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ticktick
10-14-2005, 11:03 AM
I was wondering if you can help me by giving me any ideas/advice on how to develop my Zanshin, as when I do a technique, I am so focused on the movement/technique I am doing, that my peripheral vision is non-existant and i bump into someone or something.

Any Advice and ideas greatly welcome :)

James Davis
10-14-2005, 11:17 AM
Try sitting down in seiza by yourself. Extend your vision to the floor about five feet in front of you. Practice Kokyu ho (deep breathing) and just let your eyes take in the entirety of the half of the room that's in front of you. After you've gotten better at this, start using you peripheral everywhere you go, just walking around tending to business as usual. Just like techniques, you can learn this by practice. Good luck! :)

ChrisHein
10-14-2005, 11:26 AM
Great question!
I think it's hard to develop Zanshin (the continuing mind) with out working from the beginning of the technique. Start out with the right mind set. Reach out to your partner, feel where he is and where you are in space and time. Then connect to your partner, feel how he feels, standing there. Connect and move with your partner as you do the technique, don't lose site of him. It's easy when doing the technique to get warped up in small details, and to focus on what YOU are doing, instead of how it feels for him to be receiving the technique. By staying focused on him, as well as yourself, and the feeling of the technique as a whole, you will not get so bogged down with extraneous thought, and shut down to the experience (getting stuck in your head). As you finish the technique, stay with the feeling, don't just shut down, and think about what's coming next, stay with the feeling of what just happened, and what is happening right now.

Just try and stay mindful, and it will do wonders for everything, your kokyu, your musubi, your awase, and your zanshin.

-Chris Hein

SeiserL
10-14-2005, 01:19 PM
IMHO, relax, breathe, and walk through the waza slowly while looking through the uke letting your gaze (not focus) take in what's beyond them.

Robert Rumpf
10-14-2005, 02:03 PM
When you walk and/or drive around in your daily life, try to pay extra attention to what's going on around you, as well as just where you are going or what you are doing.

Rob

John Boswell
10-14-2005, 02:31 PM
Shihan are very visably looking around when they do randori and the like. Satome, Ikeda, Kato all do I know. Once you have your uke under control, you then have time to take a breath, look around... see what's going on!

Just thought I'd mention this as well. ;)

Mats Alritzson
10-14-2005, 04:29 PM
1st bokken suburi. http://glimmer.blogs.com/glimmerscape/2005/week28/index.html

ticktick
10-15-2005, 11:16 AM
Thanks to all who have replied so far. The ideas posted have given me much to think about and try.

John Matsushima
10-16-2005, 12:13 PM
I believe you have misunderstood the term zanshin. The link recommended by Mats Alritzson is a good explanation for zanshin. Zanshin has nothing to do with awareness. If it is your awareness that you wish to improve, then I have a few suggestions. Start with yourself. Be as they say "mindful" of your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Once you have done that, expand your awareness to the thoughts, feelings, emotions and needs of others. In Japan, there is a saying, "ki ga kiku" which refers to the awareness of the needs of others, and "ki ga tsukau" which means taking care of others. For example, noticing that someone might be thirsty and ask them if they would like some water, or observing that someone is feeling left out of the conversation, and trying to include them, or noticing that a stranger looks lost and trying to help them. When I learned not to be so self-centered and look out for others, my awareness increased ten-fold.
You have to learn to look at the world in a different way. Forget about trying to use your peripheral vision, awareness is more than what you can see with your eyes. Learn to appreciate everything in the world around you. Go outside and listen to the birds sing and don't think, just listen. Notice the fine wood grain on the floor. Feel the warm sunlight raising the temperature of your body. Smell your food before you eat it. Watch the way butterflies play together and the random movement of dragonflies.
If you can learn to see the good in life, then you will also see the bad...if you can see the inanimate objects, then you will also that which is moving...if you can see the balance, then you can see the imbalance...if you can see that the glass is half full, then you will also see that it is half empty.

Learn to see that which is not there, and all that is.

Ed Shockley
11-10-2005, 09:44 AM
My understanding of Zanshin seems to be the same as Mr. Matsushima. It is the focused completion of a technique. Please correct me if I am wrong on this because I have used that concept often when teaching class. If my understanding is correct then I concur with Mats Alritzen (above) who suggests that weapons work is invaluable. (And I believe this applies both to my zanshin as flowing ki at completion of a technique and a general maai awareness). Something about a weapon and the potential for harm causes everyone to instantly focus both on themselves, their partner and the bokken swinging through the air near them. It also is extremely obvious when a cut is incomplete and that practice then carries over into open hand technique. All of this aside, the simple, redundant, answer is, "Keep practicing." Every problem yields to a newer, more subtle one, as the throws mount.

