Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reading and Thinking

I haven't posted much lately because I've been, well, reading and thinking. As I work on updating the website for my studio, I started putting together some of my thoughts on the school logo.

I've always felt strongly about my logo, and about the message my logo presents. There are some immediate influences and obvious symbols, but my students can also tell you about other subtle interpretations that are meaningful to me and to them.

I am a big fan of how geometry is used in the martial arts, especially in terms of symbolism. The martial arts often look to triangles, circles, and 8 pointed stars to encode their knowledge. My instructor developed his logo (with later changes made by me)with these same thoughts. The strength and stability of the pyramid, the choice of a right triangle, all of these parts were intentionally chosen to convey meaning. Some meanings are "secret" while others resonate universally. In a way, the logo explains our specific ryu pa of Tang Soo Do very clearly.

What has been interesting to me is that my logo shares some parallels with other martial arts themes: some intentional, and some by pure coincidence.

The 8 circles are set to point in the compass directions. Similar things are seen in the use of the compass in Western martial arts and the use of the bagua in Eastern arts.

What I wasn't expecting to see were the similarities between Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Art, or in Ed Parker's Universal Kenpo Pattern.

I'm glad to know that my thought processes are shared by other smart folks.

One of the big features of my logo is that the 8 circle rosette, linked by a central circle represents planes of motion such a figure 8s, florettes, etc. Geometry of movement is expressed in my logo and could give a student a lot to think about. Now, as I was researching martial arts, movement, and geometry, I stumbled into this gentleman:

I've contacted Sifu Moses to see if he will share some more information on his inspiration and path. I'm really interested to learn more about what he is doing with similar material. It is certainly different, but he's not the only one out there on that sort of martial fringe.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Nice Quote

Charles Goodin at the Karate Thoughts Blog had a very nice recent entry to celebrate the new year.

Karate is not one style or system. Karate is all of us. Whether we practice Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Kenpo, or Shotokan, we are all carrying on the art of Karate. From the youngest child to the oldest Sensei, each and every one of us is a thread in the great fabric of the art.

Karate does not exist in books or photographs. It only lives when we practice it. It is something to "do," not just think, talk, or read about.

Now log off, and go hit a heavy bag, practice a form, or something. :)