This question comes up all too frequently—the so-called “zone.” It is odd that most advanced ranks do not consider it an extension of the self and do not understood it as an integral aspect of totality of being based on fundamental “zanshin,” awareness. Therefore, they fail to teach it. (I won’t go into the need for understanding the requirements of kata here, but that form of practice is essential to understanding “zanshin.”) The idea of having to put oneself into a “zone” suggests that consciousness of self is lacking through the entire aspect of martial arts study and indicates that the practitioner has not come to terms with the idea of commitment to the ideal of bushido. It should not be necessary to put one’s self into a “zone” in order to perform. You are either what you are or you are not. Furthermore, there is no such thing as 110% or 60%, 80%, etc. Everything is total and complete. The universe is not composed of dialectics: part this, part that. It is all totality.
It is your responsibility as a budoshi to accept completeness of being in your life and consciousness. Not to do so would indicate the need to try to put yourself in a “zone” that can only be considered apart from you. Be in the “zone” in everything you do—by being the “zone.” Your self-expectations will become enhanced by your acceptance of yourself as a complete and total person including that of a warrior should that be your choice.
© SFKaufman 2011
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