People love to use the phrase YOLO (You Only Live Once).  But they are quite mistaken, You Only Die Once.  Each day we are born again.  Each day we are given a choice to change our lives or make them better.  Not everyone has the ability to pack up and live a hedonistic lifestyle travelling the world, most have jobs, children and bills to pay.  Thankfully to live right, you don’t have to move. Simply change your attitude.  I say simple but it takes practice,  The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking out new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Their is no reality only perception.  Your life is what you see it as.  Emotions are not problems to be solved.  They reflect states of mind & body.  They cannot be solved only felt.  Do you need to justify how you are feeling?

Perception can change in 3 ways;

  1.  See the world in a different light.  Imagine looking over a city landscape as the sun comes out after a summer shower.  Imagine the vivid colours, the sun glistening off raindrops and dew, the shadows evaporating.
  2. See the world in a different place.  Friday evening stressed, stuck in heavy traffic after a long mundane week of work and routine.  But Monday morning you wake you, after having breakfast, you lie all day on a tropical beach.
  3. See the world in a different time. You returning to your childhood family home, you haven’t seen since you where 7.  The rooms look and feel smaller.  Or imagine falling out with a family member, only to regret it at their funeral.

The ability to control your mind or change your perspective is a great skill to have in life or in a fight.  With training you become more aware of the internal voice constantly playing in your head.  Because it runs 24/7 inside your head you can become immune to listening to it.  Ask yourself how you feel, if you’re sad, you’re thinking sad thoughts, if you’re happy, you’re thinking happy thoughts.  Your emotions or moods are a reflection of the internal voice you are playing in your head.  With the correct training, YOU can change your internal landscape irrespective of what is happening around you.   Then it is possible to stop feeling lonely while at a busy party, make your opponent angry, stay calm in a crises, stop feeling sad etc.

Once you become more aware of your internal voice.  You can start the process of changing how it speaks to you.  All of your circumstances in life are a reflection of your subconscious beliefs.  You can change your subconscious beliefs with auto suggestions.  Think of someone wanting to become a  homeowner.  They think they’d like to own their own house, so the start saving.  They change their behavior, maybe not going out every weekend, not buying those unneeded trainers.  Pretty soon, they see their saving increase, and the make further changes, maybe forsaking a holiday.  Then they save enough, get a mortgage and become a homeowner.  The thought changed their beliefs. the beliefs changed their behavior, the behavior made them work towards their dream.

Your unconscious mind cannot process negatives.  You think “I don’t want to be poor”, you brain hears, “I want to be poor”.  Much better to think “I want to be wealthy”.  Your brain receives 2 billion bits of information per second from your senses.  Your conscious mind can deal with 5-9 per second, depending on your interest in the subject.  Your brain use filters.  Its why you can hear your name across a crowd room, because your brain is programmed to hear you name.  Brain filters are deletion, distortion, & generalisations.

Your values determine your filters, which can be changed.  Your values drive you towards pleasure or away from pain.  So learn to listen to your emotions, to control the thoughts in your head, to change your behavior, practice in the dojo, every time you step on the mats, is another opportunity to improve yourself or change the world around you.

Mushin (無心; Japanese mushin; English translation “no mind”) is a mental state into which trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. They also practice this mental state during everyday activities.

Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during combat or everyday life. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction (or instinct) or what is felt intuitively.  Years of correct training to make each technique natural and instinctive is required, as well as training of the mind.  It is not a state of relaxed, near-sleepfulness, however. The mind could be said to be working at a very high speed, but with no intention, plan or direction.  Sensitivity and flow training combined with Zanshin practice in Kata helps train this mindset.

Some masters believe that mushin is the state where a person finally understands the uselessness of techniques and becomes truly free to move. In fact, those people will no longer even consider themselves as “fighters” but merely living beings moving through space.

The legendary Zen master Takuan Sōhō said:

The mind must always be in the state of ‘flowing,’ for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and it is this interruption that is injurious to the well-being of the mind. In the case of the swordsman, it means death.
When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy’s sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man’s subconscious that strikes.

However, mushin is not just a state of mind that can be achieved during combat. Many martial artists train to achieve this state of mind during kata so that a flawless execution of moves is accomplished — that they may be achieved during combat or at any other time. Once mushin is attained through the practice or study of martial arts (although it can be accomplished through other arts or practices that refine the mind and body), the objective is to then attain this same level of complete awareness in other aspects of the practitioner’s life.  Start by being Mindful, (Obi Wan Kenobi to Luke, be mindful of your emotions, Little one), Then Zanshin (awareness) grows.  Over time with repeated practice Mushin develops.   Trained correctly in class, practice becomes habit, habit becomes a way of life, if the practice is correct.

