What is Zanshin?

“Zanshin” (Awareness) is a term from Japan’s martial arts. To be in a Zanshin state, is to remain on guard to the end, keeping one’s concentration focused.

The moment after executing what appears to be a successful Waza, a contestant may relax his guard, thus presenting the opponent with a chance to counter. A contestant must therefore remain focused until the win has been completely secured.

For example, after using a Nage waza (Throwing techniques), etc., to successfully throw an opponent, the contestant’s focus may be on the fallen opponent, when he should in fact be focusing on a follow-up Waza. The state in which one remains focused at all times is called “Zanshin” (Awareness).

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