A "mon" is a Japanese symbol, much like a family crest or a coat of arms. The mon for our school can be seen in the top corner of the pages of this website. The central portion of the mon consists of three hand positions and "sho chiku bai".

Hand Postures

Kigan (or praying hand) posture

First Representation: The right hand (representing the physical) and the left hand (representing the spiritual) are placed together for peace and avoidance of conflict.

Second Representation: Escaping Arts

Third Representation: Skeletal Strikes

Kaishu (or open hand) posture

First Representation: The right hand and left hand are placed together in the shape of a mountain. Look for the good in man as you would see a mountain from a distance, without nitpicking flaws and imperfections.

Second Representation: Folding Arts

Third Representations: Internal Strikes


Hoken (or covered fist) posture

First Representation: The right hand (representing physical skills) is covered by the left hand (representing spiritual skills). One should temper his actions with morality, avoid conflict, and hide his weapons

Second Representation: Muscular Strikes

Third Representation: Total Domination

Sho Chiku Bai

Sho: Pine

Evergreens live long, young, and healthy lives. The pine symbolizes faithful friendship which resists all trials. The pine represents the religion of Taoism. The Japanese people use pine needles for ornaments on Christmas and new Year.



Chiku: Bamboo

Bamboo represents Honesty. When you cut into bamboo, you find emptiness inside. Nothing evil is hidden within. Also, Kosho Ryu practitioners remain ever empty, and open to additional knowledge, never becoming full of themselves and their accomplishments. The bamboo is the symbol of the application of discipline and the man who remains loyal in all events. Bamboo represents the Japanese religion of Buddhism.


Bai: Plum Flower

The Japanese plum flower stands for beauty, nobility, and courage. This is because the plum flower puts forth blossoms while the snow is still on the ground. The plum tree flowers before all the others. The Japanese people love the plum fruit. They especially eat plums when they are sick. Plum represents the Japanese religion of Shintoism.


Hachihenkei: The Octagon

The Octagon The Octagon of Kosho Ryu is set up in opposites. 1 is forward, 2 is back, 3 is left, 4 is right. Angle 5 is the half left angle 6 is the opposite, angle 7 is the half right and angle 8 is the opposite.

The octagon angles from Kosho Ryu will help you understand the principles of movement as well as understanding the direction of movements within the katas. It will also give you insight into the Bunkai, or application of the forms.