Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 10/13/2020


This last Saturday was the first time I actually ever sparred in earnest for any length of time. One of the first things I noticed and that was pointed out to me, was how tense I was. I was buzzing with energy but gassing myself too quickly. The coach asked me if I thought I would be able to make it twenty rounds like this and I had to admit I couldn’t. In fact, it was doubtful if I could make it through another round. One I relaxed and paced myself I was able to keep up and stay in the game.

Saturday’s experience taught me about the value of resting and relaxing in the moment in a way that decades of reading, meditation and contemplation never have. Whether facing an opponent on the mat or my fear, it is clear that there is a need to meet the moment in a relaxed and alert manner. I think this is what all the bushido and karateka people are getting at when they talk about the mind of no mind.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.