Kodokwan Club, Zambia, Africa
MUSHIN NO SHIN ; MIND OF NO-MIND. Any one who has practiced the martial arts for some time has come to the point of moving into a technique without thinking about the movements of the technique involved and has found the opponent flying through the air to his own surprise. Through the years I have practiced with the different Japanese Sensei , they all say this is moving and applying a technique with out any thought of the mind .This is called Mushin No Shin;Mind of no mind; a mind so free from internal hindrance and conscious over-control that it will act on a pure and logical level, doing exactly what is required with perfect efficiency. The active phase of Mushin No Shin is Musoken; an action taken without thought.
In 1995 while preparing to represent Zambia at the world judo championships held in Japan , preparing and training in Osaka , Japan, I was told by my Japanese judo teacher Sasaki Sensei 7th dan , to encourage me to train to the point of Mushin no Shin, which is achieved through repetitive training. Drills were performed over and over again in order to program certain movements into the brain until they become reflex actions . Once this is accomplished Mushin No Shin will trigger those movements when needed. It was some of the hardest judo training I had ever gone through in my life. I was rained in certain throws called the Tokui-waza, ,favorite techniques, and practiced various kinds of Uchikomi: Fitting in ;repeatedly practicing throwing techniques, until my subconscious mind took over my movements. The Japanese judo Sensei believe that in order to achieve this level of judo certain movements must be drilled in the body twenty thousand times. During uchikomi practice when the pre-arranged number of repetitions was performed (100 per throw, four or five throws, was not excessive at this serious level), one full power throw was executed to finish off each Tokui –waza at the end. The conscious mind is generally incapable of thinking fast enough in a crisis, and is often encumbered by emotional reactions. The subconscious mind does not have these limitations. It is able to work at speed of reflex and instinct.
In the heat of battle the reflex of the subconscious mind, takes over and fights with maximum efficiency. A Japanese Kendo master once said to me; The great mistake in swordsmanship is to anticipate the out come of the engagement ; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or in defeat .just let nature take its course ,and the sword will strike at the right moment. I believe it is the goal of every martial artist to reach this level in their art. But this can only be achieved through many years of constant hard practice and total commitment to training when ever you are in the dojo. And a lot of patience is needed to reach this level. The late British judoka Trevor Leggett, Kodokan 6th dan, once wrote about his teacher in Japan telling him: Remember that, as one teacher told me, you are trying to outwit not the opponents brain but his bodily reactions in contest he has no time to think but relies on the reactions of the body as trained in judo ”And the body (added the teacher) is quite a stupid thing!” Master swordsman Odagiri Ichiun(c1600) used the phrase Aiuchi (mutual striking down) to describe Mushin No Shin. It means: paying no attention whatever to the outcome of the contest , being not at all concerned with the question of coming out of it safely or not .When a man faces a deadly situation in this frame of mind , he is the most resolute , the most desperate , the most daring person, before whom no enemy can stand unless himself has come to the same resolution.
Jonathan Terance Kruger began his formal studies of the martial arts in 1987 in Kodokwan traditional judo and Kodokwan koryu jujitsu founded by jujitsu Master Seishi Teppei, brought to South Africa in 1928 .Mr. Kruger studied under his father Shihan John Kruger 6th dan Kodokwan jujitsu, in his home town of Kitwe, Zambia . He continued his studies of judo and jujitsu in Japan while working in Osaka, Japan as a missionary from1991 to 1998 under The All Japan Judo Federation in Takatsuki city –eventually attaining the rank of Shodan in judo in1994. Represented Zambia in many judo tournaments around Japan, including the1995 world judo championships held in Chiba, Japan. Represented Zambia judo internationally around the world from 1991 to 2001.Returning to Zambia in 1998 to head the Kodokwan judo jujitsu club of Zambia dojo, he earned his Godan in jujitsu under The Noble House of IMATSU International of South Africa in 2007 and Yondan in Judo under the Zambia Judo Association in 2008.In 2009 he became honorary awarded Rokudan under Budo-Ryu International from South Africa. He now operates the kodokwan judo jujitsu club, a traditional Japanese martial arts school in Kitwe working mainly with the underprivileged community and the Kitwe city council police teaching them the disciplines of judo and jujitsu.