Kiado-Ryu Karate

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Sep 9, 2019 - Feature of the Week

Kiado-Ryu Principle 26: Y.O.Y.O (You're On Your Own)

The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.

— Henrik Ibsen

I am sure of this, that by going much alone a man will get more of a noble courage in thought and word than from all the wisdom that is in books.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must learn to live with ourselves, independently of anything in this world.

— Saint Charan Singh

I never must forget that none’s my true companion here, for all are gathered here for selfish ends.

— Saint Kabir

Regarding worldly relationship, it may be pointed out that all relationships are based on selfish motives on this material plane. Husbands, brothers, wives, sisters, other relatives and friends are attached to us because of the advantages that accrue to them from us and are apt to cool down in their zeal and love towards us when they feel that we are of no use to them. Do not expect much from them but do your duty towards them and care for them even if they fail to reciprocate your love.

— Saint Jagat Singh


Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

It may be a difficult fact to accept but the reality of life, and certainly the reality of being attacked, is that You’re On Your Own, the acronym for which is Y.O.Y.O.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox expressed this beautifully in her poem “Solitude” above. The quotes from Saints Charan Singh, Kabir and Jagat Singh corroborate life in this world, and while we’d all like to think and believe we have many friends and loved ones, in actuality we only have ourselves and God. For all intents and purposes, we’re born alone, we live alone and we die alone.

At no time is this more poignant than if we have to defend ourselves. How devastating it can be to be in fear for your life and have people you thought were your friends turn tail and high tail it out of harm’s way, leaving you to fight the fight . . . alone.

If this has happened to you, you understand the illusory depth of so-called friendship. Occasionally, there exists the true friend who will stand and fight with you, support you, be there for you, but such friends are rare indeed. And this is okay because in the final analysis, this is our life and it is our responsibility.

We need to fight our own battles. Therefore, we need to be strong and courageous warriors. It’s no other person’s duty to protect us or be there for us, or put themselves in harm’s way for us, and wisdom dictates we not only understand this but also the distinct probability that in a self-defense situation we will be totally on our own. Know, though, that in our own ascent, when we attain levels of consciousness that others have never touched, and fly in skies in which others have never flown, we will, like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, experience that joy, deservedly, on our own.


© Richard Andrew King

Grandmaster – Kiado-Ryu Martial Arts & the Karate Institute of America