Shugyokan Mon ( Patch )
The kanji on our patch that is embroidered on our uwagi (jacket) or as the Japanese calls it "Mon" is called SHUGYOKAN.
Shugyo may be defined literally as "conducting oneself in a way that inspires mastery". While the meaning of the kanji used in "shu" was originally translated as 'using a brush to strike away the dust that obscures the viewing of a persons original elegance', the combined kanji of "shu" and "gyo" (carrying out, walking along) is now generally translated as simply "severe or austere training".
Wearing the Shugyokan mon is a testimony of student’s commitment to the art and the dojo. To earn the mon, one must be a consistent member for a minimum of ONE YEAR.
History of the word Shugyo
The historical usage of the term "SHUGYO" can be applied to any serious endeavor or "michi" (path). For example, the term "musha shugyo" ( an exponent of martial [arts] conducting themselves in a way that inspires mastery) refers to a "knight-errantry" tour, a practice of travelling around the country in order to train and test their martial skills that was followed by many serious budo-ka of pre-Meiji Japan (and to a lesser degree post-Meiji).
The kanji used in the term "shushi" ( master) also combines the same shu character with the character for "man" (alternately read as "samurai"). The implication of this kanji combination is that the person, and perhaps only the person, that follows the way of austere training can obtain the skill level of a "master".
In centuries past, SHUGYOSHA were periods of time where the adherent (usually certain types of monks or warriors) would submit themselves to extreme conditions - mentally, spiritually and physically, in order to achieve certain enhanced or enlightening experiences. This was viewed as an important forging process that, among other things, taught one what their actual limitations were; or more appropriately, what their lack of limitations were.
The word "KAN" in SHUGYO"KAN" means house, Therefore SHUGYO "KAN" is translated "HOUSE OF AUSTERITY ". To echo Nagamine Sensei's philosophy and sentiments. The dojo is the place where courage is fostered and superior human nature is bred through the ecstacy of sweating in hard work. It is the sacred place where the human spirit is polished.