Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Mushin: Martial Arts No Mind

If I have been able to learn anything in the martial arts, it is to always keep moving. In practice always finish a technique no matter how many mistakes one makes.

That is not to say we aren't striving for perfection, crisp and clean movements, but mistakes are going to happen.

Correct the mistakes as best as you can, and do better when your turn comes around again.

But don't think about it.

What do I mean?

How are martial arts techniques shown in your own training?

In ours, the teacher or senior student will demonstrate a technique on a training partner- uke and tori. They will perform it a few times at a moderate speed, and then the group will partner up and practice- there is no explaining at this point.

As a student in class, you have a few chances to pick up what is happening and then are off to practice it. This method of seeing and doing without discussion has a few advantages- secrets in training.

The first is that is cultivates and flexes a survival instinct in the martial arts- the ability to see martial arts movement in action and immediately understand it. This is what allows us to see other styles, or lack of style and know what is going to happen ahead of time. Many people both in and out of the martial arts allow their movement to betray them.

It also cultivates mushin- no mind, no thought, no thinking, etc.

You see it and you do it.

When you think about the martial arts, your movement stops, and at the very least if you movement stops you are easier to hit.

Thinking and analyzing shuts down your movement...

After some practice, the senior who showed the technique will call the group back to point out a few key movements or some insights into the technique.       

On a side but relevant point, if you are ever trying to replicate a martial arts technique and still can't seem to make it work- check the distance, as often the distance is off. 

Questions, comments, and inquries about our training group may be directed to the email address here: Email Training Group.

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Located in Westchester, New York we are a martial arts training group dedicated to studying the Bujinkan dojo martial arts methods of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. As friends we come together to practice the martial arts. New members and visiting martial artists are always welcome, please contact us with any questions, feedback, or inquiries.