Every logo has a specific identity behind it, a message to convey in the symbology of the design. The logo for Sora Martial Arts Center can be broken down into the symbol of the dragon wrapped around the kanji and the words of the name itself.
the Dragon pays homage to Tatsuo Shimabuku. Sora Martial Arts Center teaches both Karate and JuJitsu. The Karate is based on upon the study of Isshinryu Karate. The Jujitsu is based upon the study of American Combat JuJitsu. The founder of Isshinryu Karate is a famous Okinawan master named Tatsuo Shimabuku. His name Tatsuo translates to Dragon Man.
The Kanji shows both empty hand (the basis for most martial arts) and my name, Sora. The Kanji can be translated as “empty” and also as “sky”. “Empty” in Japanese is spelled as “KARA”. “Sky” in Japanese is spelled as “SORA”. Interestingly, the way to say KARATE is the two words KARA and TE, this translated to “empty hand”. Also my last name is SORA. Therefore one kanji covers both these meanings. I also like to explain that the term “empty” can be used in meditation to refer to the method of emptying the mind or letting go of thoughts or emotions that are stuck in out minds.
The shape of the dragon is in the “ENSO” from Zen Meditation. this symbol represents the perfectly balanced mind in a state of enlightenment. The circle or near solid circle shows both the states of completion and emptiness. In martial arts we often talk of MUSHIN – the state of “no mind” or “void mind”. Meaning the mind is free and clear and existing in the moment during combat or in everyday life. When we talk of MMA we can be talking about Mindful Martial Arts.
The circular shape of the dragon also represents the circular aspect of JuJitsu. We use both large and small circle jujitsu concepts. Joint locking is sometimes seen as linear in application but when you study the art you find the circles in the movement.
Practice with Purpose is the way practice should be done to improve yourself both on and off the dojo mat. A short practice session with the mind present and focused is much more effective than a long practice session full of distraction and half hearted effort. Also do you practice for Self Defense, Sport Competition, Health and Wellness or Fitness? All these would determine how you design and create a meaningful practice session. Every time we are on the deck we are practicing in order to improve how we come on the deck in the next class. Their is a purpose to out training.
Andrew Sora – Sensei