Dojo Kawahara Shihan Instructors and Yudansha Gallery
San Shu Kan: The Hall of The Three Elements
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.