Essays From The Master

Archive for December, 2013

The Hands of Death are also the hands that preserve life

Students of the Komuso Ryu, and its system of Komuso Nin Do, will know the diagram known as the Black Lotus Mandala. The Mandala is composed of the 8 trigrams of the I Ching set twice in a circle linked via a grid of strait lines and a set of interlinked circles. Each of the strait lines is blocked or cut off by one of the curving lines of one of the circles; in the two sets of lines all movement can be found. Each of the 8 trigrams is shown twice in the Mandala with those of the outer circle being blocked by the opposite trigram to each of them. In the icons of the 8 trigrams we can see the feint, block, strike, hold, reverse feint, reverse block, reverse hold method of the Komuso Ryu with the lines and curves linking them showing via movement the use of throws as a ninth type of action. The eight trigrams finally show the eight types of external life energy also known as Chi and the S curves in the Mandala show the interaction of those forms of Chi; the strait lines in the Mandala show the flow of the energy of Ki or energy generated within the individual that is refined and linked to the will. The cycles or circles of Chi show the flow of Chi in the body; when the head is matched up with the heaven trigram in the outer circle of the Mandala. The strait lines form the grid of Ki energy in the body and show its circulation in the body produced by the tension between the types and streams of Chi.

The head, hands and feet can be seen in the inner circles of the Mandala with the inner most of these showing the emission point of Ki energy from the individual that produces the Wa or personal harmony which is the focus of Haragei; the Wa is also known in the west as the aura. The Wa or aura forms a sphere around the individual and is usually five feet around the body or nine feet when enhanced by meditative thought or ritual action. The dual circulation of the flows of Chi and Ki in the body produces a vibration that is unique to each individual. Chi fuels Ki and it is Chi outside the body in the world that Ki effects; Chi manifesting as air, water, fire, earth, wood, metal, jewel and matter. Chi energy is magnetic having both Ying and Yang forms one set of the eight forms of Chi in the Mandala being Ying and the other being Yang. Ki energy is electrical in nature, it is Ki that holds the forms of Chi in balance or throws them off which in the body is strength or weakness, health or illness. The Black Lotus Mandala is within the individual, surrounds the individual, is on the ground divided between the adept and the target and is between the adept and the target. The flow of energy changes within depending on the posture of the body and the position of the body in the space of the Mandala affects how the energy flows around the individual. By charging the Ki around one’s limbs with the proper Chi with the proper movement the adept can disrupt or aid the flow of the same or opposing energy in others or the world.

The same motions and postures that allow a Komuso to harm the body of a target allow a Komuso to heal him or others including one ’s self. The same kata or form used in combat when used slow and without contact becomes a Tai Chi form used to promote health and the same energies when evoked with the mudra of Kuji Kiri can be used to heal. This teaching is why Dim Mak in the Komuso Ryu is linked to the Sha mudra that stands for “healing of self and others,” because the knowledge and power of how to harm, maim, cripple or kill is also the means to avoid or negate the same. These same ideas are known in Kenjutsu under the title of “the sword that kills is also the sword that preserves life” the difference between the two applications being which side of the edge of the sword one is on. In combat one attacks with one hand or foot and prevents harm with the other whereas in healing one grounds with one hand and uses energy with the other.