Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Forget Everything You Know and Let Go

Are you trying to learn a new martial art?

Have you had previous training?

Previous training in a martial art can impede your ability to perform the checkpoints of your new art. In fact, it's more than your mind that keeps you from doing your new art correctly; if you've studied another martial art, the chances are good that you learned things in a different way. The old movements are programmed into your nervous system and can take time to unlearn. By staying relaxed, focusing on the relationship between the technique and the principle that makes it work, and trying to work slowly and systematically, you can dramatically decrease the time it takes to unlearn the old and learn the new. 

Inner dialog is another impediment to effective learning. Most of us have a sort of continuous conversation with ourselves, in which we constantly analyze, compare, discriminate, and predict. In situations where intellectual analysis is required, this dialog can be beneficial. However, when learning a physical skill, the dialog can actually impair our ability to experience the techniques in all their fullness. Martial arts are physical skills, and if our complete attention is focused on the moment, we are much more likely to absorb the subtle aspects of the techniques. Learning to quiet the mind is essential on the way to becoming an advanced martial artist. 

Learn more about the beginner’s mind.

A Martial Arts Organization for All

Do you want to belong to an international community of martial artists and budo enthusiasts?

The Shudokan Martial Arts Association is a martial arts organization for everyone! You don’t have to be a martial artist to join, just as long as you enjoy authentic Japanese budo. You’ll get martial arts updates, articles, and access to SMAA events when you join!

Join the SMAA today!

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Learn to “Empty Your Cup”

Are you an experienced martial artist?

What can you learn from beginners?

“Empty Your Cup" is a martial arts aphorism that virtually every student has heard. It refers to the idea that students should put aside their own thoughts and opinions and diligently try to do exactly as their instructor asks them to do. Whether one studies aikido, karate-do, jujutsu, or kendo, the requirement is the same: diligently and enthusiastically perform the techniques of your martial art, over and over, trying to match all the checkpoints provided by your teacher. The idea is that you should adopt a beginner's attitude, rather than an expert's, even if you are very accomplished. If you do so, you will find that your understanding and ability improve at a remarkable pace.

See what else can be learned from beginners on our website!

A Martial Arts Organization for All

Do you want to belong to an international community of martial artists and budo enthusiasts?

The Shudokan Martial Arts Association is a martial arts organization for everyone! You don’t have to be a martial artist to join, just as long as you enjoy authentic Japanese budo. You’ll get martial arts updates, articles, and access to SMAA events when you join!

Join the SMAA today!

Mentally Approaching the Sword

Do you practice iaido?  Do you know about the spiritual significance of the sword? It was said that the Emperor Gotoba (1180-1239), who whil...