Zanshin

Relaxed awareness. Remaining spirit.

Being mindful during training is important for lots of reason, to many to mention so I will look at just a few.

Zanshin is a state of mental readiness and a alert kind of relaxation. In Aikido training this takes a few shapes. Awarness of Maai {distance} is essential. Good Maai shows good Zanshin. At the point of a throw or pin it is keeping focus between Uke and Tori. For example not turning away after a technique shows that the connection is still maintained. It is also a awareness of the space around you and other Students. For both reasons for correct Budo practice and safety this is essential.

In Kenjutsu practice Zanshin is just as important. The connection between partners, awareness of space, the extension of the sword all involve Zanshin. Don’t treat the end of a Kata as the end of training. Focus is kept and pressure is not depleted. In Iaijutsu training, Zanshin becomes quite interesting. By training Solo we give ourselves another challenge. We must keep focus in the intended direction without a partner being there.

It is easy to become complacent in training as it is in daily life in general but for our practice to have any integrity we must maintain ourselves. Often this means being present in the moment and not focusing on the thousand or so things that may be going on in our lives. Budo is not for Sport and it is not for mere amusement either.

For any benefits of Budo practice to come into Daily life we must practice well. Only with constantly engaged Mindfulness in our training can we hope to truly understand what we are doing.

‘Always imagine yourself on the battlefield under the fiercest attack; never forget this crucial element of training.’ Morihei Ueshiba. 1938 ‘Budo’

1 Comment

Filed under Aikido, Budo Concepts, Katori Shinto Ryu

One response to “Zanshin

  1. Pingback: Sangen | Irish Budoka

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