chotan ichimi
long short are one

Reading the poem that Thomas has devoted me, I have returned back of 25 years, when...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Thomas Poem: "Clear the Waters" a Poem for my Friend, Mauro Cerri,

of La Spezia, Italy


........I have studied a school of spiritual sword ,
Jikishinkage-ryū under teachers Hosokawa and Ikeda.
in it they are learned some Katas,
of the it forms ritualizzate. the title of
the katās is Hōjō kata, spring season.
My teachers taught the relationship that was between
the school of sword and the techniques of Aikido

The secret meaning of this katā (model)
is to hand down the seasons of
the life of a man. I and Thomas have reached the winter.
Even if we seem as you plant with trees dead,
we absorb the energy from the earth. The title
in the winter is "chotan ichimi long short are one" The Kata
develops him among two characters father and child..
it departs her final it is an interlacement of footsteps
that overcomes the distance of the two characters.
But the deep principle is that distance doesn't
exist because father and child are the same person.
In the winter we learn that we are similar to the
others because we come from an only place and from
a to only cell.
The first cell that is separated and from this
life was born on the earth.
This is what I have learned and
it has come me to mind reading the poetry of Thomas.

What follows if you are not impassioned
of martial arts or of oriental philosophy,
you don't keep in mind of it

This doesn't want to be an essay of martial art. It is one small contribution of mine to the community of my space.     I have been trained to bring what I learn in the daily life in Aikido and  what I learn in the Aikido in the daily life.   In cybernetic terms it is a saving of sinapsi to use the usual circuit of memory for different activity.  (Two birds with a stone ) As to use the pieces of the “Lego “to create different constructions.
The philosophy that is at the base of the martial arts has to be deep and simple at the same time. Simple because who fights for the life and really in war, he cannot think a lot, at the same time who fights for the life it has to have a support of hope that its death is not vain. 


The relationship of life to death

In Shinto, life has been seen to be a gift of the gods.
Therefore, one must not risk one's life pointlessly
and a samurai who trifled with his existence or that
of others was discredited. There again, the giri notion
 intervenes. As long as the natural order portrays
 universal internal harmony, life is worth living.
 If this order is seriously upset, it is better to di
 than to live.

The true spirit of the Way, frequently expressed
by the great masters, can be summarized as follows:
it is fitting always to protect life as long as life is
appropriate. It is by understanding the detachment
of death that one can appreciate the value of life.
 On the other hand, the fixed idea which causes
 man to overcome fear of death and the way in which
 the delicate flower of the cherry tree is symbolic of
life's impermanence, is a method of reducing the
 totality of existence to a form of fulfilment of life.
Of course, these qualities involve other internal
 attitudes such as the desire for non-possession,
 with regard to worldly goods. The very idea of acquiring
contempt of death is doubtless easy to express but how much
more difficult to put it into practice! In other words, a man who
has actually achieved detachment from death is undoubtedly
 liberated as he has nothing more to learn

From: "Martial Arts " ( Michel Random )





"Clear the Waters" 12.31.06
A Poem for my Friend, Mauro Cerri of La Spezia, Italy

A cross on the waters
Separates us in time

But not space
In spirit in mind

Across paths that have never met
Never joined

Still in great respect

We search for that bond

To seek what we need
Or think that we do

The mysterious ties that bind us
As leaves in Autumn cling to the oak

There is no yoke to hold us
No chains of unfettered vines

We find as we wander
On this fertile earth

Kindred souls among us
In this country and that nation

Who inhabit all that we touch
Every feeling that we express

Like an opening suddenly closing
We grasp beauty where we can

We see beauty and, yes, pain
With both eyes fully open

Ears alert to new sounds
Sprinkled like raindrops
On a still, too parched, earth

On a barren plain or a desert landscape
Laced with utter stillness

We solace each with one another

Take what we can
From each given moment

Replenish these waters

That flow like a rushing stream

Beyond the pale of one experience

Unfolding into a complexity of existence

So simple in its depictions
Of what man has done to man

One voice speaks from this wilderness
This landscape that calls forth

Each to create what is of value

All to join in the celebration
Of the new
And the old
And all that is between

Come together as one people
In these waters that thrash and roil

Into the dark and swarming waters
With the clearness of the calm

I bare my soul

~Thomas~ copyright 12.31.06 U.S.A. Hollywood, CA.


Hōjō kata, spring season
Hōjō kata, spring season

The hōˑjō (法上) kata (形) is the first classic kata of the Jikishinkage-ryū style. Both the shidachi and the uchidachi usually use wooden swords (bokken), although real swords (shinken) can be used as well.

The hōjō kata is composed of 4 Seasons, namely Spring (haru no tachi), Summer (natsu no tachi), Autumn (aki no tachi) and Winter (fuyu no tachi) in order of execution. Each season containing from 6-8 waza (movement). Before each season is executed the Kamiˑhanˑen, and after each season, the Shimoˑhanˑen.

The themes of the four seasons refer to universal principles which also express themselves in other manifestations. Some of these are listed in the table below.

ipponme (一本目)
form number one
nihonme (ニ本目)
form number two
sanhonme (三本目)
form number three
yonhonme (四本目)
form number four
haru no tachi (春の太刀)
natsu no tachi (夏の太刀)
aki no tachi (秋の太刀)
fuyu no tachi (冬の太刀)
hasso happa
eight directions
itto ryōdan
cutting your ego
uten satan (雨天??)
(rainy weather?)times of change
chotan ichimi
long short are one
acceleration fast deceleration slow
childhood adolescence maturity old age
morning afternoon evening night
warming heat cooling cold

Each season has a respective pace, kō·an (公案), footwork, breathing, kiai, etc. reminiscent of the perceived characteristicts of that season.

  • spring has waza which are executed in a smooth and fast manner, accompanied by loud kiais. The koan of spring is eight directions which can be translated as ???.
  • summer has movements that are explosive and intense. The koan of summer is cuttig your ego which refers to ???.
  • autumn has a varied pace, symbolizing change. The koan of autumn is times of change.
  • winter movements are slow, but firm. This is even more accentuated on the footwork of each season. The koan of winter is long short are one. This following example is an illustration of this principle. Imagine a siuation where one person has a yari (槍) or naginata (長刀 or 薙刀), which stands for long, and the other a has sword, which stands for short, but the situation is as such that there is no more discussion, any discussion at this point would be superfluous. This metaphor tries to explain the meaning behind this koan that in this season life and death are one.