The Kosho Shorei Ryu Bujutsu (martial arts) are based on the study of the preparatory arts. This life-study occurs 24 hours a day, and is the most important aspect of Kosho Shorei, True Self-defense. The preparatory arts teach the Kempo-ka to control his environment in a way that inhibits conflict from taking place. In this way, he is able to live in harmony with his environment and the people in it. The preparatory arts allow students to structure themselves such that they effectively prevent self-generation of what we call negative stimuli. This element of control allows one to eliminate self-conflict.
Negative stimuli are any use of our psycho-physical systems which are less than 100% efficient in the resolution of the specific situational conflict we are within. For example, we all have two forms of vision: peripheral and tunnel vision. Kosho Shorei Kempo Bujutsuka, who study the natural truths or laws pertaining to the martial arts primarily, understand this, and its significance. By studying themselves and their systems of functionality, they are most effectively able to use their skills and attributes in any situation. The significance of understanding visual modes is great: Our eyes send nerve impulses to the brain to allow us to perceive and react to environmental stimuli. The cones, which are cells on the retina responsible for perceiving form and color, are greater in number in the center of the retina than on the periphery. Therefore, when we look directly at something, much more detail is perceived, sent to the brain, and processed. This takes time. Tunnel vision makes relatively quick reaction impossible due to the volume of information we ask our brain to process in this mode. Tunnel vision should be used when we want to intently study something. Peripheral vision, on the other hand, was designed for detecting motion. The smaller number of cones on our retina's periphery do not pass along as much information pertaining to color, depth-perception, subtle shading and toning of objects. What we receive is simply where objects in our environment are, and where they are going. The brain then calculates speed and other factors that allow us to deal with our environment. The understanding of peripheral vision's benefits, and specific ancient methods of employing this understanding in a self-defense situation is one of Kosho Ryu's fundamental studies. The additional understanding of posturing, weight displacement from left to right leg, hearing and visual ranges, and other factors create quite a large bit of preparation students of Kosho Ryu can use to control an opponent. However, these factors are used mostly in the physical arts, which are the lowest levels of Kosho Ryu Bujutsu.
True Kosho Shorei happens in the mind. Perception of a potential attacker's intent, based upon things such as his demeanor, flesh and eye-white color, degree of apparent excitement or agitation, tone of voice, body language, verbal expression, and of course his words and gestures all help us determine his situation, including his weaknesses. Kosho Ryu teaches you apply this, along with your understanding of your own psychology, in order to better understand yourself as well. We cannot understand attackers until we understand ourselves. Perception of ourselves is not only important for self-diagnosis and self improvement, but also to understand how an attacker might perceive us, and therefore what he might do.
All of these aspects of Kosho Ryu preparatory arts are important within the context of self-defense against a physical attack, but are less important in the entire scheme of things. Our true enemy is not some physical attacker, it is our own mind. Once we study it until we understand ourselves and our spirit, we can consider ourselves safer from disaster. Nothing is truly disastrous unless we interpret it so. We deal with situations on an hourly basis that attack our body, mind, and spirit, but we may never be physically attacked by an assailant. So, Kosho Ryu logically teaches to put energy where it does the most good, in defeating negative perceptions, mostly to what we nowadays call stress. The same Laws apply to the physical realm that apply to the mind. The bujutsu put us in simulated physically stressful situations, and teach us how to control them. This is Kempo. For more information, see the Philosophy of Kempo.
Jon Ludwig - Renshi