Disclaimer and Stuff

Firstly I would like to say that all of the material contained within this blog is of my own opinion and any inaccuracies in technical content or other's personal quotations are completely my own.

Secondly I would like to thank everyone in advance where I have used photos of you or photos you have taken. I have quite a library of digital photos and virtually no record of who took them so I hope you will take this general thanks as adequate gratitude. If there are any photos of you or taken by you that you would like removed please let me know.


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7th dan iaido grading due in

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Four Levels of Zanshin

Just thought I would record here the learning points from the Eindhoven summer seminar concerning zanshin from Ishido Sensei.

The explanation came up while Sensei was trying to get a better expression of zanshin in various parts of the kata when other people demonstrated. Two particular fine methods, both relating to the assumption of jodan no kamae, were explained. The first involved Ishido Sensei standing in chudan awase with the exponent, a position from which the student had to take jodan no kamae without allowing an opening. This created an incredibly sticky feeling in the movement and the student being extremely focused on the person in front of him. In the second instance and relating to Shihogiri (and could be adapted to Sanpogiri easily) he arranged four people around the exponent where the imaginary opponents would have fallen. Given the necessary close proximity of these opponents, this created a very congested area to move around in and more affected the finishing parts of taking jodan no kamae.


The diagram shown is the best I can do to summarise the ideal scenario for getting some practice in this with five other helpful dojo members. I must try it when there is a free and quiet moment.




To follow this explanation, Sensei went onto describe the various levels of zanshin affecting mind and body, they are as follows (in order of "depth"):


  1. Sekka no kurai - The body of a rock
  2. Tsuyu no kurai - The rain dripping from a leaf
  3. Bonsho no kurai - The echo of the ringing of the buddhist bell
  4. Hei no kurai - The fart that cannot be heard
The last of course raised quite a laff!

Anyway, back to work.