Chûshin And Chōwa


Recently Senō sensei said to my friend Moti that he might come back to teaching. This is a very good news for all of us as his taijutsu completes perfectly the classes of the other Japanese Shihan. The depth and precision of his movements are always impressive.

I remember him teaching once the concepts of 中心, Chûshin* and Chōwa**; “pivot and harmony”. When those two concepts are done together, the balance is uke is taken.

Senō said that in any movement do, we have to pivot from our control points (chûshin) in order to harmonize (chōwa) our actions with the attacker’s actions.

When you reach this level, there’s no technique but only a permanent adaptation to the tensions of uke. Often, because of the pivoting of the body, you are so close to uke that your legs are in a position to take his balance from under, using 斜八足, Sha Ha Ashi.

When using Sha Ha Ashi, use your leg to take Uke’s balance but do it with the full body weight without using any strength. You don’t pivot with the legs but with the whole body.

Everything comes from the proper use of distance****, and by increasing or decreasing this distance, your body enters the kûkan created and adapts freely to Uke’s reactions. Using the Chûshin, you stay in the middle of the kûkan and become the Tenkan, everything rotates around you.

Chûshin is at the center of the kûkan.  We can say that this is the kaname of the 空間, kûkan. This is the 要の急所, kaname no kyûsho explained by sensei during the Daikômyôsai of 2011.

Using the Chûshin lying in the center of this evolutive kûkan properly, you can easily break Uke’s balance, keep yours, and reach chōwa, full harmony.

*中心/chuushin/center; centre; middle; heart; core; focus; pivot; emphasis; balance|-centered; -centred; -focussed; -oriented; centered on; focussed on
** 調和/chouwa/harmony
*** 斜/sha/diagonal, 八/hachi/eight/infinite, and 足/ashi/foot|leg
****remember that sensei used to subtitle each of his videos “martial art of distance”
***** 空間/kuukan/space; room; airspace

Author: kumablog

I share here on a regular basis my thoughts about the Bujinkan martial arts, training in Japan and all over the world, and

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