The concept of Mushin is identical to the Japanese metaphorical expression “Mizu no Kokoro” or the “mind like water.” This mental attitude refers to a mind that is in total harmony with the Cosmos that it resembles a still pond of water without any ripples where the surface reflects a clear and perfectly undistorted image of the surroundings, like a mirror.

Mushin cannot be grasped by the intellect; it must be experienced. A Mushin mind has no Ego and no substance; it is pure Enlightenment and is the perfect realization of the self.

This state of mind takes years and years of practice to achieve. Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from anger, fear, judgment or the ego during combat or everyday life.

Mushin thus implies a state of mental clarity, awareness 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. It is a state of total awareness and reaction not impeded by higher mental function or emotion, a mind more open and reactive to subtle sensory input, intuition and spontaneous action. It is a mind that is totally calm — a mind not influenced or caught up in events or others emotion, thus a mind more able to freely perceive and respond.

This required the non-conscious mind and the instinctive trained body to be free. 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.

Mushin is not about automatic reactions or lack of thought.  Mindfulness and Mushin may appear to mutually contradictory.  However, they are 2 sides to the same coin.  Mindfulness in the context of karate refers to being present in the moment, aware of one’s actions and environment

If you where training kata on the mats and a door on the other side of the room was partially opened an inch, you would know instantly.  This is Zabshin.  Zanshin (awareness) exists with Mushin.

If when suddenly attacked or startled.  One steps forward to confront the attack, rather then recoiling in fright, this could be said to be a form of Mushin.

 

Every technique you learn has a particular application but also has an underlying theory or concept.  Lower grades learn individual techniques and over time build up an arsenal of weapons, defenses or tactics.  Higher grades however use individual techniques to train concepts.

Here is an example.  If you teach a student to block a punch to the face by using upper block, and then drill them in the use of that technique, it will become effective.  Everytime they are punched to the face they will use the technique they know.

However if the student only knows the technique and not the concept behind it.  When the attackers punch is directed to the stomach.  They will block upwards and be hit.

However if the student understands the concept behind the technique of upper block, ie not to get hit.  Then when punched to the face they will drop the arm to block.  Thus using the concept of blocking.

All techniques have underlying concepts or principles, which can be used with different ranges, strategies or tactics in a fight.  Lower (Kyu) grades when joining our Academy build up an arsenal of defensive or attacking techniques, over time.  Until they get to the senior grades of brown or black (Dan) grades. where a better understanding of the concepts is introduced.

Traditionally there wasn’t much talking in a class and students where given a simple explanation and expected to understand the concepts through repeated practice.  This could lead to students misunderstanding or quitting cause of lack of progress.  These days along with extensive repetitions, verbal teaching can greatly increase  a students understanding, as long as that student is training hard.  Knowing something intellectually will not transfer it into a physical skill.

Simple Concepts include

Kicking, Punching, Blocking, Simple Body Movements, Distance, Timing, Twisting, Jumping, Ducking, Penetrating, Focus, Speed, Relaxation, Power,

Advanced Concepts include

Entering, Evasion, Deflection, Parrying, Absorbing, Flowing, Locking, Throwing, Take Downs,Focus (Kime), Awareness (Zanshin), No Mind (Mushin),  Space/Timing (Ma-ai), Spirit (Kohoro), Eye Control (Metsuke), Shoshaku Joshaku, Three types of Attack (Sen), Mindfulness, Beginner’s Mind (Shoshin).

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2017

Welcome to our January Newsletter. I hope you all had a wonderful Xmas and may 2018 bring you joy and happiness.

This email newsletter will hopefully keep you up to date with all you need to know about what’s going on in Elite Karate Academy over the coming months.  Please feel free to share this newsletter with family and friends, I hope you find it informative.  Feel free to comment on our Facebook (insert link here) page with comments and be sure to like our page while you’re there.  Sign up for our newsletter at http://www.elitekarateacademy.com/contact-us/

News – Updates – Events

  • Congratulations to all those students who graded before Xmas.  Click the following link to view the child’s syllabus​ or adult’s syllabus​, to view what you need for your next grade.
  • If you wish you can now pay your fees by Credit/Debit Card or set up a Standing Order, simply ask for a standing order form to complete the next time you are in the dojo.
  • We are currently offering a special offer of 10% off 3 month term for new members. Click here​ for a lin to send your friends.
  • Donations for St Vincent de Paul of clothes, bedding, toys, books, household items, DVDs etc. as always may be dropped off at the dojo anytime.
  • That so many of you recommend our Academy is a great source of pride for me.  Please go our Facebook​ page and write a review your club and it may be posted on our website.  In February we will be running a referral competition.  More details next month
  • As always parents are invited to join our Cardio Combat Fitness Boot Camp.  Ask Sensei about a FREE TRIAL. Our Fitness Bootcamp class have now been rescheduled and now take place on Monday & Friday from 8.15pm-9.30pm.  See below for more details.

