Friday, July 31, 2009

Defining zanshin

Photo courtesy of esc8311976
The word zanshin literally means 'remaining mind. Interestingly (to me at least), 'zan' is the same word used to describe food leftover from dinner the next day. So, the implication is that zanshin is the state-of-mind or spirit that remains after something is finished.
Like any abstract construct that describes a state of mind, there is a lot that goes into zanshin, but basically you can think of it as a combination of...
  • Situational awareness - both before a conflict and after the physical part of the conflict is finished.
  • Zanshin also has elements of "follow-through" but not in the sense of some motion that occurs after the engagement is over (like follow-through when swinging a baseball bat).
  • Zanshin is a mental connection that begins before physical contact and continues after physical contact is over.
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282
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