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The Divine Light
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The Divine Light is the official newsletter of the Christian Jujitsu Association and is sent to all it's members.  These are selections from past and present Divine Light issues.


All articles Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association

Thank  You

In 1990 singer Ray Boltz had a hit recording in the Christian music world, called "Thank You". The song is about a Sunday school teacher who dreams of heaven, where he has a chance to meet all the people whose lives he touched; people he never met, or wouldn't have remembered; lives he had no idea were so deeply changed. It seemed a nice little song, but too sentimental and sugary for my taste.

One day, out of the blue, while "Thank You" was playing in the background, it occurred to me that, with just a few changes in the lyrics, the song could easily apply to Professor Okazaki, Professor Estes, or anyone who has dedicated themselves in Jujitsu. I started to tear up as I realized the enormous debt we owe to our teachers, even the ones we've never met; just as the Esoteric Principles state. I also felt very humbled by the fact that I had dismissed a beautiful song about a profound and real experience I believe we will have in heaven some day.

The song was very much in my mind at the January Black Belt Convention in Loma Linda. I didn't say anything, but while I watched Todd and Denise jump in the deep end of hosting a National Conference for the first time, I was humming to myself, "Thank you for giving to the Lord. These are two lives that have been changed."

And there was another occasion, when a student sat before a video camera and attempted to verbally address the higher moral concepts of Jujitsu. He looked uncomfortable, perhaps he didn't understand that we already knew there was a war going on inside him; a war between the forces of light and darkness. I felt disappointed. His answers made it seem that maybe the forces of darkness were winning. Then, very quietly, I found that I was humming to myself, "Thank you for giving to the Lord. This is a life that is changing."

Here is the Jujitsu version of the song:

Thank You–Jujitsu Version

I dreamed I went to heaven and you were there with me.
We walked upon the streets of gold, beside the crystal sea.
We heard the angels singing and someone called your name.
We turned and saw a young man and he was smiling as he came.
And he said, "Friend, you may not know me now."
And then he said, "But wait, you used to teach me Jujitsu when my rank was only white.
And every week we bowed to Jesus' picture, before the class would start.
And one day when you said, 'Joseki Ni!' I asked Jesus in my heart."

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Then another man stood before you, and he said,
"Remember when you had a student with two left feet?
And 'Lefty' took your time away?
You didn't have much time, but you gave it anyway.
Well, 'Lefty' was my teacher, and that's why I'm here today."

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

One by one they came, far as the eye could see,
Each life somehow touched by your generosity.
Little things that you had done, sacrifices made,
Unnoticed on the earth, in heaven now proclaimed.
And I know up in heaven you're not supposed to cry,
But I am almost sure, there were tears in your eyes,
As Jesus took your hand and you stood before the Lord,
He said, "My child, look around you, for great is your reward."

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Lora Edwards

Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association, 1999

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Time in Grade

I am often asked about the concept of "time in grade". This concept was devised many years ago to assure a minimal level of competence and experience in ranks. Sensei will often tell me how they have this student who is a "natural" who "does not need to wait" between ranks. This of course is hogwash! Every time I have violated the time in grade policy for a student, I have hurt that student.

"Without the time to thoroughly practice his arts, the student will build false confidence, and his arts will be weak."
Let me explain the purpose of time in grade. After years of observing students and their progress through the ranks it became apparent that there was a minimum amount of time that any student had to practice at a particular rank in order to develop confidence and competence at that rank. It's a little like breaking in a pair of shoes. Any attempt to short-circuit or circumvent this time in grade will deprive the student of very valuable lessons, the kind of lessons that can be learned only over a period of time in a rank. For example, there are particular problems, difficulties, qestions, and challenges that are peculiar to every rank. Just because an individual can pass the exam for a higher belt, does not mean that the student will have dealt with these issues. Deprived of this opportunity to have these experiences, Sensei only hurts the student by passing him or her on too quickly. Without the time to thoroughly practice his arts, the student will build false confidence, and his arts will be weak.

"...frankly there are few excuses for even considering the shortening of the minimum time in grade..."
A student must have the chance to grow into his or her rank: to become accustomed not 

"I urge all sensei not to promote any student under the minimum time in grade!!!"
only to the arts required at that rank, but to deal with the teaching and learning problems of lower ranks, from the perspective of that rank. Without adequate time, the student will not have the opportunity to make certain mistakes, discoveries, and meet the challenges of his or her rank. Continually pushing, and routinely violating the time in grade concept, will result in a poorly trained Black Belt, who will miss out on many learning opportunities, and who is not well prepared to learn new arts or to teach old ones.

