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Comments for How do you train your zanshin?

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Feb 26, 2013
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Study Zen to learn about Mushin and Zanshin.
by: Anonymous

When you relax your body and clear your mind you remain tethered to your reflexes and are able to move in any direction.

No mind = Do not put the mind anywhere. Do not put the mind in the leg, in the arm, in the sword, in your opponent etc. doing so is putting your mind somewhere and thus cannot be anywhere than where you put it. (When the mind and body are occupied they cannot respond.)(Here mind also means to "mind" to be bothered by)

When the mind is left nowhere it can be anywhere and everywhere it needs to be at the time it needs to be there.

Learning to clear your mind completely and remain totally present and empty will allow your body mind and reflexes to read your opponent faster than cognition (you are only consciously aware of something slightly after it has already occurred) and so are able to move toward the opening fluidly and intuitively and in perfect timing.

However, you must still train long and hard for your muscles to know what to do when the mind is put nowhere.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing this! Very nice post. Here is another explanation of mushin.

Jun 09, 2010
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Tension
by: Sensei J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc.

When you state in your article we must not relax even after the strike, may I assume you mean mentally relax since a more relaxed muscle structure is more efficient?

Rick

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for your question. You are right about relaxing physically but not mentally.

To be more specific, we must be aware of what will happen after we strike our opponent or our opponent strikes us.

If we want to maintain our mental and physical readiness while fighting, we must keep the state of our mind in the state of "heijoshin".

To do so, our body must be relaxed (meaning we can attack or defend when necessary) and we should be aware of the situation we are in even when we think we execute a valid cut.

Hope this helps.

Jun 02, 2010
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Training my Zanshin
by: Raul

When we finish sparring and the day ends at our dojang, I ask myself some questions while I fold my hakama:

1. What do I need to improve?
2. What did I learn today?
3. Who did I help learn something new today?
4. What is my next goal in kendo?
5. In what area was I weak today?

These types of questions help me to prepare my Zanshin and thereby polish myself.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing. You can do these while doing mokuso too!

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