Hoshinjutsu Budo Ryu

A Note on the Godai

I would like to communicate an important understanding of the godai as expressed in our system.
You look at our patch and see the five colors encircling the yinyang. It is important to understand that these elements are not “categories” per se, but levels of achievement and evolution. You notice they move in a constructive cycle. One feeds the next. Though they move in a circle the evolution is actually quite linear. However, all are present at once.
Think about that. The Hoshin punch we learn at Earth belt is actually quite fiery. But it is in the Earth belt curriculum. Why?
As you move through the system, you aren’t simply jumping from one element to the next, as if they are all on an equal plane under black belt. Try not to think of it like the elemental interrelationships of the Chinese model. No. In our system Water is more advanced than Earth. Fire is more advanced than Water. Wind is more advanced than Fire. Why? Because each element above encompasses the knowledge of every element below. At Water you learn to do your cave man techniques smarter, nastier. As you develop the confidence and will to harness Fire, you are even more deadly, and now you have two additional chakras under your belt. Once you’ve learned complete and utter destruction, Wind teaches you to develop compassion, to think first before you kill everybody with your newfound power. Void is your ability to know and utilize all at once.
Just as you develop your chakras at different points in your life as you mature into an adult, so to do you evolve in the kyu grades of this system. Each next chakra/belt level is a higher level of evolutionary awareness.
An earth technique should never beat a fire technique. Earth is in your FIRE. making sense?
The Godai is expressed in our footwork. The Strategy is expressed in what happens up top. Think about that.
The Godai is the FOUNDATION. The Hoshin Strategy is where you develop PRECISION.
As you develop Strategy, sometimes distance is your friend, sometimes timing is your friend, sometimes switching your position is your friend, it all depends on your mood and how badly you want to mess this person up!
So remember it should never feel like you are floating around the elements – learning one, then tucking it away and moving on to the next. Everything builds on the last. Whether you are learning something new or unlearning something old, it all has its place in our system.
Joel-shihan
This entry was posted in Hoshin Jutaijutsu, Strategy, Training.

3 Responses to A Note on the Godai

  1. I have never heard the go-dai described this way (my back ground is 20+ years in Bujinkan). Is this wholistic view specific to Hoshin? I have always thought of the attitudes as seperate. Facinating.

  2. Hey Joe, can’t speak for other systems but this is how we train in Hoshin. We maintain that the “stronger spirit wins,” so if you’ve cultivated your energetic body through the kyu grades, you are expected to make full use of it at whatever level you have achieved. As you know a conflict can be one big gray area unless you are in control. Once you’ve reconditioned unskillful responses into something useful and have developed yourself into a well-rounded individual, you are ready for black belt. Some say this is the real beginning of training.

  3. Hey Joe! I haven’t trained in Bujinkan, but if you’d like to see a clear progression of how each Godai movement trumps the previous (as interpreted by classical jujitsu), check out Judo’s Itsutsu-no-kata.

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