As discovered many years ago the ideal minimums are as follows: three (3) months between white, blue, and green belt ranks. Between Green and 3rd Brown the minimum should be six (6) months, and this minimal interval should be maintained all the way to Shodan. There is nothing wrong with extending the time in grade, sometimes doubling or even tripling it. But every time it is shortened, the student is the one who suffers. I have learned this the hard way. And frankly there are few excuses for even considering the shortening of the minimum time in grade: one might be that the sensei is moving and he needs to promote one person up to Shodan to carry on with the classes. Even under this condition, it should only be done for one rank: such as between 1st Brown and Shodan. If it is done over several ranks, the student will rarely have the competence or confidence to effectively follow through with running a dojo, or teaching classes. His knowledge will have many "holes" and his arts will suffer.

I urge all sensei not to promote any student under the minimum time in grade!!! And NO student should desire quick promotions. It only serves blind egoic pride, and not the training needed by a samurai.

Prof. Edwards

Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association, 1998

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Commitment is a word that fairly expresses the life of a warrior. The Code of Bushido reflects commitment in every tenet. For example, how can one be loyal without commitment? What about honor and moral integrity? When I first joined Jujitsu many decades ago, I was asked to attend class regularly, be on time to every class, and to make steady progress. People today resent anyone asking so much of them. 

"God, Bushido and Danzan Ryu demand commitment"

Yet we do so! And we do it because Character Development is our most important product! To advance in character is to make, keep and follow through on many commitments: to one's family, to God, to employers, to friends, to one's country, etc. The weak, selfish, and immature individuals all look for the easy way out. They say that they are committed, yet wait until they are expected to put forth effort, to stand up and be counted, to have courage and live up to their word. Then they look for the quick exit. How many people have we known who have called themselves our friends, and yet when we were in need, they deserted us?

God, Bushido and Danzan Ryu demand commitment. I frequently recall Prof. Estes calling me up to tell me about a Black Belt class that was coming up. His side of the conversation was clear and simple: "A special black belt class will be held at the dojo on such and such a date. Be there!" He waited for us to reply "Yes Sir!" No excuses were to be 

"those who make a commitment and live up to it are pure gold"
offered, because he simply brushed them aside! The next sound was a "click" of the line going dead. If you did not show up for that class, you were never invited to another!!! You were given an opportunity to explain why you missed, but it had better be good. Nothing less than a death in the family or something as serious was accepted! Prof. Estes expected and demanded absolute commitment, nothing less! Either that, or your Jujitsu career was over!

New students in my classes are required to sign a statement that they promise to attend classes regularly, be on time, and make steady progress toward Black Belt. I do not want, nor will I tolerate, curiosity seekers. My time and Danzan Ryu are much too valuable! Now of course I have students who fail to live up to their promise. Most fail to do so! But those who make a commitment and live up to it are pure gold. They represent the cream of the crop, and will be the teachers and leaders of tomorrow. They are the true samurai of Danzan Ryu! Those who drop out without a word, who are so inconsiderate as to not even call me, are never accepted back. Those who do talk to me, and who have a family problem, etc., that seems legitimate, are offered another chance later on. Which group are you in?

Prof. Edwards

Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association, 1998

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 An Unanswered Question?
I have repeatedly told you of the Christian tradition in Danzan Ryu: of Master Okazaki's conversion, of how Prof. Law and Prof. Estes emphasized the importance of God in Danzan Ryu, of Prof. Estes' regular quotations from the Bible in black belt classes, of the "miracles" performed by Prof. Estes in the name of Christ, etc. Of all the things that Prof. Estes did to lead us to Christ, the most frightening was his direct and specific threat to all the black belts!

On two separate occasions I heard him make this threat. It was something very unusual for this man so filled with compassion and love. The first time he made this threat was at a 

"Of all the things that Prof. Estes did to lead us to Christ, the most frightening was his direct and specific threat to all the black belts!"
black belt class around 1965 at the old Chapman School (home of the "original" Chico Judo Academy). The second time was at a black belt class around 1978 at Rich Radcliffe's Chico Kodenkan, when it was located about a block east of the Nibukikan.

