the effects of meditation with martial arts

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by DuskB4Dawn, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. DuskB4Dawn

    DuskB4Dawn Green Belt

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    hi everyone. Just wanted to hear your views on the effects of meditation on your practice of martial arts. with me I have noticed an increase in accuracy and concentration. this is more noticeable after long training periods when you start to get bored and fatigued it really helps to take a minute to quite your mind and focus. but also during stress and adrenalin your mind is going around in circles and it is harder to focus. you can really notice an increase in accuracy/concentration after meditation and steadying your breath. also this may sound stupid but a certain mudra you may see in movies were you hold you forefinger and index finger in front of your face does actually help to increase you focus as a type of navel gazing as it bring your attention to a center point. thus helping you to increase concentration. what do you think about this. is this to clique ninja thing or is there truth in fiction?
     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Meditative training is a form of getting into a mushin mindset, which is, in a very real way, an old Japanese method of training to handle the effects of adrenaline (although there is a fair bit more to it than that), so it's not surprising that you would find a range of benefits in that line.

    Oh, but in regard to the mudra you're talking about? That type of training is in a range of old systems, not just ninjutsu-related ones, but I will also say that the mudra you're talking about doesn't have that as it's focus or purpose. Additionally, it needs to be combined with the proper mantra and visualisation to actually do what it's meant to do, at this point it's being used as a form of simple anchor (NLP terminology) for you, but realistically isn't what you're thinking it is.

    Oh, and you should have been in Sydney yesterday, as this is directly related to what was covered there....
     
  3. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    There are many ways to meditate. Some work better for different people than others. I don't know the specifics of what you are doing, so I can't comment other than to say if you are getting benefit, why not keep doing it?
     
  4. DuskB4Dawn

    DuskB4Dawn Green Belt

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    The thing is. shouldn't you be full of violent hatred and anger so as to kill your enemy. as if you were on the battlefield.
    why would you choose zanshin mental state. doesn't this make you more passive?
     
  5. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    I feel this differs from Person to Person. Some People find it hard to be Hostile, and POWER KILL AGGRESSION. They need to be Focused, and Centered, and it needs to be a Conscious Choice.
    It comes more Naturally to others.

    Plus, You may change Your mind about Viciously Killing someone, mid process :)
    Its a Pro/Con thing. It has Pros, and Cons. Some People believe it, others dont.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  6. Sanke

    Sanke Green Belt

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    I think you're misunderstanding what Mushin and Zanshin are about. It's not a matter of being passive or aggressive, in fact it's in the name.
    Mushin, no mind. By making your self full of aggression and anger, you risk, if not guarantee becoming blinded by rage, and loose sight of everything around you.
    In fact, Musashi used a tactic in one of more famous fights in which he sent his opponent's into a stunned fury. The one's he didn't cut down while they hadn't reacted came in fiercely, but sloppily and so were cut down easily.

    Zanshin is just as important, because if you are blinded by rage, and manage cut down your foe, chances are you won't realise if he's really dead or not, or if he has a friend behind him, or any number of things, and you leave your self open to attack.

    It's not about being passive, it's about being aware, managing your emotions and adrenaline and being able to deal with what's coming at you.
    That's not the only way to deal with it, of course, some cultures are very much about getting riled up into that state of rage, but it doesn't gel with how Japanese systems in general work (or at least, the ones I have encountered, Jigen Ryu would be one I'd consider very aggressive, but I have no doubt they have their own manifestations of Mushin and Zanshin, so still not 'filled with violent hatred and anger').

    That's the way I see it, and every JMA system I've seen to date has their own ways of expressing.
     
  7. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Not in the slightest. In fact, pretty much the opposite.

    If you went onto the battlefield with that type of attitude, typically you'd be killed.

    Zanshin refers to "present mind", and is the continual awareness of what is around you. Nothing to do with being passive, in fact it's there to allow you to continue dealing with an attacker.
     
