Comments for Thinking too much?

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Nov 01, 2010
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Detachment from 'Thinking Too Much'
by: Santiago B. Tejada


To have a clear mind and not think is also called 'detachment'. It is one of the objectives of Zen meditation in order to avoid a 'busy mind' taken by the mundane, every day trivialities.

Repetitive practice is supposed to embed in your subcontiousness instinctive reactions to counter and attack your opponent without the need for 'thinking'. However, 'taking your time' to attack does not necessarily constitute 'thinking too much' when the opening is not good enough for successful striking. Instinct may have been telling you 'not now'.

Look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkWzmiYhpfIand with due respect for the old masters, tell us which one is 'thinking too much'.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for sharing your knowledge. It does not matter how many times I watch this video, it is pretty deep.

Aug 05, 2010
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thinking and planning
by: G.


Often I start jigeiko trying not to think but rather to act with spontaneity.

However after a while I often find myself planning my next move, i.e. seme in such a way that invites an attack to my men so that I can counter with kaeshi-do.

I'm not sure if this is a good thing to do - although it works sometimes in jigeiko, it has never worked for me in shiai where the only success I've ever had is when I've been able to react on instinct alone.

But the key word in the last sentence is 'react', what I've never been able to is to make an opening without thinking about it and planning.

PS. The thinking/planning thing only works with kendoka at about the same level as me. Beginners don't pick what I'm trying to make them do and sempai realise what I'm attempting and use it against me.

Kendo-Guide.Com:  Thank you for sharing!

We all do the same thing. We must think hard and plan well. But we should not think and plan once we take chudan. This is the hard part.

My best advice is to think and plan before you do jigeiko. Imagine and plan what you do in jigeiko vividly. If you have some techniques you want to work on or practice, try the techniques in this image training.  After that, just let your brain and body work for you in actual training.

When you become more advanced, you can think really quickly and fix your kend? in jigeiko.
Hope this helps.

Jul 09, 2010
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But what is 'Thinking'
by: John M.

Thinking isn't just 'thinking' i.e., having a thought, in a propositional manner, but encompasses much more, such as doubting, hesitation, pondering, guessing, anticipating, wondering, etc. all mental but quite subtle processes.

In the Western philosophical tradition, for example Descartes "Mediation of First Philosophy" the great French philosopher, the father of modern philosophy, gives an analytical description of the 'thinking' process and includes all these quite subtle sub-categories.

In Kendo we encounter this for sure in our keiko practice and need to eliminate them as much as possible. Spontaneity in action can be developed to a high degree, witness high ranking sensei(s).

What they may ?lose? in the aging process, is made up in the development of kendo cognition, the ability to act in an instance, to seize the opportunity.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for your post. I like the way you introduced the western philosophy! When we talk about ?thinking? in kend?, we include all what exactly you described above. Nicely put! Thanks!

Jul 08, 2010
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seeing vs making
by: Matt

Not sure of your level but if you are waiting to see an opening you _are_ thinking too much.

I had to laugh when I read your question since I did/do exactly the same thing. Especially when going with someone who is at a higher level you have to not wait and watch for openings. But take the initiative and make an opening. Even if you are unsuccessful you have to keep trying.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for sharing your experience, Matt!

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