"...on these two occasions he spared no one the very blunt truth."
One thing Prof. Estes never did was to deliberately lie to us. As a Christian this was abhorrent to him. The Bible very specifically says that liars will have no place in heaven. He would, however, on occasion, soften the truth on some matters, out of compassion and love for the person to whom he was speaking. But on these two occasions he spared no one the very blunt truth. After gaining the full attention of all the black belts, he slowly and deliberately began to speak. He carefully described the two sources of power in all creation. He said that we could seek power through Christ or through Satan, but that there was no other source. He further warned us that "not to choose, was to choose!" This is clearly referenced in scripture, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:21, and "Whoever denies me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in heaven." Matt. 10:33. "He who is not with Me is against Me." Matt. 12:30.

"There was awe at the authority of his words, and in the sternness of his tone. It is hard to conceive that there wasn't a flame of fear that touched every heart in that room!"

He told us that we should seek the gifts of the spirit: powers of prophecy, power over illness, power over the physical world, etc., but that we should seek this power only from God. He further warned us never to use the power to harm an innocent person. Power to harm the innocent comes only from the devil.

"'...Don't you ever forget this!'"
Finally he threatened the entire group. "I will destroy any one of you who seeks power from Satan and uses this power to harm the innocent." He then said, "If I have died and left this body when you have abused this power, I will take on another body, and come back and destroy you! Don't you ever forget this!" My friends, you could have heard a pin drop after he said these words. There was a long uncomfortable silence while we all considered the seriousness of his words. There was awe at the authority of his words, and in the sternness of his tone. It is hard to conceive that there wasn't a flame of fear that touched every heart in that room!

By what authority could he do this? Is this written anywhere in the Bible?  Well, yes it is! At the end of the "tribulation", Jesus will lead the armies of heaven against Satan and the anti-christ. (Rev. 19:11-16) Not only will Prof. Estes be in that army, but many of those black belts who have denied Christ will still be alive on earth when He returns. They will have taken the mark of the beast, and will be destroyed!

The non-believers are still asking the question, "Why did Prof. Estes threaten us like that?" Even worse, most are denying that he ever did so! But I am a true and faithful witness that he did! The time is short. Get "right" with God. Establish a personal relationship with His Son, and secure your place in eternity! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Prof. Edwards

Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association, 1997

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Code for a Judo Rank Holder
The code for a Judo rank holder: seven special rules that have been passed down from teacher to student since the beginning of Danzan Ryu. We have Loyalty, Service, Humility, Right Effort, Right Attitude, Right Conduct, and to Live To A Greater Purpose. All of which, when combined together, will send you well on your way to perfecting your character which, of course, as we all know, is the primary purpose for taking Danzan Ryu.

The first precept is Loyalty. All of us are in a great debt. A debt we owe to a great many people responsible for our success. They have given their time and love so that we may be guided in the correct path. A debt which can be repaid by loyalty. Loyalty to our parents. friends, sensei, and our Creator. "Loyalty is not blind, but recognizes the 'true heart' and the sincerity of its direction," - Prof Edwards, Hachidan.

The next precept is Service. The easiest way to remember this precept is as the "Golden Rule" (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you). Try to give back what has been given to you. Many people have dedicated their time and efforts to train us. We should honor the favor by freely giving our time to help out the lower ranks. If you do this because you have to, you may as well not do it at all. Do it because you want to give something back.

The third precept is Humility. Professor Estes, himself, was not perfect, but from what I've heard, very close. Yet, even though he was pretty much the most advanced person in the system, he would not flaunt it. He chose to wear just a plain old ordinary black belt to his classes even though he was a Judan. He was also heard saying that he would learn something in every class. No matter how great you are, there is always one greater, and you should seek to serve Him as well as the lowest person.

The fourth precept is Right Effort. As you recognize your great talents and abilities, also realize where you fall short. Try to eliminate your flaws. Do not underestimate yourself either. If you think that you are doing worse than others, you will be dragging yourself down from your actual potential. "Do not dwell on your mistakes; rather let each effort be a new beginning." -Prof Edwards, Hachidan.

Right Attitude is the next precept. There is a happy medium that everyone can reach where you are neither arrogant or resentfiil. Try to find that point, because if you are at either extreme, you're slowing yourself down. If you don't remember that there are people out there who are better than you, you will become arrogant. You will look down on others and alienate yourself from them. However, if you think that everyone in the world is better than you, you may hecome resentful. You might find yourself hating others, and wishing unfortunate "accidents" upon them even though they are just trying to help you. Of course, these are the extremes. There are mild cases of both, which we probably all have. Compare yourself only to yourself You may not be a better person today than you were yesterday, but you should be a better person today than you were last month. Negative energies attract negative energies while positive energies attract positive. Try to avoid negative people. Instead, hang around positive people and you yourself may become a very positive person. Be optimistic, but not foolishly so.

