[ FEATURE ] The Five Spirits of Budo (武道)…


I thought I would share my notes from a recent (captivating) lesson about the various mindsets useful – if not essential – to the karateka… Before I forget…

Shoshin (初心)

Meaning “beginner’s mind“… Essential to ensure continuous learn… And especially important as you progress through the grades… Do not forget that Shodan means “level 1”: black belt is not the end but rather the beginning! Whatever your grade, you are here to learn…

Zanshin (残心)

Meaning “continued alertness; remaining on one’s guard; being prepared for a counterstroke“… The state of mind one should remain in, for example after executing a kata or after scoring a point in a Kumite. A heightened state of (relaxed) awareness… Be ready for the next move, the next attack of your opponent… The fight is not over until it is over!

Mushin (無心)

Literally meaning “no mind” or “free from obstructive thoughts“… This is a state of awareness characterized by the absence of disruptive thoughts… A state of mind in which one is able to react (e.g. to an attack) without the need to analyse how to respond… A state of mind without fear, or anxiety… Basically a state of mind in which the brain is able to command without having to think… Also referred to as the “zone” by sport scientists… Mushin is sometimes described by the phrase, “mizu no kokoro”, which means, “mind like water”. The state of mind you should strive to reach whilst executing kata… But essential in combat or Kumite… “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water…” (Bruce Lee)

Fudo-shin (不動心)

Meaning “immovable mind“… Not in the sense of stubborness or rigidity, but rather calmness, imperturbability… Courage displayed both mentally and physically, not easily disturbed by internal thoughts or external forces. As described by Sensei Jesse Enkamp, an unshakable resolve… “Fudoshin is especially important when the stakes are high – like if you’re fighting, competing or grading“. The state of mind required when being attacked strongly in kumite, retaining composure and balance… Perform under pressure!

Senshin (先心)

Meaning “purified spirit; enlightened attitude“… As described on the internet, “something which will come after a lifetime of practice in controlling your thoughts and purifying your spirit“…

Go back to training….


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