Articles

To infinity and beyond.

The continuing mind.

In a karate-do if you ask a question of your sensei, the answer you get often depends on how you phrased the question. Sometimes your question will draw a simple answer. Sometimes it does not. It may even draw the dreaded answer, "ask me again in three years". Which is in truth is probably the answer that your sensei thinks will do you the most good. What it really means is, "go away, train hard, and maybe after many years of proper practice you will find the answer for yourself". Some answers it seems never come easily.

One day I was asked a very interesting question, "when does a technique end?" I thought that this was a great question, and while I was tempted to be a bit cheeky and give the, "go away, train hard, ......." reply, I decided instead to answer the question.

I explained that while it is not uncommon for students to think that physical motion, and mental thought are two separate things, this is not true. One of the best examples of this concept can be found in the Japanese art of archery. In Kyudo students are taught to mentally see their arrow hitting the target before they ever release their arrow. It is because of the belief that their mind, and the arrow must always remain connected, that students of Kyudo never take their eyes off of the arrow while it is in flight. In this way when the arrow does strike the target, the arrow still remains a part of the archer, even though they are now separated by a very great distance.

As hard as this concept may be for some student to accept, it is nevertheless a very important one for them to try to grasp. Since in classical karate the concept that physical motion, and mental thought are inseparable, is not a new one. At times this connection can even be felt when practicing with a partner. For example, when the unseen energy generated by a powerful jodan punch bridges the gap that exists between where the fist has stopped, and its intended target begins.

This is the concept of a continuing mind.

Remember: "Just because you can not see something, that does not prove that it does not exist."