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 Post subject: The Unseen Path
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:17 pm 
The Unseen Path
"Strength without is meaningless without Strength within. Only in both can true power be achieved." - Kambei Matsumoto
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History: The Unseen Path is steeped in Kyonobian tradition and as such a very old style, but not a widely known one. The school was founded by Shinmei Takachi of the clan of the Dark Moon, a clan of the shinobi of old. Takachi was a skilled martial artist and traveled around Kyonobi, collecting knowledge and skill from other martial artists. On his return to his ancestral home, Takachi had compiled all those teachings into one style, the Unseen Path. Though the style favored its mental training and meditation techniques above the martial training, it is nevertheless those teachings from which it has derived its greatest fame. Shinmei Takachi took on students and taught the most worthy the inner secrets of the Unseen Path. Upon his death, he had chosen three students to carry on his teachings.

The Unseen Path continued to live on after Takachi's death, his students eventually moving on and founding dojos of their own. Eventually, the style become standard within the Dark Moon to the point that the Unseen Path and the clan of the Dark Moon was eventually one.

Traditionally, all members of the clan were given at least basic instruction in the Path, but the style spread outside the clan as well. Its somewhat secretive elements and self-examining forms made the style hard to learn and harder still to master. To that end, it never spread far beyond the Dark Moon even if there existed a handful of students outside of the clan itself. As the Dark Moon fell, however, so did the Unseen Path fall into obscurity. The clan did not know the reason for its fall or the attackers. But attacked they were and seeing the style on the verge of annihilation, the Elders sent the young master Kambei Matsumoto to Etaria with all the records of the Unseen Path in his possessions. After reaching the island of Keirin, it was a long time before Matsumoto passed on his teachings. Decades later, he took on the young boy Kichirou Izanami and taught him as best he could. Those who walk the Unseen Path are no more than a handful in Etaria, though its adherents are steadily increasing. At this time, its strongest grounds are Keirin, for obvious reasons, and Maleneska where the foundations for a dojo has been laid. Whether the Unseen Path will once again rise, or fade further into obscurity, time will tell.

Philosophy:
The Unseen Path is based around four tenets which represent the core truths of the school. Unlike other schools, however, a student is only taught the words of the tenets, not the meanings behind them.
Once a student by himself has found out the meaning (with the guidance of his teacher, of course) he is no longer a student but a disciple. Understanding the teachings are, to the Unseen Path, much more important than pure martial skill. Anyone can become physically strong, not everyone can understand. The tenets traditionally goes as follows:

Pride is weakness - humility is strength
Through Strength, I gain Discipline
Through Discipline, my eyes are opened
In Freedom, I can see the Truth

Understanding these four tenets opens the way for the fifth tenet, the only teaching which meaning is told. The fifth teaching is said to convey the essence of the Unseen Path, but can only be understood by those who have seen the first four by themselves. Rumor persists of a mysterious sixth tenet which was lost in Kyonobi.
Nothing has been revealed of it for centuries, however, so the masters consider it a myth and nothing more.

Hierarchy:
For a school of marital arts, the Unseen Path has a rather loose hierarchy. Only four ranks are acknowledged:
Student - one who has not yet understood the four tenets, but struggles to learn.
Disciple - one who has understood the tenets but continues to train
Master - one who has taken on other students and understand the tenets
Sōke - the master with the greatest depth of understanding and skill. The grandmaster of the Unseen Path and responsible for the school as a whole.

Training:
The Unseen Path is a wide school, encompassing a wide variety of different fighting styles. There are 18 disciplines, each one focusing on different aspects of the Unseen Path:

1. Seishinteki kyōyō (spiritual refinement)
2. Taijutsu (unarmed combat)
3. Kenjutsu (sword techniques)
4. Bōjutsu (stick and staff techniques)
5. Sōjutsu (spear techniques)
6. Naginatajutsu (naginata techniques)
7. Kusarigamajutsu (kusarigama techniques)
8. Shurikenjutsu (throwing weapons techniques)
9. Kayakujutsu (pyrotechnics)
10. Hensōjutsu (disguise and impersonation)
11. Shinobi-iri (stealth and entering methods)
12. Bajutsu (horsemanship)
13. Sui-ren (water training)
14. Bōryaku (tactics)
15. Chōhō (espionage)
16. Intonjutsu (escaping and concealment)
17. Tenmon (meteorology)
18. Chi-mon (geography)