 

Elite Karate Academy Expo

Our 7th Karate Expo will take place on Sunday 15th of April between 2pm-6pm, in the Green Isle Hotel.  All students will once again take part in the Expo and showcase their abilities and standard.  The expo will include gradings, demonstrations by students and instructors, sparring competition, raffle, bake sale and our annual awards ceremony, where we will crown this year’s student of the year.  More details in next month’s newsletter but for now book the date in your diaries.

Sparring Competition

Will take place within class in March and is completely voluntary.  More detail of how to sign up next month.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Once again this year the Academy will be walking in this year’s Clondalkin Parade.  Students, families, and friends are all invited to join us on the day.

Cardio Fitness Boot Camp

Cardio Combat Fitness Class.  Special Offer 1 Month Trial (8Classes) Only €40 In January.  New Members Welcome Now.  Beginner – Advanced Go at Your Pace. Lose Weight & Get Fit. Mix of Circuits, Core, Fitness & Karate.  New Time Monday & Wednesday 8.15-9.30pm.  Check Out Here​ For More Information.

Stick Fighting Classes

A new stick fighting class starts on Mondays between 6-7pm.  Class are based on Japanese martial arts including principles from Wado Ryu Karate, Ken Jitsu (sword), Bo Jitsu ( long staff), Jo Jitsu (short staff) and FMA stick fighting techniques.  No Previous martial arts experience or fitness is required.  Check out link​ for more details.  Join in January and receive our special introductory offer of 4 classes for only €20.

Character Education Program

Once again, we start our Word of the Week program in class.  Our specially designed word of the week program teaches 14 core values to your child in a 5 minute ‘mat chat’ within their normal class. Your child will grow as people not just stronger and fitter.  No other club offers this type of program.

Our 14 words are: Courtesy, Growth, Honesty, Obedience, Courage, Sincerity, Humility, Perseverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity.

Each week these lessons will be posted on our Facebook page or the full course can be viewed here in our blog​ section of our website.  I strongly urge parents to get involved with their child’s learning by reading these posts or discussing after each class what they learnt.

Website

Every week we have new blogs on our website.  Click here​ to read about them

Dojo Kun Programme – Most club’s dojo rules consist of no shouting, no chewing gum etc. Our Dojo Kun program teaches your child 25 rules of life. These rules teach your child how to follow and make their dreams come true, through hard work, passion, and dedication.

Elite Mental Training – This program teaches students the mental strategy of fighting, topics introduced can be used in all areas of life, reducing stress, and increasing mental wellbeing. Read some lessons covered in our blog section below.

Anti-Bullying Programme – We teach your child how to deal with bullying in a non-aggressive way without having to resort to violence. A great program for boosting confidence and self-belief.  This starts in September.

Newer material will be shared weekly on our Facebook page, much will be of interest even to those who don’t train.

Referral Competition

Next month we will be starting out referral competition and I will give details of how to enter and prizes.

Coming later in the Year

Other events coming up this year after the Expo, will be our Karate Summer Camps and Summer Party.

Testimonials Request

That so many of you praise our Academy is huge source of pride to me.  Please write a review/testimonial here​.  They will then be added to our website.  Student / parents or both may write a review and you may write a new one if you wrote one before.

Zen Tip

To Study Karate Is To Study Ourselves.  To Study Ourselves Is To Forget Ourselves..  Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.

Fitness Tip

ASK A FRIEND FOR HELP.  Having someone ask you each week how you are doing is a great source of encouragement and motivation.  People generally work harder for others then they do themselves.  Sad but true.  Having a close friend or family member ask you each week about your progress is more likely to keep you on track.

Start The Journey Today.. Adult & Children Classes.. Special Offer 10% Off 3 Month Term In January Only. Build Confidence, Self-Esteem & Self Belief. Our Specialist Child Programs Teach Character Development, How To Follow Your Dreams, Anti Bullying And Many More…Our Full Time Family Friendly Dojo Builds Self-Confidence, Self-Discipline Relieves Stress & Increases Fitness. Follow The TrainIng Of The Samurai From 5 Years Of Age Upwards. Limited Spaces Available, Message Now Or Chech Out www.elitekarateacadeny.com For More Information