SUNSU GOKUI AND THE FIVE SENSES
The Five Senses organizes its characters around the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Each character represents exactly one sense but acts in unison with the other senses.
Ciso stated that his father trained in a certain way to develop each of the individual five senses. Ciso stated that his father believed that the human brain had billions of neurons all functioning together as a unit but that we only used a small portion of our brains. Ciso stated that his father thought that if you could use the correct stimulus, that we could enhance our five senses. This thought is similar to Tai chi or Indian Yoga where it is thought that certain postures and or exercises may enhance the whole body. Just as we have different kamae or postures for fighting, we also have symbolic kamae, and kamae that help our posture.
The Kenpo Gokui, number 7 and 8 is about two of the five senses. The sense of sight and hearing.
7. Eye(s) must see four sides (all sides)
8. Ear(s) must listen eight directions (all directions)
So the eyes must see all sides and the ears must listen in all directions. We know that Tatsuo changed the bunkai in Kusanku for fighting in the dark. In the kata he feels to the left and right front with his finger tips as if in the dark. We also know that in the dark we use not only the sense of touch but the sense of hearing. Kusanku kata of Isshin-ryu emphasizes the sense of seeing (night vision), the sense of touch, and the sense of hearing.
Tatsuo always said that by doing Sanchin kata and focusing with karate vision, it helped him with his sight. Today we know that certain exercise are taught to strengthen the eye muscles.
Ciso stated that in Sunsu kata there is "gokui." According to Ciso, Tatsuo created the kata Sunsu to help with training four of the five senses.
"My father was looking for gokui from his four teachers. Ganiku Sensei, Kyan Chotoku Sensei, Miyagi Sensei and Motobu Choki Sensei. Sunsu kata has 70 percent of the gokui and the other 30 percent is found in the other kata. My father made Sunsu to bring out the gokui."-- Ciso
Human beings all have five senses and we know that we can develop each of our senses. For example, in Japan, many masseur are blind, and rely on their highly developed sense of touch to diagnose and treat their patients.
Our sense organs have the ability to receive outside information (internal and external stimuli) for evaluation and response. This is accomplished by the effect of a particular stimulus on a specialized organ, which then transmits impulses to the brain via a nerve or nerves.
We know that we and animals are gifted with different sense organs. Snakes make use of their tongue then we do to worn of prey or danger. The hawk has magnificent eye sight seeing prey from long distances while the cat can see in low light. So it would be to our benefit if we could improve in using our senses.
While we classify five senses, we know that there are different subdivisions of the various senses. The skin is the largest organ and helps us feel many different sensations such as feeling of a light breeze or the feeling the sensation of hot and cold temperature of weather. The skin also feels both pain and pleasure and different pressure at different altitudes.
Scientists have determined the existence of as many as 15 additional senses. Sense organs which are buried deep in the tissues of our bodies, muscles, sinew, tendons, and joints, give rise to sensations of weight and position of the body. We also have the feeling sensation of amount of bending of the various joints; these organs are called proprioceptors.
The human ear is really two sense organs in one and consists of three sections: the outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer and middle ears function only detect sound waves for hearing, while the inner ear also serves the functions of balance and orientation (equilibrium). It senses the position of the head whether it is still, moving in a straight line, or rotating. Without it we could not keep our balance.
All our general senses, produce information concerning bodily needs such as hunger, thirst, fatigue, and pain.
Some believe that we also have a sixth sense, intuition. The power of perception.
We know what each of the five individual senses do. Each sense has a specific purpose and help us to learn. Are eyes for sight are used most often to learn followed by ours ears for hearing. In our training we also use our sense of touch. While smelling and tasting are not as important, they are used. Smelling may be used in the dark to warn us of the present of another who is smoking or who has ate or drank something we can smell. Tasting may warn us of a spoiled drink or food we are about to take into our bodies.
So eyes, ears, touch, taste and smell is important to us all not only in our martial arts training but for everyday life. While we may get along without the use of some of our senses, the more we have the better our quality of life.
~~~Ciso wrote the following in Kanji. And Joe Swift translated it.~~~
2-15-93 Interview with Shinsho Shimabuku at his house in kinaka,
Ciso said his father said:
From Seisan Kata:
l Sense of Touch: This comes from Seisan kata. The ura-uchi (back-fist strike) sequence of Seisan kata is for training the sense of taste.
From Sunsu Kata: To train the five senses:
l Sense of Hearing: Hiza-geri (you must practice training 30 minutes to one hour)
l Sense of Smell: Use "nukite" and grabbing in Sunsu. This is for training the nose.
l Sense of Sight: Do the "elbow" strike sequence from Sunsu. This training helps the eyes.
l Sense of Taste: This sequence is from Sunsu kata. Grab with both hands, curl the foot into a toe rip kick and kick in a downward direction.
Grandmaster, Isshinkai Karate Do