One of the greatest skills you can learn as a martial artist is to read intentions...and most importantly, act on intentions. We've all heard of the remarkable ability of the old masters to seem to know what was happening before anyone else. They could read intentions...and just like practicing a side kick or reverse punch, the more you practice the better you will get.
We all have intentions. It is the spark just before a thought and just before an action. But how do you tell the intentions of your opponent? Learn how to see your own first. Here's a meditation to do to get you started:
Sit in a meditative pose with your back straight. Focus on breathing deep in your hara (center). Now, become aware of the intention to inhale and your intentions to exhale. Feel the energy of intention just prior to each breath. Do this for about 20 minutes a day for 21 days...and notice the difference in your ability to pay attention and feel the energy of intent.
Next 21 days: Begin with noticing your breath's intention and switch to being aware of your intent to have a thought. Be like a cat waiting for a mouse to come out of its hole...watch...and feel.
During your day...when you remember...notice your intentions to think, move, breath, etc. Also, begin to see if you can feel other's intentions. Just watch...don't overanalyze. Play with it in the dojo as well....think of ways you can work with your dojo mate in reading his or her intentions. I use the word PLAY....don't try too hard. Be loose and listen and watch...and feel.
Hope this makes sense. Think of how reading your opponent's intentions can help you...not only in the martial arts but in life as well.
Thanks for visiting. My Dharma name is Shinzen. I began studying Goshindo Karate under the watchful eye of Shihan Paul Dean in 1969. Yes, I now have gray hair. I am also Lay-ordained in Soto Zen under the tutelage of Rev. Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center.