Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Juusan Kun

Those of you familiar with karate will be familiar with the term “Niju Kun”, which means “20 Rules.” These were written by one of the founders of karate, Gichin Funakoshi in about 1890 and first published in a book The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate in 1938. Gichin’s Niju Kun was one of the things that influenced me when I created the 13 Precepts of the Order of Scáthach in 2007.

Funakoshi’s original five rules of the dojo, or Dojo Kun, originated with Okinawan Karate masters. The actual creator of these rules is possibly Sakugawa, an 18th Century Okinawan karate master. It seems more likely that this Dojo Kun was created by Funakoshi Gichin, but no evidence exists one way or the other. Funakoshi’s five Dojo Kun (“Rules for the Dojo”) are:
Hitotsu. Jinkaku Kansei ni Tsutomuro Koto.Hitotsu. Makoto no Michi wo Mamoru Koto.Hitotsu. Doryoku no Seishin o Yashinau Koto.Hitotsu. Reigi o Omonzuru Koto.Hitotsu. Kekki no Yu o Imashimuru Koto.

Every line begins with the word “Hitotsu”, which is a counter that means “one.” Every line ends with the word “koto”, which literally means “thing.” This is generally interpreted to mean “Here’s a rule, here’s another rule…” These Dojo Kun translate as:

First. Seek perfection of character

First. Protect the way of the truth

First. Foster the spirit of effort

First. Respect the principles of etiquette and respect others

First. Guard against impetuous courage and refrain from violent behavior.

In simpler terms:
Seek Perfection of Character

Defend the Path of Truth

Endeavor to Excel

Display Courtesy

Refrain from Violent Behavior

Some Karate styles, such as Goju Ryu, have developed eight rules from the original five:

One thing: Be humble and polite.
One thing: Train considering your physical strength.
One thing: Practice earnestly with creativity.
One thing: Be calm and swift.
One thing: Take care of your health.
One thing: Live a plain life.
One thing: Do not be too proud or modest.
One thing: Continue your training with patience.

Gichin Funakoshi’s original Niju Kun reads:

Karate-do begins and ends with rei (courtesy)


Karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru koto a wasaru na

There is no first strike in karate


Karate ni sente nashi

Karate stands on the side of justice


Karate wa, gi no taske

First know yourself, then know others


Mazu onore o shire, shikashite ta o shire

Mentality over technique


Gijitsu yori shinjitsu

The mind must be set free


Kokoro wa hanatan koto o yosu

Calamity springs from carelessness


Wazawai wa ketai ni seizu

Karate goes beyond the dojo


Dojo nomino karate to omou na

Karate is a lifelong pursuit


Karate-do no shugyo wa isssho de aru

Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty


Ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; sokoni myomi ari

Karate is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state


Karate Wa Yu No Gotoku Taezu Netsu O Atae Zareba Motono Mizuni Kaeru

Do not think of winning. Think, rather, of not losing


Katsu kangae wa motsuna; makenu kangae wa hitsuyo

Make adjustments according to your opponent


Tekki ni yotte tenka seyo

The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles emptiness and fullness (weakness and strength)


Tattakai wa kyo-jitsu no soju ikan ni ari

Think of hands and feet as swords


Hi to no te-ashi wa ken to omoe

When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies


Danshi mon o izureba hyakuman no teki ari

Kamae is for beginners; later, one stands in shizentai


Kamae wa shoshinsha ni atowa shizentai

Perform kata exactly; actual combat is another matter


Kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono

Do not forget the employment of withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique


Chikara no kyojaku tai no shinshuku waza no kankyu

Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful, in your pursuit of the Way


Tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo

By way of comparison, you might call the thirteen precepts of the Order of Scáthach “Juusan Kun” (“thirteen rules”), which are as follows:

