About Kyoshin Ryu

Kyoshin means “a mind like a mirror.”


Ryu refers to “style” or “type” of art practiced. The pronunciation is key-ocean-roo. However, when the K and Y are together they sound more like the “ky” in “back yard” than the simple sound of “key”.

The symbol of this ryu is a wave within a circle. The wave represents water, long revered as a symbol of purification. It also symbolizes the continuous motion of the ocean or a rushing stream.

The circle is an ancient Japanese mirror, clear and bright, reflecting back a perfect image of whatever comes before it. When you look into a mirror, there is no illusion. You see yourself, clearly, exactly as you are. The mirror represents true knowledge of oneself.

The Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu said, “The perfect man uses his mind like a mirror. It grasps at nothing. It refuses nothing. It receives but it does not keep.” Ever-moving water in a mirror represents the martial arts concept of a mind that never stops nor fixates, lest the warrior be left open to attack.  It also tells us that a person can never step into the same river twice.

The true Kyoshin warrior is constantly changing himself or herself into something new, something better. He or she is also constantly striving to change the world, to make it a better place, so that we will not be forced to step into the same world twice – that our children will have a new and better world.