Mitsuhashi Kanichiro was a kendo master of the early 20th century. Pulling again from Kenji Tokitsu’s book on Miyamoto Musashi, I find an interesting and applicable understanding of Musashi’s philosophy.
Notes on the Mind, Energy, & Body in Strategy
– Do not over-stretch to the point of losing flexibility and the ability to spring into action.
– A skilled practitioner does not have a lapse in their flowing mind and they immediately know how to take advantage of an opponent who does.
– Begin your combat with calm energy and deliberate movements. Do not be agitated and waste your energy.
– Even though you should command the initiative, rhythms or cadences will depend on your opponent.
– Master the three keys of the human being, (Kanichiro describes them as “domains”): mind (心), will or energy (氣), and body (身).
– Fear hinders courage and stimulates the will of your opponent.
– Hold your body “accentuating its central axis” The belly is forward and the entire body is dynamic.
Attitude Toward Training
– Reflect on your doubts in training. “Even if you are lacking in knowledge and you are awkward, the future is wide open.”
– If you are too skeptical you will be mired in doubt and never go beyond.
Within Kanichiro’s work is a poem by Musashi which reflects his school with the notion of water in winter evoking the coldness of a blade and the clearness of the mind. The water flows, never stagnating. Transparent yet reflecting the moon.
Flowing on a winter stream,
The face of the moon,
Like a mirror, transparent