Mushin or "no mind" is the ultimate state of mind in the performance of kata or for combat. By releasing your mind of conscious thought you rely on your reflexive reactions and movements that have been engrained into your mind through training. The mind, body, and spirit at this point become totally focused and become one. The movements reflect this as the mind and body react and perform the movements in perfect timing and unison with one another. The problem with mushin is that you can not enter a state of mushin and perform a kata that you do not know "cold". You must have practiced this kata so much that you can pick up the kata from any move and continue the kata. As when learning the kata you are not thinking about what set comes next to keep your body movements flowing. You are giving 100% of your mental focus the movement you are doing at that exact moment. No mental energy or focus is loss thinking about the next move. This state of mind can only come through repetitive practice of the kata with full mental focus and full physical power. It is possible to practice kata while in a mushin state of mind and doing the kata slow as a Tai Chi practitioner would practice a kata. The problem is that putting full physical power into the kata takes away from the mental focus of the movement unless they are practiced together. You cannot perform a kata in tournament slowly and expect to get a high score. The physical power and focus must be there as well as the mental. Through practice of kata with 100% effort you will be able to eventually perform kata in the mushin state of mind which is the ultimate state of mind to be in while performing kata. The kata must become a part of you
Developing Mushin For Kata