The Zen Way to the Martial Arts

The Zen Way to the Martial Arts

At last: a book on the martial arts from a true Zen master. Taisen Deshimaru was born in Japan of an old samurai family, and he recieved from the Great Master Kodo Sawaki the Transmission of Mind to Mind when Sawaki died. In 1967, Deshimaru-Roshi went to France and taught as a missionary general of the Sato Zen School until his death in 1982. In Europe he learned how to make Oriental concepts understandable to the Western mind. One of the results of that experience was this book: a series of lessons, question-and-answer sessions, and koans (riddles or anecdotes that point out general principles) that provide practical wisdom for all students of the martial arts--kendo, aikido, iai-do, jodo, or archery--as well as for the general reader interested in Zen.

Questions to a Zen Master

Questions to a Zen Master

The great Japanese teacher offers practical suggestions for developing unitary mind-body consciousness through posture, breathing, and concentration and clearly explains concepts such as karma and satori.

Moving Zen

Karate As a Way to Gentleness

Moving Zen

A classic story of one man's confrontation with the self through Karate. In 1962 at age twenty-two, C. W. Nicol left Wales to study Karate in Japan. He quickly found that the study of the martial art engaged his whole being and transformed his outlook on life. Moving Zen is the multifaceted story of a young man who arrived in Japan to study the technique of, and spirit behind, Karate. Joining the Japan Karate Association, or Shotokan, Nicol discovered that Karate, while extremely violent, also called for politeness and a sense of mutual trust and responsibility. He learned that the stronger the Karateka, the more inclined he was to be gentle with others. Those who have gained a measure of skill but have not yet achieved spiritual maturity are the dangerous practitioners. Studying kata, Nicol came to realize that these forms are, in essence, moving Zen and that the ultimate goal of all the martial arts is tranquility. Through the help of many gifted teachers, C. W. Nicol gained his black belt, and moved progressively closer to his goal of tranquility. His story, Moving Zen, was first published in 1975 and has achieved the status of a modern classic.

Mushotoku Mind

The Heart of the Heart Sutra

Mushotoku Mind

Based on the translation by Ilsa Fatt and the edition by Reiryu Philippe Coupey “Mushotoku mind” means an attitude of no profit, no gain. It is the core of master Taisen Deshimaru’s Zen. This respected teacher of Japanese Soto Zen moved from Japan in 1967 and brought this work to Paris, from where it was disseminated throughout the West. This book presents his commentary on the most renowned of Buddhist texts, the Heart Sutra, known in Japanese as Hannya Shingyo-a philosophical investigation on the futility of philosophical investigation. Deshimaru’s work fills a great gap in the interpretations of this seminal text in that he emphasizes “mind-emptiness” (ku) as the foundation of Zen practice, in contrast to the usual “mindfulness” focus of many other Zen approaches. This “emptiness” and “purpose of no purpose” is one of the most difficult ideas for Westerners to understand. Yet we know that our most cherished values are based on mushotoku mind when it comes, for example, to love. We value the unselfish love of family or country that is based not on what we can get from the relationship but on what we can give. We know, too, that these virtues are not accomplished directly through our will but indirectly through dropping our expectations. His lectures on this subject have been translated by Ilsa Fatt and edited by Reiryu Philippe Coupey of Deshimaru’s British and French groups; and here completely revised and reedited for an American audience by Reishin Richard Collins. This edition emphasizes Deshimaru’s chorus: Mushotoku mind is the key attitude characterizing the way of the Buddha, the way of the bodhisattva, the way of Zen and zazen, and the way of all sutras (teachings). Taisen Deshimaru (d. 1982) was the founder of the Association Zen Internationale, one of the largest influences on Zen in the West. He is author of: The Ring of the Way and The Zen Way to Martial Arts: A Japanese Master Reveals the Secrets of the Samurai. Richard Collins is a Zen teacher in the lineage of Taisen Deshimaru and Dean of Arts & Humanities at California State University, Bakersfield. A Book for Students of Zen Buddhism; Religion Scholars; Philosophy Students, and Readers of Taisen Deshimaru’s Books.