1. Know thyself.
2. Nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all matters.
3. You create your own reality.
4. Develop a sense of Right Action.
5. Do not be negligent, even in trifling matters.
6. Your body is your temple: Care for it!
7. Minimal appearance, maximum content.
8. Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.
9. Power with.
10. Who dares wins.
11. The Gods cannot help those who will not help themselves.
12. Be creative!
13. Do not engage in useless activity.
If we rewrote Gichin Funakoshi’s Niju Kun to relate to the Order of Scáthach, it might read something like this:
1. Knighthood begins and ends with courtesy
2. There is no first strike in Knighthood.
3. Knights stand on the side of justice
4. First know yourself, then know others
5. Mentality over technique.
6. The mind must be set free
7. Calamity springs from carelessness
8. Knighthood goes beyond the Motherhouse
9. Knighthood is a lifelong pursuit
10. Apply the way of Knighthood to all things. Therein lies its beauty
11. Knighthood is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state
12. Do not think of winning. Think, rather, of not losing
13. Make adjustments according to your opponent
14. The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles weakness and strength
15. Think of hands and feet as swords
16. When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies
17. Posing is for beginners; The Knight stands in strength.
18. Perform exercises exactly and patiently; Practice magick with spontaneity
19. Do not forget the employment of withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique
20. Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful, in your pursuit of Knighthood

BB Kerr

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Power Point on Scathach Training Blog

Today I added a power point (Lesson 15b) to the Scathach Training Blog demonstrating a basic bo kata.

BB Kerr

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The Order of Scathach supports Kiva (see link on the sidebar), and organization that provides micro loans to third world entrepreneurs. This is an excellent organization, helping people to help themselves. You provide loans in $25 increments to these entrepreneurs. When they pay the loan back you can then re-loan it to another entrepreneur. I encourage you all to check it out and participate. The Order of Scathach currently has 8 entrepreneurs in its portfolio.

BB Kerr

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Scathach Training Cycle

Just a reminder that the next training cycle for local students of the Order of Scathach starts Sunday, April 12 at the Motherhouse at 7 PM.

BB Kerr

Monday, April 6, 2009

Askani's Blog

One of the newest Knights of the Order of Scathach has started her own blog: http://clanaskani.blogspot.com/ Please check it out. I've put a link to it on the sidebar.

BB Kerr

April 2009 Arming and Armoring Ritual

Last night the Order of Scáthach held Armoring and Arming initiations for members both local and out of town. The Order now has three new Knights. The next Arming/Armoring will take place in Seattle on May 10. The Arming ritual is the Knighthood ritual of our Order. Here's some photos from the Arming.
For those of you who weren’t at the Arming last night, as part of the ritual we did magick for members and others who’d requested it. Wildvine had asked for energy to put up a ward around her property in Balfour, BC. I phoned Wildvine to let her know that we were starting. She and Sherry were going to take the energy and push it out to the perimeters of her property. At this end the Commandery at the Motherhouse was going to send them the energy to do this. Wildvine wrote to tell me what happened:

“Kerr, wow, just wow. That was the strongest shot of energy I have ever felt. About 10 seconds after we hung up the phone, Sherry and I began to gather our energy balls. We decided to do it in the living room instead of outside because it had gotten late and was very cold. We were tired and at first I was struggling to gather my ball of energy. After about 1 minute, Sherry whispered to me "I can feel them" meaning all of you in the group. I just whispered "not yet" because I was still working on it and couldn't feel it yet. I had my eyes closed and didn't know that Sherry had taken one step toward me. Our hands were close but not touching. Then, all of a sudden I felt a searing white hot surge of energy hit the top of my head, shoot down my body with sparks flying. It took my breath away. I said "now, now I feel them". We gathered the energy up and made our bubble spread out over the property as we had done before like a soap bubble with flexible edges. This time I was not trying to visualize a colour but was letting it take the course that it would. The colour was an iridescent pink/purple and it hung in the air and all around like a living thing. Right away, Sherry went to each side of the house to reinforce the shield in each direction then we both went out onto the deck facing south (the problem area) and reinforced the shield there as well. My knees were shaking, and we looked up to see a huge moon dog around the waxing moon. My head felt singed and tingly until I went to sleep. It was a very powerful ward.Thank you to everyone that lent us your energy.”


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More Scathach Training Blog Updates

I've just added glossaries of Wiccan terms and Sabbats to the Order of Scathach Training Blog.

BB Kerr

Magickal Buffet Article

My article on the Wiccan Rede just appeared on Magickal Buffet: http://themagicalbuffet.com/blog1/2009/04/01/the-wiccan-rede-project-kerr-cuhulain/

BB Kerr