Friday, December 26, 2008

The Art of "GIRI" and the way of the "Guru"

The Dobles Institute News:

Silat Tip 28: THE CONCEPT OF GURU & GIRI why they go hand in hand

Giri (Japanese) - a Japanese value roughly corresponding to "duty", "obligation", or even "burden of obligation" in English.
Giri (Sanskrit) - in an Indian context, "Giri," means "mountain" (e.g. nilgiri, ratnagiri). As a Sanskrit honorific it means "venerable, elevated, worshipful" and it is in that sense that the title is applied to Sannyasins." -
" The birth of the concept of giri occurred during the feudal period in Japan, and holds the highest regard in human relationships. A basic breakdown of the the relationships are: Master-subordinate, parent-child, husband-wife, brothers-sisters, friends, and sometimes even enemies and business associates. The most basic definition one can give giri is a debt of gratitude and a self-sacrificing pursuit of their happiness.

Everyday examples of giri can be found in social customs such as New Year's cards, gifts such as year end presents. When one does act involuntarily to a person to whom one feels giri, one must not take into account one's own suffering when alleviating or helping another out of a difficult situation." -

THE CONCEPT OF GURU & GIRI why they go hand in hand.

In Japan there is a concept that is similar to KARMA. Its called "Giri".

My Hoshin Tao Chi Kung, Hoshinjutsu & Ninpo teacher Soke Dr. Glenn J Morris always taught us that one had to have "GIRI". It was even above KARMA to a Budo warrior.

What does this have to do with Silat? Just wait I'll get to it....

Soke Morris used to say if you take once give back twice. If you are given once give back twice. Or if you have received something special, a valuable lesson, a gift, a form of energy, a chance to learn or experience something in life than you would make it your obligation to always to honor and pay back in some way at least twice those that gave you such gifts or lessons, experience or energy. How would you do that? You would always give them back either by giving them credit, giving them energy, doing something special for the person, always being there for them.

For example Hatsumi Sensei Promoted Dr. Morris to high Black Belt level in Ninjutsu, Glenn turn around and made sure Hatsumi Sensei received several honorary Doctorate degrees from respected USA Universities and always mentions and credits Hatsumi in all his published works. (THAT IS GIRI). If we gave energy work or healing or showed Glenn something he would always turn around and load us up with more info, energy, understanding. If you gave him once he would give you twice. You get it?

Usually this concept is expected of students but not of the Guru itself. WRONG........

The Guru should have a form of GIRI towards his or her students as well.

The Guru receives from the students a form of payment, an exchange of energy, a chance to teach, a chance to heal if he is of the healing types. Those are the experiences that allow the Guru to be a Guru. Its not a Piece of paper that says you are a GURU. That does not make you a Guru nor qualified to teach, heal, guide coach etc.

Now here is where the concept gets very interesting. A lot of times GURUS, SIFUS, SENSEIS, PENDEKARS, MAHAGURUS, forget that its their OBLIGATION to take care of their students and to back them up no matter what as it is the students job to do the same for their teacher. Giri is similar to ADAT HORMAT or way of conduct and respect found in PENCAK SILAT. But its a little more. IMMORTALITY of a teacher and his or her methods comes through the longevity of their students and the carriers of their wisdom. If there is no GIRI in a system it will not evolve or grow or survive. Some one has to value it and honor its roots and maintain it and give back at least twice to the systems, the teachers, the future students etc.

To be the teacher you need students, but to be the true teacher you teach your students to teach themselves and to teach others and you value their efforts and time spent training.

I have seen in the martial arts how things go sour when there is no concept of value or "giri" implemented to the system. A lot of folks promise things but few deliver. A lot of folks keep their students as indentured servants.

What happens if you negatively show no giri?....

If you forget your students once they will forget you twice.......

A lot of folks claim to be pendekars but can't even heal themselves. A pendekar is a healer/warrior/shaman. Its not a title you buy. If you think you are one i suggest you test your skills with people with real problems (tumors, HIV, serious illness, Schizophrenia etc) A real Guru is a guide and a protector. In Java a real silat master is more than just a fighter. They take the value and spiritual side very serious as well.

Martial arts with only "FIGHTING" is incomplete. The balance is needed to understand the full circle.

As Soke Glenn said to me in his garage as I received a serious ass whoopin -

"To learn to hurt you must learn to heal." He took away the damage and pain in seconds using energy work and Chi Gung.

"If you take once give back twice"


1) breath in for 4 seconds

2) exhale for 8

increase each ratio by one second till you go to your max.

If you take from the universe/Creator one breath give it back twice as you exhale!


If you received healing or energy or chi from someone give them back 2x's what you received.

Martial Giri:

if he hit you once you hit twice! Generously GIVE IT to those that BRING IT.

Giri leads to generosity. Generosity leads to Abundance. KEEP intentions positive.

What is a Guru's Giri? To teach the art to those that want to learn it with out secrets and with out holding back information in fear of loosing something, to be there for the students when no one else will, to be a protector and a healer, to evolve the arts even further than when they first experienced the art. If you as a teacher show Giri to your students. your students will always show Giri back to you even when you pass. Life is unpredictable and not as long as we all hope or wish for. But I know from experience because I have had teachers that have passed. I still show Giri to the teachers that showed me Giri and even to those that lacked Giri. And it has made me a better person and a better teacher to pass on what i know.

Try to implement GIRI in your life whether it be with your family, teachers, students, friends, elders, enemies etc. Ultimately we are all part f the same divine source so by showing Giri you are showing the highest form of value to your true nature.

Guru Santiago Dobles

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