The Isshinryu "Do" or "Way of Living" is expressed in the Kenpo Gokui. In the Code of Isshinryu Karate one finds each of the principles which we use to guide our individual and communal lives. These include:
1. Realizing that within our beings exist all that there is in the outside world. We contain the totality of human feelings and themes. All that exists in heaven and upon earth exists in us. We must so live our lives that we bring benefit to all those whom our lives touch. We must live consciously and aware of our impact on the life of this planet. Also, we ARE the planet. We are one with that in which we live and one with all that we do. This is the principle of Wu Wei in Taoism or Zen unity with the sword if one is a samauri.
2. All of life is made of cycles. We are born, learn to crawl, stand on our own, move forth into the world, grow physically, psychologically, spiritually and in wisdom, and we die. The seasons of the earth, the coming and going of the Sun and Moon are similar to the cycles of our lives. We must live in such a manner as to make room for the coming and going of circadian rhythms, strength and weakness, etc.
3. We take in energy and put out energy as we live. We can do this in a soft and gentle way or we can choose to do this in a powerful and forceful manner. This sense of when to be hard or when to be soft is an art form which never reaches perfection but one upon which we are always working. Balance is the awareness of the merging of polarities within ourselves.
4. When we lose our inner balance, this is like a weight which drags us down in life and prevents our success in the things we undertake. Too much of anything is unwise. All things should be experienced and they have a "time and purpose under heaven." We must keep our balance or lose our way to excess.
5. Flexibility of mind and body prevent rigid, mindless thinking. The flexible Elm withstands the force of a hurricane while the strong but unyielding Oak may break in half as it resists the wind. Being open to all possibilities (directions) allows us the greatest and wisest of choices in our lives.
6. Life is lived in the present. We do not live in the past nor do we live in the future. Therefore, the time to act is when the opportunity for action presents itself to us. Timing is everything. To worry about something before it happens only succeeds in creating ulcers. It does not solve problems. Responding to the vicissitudes of life as they present themselves to us allows us to be RESPONSE-ABLE in life.
7. Peripheral vision in karate allows us to see that which is not directly in front of us as we fight multiple opponents. We must also "see" all that is taking place in our life. To see only that which is in front of your face is to be narrow-visioned. The mind's eye sees and knows far more than we allow ourselves to know. We must trust our inner vision and use KNOWLEDGE more than we use belief.
8. Similarly, "hearing" and "sensing" through all of our non-verbal awarenesses allow us to perceive the attacker who is coming up behind us or to sense the depth and breath of a world which non-martial artists only experience in a two dimensional way. Additionally, wisdom comes from "listening" more than speaking.