Enjoy

John Matsushima
11-10-2005, 10:21 AM
zanshin as flowing ki at completion of a technique

I think that describes zanshin perfectly. A runner doesn't stop at the finish line, but keeps going even though his task has been completed. There are ripples in the pond long after a pebble has been dropped...................................

doronin
12-08-2005, 02:38 AM
John, do you mind to elaborate your understanding of Zanshin a little more ? I'm a little confused how it happened that Zanshin so commonly associated with awareness, if it has nothing to do with that?

Thanks!!

Ian Upstone
12-08-2005, 04:05 AM
My understanding (and please let me know if I'm wrong!) is that zanshin means 'lingering mind' and is used after a technique. I used to think it was a case of just 'showing uke who's boss!' as shite would stand in a strong posture after throwing uke, especially if uke ends up at shite's feet.

In simplistic terms it means that you don't turn your back on your enemy after you pin or throw them, as they may well get up again! I suppose this is the 'awareness' element of zanshin that is being discussed, (confused with?) although in more general terms, rather than specifically after a technique.

SeiserL
12-08-2005, 09:05 AM
My understanding (and please let me know if I'm wrong!) is that zanshin means 'lingering mind' and is used after a technique.
IMHO, musubi means connection.

Simply, the mental and energy connection begins before actual physical contact and continues after the physical contact ends. This later part is what I think of as zanshin.

Its like a spectrum of connectedness.

John Matsushima
12-08-2005, 09:53 AM
John, do you mind to elaborate your understanding of Zanshin a little more ? I'm a little confused how it happened that Zanshin so commonly associated with awareness, if it has nothing to do with that?

Thanks!!

Lost in translation. This is the best way I can describe many concepts, ideas, and principles which become confusing and distorted as we try to study them. I am myself guilty of analyzing a Japanese term in a way that my western mind comes to twist the truth. For example, Aikido doesn't exactly mean "the way of harmony" or "the way of peace"; it is more accurate to say "the way of connection" If you are a good student and wish to study more, then I encourage you to learn Japanese; study the language, the culture, and make some Japanese friends. When you can "walk in another's shoes" then you may be able to see things a bit clearer. Zanshin, as translated directly from the Kanji means "lingering spirit/body". There are other words for awareness, and zanshin is not one of them. On the mat, zanshin is usually demonstrated as mentioned by others in this thread, that when uke "finishes" a technique, he/she remains in a certain posture for a few seconds. The more important question you should ask is "WHY do we do this?" I encourage you to think about this deeply and research it more yourself.

Erick Mead
12-08-2005, 10:01 AM
There is a training technique in expanding awareness that I have been taught and practiced. It goes like this.

Uketachi stands square with a shinai or bokken in gedan (low position to front).

Two Uchitachi stand on either side with shinai or bokken (preferably shinai) held in jodan (high overhead).

Uketachi holds his focus directly to the front at all times, preferably facing a wall some distance away. Uketachi tells both Uchitachi to shift back until uketachi can see that they are there, but cannot see the swords raised over their heads.

Then uchitachi each exchange glances to allow one or the other to strike the chest (mune) of uchitachi with big, wide horizontal cuts. (shinai, I said, or lightly with bokken)

Start slow. Uketachi turns hips strongly to the side of the strike raising to seigan (extended middle position), and then turns hips slightly inside the cut to receive and block it. Then return to front position gedan. Strikes should be random, and uchitachi should not try to hide or feint the cut at all. Cuts can be shortened and speeded up as Uketachi progresses.

Alternatively, if Ukeitachi is not yet prepared or is uncomfortable to block or sweep inside of a strike, then a tenkan on the foot away from the attacker can take them outside the arc of the cut in time with the strike. Get uketachi comfortable with this and then have uketachi begin blocking or sweeping inside with a pivot on both feet in place.

Once this method is learned then you graduate uketachi to receive yokomenuchi with an inside turning block, and then shomenuchi, with a rising vertical sweep (murabashi).

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Ian Upstone
12-08-2005, 10:16 AM
when uke "finishes" a technique, he/she remains in a certain posture for a few seconds.

