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Kyushindo Budo
the kyushindo philosophy of martial arts

Cho Wa: harmony in the sense of harmonics
Extracts from 'Kyu Book' (unpublished )by Sensei Ray Wood, edited by Gary Robinson

 

CHO WA
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 throw.

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 and beliefs.

shizen taiThe 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.

 

 

 

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.

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