Armed Martial Arts of Japan

Swordsmanship and Archery

Armed Martial Arts of Japan

This unique history of Japanese armed martial arts--the only comprehensive treatment of the subject in English--focuses on traditions of swordsmanship and archery from ancient times to the present. G. Cameron Hurst III provides an overview of martial arts in Japanese history and culture, then closely examines the transformation of these fighting skills into sports. He discusses the influence of the Western athletic tradition on the armed martial arts as well as the ways the martial arts have remained distinctly Japanese. During the Tokugawa era (1600-1867), swordsmanship and archery developed from fighting systems into martial arts, transformed by the powerful social forces of peace, urbanization, literacy, and professionalized instruction in art forms. Hurst investigates the changes that occurred as military skills that were no longer necessary took on new purposes: physical fitness, spiritual composure, character development, and sport. He also considers Western misperceptions of Japanese traditional martial arts and argues that, contrary to common views in the West, Zen Buddhism is associated with the martial arts in only a limited way. The author concludes by exploring the modern organization, teaching, ritual, and philosophy of archery and swordsmanship; relating these martial arts to other art forms and placing them in the broader context of Japanese culture.

The Elements of Zen in Martial Arts

The Elements of Zen in Martial Arts

Do you know what suffering has to do with violence? Or the meaning of mushin, zanshin and mushotoku? Is your idea of Buddhism rather vague, or have you understood it�s basic concept: dependent origination? Then, maybe, you might like to have a look at this book.The goal of this book is to reveal in a practical way the teachings of Zen Buddhism for practitioners of martial arts, for ambitious athletes of other sports and for anyone affected by conflicts in general. Therefore, the elements which prepare the way to prowess will be elucidated.The history of Japan through many decades was a story of permanent struggle between rivalling lords, culminating in a hundred years of civil war. A special caste of warriors, the samurai, evolved in these times. During the perpetual chaos of war their abilities sharpened. As prowess in martial arts was crucial for survival, the effective skills were separated from the ineffective. The samurai found spiritual assistance in the teachings of Zen Buddhism. Zen provided them with a distinctive approach towards their life situation and towards martial arts. Hence they learned to imperturbably face death, and on the other hand to wield their weapons with excelling precision. In our times bud� - the way of the martial arts - is the legacy of the samurai. In bud�, striving for skill in practice and fight combines with spiritual influences from Zen Buddhism. Zen, through its special mind-set, sustainably supports that striving.Incidentally, this book also offers unpretentious, pragmatic explanations to basic concepts of Buddhism. Finally, martial arts as such shall be questioned in this context.Hagen Seibert practices Aikid� (4th Dan) since 1988, also Iaid� (3rd Dan), JuJitsu, Kenjutsu and started in 1992 with Zen. He is a trainer since 1993 and presently teaches in Freiburg, Germany.

Barefoot Zen

The Shaolin roots of Kung Fu and Karate

Barefoot Zen

Most books about Kung Fu or Karate deal with techniques or history. Few examine the underlying purpose of these arts, or approach them as a tool for spiritual, rather than physical, development. Barefoot Zen is a brave new approach to the martial arts, which clearly demonstrates that the traditional movements of both Kung Fu and Karate, contained in the solo choreographed sequences of movements known as forms (or kata), grew out of the spiritual practices of the Shaolin order of Buddhist monks and nuns. Nathan Johnson explains that this mystical and non-violent teaching is a profound and beautiful expression of Chan (Zen) Buddhism and its pur-suit of wisdom, peace, and enlightenment. Contrary to popular assumption, he contends that it was never intended to be an actual means of self-defense. Barefoot Zen bridges the gap between Kung Fu and Karate, and reveals their common origin through the disclosure of vital research material on three of the world's most important Karate kata. Part I explains the spiritual disciplines that contributed to what we know as the martial arts. Part II explains the creation of the art along with practical instruction for performing kata. Part III explains the formation of many of the world's Kung Fu styles. We learn that the original "empty hand art" was used as a method of kinetic meditation between pairs and was designed as a practical tool to assist practitioners in transcending the fear and insecurity of everyday living. Barefoot Zen makes the legacy of the Shaolin way accessible to all, releasing the art from the clutches of popular images and painful concerns about self-defense. The legendary courage of the Shaolin (Chan/Zen) order was not developed by fighting with enemies, but by not fighting! The Shaolin teaching was designed to free us from fear, the only true enemy.