  8. gregtca

    gregtca Yellow Belt

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    "The thing is. shouldn't you be full of violent hatred and anger so as to kill your enemy. as if you were on the battlefield.
    why would you choose zanshin mental state. doesn't this make you more passive?

    I think you are missing the whole point of training,IMO, to train ppl to be very agressive is to give them "quick " sence of ability, eg in the army, no master would ever have such a "low emotional state" , therefore any student shouldnt either.IMOO
     
  9. Mr. Freebody

    Mr. Freebody White Belt

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    I'm training against knife attacks at the moment as a part of my grading requirements and I'm told to start the exersizes in a state of mushin and finish in zanshin. I thought that we were told to start in a mushin state of mind so that we aren't preparing mentally to be attacked? The same as if we are attacked outside of training by suprise. Zanshin i thought was a state of calm readiness, you realise you're in a confrontation and you are ready to react (not full of blind rage). I'm relatively new by the way so if I'm way off it would be because of my own misunderstanding, not the poor teaching of my sensei.
     
  10. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    I don't know that the Mushin state is so you're not prepared to be attacked, it's more that you don't try to guess what's coming. In other words, if you move from a Mushin state, you are able to see what's coming for what it is, rather than what you think it might be. It's a way of seeing clearly, as well as handling the adrenaline dump, and a number of other benefits. And as to Zanshin, calm might not be the best word, ha! Basically it's a way of maintaining a sense of control over your emotions (and the after effects of adrenaline), while being ready to spring back into action at a moments notice.
     
  11. Mr. Freebody

    Mr. Freebody White Belt

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    Ah ok, that makes sense. I think having to calm down a bit may have just been personal to me, I kept getting a bit 'frantic' I guess would be the word. I was told to stop and try to push my emotions down before I started.
    Thanks man.
     
  12. gregtca

    gregtca Yellow Belt

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    "Mu" meaning negation, "Shin" meaning heart, mind, feeling. Often translated (confusingly) as "no mind." A Zen term referring to that state of mental clarity and enhanced perception (sensory and intuitive) known as pure mind, produced by the absence of conscious thought, ideas, judgments, emotion (fear and anxiety), pre-conception, or self-consciousness."A product of Zen meditative training.Through mushin the mind is not absent, but instead is freed. No longer inhibited, slowed, distracted, or clogged the mind was free to fully perceive, respond and commit to action. The mind is not fixed on anything and is open to everything; a mind expanded through the whole body with total awareness of and focus on everything.
    Though zanshin the body is energised to a high state of alertness making it capable of working in any direction, an example would be of walking through a door - foot first rather then your head going in first. zanshin is also -kan- intuitive or intuition so you you "feel" what is about to happen or feel some movement around you. It is also written that with the major elements combined - Kamae, Zanshin,Ma-ai,Kiai and Sen - which produce hamony of mind and body or ri-ai.

    Respectfully
    Greg
     
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  13. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    I've got to chime in and point out that my military training was geared toward teaching you to perform at a high level without giving in to anger and hatred. In fact, we were pushed very hard to learn to negate anger. :) I can't imagine that the training has changed that much since I was in.

    Of course, anger and hatred makes for much better movies. Perhaps you should train more and watch fewer movies? :)
     
  14. DuskB4Dawn

    DuskB4Dawn Green Belt

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    errm excuse me but do I know you. Perhaps you should train more and watch fewer movies :) oh really. Are you making fun of me now?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  15. DuskB4Dawn

    DuskB4Dawn Green Belt

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    maybe my training IS watching movies..... so you want me to watch more movies????? :) just kidding
     
  16. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Watching films induces sleep in my husband.
     
  17. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Well, when your original post talks about "mudra you may see in movies", then Paul would have a real basis for his comment, as well as your other posts where you say much the same thing. And remember, I do know you, as well as consider Paul a friend, something that might be considered when you reply to him. He's one of the guys I'd suggest listening to when it comes to these things...
     
