Mushin No Shin

Mushin no shin translates as "mind of no mind", and is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists can enter during combat. The concept is that a mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion will be open to everything.

Mushin (no-mindedness) is achieved when a person feels no anger, fear or ego during combat. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is felt intuitively. It is not a state of relaxed, near-sleepfulness, however. The mind could be said to be working at a very high speed, but with no intentions, plans or direction.

A martial artist would likely have to train for many years to be capable of mushin. This allows time for combinations of movements and exchanges of techniques to be practised repetitively many thousands of times, until they can be performed spontaneously, without conscious thought. If he is capable of truly listening to his teacher, however, he could attain this level in only a few years. Some masters believe that mushin is the state where a person finally understands the uselessness of techniques and becomes truly free to move. In fact, that person will no longer even consider themselves as "fighters" but merely living beings moving through space.

Historic Mushin (OOC)

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