Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

July 26th , 2015

From Sensei Kevin Reymond
Denshi Shihan, Ueshiro Downtown Shorin Ryu Karate Dojo

Onegaishimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, and all USRKUSA Deshi,

In Musashi’s travels he studied with a Zen priest Takuan Soho who wrote among things “The Unfettered Mind” and “The Mysterious Record of Immovable Wisdom”. Takuan writes in the latter, “If ten men, each with a sword, come at you with weapons slashing, if you parry each sword without stopping the mind at each action, and go from one to the next, you will not be lacking in a proper action for every one of the ten.”

Musashi believed that you should not be slowed or preoccupied by what you see or hear. He writes, “Even when the action is extraordinarily lively on the battlefield, you should take the principle of the martial arts to the extreme and keep your mind unmoved”…”Let your mind sway peacefully, not allowing it to stop for even a moment”. In the Water chapter he goes on to say,” In all things…immobility is undesirable. Immobility means dead hand; mobility means living hand”. In our study of Shorin-ryu we call this concept “empty mind”.

Hanshi wrote in his book, Building Warrior Spirit, " In karate, as in life, the mind is recognized as the catalyst to perfection. Kata itself is imagery, a metaphor in its simplest state, most perfect in accord with our minds, and in direct relation to the fortitude of our thoughts. The physical body is always vulnerable but the mind has no limitations."

To achieve empty mind constant practice, visualization and repetition of our kata is required. In this way the moves and techniques will there for us when needed and without hesitation.

Sensei Kevin Reymond
Denshi Shihan, Ueshiro Downtown Shorin Ryu Karate Dojo
Under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione