Kan no me
Kan no me and the power of true observation is the pillar of kenjutsu and Yuishinkai aikido.
I have lost count of the amount of times I have heard sensei say “look, don’t see”.
Why does he say this.
Kan in Japanese is the power of meditative observation, it is perception or intuition – the ability to see in totality, even those things that are hidden. (Even in kiichi hogans secrets of technique(or secrets to harmony)one of the lines says, “learn to discern what is hidden”)
Or eyes are made up of rods and cones, these are the cellular structures that perceive light. Cones are very much associated with focussed conscious attention, while the rods are more gathering information that ends up being subconscious. (Sensei constantly reminds us to train so that it becomes part of our subconscious) Rods also are better for night vision, of course, so you see better at night with an open, broad focus, not trying to squint to see where you’re going to trip over. It’s why we have the saying “tunnel vision” when our ability to see correctly narrows to remove our peripheral vision and lower our proprioception.
When our proprioception is lowered our “sixth sense” ability to perceive movement in the area around our body that has been mapped by our brain is lowered or removed entirely.
This area around the body can be trained to be enlarged and strengthened, but it takes time and dedication to unwrap.
When we look through the heart of the opponent with ka no me and are relaxed centred and extended, all things are revealed as they truly are, and movement born of this realisation is subconscious and a reflection of the attackers mind.
Without this we rely on timing and luck.
We are not training to me masters, we are training to be more rounded human beings. To restore to us the power of truly being human, and to know that through this path we can make the impossible possible.