Magazine • the Silk Thread of Gorindo
Pearls for Teachers - eBook<br />©2013 Photo by Claudio Iedwab

The Silk Thread of Gorindo - Ottawa - Canada

Issue 30

- Technique: Goshinjutsu - 1st Series Basics

- How to Apply What You Learn

- Pearls of Gorindo...

Cover 'Springtime' - Photo by ©2013 Claudio Iedwab



How to Apply What You Learn

Gorindo - Class seiza


One of the most important lessons that you will learn in the martial arts is to take small steps to begin long journeys. You already know that you can’t eat an apple by putting the whole fruit in your mouth. You must eat it one small bite at a time and chew it well.

The martial arts also teach you to keep focused and stay calm. They teach you not to waste time. You learn that if you apply your energy in one direction you can do something well and then have more time to do other things.

You can apply what you learn in the martial arts to many parts of your life. You can use these skills to improve your school work and your performance in sports. They can help you calm down when you are angry, lift your spirit when unhappy, help you concentrate on a problem—or even help you lift a heavy object!

Calm, Cool, and Collected

There are several techniques used by martial artists to help them stay calm and concentrate. These techniques use breathing to focus the mind.



Modern martial artists practice meditation to stay calm. They sit still before and after a practice session to quiet their mind and separate the time for training from the rest of their day. They close their eyes and breathe slowly. They think about their breathing and how they are sitting, with their backs straight and their shoulders relaxed.

There are different ways to meditate. Some people hum a musical note or say something over and over until their mind becomes still. Some people imagine places where they feel good or calm or special or strong.

Martial artists do this, too, but usually when they meditate, they are trying to clear their minds of thoughts and relax their body. When you try this, you may at first find that many thoughts about your day, or yesterday, or tomorrow pop into your mind. It feels something like the random bits of talk and music you hear as you search for something good on the radio. This distraction is normal and should slow down as you remain quiet and listen to yourself breathing.

This is an important martial arts technique that you can use to calm down when you feel excited or nervous or unhappy. It can take time to learn, but you always feel better even if you only try it for a few breaths. If you find yourself feeling angry or upset about something, you can take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and then do it again before you speak or act in an unpleasant way. It is satisfying to practice your martial arts this way and know that you are learning something valuable to you. You will realize that you can use this everywhere in your life.



Martial artists use a similar technique to learn how to concentrate. You start by paying close attention to how you breathe out. By exhaling slowly and smoothly each time, you begin to control how your body responds to activity in the mind. You will begin to see the effects of this technique on the work you ask your body to do.

Try practicing just sitting first, then standing and walking. You can be practicing your martial arts sitting on a bus or waiting in line somewhere! After a while, you’ll notice how you are breathing all the time. By letting your air out at the same moment that you perform a technique, like a block, kick, or throw, you will be concentrating your energy into that move. You can improve how you jump, roll, lift, or push the same way.

You are stronger when you exhale than when you inhale. If in your mind you can imagine that breathing out is like water flowing through a pipe or electricity through a wire, you can feel even stronger.

You can use the same technique to concentrate outside the dojo. You may be trying to draw a straight line on paper or push a thread through the eye of a needle. You may be trying to keep your mind on a math problem or trying to remember the name on a map. If you let yourself relax and focus on your breathing, your senses become clearer and answers come to your mind more easily. When you need more energy or feel tired or sleepy, you can also use your breathing technique to feel better.


Excerpt from the “The Peaceful Way - A Children's Guide to the Traditions of the Martial Arts" published book by Claudio Iedwab & Roxanne Standefer available at askSensei.com >>

Photo by ©2013 Ann Walton




Issue 30

- Technique: Goshinjutsu - 1st Series Basics

- How to Apply What You Learn

- Pearls of Gorindo...


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