What Is Zanshin And Why It Is Important For You
Zanshin is the state of readiness in Budo practice. Budo is the code of Martial Arts, the Martial Arts path, an education system in the modern world, rather than a fighting system like many people believe.
Translated literally, Zanshin means “left over or remaining heart / spirit”.
Zanshin is not something you can aim for, it’s not a goal, it’s rather like discipline or awareness, you always have to work on it. You will never “get there”.
I have yet to understand what it is but I will give it my best to explain what I’ve learnt so far in the past 20 years.
I took elements of Budo into my coaching and teachings blending the wisdom of traditional martial arts with modern coaching methods.
This approach helps me make huge breakthroughs with my clients, taking them from exhaustion and shut down to energetic and fully functional. As they learn about Zanshin they apply the 8 aspects and their life changes.
The 8 aspects of Zanshin:
It was difficult to find sources on Zanshin. Well….good sources with information that explains what it is in a satisfying way that I agree with and resonates with my teachings.
After searching and searching I found the eight aspects of Zanshin which made perfect sense and bring out exactly what I teach day in and day out.
The eight aspects refer to Martial Arts, at first glance. But….if you look closely you will see they apply to every and any area of your life. And here’s how:
1. Posture (Shisei)
How you use and move your body. Elongate your body, be relaxed yet prepared to respond to any unpredictable situations that may arise. Be prepared for the expected and unexpected.
If I’ve ever coached you then you know how much emphasis I put on posture at every single session and/or call we have. I remind and remind and remind you until you hear my voice in your head reminding you.
2. Eye control (Metsuke)
Observing the world around you, take notice of everything and everyone and be prepared
3. Engagement distance (Ma-ai)
Interacting with the outer world. Although you can clearly notice the application of this aspect in fighting there are ways to bring it into your day to day life. You can call this you personal bubble that no one should disturb.
You have to be aware of who and how close someone may get. This can also be applied to other circumstances like how close you stopped to the car in front of you.
It’s paying attention to distance you put between you and someone or something for your own safety and comfort.
4. Focused energy (Kiai)
Be involved with your mind, body and spirit and let nothing disturb your focus. This is probably easier said than done with today’s technology and facebook on our iphones.
I personally refused to have internet on my iphone or ipad so that I am not tempted to see who and what commented or what emails I’ve received. If anyone wants to get hold of me they can call.
5. Connection (Ki musubi)
Awareness of and connection with your inner world. Now we talk about how much attention you pay to what’s going on inside of you.
And here I mean thoughts, emotions, but also how your body feels, what it’s asking for and how tuned it you are.
6. Decisive focus (Kime)
Don’t waste energy, channel it towards one thing. In Karate you do not think about your business while you practice a Kata. You do that and your focus and energy are lost.
You focus on what you are doing in the moment. You can be aware of what are your next 3-4 moves but the focus is on the move you are engaging in at that moment in time.
Of course this is difficult to do for someone who has 1000 other things. But this is where meditation come into play, to help make space and re-arrange your thoughts in the correct order.
7. Essence of the technique (Riai)
This is something I emphasize to my students over and over again. In life look for quality rather than quantity.
Too often we find ourselves running for more, faster and better. I know I do…many times. I am always striving for speed, perfection as well as quality. Sometimes I fail and that’s when I slow down.
It’s not easy, that’s why Zanshin is a lifelong journey. It is not a goal, a milestone or destination.
8. Intuition/awareness (Kanken)
The 8th aspect of Zanshin is link between the heart and the mind and brings together all the other aspects.
You cannot keep good posture if you are not aware of your own body. And you may notice what your body feels but you need intuition to know what it needs to thrive.
All aspects come down to intuition and awareness. And you need to train your awareness to train your intuition.
This is what Zanshin is and the reason I chose it to be part of The Merisoiu Technique Five Essential principles.
Zanshin can be taught through face to face or virtual coaching. That doesn’t mean you will master it. Mastering takes years, but you will get a glimpse of what I am talking about here.
So if you want to talk about it and I will also take you through a posture and breathing analysis book a FREE call with me and let’s put you on the Zanshin path, starting today.