Tokku in Japanese: True-Jutsu
©2015 Avi Nardia w/Tim Boehlert
Tokku in Japanese Budo means to win with honor and integrity.
A win is only for yourself as no one else can see it, but you will always know that you can hide the truth. Even in Zen it’s said that you can’t hide 3 things: the moon, the sun and the truth. The truth is that humans always hide the truth. All leaders do it daily, friends do it, even parents do it with their kids. The truth will pop out, but it may be well after the win. With some Olympians we see sports players lie, cheat, and fake to show a win, but truth will find a way out and show as does noon and the sun.
There are two Japanese words that describe this: ‘Tatemae’: the mask that we present – the fake us and ‘Honne’: the truth – us as we really are.
We can hide the truth to win, but we can’t win ‘Tokku’, meaning the respect of ourselves as we know that we lied and just hid the truth to win, and so you will die as a loser.
For Samurai whom carry the honor code, what’s the use of it if you disrespect yourself and die as a loser with a fake trophy? This is where true-jutsu plays a role in the ‘go’ or code.
In Samurai movies we see how he died by the sword of another samurai, and thanks him for an honorable death and in Tokku death carries his integrity to the grave. It’s better to win with honor than to win, but lose Tokku.
This is hard for westerners to understand as a win in life for us means to do anything to win, but the samurai way is the art of death. He needs to be ready each day to die, and to die with no respect and honor is the most shameful loss in life. He would ask to die in honor by seppuku, by blade, and earn Tokku honor death. This is why the code forces the budoka to live by the honor code and Tokku, true-jutsu integrity as one of it’s principles.
In kapap we teach to keep the Budo Code. The western lifestyle is to break any of them and lie and live by that lie, where that win means money, and where more money is better than even the price of friendship. Cheating and loss of the Tokku, the truth that you know inside means a loss of your integrity.
This is why I teach that principles in life are more important than any techniques. Keeping a clean hearth is hard to teach and that’s why we teach principles first and foremost over techniques.
“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.
There are not more than five primary colors (blue,yellow,red,white and black) yet in combination the produce more hues than can ever be seen.
There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet and bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.” Sun Tzu – The Art of War
There are not more than five principles in modern Kapap (push and pull, balance displacement, high and low, relative position, two points of contact) yet combinations of them produce more techinques than can ever been seen!
One is the most common principle in all martial arts, it’s done by humans but to be called human we need to first keep the Code. To teach only techniques and to build the body strong but neglect a weak mind and spirit will never win you Tokku.
The Mind controls the Hand. The Heart controls the Mind. The Soul controls the the Heart and only then will you live by BUSHIDO.