Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week (September 9th, 2002)

From Sensei Shelley Schlossberg-Gucker, San-dan
Denver Shorin-Ryu Karate Club

Gan & Mai

This week's technique for the week focuses on Gan and Mai. As described in
Building Warrior Spirit (see pages 18-19), "…the eyes of the deshi are keyed
in on the target subject while burning in the technique. The eyes are alert,
opened wide then narrowed by drawing up the lower lids creating a spirited
glare. The expression of spirit one paints on one's face actually carries
over into the body creating a physical attitude of winning spirit. Even while
totally focused on one's imaginary opponent, during kata performances, the
Karateka sees everything within the scope of his vision, all around either
side, sensing and seeing even behind his back……..Mai, simply stated, is the
concept of awareness of our and our opponent's space and distance from our

I would recommend reading/re-reading these pages. For the technique may be
simply described by detailing how we hold our eyes. The principles and
profound insight that accompany these concepts of Gan & Mai are what the
training is all about.

Shelley Schlossberg-Gucker, San-dan
Denver Shorin-Ryu Karate Club