Kan Ken no Metsuke:
Two Eyes to See Our Opponent

Kendo Wisdom kan ken no metsuke

We have two kinds of "metsuke" (a way to look at your opponent) with using two different kinds of eyes.

Kan and Ken.

In kendo, we have two kinds of eyes. Is this hard to believe? It is hard to believe that your mind has eyes too!

You might want to remember this term "metsuke". It is often used in kendo training.

It is a noun of "to have your eyes on something" or "the way you see things". Remember Enzan no Metsuke? If not, click here.

Ken is

kendo terminology ken

This is to look, see, watch...

You use your eyes. Thus, you actually need to look at your opponent. This sounds easy to do.

You see how your opponent is moving, acting or reacting. You observe your opponent and then decide what you are going to do.

What is Kan?

Kan is

kendo terminology kan

This can mean "to observe" and so on, but here it means more like "to observe the truth."

This is not something you can see with your naked eyes.

What is it then?

You probably know the answer... yes. Mind.

Intuition you might want to call it. Some may call it insight. Others might call it "reading other's mind".

It is when you have to rely on your experience, sense, feelings and/or instinct.

In other words, do not trust what you see only with your eyes. The more you practice kendo, the better you understand what is said here.   

Kan no metsuke is not something you can just practice to acquire. It might be acquired from meditation. It might be acquired from accumulated training.

And you do not know when you can get it. However, I can say if you are an ordinary person like me, it takes a long time to get this EYE!

There will be some moments during training that you just know what your opponent will do next.

In addition you will have such an experience as that you won a fight and do not know why you won or you do not remember what you did to win.

When you are a beginner, don't worry about kan too much. All you have to do is to do what you are told to do.

You do not have time to think about thess mind eyes anyway. When you become 3rd dan, you might want to train thinking about "kan".

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