The First Martial Arts Skill

On of the concepts that we explore in the Japanese martial arts is the idea of mushin- no mind, no thinking.

The idea in the martial arts of letting the training and dynamic of the movement take over, not thinking with the mind regarding the next course of action, of what to do in a situation.

The idea that as fast as the mind is, the moment it starts *thinking* and trying to analyze what is happening, the movement of the body stops, and in the martial arts one never wants to stop moving.

As a corner stone of our training, all of our movements involve cultivating mushin, starting with the very first lesson taught in the dojo.

Let’s explore some of the training ideas in this first lesson.

The training drill begin with you and a partner standing across from each other in a relaxed posture called shizen. In this martial arts posture you are standing in-balance and are ready to move in any direction.

At some point your training partner reaches out to try and grab you, and as they do this you use footwork to step out of the way, take yourself off the angle of the attack, and physically get out of the way of the attack.

That simple, no martial arts strikes, locks, or counters.

Just get out of the way.

The first aspect of this drill is to begin teaching the body a fundamental of taijutsu- something is coming at you, get out of the way.

Put yourself in a safe spot.

This training drill, which we use to warm-up each class with is working to condition the body to let go and just start moving.

Later, when building on the drill, and one is out of the way using distance and angles, various marital arts techniques can be explored.

As one progresses in the training this drill also begins to scale.

What about against two attacks- say a grab and a kick, or a punch and a kick?

What about dealing with multiple training partners attacking at the same time and from different directions?

What about the use of training tools?

Rule #1 of taijutsu: Something is coming at you, entering your personal space, get out of the way.

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