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Re: "us" and "them"

Subject: Re: "us" and "them"
by Darren on 2011/11/15 4:19:09

The year I passed my godan, Soke painted me a large picture. Even though they were kanji, nobody could really tell what they were (even the Japanese men in suits standing off to the side asked to see it and shook their heads in confusion). After I got home, I sent a photo of it to Joji-san who graciously took it before Soke and asked him.

Soke said it was "ryuuko hikan", but he split the kanji and did some other artistic expressions as only Soke can do, and that's why it was not immediately recognizable as such.

Not being very familiar with the terms, I looked them up, only to be shocked to discover meanings like 'disappointment', etc! I emailed Joji-san back and he clarified that it actually means "dragon, tiger, secret scroll". In further research, I found that the who meaning of ryuuko had to do with struggle, that the dragon and tiger struggle with each other as a natural polarity. I further learned that in that struggle lies the secret knowledge, the 'hikan'.

That has come to define my own training (even using it as the name of my training groups) and continues to be my primary inspiration to "keep going", knowing that in order to understand and grow, I must accept struggle as a natural part of the process, that it is vital in developing the fudoshin (immovable heart) so that I can "keep going" (gambatte). If I'm not struggling, I'm not growing.
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