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Thread: States of Mind: Fudoshin

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    Default States of Mind: Fudoshin

    We've talked about mushin before, but there is another mental state called "fudoshin" that is often translated as immoveable mind. It's a popular concept in some circles, and wrote this blog post about it. What do you think? Is it a useful concept?
    http://budobum.blogspot.com/2015/03/...-fudoshin.html
    Peter Boylan
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    Hello,

    In my karate line beginners learn the stance “fudō-dachi”, which is why they receive an explanation of the terms “fudō”, and “fudō-shin” right from the beginning. For us (i. e. in my karate group) it is important to avoid any kind of mystification and orientalism (which is only possible, if you really know what you do and what you are talking about). Therefore I offer a German synonym for “fudō-shin”, “Kaltblütigkeit” (which is something like “cool-headedness” in English, I guess).

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Nice blog post Peter, I enjoyed it!

    One of my favorite articles about fudoshin was "Fudoshin and Its Continuing Relevance", written by Stephen Fabian in Wayne Muramoto's Furyu journal. He started out by describing the taking over of the Japanese ambassador's residence by guerillas in Peru. It always struck me as a very relevant example of the concept in my mind. I'll have to see if I can track down a copy or a link to it, or maybe we can get Wayne to post it for us.
    Paul Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgsmith View Post
    Nice blog post Peter, I enjoyed it!

    One of my favorite articles about fudoshin was "Fudoshin and Its Continuing Relevance", written by Stephen Fabian in Wayne Muramoto's Furyu journal. He started out by describing the taking over of the Japanese ambassador's residence by guerillas in Peru. It always struck me as a very relevant example of the concept in my mind. I'll have to see if I can track down a copy or a link to it, or maybe we can get Wayne to post it for us.
    Hello Paul,

    Fabian's article was quite interesting and I suppose "unmoving / unmoved / unmovable mind" is a reasonable enough translation of 不動心. However, I think it unwise to rely too much on Nitobe's concept of bushido or on Suzuki's views on Zen. An article will appear soon on AikiWeb.

    PAG
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Quote Originally Posted by pboylan View Post
    We've talked about mushin before, but there is another mental state called "fudoshin" that is often translated as immoveable mind. It's a popular concept in some circles, and wrote this blog post about it. What do you think? Is it a useful concept?
    http://budobum.blogspot.com/2015/03/...-fudoshin.html
    By the way, Peter, in British English there is quite a difference between proscribed, which you have used in your blog and which means 'forbidden', and prescribed, which means 'required'.

    Best wishes,

    PAG
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Quote Originally Posted by pboylan View Post
    We've talked about mushin before, but there is another mental state called "fudoshin" that is often translated as immoveable mind. It's a popular concept in some circles, and wrote this blog post about it. What do you think? Is it a useful concept?
    http://budobum.blogspot.com/2015/03/...-fudoshin.html
    http://www.visiblemantra.org/acala-fudo.html
    If we look at this part from that page:

    Acala means "immovable". Vidya can mean knowledge, but is also a synonym for mantra and is frequently used to refer to magic. It can be taken to mean something like esoteric knowledge.
    taken with this:

    Acala-vidyārāja is known in Japan as Fudō-myōō.
    It's not a big leap that Dan takes here:
    http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthre...878#post502878

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden
    Kwabe's breath work and "stake standing," Tokimune's breathwork, and solo drills, Sagawa's exercises, Okomotos push hand drill, Horikawas breath work, share much in common with Sho-Sho ryu's breathwork conditioning for atemi, the esoteric training offered at Katori and Kashima jingu (as noted by the founder of Shinto ryu) Yagyu Shingon ryu's conditioning, Goju ryu's conditioning, Wado ryu's solo training drills ( meant to generate Aiki.....are all Chinese.
    The Asian arts share many common attributes for conditioning the body to create aiki. The actual execution has different flavors, but it is all based on yin/ yang.

