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San Shu Kan: The Hall of The Three Elements of Practice.

The word of "Shu" is translated here as "elements of practice", but it suggests also
of the idea of refinement that comes with study and patient application. The "three elements of practice" are Technique, Heart, and Body. Although they can be distinguished from one another in theory, they are interdependent, and must be developed harmoniously.

The first element, Technique, can be described in terms of mind, because techniques in themselves are ideal forms or mental constructs which are identical for each student who learns them. But mind is incomplete without the third element, Body; just so, techniques must be adapted, through practice, to the particular physical body of each student. The place where mind & body meet is Heart, the centre element, representing a balance and harmony between the other two. The heart also is the central of our moral lives, the place where our humanity is most fully evident.

True martial arts training is especially directed at the heart, and is not just a training of the body, using martial arts techniques. Instead, the development of a balanced human person is the goal of martial arts, and such a person is known by a superior moral integrity.

At the higher levels of martial arts training, the body itself reflects a student's moral development. That is, the body will become naturally upright and relaxed, allowing the vital energy, or chi, to flow unimpeded. At this level of achievement, a person radiates physical confidence (Body) and control (Technique), held in balance (Heart) so that strength and understanding are harmonized. Such a person will manifest dignity and fearlessness.

In summary, we believe that through the understanding of Technique and exercise of the Body, martial arts training cultivates a true humanity, recognizable by its strength and compassion-- that is, by the disposition of its Heart. These "three elements of practice" are fundamental to training at SanShuKan.