An excellent post from someone who obviously has direct experience of
what he's talking about.
The huffing and puffing type of concentration of chi is primarily
useful in demonstrations of force in set conditions such as breaking
bricks. Bricks don't avoid punches or strike back! In such cases one
can concentrate on concentrating one's chi against the unchanging chi
of the bricks and take one's time. However in interactive situations
with a live opponent things are much different and concentrating on
one's own chi in this way is not usually the best tactic.
Against a live opponent the key is emptiness, or as you say mushin.
If you are full of concentrating on your own chi your focus and your
energy will be in that concentration of chi, not on the total
interactive situation with the opponent. The emptier of such
concentration one is the faster and more appropriately one can act.
The idea is to be empty of self so that you are maximally aware and
tuned to the flow of the total situation and are able to respond
instantly and naturally to any change the opponent makes in the unity
of the whole situation. This too is actually chi, but not a huff and
puff concentration of chi in one's own hara, but a maximal awareness
and response to the total chi of the entire situation that exists
between you and your opponent. If you erect no chi barrier to your
opponent you are able to sense instantly any change he makes to the
chi flow you share with him and respond optimally - assuming you have
the training to do so of course.
This all goes to a very important point. What to do with realization,
what to do with Zen? As Bill noted, he spends 99% of his life out of
zazen. No matter how enlightened we exist in the world of maya where
causality holds sway. With Zen we can realize that is illusion, but
we still must exist within it. The big question is how to bring Zen
into that world in our daily lives 24/7.
Al points to the way here. The key is to be empty. That doesn't mean
to be empty of chi, but to be empty of any hinderances to the flow of
chi. When we are empty of such blockages we are continually being
filled with the chi of the present here now which flows through us
unobstructed, and out of this flow our own action originates
naturally and spontaneously. Most people's action originates from
their hinderances to the free flow of chi, those internal forms in
which they try to trap chi, that is the internal forms in which most
people try to structure and hold chi according to their particular
desires, and thoughts, those forms which they call their self. But
true Zen action arises directly from the free unhindered flow of the
chi of the present moment through one's center. We see that
brilliantly in the finest martial artists such as the aikido of
Ueshiba Morihei, but it also works in every aspect of daily life if
we just empty ourselves and tune to the chi of the moment, and let
that originate our actions without hinderance.
On Sep 10, 2008, at 7:44 AM, mike brown wrote:
I'm a Kyokushin karate practioner and have represented Australia
(actually I'm Welsh, but it's a long story..) at the international
level. I have found Zen to be indispensable when fighting in
competitions. If you start worrying negatively about the outcome of
the fight, or regret not training hard enough then by the time you
get on the mat you'll have expended too much nervous energy and/or
react too slow to your opponents strikes and kicks. In training the
same Zen principles applies - the kick or punch you throw NOW is
the most important kick or punch you will ever throw in your life
so put 100% into it.
The outcome of this training is the development of mushin (or 'no
mind') where the fear of losing and injury doesn't exist. The
Japanese call this spirit 'Budo'. Any focus on 'Chi' is minimal or
non-existent although that's not to say it doesn't exist. It's just
that focusing on the mind/ego thru zazen is much more important
and crucial to this development. I've often seen kung fu players
performing intricate chi-type exercises before a competion and then
come out and get their arses kicked by fighters who wouldn't know
their chi if it jumped and bit them on their [EMAIL PROTECTED] Mike.
----- Original Message ----
From: Fitness63 <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Wednesday, 10 September, 2008 12:26:56
Subject: [Zen] JUDO
By the way, I learned a lot from that old Judo instructor. He is a
very nice guy and now he is in his 80s.
I think that he felt that Judo and Zen were intertwined and that
zen helped him focus his CHI to be better at Judo.
I think that is why the samurai also were devoted to zen. It was
not because they were atheists who believed in nothing. I would
like to hear from those who have experience in Judo or other
martial arts and whether or not you are aware of CHI and if it has
any relationship to zazen in your experience.