    Various martial artists have tried to perpetuate this idea that their art is unique in all the world, doesn't have solo training, stating they invented aiki, etc. etc. exposes a rather profound lack of education. From Acala Vidya raja to Fudo Myo-o, from Takuan to Shirata ( all but quoting him) the understanding of esoteric training to achieve an immovable body that created rapid and free movement, powerful, connected center driven movement is foundational to them.

    Again, I am at a seminar as I write this having spent the evening with variouss MA teachers. Once again being shown and indoor solo training exercise out of an Indonesian family art. Guess what it is meant to produce ? Immovable, Dantian based movement that allows you to them go and jump and rapidly move with a tank like body. Then ? Create yin and yang to make sticky disruptive, controlling arm movements. Any of this sounding familiar?
    How about this from the taiji classics:
    "Adhesion caused by movement
    Movement only by yin/yang
    This is the true comprehension of energy. "

    And so it goes.
    Which sort of changes how fudoshin is translated.
    [URL="http://www.e-budo.com/www.MarkMurrayBooks.com"]Mark Murray Books[/URL]

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    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    Hello Paul,

    Fabian's article was quite interesting and I suppose "unmoving / unmoved / unmovable mind" is a reasonable enough translation of 不動心. However, I think it unwise to rely too much on Nitobe's concept of bushido or on Suzuki's views on Zen. An article will appear soon on AikiWeb.

    PAG
    I have to agree with Peter about Nitobe and Suzuki. Nitobe didn't quite invent the term "bushido" but he wasn't far from it. It only seems to have developed in 1895, nearly 30 years after the samurai class ceased to exist! It wasn't a concept during any time when there were actual samurai, and the few cherry picked bits of writing that get used as the basis for samurai values were pretty much unknown in Japan before the 20th century as well. Sadly, Suzuki isn't any better.

    Start with Inventing The Way Of The Samurai
    http://www.amazon.com/Inventing-Way-.../dp/0198706626
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    By the way, Peter, in British English there is quite a difference between proscribed, which you have used in your blog and which means 'forbidden', and prescribed, which means 'required'.
    PAG
    Thank you for the correction Sir! Editing has been duly done. I'm not sure how I flipped those in my mind, but I shall blame having been dropped on my head one time too many at judo practice.
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

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    Hi Mark
    I think most misunderstand the concept -for a deity.
    Acala vidya is a specific idea. Westerners take it for deity.
    If we examine what it is in either Sanskrit or Japanese; it means esoteric training to achieve immobility.
    Acala (immovable) Vidya (esoteric training)
    Fudo (immovable) Myo-o (esoteric training)
    The only discussion left is why?
    And why does it become a guardian of temples?
    How does it interplay with the Nio statues (guardian warrior statues representing yin/yang).
    Why are they all over the place?

    For the societies they came from-warrior cultures- they are a means to generate balance and power. Hence, the skill contained therein are considered above the norm and a protective presence.
    In and of themselves they represent
    *A teaching model
    *The means to deliver it.

    What does this esoteric training do? How was it discussed by the founder of many ryu who trained it from the founder of shinto ryu to Takuan, to Takeda to Ueshiba?
    1. Balance
    It stands to reason that any human who can present a physical structure that remains stable against load in and out and is hard to throw has an advantage over a tight -and hence light- and easier to throw structure.
    2. Neutralization
    Ability to absorb and redirect force without techniques, just movement. It is obvious that a human who can do this has advantages in both time and entry in combatives.
    3. Power
    Many external guys can hit, so how do we talk about advantages to power delivery? The mechanics behind them. External power requires windups, weight shifts and extensions that are far more readable and a result can be avoided easier. Secondly, they typically require two stage movement. Internal power delivery on the other hand is much more difficult to read, or feel, require no wind-up and can be delivered repeatedly inside someones guard or time loop.
    4.Timing
    The ability to neutralize and be in all the time provided incremental fractions of time advantage and by default most people find themselves on a reactive loop even when they try to strike and or feint and enter. I have not seen an external guy be able to produce the effect.
    5. Gassing
    Using less force to do actual and meaningful things, provides more air over the long haul. this comes to the fore in grappling and in wielding weapons. I think internal training provides an advantage their as well.

