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Dedicated to the Memory of
Tatsuo Shimabukuro
1908 - 1975

Included in the Four Noble Truths of Zen Buddhism is the eightfold path, the way to nirvana. The final challenge to a student of any style of karate is to enter into a state of nirvana (enlightenment.) Nirvana is a complete killing of the three main ego drives for money, fame, and immortality. It also signifies enlightenment and the deliverance of the self from transmigration that destroys past karma, which we will study in-depth at a later date.


The eightfold path is contained in the eight koan of Isshinryu. It is against the laws of life, Zen, and the teachings of the koan to have the audacity to give the explanation of these koan to any student, because first the student learns nothing and does not exercise his mind, and second, there is no one answer to these koan.


You must always keep in mind that these offerings are my honest understanding of this path I have chosen to follow; it works for me.


All martial arts will benefit from the study of these eight koan of Isshinryu, for they are not just the teachings of Isshinryu but teachings of others far more learned than we could imagine. Once these koan are instilled in your mind they will sprout questions which will grow until a continuous search for knowledge will dominate the life of those who choose to follow this path. These eight koan and their study will create a new generation of enlightened students which will give the immortality to one who deserves it most, my Master, Tatsuo Shimabukuro.


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Copyright 2005 Harry G. Smith