Blending depends on more than ‘timing’.
It is commonly accepted that ‘timing’ is one of the keys to success. This is rather simplistic. Even ‘blending’ itself is open to interpretation. To become ‘one’, what does that mean?
To keep it simple I’ll loosely confine myself to the physical act of blending energies with a partner as performed in activities such as martial arts (Aikido is a good example to use). But can be applied to many/all other activities eg: dancing, sports, fishing – (Your adversary being the fish – your connection the rod and line. Using the balanced flexibility of the rod and the strength and stretch of the line you can ‘play’ the fish efficiently and with little effort. Sometimes landing a specimen many times the weight your equipment was designed for).
If a partner/assailant/competitor applies their energy against you – where do you start?
Do you respond?
When do you respond?
How do you respond? (it may be too soon/late)?
Do you anticipate?
When do you anticipate?
How do you anticipate? (It may be too/soon late)?
Are you aware?
How much are you aware?
Do you see ‘all’ the potential dangers?
ZANSHIN = more than awareness. (Japanese word).
Are you ‘Go – no – sen’? (After - before), or ‘Sen – no – sen’? (Before - before). (Japanese phrases).
Do you wait and counter or try to anticipate and ‘get in first’?
Is there a fine line between attack and defence? Or, no line at all?
A must! Without rhythm appropriate to the energies at work, then timing is, well, basically a ‘waste of time’. On a physical level an example could be:
As you may have seen in films, a horse running loose – cowboy jumps on as it is passing – good timing.
Lands in the saddle when horse on up stroke - bad rhythm – sore backside.
To blend correctly with any situation is incredibly difficult and takes more than being physically adept. To truly blend you need mental, spiritual as well as physical elements. You need to empathise as well as harmonise.
Important: Never be drawn into the rhythm of the enemy!
Your rhythm must be ‘outside’ of your opponents, out of phase if you will. This will affect his timing.
This being so, does it mean that rhythm and timing are the same thing? Are they interchangeable or are they separate things which depend and affect each other?
There’s something to think about!
To find out more about Sensei Seth's club visit www.zanshinaikido.co.uk You can e-mail Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org