    My opinion is that all things being equal, this esoteric internal movement, is a superior delivery system for all martial arts.
    Sadly, most do have to go outside their systems to learn it. The Japanese arts are all but bankrupt in either knowing it or being able AND WILLING, to teach it. As Peter discovered at Hombu, they knew about internal training, stated it has always been trained in a clandestine manner and NEVER with foreigners. So, the one real power behind their own heritage is left to fade or be kept hidden. I am once again being asked to go to Japan to teach Japanese Shihans what used to be the foundation of their own countries arts.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 22nd March 2015 at 17:22.
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVMark View Post
    [
    Which sort of changes how fudoshin is translated.
    Or does it?

    Fudo and Nio are just as much models for mental comportment - especially when facing death- as physical. There are clear examples from Chinese and Japanese tradition and training of this being exactly the case.

    Mental/physical are linked as two sides of a coin, separating them too much is perhaps too one sided.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Quote Originally Posted by pboylan View Post
    Start with Inventing The Way Of The Samurai
    http://www.amazon.com/Inventing-Way-.../dp/0198706626
    Hello Peter,

    Yes, I took the book with me when I went to Europe to teach a spring seminar. I had time to read it several times and am now following up with material that Benesch cites. Have you read his doctoral thesis?
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Or does it?

    Fudo and Nio are just as much models for mental comportment - especially when facing death- as physical. There are clear examples from Chinese and Japanese tradition and training of this being exactly the case.

    Mental/physical are linked as two sides of a coin, separating them too much is perhaps too one sided.
    Yes. One of the problems with translating into English, French and German from a graph-based language like Japanese is the readiness to seek either-or alternatives. You can see this with the kun readings the Japanese gave to Chinese concepts that were imported, which had their Chinese-based ON readings. Several related concepts, for which there are different, though sometimes related, Chinese characters, are given just one kun reading. This does not mean that the Japanese importers preferred one or the other; they simply kept the ambiguity. You can see this with 起承転結 and also with 序破急, both central concepts that the Japanese imported from China.
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Peter -yes thank you. I do think another issue in discussing these concepts is that, say with Fudo, for one it is a visualization, or the syllable a shorthand, to activate a magic spell, for another a religious icon from which power is sought, and then for the other it is a symbol of specific mental and physical training leading to a particular set of mind and skills....all depending on the understanding.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    It is more important to look at its origin. In the simplest and direct use, it was "esoteric practice to achieve immobility." It had practical outcomes not requiring a belief system of magic spells or deity. Interestingly enough warriors continued to note physical achievement from mind/ body connection modalities.
    A small example of this being hara or Dantian. You don't have one, you cannot " think" you move from one, you have to make and develop one. You cannot do it with mental focus or casting a spell. It is hard, repetitive mind/ body work.
    Today we can see the result of martial artists the world over and the results they can attempt to achieve by:
    Casting spells
    Developing or imagining an indomitable will
    Or those working the same ages old esoteric training model these guys employed and discussed to achieve immovability...
    And test them all.
    My bet is on acala vidya / Fudo Myo-o being exactly what they meant and this being the reason to have survived as a physical result and not some illusory belief in magic or Gods or an imagined mental state.
    The same can be said for Ueshiba's "dance of the Gods" description of working the attraction point between yin and yang behind his takemusu aiki.
    Was he REALLY talking about gods?
    Nope and he said as much. But decades later very few knew what he was referring to, and commensurately very few have any unusual skills to show for it.

    Useless equivalencies:
    Calling a mother saving her child in a fire an act of fudo shin, or facing a battle as fudo shin is equal to saying "I didn't fight the drunk, I used aiki to redirect him."

    It's useless platitudes reinforcing even further dilution of the arts, that in the end, accomplish nothing.
    Worse is that it continues to keep us away from the real treasures most were looking for in the arts. So people swim through seas of obfuscation, poor teaching and intentional misdirection and hold backs and wonder why they feel... like they do. I find this particularly sad in light of the fact that these ancient concepts truly deliver on what they promised and why warriors kept the practices alive.
    I can only imagine that "I dreamed I had a strong will" was not very high on their dance card.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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