Origin of Kenpo Karate
Setting History Right
BYU Judo Dojo
Blackbelted Mormon
Tercell's Kenpo Emblem
1965 and Beyond
Ed's First Shodan
IKKA Founding
Other Black Belts
Kenpo Seniority
Stillness of Movement

The Way of Kenpo
The 9 Principles
   Do Not Think Dishonestly
   The Way is in Training
   Every Art
   Intuitive Judgment
   Pay Attention to Trifles
   Do Nothing Useless

Yang Cheng-fu Tai Chi
Bong Soo Han As I Knew Him
Michael Chong
Apology to Ralph Castro
Jewel Shepard

CONTACT: Kenpo Contact

Way of Miyamoto Musashi and Kenpo
Develop intuitive judgment and
understanding of everything

Will Tracy

Intuition can lead to the Way, but intuition more often deviates from the Way. That is because people often mistake feeling (emotion) for reality. They feel emotionally that a thing is good or bad and act accordingly. But the first part of the admonition is to develop intuitive judgment, and that development requires exercise and training. The Way is in training. That applies to every facet of one's life, not just in Kenpo, but also in developing intuitive judgment.

Everyone has intuition to a lesser or greater degree, and unfortunately, most act upon intuition that is colored by belief or ideology; and, the ideologue sees the world not as it is, but as he believes it ought to be - thinking dishonestly. The kenpo teacher who sees kenpo as less than it is, because he believes that is how kenpo ought to be, does so because his emotions (which he interprets as intuition) tells him he is right. Such a person is not only far from the Way, but he is on a path that leads to disaster.

Developing intuitive judgment is quite different, because its elements are development, intuition and judgment. That is, the student does not accept what he feels is intuition, but rather he tests it, distinguishes it from emotion, divorces it from ideology and religious belief, then finding the spark of what remains, examines and develops it. The test is "consistency" which begins with whether your freedom of thought and action is found in the freedom and action of all around you. After all, one who imposes his will or belief on another can never divorce emotion from intrusion. In base, practical terms, it is found in the vegetarian who execrate the meateater, and insists all others be vegetarian; the moralist or religionist who imposes a proscription against suicide as opposed to the honor of the samurai's seppuku (harakiri). The imposition of any belief on another is anathematical to intuition. Any such imposition, no matter how slight, affects all intuition, no matter how remote, and it is discoverable by "I knew I should have done that" or "not done that;" esprit d'escalier, and "video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor."

The student must of necessity come full circle; he thinks honestly; he trains himself to distinguish his new found intuition; he develops it and considers it in his judgment. Yet, still he does not act on intuition, because he has not yet fully developed intuitive judgment. The next step is to have an understanding of that judgment. Only then can the student begin to apply perception which reaches the core of Intention.

To have an intuitive understanding of all things, means one must understand self and mind and how intention is formed. As one comes full circle again he will begin to appreciate the Zen aphorism, "Don't think, just do it." This reaches the core of intuition, intention and the mind of Zen and the Way. The inept instructor trains the student to react or act without thinking, and never realizes that the very action was itself a process of thought called Intention.

Intention is more subtle in kenpo than in Tai Chi Chuan, where "use mind (li) not force" (Yong yi bu yong li) is an essential. Yet to the beginning student, this appears to contradict "don't think". But mind (li) is not the same as the thinking brain. It is more what we in the west call heart. When the moves are committed to memory, we say we know them by heart, which should tell us to practice by heart, not force and forget self. It is at this point that the student begins to move from Tai Chi Chuan to the next step which is to be silent.

Silence (stillness) leads to the Way, the Void, and whether the path is by Tai Chi, Kenpo or Hung Gar, the principles are the same. The only thing that differs is how we train. It does not matter what training one has in the Void, because you can strike as you like. Your hands, your feet, your every body part is free from convention and training. There is no style in the Void, no system, only truth, and the Master's intention is to have no intention and to move according to necessity, without thought, without intention. Yet the student cannot come close to the Void unless he can perceive what cannot be seen.

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©1996, 1999, 2006, 2015 by W. Tracy. All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced without permission.

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