Zen Bodywork Dynamics, Enigma Key to Restorative Martial Arts: Primary Course (Part 1)

Zen Bodywork Dynamics, Enigma Key to Restorative Martial Arts: Primary Course (Part 1)

Zen Bodywork Dynamics is a natural, martial-arts-based, hands-on method of helping to restore health in a holistic way. It corresponds with other martial-arts training, which it is seen as complementing - whatever the style. Thumbs, hands, elbows and feet, etc. are used to apply pressure and relieve pent-up stress in the format of: Relax, Release & Let Go. Many trainees have benefitted from its wisdom, as have thousands of members of the public - the book is highly recommended.

The World of Zen

The Way to Inner Calm

The World of Zen

T his brilliantly and generously illustrated appraisal of Zen Buddhism’s spiritual beliefs reveals information on the religion’s origins, development, teachings, practice, moral principles, and its relationship to health, the environment, and the arts. Dozens of photographs and drawings glowingly convey Zen’s inner beauty and humor, display statues and sculptures, unfold the landscape in which it developed, and open the spirit to its philosophy. Understand the importance of meditation and how to perform it, and Zen’s health benefits, from diet to martial arts. Every page is suffused with a beautiful meditative essence that will give practitioners a newfound sense of calm, self-reliance, and connection with life’s flow.

Ku

A Lifetime of Karate and Zen

Ku

Okinawa, October 10, 1944, a six-year old boy was awakened by the deafening blasts of an aerial bombardment. Terrified, frozen with fear on all fours, he could not find his mother. During the chaos of invasion, then occupation, the family survived but was separated with one of the family members tragically lost. Miraculously, they were reunited and after the war migrated to Argentina where they lived peacefully. The young boy, Zenko Heshiki, now a grown man went to New York to study engineering but soon began studying Karate and assisted in teaching classes. In his own words: "I don't remember having a particular interest in Karate when I started." Nevertheless, in 1966 he decided to open a dojo. The more he studied, the more he read books on martial arts philosophy; however, the more he read serious texts by D.T. Suzuki, Miyamoto Musashi, and Yamaoka Tesshu, he realized that his Karate practice was lacking; something vital was missing. In 1968, anxiously, he travelled to Okinawa in search of a teacher who he found in Master Shoshin Nagamine, founder of Shorin-Ryu Matsubayashi. It was during this time that Heshiki Sensei realized what had been missing in his Karate practice: Zen, more specifically zazen (sitting meditation). Back in New York, with a renewed enthusiasm, Heshiki Sensei integrated zazen into the Karate curriculum. From this point on, and continuing for decades he trained intensely in New York, Okinawa and Hawaii where he and his family moved to in 1977. Sensei Heshiki found Chozen-ji International Zen Dojo in Honolulu, taught Karate classes, and trained under two Roshis (Zen masters), Tanouye Tenshin and Dogen Hosokawa. In the author's own words: "The reason I decided to write this book is to share my experiences of Karate-Do shugyo (forging of mind/body/spirit through zazen) with sincere practitioners of Karate throughout the world who, through the years of strict and hard physical conditioning, discovered with nagging inquest that there must be more to Karate than mere self-defense or tournament sport." With his deepening understanding of his teacher's dictum, Ken Zen Ichi Nyo (Karate and Zen as One), he gave seminars in New York, Ohio, Hawaii, Florida, Argentina, Uruguay, and the Dominican Republic. In 1993, the young terrified boy who had survived the horrors of war, relocation to a foreign country, adapting to a new culture and its language was ordained in Hawaii as a Zen priest in the Rinzai sect of Zen with the Buddhist name, Genshin Zenko. In his new role as a priest, he became even more resolute to bring Tao (Chinese), Do (Japanese) meaning Way to the world. As Master Nagamine would often say: "Karate-Do is a lifelong marathon". Sensei Heshiki's 'marathon' continues as Shihan (founder) of Chozen-ji Ryu Kempo Karate.