The object of a grading syllabus

"The sword is as long as the scabbard is deep". The sword here represents understanding, or knowledge; the scabbard reality, or truth. When we begin on the 'way' our understanding is small so our realisation of truth is small. As we progress our knowledge grows and the truth always accommodates by enlarging itself. "As we believe, so shall it be".

The object of a grading syllabus is to help our understanding grow in a systematic sense. Outwardly, through knowledge and training (the Yang principle) and inwardly through wisdom or intuitive realisation (the Yin principle). Without this double edged approach we will become unbalanced, with karate's external techniques becoming the 'be all and end all' of the way.

Our belief, gained through an external knowledge and faith in the way, can grow rapidly. Unfortunately if our personal realisation, achieved through training and effort, do not grow equally our sword becomes too big for the scabbard. Our concept of reality will not stand up to our belief, result: we will doubt the words of the Ancient Masters, considering them to be 'profound statements with no basis in the real world'. This can lead to the superficial 'ego' karate of modern day, or we may give up the way all together.

Alternatively, if our personal realisation grows through prestigious effort, the scabbard will become longer and, although our external knowledge may still be small, the sword will rest comfortably in its enlarged scabbard of truth and will automatically grow to fit. In other words, WE CAN NOT PAY LIP SERVICE TO THE WAY! We must walk it with our own sweat, blood and tears until we know what the wine tastes like for ourselves!

Shotokan Karate Martial Arts Ying Yang Meditation
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