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Does the ken-po goku-i contain 8 trigrams?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I addressed this belief once before in the following article, i.e., “ http://kenpo-gokui.blogspot.com/2011/03/8-ken-po-goku-i-8-trigrams.html “ but when I read another inference that the gokui actually contained eight trigrams I had to do a bit more research. In the end I found that in truth the gokui DOES NOT have eight trigrams contained therein but most who profess this are actually and loosely trying to relate the eight kenpo gokui to the eight trigrams by the reference of, i.e., “There are Eight Trigrams in the I Ching, Eight directions, Eight Precepts in the Kenpo Gokui, and Eight empty hand kata of Isshin-ryu.”

When I say loosely, I do mean loosely. As can be readily perceived there are a lot of things that number eight as there are a number of things that reference to the number three as well but to say, “all of them contain or are connected to the eight trigrams or any number of hexagrams” is ludicrous to say the least.

I believe and have little doubt that Tatsuo-san, as a known fortune teller and user of such tomes as the I Ching, was influenced by those studies along with some references and connections to other references such as the Bubishi where an original eight laws are provided but as to a direct and solid connection to the trigrams, hexagrams or even the I Ching, loose and arguable. 

I accept the influences that can be loosely perceived since a lot of references and history, also loosely documented, do hint at or refer to the Ancient Chinese Classics and when you relate the close relationship to Chinese and Okinawan trade along with trade to other Asian countries you can see how such things influence how they are perceived and later trained and practiced. 

Literally tho, the eight kenpo gokui DO NOT CONTAIN the 8 trigrams, they do have a loose connections with them such as the references to the earth, the moon, the sun and heaven that can be represented with four trigrams. There are also inferences to man and other uses within the gokui when one studies the eight precepts called the “Gokui.”

When you study the ken-po goku-i as it was meant to be related to a practice of the fist, karate or Te or Ti as referenced toward early Okinawan karate, you can see that holistically speaking the gokui does not contain direct inference or reference or contain actual trigrams and/or hexagrams. Maybe in some translations of the I Ching you can find closer connections but the study and understanding of the I Ching is a huge and daunting task even for the most dedicated student of Ancient Chinese Classics. 

Regardless, if I do desire I can create connections to all of this as it relates to the gokui, practice of martial arts and those same classics including tomes like the Tao Te Ching and so on but that does not make it so, true or correct. It is nice and cool and relevant to each persons interpretation and understanding as to their personal, individual and unique study, training, practice, teaching and application of martial arts but it don’t make it true for others.

This is why I make such studies as the ken-po goku-i a personal one and present my studies in my articles as an inspiration to do the study on each persons own because it is not a group thing but a personal one. 

In closing, the gokui does not CONTAIN trigrams. The first two of the eight do make a tenuous connection the the I Ching if you take them alone but since all eight are meant to be one whole that kind of makes that questionable. There is no way to know for sure since almost all information in this regard is lost because of a total lack of documentation, any significance that could be attributed to it for martial arts died with the creators and finally word of mouth is not an acceptable means of conveying historical facts, etc., simply because human memory is just no reliable over time.

NOTES: Review of the eight trigrams it can be see to represent some inferences in the gokui for soft wood, the sun’s brightness, eyes and heart, the moon but overall only a few connections can be seen to the gokui but I have not looked for interpretations beyond one or two sources that may change dependent on translations and the translators. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

p.s. Heck, bet I can relate the ken-po goku-i to the Firefly, Serenity and Whedon-verse fiction too but that don’t make it so. :-)

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