The Maikido emblems, with their written expressions and symbols, form visual capstones for Maikido. I will attempt to describe what a Chinese may think when viewing these emblems and expressions.
The top left word (or character) is peace or harmony. The middle left word refers to several ideas; breath; the inward control of mind, breath, or mental status; spirit; vital force; and intention. The bottom left word means method or principle upon which the system is built; or approach. This three word expression could be interpreted as meaning “a peaceful method of control of the mind, breath, and intention.” This is the first expression read when seeing this emblem.
The second expression begins with the same word; peace or harmony. The second word is physical fitness. The third word is hall, or place of enlightenment. This expression could be interpreted as “a peaceful physical fitness place of enlightenment.” The two expressions, when read in succession, are quite descriptive. The first expression, “a peaceful method of control of the mind, breath and intention,” conjures up notions of a somewhat less than exciting self-defense training program. The second expression refers to the “peaceful (not violent) nature of the place of enlightenment (Dojo), in a strong program of physical fitness.” To me, this describes a peaceful school of athletics.
As the viewer sees the emblem, he cannot help but see the dragon protruding from the middle.
When seen in the Orient, the dragon brings certain powerful images to mind. In the Orient, the dragon is a proud and majestic symbol. The oriental dragon espoused in Maikido represents the best qualities of many different animals. It represents virtues like benevolence, kindness, power, might, and strength. In short, this dragon possesses the best qualities of different animals, symbolically referring to the multi-faceted makeup of Maikido. Specifically, it was described in Chinese culture as having “the head of a camel, the horns of a deer, the eyes of a rabbit, the ears of a cow, the neck of a snake, the belly of a frog, the scales of a carp, the claws of a hawk and the palm of a tiger. Its beard contained a bright pearl and its voice was like the jingling of copper pans.”
In this emblem, the dragon protrudes from white into black, from passive into aggressive, from good into evil; but remains rooted in white, passive, and good. It jumps out from the two-dimensional plane into the three-dimensional world. The Maikido dragon refers to an ultimate, formidable fighting weapon, which peacefully treads in the territory of human growth and change, continually surrounded by turmoil and strife, but always a beacon of strength, and only visible to those who wish to see him. The dragon in Maikido is a willing and formidable soldier who stands for goodness, righteousness, and truth. The dragon comes to the aid of others.
The above emblem appears on Maikido certificates of promotion. Although similar, there are two differences between this statement and the expressions which accompany the previous dragon emblem. One difference lies in the characters themselves; they are of the older style, before the last simplification of the Chinese writing system. To me, this signifies a respect for tradition. The second difference is that the left string of characters (read from top to bottom) has a different middle word. In this statement, the concept of “breath,” or “the inward control of mind, breath, mental status; or intention”, is replaced by the number “three.” This is a substitution of the idea of the Holy Trinity as a source of strength; an extension of the concept of “Ki.” The two concepts represented between the two emblems are important separately; and together, they refer to inter-changeable, commingling concepts of spiritual strength, which are banner concepts in Maikido. This expression represents the Christian roots in the artform of Maikido. “Without Him we are nothing” is the motto of Maikido. All glory and honor for our accomplishments goes to God. Showing the way of gentleness and love in teaching others is primary in Maikido training. To me, this emblem represents peace and harmony in Christ, and the Christian roots of our organization. But more importantly, it represents the values espoused by Maikido. It is a worthy banner statement.