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About the School
of Eight Directions
Dec 8th, 2008viewed 2748 times

About the School of Eight Directions

Founder of the Eight Directions School: Professor Byron Walker founded the School of Eight Directions in 1994. In this school, he taught a rendition of Kodenkan jujitsu infused with elements of other martial arts he had studied throughout the course of many years.

Professor Walker was a consummate warrior. As a courier for the U.S. Department of Energy, he was a member of an elite paramilitary unit that protected the transport of nuclear weapons to points of deployment throughout the country. Members of this unit were commissioned as Federal law enforcement officers, S.W.A.T. team qualified, and highly skilled in small unit fire-and-maneuver operations. The convoys of nuclear cargo they protected were subject to highjacking at any time, and they were prepared to defend that cargo with their lives.

Those who, by profession, stand ready to sacrifice their lives in the service of others - soldiers, police officers, and firefighters - are warriors by definition. In their professional endeavors, they tend to train with utmost seriousness because their lives depend upon how well they perform their jobs. If their profession involves the use of martial skills, they approach their martial arts training accordingly. It bears note, however, that Professor Walker was a martial artist well before he began his career with the DOE. Yet, even then, he approached his martial arts practice with profound intensity. Before he was a warrior by profession, he was a warrior in spirit. His dedication to excellence in the martial arts was a constant source of inspiration to his students.

Professor Walker was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2002. Prior to his death, he authorized two of his senior students, Jerry Strickland and Michael D. Jones, to use his school name and emblem for their martial arts school.

We who had the good fortune to train with Professor Walker strive now to perpetuate his example in hopes that the spirit of his teaching will continue in the School of Eight Directions.

Eight Directions Philosophy: The philosophy of the Eight Directions School is symbolized in the school emblem. The three-line drawings, tri-grams, which form the outer perimeter of the emblem, are those developed by the ancient Chinese to denote the various elemental conditions of the universe. When combined, they make up the sixty-four hexagrams of that comprise the Chinese classic text, the I Ching. They represent the knowledge handed down by preceding generations of teachers and the versatility of the martial arts. Each technique flows into another to suit the circumstances at hand-defense, attack, empty-handed or armed.

The octagon, which forms the inner perimeter, represents the eight cardinal directions, the stepping patterns and angles of attack and defense and directions used in breaking an opponentís posture for throwing. The octagon, made up of 360 degrees, is also a circle, never ending and continuous.

The Yin and Yang symbol contained within the octagon represents constant universal change-hard and soft, negative and positive, internal and external. This denotes the manner in which martial arts are performed: yielding and passively or unyielding and aggressively.

As a whole, the Eight Directions emblem represents a system in which the senior members instruct the juniors in an ancient tradition of continuously flowing, interchangeable and versatile techniques. They may be used for health and well-being or for both unarmed and armed combat, in the street or on the battlefield.

Symbol for the School of Eight Directions, Martial Arts
Master Mike Jones
Chief Instructor
School of Eight Directions
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