Over the years I have found that merely imagining an opponent in front of me is not enough.
You really have to visualise this person in front of you, reacting to your moves and striking "him" with intention.
When you can do that, it will show in your expression. Many people nowadays practice Iai by merely going through the motions. Of course it is important to perform the techniques correctly, but more importantly, one should put his/her soul into it. One way to do this is
There is an old teaching that my teacher has taught me years ago. (I even had a t-shirt made!!)
I find it very applicable even to daily life, and I have been trying to teach my children the same.
「正速強威」 First, one must learn to do things correctly - 正
Then one can do things quickly - 速
Eventually, one can achieve the same task with power/strength - 強
Finally attaining a level of authoritative mastery - 威 This process can only be achieved through practice. There simply is
「斬りおろし」Kirioroshi, the most basic strike one will have to learn in any Japanese sword related martial arts. Seemingly simple, cut in a straight line in a downward motion. Yes, but also the hardest thing I have to do, and after more than twenty years, I still dare not say I have it mastered.
In the beginning, I was just taught to cut in a straight line, without hitting the ground and breaking something (most likely the practice sword). As time went on, I discovered I was not
水五訓 Mizugokun (Five Principles of Water) 自ら流動して他を動かしむるは水なり
- Flowing by itself moving others, that is WATER. 障害に遭いてその力を百倍し得るは水なり
- Facing obstacles with 100 times more power, that is WATER. 常に己の進路を求めて止まらざるは水なり
- Always pursuing its own path without stopping, that is WATER. 自らを清くして他の汚れを洗い清濁併せ容るるの器量あるは水なり
- Being clean itself and able to clean others, that is WATER. 水は方円の器に従い洋々として大海を充たし発しては蒸気となり雲となり雨となり
- Able to fit in containers of al
The Story of Satori (悟) While logging in the mountains one day, a lumberjack came upon a Satori, a mind reading monster.
The lumberjack thought it was such a rare creature to be seen, and thought of capturing it. Before he could finish that thought, the Satori said out loud to him, “You are thinking of catching me, aren’t you?”
The Satori further astonished the lumberjack by saying, “You are amazed by my ability to read your mind, aren’t you?”
The frightened lumberjack tho
In Iaido and many Japanese martial arts, there is a concept known as Zanshin (残心).
It describes the mindset at the end of a strike/attack, one remains watchful of the fallen opponent, until a point of absolute certainty that the opponent is permanently incapacitated. Only then should one begin to stand down.
It is not difficult to draw parallel with our lives in terms of work, or other matters.
We must ask ourselves at the end of a task, is it REALLY finished? Will somethi