Some concepts which are important in the daily practice of Budo.

Fudoshin non-moving heart
Heijoshin inner peace
Itsuki physical or mental block
Ji ri itchi practice and theory are one
Kenchutai to wait while you attack
Kenshintai itchi or Kikentai ichi or Kijotai ichi sword (jo), spirit and body are one
Kihin proudness, style and dignity
Kyo Jitsu detect the strong and weak
Maai the combat-distance between opponents
Mitsu no sen timing of response
Shikai four internal diseases
Shishin stopping heart
Shu ha ri stages in development
Zanshin stay concentrated


Fudoshin non-moving heart
Fudo means 'do not move' and shin means 'heart or mind or body'. A 'non-moving heart' is a heart that does not get upset by external circumstances, it always stays calm and thus relaxed.

Heijoshin inner peace
A common aim of Budo and Zen is inner peace. If you are restless or even panic, it is obviously impossible to overcome your opponent. Heijo means 'normal' or 'ordinary' and shin means 'heart' or 'feel'. You could also translate heijoshin with 'feeling normal'.

Itsuki physical or mental block
The character I mean 'his' or 'present' and tsuki also means 'fasten, attach'. Itsuki is a situation in which you are physically or mentally 'stuck' and of course this is an ideal opportunity for the opponent to strike .
A physical Itsuki is a situation where your body is stuck due to an incorrect position of the hands or feet, so offensive or defensive movements become impossible.
A mental Itsuki is a situation where you are spiritually stuck, due to lack of concentration or whatever.
It is important to avoid Itsuki yourself and, of course, to use Itsuki with your opponent.

Ji ri itchi practice and theory are one
Besides studying techniques an important part of the training is the study of theory. During the Edo period (1603-1868), when Japan there was a period of stability and peace, Budo was a martial art promoting mental training, and to a lesser extent the technical combat training.
In the guidebook for members of the warrior family (buke shohatto), it was stipulated that all bushi, in addition to their military training, also had to deal with literature, calligraphy and the like. This combination of military and theoretical academic training was called bun bu itchi, 'literature and martial arts are one'. The modern variant is Ji ri itchi, ji = practice and ri = theory and itchi = one.
It is obvious you can not learn Budo by reading a book, but on the other hand, if you only practice and never read any theory, you'll be missing a vital part of your training.

Kenchutai
to wait while you attack
Ken chu tai literally means "to wait while you attack". This is also called "ken tai itchi - Attacks and waiting are one". This expression highlights the fact that attacking and defending are like the two sides of a coin, one does not exist without the other. While attacking there are always defensive elements included and in defensive actions there are always attacking elements. In Budo therefore attack when required and wait when required. If the opponent shows one of the "Shikai - Four diseases" you should use this opportunity right away. Here, a lot of exercise is the only way to learn how to make the proper division between ken and tai .

Kenshintai itchi or Kikentai ichi or Kijotai ichi sword (jo), spirit and body are one
'sword (technique), heart (attitude) and body are one'. Indicating sword, heart and body should work in harmony. Kokoro tadashikereba ken mo tadashii 'If your attitude is correct, your technique will be correct'.

If you practice budo with a bad attitude (maybe only for the purpose of money or fame) your technique can never be correct, even though it looks nice on the outside. A good technique is characterized, among other things, by the fact that the body well in balance (straight body, relaxed shoulders and power concentrated in the tanden (a spot nine inches below the navel).

Kihin proudness, style and dignity
Show proudness, style and dignity during Enbu (demonstration of kata). Also called kihin or kigurai.
This means during enbu you show maximum concentration, straight posture and a serious attitude so you will look confident and proud.
A good way to train the correct posture:
  • concentrate your energy in your tanden.
  • breath, using mainly the abdominal muscles.
  • push your abdomen against your obi 'belt'.

With Serious attitude it is not only meant an enthusiastic attitude, but more important, an attitude showing you realize budo is developed from actual combat situations. Budo is not 'ballet' but the techniques actually are fatal if applied correctly. The kata we practice are very sophisticated, polished techniques, our ancestors invented investing their entire lives (with day and night practice). As such, they should be respected and practiced seriously .

Kyo Jitsu detect the strong and weak
An opening in the physical or mental attitude is called kyo. The opposite is called jitsu. So when moving correctly avoid the jitsu of the opponent and use his kyo. If what you attack what the opponent protects well, you will not yield much result. If instead you attack what the opponent does not defend well, you can obtain maximum profit with minimal effort.

Maai the combat distance between opponents
The distance between opponents. Each technique and weapon in a martial art has a specific distance. Sometimes the opponent is close (chika maai), sometimes at some distance (to maai). It is important to realize in each situation the correct maai.

Mitsu no sen timing of response
Means 'three ways to be ahead'. It describes the timing of the response to the opponents initiative.

  • Sensen no sen. Foresee the plans of your opponent and stop him before he starts his initiative, followed by an appropriate counter.
  • Sen no sen. Foresee the plans of your opponent at the moment he starts his initiative, followed by an appropriate counter.
  • Go no sen. Responding to an initiative after he started it, perform a defensive movement, followed by a counter attack.

Shikai four internal diseases
The purpose of budo is primarily mental training followed by physical training and mastery of the techniques .
Mental training can be understood as the overcoming of the four internal diseases which make controlling your opponent impossible.
  • kyo, surprise.
  • ku, fear.
  • gi, doubt.
  • waku, bewilderment.

Shishin stopping heart
If your mind lingers on something you are not capable of accurately and quickly respond. A 'stopping heart' is called Shishin, being the opposite of fudoshin and something you should definitely try to avoid. Thoughts should in a natural manner move from one to the other phenomenon, without lingering somewhere. In practice it means that you should not focus your attention at one spot of the opponent, but look the opponent as a whole, maybe even including your surroundings.

Shu ha ri stages in development
Every budo practitioner will know a necessary development during his career. In this process of development appears to evolve naturally in three stages with a certain pattern :
  • Shu - literally meaning 'protect'. The knowledge of the sensei. The student should just copy what is being taught without doubting the teacher.
  • Ha - 'breaking the promise'. Refers to a more critical approach from the advanced student towards everything that has been taught. The mastery of the basic techniques makes it possible to practice with other sensei and compare different techniques and systems.
  • Ri - finally comes when the teacher and student 'split'. The matured student is now able to think, to shape his own budo and teach.
In modern budo and in respect to the (national or international) budo organization the student is a member of, it should always be Shu.

Zanshin state of awarenes
Stay concentrated. The literal meaning of this term is 'residual' (zan) 'heart' (shi) . This means as much as preserving an optimal concentration after the execution of a technique. After all you are in danger of being hurt.

Feel free to comment on these concepts, when serious. If necessary we start a blog on the topic.