Practice is important. As we are preparing for our next tournament we have been talking a lot about Fudo Shin.
Mu Shin means No Mind. That doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It means you can do something without devoting a lot of thought to it. A good example of this is tying your shoes. When you first started tying your shoes it was difficult. You had to think about it each time you did it, but you do it every day. Eventually, you could do it without thought or Mu Shin.
Fudo Shin means Immovable Mind. Where Mu Shin means you don’t have to think about it, Fudo Shin means you can still do it under duress.
There once was an old archery master and a young hot shot archer wanted to challenge the old master. Now the old archer was very wise and knew that he didn’t want to waste his time if the young archer really wasn’t very good. So he first asked the young archer to shoot. He quickly aimed and fired repeatedly and hit the bullseye each time. He was very good! Next the old master told the young archer to stand on an old rickety bridge and shoot again at the target. Now the young archer looked at this old bridge where many of the wooden slats were broken. He bravely walked out onto the wooden bridge and he could feel the slat creak and grumble. He could see the jagged ravine below and he was frightened of falling, but he wanted to show the old master how good he was. So he pulled his bow string and took aim, but his concentration wasn’t there and he was shaking. As he loosed his arrow it flew and missed the target completely.
Although the young archer was a very good archer he wasn’t yet a master that could perform even when he was scared. Competition makes you nervous and scared. Practicing for competition and doing competitions will help you overcome being nervous and help you to gain Fudo Shin!