History and meaning of the BJMA Bushido Cross
Bushido (meaning “way of the warrior”) & Ishoa (meaning “enlightenment”) Crosses were originally given to students as recognition of particular attributes attained or consistently displayed. These attributes include loyalty, courage, strength, honesty, commitment, being a role model and understanding the meaning of the Cross.
The Bushido Cross was usually awarded around 1st Dan Black Belt level and symbolised the relationship between the instructor and the student.
BJMA's legendary Bushido Cross is modelled on the Finnish cross of bravery and was originally awarded by Soke Bob Jones to two of his protection services men, Dave Milne and Bill Sabotka. During the sixties, as his security firm grew, Soke Bob Jones awarded more of the crosses to his personnel.
The early seventies saw Soke engrave the word 'Bushido' onto the cross. This translates literally as 'the way of the warrior'. Suddenly the cross took on a slightly new meaning. The Bushido Cross (as it is still known) was presented by Soke Bob Jones to his higher grade Zen Do Kai students as a symbol of protection of the junior Zen Do Kai brothers (students in the ranks).
This instilled an unrivalled incentive for every new student to maximise his efforts to gain acceptance in "the new family of security". Still today, male Martial Arts practitioners train fiercely to earn the honour and privilege of being awarded the Bushido Cross.
History and meaning of the BJMA Ishoa Cross
The round cross was introduced initially to acknowledge the understanding and commitment of the wives and partners of the security personnel in Soke Bob's protection business. Most of Soke Bob's security staff worked long hours, often six nights a week. Women received the small circular cross, which identified them as 'those who understood'. This cross was developed further during the seventies in Zen Do Kai and the word 'Ishoa' was engraved onto it. This means, literally, 'enlightenment', the perfect blending of mind and body.
The Ishoa Cross was awarded to exemplify their understanding of the men folk training with Soke Bob up to six nights a week. The wives and partners were proud to be acknowledged as members of the Zen Do Kai family. Soon the first wave of female Zen Do Kai students were also afforded acknowledgement as dedicated martial artists with the presentation of the Ishoa Cross. And, suddenly, this cross took on a new meaning. Its new reverence mirrored that of the Bushido Cross. It too, became a symbol of protection of the junior brothers and, now also, sisters, in the Zen Do Kai ranks.
Today, female BJMA practitioners are awarded this prestigious cross for their fierce determination in training, dedication and commitment to Martial Arts. Just as the awarding of the Bushido Cross is a privilege and honour to BJMA's male students, so too is the awarding of the Ishoa Cross to BJMA's female students.
Both Crosses are held in identical regard and esteem and are often awarded together in official BJMA family ceremonies.
History and meaning of the BJMA Tomadachi Cross
During the mid 1970's Zen Do Kai had grown to in excess of a thousand students. Many of Soke Bob's first generation students had risen to the third degree black belt level with Sensei titles. Soke Bob furnished them with the right to present the crosses to the second generation students on his behalf. They did this and the Zen Do Kai family continued to grow.
During the late seventies, an analysis of the corporation's business affairs determined that one of the prime reasons for the corporation's struggle with commitments was the sponsoring of new family members crosses all around Australia and the continuous replacement of 'lost' crosses. To counter this, Soke Bob designed a new, rectangular cross called the 'Tomadachi' (friend) Cross.
The Bushido and Ishoa crosses are presented to the student prior to grading for a black belt. You become entitled to the cross by displaying the 8 virtues of Bushido. Once you have been assessed by the Clubs Head Instructor, and BJMA hierarchy are in agreeance, these crosses are presented at Senjo’s, without warning.
The Tomadachi Cross is now considered to be “the Family” Cross. This cross symbolises that you are part of the “Bob Jones Martial Arts family”.
Once you have attained your yellow belt or yellow singlet, you are entitled to purchase the Tomadachi or “Family” Cross from Sensei Jaye. The cross will be presented to you at the next Grading or Senjo, but just check the details with Sensei Jaye.
Once the student receives the Bushido or Ishoa, their Tomadachi can be handed over to a person of their choice, with the permission of BJMA. The student must consult the Head Instructor of the club, giving reasons why they wish to hand it over to that specific person. The Head instructor consults the hiarachy of BJMA, and once it is approved, the student presents the chosen person with the cross at a Grading or Senjo.
Tomadachi crosses can also be presented to anyone who helps with the running, and growth of BJMA, and are not family of students of BJMA.
Gold Bushido and Ishoa Crosses
Gold crosses are presented to martial artists who are ranked 3rd Degree and above. The wives of 3rd Degrees are now also issued with a gold Ishoa Cross, as a symbol of the understanding and sacrifice of the martial arts “lifestyle” of their husbands.
Soke Bob Jones personally presented the wives of the Qld East Coast BJMA Senjo in 2014, including Carolyn. That was the year Sensei Jaye was promoted to the rank of 3rd Degree in Zen Do Kai and was also awarded with the Qld East Coast BJMA Senior Bushido Award and trophy.