" is in the ability to change and transform. (Why change and transformation comes from the rigors of mind-spirit-body training in the fighting arts)

Qian moves forward endlessly and inexhaustibly. (Meaning we do the same in our travels of the way of the empty hand) Following the way of heaven leads to sprouting, growing, blooming, and bearing fruit.(we achieve sprouting as beginners when we have studied the kihon; growing comes from continuous and serious training in both kihon and kata; blooming is where we achieve a level of seriousness by achieving a level of sho-dan where real practice and training begin; and we bear fruit as we move higher to levels that go beyond the mere physical but into the spiritual realms)

Tatsuo Sensei said to get to know about others and the I-Ching/Qian tell us to understand the nature of change and adjustment; to know when to move forward and when to back up a bit. They say this is the way of Heaven. (Consider timing, focus, and Ma-ai; distancing in practice then elevate that to the training of the mind where we can "see" and "hear" that which we encounter and coming to the appropriate decisions before taking any literal action, etc.)

To be as Heaven means to keep moving constantly, persistently, and with stability (we can achieve true proficiency in the practice of Te only through a dedication to practice that remains consistent, persistent, and with a dedication that builds stability in the Way). Much like the objects in the Heavens that follow their orbits without deviation, still maintaining equilibrium. (Finding our path, following it, and remaining balanced)

If all our actions following the way of Heaven we will maintain equilibrium (balance; through such as kihon and kata we achieve equilibrium in our bodies by developing both sides equally for balance; achieving a balance of the mind as well through visualizations, etc.). We must train and practice the way to understand that every action should be in accord with the proper time and circumstances. If they are not in equilibrium then we must refrain from action until action is required in accordance with Heaven. (do we not train the mind to achieve peace and when peace needs it then with action but only when circumstances warrant it?)

We must train and practice so our lives will be as the life of dragons! Dragons were believed by ancient Chinese to have the ability to swim in the ocean, walk on the ground, and fly in the sky. Its constantly changing actions were unpredictable, like changes in the weather. (maybe this is why Tatsuo Sensei never did kata exactly the same way every time?)

In equilibrium with Qian be firm, strong, magnanimous, and energetic.

As mentioned here all things need to find their balance, to be in harmony and that goes with Qian in the I-Ching for if we follow the way of Heaven exclusively then we will go to the yang extreme and since the I-Ching and the Way of Heaven are to find equilibrium then Qian must have its yin, which is Kun: Earth.


Kun is Earth, which represents a quality of Earth - submission. When Qian and Kun act together they act as an introduction to the entire I-Ching. (Heaven and Earth represent the person and through the goku-i introduce the practitioner to the entire system or Way). Heaven and Earth are also symbolic of the yin-yang model of dualistic monism.

Kun, the Tao of Humanity, is to explore the social phenomena; humanity and its place in society or the world as one whole.

Kun is yin energy complementing Qian's yang and extends over the entire Earth. (Connecting the earth to the heavens). The Earth submits to the will of the Heavens yet through its influences tempers the Heaven into a balanced state - equilibrium.

Kun responds to Qian's creative action. Kun must join with Qian to accomplish anything. Heaven sows the seeds; Earth brings them to birth - a perfect complement of Heaven and Earth (Sensei sow the seed of the way of the empty hand and the deshi brings it to fruition).

Earth responds to the function of Heaven while remaining true to itself; allowing for the Earth to grow and nourish. (a person who responds to the attributes of Heaven allows themselves to achieve growth and chi.)

Heaven is Yang and Earth is Yin, which are the two primary and fundamental forces of the Universe. They are opposite but mutually complementary. They must coordinate and support one another. (By understanding one another we learn to understand and support one another, which makes all of humanity "one" and allows us through this knowledge and understanding to complement one another for peace and tranquility)

In our practice if we delve into the goku-i we then understand that our practice and training while in motion is strong and firm but when in repose becomes gentle and submissive which tells us to deal with life in a gentle and exceptive way with the ability to achieve serenity though our ability to be firm and strong in words, deeds, and actions.

If a person of Earth possess the virtues of straightness, uprightness, and submissiveness, like Earth responds to Heaven; then one is able to carry out the will of Heaven spontaneously, without effort. Is this not the way of the empty hand when fully understood and practiced, in balance, and with equilibrium?

Kun tells us to restrain ourselves; to be cautious in words and actions. To be cautious is a preventive stance to avoid harm. A person, whose heart is as Heaven and Earth will find balance and thus act accordingly. This is the Tao of Earth.

Practitioners of Te should embrace its completeness in practice. Earth embraces the Tao of Heaven while humans follow the Tao of Earth. In this practice we may earn "respect" which means respect for oneself in keeping our inner life straight. We also attain the ability to "rectify" as in rectify oneself in making one's outer action square.

Earth represents pure yin. It possesses beauty, yet is concealed; it engages in service, yet claims no credit. This is also the Tao of Earth.

A person whose heart is the same as heaven and earth is one who has found equilibrium and understands the mutual needs of each, which means that when yang is without yin, it is too firm. It is defeated because it is too easily broken. When yin is without yang, it becomes vicious and leaves a legacy of trouble. We learn to achieve a relationship between yin and yang so as to be harmonious, creative, and productive.


Notice that involving the body itself the head is a symbol of Heaven since man stands on the earth and their head indicates a connection to the heavens above (this is symbolic of the times where the deity of the sky was referred to as heaven). The Earth is symbolized by the hara of the body since the hara is the center of the body where all energy and balance come to "one" point.

If the hara is strong then the body is anchored solidly to the Earth through the legs and feet. When we make reference to the sun and moon, the I-Ching uses them to symbolize both the "eyes" and "ears."

