Dan or kyu are representing the practitioners standard but the qualities of the practitioners unable to be represent by dan or kyu. Some dan holder even cannot do a proper kihon. True dan or kyu cannot be brought, it’s about honour and art. Dan or kyu test are just to fulfill the grading syllabus requirement. Are we entitled for our dan or we make ourself look like a clown…
剣は心なり | ken wa kokoro nari | The sword is the mind | 剑即心
「其れ剣は心なり。心正しからざれば、剣又正しからず。すべからく剣を学ばんと欲する者は、まず心より学べ – 島田 虎之助
Ken to wa kokoro nari. Kokoro tadashi kereba sono ken tadashi. Kokoro tadashi karazarebe sono ken mata tadashi karazu. Ken o manaban to suru mono wa subekaraku sono kokoro o manabe.
“The sword is (like) the heart (心). If the heart is not correct, then the sword is not correct. For anyone who wishes to study the (way of the) sword, you must first study your heart.”
– 島田 虎之助 Shimada Toranosuke (1814 – 1852)
Competition will weaken the art
Without competition cannot prove the art (we learned)…..
An effective gyaku tzuki is start from rear heel. Transforming the hidden energy going through the hip and apply short strength power at the end of the tzuki. If all the combination done it correctly, the power force from the impact of the tzuki will go through opponent body feeling like bullet going through . A powerfull tzuki is built up from without using orthodox power but is all come from hidden energy. Tzuki is not just about applying fist to the target but is a combination movements of the whole body to create explosion power. I try to find correct terms to explain this hidden energy many months ago and came across Mikio Yahara sensei details explainations about it. http://www.theshotokanway.com/yaharakwfkihonp1.html
See also Sifu Adam Hsu regarding power issuing. http://www.adamhsu.com/articles/taiwanblog_FaJing1.html
Sensei is like mirror for a students. Students always follow sensei steps direct or indirectly. For example, if our sensei only good in performing katas without knowing about application of the kata during confrontation, sure we will follow his / her steps. Same with kumite and dislike kata. If we have a sensei that mastered hojo undo, tamishiwari, kihon, kata, bunkai jutsu, kumite waza, kiai jutsu…etc, we are the most luckiest one. To be a sensei is not about how many medals we collected in the past or making fortune but is a responsibility to pass the art for the next generations. Are we qualify to be other students sensei ? Only ourself known unless we have other agenda….
As already written very clear in the wikipedia. According buddhism vijnanavada ( the doctrine of consciousness) or yogachara, it’s impossible to empty our mind but we can change our sixth (mind) consciousness into wisdom. Mushin is about calm mind. If our mind is calm, we can see our opponent attacking very clearly. Mokuso 黙想 is a first step toward mushin. Mushin not only practice during mokuso but also continue apply during training.
* Mokuso! This means “Close your eyes and Clear your mind!” (ref: shito-ryu wikipedia)
Many karatekas in the past told me that, we must train / polish back our kihons when they lose their kumite competition. Since their gedan barai, oi tzuki, soto uke, uchi uke, gedan age uke , shuto uke & etc already good then what’s wrong with the kihons. My humble opinion is that since the kihons are already good then he / she must continue to train how to apply the kihons just like training katas bunkai jutsu in more practical way. Example oi tzuki, mostly karatekas have no idea how to apply it in real situation. Just performing oi tzuki for grading is not enough but training how to apply oi tzuki in more practical way make you totally entire different.