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  • Zazen and Kendo

    Hello, I'm a neophyte to these forums as well as Kendo and Zen. I'm just wondering if any of you practice zazen and have you found that it helps your kendo at all? I know these are two unrelated topics, I just think this is a curious subject.

  • #2
    I'd be interested in hearing from folks on this too.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cervantes
      Hello, I'm a neophyte to these forums as well as Kendo and Zen. I'm just wondering if any of you practice zazen and have you found that it helps your kendo at all? I know these are two unrelated topics, I just think this is a curious subject.
      One of my sensei practices both. As far as I know zazen helped him develop an impressive kiai. If you hear it you know that it comes from the tanden. And it is always a pleasure to see the awestrucked and stunned faces of the beginners when he shows them how to kiai - he can perform this a very long time and every time I feel the dojo vibrating.

      At first I thought he received singing lessons (like an opera singer) but he said it comes from zazen.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Stefan
        One of my sensei practices both. As far as I know zazen helped him develop an impressive kiai. If you hear it you know that it comes from the tanden. And it is always a pleasure to see the awestrucked and stunned faces of the beginners when he shows them how to kiai - he can perform this a very long time and every time I feel the dojo vibrating.

        At first I thought he received singing lessons (like an opera singer) but he said it comes from zazen.
        if zazen is sitting meditation that is practiced by zen practitioners.. and if what i think is true, they practice lot of breathing exercise that involves breathing through the diaphram which should definitely help with kiai.

        pete

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cervantes
          I'm just wondering if any of you practice zazen and have you found that it helps your kendo at all?
          Well zazen actually helps everything. Or does everything help zazen?
          Anyway, I do zazen allthough i'm not that disciplined to do it everday, it does indeed help with kiai as you are able to "trap" air in your underbelly. You can use this for your kiai. As for the more important part of zazen calming the mind or having an empty mind this only becomes effective when your skills, be it kendo or any other martial art, have become a second nature and my kendo skills are not at that level.
          I have experienced moments of let's say emptyness while I was still training JuiJitsu. And it feels like you are actually inhaling your attacker and eventually exhaling him and in between there is just a void. In this void you are adapting to your attackers attack,bassicaly just perfoming a technique, and this only works if the technique has become second nature.
          Now I know this also works with Kendo although my skills are not suficient, but I'm am happy in training hard and knowing that eventually I migth get there.
          I hope something I said made sense and that it will help you form your own opinion. But in anycase zen is something that will help you in everything and zazen is just a way to train in zen.

          See the following for some more info: http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2949
          Last edited by Ipp-on Ipp-off; 20th March 2006, 08:51 PM.

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          • #6
            Hi,
            I practice zazen more or less regularly, and I find that it helps my martial arts practice a lot. Improved breathing and concentration are two things which immediately come to mind. Patience is also something you need in both, zen and martial arts. Just give it a try and see for yourself if zazen is something for you.

            BTW, there are at least two other kendo-ka at my dojo who regularly practice zazen.

            Regards,

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            • #7
              Good advice

              Thanks for all of the helpful and informative posts to this thread. The part about the breathing helping with kiai is very interesting, I hadn't thought of that.

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              • #8
                Here are my thoughts on Zen and Kendo:







                That's about it.

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                • #9
                  I am a practising Soto Zen Buddhist and practise zazen daily. I certainly find that it doesnt contradict my Iai or Niten but assists in doing the kata/waza 'mindfully'.

                  The practise of sussokan (breathing techniques) effects tanden and hara which is the centre of ones ki. Naturally therefore it will 'connect' your life force to the kata and might give you a head start on those who purely mimic form.

                  Also you will notice when your being shouted at in the dojo and you're trying to pefect part of a waza you are not thinking about your tax bill or your last vist to the genito urinary clinic. All ones attention is concentrated in the present moment... in that sense one can be said to be practiseing zazen also.

                  The other advantage is that one moves on through ego to ones buddha nature and ,as such, looking good and lusting after shodan et al becomes less attaching.

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                  • #10
                    "It is the state of mind in which you do not stick to anything. That is the purpose of our practice."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by karai
                      "It is the state of mind in which you do not stick to anything. That is the purpose of our practice."

                      Whose we? There isnt even an 'I' let alone a 'We' grasshopper.

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                      • #12
                        Here are my thoughts on Zen and Kendo:







                        That's about it.
                        Thanks for that timely chuckle John!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by John Tee
                          I am a practicing Soto Zen Buddhist
                          Is that what you are?

                          I say, you are me, and right now, you needs to get me/us a beer and chips.



                          as I mentioned before, I am a non-practicing zenist, and I non-practice zazen daily.



                          ...It helps my Kendo the same way it helps me to understand that you need to make it snappy with our beer and chips..
                          I'm over here, not being parched, in a state of not-waiting for it.

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                          • #14
                            Heres an interesting read... I really like Wikipedia... they are pretty legitimate on info for the most part....

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zazen

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