Why do we call practice “Keiko?” 稽古
It may come across as silly initially when you call practice Keiko. There is a reason JCSC does not refer to our time spent training as practice and instead refers to it as Keiko. They are two different words, and mean two different things altogether.
Let’s start by simply looking at the definition of these two words.
PRACTICE: To perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.
When depicted in Kanji Keiko has two characters. The first Kei means to think about or reflect. The second Ko is a compound character which combines “ten” with mouth. The literal meaning is to reflect on the wisdom of ten generations. 稽古
If we are to simply practice we are to simply work on a skill or skill set, for an end goal. If we are training with the right spirit that is Keiko, and with this there is no end goal. We are slipping into a flowing river of knowledge and wisdom that has been flowing since before we were born, and is much bigger than each and every one of us.
We approach Keiko with the right spirit, with a focused heart and mind and we learn and respect the knowledge we can glean from all the generations who have come before us.