Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Zanshin is a higher level practice. It is training in focus, awareness and spacing.



In kyudo, the shooting does not end with the release of the arrow, it ends with zanshin. The word zanshin is a homonym. It can mean "remaining body" or "remaining spirit." Both definitions are used to explain the period following the release when one continue's to hold one's position and send the spirit forth, even after the arrow has reached the target. [1]

Chuck Clark's excellent Zanshin article

Here is a short internet lecture on zanshin we shot. I hope the film turned out OK. I can't stand listening to myself talk, so I edited it with the volume turned off. This is a very basic explanation of how to incorporate zanshin into martial practice. I could probably talk for days about nuances of this practice. I hope you find it useful.

The basic idea is to continue to focus on your opponent, before during and after a technique. Stay aware of the spacing. Let your uke continue to attack at any hole in your distance or attention they give you. People fight like they train. Train with realistic and intense attention.

Patrick Parker's blog series on zanshin



  1. Cool film. I particularly liked the little comment, almost in passing, at the end about zanshin being about aliveness.

    Couldn't help but insert a little dig at me about measuring ma-ai, could ya' ? ;-)

  2. This is great stuff. I'm really glad you and Patrick have been focusing on this, because it's been a little lax in my practice and with a few of those in my classes.