The sixth precept is Right Conduct. Don't forget that your actions do not only affect how people think of you, but how people will judge your origin. If your actions are aggressive, perhaps even malevolent, your dojo could be stereotyped as a nest for delinquents. Be a courteous, honorable person and show that you come from an honorable school. Don't let people guess at your intentions. Do what you say and say what you do.

The final and most important precept is to Live To A Greater Purpose. No matter how important you may appear, there is always one greater in this Universe. The Great Spirit. The most ancient authorities on martial arts agree in order for you to perfect your character, you must be directed toward communion with God. People are more than the sum of their parts. Each person has a soul. The body is a temple for your soul. What you do now will decide how you spend eternity. Don't buy instant gratification. Is it worth it to have a short time of happiness in exchange for an eternity of agony? Live in the moment, but be careful how you do so.

This summarizes the seven precepts in the Code For A Judo Rank Holder. These are the most basic meanings you can get from them. You know what you're supposed to do. What you choose to do is up to you.

As seen by Dan Baca

Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association, 1996

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The Essence of A Warrior
The dictionary defines a Warrior as: a man engaged or experienced in Warfare.

This definition would lead you to think that soldiers are the only true Warriors. This is not the case.

When I was young (5 or 6 years old), my Grandmother started to teach and guide me on the path of the Warrior, at least the Seneca path.
She taught me that being a Warrior was not all about making war and killing our enemies.

Though the traditions of a Warrior vary from realm to realm, a Warrior's nature will essentially remain true; through their teachings about aggression and competition, physical and mental struggle, these traditions provide a guide to living in a world like this. Each embraces a spiritual code that serves as a path to their personal development, combining bravery and gentleness and exhibiting a fierce compassion for others. They emphasize self-mastery, will and patience, as well as courage and integrity. We all know a Warrior's time is amidst crisis and conflict.

Yet not all Warriors will first seek combat. To some, battle is the means by which their lives, and even their deaths, attain meaning. To others, it is only the answer when there is no other.

A true Warrior does not fight out of aggression; rather, his fierce bravery in battle stems from outside himself.

It is for the sake of another that a Warrior fights, and from this he finds the ultimate courage. Be it for his family, clan, nation or an innocent. The Warrior exists to protect others first.

A Warrior must live by his code, though this code varies from culture to culture; its essence embodies the way to harness, transform or transcend aggression. It is this code that separates the Warrior from the mere mercenary and can lead him on the path of personal and spiritual development.

For many, the true test of a Warrior will not be found on the battlefield, but in the realm of the inner spirit, for self-knowledge, realization and inner peace.

We, the students of the teachings of H. Seishiro Okazaki, the founder of our system and the author of the Esoteric Principles of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu, are held to those principles by our teachers, our peers and our students.

We have many laws and codes that we answer to: the laws of our country and state, the laws of our God, by whatever name it is called, and the codes of the Warrior that we as students of Danzan Ryu have accepted as truth.  We must protect these laws, codes and teachings against those who would destroy them and what they stand for, and to protect the innocents that cannot protect themselves.

By Skip West-Shodan
Okami Mai Kan

Ah-Ha-Loni-Cha (May the Spirits be kind.)

Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association, 1996

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Ki in the Martial Arts
There are many objectives in the martial arts, including self defense, development of physical strength, and mind-body co-ordination. These  aspects  of  martial  arts  training  are referred to as external force or external energy. Less easy to understand, but not less important, is the development of ki, called internal force, or internal energy.

"A master martial artist can throw or knock down an opponent from a distance."
Ki is a difficult word to translate into English. It has been called life force energy, spirit energy, or psychic energy. In the martial arts ki is gathered within and directed outward to accomplish whatever task is at hand. Ki is the difference between technical competence and genius, between know-how and inspiration.

A master martial artist can throw or knock down an opponent from a distance. He can break bricks with a light touch. He can make any part of his body resistant to the swords' cut At the deepest level he can anticipate his opponents' next move or even control his mind.  He can even heal in a Christ-like manner.

