First let’s consider the term “dishonor”. What does this mean?
It is not the absence of honor but the action of not honoring. This implies intentional behavior; therefore as Kenpo martial artists we are saying that we will not engage in any behavior that could potentially bring dishonor. Specifically we are talking about the behavior of inappropriately using the skills we are learning. When you think of the number of ways we have to “dispatch” our opponent it can become overwhelming at times. The volume of knowledge within the Kenpo System is large and to the degree with which each student possesses this knowledge there comes a proportionate responsibility. There is also the inherent value in the “secrecy” of our system and the martial arts in general. It is said to be secret because not everyone who is walking around knows what we know and even within the student body there are those who are at different levels with the secrets than others. This creates a sense of value that goes beyond just the surface technical motion… remember the goal is to become a martial artist rather than someone who just does karate.
“The goal is to become a martial ARTIST
rather than someone who just does karate.”
There is an expectation after a certain level (and this is unique to the individual student) in which the martial arts becomes a way of life rather than a hobby. When doing karate is something you want and even need to do rather than something you try for awhile to see if you are going to like it or not. The value lies in the impact karate has on the life of the student. Because of this we expect more from ourselves that anyone else would expect of us and we conduct ourselves in a manner congruent with the principles of our system: HONESTY, COURTESY, RESPECT, DISCIPLINE, LOYALTY and COURAGE. So when we are in class we strive to behave toward one another in a courteous and respectful manner because this is how we would like to be treated (Remember the Golden Rule?). We also honor our instructors by doing our best because they are giving their best to us. We show loyalty to AKKA because of the gift of Kenpo…if you are not sure what I mean by this be patient, it will come. We honor the art by constantly striving to grow and develop as martial artists by continually learning new material and polishing the old. In turn this develops us as human beings through continuing on the journey of personal growth and development.
“We honor our instructors by doing our best.”
Finally we put that little phrase at the end of the Creed…To this we the students of AKKA do swear. Why?
Well first of all we belong to a unique organization that has a lineage going back centuries. Most legitimate martial arts can claim this. By saying this about AKKA the student pledges loyalty to the perpetuation of the organization and specifically to the particular school in which he or she trains. Not only that but we are emphatically saying that these words mean more to us than just what they say. This Creed is a philosophy by which we as AKKA martial artists live by. It is our mission statement and is the foundation on which we base our training. It is so important, that we say it with an oath. This binds it as a covenant agreement within our body, mind and spirit and makes it a part of who we are. These are not mere words said at the beginning of class. It is not something we say just because it is expected of us and everyone else does. This is what we as martial arts believe in as far as our training goes and why we train in the first place. If you have never taken time to appreciate the Kenpo Creed for what it is then I urge you to read it and think about what it means to you. I challenge you to commit it to memory if you haven’t already done so. Assimilate it into your mind and it will begin to transform the way you think, feel and do your training. This is key in becoming a true martial artist.
Take care and see you in class…