Friday, June 23, 2006

The Kempo Hakku

If you buy a gi from Shureido, they usually include a large tri-folded cardboard insert that has a funky picture of Bodhidharma along with a bunch of text written in Japanese. I never knew what the Japanese text said, until today. I was visiting the Shureido store in Naha (picking up a bunch of stuff!) and when the saleswoman was packing up the items, I noticed she included an extra piece of paper with the tri-fold cardboard insert. I was hoping it might be a translation of the text and when I opened my bag of goodies I was happy to see it was indeed an English translation! Here's a picture of the text (with my numbered annotations), along with the English translation (click on the image for a larger view):

Title: The Kempo Hakku (The eight laws of the fist)
1. The mind is one with heaven and earth.
2. The circulatory rythm of the body is similar to the cycle of the sun and the moon.
3. The way of inhaling and exhaling is both hardness and softness.
4. Act in accordance with time and change.
5. Techniques will occur in the absense of conscious thought.
6. The feet must advance and retreat separate and meet.
7. The eyes do not miss even the slightest change.
8. The ears listen well in all directions.

I've been told I really need to work on number 5. I tend to think too much with my karate.

There's a pretty good web site here that has a less stylized kanji version of this. If you visit that site, you can move your mouse over each line and a pronunciation along with an English translation will appear for that line.