|Between a rock and|
a hard place...
I was thinking about this the other day, walking in the woods, looking at the changes of a late Spring--well, that and the techniques of kata and bunkai of course, as I usually do. It's been cloudy and windy and rainy for the past week. I think it was warmer in January or February than this past couple of weeks. I think I had been out on the scooter more in the winter than the last month and a half. But after all the rain, the forest is finally leafing out, and things are changing once again. Though, of course things are always changing, really.
And I realized, tramping through the few leftover muddy pools on the trails after the recent rains, that Goju-ryu itself is all about change. I wonder that the same thought may have occurred to Miyagi Chojun sensei, walking about the countryside or along the shore near Naha. When I look at the Goju-ryu Happo, it seems to me to be all about change: Mi wa toki ni shitagai hen ni ozu. (Act in accordance with time and change.) Even when it talks about the breath, it's really about change: Ho wa goju wo tondo su. (The way of breathing is hard and soft.) Or when it makes these wonderfully inclusive analogies between each person and the universe: Ketsumyaku wa nichigetsu ni nitari. (The blood and veins are like the sun and the moon.) Jin shin wa ten chi ni onaji. (Hearts and minds are like the universe....and the universe is constantly changing.)
|First of four open-hand|
One of the basic techniques of Shisochin is a good example of this. In this technique--the open hand technique that occurs four times in Shisochin and, according to Hokama sensei, the technique from which the kata name is derived--yields by stepping to the side, instead of meeting the attacker head on or, if you are looking simply at the pattern, instead of turning around to face the attacker. (This is the rule that I have often tried to mention: The stepping pattern of a kata shows how to step off the line of attack.) The kata shows this yielding because the stepping pattern shows a 180 degree turn, from the original north to the south. This is the first of these four techniques.
|...even a stone yields.|
“Everything changes, nothing remains without change.” — Buddha