John, not meaning to be picky but do you mean uke in this instance?

Even if you didn't, it still reminds me of those instances when zanshin is applied in techniques where uke does not end up out of range. I've seen (and been) uke 'held' in position, by shite's 'dominance' (if that's the correct word)

Holding a strong and positive posture at this time has also certainly helped development of throws etc. For example, when uke is thrown and hangs on, shite does not go tumbling down with them.

John Matsushima
12-08-2005, 10:27 AM
Ian, thank you for the correction. Yes, I meant to say "nage". I agree that zanshin is applied in pins as well as throws.

Having good zanshin also looks pretty too, doesn't it?

Erick Mead
12-08-2005, 11:14 AM
John, not meaning to be picky but do you mean uke in this instance?
Even if you didn't, it still reminds me of those instances when zanshin is applied in techniques where uke does not end up out of range. I've seen (and been) uke 'held' in position, by shite's 'dominance' (if that's the correct word)
And, one should note -- in John's defense-- good zanshin on the part of uke to follow nage's technique as it is applied, often results in kaeshiwaza, even if it is from the ground. Uke's first job is ukemi, but it is not the only one. Zanshin on the part of uke keeps nage honest and his technique true.

Cordailly,
Erick Mead

Ketsan
12-08-2005, 07:27 PM
I believe Zanshin can also mean "novelty". :D Don't quote me on that though.

tedehara
12-09-2005, 08:19 AM
I believe Zanshin can also mean "novelty". :D Don't quote me on that though.Too Late! ;)

Ron Tisdale
12-09-2005, 10:41 AM
At Kondo Sensei's (mainline Daito ryu) last seminar in the states he described zanshin in a different way from what I've heard in aikido. He described it as 'leaving nothing behind'. When Hasagawa Sensei (one of his senior students) went though the kata in Ikkajo at the end of the seminar, it was very apparent what he meant. There was literally nothing left behind, and the effect on her uke was crystal clear. Wonderfull technique.

Best,
Ron

odudog
12-09-2005, 12:03 PM
Lost in translation. This is the best way I can describe many concepts, ideas, and principles which become confusing and distorted as we try to study them. I am myself guilty of analyzing a Japanese term in a way that my western mind comes to twist the truth. For example, Aikido doesn't exactly mean "the way of harmony" or "the way of peace"; it is more accurate to say "the way of connection" If you are a good student and wish to study more, then I encourage you to learn Japanese; study the language, the culture, and make some Japanese friends. When you can "walk in another's shoes" then you may be able to see things a bit clearer. Zanshin, as translated directly from the Kanji means "lingering spirit/body". There are other words for awareness, and zanshin is not one of them. On the mat, zanshin is usually demonstrated as mentioned by others in this thread, that when uke "finishes" a technique, he/she remains in a certain posture for a few seconds. The more important question you should ask is "WHY do we do this?" I encourage you to think about this deeply and research it more yourself.

Mr. Matsushima, you and I are of the same mind in the translation of the meaning of Aikido. I translate it as being "the way of fusing energy". I speak a little bit of Japanese but my kanji is pretty non-existance. My wife tells me all the time that if I study kanji then my study of Japanese will be much easier. So lately, I have been on a kick of looking up the kanji for the Aikido words in my three dictionaries and then asking my wife for more context. Do you have the kanji for zanshin? From my understanding right now, zanshin means a strong focus / posture.

Ron Tisdale
12-09-2005, 12:36 PM
Oops, sorry, that should have been Hasegawa Sensei.

Best,
Ron

doronin
12-09-2005, 01:53 PM
Well, thanks.

Getting back to awareness... With all the above, I'm just wondering is there a concept of awareness in Aikido at all?

Charles Hill
12-09-2005, 08:14 PM
Interestingly, the "zan" of zanshin means "broken" in Chinese. The one character in the movie Hero is named Broken Sword. In Japanese, the characters are read Zan Ken. I wonder how it got changed to "lingering" or "remaining" when imported to Japan?

Charles

John Matsushima
12-10-2005, 02:58 AM
I'm a little confused how it happened that Zanshin so commonly associated with awareness, if it has nothing to do with that?

I would like to elaborate a bit more on this. The kanji for zan is 残。 According to the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, it has two meanings. One is REMAIN, LINGER, STAY. Examples include: zanyo - remainder, residue, remnant; zandaka - balance, remainder; zangaku - balance of an account; zangyo - overtime; zanpan - leftover food; zansetsu - lingering snow.

