I would like to talk to you about a fundamental notion in Karate, the Shin Gi Taiwhich could be translated by the unity of thought, technique and physics. Indeed, when we talk about learning Karate, we do not speak only of the technique, but of a whole which includes the technique, the body and the spirit of an inseparable way.
To really progress, Karateka will work with regularity, day after day, at the same time the technique, its body and its spirit. This does not mean that you have to do some purely technical exercises on one side, then separately do body maintenance exercises and still separately work your mental, but rather work the whole thing together.
One can, and it is even recommended, to do very specific exercises for the body or mind, but the notion of Shin Gi Tai is quite different and makes the permanent link between technique, body and spirit. It means rather that the mind (Shin) expresses itself through the body (Tai) by the technique (Gi). It is therefore by working tirelessly that Karateka will educate both his body and his mind.
Shin Gi Tai is the unity between mind, technique and body. We speak of unity because one can not exist without the other two.
Shin represents the spirit in the sense of the thought that drives us. Shin is our heart, our desire, our "why". Why we want to achieve our goals Shin represents our intention. It is he who gives meaning to our practice and allows us to follow a guideline. It is this strength that drives us to move forward in life, which gives us the will to give the best of ourselves.
Shin is not unique to Karate, but it is present in our everyday life. Whether we realize it or not, it is faith that stimulates us and motivates us constantly. The Shin is continually present in us. He is present in every action of our day, our daily life, in sport and at work. In short, any action will be directly related to the Shin, without it we will be nothing, since it constitutes our inner motivation, our fidelity to a cause, our confidence in ourselves, in our capacity etc.
Defining the Shin is not easy because it is a vague term that can mean many things. The Shin can manifest in various aspects such as enthusiasm, diligence, perseverance ...
He can also express himself at different levels, from the simple desire to have a good time to the desire to like his life in general for example. In fact, each person can give his own definition because we are not receptive to the same things and in the same way, we are not receptive to the same sources of satisfaction, we do not have the same passions and we do not have all the same feelings against the "motivation impulses".
Shin, that's it. It's the energy that makes us vibrate. It is the flame that burns in each of us.
To give you an image, the Shin is like the battery of a car. If the battery is flat, you can not create the spark to start, even if the fuel tank is full. We are all the same, everything seems bland, gray and without relief when our batteries are empty. We have no taste for anything, we can not start even though we have enough physical reserves. We miss the spark that makes us take the first step, then the second, then the next as does the ignition coil of our car.
The Shin is the spark that makes you take the first step. Even if you want to (and can) climb mountains, whatever your goal, you have to take that first step! And it's your Shin that will help you achieve it. The will is not enough, you need desire and the heart.
In Karate, we will develop and maintain our Shin by practicing because the Shin expresses itself through the body (Tai) by the technique (Gi).
Gi represents the technique, but in the sense of "way". It's not about the technical knowledge that you have, but rather about how to execute these techniques. It is the unification of theory with practice.
Gi is the fulfillment of your intention (Shin).
Whatever technique you learn, your mind can quickly learn the theory, but putting it into practice is more complicated. Once the mind has understood the theory it will make it a goal, an intention (Shin) that will execute the technique the right way. To achieve the right technique, to its perfect execution, it will be necessary to train again and again until the done gesture becomes identical to our intention. Gi represents the mastery of the technique.
If the Shin is the spark that powers our battery, the Gi is the way we drive our body (Tai).
If you show perseverance in your training, the Gi allows the intention (Shin) to unify with the technique performed.
Tai represents the bodyit is the vehicle without which nothing can express itself, neither the Shin nor the Gi. He is the driving force of the gesture, but so is the whole structure. It's the whole vehicle.
You must study your body in depth in every gesture, biomechanics, placement in space, your feelings, ...
The study of the body is often neglected whereas without it, the intention and the way are useless. You may have full batteries with all the goodwill of the world and be an excellent driver, if you drive a poorly maintained 2CV, you will not win a grand prize for 1 formula.
The body is at the center of the technical gesture, it is your vehicle, do not neglect it.
An 1 formula driver is listening to his car. The slightest jolt, the slightest drop in the diet, the slightest mechanical clatter, ... You must be the same with your body to harmonize your movements, to feel the connection of your joints, to work on your posture, your balance, to become aware of your support, of your displacements, of the space in which you evolve.
Practicing to practice is not enough, you have to be fully present and listen to your body so that the intention and the way can fully express themselves. And NDo not think that the intention or the way is more important than the body, they are all three units. Each one fully dependent on the other. Listening to your body is essential to better understand it. Thus, the control of your body through training will allow you to fully express your intention in the technical gesture.
Shin Gi Tai: An inseparable whole
With Shin Gi Tai, the loop is complete and forms a whole that turns constantly on itself. The mind expresses itself through the body through the technique, the body allows the technique to unite with the intention and the way allows the body to be the visible representation of the thought.
If you neglect your body (Tai), your technique will be degraded and your motivation will decrease. If you do not work your technique (Gi) regularly, your body and your intention will not be enough to make a perfect gesture. If you neglect your spirit (Shin) and do not maintain the flame that animates you, you will be demotivated and end up not worrying about your technique or your body.
As you see it Shin Gi Tai forms a whole that must be maintained with perseverance.
I have prepared a video in which I tell you about the importance of Shin Gi Tai.
Here, I hope that this article, you have more and that it will allow you to have a deep reflection on your training and will make you progress.
See you soon,
Your opinion interests me, leave me a comment, answering for example these questions:
- What does Shin Gi Tai represent for you?
- Do you think Karate practice changes both body and mind?
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