|(This post by Wayne Roy - C.C.Q. and I.P. Consultant)|
I have studied various martial arts since I was 16, and I've spent the last 30 years teaching. In one of the Japanese traditions that I studied there is a posture with the unusual name of 'Kongo Gassho no Kamae'.
It's commonly described as being a standing prayer position... however the feeling of adopting this posture is not one of praying - but of preparation. The eyes are open, and the mind and body are in a balanced state, ready to act.
But what it does is strengthen a practitioner's 'no-mind' state. The term translates as meaning : no thought, no emotion.
This mind-set is the very foundation of a martial artist's ability to respond effectively in a confrontation, because it stops you from experiencing emotional extremes.
Why is that important? Because emotional extremes distort your sense of reality, and consequently your ability to respond. Two examples of this from our own western culture are the sayings : frozen with fear ; and blind with rage.
So without this mind-set preparation (this no-mind state), you run the risk of letting your emotions get the best of you... and any anxiety, fear, anger or aggression will distort your ability to recognise a threat, and effectively respond to it.
For more insight into the 'hands ready' position, click on the link below :
My special thanks to Stephen Needham Photography in Brisbane, Australia.