The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Zanshin in Martial Arts

Zanshin is an important concept in the study of Japanese martial arts. I had posted on the concept of Zanshin a couple of time before, here and there. Below is an excerpt form an article at the Kenshi Journal. The full post may be read at this link.

The description of Zanshin can be started by firmly stating that it is difficult to describe it in words. It is a part of yuko datotsu 有効打突 and I think people focus on displaying zanshin more that kime. However, they are both needed. Zanshin is not straight forward; it is a complex concept that includes technical skill, mental composure, and physical presence. It is somewhat like the Tao(道) as described by Lao Tzu, any attempt to describe it in words does not do it justice. Much more experienced scholars have described the concept as well, one of the best being the TED talk (Zanshin – The Lingering Mind in Budo: at TEDxMeieki) by Dr. Alex Bennett.

That being said, I’m am still going to try a poor attempt to do just that. Zanshin is a state of mental and physical alertness, where one is aware of all that transpires around them yet not attached to any particular thing. In kendo, it is a state of mind and body, after striking with sutemi, in which one ready to respond to any actions performed by the opponent. It can be further defined as a display of full intent to attack and to correctly follow through until one has established the proper distance between oneself and the opponent and then turns and faces them again with full commitment of mind and body.



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