The first discipline is always taught, and a student usually focuses on a handful others to create his own unique style. Because not every master knows every discipline, in the old days multiple dojos existed which focused on different disciplines. At this day an age, though, Matsumoto and Kichirou knows a variety of disciplines and the rest are preserved by written word. A student wishing instruction in these must consult old scrolls and documents. Far from all disciplines are public. The more underhanded ones are usually reserved for one who is a disciple, not a student. The Unseen Path never officially teaches techniques of the shinobi, even if such techniques have long been a part of the disciplines. The meditation is especially important, students of the Unseen Path learn to delve deep into their souls and control their emotions. Practiced users of this have an iron hold over their passions, never loosing their temper and always remaining in absolute control. Lesser students have a less stable control, but still better than the average person. Because intense emotions can sabotage the discipline the Unseen Path teaches, this is often the first discipline a student learns.

Beside those disciplines there is also the more mystical discipline of kuji-in, or chi magic. It is not officially practiced in the Unseen Path, yet many of its adherents do. The chi magic is identical to the magic used by a divine or arcane spellcaster. A chi magician still needs power from a diety, but the spells revolve aroudn the more discreet hand signs of the kuji-in instead of the wide gestures used for conventional magic.
There are nine gestures of the kuji-in, each representing a different aspect of its magic. Signs are combined to perform a variety of effects.

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Rin - Strength
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Pyō/Hyō - Channel
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Tō - Harmony
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Sha - Healing
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Kai - Sense of Danger
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Jin - Reading of Thoughts
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Retsu - Control over space and time
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Zai - Control over sky or elements
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Zen - enlightenment

When casting, a chi magician makes the appropriate signs and intones the name of the sign to give purpose to his chi. This style of magic is less flamboyant and at times more discreet than conventional magic. Chi magician can, as other magicians, learn to call forth their powers without gestures or speech, though at a proportional increase in chi cost.

A final teaching and somewhat obscure is the art of Fudōshin, literally "Immovable mind" or "Immovable heart" is a point where a master achieves control over both his body and mind. Emotions wash over him like water from a cliff and he gains a large measure of control over his physical form. Fudōshin is marked by the eyes of the master, taking on a supernatural glow as his chi is reflected in the eyes. Fudōshin is increasingly rare, though, and not even a master, or the Sōke may necessarily have reached it. Similar states are known in other schools of marital arts, which lends to the idea that it is a universal state, not exclusive to the Unseen Path.

Color and symbolism:
The hawk is a common symbol for the Unseen Path. The hawk is an observant and patient creature, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Likewise, a student must be patient and observant to learn and develop. Those who follow the Unseen Path wear a black gi and a belt representing their rank, white for students, black for disciples and red for master. The Sōke, on the other hand, wears a red robe with a black belt to mark him as apart from the others.


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 Post subject: Re: The Unseen Path
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 1:13 am 
WoC Architect
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More articles about Tyrania:


The Akari
Breathstealers
Dragon Wars of Tyran
The Dread Talon
Emperors of Tyran
Empire of Tyran
Fort Avium
The Lands of Baalyr
The Lands and Empires of the Far East
Last of the Tyranese
Mount Shyel
The Nashai Tribe - The Dragon-Kin Elves
The People of the Sand : The nomadic tribes of Athartok
Port Talboria
Spirit Folk
The Unseen Path
Valourian Nation
Wikkitikataka Sun - (Biography)

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 Post subject: Re: The Unseen Path
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 2:31 am 
WoC Architect
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:10 pm
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More reading about the Oriental Lands of Tyran

Breathstealers
Kitsune
The Lands and Empires of the Far East
The Spirit Folk
The Unseen Path

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