Isan: Heritage

by William Durbin, Soke of Kiyojute Ryu

Life is about heritage. In Japanese this is called Isan and means 'leave behind a fortune' and 'bequeath to a child'. This is what Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei is all about. It is a heritage, but not just to the children of one man, rather it is to all mankind. Maybe it seems strange to think in that way in modern times, when most people are simply out for what they can get for their own selves or their children, but there is a larger issue here, we need to make the world a better place, not just for some people, but for all people. Not just for Americans, but all the citizens of the earth.

Kiyojute Ryu

Kiyojute Ryu is a system of teaching love and confidence, something all people need in order to be fully developed human beings. It is a way of life that benefits not only the practitioner, but also the people around them. It truly is a fortune, which the good Lord saw fit to give to me and I then have the responsibility, and privilege, of sharing with you.

Yet as only one man I cannot hope to see this heritage given to all the children to whom it must go. Because it must go to all the children of the world, from the babies to the oldest. Some will not want the martial art that goes with the philosophy and that is a shame, because the physical skills puts a person in touch with their spiritual side much quicker than not doing them. That is why so many people who are in organized forms of religion, while having learned a philosophy, seem so out of touch with God. In truth, they are. This is because they have mentally learned about the spirit, but have not touched it. They may have become aware of their spirits but have not integrated it with their bodies.

Mon – Mitsu Tomoe and the Juji

Our Mon, crest, is a symbol of becoming a complete human being. It is a Mitsu Tomoe, three-section circle. The three parts represent the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of man. The bottom section represents the spiritual aspect, which is why the cross is located there. The cross, called Juji in Japanese, is viewed by Christian members of Kiyojute Ryu as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who is our symbol of perfection. It can also be read by the non-Christian members as the Japanese number ten, which is an old Japanese symbol of perfection. It represents to us all, perfection. Perfection is a fully developed spiritual awareness that is in harmony with God. Perfection is a physical and mental life that is based on that harmony with God.

This ideal of perfection is the heritage we have to give to our fellow human beings. It is the idea of being Kiyojute, 'spiritually positive, gentle people'. This is the family to which all are welcomed to join. Please all my students, of every rank, help your Soke spread this philosophy of love and caring to all mankind. We do this best by example; by living the Kiyojute ourselves, and in this way teach it to others. But we also need to establish Dojo which will actively teach the physical skills which open to people the ability to feel the spirit within and know God. It teaches the principles of life, (Go, Ju, Aiki, Shu, Nin, Buki, Toitsu), which all people need to manifest the spirit in the phenomenal world. If you would truly see the world as a better place, then we must give it a foundation, which will teach it to be better, this is Kiyojute.

Dojo Cho

Not all people have the desire to open a Dojo, but all students can support their Dojo Cho, school presidents, in running and keeping the Dojo going. All students can invite new people to the school. They can see that those who need to know, know. When there are potential demonstrations or lectures that can be given, students can refer people to their instructors for these types of activities, so that the school name and reputation can grow in their respective cities. And all Dojo Cho should be willing to give lectures, demonstrations, and attend other activities, which will build the reputation of their school and Kiyojute Ryu.

We have an Isan-heritage to give to the world. I, as the Soke, will do everything I possibly can to present the Ryu, Kai, and our philosophy to the world. This is the reason I used to write for the martial arts magazines and continue to publish books today. But each Dojo Cho, Hanshi, and Shihan, must be willing to do their part as well. Too many of our senior ranks are too inactive. To help spread the philosophy, you must be active in the Dojo and in the public eye. You must help teach the students and learn all you can. The other day I realized that I taught a lesson in class that I had not taught for ten years. How many instructors do you think can make a statement like that? Every senior rank needs to be active, because there is so much still to learn. The old Soke still has a lot to share and to teach.

And all Deshi, students, need to support and encourage their seniors. Believe me, it is a hard job to come to class day after day and teach with a positive attitude. There are times when the young want to play, not train, but the Dojo Cho still must teach them with a smile and a loving spirit. And the seniors must be patience and loving with each and every lower rank. Thus if the lower ranks will be considerate and understanding, everyone will learn quicker and more will be accomplished in the Dojo each class.

So lets make the Dojo a place where juniors and seniors work together to learn the heritage of Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei. Let the philosophy go out the door with us to influence the world around us, at work, at school, and at home. Lets spread the heritage of love and gentleness to all people. Lets teach the joy and importance of a personal relationship with God to all who are willing to listen. And lets have the joy of fellowship with loving people of like spirit. This is our heritage---live it.

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