Tiger and Dragon
The tiger is representative of the early stages of learning and is often referred to as earthly strength (the physical) in historical symbology. The yellow and orange represent the first steps on the journey to proficiency, or the mechanical stage. The brown eyes represent the advanced students. The small amount of brown found only in the eyes represents how few actually make it to the advanced stages of training and how important it is to remain focused to make it there.
The dragon is representative of the later stages of learning and is often referred to as spiritual strength (the intelligence, mental attitude, and humanity) in historical symbology. The representational attitude of the dragon should be the ultimate goal of any martial artist. With increased knowledge of the art of Kenpo, the fear of an aggressor will diminish and a fear of what one can do to an aggressor will increase. Through this process the warrior can turn his back on unwarranted conflict and walk away confident that the physical victory could have been achieved. The black of the dragon represents expert proficiency. The red is indicative of professorship. To remind the professors to be humble and to be able and willing to go back to any level to perform things expected of their students, traces of yellow, orange, purple, blue, green and brown can be found throughout the dragon. Most importantly, in the dragon’s eyes traces of white, which are symbolic to always being willing to learn, can still be found.
Relation To AIK
AIK uses a common tiger because it is our belief that on the physical level, regardless of any traits that may produce a different visual appearance, we are all humans with the same inalienable rights.
Many martial arts styles and Kenpo schools us an asian dragon in relationship to their logos and organizations. AIK uses a European dragon because, though we share many of the same values, our application and implementation of those values are more in alignment with the European code of chivalry. In the book ‘Bushido' by Inazo Nitobe, a good comparison of the similarities and differences between the Samurai code of ethics and the European code of chivalry can be found. This book is required reading of all AIK Black Belts.