With all the excitement of the UFC MMA type of fighting, most people have not seen the incredible qualities of Karate freestyle. When one undertakes training in traditional Karate or one of the old Kung Fu methods, certain things happen that are beyond human understanding. This article will go into what actually occurs when one trains enough to gain a ‘zen mind’ in combat.
First, it should be known that fighting is fighting. If one is training to learn just by fighting, they will not come into the qualities I will be talking about here. There is a difference, you see, between training oneself to enjoy combat and beat an opponent, and gaining the ability to stay aware, and grow even more aware, in the middle of combat.
Thus, one should study classical forms, learn the subtleties of body motion, and calm the mind down. Further, one should learn how to do karate freestyle through the taking of progressive steps. This is the only way to get to the zen state of mind I am talking about here.
When ones training takes effect and they start to appreciate a calm mind in combat they will observe that freestyle is not a matter of frantic reaction, but of reflection. One sees what is occurring, and a plan pops into the mind. This plan is often an image, of what is happening, and what is to be done.
The trick is to be able to recognize this picture when it occurs and to pay attention to it, rather than to thrust it away. The picture might be a quick snippet of an image, almost too quick to see, or it could be an actual cartoon overlaying reality. One must then focus on relaxing, no matter what is about to occur.
Many people, especially when first seeing a vision before a fight happens want to do something. They want to make a response before the action has happened. But if you move before the action has happened, the opponent may not do the action.
So one has to be patient, and this frequently involves ‘pushing down’ an energy building in the chest. The body wants to get going, but the mind must stay sane. The key is for the person to tell the mind to sit still, and to tell the body to wait.
So when does one go? If they are relaxed and secure in their vision, if they have a calm mind, they will move in accord with the action, and not before and not after. This takes some practice, but that is what training the mind in karate freestyle is all about.