The second definition for this kanji is RUTHLESS, CRUEL, BRUTAL. I think we can all agree that having good zanshin doesn't mean tearing off uke's arm.

As for the second kanji, shin 心, the dictionary lists HEART, MIND, SPIRIT, FEELINGS, EMOTIONS, and THOUGHTS. Examples for shin include: shinpai - anxiety, concern, worry; shinri - mental state, mentality, psychology; shinjo - one's heart, feelings; ryoshin - conscience.

I usually shy away from using chinese definitions. I am aware that kanji originated in China, however, kanji in the Japanese language has it's own cultural connotations and meanings. Sometimes they are the same as the Chinese, and sometimes they are not.

Now, back to the original question; "How did this term come to be known as awareness". My first answer would be that there is no exact translation into English for the word zanshin, and "awareness" is perhaps the closest. Secondly, it is difficult to explain because we usually don't say in english that we are using our heart, spirit, feelings, emotions and thoughts when doing a technique. Perhaps I was wrong to say that it has NOTHING to do with awareness, and for that I apologize.

I'm sure we have all seen the movie where the good guy kills the bad guy at the end of the movie, turns around, smiles, and guess what happens? Yup, the bad guy isn't dead. He gets up smacks the good guy and goes another couple of rounds with him. The good guy lost his fighting spirit, his mental attitude, his feelings, emotions and everything changed when he smiled because he thought he had killed the bad guy. In this sense, one might say that he lost his sense of awareness. Keeping your SHIN at the end of a technique is staying focused, staying aware, and this is symbolized by a good posture at the end. Keep in mind though, that a "good, strong, posture" without the correct heart and mindset is NOT zanshin.

So, some have taken this type of awareness (for lack of a better word) and attached it to every other situation where we might talk about awareness. The important point is that zanshin awareness is only done at the end/beginning of a technique. It is what connects 1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc. Being aware of other people while I am doing a technique is not zanshin, but being aware immediately after all movement has stopped after the first technique is.

It is surprising for me to hear that that someone described zanshin as "leaving nothing behind", because it has everything to do with leaving something behind.

Try it out on the mat and think about it some more.

Erick Mead
12-10-2005, 09:54 AM
I would like to elaborate a bit more on this. The kanji for zan is 残。 ... , it has two meanings. One is REMAIN, LINGER, STAY. .... The second definition for this kanji is RUTHLESS, CRUEL, BRUTAL.
I usually shy away from using chinese definitions. I am aware that kanji originated in China, however, kanji in the Japanese language has it's own cultural connotations and meanings. Sometimes they are the same as the Chinese, and sometimes they are not.
I agree that Chinese etymology must be applied with caution to kanji, especially when the same character has a both Sinic and a native spoken expression; an excellent example is 心 - shin/kokoro.
Chinese etymology is more useful when deconstructing kanji into component radicals. Even in Chinese, however, this can sometimes render a false, but intriguingly suggestive, etymology.
The same caution is true, I find, in looking for English words to express often ineffable Chinese or Japanese terms. I have found that using negative construction often captures more of the connotative meaning for the English speaker than straight ahead literal translation.

"Zanshin" with BOTH of the connotative meanings John has given may be better translated as

"Unrelenting spirit"

FWIW,

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Josh Reyer
12-10-2005, 11:15 AM
Interestingly, the "zan" of zanshin means "broken" in Chinese. The one character in the movie Hero is named Broken Sword. In Japanese, the characters are read Zan Ken. I wonder how it got changed to "lingering" or "remaining" when imported to Japan?

Charles

In Chinese, it doesn't exactly mean "broken", but rather "to break, destroy, ruin". Originally (at least, according to the Kanjigen dictionary), it referred to cutting something down with a blade. Eventually it also came to refer to the remains themselves, particularly in Japanese after it was assigned to the native Japanese words nokoru "remain" and nokosu "to leave behind". But the "remaining, remainder" meaning is also present in Chinese, cp cn y "remnants" and "cn zhū" "stubble".

theflyingheadbuttsuplex
12-11-2005, 11:13 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but with all the different explainations I've heard, I must ask what is Zanshin? Does it have more than one meaning? What's the general thought on it?

Josh Reyer
12-12-2005, 12:40 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but with all the different explainations I've heard, I must ask what is Zanshin? Does it have more than one meaning? What's the general thought on it?

