The name Koryukan is composed of three
Chinese/Japanese characters: "Ko", meaning
'tiger', "Ryu", meaning 'dragon', and "kan",
meaning 'building'. So Koryukan can loosely be translated
as "the Tiger-Dragon school," or "school
of the tiger and dragon."
Much of oriental thought is based on the idea of a
harmony of opposites. Perhaps the best known example
of this is the yin/yang diagram. Lots of symbols in
the east are influenced by or based on this fundamental
idea, the tiger and dragon being no exception. While
they symbolize a more specific example and incorporate
particular aspects, they basically are stand-ins for
heaven and earth, or yin and yang.
The tiger represents physical strength, particulary
bone strength. It symbolizes the baser aspects of man,
the fight-or-flight response and the killer instinct--certainly
important aspects in a physical conflict. The tiger
also represents the attitude of dominance. These are
the goals of the martial arts.
The dragon, on the other hands, represents wisdom.
This is a fluid concept, as wisdom is the ability to
change your perception of things and understand their
true nature. The dragon symbolizes the aim or the height
of man which is wisdom, beneficence, and compassion.
These qualities are the goal of the martial artist.
The combination of these two aspects is our interpretation
of what jujitsu is about. It forges the body, steels
the will, softens the heart, and enlightens the mind.
The study of Danzan Ryu brilliantly leads the student
through these stages of development on the way to becoming
a better person, thereby making the world a better place.