Karate Thoughts Blog

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Sensei Sadao Yoshioka used to give a lecture during every Aikido class. He covered so many subjects. I regret that I did not write it all down. Sometimes I would also remain after class with one or two students and have further discussions with Yoshioka Sensei. I was just a junior, but Yoshioka Sensei made a big impression on me. He still does.

He would often talk about the "mind." Most of us are familiar with the conscious, or thinking, mind. It is what we use during our waking hours.

The subconscious mind is not conscious or verbal. It operates under the surface. It affects what we feel. It is our "gut."

Often, what we think with our conscious mind is caused by our subconscious mind. We think we are thinking it, but our thoughts are not always under our control.

You would think that the consicous mind and the subconscious mind would work together. You would think that the conscious mind would be in control. But often, the two minds do not cooperate. The subconscious mind can be like an unruly child.

There are two points during the day when the two minds cross -- when we wake up in the morning and when we fall asleep at night. Most people are unaware of this crossing. But if you are very still and aware at this crossover point, you might begin to notice things.

If you can remain awake as you fall asleep, or wake up before you wake up, your two minds will be active at the same time. You have to be still and aware.

The subsconscious mind can be like an unruly child. It can also be like a mighty pillar of strength. Without training, it can be like a jumping insect. With training, it can be like a deep pool of water.

I know that it all might sound a bit flightly. The point is that when we speak about the "mind" during martial arts training, there is more to it than the "thinking mind." Martial arts train the person as a whole.

Yoshioka Sensei used to always talk about "taking the attacker's mind." He wasn't just talking about the conscious mind.


Charles C. Goodin