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The tranquil mind of the Aikidoka(1/2)

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Many books have been written and research has been done to discuss the concept of “Mushin".

In the 16th century, Takuan Soho (1573-1645) a Zen priest and a sword expert suggested that the swordsman should not focus on himself, or its opponent and he should let his sub-conscient do the work (The Unfettered Mind).

In the 21st century, our sub-conscient equals to " muscle memory". The right training and the right practice should help to develop the correct muscle memory to respond to physical or verbal aggression. Muscle memory can only be developed with constant repetition and training.

無心 "no mind": It is sometimes difficult in the 21st century to understand this concept because everyday our mind is preoccupied by worries, and smart phones are a big part of our lives. You might be doing something or watching your favorite show and all the sudden your phone beeps and make a sound giving you a notification, and at that moment, you lose focus on what you were watching or doing. It is difficult for the brain to relax if it is always busy.

The best translation of “Mushin” is to be present, focused on the present moment.

In the next blog, we will further develop this concept that seems to be so foreign in the 21st century.

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