- TO INFINITY
- When does
- In karate,
as in any other endeavour, the answer you get to a
question often depends on how you phrased the question.
questions draw simple answers.
questions do not.
questions may even draw the dreaded answer, "ask me
again in three years".
- Which is
the answer your Sensei probably thinks will do you the
most good in the long run, since what it really means is
, "go away, train hard, and after years of proper
practice you will probably find the answer for yourself".
- Some answer
it seems never come easy.
- Now the
other day in the dojo it so happens that I was asked a
very interesting question. It is a question that in my
opinion, very few students truly know the correct answer
to, the question was, "when does a technique end?"
students, beginners, and seniors alike, often make the
mistake of believing that a technique, for example a
gyaku-zuki, ends once the technique has stopped it's
however, is not correct.
- While it is
true that the technique it's self may no longer be "in
motion", there is a term in karate called, "the
- In essence,
this refers to the belief that in karate the "mind"
and the "body" must always be regarded as
"one" and as such, inseparable. Therefore, it
is very important for students to understand that just
because the "body" is finished with the
technique, this does not mean that the "mind"
is finished with the technique.
- For example.
- While the
physical action of a gyaku-zuki may have stopped just
short of contact with the target, the "energy"
generated by the unity of the body, mind, and spirit,
although unseen, is still actually moving forward. It is
the "mental visualization" or "conscious
belief" that this still "moving energy"
will ultimately bridge the gap that exists between the
fist and the target, that gives rise to the term "the
- Perhaps one
of the best examples of the concept of "the
continuing mind" takes place in the Japanese art of
Kyudo, or archery.
- In Kyudo,
or "the way of the bow", students are taught
that they must first "see" the arrow hitting
the target in their "mind". Once they have
drawn back their arrow, and released their grip on the
bow string, and let the arrow fly towards it's target,
they must continue to maintain a conscious link.
- It is
because of their belief that their "mind" and
the "arrow" must still remain as "one"
that students of Kyudo never take their eyes, or their
mind, off of the arrow, but instead they follow the arrow
all the way to the target, all the time remaining
mentally focused on the arrow as if "willing it"
straight and true to its objective.
- Thus, when
the arrow finally strikes the target, the arrow still
remains a part of the archer, even though they are now
separated by a great distance.
- Do you
- This is a
very important concept to grasp.
- The idea
that a karate technique of any kind still has motion,
even though it has ceased moving, is very Zen in thinking.
- This type
of thinking reminds us, that in karate, a student's
"mind set" is critical to the out come of any
- In everyday
life it is not uncommon to hear a person say something
like, "I am sorry, my mind wandered for a moment".
In karate, as in life, however, a wandering mind can
often get it's owner into all kinds of problems.
- This is why
one of the most commonly stressed aspects of karate is
- A focused
mind should be alert, yet so occupied by the task at hand
that it does not have time to think of anything else,
thus ensuring that the student's goal is more likely to
- The simple
fact of the matter is that without good concentration and
good focus on whatever they are doing, it is very easy
for a student to injure themselves, or their training
partner, and since you are always responsible for the
health of your partner, or your opponent, a clear and
properly focused mind is very important at all times.
- So train
hard, pay attention to the little things, and never
forget, that just because your technique has stopped,
that does not mean that it has ended.
- After all a
continuing mind knows no limit.
- Without the
mind and the body working in
harmony, proper technique is not possible.
- Part the
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
- of the
human spirit through physical and mental training."
Peter Lindsay, Go Dan, (FSKA)