John Matsushima's post #27 in this thread nailed it perfectly, IMO.

Ron Tisdale
12-12-2005, 09:39 AM
It is surprising for me to hear that that someone described zanshin as "leaving nothing behind", because it has everything to do with leaving something behind.

Try it out on the mat and think about it some more.

Tried it plenty, thanks (and again this weekend, especially with a mind to the meaning given by Kondo Sensei). From what I saw at the seminar, and my own exploration, I'd say that leaving something behind and leaving nothing behind are sometimes two sides of the same coin. When you put everything you have into a waza, there is nothing left behind. When you put everything you have into a waza, your focus at the 'end' is as strong as the 'beginning' and 'middle'.

Personally, when a Mekyo Kaiden holder suggests something, I try not to brush it off so easily. But that's just me.

Best,
Ron

Don_Modesto
12-12-2005, 03:20 PM
Personally, when a Mekyo Kaiden holder suggests something, I try not to brush it off so easily. But that's just me.

Ha!

LOL.

Ron Tisdale
12-13-2005, 02:33 PM
Hey Don,

It would help if I spelled it correctly, wouldn't it... :)

Best,
Ron

Don_Modesto
12-13-2005, 10:01 PM
Hey Don,

It would help if I spelled it correctly, wouldn't it... :)

Best,
Ron

Hadn't eben moticed htat.

Leon Aman
12-14-2005, 04:13 AM
I was wondering if you can help me by giving me any ideas/advice on how to develop my Zanshin, as when I do a technique, I am so focused on the movement/technique I am doing, that my peripheral vision is non-existant and i bump into someone or something.

Any Advice and ideas greatly welcome :)


I think everything in aikido can be developed thru constant practice, and so as Zanshin. You can develop it to yourself by keep on practicing, realizing how it works and internalize it into your subconscious mind so that it may become a
habit....so I think "habit" is the key word.

Mato-san
01-01-2006, 10:42 PM
My shihan describes zanshin like thus, First you must have mind and body unified, then if you imagine a gong that is struck it is visably motionless but is vibrating and producing sound waves or (energy in our case) if you apply this to your limbs, I found it works wonders esspecially in the ki tests. Helped me anyways!

John Matsushima
08-18-2006, 01:34 PM
After doing some studying, and practice I believe I have made a mistake in some of the things I have said regarding zanshin.

I have come to the realization that perhaps it does have something to do with awareness after all, and with "leaving nothing behind".

What I believe now is that the mind is like the moon which shines on everything, everywhere all at once. When you look at it though, it remains unchanged. The moon that remains and lingers and leaves not a trace after it has touched everything is what I find to be zanshin.

I am sorry for my errors and my own misunderstandings.

Sincerely,

John

Ron Tisdale
08-18-2006, 02:12 PM
Hey John, I've found that given enough time, everything changes. Nothing to be sorry for...it just happens {shrug}. Glad to hear you are still training, and I really like the way you referred to the moon in your post. Reminded of some poems about suigetsu...

Best,
Ron

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-18-2006, 08:21 PM
I've seen zanshin spelt two different ways: zan is the same ( 残 ) but shin is either heart ( 心 ) or body ( 身 ). The discussion up until now has mainly beeen on the former. However, given that aikido is physical, and the "heart" is conttrolling the expression of body skills, the zanshin refers also directly and specifically to a maintainance of the body tensions (centering if you like) that you used to achieve the power of your technique. That is to say, the maximum power, and it would be spread throughout the body, not concentrated in any one point of contact with uke. The same is true of uke also, it is not a matter of whether you are standing or lying on the ground. I want to point out that zanshin is not present in a pinning technique: it is present in the moments after the pin is released and the partners are separated again. Since the body and "heart" are so related, and some amount of "listening" to one's own body is required to keep the physical connections, it seems to me that "awareness" is also not incorrect as a partial explanation of the term, although it is easy to misunderstand the meaning as applied to zanshin. I am quite happy with Jon Matsushima's explanations but I feel it is important to point out that for all the mental aspects, there must be a direct physical aspect also.

Upyu
08-18-2006, 09:46 PM
John Matsushima's post #27 in this thread nailed it perfectly, IMO.

If you don't have bodyskill, that's not a bad explanation.

But you guys are overcomplicating the issue. IMO.

