Friday, January 28, 2011

Let's Dance

Sensei Dean & Me...199?
Do you fight or do you dance?

Sensei Dean would always encourage us to learn how to dance...not ballroom dancing, chacha or waltz, but harmonizing in step with your assailant. He would show us over and over how to move in step with an attack. He would maintain mai-ai, or the gap, to his advantage always moving just out of range to be hit, yet remaining in range to smack the crap out of you.

To this day I still can't dance the way he does...well mostly cause I dance to the beat of a different drummer. Sensei Dean is Sensei Dean. Shinzen is Shinzen. I finally found my own dance! What I learned is that I can't copy the man who took a skinny teen kid and turned him into a man. I had to find my own way through the maze of kata, kumite, sweat, tears and lots of blood (mostly my nose...I had a habit of running into Sensei's fist). I had to find my own dance...I had to listen to my own music and move to it the way Shinzen moves...and it is great!

Keep practicing your Karate, Kempo, Aikido, TKD, Kung Fu. You will find your own dance. Just listen to the music it plays, the rythym that sways and you will begin to move the way you need to move. It's there. Just let it happen...let's dance.

Hands palm to palm,


  1. Very Interesting, thanks for the insight Shinzen . . I had never thought of a Martial Art in this way before.

  2. Your welcome's all about harmony & flow...Thanks for commenting.

  3. I certainly wish the time was available to continue training. There is a beauty to the way you explain it.

  4. Thanks Mr. is a beautiful feeling to dance in this manner...just find the dance in other exists.

  5. Robert Bly, in his book, Iron John, had a quote about how you should never give a sword to a man who can't dance. So true!

    A man with a sword, who can't dance, only knows violence. Those who can dance, know compassion and feel the inner beauty of being.

  6. Yes, life, in its totality, is an Abun'Dance'!