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Student Insights: Satori in Class

Another week and another opportunity to get some great training in! There are a multitude of ways to train, depending on what we're trying to accomplish. We often emphasize the importance of training slowly, especially when learning something brand new in class. This serves several purposes. First, is to enable both the Tori and Uke to train safely. Another great reason is so that we are better able to learn the movements and techniques.

Going slowly allows the body to pick up on the nuances of each technique and allows our conscious mind to follow (and make corrections as needed). This week we've got a great student insight regarding slow, deliberate training.

Blocking the punch

Satori - a Japanese Zen Buddhist concept referring to sudden enlightenment.

"Yesterday in class I discovered two things. To begin with, I have been progressively slowing down in my movements when executing techniques over the years of training as the fight or flight fear response has lessened, resulting in the emergence of the true aspects of the art form for me and less of pure fighting. As a further illumination, not only has this resulted in my body recording the individual nuances of the practiced techniques, but I discovered last night that the slower I train, the better I can feel what the individual Uke’s responses are.

That being said, the next thing I learned after that (or as a result of that) was how much force to employ in the execution of the technique without causing undue injury to my Uke. This is just training and not full out combat after all. This turned out to be what I call a “satori” moment. I think the next step is to learn how to fine tune or tweak these discoveries."

There are times to train slowly with cooperative partners, and there are times to train at a faster pace with active resistance. The well-rounded practitioner needs both.


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