View Full Version : types of zanshin

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Fred L
02-22-2008, 05:50 AM
My sensei told me that while shite and uke both practice zanshin, shite's is "yan - zanshin" and uke's is " lan - zanshin". I can always jsut ask him to explain, but we've kind of fallen into this routine of me trying to figure things out first, instead of just having it be spoon fed to me.

Does anyone know how yan and lan translate?



02-26-2008, 04:07 AM
Interesting question. I've not come across zanshin being given two labels before. More interestingly is the use of "lan" (assuming it's an "L") since there is no "L" in the Japanese language. This would imply that he has been given a word that has been mispronounced, or perhaps is mixing Chinese with Japanese.

Dan Rubin
02-26-2008, 01:49 PM
Might he have said "yang" and "yin"?

Fred L
02-26-2008, 03:53 PM
He's Japanese, so I guess that he's intentionally using the words. On the other hand, he's a lousy typist. Maybe it wasn't "lan", but he definitely was making the point that there were different types of zanshin. I'll check to see if the terms were spelled correctly...


03-06-2008, 02:24 PM
I haven't seen any widespread usage of 'subtyping' zanshin, presuming that we don't mean 'more-or-less maintaining zanshin' versus 'staring aimlessly out the window instead of maintaining zanshin'. Still, there's plenty of room for a teaching lesson, inasmuch as shite/uke might very well find their roles more flexible from one encounter to the next ...


03-06-2008, 05:41 PM
Of course gentlemen because the Lan zanchin is that the lan zanchin, (the conection)... the hembra (female) type that one you wont become in a danger situation. Thats why in the practice sessions it is Comended to be achieved till you be able you asume it on and off like a suit.

Aragua, Venezuela
Citrus production no 777

03-07-2008, 04:53 AM
He's Japanese, so I guess that he's intentionally using the words........

The Japanese usually refer to "yin" and "yang" as "in" and "yo".

Stefan Stenudd
03-07-2008, 09:43 AM
Zanshin is an interesting concept. I have never heard it subdivided, but I am no expert on it.

In my experience, Japanese aikido teachers use it mainly to describe a distinct end pinning of an aikido technique. They seem to think of it as meaning something like extended control (of the attacker).

In karatedo, as far as I know, it is mainly used for kata done with power breathing, often done slowly, with one movement at each extended breath.

I would like to translate it as extended spirit, a spirit that pursues and sort of lingers on. Maybe mind instead of spirit, since shin/kokoro is the heart, used to describe mind, mentality and such.
Wakan digital dictionary translates it: "follow-through (e.g. in archery)."
I'd very much like to hear other thoughts on it - and examples of how it is used.

Fred L
03-07-2008, 11:04 AM
I spoke with my sensei yesterday. He is a bad typist. He did mean yin/yang (or in/yo). He then went on to relate nage's zanshin to "living" elements and uke's to "dead" ones.

Can you guys add to this? My appreciation for the whole yin/yang concept is very superficial. I understand that nage could be seen as being active, while uke is passive, but ukemi is more than a passive exercise on uke's part. How could zanshin be anything but active/living?


Stefan Stenudd
03-07-2008, 01:53 PM
Yin and yang are quite complex in Chinese tradition. Originally they refer to the shady and sunny side, such as on a tree. In ancient Chinese cosmology they are the opposites that make a whole, and the universe is alive by their interaction.

Now, that big thing is not necessarily what Easterners refer to when they talk about yin and yang. For example, Musashi talks in his 'Book of Five Rings' about in/yo walking, by which he states that he simply means alternate left and right footsteps - i.e. regular walking.

Some may use in/yo in a meaning similar to omote/ura, that would make sense, or above/below, like heaven and earth. Living or dead might refer to yang being light and warm, whereas yin is dark and cold. The possibilities are endless :)