Yesterday I was in the Dojo in the class of Iaido, learning a kind of frontal attack with the type of sword called katana by the Japanese. Iaido is a complex art. The legs need to advance in a certain order: first the right leg in a peculiar way in order to advance more than anticipated by the adversary, then the left leg and at that moment the katana must be upheld above your head ready to strike vertically or obliquely. The position of the feet must be in-line with the movement toward the opponent, the body must undulate and the arms must be aligned perpendicularly to the torso.
This was explained carefully by the Master, repeatedly. But the student failed and his colleagues too. The katana wiggled in the air, loosing its momentum, and when it struck the object, it happened with two or more kicks, instead of just one, the fatal one…
I was looking to the eyes and face of my colleagues and I always saw the same feeling. Then the master said:
– You have the doubt in you!
– What you mean master?
– DOUBT! – He shouted. You cannot do the right action with the doubt in you. Don’t look with your eyes. Why you are staring on the opponent looking to the point of strike?
– How can I do other way? – I inquired with the doubt in my face.
– Look through the other “eyes” you have in your body, to perceive the world. Particularly the “eye” that we all have here, below the nombril. You don’t have to see the target. Just forget about it. Concentrate on your body and “see” through this “eye”. It is not the normal vision but it is this “eye” that commands our actions, channels our energy…
– Oss! I understand, Master.
Then we all started again. We forgot the target. We just need to hit the way we already knew. We had practically our eyes closed, or at least we were not “looking” at it. And then the action followed perfectly…