The Art of Winning Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Four Rivers of Learning

Part 2: Aitoshi's reflections on teachings by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin at the Vajrakilya Major Empowerment in Vancouver, BC and how it relates to our study of To-Shin Do
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River of Empowerment: To ripen the student
An empowerment in Buddhist studies is an intensive practice where you take in a lot of information and it primes you to think about major concepts and your own relation to practice. In the To-Shin Do world, weekend seminars like Fall Festival or an SKH visit to your local dojo can certainly do this. One major advantage of Fall Festival is that it breaks your normal routines. Instead of figuring out how you're going to cook dinner and pay bills, you spend the weekend in a hotel and really get an immersive ninja experience.

River of Teaching: To inform the student
In Buddhist practice, this river refers to the commentaries on the empowerment teachings. This correlates to our historical scrolls. In the  scrolls of the nine families, we know we have battlefield and time tested material that has led to centuries of successes. The teachings in To-Shin Do are directly derived from the scrolls and from modern research into what we need in self defense in the US today.

River of Practice: To implement the studies
The river of practices reaches how to implement the teachings practically. Every time a student enters the dojo, they are jumping into this river. Our To-Shin Do classes are designed to teach students how to learn complex material. We cover striking, ukemi, and kata defenses in every class. There is an additional layer of depth in our complexity because we teach life skills and how to implement heroism, compassion, and action into our daily lives.

River of Instruction: To clear doubts
Testing the teachings happens in the river of instruction. In this river, the student explores all that has been absorbed from the empowerments, teachings, and practices. Our randori, or free-response, is designed to create a venue for this testing. Randori gives the student the opportunity to viscerally experience their progress by physically and mentally challenge them in a stressful situation. It closely approximates the energies of an off-the-mat conflict so a student can confront their doubts and move through them. This powerful experience allows each student to make the practice their own. In To-Shin Do, the art should become you.


To jump into the rivers, please contact us for a free class. If you are already a student, grab your bag and come to class.

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