  18. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    Thanks Chris, but I'm not easily offended. :)

    Yup! :)

    Not trying to be insulting, just having fun as you're obviously a fan of martial arts movies, judging from your questions. Just remember that martial arts in the movies has a totally different goal than martial arts in the real world, and so it will look quite a bit different.

    Ha! Me too! Well, it does depend on the type of film. :)
     
  19. DuskB4Dawn

    DuskB4Dawn Green Belt

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    yes thank you pgsmith.

    recent events in my life have made me have a change of outlook on martial arts and self defense. recently there have been attempted brake ins. and vandalism to property. me and my neighbors cars have been smashed. and I have had confrontation with drug addicts and I was in real danger. I often hear fights outside during the night. And I take my training a lot more seriously now. with violence being a real threat.

    The thing is before I thought of martial arts as a artform. doing it to improve character. adopt a stronger mentality. and confidence. and it has worked for me. I have changed my life in a positive way.
    another thing. and this may sound childish is to be cool and show mad martial arts skills like I see in movies. and I'll be honest with you mate. I absolutely love martial arts movies
    the later is getting less important now. but hay. its the movies and action that got me this far and if it wasn't for that I would not be were I am now.

    right now I am coming to to a confrontation between martial arts. and MARTAIL ARTS. as in real martial arts full of bloodshed and violence and killing. And my thoughts of martial art as a artform.
    these 2 things are contradicting each other. how can you have peace and war. I guess this is were the question of the post came from. meditation and martial arts.
    one is a calm reflective mind and another is violence and attacking without mercy. how can they be together. how can a warrior have mushin?
    Reality is a lot more cruel and unforgiving I think about this and Ninjutsu and what it takes to survive in a hostile world. and I am humble now and now more than ever I want to learn real Ninjutsu and not Hollywood Ninjutsu.
    thank you for your patience pgsmith and Sensei Parker.
     
  20. Sanke

    Sanke Green Belt

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    Hey Dusk.
    I'm sorry to hear that, mate. Sounds like you're in a pretty rough area, I've been lucky enough to keep well clear of that stuff. I'm glad to hear you're taking training more seriously, that's always a good thing. I think awareness training would help you quite a bit too. Best way to not get in a fight is to not be anywhere near where it's likely to happen.

    Nothing says it still can't be all that. In fact it can be a big part, it has been for me. But that's martial arts, not self defence, which sounds like what you're more in need of at the moment. MA side of things can help to give strategies, tactics and the like, but as I'm sure you're aware, it won't help you in a street confrontation.

    I figured that might be the case, haha. End of the day, guess it's just a matter of discerning the differences between the fantasy and the reality. I love them too, in fact I just got a copy of Zatoichi today, but not as a reference for my swordsmanship, that's for sure. ;)

    I don't really agree with you there, I don't see them as contradicting at all. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, I don't really have the words, but I'm sure some of the (much) more experienced members here could put it better. Or at all. :p

    I'm not really sure where you're coming from. Mushin is not about being completely at ease with the world, or having a pacifist attitude, it's about quieting down your mind, and being able to see things, and therefore deal with them, as they come, rather than overthinking and getting trapped in thinking too much. And as Sensei said to me rather recently, there's a big difference between being aggressive (being "violent and attacking") and being angry or hateful.

    Reality does have a tendancy to smack you into line sometimes... I have no doubt that it's got all sorts of wonderful and less-than-pleasant experiences out there for me too. The hollywood stuff would never do you any good anyway, but 'real' Ninjutsu, or at least as it is in traditional side of things won't really save you either. It's got it's place, absolutely, it's still at the core of it all, but a martial art and a self defence program are two related, but very different things, to my mind.

    It sounds like you've got a lot of things on your mind to work out, and best of luck to you.
    My advice? Keep on training. It's what I'll be doing. :)123
     

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