Standing in Zenkutsu-dachi 前屈立ち Sensei Fogarasi
calls out various strikes and blocks for us, in different combination. To help build our mental coordination as well as our basic kihon technique.
Between techniques Sensei lectures on hand placement or striking with kime, focus. All the while, we are still in Zenkutsu-dachi and told not to move, or stay low. After a while you find your leg begin to shake. You are fighting the urge to stand, or straighten your leg. It soon becomes obvious that the lesson isn’t in the hand techniques, though they are important. The lesson is in the mind.
Sensei Fogarasi tells us not to give into the voice in our heads. The one telling us this hurts or to relax. We have to talk over that voice with something more stern and strong. He says, “Who is talking to who”?
It is difficult to find a definition of what the subconscious mind is. It is generally only vaguely described. The conscious and subconscious mind are always in interaction, or battle, together, although you might not be aware of it.
The conscious mind is the one that we actively use when awake. What we use to make decisions, interact with others, and general activities during the day. It is also the part of you telling you that standing in Zenkutsu-dachi for a long period of time sucks, and you need a break. However, while your conscious mind is taking in only the ‘surface’, your subconscious mind is actually storing away and filing all the rest of the information.
When you learn how to reprogram the subconscious mind, and when you are able to unlock all the resources that you have been storing, you can use the power of your subconscious mind for many life-positive goals. Like perseverance in the midst of struggle. Not giving up!
Sensei explains that meditation is one path we can use to unlock the power of your subconscious mind and reprogram it for our betterment. To quiet our thoughts and get rid of the negative information in the subconscious. Allowing positive thoughts to flood in and feed the mind while in a relaxed state. With a lot of practice we can reprogram the subconscious mind to contain thoughts and knowledge that are good for us, rather than letting negative and harmful thoughts control our actions.
We learn that the subconscious is a very powerful part of our mind, and it is responsible for most things we are able to do every single day in order to survive or excel. So, as I stand there in there in Zenkutsu-dachi, with my leg beginning to shake more, I try to quiet my mind and tell myself that what I am feeling isn’t real. I am stronger that this. My mind and thoughts are bouncing all around. I try to pull them in and refocus. It works.
The benefits this has in Karate and the dojo are obvious. To get better, stronger faster, etc. But the benefits have far reaching advantages. Every day we encounter struggles. God knows I’ve had my own over the past year. That voice will creep in questioning what I am doing, or telling me to give up. But I override that voice. I reaffirm and tell myself that everything is as it should be. I am on the right path. To trust in myself and my abilities. And with every passing positive thought my confidence grows.
I am learning that the learning never stops. The lessons I learn from Kyokushin and Sensei Fogarasi are far reaching. Beyond the physical technique. The mental strength is what is important. I am re-programming my subconscious mind for success through Kyokushin Karate!