The space between part 2

Miyamoto-Musashi

What there is more…well of course there is! But this is a bit of a divergent post, as it begins to deal with strategy and the application of Mushin, within this context.

In the space between an attack and counter there is a split second where chaos exists. By this I mean it can go either way, either your way or theirs, success or failure, surviving or dying, it is all in a split second between a decision or action or even a non-decision or non-action. This space exists in time, this space exists in distance and learning how to control and utilize it is a high art. Mushin – “no mind”, is exactly there, no thought of success or failure, there is only the now, and you deal only with what is in the “now” in order to survive. How can you deal with what is happened, you can’t you just move on, what about what will happen next, once again you can’t as it is not happening yet. Action in the now, is where the space in between a perfect attack and a counterattack , happens. This strategy is more than just a “strategy” but a piece of living, when you have it happen to you whether in training or when you have become fully engaged in an activity, it is there. There are some who try to grab at it without understanding the basics of the theory I am writing about here. Just so I don’t leave you without any hard lesson and not just my philosophical wanderings, here is an exercise you can practice: During your next training session take 3 or 4 partners and place them around you in a circle, at a specific time, each will attack you with 1 and only 1 attack, you have to only counter with 1 counter, then the next attacker goes, and so forth. The main idea here is not to allow the 1 in the middle to “think” of a counter, the attacks need to be fast, so that the receiver in the middle doesn’t have time to think about what is next. Slowly at first then add progressively more attacks at a faster pace, until it is seamless in flow, countering only with what is, and not anticipating what is next.

Bufu Ikkan

Airyu