"It has been called life force energy, spirit energy, or psychic energy"

Far Eastern philosophy teaches that the universe is made of ki. It  is  an  indivisible  substance  that  rhythmically condenses down to become material objects,  then disperses again,  returning  to  the  void.  Ki  and  the  universe  is described by Aikido master Tohei as the infinite gathering of infinitely small particles. This condensing and dispersing is done by means of vibration, called Aum or simply The Word.

Modern theoretical physics correlates this ancient teaching when it states that the universe is one great mass of energy called the quantum field. This quantum field is a continuum and yet is granular at the same time. The presence of matter is caused by a disturbance or vibration in that field.
The Bible says, "in the beginning was the word" or "God said, Let there be light." The Cree Native Americans put it most beautifully by saying, all things are but a song of the Great Spirit, and everything vibrates with His voice.

The  martial  artist  uses  ki  to  perform  his  apparently supernatural feats. One method is called kiai. Kiai is a spirit yell or shout given at the moment one needs to focus ki into the technique. The yell and energy come forth without restriction from deep within, out to the target. The master, his yell, and his target are all one; time and space fold.

"The  martial  artist  uses  ki  to  perform  his  apparently supernatural feats."

Joshua led the Israelites against the walled city of Jerico and at the appointed moment, they gave a great yell and the city walls collapsed. Ancient Celtic stories tell of warriors who used a deadly shout that was named "louder than the abyss." Their American descendants used the well known blood curdling Rebel Yell.

One does not understand ki without long practice. Internal strength is not acquired mechanically like external strength is acquired by weight lifting. It requires all of one's will with focused intention. It must be felt and intuited with gentle ease and receptive awareness.  Ki is subtle, intimate, transcendent and innate.  A calm state of mind and body is essential.  The yogis teach that, the breath and restless mind are like storms, and no perception of the infinite can be had except by calming those storms.

Medieval Christian mystics taught that one should adopt an attitude of inner silence, attuning ones' self to the power of Grace. Then the inner man may breach the wall 

between himself and God in the true meaning of the Sabbath rest. Calming the mind and breath will permit the flow of ki but the will commands the ki. The master focuses his entire being on union with the Universal. For him there is no enemy.  This is the heart of the martial arts.

Ki is hidden to the untrained eye and is not spectacular, although  the  results  of  its'  use  can  be.  It  is  like electricity or a magnetic force, but moves like water or smoke. It has coherence,  continuity,  and pattern, yet is formless. Ki flows in your body, between your body and other things. It can feel hot or cold, like fullness or emptiness, rough or smooth, heavy or light, a vibration or a flow. But these  are  more  like  side-effects  of  ki  rather  than descriptions of ki itself.

"Joshua led the Israelites against the walled city of Jerico and at the appointed moment, they gave a great yell and the city walls collapsed."

In the martial arts, the student begins to learn about ki by keeping in constant company with his master. The student is taught  harmony  and  calmness  by  the  masters'  presence. Complete focus of attention in the practice of the techniques and deep meditation will cause the brain waves from both sides of the brain to be the same, and this permits the flow of ki. In scientific terms this is called entrainment; where two vibrations gradually vibrate to the same chord.  When the two vibrations are the same, energy can then pass between, and this is called resonance. It is a basic law of physics that energy is never lost, only changed or transferred.

We must have a continual exchange of ki the same way we must have a continual exchange of air. It must flow in and out of us,  recharging us,  and cleansing us. The student may try taking as much ki into himself as he can, and holding it. This has the same effect as trying. to take in as much air as you can and holding it.

"Ki is hidden to the untrained eye and is not spectacular, although  the  results  of  its'  use  can  be."

Unfortunately  a great  deal  of martial  art  teaching has undergone perversion and misunderstanding. Too many martial arts students are influenced by those searching for self importance. They desire to have a life like some martial arts movie  star.  A true martial  arts master seeks  humility, service, and inner union with God. St. Paul said that if he possessed knowledge of the deepest mysteries, or the ability to move mountains, he had nothing if he had not love.

The Orientals teach that Heaven is found within, and Christ said the Kingdom of God is within. Self importance is part of the external, physical world. Ancient religions and modern science agree that the physical world is an illusion--just energy  in  a  holding  pattern.  The  man  who  seeks  self importance finds only illusion.   The man who looks within finds the only substantial reality there is: the Spirit

Lora Edwards

Copyright Christian Jujitsu Association, 1995


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