Why a Lotus?

July 7, 2011 in Dragons Pulse, Kenpo

Our kenpo style is Bok Leen Pai Kenpo, which translates to White Lotus Kenpo. But why a lotus?

Any flower is such a delicate image for an art that can be so deadly. A flower is silent and still, representing gentleness whereas Martial Arts is about combat and aggression. Why then would a Martial Arts pick a lotus to represent them?

In Chinese culture, the lotus is a very important flower. It’s depicted in many paintings, sculptures, and poems. To the Chinese, the lotus is more than just a pretty flower. From birth, the lotus grows out of the muck and mud of the earth, in the harshes and ugliest environments. Despite it’s humble beginnings, it flourishes into a beautiful plant. The stalk of the flower is easy to bend but very hard to break because of how the fibers of the plant have grown.

Chinese poets use the lotus to symbolize perseverance, to continue to strive through difficult times and always show the world your best no matter how bad it gets. In other words, maintain your integrity and do not become bitter despite the struggles of the world around you.

To Buddhism, the lotus represents faithfulness. It is the symbol that represents enlightenment.

Thus, it’s not difficult to draw the analogy with Martial Arts and the characteristics which a Bok Leen Pai practionar should hold near and dear to their heart:

  • Rising above the muck. Uphold your honor by staying loyal and dedicated to what you do.
  • Be flexible, be able to bend but don’t break.
  • Strive despite difficult times.
  • Though seeded in aggression and combat, strive for beauty.
  • Use silence to your advantage to grow.
  • Beneath the beauty lies strength that is hidden (shadowed) from others until put to the test.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.