Mantra & Mudra In The Martial Arts

We had been going back and forth for almost an hour…

Tsuki, jodan uke, shuto, keri kaeshi.

Ending with a painful boshiken to the ribs.

…when suddenly the teacher walked over with a statement.

Henka! 

World of change!

I spent much of the ride home thinking about that statement as the technique was the same every time for almost the hour.

Or was it?

We both tried to be a good uke, attacking with the same determination and execution despite knowing what was coming.

Getting hit in the same place over and over again, along with seeing the timing of the kata, we started to make micro adjustments in our movement to protect the arm and the ribs.

Just a slight turn before getting hit with the boshiken.

It still hurt, just in a different place that has not been poked a few hundreds times.

But it was *not* the same.

Each micro adjustment, made a similar adjustment to make the kata flow and work.

A name that invoked a feeling to the principal.

There had been other times like this in class over the seasons.

Training in a waza or kata and one hears a statement from the teacher.

Banpen Fugo!

Fudoshin.

Mushashin.

Always connected with a technique or feeling of movement.

In time I began to ask myself if these are mantra and mudra?

Other arts might mediate in the dojo or temple, chanting and prayer.

Is our mediation expressed by movement, moving in alignment in nature so concepts can be understood?

And when these concepts manifest in training, in that moment, a name given to them so we can *see* that flash of light & inspiration in the moment.