Saturday, April 17, 2010


At the Broken Bokken we wear a patch on our uniforms with a Tiger and a Dragon engaged in battle. When entwined like this they are the animal representation of Yin and Yang.

The Tiger is Yang.

The Dragon is Yin.

They are in a battle that neither can win since they need each other. Can't have Tiger Yang without Dragon Yin. They move together and are a wonderful way to explain martial concepts, especially to new students.

Typically, we begin teaching Tiger techniques. They tend to be easier to learn as most people are used to 'hard' hitting, clawing, blocking, etc. Most fights you see are typically yang on yang. Once Tiger Yang is getting mastered, the flowing moves of the Dragon Yin are introduced. These can be joint locks, throws and evasive strategies...and work quite well when set up with a Tiger Yang.

As both get mastered, the student learns to blend the two in self-defense situations. The student learns to yield and flow like the dragon, then hit like the tiger....or suddenly pounce like a tiger and then wrap up the opponent in an excruciating dragon joint lock.

There are many ways these concepts are taught, but this one way we teach about these two animals...and how they can work together to teach us the way of yin and yang...soft and hard...and how to use these complementary opposites not only to save our lives physically, but when we look deeply, spiritually as well.
Hands palm to palm,


  1. I always remain a student and enjoy constantly learning new things. I appreciate this!

  2. Hi there !!

    I've been looking at your blog and its very interesting, about the last post " not so earth not so sky ! like buddah said "use the middle path" a domo arigato from Brazil

  3. Interesting Thoughts Dude: Thanks for reading and I am glad you find it interesting.

    C. Om: Also thanks...I am perenial student as well.

  4. Hi, Shinzen...

    The way of hard and soft is what GOJU actually means, so know that I totally feel you on this. Cool patch, BTW :-)