If you have bodyskill, this means you automatically have awareness of the sixdirections, your balance, etc etc. You're "harmonizing" your body to any incoming force, 24/7 365 days a year.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, zanshin is a given, if you have the kokyu/jin skills. It's just another way to describe the difference in the bodies state of being when you're in that "mode" of movement.

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-18-2006, 11:43 PM
Hi Rob! Agreed, I was trying to explain it as an admonition to not let go of the "mode" after having used it. As you point out, it should be there 24/7.

Mike Sigman
08-23-2006, 09:31 AM
My shihan describes zanshin like thus, First you must have mind and body unified, then if you imagine a gong that is struck it is visably motionless but is vibrating and producing sound waves or (energy in our case) if you apply this to your limbs, I found it works wonders esspecially in the ki tests. Helped me anyways!It's an interesting comment. The descriptions is a cute visualization to get you into what is known as "condensing". However, without knowing how to set up the "mind and body unified" and without having done it enough to build up the "suit" or "tension network", it's probably not going to be all that helpful for most people.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Robert Rumpf
08-23-2006, 09:59 AM
If you don't have bodyskill, that's not a bad explanation.

But you guys are overcomplicating the issue. IMO.

If you have bodyskill, this means you automatically have awareness of the sixdirections, your balance, etc etc. You're "harmonizing" your body to any incoming force, 24/7 365 days a year.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, zanshin is a given, if you have the kokyu/jin skills. It's just another way to describe the difference in the bodies state of being when you're in that "mode" of movement.

You have awareness in six directions all the time? Does this mean you are never surprised? What about when you sleep? Or are you only never surprised by physical contact? Do "bodyskills" allow you to sense what is behind you before it contacts you? Do they allow you to win at chess, too? Is it like some sort of spider sense? Perhaps this sense is via some connection with "the ki of the universe."

As far as I'm aware, the stuff that you guys are talking about is only related to what comes in physical contact with you or what comes very close to you. Either that, or universal ki is not bunk - and suddenly we should be looking for force fields emnating from people and things like that.

Regardless, I think that when you isolate zanshin to physical sensation, you are missing something more general, in terms of awareness and being mentally clever and awake. And that's only part of it...

Matushima's post is talking about that, I think. When I see discussions about zanshin, I look at zen, which is what Matsushima alludes to in his sentences that are paraphases of things said elsewhere in the literature.

I could repeat sentences I've read elsewhere, of course, or add sentences of my own that are poetic or clever, but what does it matter what I say..? If it matters at all, it matters whether or not I do it.

Rob

John Matsushima
08-23-2006, 10:47 AM
You have awareness in six directions all the time? Does this mean you are never surprised? What about when you sleep? Or are you only never surprised by physical contact? Do "bodyskills" allow you to sense what is behind you before it contacts you? Do they allow you to win at chess, too?


No, you would have to have awareness in eight directions to win at chess. :straightf

Robert Rumpf
08-23-2006, 11:19 AM
No, you would have to have awareness in eight directions to win at chess. :straightf

Hehe... so now I know why I always lose..

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-23-2006, 07:45 PM
It's an interesting comment. The descriptions is a cute visualization to get you into what is known as "condensing". However, without knowing how to set up the "mind and body unified" and without having done it enough to build up the "suit" or "tension network", it's probably not going to be all that helpful for most people.

Hi Mike,

Just caught up reading here: Kinoshita, Abe sensei's dojo-cho uses analogy of a camera shutter freezing the action for one instant as the breath is stopped. The result is a kind of impulse (which then leaves over a vibration). Is this similar, i.e., also a visualization of what you call "condensing" (I don't know what this term means but I'll be happy if I can recognize similar analogies).

Mike Sigman
08-23-2006, 08:51 PM
Kinoshita, Abe sensei's dojo-cho uses analogy of a camera shutter freezing the action for one instant as the breath is stopped. The result is a kind of impulse (which then leaves over a vibration). Is this similar, i.e., also a visualization of what you call "condensing" (I don't know what this term means but I'll be happy if I can recognize similar analogies). No... I *think* I know what he is saying and it's an interesting perspective, but I think it's a little short of the mark, if it's what I think he's trying to say. The "condensing" is something a little more prolonged. In fact, the ideal is to be able to continue that "vibration" for a very long time, sort of like the ability to engage a muscle that is not a muscle for the duration of an engagement.

