Sainou Shin Ki

This Friday at Sokes Honbu class, we heard him speak more of the theme of next year. The theme is NO theme. However, he did mention the concept of my previous page Nouryoku kokoro Utsuwa, yet used different kanji to express it. That night I’d bought a large Kakejiku. I felt the timing was write to approach Soke and his brush. During the break I asked him to paint anything he felt like. I feel this is the best way to truly allow Soke to be an artist and freely express himself in the moment. It’s  fine to ask for a particular kanji or painting ( something I used to do ), yet by doing so, we have stopped a flow of time.

As a result, Soke painted the following:



The first and second Kanji together can read Sainou. This translates as talent, a gift, or ability. It can also mean knack, as in ” he has a knack for music.”

The third Kanji, reads Shin. As I stated in my last page, it can also read kokoro. However, in this combination of kanji, it is more commonly referred to as Shin ( heart, spirit, mind ).

The fourth Kanji reads KI. This is the same kanji as Utsuwa. However, in this combination it reads as KI, and means caliber, capability or capacity.

To my knowledge, this is the first time he has written this concept telling of the direction or focus of next years training.

Soke stated to me ” This is very important for the budoka”.

Eventhough Soke gives us a particular concept or theme to base the training on each year, it always becomes transparent. Why? I feel the lessons are all found within the kukan. The gokui of budo. There are differences in each years theme, yet these slight differences can only be seen by those who are at the level of training to absorb them. This is important to understand.  

We all stand in the same room together. At times, we stand alongside Sokes Shihan. Together we listen to Sokes words. Is your ability, heart and overall capacity at the level of maturity to absorb exactly the same lessons a the Shihan? I doubt it. We all interpret the training from our current ability and capacity. I would like to say to those who feel that they know it, that they are in a state of delusion. You can never know it. Why? because you are forever evolving . Our knowledge, thinking, ways of doing things etc, always change. It’s ignorant to make judgements and truly believe you know “the way it is”. If you do, you have become obstinate in a sence. And this is something that the code of the dojo asks practitioners not to be imprisoned by. People hide well. People hide themselves by giving the sence that they know, or even don’t know. They adapt according to the people they associate with. This is trickery. But this trickery is based from insecurity. The most important thing is to remain yourself. By this I mean having the strength to stand alone. If you make people feel uneasy from maintaining your truth, is this your problem? It’s important to veto words of others and also disagree once in a while with friends. To accept everything, or even let things go, is sometimes not appropriate. You have to discern and make the choice to return what was given, or just take it.

Life is about speaking your truth.




2 Responses to “Sainou Shin Ki”

  1. Duncan,

    What beautiful calligraphy! Did you ask Soke if the Ki was a play on the Ki of life’s energy? I really like this as a yearly theme. It will be very interesting to see how Soke shows it over the year.


  2. Hi Duncan,
    Thanks for your precious writings.
    I’m not competing with you – but want to tell you that Soke wrote this Sanshin for me on December 7th 2008 – I wrote about it in my website

    I was really surprised when Soke wrote it for me – because this is my theme for many years, and connected to my project about Warrior’s Awareness.


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