Cho Wa: harmony in the sense of harmonics
Extracts from 'Kyu Book' (unpublished )by Sensei Ray Wood, edited by Gary
Harmony in the sense of harmonics
Cho Wa means harmony in the sense of agreement, but it also
includes the principle of refraction. Refraction, or the law
of opposition, stems from the tendency towards equivalence,
so it can be said that all things strive for balance. Therefore,
there is a balance of harmony by disagreement. Opposite poles
will attract and like poles will repel. A kind word brings
a smile to the face whereas anger breeds violence. On the
other hand anger met with a smile will dissipate anger, if
produced from pure motive. Cho Wa is the most difficult precept
to understand, because of this inherent duality within the
interaction of positive with negative.
The direct western manifestation of Cho Wa is Newton's famous
action/reaction law. The difference with Kyushindo is simply
that it recognises that this principle applies not only to
the law of moving bodies, but to every process and event in
the Universe. The reason for opposite reaction in things is
to bring about equalisation of energy and to preserve symmetry.
All things therefore have an opposite manifestation and every
principle can be inverted since it gains energy by opposition
to its diametrical partner.
This principle may be applied to BAMBUTSU RUTEN. Because
all things move and nothing is still, no special point can
claim to be truly at rest, except in relation to other points.
Therefore any point can be chosen and designated as a centre,
or point of stillness, if it so suits the purpose. When the
great astronomer Copernicus discovered that the planets turned
about the sun, he did not change the fundamental nature of
the Universe, but only people's specific viewpoints. This
is why the sun is seen to rise into the sky and turn about
the heavens, just as it always did. It can be said that the
sun turns about the earth, or that the earth turns about the
sun, and because the distinction is "relative" rather
than "absolute", it depends only upon which viewpoint
is more convenient.
Therefore, because all things are in motion, all things are
equally at rest. Everything moves and nothing moves - all
is motion and nothing is motion. Modern theory of wave mechanics
state that motion itself is an illusion, and just as a film
flashes a series of "stills" to bring about the
illusion of motion, so motion itself is in reality a sequence
of static moments. This concept is expressed in the well know
Kendo maxim "in stillness there is motion". This
idea comes about because all natural "opposite"
share similar nature whilst holding opposite form.
In nature water finds its own level, electrical charge equalises,
gravity brings matter into balance or rest, and even the law
of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created, nor
destroyed, but merely changed in form.
When a partner is thrown the motion produces energy and this
energy must be equalised in a way that will produce motion
in the partner's body. When you strike a partner you deliver
the same energy in a single "packet", too fast for
the partners body to absorb. If energy is applied too quickly
in a throwing technique, the force that cannot immediately
be transmitted into motion and your partner retracts, or "kicks
back". This then works in opposition to the action of
The principle of Cho Wa has this double sided quality according
to the specific circumstances of any situation. This is rather
like the elastic property of rubber, which can draw things
together, or spring them apart. The two apparently reverse
results both derive from the very same property in the rubber.
It is this law of opposition that causes refraction and reflection.
The whole process of human learning is based upon the fact
that the complex is reflected and illustrated by the simple.
Therefore, by understanding the ordinary physical laws of
nature, so you can come to grasp the great moral and spiritual
principle under which all things exist.
In summary the three precepts of Kyushindo are "RHYTHMIC,
HARMONIOUS, AND PERPETUAL MOTION". When you enter into
the full implication of this you will find that it leads not
only into agreement with much of modern scientific theory,
but also with most of the ancient Eastern religious concepts
centre of gravity of a human body, known as "CHU SHIN"
is about two or three inches below the navel. This may also
be called the "SHITA HARA" (lower belly), the "SAIKA
NO ITTEN" (lowest point) or the "SAIKA TANDEN"
(lowest abdomen). This point forms the centre of all your
movements and is the fundamental source of physical power
in your body. "CHU SHIN" is an imaginary line running
through the centre of the body. The "CHU SHIN SEN"
should pass through the centre of the head, down through the
"CHU SHIN" centre and strike the floor exactly between
the feet. If this is correct then the body is in perfect balance
and harmony. The "CHU SHIN SEN" is rather like an
imaginary "plumb-line" that tells whether or not
you are balanced.
Because the "SHIZEN TAI" position is a natural
position there is no strain or tension in the body. Therefore,
the same must be true of the mind because the mental condition
of a person can effect the body posture and visa versa.
Being involved in the sheer physical problems of training
you will scarcely be aware of your mind, but once the body
is reasonably under control it will be seen that the mind
is the real bar to progress, for one reason or other.
The human being consists of both a spiritual and physical
side. Too much concentration on one aspect will lead to an
unbalanced life. So you should attempt to develop both parts
equally. If you are prone to thinking too much then you should
train physically harder and with greater regularity. However,
if you are sluggish in thought you should strive to improve
the mind [through contemplation and meditation. Ed.] and stimulate
your intellect by thinking and reading more.
Once past the initial stages (right view, right thought) Budo is a battle with oneself to catch the mind
and encourage it to obey the will (right action). During many years of study you will no doubt pass through
periods of elation and depression, keen enthusiasm and lack
of interest. The main objective is to overcome all difficulties
and to press forward with a firm mind and iron will. If you
miss classes because you cannot be bothered to attend, feeling
tired or thinking that you are getting no where, then you
have defeated yourself from the very beginning. Senior grades
and Masters are merely those who have had the tenacity of
purpose to continue in the face of any difficulty.