Regards,

Mike

Upyu
08-23-2006, 09:02 PM
You have awareness in six directions all the time? Does this mean you are never surprised? What about when you sleep? Or are you only never surprised by physical contact? Do "bodyskills" allow you to sense what is behind you before it contacts you? Do they allow you to win at chess, too? Is it like some sort of spider sense? Perhaps this sense is via some connection with "the ki of the universe."

As far as I'm aware, the stuff that you guys are talking about is only related to what comes in physical contact with you or what comes very close to you. Either that, or universal ki is not bunk - and suddenly we should be looking for force fields emnating from people and things like that.


You raised an interesting point Rob.
But at its base level (or where I'm at anyways), six directions refers to a physical pushpull relationship at all points on your body.
Disturbing this relationship elicits a desire to "correct" whatever it is that is disturbing it, and you start to develop things like effortless kuzushi.

Taking this one step further, now that your body is more atune to these pushpull relationships, you become more aware of your spatial surroundings in those same directions. This probably (and this is only a guess) links to the auditory and visual senses as well giving your brain a different way to process the info being recieved from them.

I was wondering why timing my strikes during sparring was becoming ridiculously easy after a couple years into this training...anyways just some ramblings on my part.

Erick Mead
08-23-2006, 11:48 PM
I have come to the realization that perhaps it does have something to do with awareness after all, and with "leaving nothing behind".

What I believe now is that the mind is like the moon which shines on everything, everywhere all at once. When you look at it though, it remains unchanged. The moon that remains and lingers and leaves not a trace after it has touched everything is what I find to be zanshin.I've done a little more study into the kanji etymology of zanshin 残心 , which may add some more to the discussion.

It is onyomi. The Chinese 残 心 is read can^3 xin^1. It is not a phrase of any currency in Chinese, however, so the meaning of 残 zan/can^3 predominates, and a more classical reading of the Chinese characters is appropriate.

The modern character 残 zan/can^3 is simplified. It originally was in the form 殘.

In Chinese 殘 can^3 means 1. destroy, spoil, ruin, injure; 2. cruel; oppressive; savage; 3. incomplete, disabled; 4. wreckage, remains, ruins

If decomposed into its components 殘 results in
歹 dai^3 bad, evil, wicked
戔 jian^1 narrow, small

Consistent with the sense of 殘 can^3, the decomposed characters suggest an evil or wicked reduction or diminishment, or if read more ambiguously -- reduction or diminishment of (or by) evil

Interestingly, the character 戔 is a duplication of the character 戈 ge^1 meaning spear or lance (also forms part of "bu" as in budo). Ordinarily, if the decomposed characters were read as an expression such as 戈戈 ge^1ge^1 the duplication would be a means of being emphatic, indicating a degree of extremity in the premise -- in this case spears (or weapons as a general case).

I earlier extended the connotations from the secondary meaning of zan 殘 of "cruel or brutal" as zanshin 残心 "unrelenting spirit" in the mode of budo.

Given this further examination of the kanji etymology, another extended sense of zanshin 残心 [心する- the sense of attentive, mindful]. This would be "contemplation of ruin" as part of the sensitivity to the impoverishment or desolation [侘 wabi] inherent in all destructive acts.

Certainly, this type of contemplation is consistent with O-Sensei's views:
Budo 武道 has been misunderstood as a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst sin a human being can commit. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.

FWIW

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-24-2006, 02:51 AM
No... I *think* I know what he is saying and it's an interesting perspective, but I think it's a little short of the mark, if it's what I think he's trying to say. The "condensing" is something a little more prolonged. In fact, the ideal is to be able to continue that "vibration" for a very long time, sort of like the ability to engage a muscle that is not a muscle for the duration of an engagement.

Thanks for that Mike, it definitely gives me something to think about.
It seems to me that with Abe sensei and Kinoshita there is the general stndaing (let's call it 6-directional) and then on contact (or before) a readjustment in the body to redistribute the force, and a breathstopping to create an extra force for kuzushi (or to cover the readjustment?), all instantaneous. After that readjustment and impulse-generating breathstopping, the 6-directional standing (and motion) continues. I've been wondering why after the initial impulse Abe sensei says it is easy to continue moving. I suspect that it is because he has re-distributed the force of uke from the contact point throughout his body (ideally before uke has taken hold, if he is able to tell exactly how and where the attack will come), so after the readjustment, he really does move and fell exactly as before the contact. But I could be entirely wrong (and I have no idea exactly what mechanics are working with the breath-stopping)... Does this supposition seem plausible?