Extracts from 'Kyu Book' essays (unpublished ) by Sensei Ray Wood, edited by Gary
There are many ways of interpreting and applying the philosophy
of Kyushindo to life, and therefore, it is sometimes difficult
to know where to begin. Every person will adopt Kyushindo
to suit their own personal needs, which can change from day
to day or even from moment to moment.
Abbe with a Pigeon on his right shoulder. His companions here are unknown
So what does Kyushindo mean? Kyu means to "desire",
Shin means from the "heart" and Do means the "way".
To understand how to apply Kyushindo to life you need to examine
the above meanings more closely. Kyushindo is about being
open and receptive to new ideas and thoughts. To do this you
have to be able to relate to people and accept them for who
or what they are. You must be free from preconceived thoughts
and have a genuine yearning for knowledge. You need to be
honest with yourself and with those around you. Your thirst
for knowledge should be to better yourself and not for being
better than others are. If your morals are pure then you will
be aware of the required discipline for your chosen path.
Materialistic values and a low regard for human life corrupt
the world. Everyone is caught in a whirlpool of perpetual
confusion, grasping at a selfish branch to gain temporary
freedom and superficial wealth. It is as though everyone is
always on the take, unable or unwilling to give or make even
the smallest sacrifice. Inflated egos and selfish pride have
weakened people to the point of desperation and suspicion
of life. Fears and inhibitions lead to a greater despondency,
eventually becoming an instrument of self-destruction.
However, people are slowly but surely realising there is
a way for self-fulfilment and salvation. In order to stem
this tide of regression and create a better world you must
choose a path appropriate to your needs. If you allowed the
philosophy of Kyushindo to enter your life, then you have
taken a step forward to rid yourself of the shackles that
may have made you a prisoner of your own life. Kyushindo is
not just a philosophy but a discipline requiring genuine commitment
and responsibility. You learn to suppress the arrogant and
selfish side of human nature. You learn patience, compassion,
humility and how to live with your fellow human beings. You
begin to love the fundamental principles of life and appreciate
how these principles relate to the laws of the Universe that
govern your existence.
Kyushindo manifests itself in many ways but for many people
it is through the art of Budo. This philosophy promotes the
opportunity for people to come together to learn and share.
Kyushindo creates harmony, peace, and the understanding to
experience a unique way of life.
A well-designed yacht in the hands of a competent helmsman
may help to demonstrate the essence of Kyushindo. With the
sails trimmed correctly she cuts gently through the waves,
the wind guiding her smoothly on the journey. The helmsman
needs only to make minor and gentle adjustments to keep the
correct course. However, place a beginner at the wheel and
the yacht will slam into the crests of each successive wave,
heeling and huffing excessively as the helmsman fights to
reach the destination.
The master helmsman, drawing on years of experience, realises
that with the correct preparation he does not need force to
achieve his goal. The beginner, however, is forced into coercing
the yacht to make up for his lack of knowledge and technique.
He is unable to trust nature, and as a result can only try
to impose his will.
The planner appears to have an easier path but only because
of years of toll. It takes a surprisingly huge amount of effort
to achieve the calmness of spirit required to follow Kyushindo.
Kenshiro Abbe took an old Japanese religion, formulated a
philosophy belief which he named Kyushindo and then related
it to the practice of Budo. Movements should be smooth and
harmonious with no violent clashes of opposing strengths.
By utilising and redirecting your partner's force you can
turn it to your advantage.
Kyushindo is a philosophy that can be applied throughout
life. In life there are no beginnings and no endings. In each
perceived end are set the seeds of new beginnings, so it is
not always possible to see where one event stops and the next
starts. For example, as the seasons blend into each other,
so some lives end and new ones start. Without this natural
cycle there would be no life. Likewise in Budo, when one technique
is near completion the next technique has already started.
Unfortunately we are often too involved with the past to look
forward to the future.
Balance is the most important factor in the art of Budo.
Every student should be taught how to break someone's balance,
and how to fall correctly. But more directly they should fully
understand the implications of balance.
Initially students may be taught to break balance in eight
basic directions, each direction is termed a positive action.
Each action is different from the other. As an example, when
a personstands in a natural posture their shoulders will be
immediately above the ball of each foot. A slight nudge in
any direction will stagger that person and cause them to take
a step in whatever direction they have been nudged. If not,
they will fall. This can only be achieved when the shoulders
have passed the line above the ball of the foot. If you take
a circle and divide it into segments, like the spokes of a
wheel with the lines radiating from its hub, you would literally
have thousands of divisions and each one becomes a positive
line of action. So although students are taught only eight
basic directions, there are indeed many thousands.
During a throwing technique in Budo a student will pass over
many of the segments described, before the conclusion of that
technique. Body mechanics determine the ultimate conclusion
of a technique. In Kyushindo the breaking of balance should
be a gentle action with no strength being applied. Strength
will restrict a student to only using bad techniques.
are taught as a means of safety, and the safety of any student
is paramount in the dojo, and indeed, in any walk of life.
Breakfalls should be taught, in the beginning, from a low
position. Many ladies have a natural fear of falling from
any height and their fears have to be dispelled as quickly
as possible. Start from a low position and work gradually
up to a greater height. Do not rush a student; build up their
confidence slowly without dwelling too long over breakfalls
in any training session. Similarly, large men do not like
being thrown backwards; they tend to lower themselves before
falling, so mentally they are worried. All these doubts have
to be reassured before the student can advance with confidence.
This of course is all tied up with balance. If balance and
breakfalls are fully explained to the student at the very
beginning of their martial arts career, everyone will be able
to practice with a free and unfettered mind.