Ichi-Go Ichi-E, means “Limits of Life, One Sight”. The common saying comes from the Japanese cherry blossom season when Japanese from all parts of the country watch for that fleeting moment when the blossoms are in full bloom, before all petals drop. The ASKA usage came about when Papa Paul asked Mrs. Chiyo Houston, John Hideo Houston’s mother to recommend a banner for the ASKA. Her choice of Ichi-Go Ichi-E was her family’s banner and considering the loss of John Hideo (see John Hideo Houston Grant on the Scholarships Page) had important meaning for the ASKA. All of our schools may elect to carry the banner on their Shomen to help drive home the meaning of treating every relationship and the time we spend with one another as rich and meaningful. In the background is the thought that it may turn out to be the last memory shared with someone. Considering the events of 9/11 for example, helps remind us how relevant it is to cherish each and every moment shared together.
Mizu no kokoro “mind like still water”
“This term was emphasized in the teachings of the ancient karate masters. It refers to the mental attitude required while facing an actual opponent. Mizu no kokoro (Mind like water) refers to the need to make the mind calm, like the surface of undisturbed water. To carry the symbolism further, smooth water reflects accurately image of all objects within its range, and if the mind is kept in this state, apprehension of the opponent’s movements, both psychological and physical, will be both immediate and accurate, and one’s responses, both defensive and offensive, will be appropriate and adequate. On the other hand, if the surface of the water is disturbed, the images it reflects will be distorted, or by analogy, if the mind is preoccupied with thoughts of attack or defense, it will not apprehend the opponent’s intentions, creating an opportunity for the opponent to attack.” — Sensei H. Nishiyama
Teaching martial arts is a great responsibility and therefore, we follow the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, the practice of continual improvement, on the mat, in the dojo, and in all aspects of life.
I will teach this class because it’s the most important class I will ever teach. I am patient and enthusiastic. I lead by example.
I will develop myself in a positive manner, avoiding anything that would reduce my mental growth or my physical health.
I will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and the best in others.
I will use common sense, before self-defense and never be abusive or offensive.
We are a black belt leadership school. We are motivated. We are dedicated. We are on a quest to be our best. Winners never quit, quitters never win, I choose to win!