The last two tomes also refer to how the eyes and ears are doorways to more than simply seeing and hearing. Through seeing and hearing along with mind training increases intelligence and wisdom, both symbols of the sun, where this intelligence and wisdom provide a means for the practitioner to shed light on actions that are right and wrong, allowing the determination as to which is which so we can act accordingly. The ancient Chinese thought of the moon as the reflection of the sun.

The moon tells us that to truly listen is to sense danger or difficulty. It is symbolized by the gua of blood, which could mean that to determine danger and difficulty we can use our eyes to see a method of overcoming in a manner best suited for each situation.

Use your head to train the mind in increasing intelligence and wisdom while centering all in the balance point of the hara clearing the meridians and energy so that the eyes and ears can see and actively listen in all directions increasing our awareness peripherally and spiritually.

Heaven is the force (the sky deity) that initiates and becomes active in direct relation to the Earths receptive and passive posture, which allows all things to be experienced in the moment. The balance achieved results in the ability to see and hear, sun and moon, for intelligent action and wisdom of knowing when and how to act.

The symbolism of heaven, earth, sun, and moon extend to the other tomes of the goku-i, i.e. when talking of the eye seeing all sides or the ears listening in all directions. The four also symbolize the directions of north, south, east, and west.

When they are broken down into the separate trigrams we can also see the references to the other four directions, i.e. northwest, southeast, northeast, southwest. The sun symbolizes east, the moon west, Heaven north, and Earth south.

We can extrapolate from this the complexity of the ken-po goku-i as it relates to our practice and further studies of the esoteric path - we should balance our physical practice to reach "one" or equilibrium in the way.

If we also see the symbols of the sun we see the tortoise, which has significance in the Chinese philosophy of the I-Ching. It shows that reference to a myriad of things is not literal but a means of expressing ideologies on life that go beyond our ability to express in mere words. Symbolism has its purpose and if we look beyond the lines and words of the goku-i as well as the other classics we can discover so much more.


The I Ching says that "Heaven" is 3 [odd] and that a person is also divided into three parts, i.e. the Jodan [upper], Chudan [center], and Gedan [lower]. The I Ching says Heaven is above [upper] while Earth is below [lower] and that humanity is in the center. We know that humanity, or person's benefits from the marriage of Heaven and Earth while our "hearts" benefit from our minds and connections to the Earth.

The heart also resides in the center much like humans [person] resides in the center of the Tao as connected by Heaven, Earth, and Humanity.

Pay attention and you will notice that the number three appears in many places. In the fighting arts we have the trilogy of Te or "Kihon [basics], Kata [prearranged techniques], and Kumite [drills; sparring, etc.].

Earth is 2 and refers to our connection to the Tao as it manifests myriad things with its interaction to Heaven, i.e. Yin [negative energy] and Yang [positive energy]. The action or interaction of the Yao lines in the gua provide for yin and yang and as the lines change so does the yin and yang.

Training is like this where we have hard training and soft training, yin-yang. We also must work hard at life and then take time to relax from life, yin-yang.

In the fighting arts we use chinkuchi or hard and koshi/gamaku or soft in performing our techniques. It is the ability to either be hard or soft that provides balance in practice as well as life.

Yin and Yang or 2 also applies to how Isshinryu was formed, i.e. naihanchi, which relies on gamaku and koshi or soft to perform it properly while sanchin relies on chinkuchi or hard to perform. The blending of the two provided us the third element, which is Isshinryu. Sanchin [Heaven/hard], Naihanchi [Earth/soft], interact creating Isshinryu [Humanity/persons] proficient in the fine art of Okinawa.

Study the I Ching, connect to the Ken-po Goku-i, and find the complete wholehearted Isshinryu (3). Connect the spirit and mind to achieve health (body-spirit-mind) [3 again]. If you work hard and study with conscious effort and focus on all aspects of the arts then you will find open doors to all things under Heaven, on Earth, and within our Hearts to achieve Tao of Life.

Lets not forget the most important (3) three. What I call the "Ultimate Three" which is "Birth, Life, Death" which are the three that govern us all.


Heaven and Earth are symbolic of the ultimate polarity of the created world. "A person's heart is the same as heaven and earth. Whereby one might derive a meaning that man or all humankind must achieve balance within that mirrors that of the balance indicated by the symbolism of heaven and earth as Yang-Yin of the Universe or at least our universe which could mean the yang-yin of our own internal universe."

This then questions the how one does this and we can extrapolate that through the physical one achieves a blending of both body and mind, i.e. earth for the body and heaven for the mind (the mind is often also perceived through the heart as well).

This in the goku-i might mean that only through a strong balanced practice of a martial way such as Isshinryu can one achieve a balance that best exemplifies what it means to be a martial artist over a brute using waza to dominate. The practitioner of balance uses his expertise to benefit and not dominate his fellow human beings.

Man; being the same, one or a part of, heaven and earth; falls under the I Ching where the trigrams and hexagrams are all divided into threes; where the top two lines of the hexagram symbolize heaven, the two middle symbolize man, or humans or people, and the two bottom symbolize earth. Some have written as to the lines connection to Confucian social order, alluding to the same thoughts of man/human connectivity to the heavens and earth.

A leading proponent of the goku-i speaks of how a person (man, human, people) feeling (heart, spirit, attitude, etc.) should be one (same, whole, wholehearted) with heaven and earth (unity, connectedness) where the meaning of heaven and earth might be connected to all persons on earth, which are connected to the myriad things, which includes the heavens (sun, moon, stars, cycles, rhythms, etc.) that affect our lives.

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