Zanshin In The Martial Arts

Zanshin- awareness in movement is an important concept in the martial arts. It is something we want to work on cultivating in each class and training session, but what is the first step?

The interesting thing about learning the martial arts is that it is not an academic study- one becomes aware of the concept, and then works to make this concept happen in each class.

Over time, the concept (philosophy) takes root and you begin to naturally do it without having to think about it- followed by it naturally happening each time you need it, followed by it becoming a normal and natural part of your taijutsu movement.

Zanshin is a state of awareness that you have when interacting with a training partner- an awareness that something might happen next, and that you are ready for it…

…and if it happens, you are able to respond with the appropriate movement.

The starting point in cultivating zanshin is with the completion of a technique (waza) or kata with your training partner. As tori, once you finish, pause for a moment with correct kamae (body posture) and distance (ma-ai) and exist there for a moment.